YBKA Annual Spring Conference
by. Roger Chapel
We have been really fortunate to attract several high-profile academics who are all leaders in their fields – all the lectures will provide a brilliant insight in to several interesting beekeeping topics.
£25 a Ticket inc. Buffet lunch
A thought for our new members
By Bill Cadmore
A thought for our new members Many of our newest members will only have received their nucleus colonies in late June or even into July this year due to the very poor spring. The lucky ones received ‘nucs’ prepared last year and over-wintered to be ready for early sale – the others got an early lesson in just how weather dependent beekeeping is. Queens can’t mate if there are no drones nor if the sun fails to shine.
I had a quick check of the fondant supplies today. There was still quite a bit left, but there were a dozen or so dead bees in it. From what I’ve learned, bees are pretty house proud and would normally remove the dead bees themselves so I decided to help them out and take out the bits of contaminated fondant
Annual Report – National Bee Unit North East Region
by Ivor Flatman, Regional Bee Inspector – North East Region
This time last year, concerns that I expressed about the condition of colonies going into winter and the possible effects of a prolonged late spell of bad weather were realised, with problems associated with the poor summer – weak colonies, a lack of pollen and poorly mated queens – compounded by the seemingly never-ending winter which prevented colonies building up in the New Year. Many colonies continued to dwindle right through to May as the winter bees died off with little or no new brood developing and too many reaching the point of no return – falling below the critical mass of bees necessary to maintain a viable brood-nest. Spring itself was very late, up to 6 weeks behind in some areas and great swathes of winter sown oil seed rape failed altogether. Some fields were re-sown in spring with rape or field beans but others were just left fallow. The weather did finally start to improve in May and most beekeepers were able to dispense with the feeders, stronger colonies bringing in some surplus and weaker ones building up on the available forage. In arable areas the continued nectar and pollen from oil seed rape and field beans saw colonies steadily building throughout June. However, in areas without these crops the meagre returns were soon consumed and a late ‘June gap’ saw colonies in the Pennines desperately short of food in early July.