Most beekeepers will be familiar with someone (often a non-beekeeper) asking for help in identifying a bee that has been seen in their garden. The Bumblebee Conservation Trust has a lot of helpful information on their website on the differences between the various species of bumbles as compared to our honeybees. This page – http://bumblebeeconservation.org/about-bees/faqs/honeybees-vs-bumblebees/ – goes through some of the most obvious differences and is a useful place to recommend for information.
When it comes to identifying a bee that is obviously not a bumble but not a honeybee either, then two websites have particularly useful guides: the Wildlife Trusts’ page at http://www.wildlifetrusts.org/reserves-wildlife/guide-solitary-bees-britain and the Grow Wild page at https://www.growwilduk.com/content/everything-you-need-know-about-solitary-bees provide very readable information on the 250+ species of solitary bees in the UK.
New Scientist is reporting today on some recent research undertaken in Australia on the way that honeybees can ‘drift’ from one hive to another – Migrant honeybees article. Any experienced and/or competent beekeeper could probably have provided similar information but the article is still an interesting one, with quite a lot of detail on what was found in the colonies there.
The picture below was taken by Lincolnshire beekeeper Simon Croson, yesterday. The range of colours is a wide one but the dominance of the purple/mauve pollen was probably down to a local field crop of Phacelia, he thinks. Such a beautiful mix of colours and bee nutrition evident in that photo.
Due to various unavoidable absences it has been decided that our Honey Show and AGM will be postponed to a new date in November, which will be circulated very soon.
In the meantime, for those branch members who are poised to enter something in the show, it will be based on the same rules as the Dover BKA one, shown in the file appended below. Time to start looking through the jars of honey, picking the most perfect ones…
Show Schedule 2015 (internet version)(1)
This afternoon’s meeting was well attended with around 18 members present, both to listen to a talk from Sue and Keith on the points to keep in mind when preparing entries for a honey show, and also to take part in the final hive inspections of the year. For the latter, we divided into three groups – beginners and would-be beginners, then two groups of people who were more advanced.
Julie showed the beginners (including one very small beginner…) the things to look for when checking frames in a hive for good health at this time of year – as shown in the photo below:
A lot to look for
Keith was demonstrating the use of the double floor he had constructed to use in drying wet supers, in this case with three supers from this apiary stacked on the right hand side of the floor, shown in the picture below:
How to dry supers without getting them refilled
All in all it was a very constructive afternoon.
We had a committee meeting yesterday evening that considered the various new developments we’re working on at the moment. Locating funding for the branch’s new hives (working on a basis of £200 per hive, for anyone/any organisation sponsoring one), a series of interesting talks to be offered in Faversham this autumn, some news about possible new apiary sites, and a new page here on the website that will provide contact details for branch members who have some honey to sell, were all discussed. More detailed information will be circulated to branch members by email.
For the talks in Faversham, there are more details in the attached download.
For the listing of locally-available honey, watch this space… 🙂