Peeblesshire Beekeepers Association

Monthly Archive: September 2017

Apiary Visit 10th September Report

Richard L and Peter went to the apiary on Sunday 10th September.

The weather hadn’t looked promising but it was actually fine and even sunny while we there.

The guys doing the walling were also there and had reached the section where the storage huts are. They needed to get their scaffolding in at the wall. So with their help, we shifted the huts to behind the line of hives and repacked the contents. Very kindly they offered to do the bulk of the heavy lifting and we didn’t argue too much!

There are only 2 hives in the central area with bees now and we topped up the feeders on both. One had a super on which we removed along with the used up MAQ’s strips. This one had quite a large varroa count which is hopefully still mites falling from the treatment. All the hives need to be checked for varroa now and judged to see what treatment they are going to get. The third active hive was in at the wall. Since the wallers were actively working here and had the compressor going adjacent to the hive we didn’t open this one up. Peter may go back and check this one if there is a warm evening this week.

The walling work may be completed this week and the guys have just worked around the bees, so in the end there wasn’t any need to relocate the hives. Longer term, it would be nice to find out more about the plans for the walled garden but at the moment this information is hard to come by.

News from the out apiary at Merlindale – Peter went out to Dankas on Saturday. The 2 association hives are doing very well. One which had no laying queen has brood again now and plenty bees. There are also good stores and we left the super on that one. The other hive which has still a huge amount of bees had also filled the best part of 2 supers. We took one of these off for association honey and left the remaining one for the bees. We moved Dankas colony from the association hive into her own poly hive and were amazed at how much brood and bees there were. All were good tempered with us although they had disgraced themselves earlier by stinging the gardener who had been strimming in front of the hives. He wasn’t too put out fortunately and will take some more precautions the next time.

Finally thanks to Brian for the photos taken earlier in the season and I’ll post some more of these in due course.

At work in the apiary.

A shallow frame has been in the brood box.

Apiary Visit 10th September

Apiary meeting this Sunday 2pm, even if the weather is poor – Peter will be there for a short time only, to check the colonies, re-organise hive 1 (if weather isn’t too bad), feed hive 2, and possibly do some anti-varroa treatment.

If you need to borrow a beesuit, please contact Peter.

There will be no apiary visit on 17th.

Information about the winter programme will follow shortly.

PBKA Pub Meeting 6th Sept

The main beekeeping season is drawing in – like the nights.

There is still plenty to think about at this time of year – feeding, varroa treatment and honey processing for instance.

If you need advice on these things, or anything else bee related, come along for a chat on Wednesday 6th Sept at 7.30pm in the back bar of the Neidpath Inn in Peebles.

As always everyone is welcome – non-beekeepers, potential beekeepers, beginners and old hands. See you there.

Mating Bumblebees

Just on my way into town the other day I noticed this pair of bumbleebees at the side of the road.

Mating Bumblebees

I’m pretty sure they are white tailed bumblebees. The male is at the back and he should have some yellow on his face that I think I can just about make out. I didn’t have my good camera with me so these are just snapped by the phone.

They looked locked together and weren’t really moving. My book says that “A pair of bumblebees may remain united for anything up to an hour or more ” (!). So I’m glad I didn’t stay to watch, although I did move them to the edge of the pavement so they didn’t get squished in the act.

A bit different to honeybee mating where it is over in an instant for the male…


Heather Picnic Report 27th August

A fine end of season visit was had to Jock and Wilma’s heather apiary.

View of the apiary

Although it was sunny just half a mile down the valley, it was rather overcast as the first hive was opened.

If you have a coloured folder you’re in charge!

However the bees were happy enough (at first) and we had a good look at how the colonies were faring on the hills.

A brood frame

As usual, young Sam was keen to get involved.

At the heather

The hives were doing well and the honey crop was coming on with some frames fully capped.

A good frame of heather honey

We discovered some unexpected queen cells that might have been supercedure.  A quick split into a nuc was demonstrated very proficiently by Wilma.

The bees were getting livelier as we made our way around. Some were doing Nasonov fanning at the entrance.

Nasonov fanning

Others were dancing on the entrance board. Keep an eye on the bee in the centre of the video.

The bees were getting a bit feisty, and that was a problem for the person who had a hole in his veil!

Pesky bees

Time to retire, in time-honoured beekeepers style, for cups of tea, cakes, salad, sausage rolls, biscuits, mead and best of all fresh pancakes with honey straight off the frame.

Honey Picnicers

So all in all an enjoyable day out to end the season.

Many thanks to Wilma and Jock for hosting.