I am a beekeeper and beebreeder in Rainham Kent, approaching 6 years experience.
I breed local queens that produce workers that are gentle to handle and manipulate.
My bees are beekeeper friendly and I have confidence in supplying to new beekeepers, I offer assistance for as long as it takes for the new colony to get established. Re-queening if nessesary during the season April to August.
This last year I had orders for more than 50 Nucs with bees on 5 frames.
The Spring was very late in the S/E. The best of the weather started in the first week of June. three months already behind normal. In the end I only produced 18 Nucs. I apologise to those of you I let down but as you all realised it was a nationwide problem.
Please support your local beekeeper and think hard about not introducing stock that might upset the balance of our near native bees here in the South East of the UK. I will be doing my very best next year to make amends, but its all down to nature in the end I am only helping in my own very small way.
If your looking for new stock in 2014
I found this very interesting article in December issue of Beecraft.
Native Honeybee Santuary.
The islands of Colonsay and Oronsay are to become a native honey bee sanitary. A new law will come into effect in January 2014 making it illegal to import any bee other than Apis Mellifera Mellifera.
The Hebridean islands have about 50 colonies of the species and the new order aims to protect them from cross-breeding and disease.
The varroa mite, which has devastated bee colonies across the country, has not affected Colonsay or Oronsay.
The Scottish government granted the order after public consultation received overwhelming support. The Bee Keeping (Colonsay and Oronsay) order 2013, comes into force on 1st January 2014.
So when you think about bringing into the UK Queens from abroad, will this queens brood be less tolerant to varroa than our own Apis Mellifera Mellifera, Mix.
This is indeed a welcome order by the Scottish government. and will prove that maybe in future we could be buying our bees and queens from across the border.
I have noticed in my 6th year of breeding local bees they are dealing with Varroa very well, to the extent that I do not treat with any product in the Autumn any more. But I do carry out Oxalic acid dribble in Late December early January. Sometimes twice as I am still experimenting with this action. I will post my findings in the spring. Lets all hope for a better beekeeping season in 2014.
VARROA COUNT STARTED for 2013
I treated all of my hives at my Home on 9th December 2013. 5ml per seam on 6 seams of bees. 30ml total Oxalic acid.
This is part of my experimenting with treatment of my Honeybees. I know I said above that it would be late December, but weather on 9th December was mild @11c. with colder weather forecast for later and rain by the week-end.
I am monitoring my strongest hive which is a Brood 1/2.
Also remember I did not carry out any other Varroa treatment in the Autumn of this year.
Daily Mite drop.
Day 1 10th Dec 220
2 11th 360
3 12th 131 This total surprises me, are the Honeybees actually learning to control the Varroa mite themselves.
4 13th 36 I must be doing something right. My Girls are controlling the Varroa, much better than last year.
5 14th 38 It looks like most of the Varroa have been removed. But I am now convinced that another
is needed at the same time next month.
6 15th & 16th 28 Over two days. So count now complete. Much better result than I expected.
Total Varroa Drop 813. This is from Brood and a Half. 6 seams of bees.
Even if you double this number to 1626 it would still be a good result.