May is usually the month of swarms but with this long very cold start everything is at least 4 weeks behind, and as some colonies are still very small, swarming will no doubt be delayed. However the day temperatures are now in double figures, and you will see an increase in bee traffic at the entrance as the bees will be out foraging. This will make inspections easier, so here is a bullet list of things to do this month:
Move to 1 week inspection (or clipped queens).
Look for drones & queen cells.
Put Queen excluders on.
Put first super(s) on.
Ensure Queen has plenty of room to lay.
Consider taking a small nucleus to raise a fresh queen.
Consider Demaree split – see details under ’Articles’ (This method does not interrupt honey flow - keeps Queen laying - stops colony swarming - possibility of a new queen).
Place a sacrificial drone comb in brood nest (super frame with space below).
Remove sacrificial drone brood once sealed (twice in the season).
Swarm Request List 2013: Members only.
If you are a new beekeeper and will be looking for bees to get started next year or have lost bees over the winter, we will be preparing a list of all the people who would take a swarm collected in 2013. We already have a list of 16 people, who have lost colonies during this extremely harsh spring and with all these colony losses, we hope there will be sufficient swarms to fulfil this demand!
We make a charge of £10 to cover our petrol money & time spent, which is nominal as it can take 1 to 2 hours & we may have to return later to capture the flying bees.
If you wish to go on this list for 2013, please send your details by email to me:
Download to see details of Kent Science Resource Centre, Sittingbourne
Planned Courses for 2013:
Our aim this year will be to provide 2nd level and more advanced courses for beekeepers who have had bees for a few years. The programme includes courses aimed at supporting those putting themselves up for the important BBKA Basic Assessment and BBKA General Husbandry practicals. Additionally, rather than the rather random collection of courses on aspects of microscopy in beekeeping this year, in 2013 the plan is to offer a staged series of possibly 5 different courses from an introduction through to anatomy and dissection and pollen analysis.Some of the popular courses are to be repeated and some frequently requested courses are to be added in 2013.
All in all, we hope that there will be something for all of your second-level beekeepers as they strive to improve their knowledge and skills.
These courses will be found on the website: http://ksrcbees.org.uk/ Click on Improvers
Tales from the Beehive.
Daniel Marsh has been keeping bees since 2009 and started a Beekeeping Blog in June 2010. Download his 'Tales from the Beehive' to see how his beekeeping has progressed over the last 3 years, by clicking on: 'Daniel'
The 2013 indoor meetings start again in the Autumn on Tuesday 17th September 2013 at Weald Memorial Hall TN14 6PS. Use Google maps for directions and for their web page click on: 'Weald Hall'.
'Theory course for Beginners'.
John Hendrie ran an eight-week theory course from17th January - 14th March 2013 at Tonbridge School, from 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm. If you missed this course but would be interested if there was another, contact John Hendrie for more information. To see the full details of the 8 sessions click on: 'Beginners Course'.