Gregynog Apiary Report

The BeeHolder, Spring 2012

The Gregynog Apiary is coming into its own as a training venue, with monthly apiary training sessions planned for the year ahead. Oxalic acid treatment in January (see the report on page 8) and the two spring inspections in March and April were all well attended (April’s meeting went on till 4pm!). The meetings are planned to run from 10am to 1pm, except June and September which will start at 2pm. See the forthcoming events page of BeeHolder or check the web site for the latest information on what is coming up at the apiary.

We lost two colonies over the winter, probably due to starvation, and we are currently monitoring closely for varroa as the oxalic acid treatment performed in January was during such a warm spell that the queens were most likely laying so some varroa could have been capped in cells and survived the treatment.

At the moment the bees are going backwards – the early clement weather led us to put supers on with the promise of a good season, but the recent downturn in the weather means that the supers are coming back off and the feeders going back on! With the oil seed rape nectar flow supposed to be starting soon as well. Let us hope that the weather picks up and the bees can get back to their foraging and build up good numbers for the summer ahead.

The apiary meeting in May promises to be interesting. The plan is to split three colonies, provided that they are still strong enough. So if you haven't been brave enough to attempt this yourselves, here is a chance to see how it is done and ask questions of Dave, John and the other experienced beekeepers who will be there. It is your apiary – take advantage of the training opportunities it presents!

Dave Bennett
Apiary Manager