Colony Starvation

Please see the urgent notice below from the National Bee Unit. We strongly recommend that you follow the advice given.

In many areas of the UK nectar flows have ceased and reports are coming in from Regional and Seasonal Bee Inspectors of starving bee colonies, where the beekeeper is not aware that the bees are severely short of food, or the colony(s) have already starved to death. It is also apparent that Wasps are becoming populous in many areas and they too are desperate for nutrition so Beekeepers should be mindful of the need to protect hives from Wasp invasion particularly where feeding is taking place in the apiary.

Colonies particularly at Risk are:

• Bee Colonies where supers of honey have been removed this season and no feeding has taken place.

• Splits / Artificial Swarms and Nucleus colonies made up this year.

• Swarms collected this year where little or no supplementary feeding has taken place.

Immediate action:

• Firstly – Check all colonies feed levels by ‘hefting the hive’ – Check the weight of the colony by lifting below the floor on both sides of the hive to see how much it weighs (Photograph attached – Hefting a Hive). Where the hive is light, liquid feed should be applied directly above the bees. Remove any supers from above the brood box which are empty or have few bees in them. This will help the bees get to the food quickly.

• Feed can be sugar and water mixed at 2:1 ratio or one of the proprietary ready mixed syrups available from Beekeeping Equipment Suppliers.

• Fondant can be used in an emergency if nothing else is available – but liquid feed will be more appropriate at this time of the season.

• Large starving colonies of bees will take 1 gallon (Approx 5 Litres) of syrup very quickly – smaller colonies ½ gallon (Approx 2.5 Litres) may be sufficient to keep them going, but after feeding heft hives again and check the weight – if in doubt feed some more in a few days time.

Further information and Guidance:

Further information on supplementary feeding can be found on Beebase – Best Practice Guideline Number 7 – ‘Emergency Feeding’

Tom Pegg – Chairman

It is with great sadness that we have to inform you that our Chairman, Tom Pegg, has passed away following a long illness. He will be sorely missed.

Our thoughts and sympathy go out to Barbara and the family at this very sad time.

The funeral will be at Parc Gwyn Crematorium, Narberth on Monday 10th August at 2.30pm.

Family flowers only. Donations to Paul Sartori

Paul Eades


Pembrokeshire Beekeepers’ Association

MAQS and Invertbee Syrup order – Closing date Friday 7th August

We will shortly be ordering MAQS strips for the autumn Varroa treatment and Invertbee syrup for the winter feed.

If any PBKA members are interested in purchasing MAQS strips and/or Invertbee syrup through the association, please contact Paul Eades, the Apiary Manager on by Friday 7th August at the very latest.

Please note that this offer is strictly open to PBKA members only.