Swarms and swarm collecting

At this time of year we get a lot of queries from members of the public about swarms of bees. One noticeable trend, has been the number of reports concerning bees found in the roof or facias of buildings, bird boxes etc. This may be the Tree Bumblebee (Bombus Hypnorum) which is a recent visitor to the UK, but is becoming more common.

Bombus Hypnorum

Unlike other bumblebees which tend to nest in the ground, the Tree Bumblebee likes to live higher up, typically in bird boxes and roof spaces. Further information can be found from the Bumblebee Conservation Trust.

If you come across a swarm of Honey Bees in Pembrokeshire and would like it to be collected, please contact Jeremy Percy in the first instance on 07799 698568. Please note that we DO NOT remove Bumblebee or Wasp nests and we suggest that in respect of Wasps you contact Pembrokeshire County Council’s, Pest Control Service in the first instance .

800px-Bee_Swarm

Advice to new beekeepers

Starting beekeeping can be quite daunting, what with getting the right equipment and of course the right bees and it is so easy to get it wrong! We therefore recommend that if you are thinking about starting up beekeeping you contact us in the first instance before making any purchases.

So if you require advice, please email pbkaapiarymanager@live.co.uk giving us your details and we will arrange for someone to contact you to discuss your plans.

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Basic Assessment training Thursday 14th July

A reminder to all of the candidates for the WBKA Basic Assessment, that there will be a training session at ‘The Georges’, 24 Market St, Haverfordwest, SA61 1NH, at 7pm this Thursday 14th July.

Please ensure that you arrive in good time in order that we can start promptly and make the best use of the session and also bring any notes or questions you may have, plus a notebook and pen.

If you have any queries, please contact Paul Eades.

Starvation Warning from the National Bee Unit

Beekeepers may wish to monitor their colony food levels closely over the next month as many colonies, particularly those which are strong and had their spring honey crop removed, will be at risk of starving. In some parts of the UK, the weather is still cold and foraging opportunities for large colonies are few and far between. It is important to check and monitor all your colonies feed levels, if you do not wish to open them up because of poor weather, lift below the floor, in turn, on both sides of the hive to see how much it weighs. Where the hive is light, liquid feed should be applied directly above the bees. Feed can be prepared from refined white sugar and water mixed at a 2:1 ratio or one of the proprietary ready mixed syrups available from Beekeeping equipment suppliers. More information about mixing up sugar can be found in the Best Practice Guidelines no. 7 http://www.nationalbeeunit.com/index.cfm?pageid=167

Large starving colonies of bees will take 1 gallon (approx. 5 Litres) of syrup very quickly while smaller colonies will take half a gallon (approx. 2.5 Litres). After feeding, heft the hives again and check the weight and if in doubt feed some more in a few days.