Starvation risk!

Just to remind all beekeepers that the June gap can still happen and inclement weather, combined with large growing colonies and little or no available forage, can quickly result in a shortage of stores.

So be sure to check that your bees have enough food, especially if you have taken off any spring honey. Note that if you add extra frames of sealed stores you should keep them in the brood boxes, so as to avoid getting them mixed up in the honey supers. Also, if you have to feed directly, use a light syrup (i.e. 1:1 sugar/water ratio) with any honey supers taken off during the feeding process.

PBKA Asian Hornet Coordinator

We would like to remind all beekeepers of the importance to monitor for the Asian Hornet, as early discovery may be the only opportunity we have of preventing them from becoming a major problem. Details about the Asian Hornet can be obtained at NBU link and there is also information available on an NBU Asian hornet trap . If anyone does spot something suspect, then they should take a photo, or catch one and put it in alcohol or the freezer and report it immediately.

To assist in this process, the PBKA has appointed an Asian Hornet Coordinator, Peter Kirkup, to coordinate information and guidance relating to possible sightings. Peter can be contacted on 07770 883720.

Do you really have a swarm of bees?

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 well be the Tree Bumblebee (Bombus Hypnorum) which is a recent visitor to the UK, but is becoming more common.

Unlike other bumblebees which tend to nest in the ground, the Tree Bumblebee (see picture below) likes to live higher up, typically in bird boxes and roof spaces. In general, they are not aggressive unless disturbed and will naturally disappear later in the summer. Most of the flight activity outside the nest is by the males (Drones) which do not sting and are trying to mate with a virgin queen.

Please note that we do not remove bumble bee or wasp nests. For more information on swarms please click here.