“For bees, the flower is the fountain of life/For flowers, the bee is the messenger of love.”― Kahlil Gilbran
Autumn is truly upon us and October is the month to prepare your bees for what Mother Nature has in store this upcoming winter. Whilst there is less to do, there are still some jobs in preparation for the cooler, darker months.
Jobs To Do This Month
- Ensure your bees have sufficient food stores for the coming months. Continue feeding if you feel your colony is light. Remove the roof and heft the hive to get an idea of weight. Some beekeepers like to use a spring balance. Each side of the hive should be approx. 18kg.
- Varroa treatment should have been completed by this point. If you have used Apistan in August/September, now would be the time to remove these strips out of the hive.
- In October the queens will have significantly reduced the production of eggs. Days are getting shorter; mornings can be frosty and there are hardly any flowers about. Keep an eye on any smaller colonies. Consider uniting weaker beehives with stronger ones to minimise winter losses and ensuring good wintering and strong start to the spring.
- Wasps and hornets can still be active in October so keep entrance blocks in place to reduce the risk of robbing. Entrance blocks for solid floors can also be used in National and Commercial hives.
- Install mouse guards – Mice can cause a lot of damage to your beehive throughout the winter season. They will eat the pollen, brood and can disturb wintering bees, these colonies will be weakened or may not survive until the spring.
- Add chicken wire round the exterior of the hive to prevent damage by woodpeckers, if this is an issue in your area.
Virtual Honey Show 2020
This year’s National Honey Show, 22nd to 24th October 2020, will be a professional, online conference – the first event of its kind in the UK beekeeping world!
Registration will go live early in October so keep your eyes peeled. Everyone is welcome to attend, free of charge. There will be online lectures and demonstration, lots of exciting activities and you’ll be able to virtually visit the trade hall
Win A Hive – Winner Announced!
In our 2020/21 Beekeeping Catalogue we ran a fantastic competition to ‘Win A Hive’! This prize was one of our bestselling WBC hives, made from the finest quality Western Red Cedar.
Julie McDiarmid was our big winner and has sent us a lovely photo of her and her prize.
She kindly messaged us saying: “My hive has arrived, and it is absolutely lovely”… “So impressed – thank you so much.”
NBS Photographer Of The Year
Whilst on the subject of competitions, our #NBSPOTY photography competition has now closed! We’ve had an incredible amount of entries and look forward to going through them all. Keep an eye out on our social media pages and in next month’s newsletter to find out this year’s winners.
Plant Of The Month – Limonium
Known as Sea-Lavender, Statice, Caspia or Marsh-Rosemary, Limonium has more bee friendly varieties than it does nicknames! We’ve teamed up with Suttons to look at one bee loving variety in particular – a breakthrough in breeding and a first of its kind – Limonium Dazzle Rocks.
Completely unique in the Limonium genus, this stunning and brand-new variety answers all the problems many have had with other varieties over the years. Unusual in being both compact, fully hardy and floriferous, Dazzle Rocks creates long lasting, 30-40cm high pillows in ever popular bright blue shades from June – September.
They look brilliant in a cut flower display and can also be dried for the winter months. Their nectar and pollen-rich flowers are very easy to maintain and loved by the bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects too!