“The bee is more honoured than other animals, not because she labours, but because she labours for others.”
― Saint John Chrysostom
September is a time when beekeepers prepare their bees for winter.
Every beekeeper wants to overwinter his stock in the best possible condition to have good start in spring. Now is the time to prepare bee colonies for next season.
At the National Bee Supplies Apiary, we have been stimulating our queens to lay plenty of eggs in August by feeding bees with small amounts of syrup every couple of days and giving them pollen pate.
Jobs To Do This Month
- Reduce the entrance of the hive to minimise attacks from robbing bees, wasps or hornets.
- If you haven’t treated your bees for varroa after last honey harvest now is the time to do it before winter. An easy to use varroa treatment this time a year is Apistan strips. One pack of 10 strips will treat 5 hives.
- By the end of the month winter feeding should be done. Depending what kind of feeder you are using fill it up with ambrosia bee syrup every few days or when bees empty it. For British standard hive on double brood chamber we need to feed our bees about 15-18 kg of syrup per hive. For a larger volume of syrup use either our cedar Ashforth Feeder for WBC, Langstroth and National & Commercial hives, or plastic economy bulk feeder.
- Take the opportunity to inspect your hives whilst the weather is good and before the cold spell starts. Check your hive for a solid area of brood, new eggs and food stores. Remove any spare empty frames from the hive. Place dummy boards if needed. Keep feeding until side frames are full and middle frames are half full of store. If you are wintering your bees on single a British standard brood chamber, add an empty super (no frames) underneath brood box, this will give more space for bees to winter.
- Protect your used frames from wax moth. One method of killing the moth and larvae is to wrap the frames in plastic and freeze for a minimum 48 hours at -10 ̊C or below. Other easy method to use at home is to wrap each frame in newspaper and keep in well ventilated room until next year.
Plant Of The Month – Cottage Garden Our Selection
Plan ahead your garden and make it a haven for bees and other wildlife when the spring and summer come! Our Cottage Garden selection is a variety of beautiful 9cm potted plants that will provide a wealth of nectar and pollen for a wide range of bee species, year after year. Not only that… with our collection, you’ll save over £40!
Hornet Watch with BBKA
The British Beekeepers Associaton (BBKA) is working on plans for Asian Hornet week (7-13 September 2020). One of the key messages will be to download the free app ‘Asian Hornet Watch’ onto your phone so that you have the information to hand if you spot an AH nest once the leaves come off the trees.
If a plausible sighting of an Asian Hornet is received APHA (Animal Plant Health Agency) sends an email with the details to the BBKA office and asks them to contact the nearest Asian Hornet Team to visit the area of the sighting and commence their observation work.
BBKA have been fortunate so far this year as they have not had a confirmed Asian Hornet sighting yet but they have been asked to investigate some plausible sightings. We can all agree that we need to remain ready and vigilant.
Bee Starvation UPDATE
Bee Inspectors across the UK are reporting that many colonies are in need of food where honey has been harvested and nectar availability is reduced. Where starvation is a risk, replacement food needs to be provided.
Please monitor your colonies throughout the coming months and feed as required to ensure your bees do not starve. A standard full size British National colony needs between 20-25 kg of stores to successfully overwinter.
#NBSPOTY Competition Closing Soon
The NBS photography competition is well on its way now and we’re are amazed at the entries we’ve had so far! With just over weeks to go, we want to show you some of the photographs we’ve received.
Our main winner will receive one of our industry-leading bee hive starter kits, containing everything you need to start your beekeeping journey. Including a full beekeeper’s suit & accessories, smokers & other tools, helpful books and even a £50 voucher to top up your supplies when needed!