bees, honey and other sticky subjects

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Bad season looming

I've been expecting stories like this warning about the honey (and pollination) prospects for British bees this year.

Fred Willis, of Lowestoft, Suffolk, said: “I used to have 55 bee colonies. Now it's down to 35 and I'm losing more every day. All across East Anglia populations are down by as much as 50 per cent. Unless the bees can catch up in the summer you can expect to see a shortage of British fruit in six months time.”
Me? I'm trying to find a break in the showers to go and look at my bees that must be itching to swarm.


Anonymous Mark Lowes said...

I'm not sure what sort of season I'm in for, the new queen from last year seems to be trying to swarm but the colony is nowhere strong enough for that to be sensible. The other colony has been split (artificial swarm) with the original storming ahead to the point where I'm thinking that taking a nuc might be sensible, hopefully the new queen in the third will be flying just as soon as this weather improves.

All that said there's nearly three sealed supers of stores across the hives at the moment and if the bramble flow from last year is anything to go by I should be able to double it without too much trouble.

9:42 pm  
Blogger Turlough said...

I definitely think this is going to be a difficult season. It's bad enough trying to swarm-control in this weather without the additional complications. It's the toughest spring I've yet faced.

Normally all my colonies will have been swarm-controlled at this point, but to date only one has made swarm preparations -- and it sent out a swarm sometime over the weekend (Lord knows when during that foul weather!).

But it all adds to the fun ... I'm bringing a mating nucleus into the garden this week. I love watching it -- but my aged black cat hates it!


3:31 pm  

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