We have had such a busy few weeks/months and I am afraid the blog has been neglected.
The hives were prepared for winter – treated for varroa, fed syrup and in theory settled in for the winter. What winter? It has been so mild. There has often been evidence of flying bees – not as exciting as you’d imagine. Flying bees use more stores and if the queen is tempted to think that winter is over and start to lay then starvation is more of a risk. My bees seem to fly in fairly low temperatures – nearer 10 than 15 degrees. I put the mouseguards on and also got one woodpecker protection in place quite early. The second woodpecker protection was slow – I was lulled into feeling it was less crucial because there was so much food for the birds to feed on without threatening the hive. About 10 days ago after giving the Christmas dose of fondant I decided it was time to get my act together.
You tube is so useful when you are about to do things for the first time. There are videos for almost everything and I find that watching allows you to appreciate the unexpected problems. I couldn’t get my fondant to roll into non sticky and manageable sections that I could move where I wanted when I wanted. However, some of the examples seemed to take an age to get in, place the fondant and get out and I knew I wanted to avoid cooling them down too much. I waited for a reasonable day, did the deed and exchanged the one crownboard for a clear one on the grounds it would be easier to check whether the first fondant had gone. I have also been checking after particularly windy days or days when I have heard of badger activity that all is well. One of the benefits of having the apiary close at hand. I missed the midBucks day of showing oxalic treatment (grandson’s birthday) so I think I’ll need to look on you tube to see what to do and decide whether I should.