Photo: European Hornet found floating in half full watering can and unable to escape (see final photo)
As we slowly but surely move into the Autumn season we would normally expect the cold to creep in and colonies to cluster and reduce their breeding patterns.
But we live in strange days with strange weather conditions which the bees will of course adapt to quite easily.
The Ivy flowered for longer than usual producing a good nectar supply and pollen for winter feeding, whilst other flowers, which would normally have died back by now, have continued to be productive in the warm weather.
This unfortunately has also resulted in a resurgence in the “worker wasp” population which have been trying to gain entry to our, shut down, colonies forcing us to reduce entrances and replacing Varroa boards to prevent falling debris from the cluster attracting the wasps.
But the up side to all of this is that Colonies have been able to breed plenty of “fat winter bees” which are essential for the colonies to successfully get through the desolation of the next few months.
We have all fed well, only Fondant now if you think they may be short, and the late nectar flows and pollen crop can only have supplemented the winter stores.
This weather cannot last into November as the heavy wind and rain sweeps in so ensure your hives are water proof and roofs are secure as we approach the season of gales.
I see all the equipment suppliers are holding their “Sales” at present so maybe a good time to consider stocking up on essential equipment for next season after speaking with your ‘Bee Buddy’ to ensure your order is over £100.00 to get free postage?
Then in those dark nights ahead, now the clocks have gone back, you can spend a few happy hours making frames and feeling smug as you are at last prepared for the season of 2023.