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The Apiary in December

Well another month of cold but not freezing weather with an awful lot of rain and storms.

In Tiddington  village, the gale force wind demolished a rotten old Poplar tree which was hollow, containing a small colony which had clearly been inhabiting the cavity for some years  considering the dark brood wax  we removed.

Tim and Chris turned out to try and salvage what they could, putting comb and live bees into a Poly Nuc. It will be interesting to see if they survive their ordeal.

Colony within an old tree trunk
Encouraging bees into a nuc

There appeared to be very little brood evident in this colony, which is a good sign there has been a break in brood production and it should be a good time treat for varroa if necessary.

I’m pleased to say for one reason or another it has been a bad year for Varroa reproduction in my Apiary but you still need to check your floor slides to see what dead varroa you can see in amongst the debris.

I normally clean off the Varroa slide and go back after  48 hours to see what  Varroa are about  and if a large ‘drop’ treat appropriately.

It has been cold enough for the Green Woodpecker to start looking further a field for a food supply and unprotected Beehives are an easy target. Once the ground freezes in the next couple of months  Beehives can, and will, be a life line for the Woodpeckers as a food source. But if you put around a bit of rabbit wire this will prevent your beautiful cedar hives been turned into matchwood and colonies destroyed

Woodpecker and Wind Protection

Just hope no boughs fall …..

Woodpecker and Wind Protection

The recent gales have blown off many a hive roof so either strap the hive to the paving slab as Chris R. has to up at Snitterfield  or put a heavy weight on top.

I see the “winter sales “ have started amongst the Equipment Manufacturers so if you need to stock up or replace equipment now is a good time to check out their prices.

Other than that leave colony well alone we will heft the hives next month to see if they need extra food in the form of a large lump of Fondant.

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