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Beekeepers Blog - April 2022

Beekeepers Blog - April 2022

The April edition of our 2022 blog. Written by the beekeepers here at Thornes.

The busy season has begun! This month we have seen some really great weather followed by some pretty chilly conditions here in Lincolnshire. This means that the bees have been able to get out and forage on the sunny warm days, building up their stores well. However, towards the end of the month with cooler temperatures, we found that the bees were not flying so much, and we have therefore had to keep an eye on stores inside the hive. We don’t want them to have built up only to starve due to their own success!

If you very closely at this image taken from a beekeeper’s eye view of the frames, you may be able to see a tiny sliver of the protein patty we put on last month. It is on the 5th frame from the left about two thirds of the way down. The bees have wolfed the patty down and it has clearly done them well as they seem to be thriving so far.

Inspections have taken place this month, with some hives needing artificial swarms. This is also the time we start taking of nucs for sale. Every nuc is carefully selected, all with 1st quality frames, plenty of brood and stores, and lots of bees to set them up as a new colony. This image of the frame below shows one that has been nicely drawn out. A perfect candidate for putting in a nuc with lots of young brood and eggs. However, it is on plastic foundation! It is not something we use a lot of here but as an experiment I think it has come out rather well. So, if you are looking to save on wax, perhaps look at the reusable foundation – it seems to have worked for us.

In the apiary there are always other things to look at than our bees. You can see below a little mound of soil with a hole in. This will be some kind of solitary bee – if anyone knows what it belongs to, please let us know! We often see them this time of year going in and out of these little holes in the ground, it is quite fascinating how different species of bee behave.

May is usually our busiest month so we are expecting the same this year. Most of our nucs come off in May which means we have some long days in store!

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