For the past couple of days a few bees have been loafing around the apiary rather than zooming out of the hives to the honeyfields – wherever they are. The main flow is coming to an end and it’s time to remove the supers and then treat the productive hives for varroa. Some of the small ones have already been started with a thymol based product.
It is now getting late in the year for supplying nucs – some queens in larger colonies have noticeably reduced laying now as they reduce bee numbers in preparation for winter. There’s also a good honeyflow on which can also reduce laying. I’ve got one decent sized nuc remaining (a well-stocked 6 framer) and that’s it.
I have some nice shiny new queens now. They tend to go as beekeepers discover that they have a drone layer or a mishap occurs. I also have a couple of older queens as spares which I keep as long as possible. These will potentially get someone out of trouble as Autumn approaches and there’s nothing else left.
A recent report – published all over the place and also here highlights the concern that imported bumblebees may bring in diseases. I wasn’t aware that 40,000 colonies are brought in each year!