The beekeepers have had a busy summer – both in their apiaries and at local shows.
The weather has been great for the bees, although the warm temperatures resulted in some unusual swarming activity which kept the beekeepers on their toes! The one problem with warm weather is that the nectar flow in flowers tends to dry up which can affect the honey stores – but despite this the beekeepers are reporting a good honey harvest. The queens have had some great mating weather, so hopefully the colonies will go in to the winter with strong, well mated queens. The summer flowers are almost over already, apart from the late crops of heather and Himalayan balsam, and the task now is to take off the honey harvest and to prepare the bees for the winter. It is crucial that the bees have sufficient stores to start the winter and it is also the time to check varroa mite levels and to treat with approved varroacides if necessary.
It has been great to see our new beekeepers getting excited about acquiring and handling bees, and starting to put all the theory in to practice with the help of their mentors.
July saw the association’s main public event of the year – The Wonder of Honeybees, this year at Glen of Luce Hall. The beekeepers put on a great show of information, equipment, demonstrations, Royal Highland Show prize winning exhibits and there was local honey and honey related products for sale. The event was attended by members of the public interested in bees and beekeeping. A similar, but smaller, information stand at the Wigtown Show was popular and the beekeepers answered lots of questions about bees, honey and pollination. It was great to hear how much our youngsters know about bees and other pollinators – projects in schools are to thank for this.
The next two meetings are member only meetings – on Sunday 19th August the ins and outs of the harvesting of honey will be the subject and on Sunday 9th September the topic of how to prepare bees for the winter will be covered.
The autumn/winter schedule starts on Monday 24th September at Glenluce Bowling Club starting at 7pm, and is open to members and non-members alike.