November Notes

Hi everybody it is the time of year when all things should have ceased. However we have had an extremely warm back-end to the season. This has increased the activity so be on your guard for any hives which may have become light. If you have fed them properly even though we have had a warm back-end to the season there should be no need to put extra feed on your bees. The point I’m trying to make here is feeding the correct amount is important, for indigenous bees round about 2 gallons should be sufficient to take the bees through until the spring. If your bees get short of food usually round about February then a block of candy or fondant will keep them together. There is no substitute for feeding your bees properly in the autumn, I have stressed this many times before.

Planning for next year is an important task which beekeepers should think about, I will outline a few things which you may consider. Keeping your brood nests in good order is no doubt one of the best things that you can do to facilitate good handling, it will pay dividends to replace three or four combs in your brood nests annually. You do not need to destroy the frames, you can fit a new sheet of foundation in your existing frames thereby saving the cost of new ones. There is little more that you can do at this time of year except keep an eye on woodpecker damage. When the weather turns cold with perhaps a little snow on the ground you may well receive a visit from a woodpecker. Keeping your roofs strapped down is also important, we do occasionally get high winds.

As I’ve said many times before there is much more to beekeeping than the actual physical keeping of them. You can study microscopy, pollen identification, or indeed the brood diseases in the active season. Of course you will need the necessary equipment to carry this out, you will need a compound microscope and a dissecting microscope. At the very least even with the cheaper microscopes coming on the market you are indeed making a sizeable acquisition moneywise. Or indeed you can take a book from the library and swot up a few of your favourite subjects. There is no doubt that beekeeping does make you more aware of the various nectar secreting plants. That’s about it folks for now, it is indeed a quiet time of year for this kind of occupation.

Dave