Topical Tips – “No Lockdown for the Bees!” – by Malcolm Wilkie

Just a warning to everyone that we are experiencing a huge nectar flow. Temperatures have jumped, trees are in flower, the ground is still moist from all the winter rains and the bees are busy.

Brood nests are becoming nectar bound. The bees are trying to create extra space and building comb. Remember that bees can fill a super in two or three days if they are a big unit so you may need to go back, check them and add an extra super.

Helen Hadley, our honey queen, is running around like a madman. She has large Buckfast colonies and they are already congested. Look at the photos.

The bees have even started putting eggs into Queen cups.

That means that because the box has been congested they have decided that they had better build queen cells and swarm.

She is going to have a devils own job to put them off. Once bees start preparations for swarming it is difficult to make them change their minds.

I have been helping Morris McGowern with his bees. On Tuesday he had half a colony of bees. There was at least six frames of space. Today the box was completely full of bees and all the frames were full of nectar. We had to put on a super. Even I was surprised at the rapid growth of this colony. As I’ve said before the difference between a good beekeeper and a bad one can just be a matter of a few days. Go and check your colonies now! I hope you are in time.

Malcolm Wilkie - 9th April 2020

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