Friday, 19 July 2013


After a late start it has been a wonderful year for bees. We have harvested 235 lbs from our two hives. The third hive has a nucleus bought a few weeks back from Mr Jakeman at Ledbury which is doing very nicely, drawing out the foundation on the four outside frames to make beautiful lacy white comb. Because last autumn was so waterlogged the germination of autumn sown rape was poor and Mr Izod, our local farmer, ploughed in the fields of rape in the spring and resowed them They came into flower at the end of June and have just gone out of flower, prolonging the usual season by several weeks, much to the bees' delight.
A couple of weeks ago I used, for the first time, the new anti-varroa treatment, MAQS, on the hive which has a mesh floor (which is necessary for MAQS because it gives added ventilation). It did not have any of the alarming effects some users have reported on the internet. My only worry is that the two little packs of formic acid looked much the same, at the end of the 7 day application period, as when I put them on. I had imagined they would turn to vapour and disappear. I'd be interested if anyone else has experience with MAQS. Blackberries are now in flower and the bees are on those. But I don't imagine there is much nectar flowing, because of the drought.