Latest Update from your Committee

Dear FBKA Members,

We are now well in to May and the first report of a swarm has come in. It has to be said that it comes from a member in our western territories who has the questionable privilege of being the proud -  and somewhat nervous -  keeper of the swarmiest strain of bees east of the Duddon and west of .. pretty well anywhere. Nevertheless it warns us of what is to come.

If you are working in your early years of keeping, remember that it is important to check carefully for queen cells every six days or so from now until we get past midsummer. Ensuring that your bees have plenty of room for expansion is one way to discourage (though not eliminate) swarming and make sure that they have available storage space as well as brood space. If they have to start filling brood comb with nectar the queen will not be able to keep laying. When checking, concentrate on the bottom and side edges of frames and you only need to take action if there is an egg or larva, with royal jelly, in that unsealed queen cell. If you’re then uncertain about how to proceed, get in touch for advice.

My numbers: 07484678589 and 015395 32276

Setting up a bait hive, if you have the kit to do it, is not a bad idea either. A few spare frames in a brood box (with a base, crownboard and lid)  is all it takes. Who knows, you might attract a swarm. If you do, check it for disease early and treat for varroa if in any doubt – they hitch a ride.

The apiaries remain closed at time of writing but we’ll assess the situation in the light of the latest advice as it comes and let you know as soon as any development is possible. Mentors are able to visit members’ sites to offer help where needed – observing distancing rules at all times.

We’re pleased to report that we have received some financial support from grant-awarding charities towards the costs of creating the apiary at Outcast and some new equipment for the Association. We will summarise all of this for you when all the decisions are in.

BDI insurance certificates will be arriving with members very soon. Where possible they will be sent by email but if anyone requires the paper version please advise by contacting Carole Barr, Crook Barn, Torver, Cumbria LA21 8BP and enclosing a SAE for the certificate to be posted back.

If you’ve not yet paid you will not have been included in this return and to activate your insurance you should contact Carole immediately.

Finally, this message, along with other communications with and from members, is on Facebook at the “Furness Beekeepers” Public Group.


Dick Smith

Previous updates can be found by clicking here