Latest Update from your Committee

An Announcement for Furness Beekeepers

and

All Those Potential Beekeepers

who would like to learn at the Association’s Apiaries.


Some members of the Committee of the Association met at Haverthwaite Apiary recently and agreed the following to get us all

Back to Learning Bee-keeping.

First of all, it is important that you should know that the activities proposed can only be undertaken at the individual risk of the participants in respect of Covid transmission. We will attempt to take due precautions regarding distancing between participants and all of the activity will be outside but the Association’s insurance does not cover known hazards like the pandemic. Only attend if you are happy to accept the circumstances of the sessions at your own risk. Gloves will, necessarily, be worn by all. Hand to face transmission is rendered less likely when veiled. If protective clothing is loaned by the Association it will be left unused for an appropriate period between sessions to reduce risk of transmission.

Second, since it is difficult to judge demand, there will be a booking system for at least the first few sessions. By this means we will hope to keep the numbers attending to a safer level.

We intend to begin sessions on Saturday, 24th April, starting at 10.30a.m. Sessions are usually around an hour but might be a little longer at first since some of the content usually covered in pre-season lectures at Greenodd will be included. They will continue on Saturday mornings at the same time for the rest of the bee-keeping season.

Suits and gloves will be provided for those coming to their first sessions but please bring your own wellingtons (bees know that ankles are vulnerable!). Members, please bring your own suits, as usual.

Sessions will take place at The Outcast Apiary, on the outskirts of Ulverston and at the Haverthwaite Apiary. Directions for both are given below. Space is more limited at Outcast.

How to BOOK: e-mail the Association’s Secretary, David Oprey at David.oprey@googlemail.com by the end of Tuesday, 20th April.

Please include the following in your message:

1. Your Name

2. telephone number, in case we need to contact you concerning changes in plans

3. Member or Beginner

4. Which apiary you would prefer to attend (he may not be able to meet all preferences).

5. Date you wish to attend (he will take bookings for the second week, 1st May, as well as 24th April).

If the weather remains too cold for spending time with hives open on 24th April we will take the opportunity to cover some of the basics of beekeeping for beginners. Some guides will be available for participants to take to use at home.


Directions

Haverthwaite: Take the Rusland turn at the Cark / Rusland crossroads on the A590 at Haverthwaite and then turn immediately right. Continue along the lane, past Lane Ends, until you do indeed come to the end of the lane. There is parking available here. Get suited up, if you have your own clothing, and proceed through the gate and along the edge of Parrock Wood. Once up the slope, you’ll see the apiary on your right. Suits and gloves for Beginners will be provided here. For those who like a map reference: 346842.

Outcast: There are a number of approaches but the simplest is probably to take the turn by the Auction Mart and Canal Head into North Lonsdale Terrace that becomes North Lonsdale Road. Proceed down to and take the right turn into Cross Lane, at the Industrial Estate which includes Atkinson’s Builders Merchants and other businesses. At the end of Cross Lane, turn right and park in the roadside parking area on the left-hand side of the road, approaching in this way, adjacent to the allotments. The apiary is behind the hedge. The entrance is a few yards further up the road. The site can also be approached via Dragley Beck. Map ref: 304776.


Something Further for Current FBKA Members,

Difficulties may arise if you must continue to self-isolate or anything else is making it difficult for you to get to your hives this year. If you do not have a nearby fellow beekeeper to call on then help is on hand. Do, please, contact David Oprey and he will arrange for a competent beekeeper nearby to call you to arrange assistance.

email: David.oprey@googlemail.com or Tel: 07834545408. Or you can contact me, Dick Smith, on rtssmith1@gmail.com or 07484678589.

Of course, anybody visiting your home must follow the advice on physical distancing.

As always, our advice is to leave the bees alone until it is warm. Well, there is some prospect of some warmer weather towards the end of this week and I know many of you relatively new to bee-keeping will be itching to get in to your hive(s) to see what is going on. IF you do decide to look in this week – even though it is not necessary if the bees are flying well – here’s a reminder of what to look for.

First, the standard principles of inspections:

•        Is the queen laying satisfactorily?

•        Are there any drone cells ?

•        Are there any queen cells?

•        Is the colony build-up consistent with other colonies in the apiary?

•        Are there signs of disease or abnormality?

•        Has the colony sufficient stores to last to the next inspection?

•        Has the colony got sufficient room for expansion and stores?

The second and third in that list are more likely to be of interest later in the season, of course.

Finding eggs is the key indicator that all is well. Take your time if you’re new to it and use the light to the best effect you can to see to the bottom of those cells.

Next, this first inspection is the time to clean up and sort out, after the winter. You can clean off brace comb and excess propolis and you should take the opportunity to remove any old brood frames that are not yet being used by the queen and are dirty/ damaged and replace them with either cleaner drawn frames or frames of foundation. It is also a good idea to lift the brood box off and get right down the floor which you can either replace with a clean one or sweep the current one clean of dead bees and other detritus.

If you’ve found the queen in the brood box (or if there was no super on over winter) you can now put on a queen excluder and a super above it.

Remember to keep a record of what you’ve seen.

If you have an unmarked queen, you’re concerned about the possibility of disease or if there is anything else you feel unable to resolve, that is the time to get in touch, as mentioned above.

Yours,

Dick Smith


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