Welcome to the October BM Newsletter by Karl Colyer

A frame of brood with nurse bees attending

Welcome to the October Newsletter. I try to help new beekeepers on their beekeeping journey. I have somewhat ‘adopted’ a couple of first year beekeepers who bought Buckfast nucs this year and then contacted me for help. One had two colonies on commercial frames. Both colonies swarmed in June. The new queens have since mated and one of the colonies is certainly a fair bit more defensive as they mix their genetics with the local drone DNA. The two colonies (example picture above) have been fed with 50kg of sugar in strong syrup form between the 1st and 27th September. The bees are very prolific – too prolific for the natural forage in leafy Cheshire.

The other two hives were on National broods. Both colonies swarmed twice despite me taking a couple of frames away from one of them to help get the bee numbers down a bit. One colony was requeened with one of my queens. The other colony starved to death in the first week of September. I’ve nothing against personal choices on bees but these bees were probably not best suited to new beekeepers and their surroundings. We need to improve our bees!
The NatBIP webinars are progressing well. Please attend on the night if you can – feel free to ask questions. Recordings will also be available for later viewing as well.