We will attend the 30th June summer meeting at Janet's, so please add us to
your email list for directions.
Guy and Sheila
Guy and Sheila Pulfer
Lower Wythall B&B
From: wyenaturalbees-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx <wyenaturalbees-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
On Behalf Of wyenaturalbeekeeping
Sent: 31 May 2019 14:36
Subject: [wyenaturalbees] Notes from our March meeting
Discussions from our March meeting: just notes I’m afraid. I’ve given links
where I have them. Do add comments if you remember other important points.
Nicola attended meetings of Natural Beekeepers in Belgium and Stuttgart,
bringing back reports from Torben Schiffer and others. In his opinion, all the
bee research done on managed frame hives is like researching humans through
studying people in hospitals: it gives an extremely inaccurate picture of
optimum health. For example, in a wild colony there is much old comb but the
warm moist air trapped at the top of the nest dissolves the phenols in the
propolis and keeps the old comb sterile.
We watched Torben’s film on pseudoscorpions - great to watch if you’re worrying
His advice, if you use a varroa floor and find a high mite count, is to remove
the floor of the hive and place the boxes direct on the earth for a few days.
Little earth critters will come up and destroy the varroa. I haven’t tried this
and don’t know anyone who has, but it’s worth reporting. Apparently you will
need 120 pseudoscorpions in the hive to remove the threat from varroa. They can
be found exploring the brood comb looking for adult mites, which they puncture
and kill. Colonies which don’t expand much might be spending more time grooming
each other: there is a special waggle dance performed by a bee asking to be
Less encouraging is the following video from some research done with Tom
Seeley, showing a varroa mite on a flower jumping onto a new forager honey bee.
The law on honey bees is different in other parts of Europe. In Germany it is
illegal not to treat your bees. In Switzerland it is illegal to allow your bees
to swarm. But research now is demonstrating that swarming is the more than just
reproduction for the bees, it is also how the bees heal themselves. Once a
colony has swarmed and the young bees are hatched there is much empty space
which the bees can fill with a great diversity of nectar from the peak summer
flowering. Diseased bees select different honeys to eat, depending on what they
are suffering from - AFB, EFB, Sacbrood, for example. Data is increasing
demonstrating bees’ need for floral diversity. Keep on sowing and leave the
bees their own honey! Bees born in the summer months - May, June, July onwards
- live for 6 months rather than just the 6 weeks told in the text books. These
older bees retain the skills they have learned during their lifetime.
And a note about future events:
12th June - Bees for Development Bee Garden Party London - the big event of the
bee year, with an auction of Bee Art Postcards from famous artists and
celebrities. All in aid of our wonderful local charity BfD.
30th June - Wye Nat Beeks summer meeting, 3pm at Janet's - let me know if you
want to come along and I’ll send directions nearer the time. We might try some
29th August-1st September - Learning from the Bees conference and tree
beekeeping workshop - Berlin This is a follow-up to last year’s event in
Utrecht with the Natural Beekeeping Trust which some of us attended. More info
and tickets available from their website.
I’ll remember to send out the notes sooner next time!