Its been a little while since I wrote a blog, a combination of an extended kayaking trip around Scotland and the weather means I have been waiting to see what happens, waiting for Spring to start.
I have a bait hive up and ready (Most important is for your bait hive to be off the ground, between 6’ & 10’) but have not added any additional boxes to our Warre beehives.
I did not take any honey last year due to the wet 2012 and also the uncertainty of what Spring 2013 would be like.
Today whilst many beekeepers around me are losing colonies in these cool conditions, our hives still have ample stores; I trust these will continue to support the bees until better weather conditions arrive. (Fingers crossed)
Talk about the weather is a topic for everybody, its seems here in Cornwall that the seasons are mixing into one ongoing Temperate climate that the wildlife will have to adjust to in order to survive.
My philosophy for many years now is to treat the bee hive like a bird box, leave alone as much as possible, and let the bees adjust to the conditions without continual intervention and adding of chemicals and sugar. (Please note, responsible beekeeping means your hives should be regularly monitored, any unusual behaviour or lack of activity might suggest an internal inspection is required.)
My Warre beehives apart from one which was a late swarm have received no sugar feed or chemicals for Varroa, I have taken no honey, this I believe should become a more standard approach to beekeeping. There is possibly an argument to say beekeepers should start to tender some of their beehives in this way, this would strengthen bee stocks, with bees being more suitable and adaptable to their local environment and unseasonable weather.