Episode 112: New Queens and Delayed Extraction


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Hi I’m Stewart Spinks and welcome to Episode 112 of my podcast Beekeeping Short and sweet. This week we’ve had some new queens to introduce and I’ve been forced to delay extracting our Spring honey harvest.

I’m grateful to Honey Paw hives for sponsoring in part our podcasts for this season. Honey Paw hives are as I’m sure you’re aware, Poly Langstroth hives and we’re setting up an apiary full of their hives this season courtesy of Honey Paw. Check out their range of hives and other equipment on their website, I’ll leave a link to their website in the show notes as usual.

Honey Paw Hives - Designed by Beekeepers, For Beekeepers.

Welcome back to the podcast, it’s been another fast and furious week of beekeeping with more sunny and dry weather. It’s been dry for some time now and we don’t have any sight of rain on the forecast horizon for some time. On the face of it you could be forgiven for thinking that’s a good thing, warm, sunny days means the bees can get out and forage from early in the morning, I was at the allotment this morning at 5:45 and the sun was warming up nicely as I did the rounds of the cabbages and beetroot, but I was there to water some of the plants and that’s the same problem our wild flowering plants suffer, if it’s too dry with no rain at all the plants don’t have the resources to produce large, full flowers dripping with nectar and bursting with pollen. Instead we get smaller flowers with very little nectar and tiny amounts of pollen. So here we are, at the end of May hoping for some rainfall. I’m very lucky as most of my apiary sites are located near lakes and rivers, wild brambles cover vast areas of riverbanks and have their roots dipped nicely in the damp ground around them. But once again it’s all about resources, as with most things in the natural world, plants and animals need resources to grow and develop and our honeybees are exactly the same.............

..............And finally, a short while ago I supplied a nucleus colony to a new beekeeper, Jemma, I’m sure she won’t mind me telling you, but she was super excited to have her first bees and settled them into their new home and began her journey in beekeeping. Then a few days later I got a flurry of excited messages saying she had watched as a swarm flew over her head and settled on a branch within easy reach. having watched my videos, Jemma was confident enough to have a go at collecting them just days into her new beekeeping career. To cut a long story short, the bees went into a nuc box and promptly absconded, I’m guessing they were too large a swarm to feel comfortable in the nuc but such was the luck of our intrepid new beekeeper that the swarm went straight back to the same branch they had previously settled on. Having offered up further advice to Jemma I’m delighted to say the second collection and housing of the swarm has been successful and there are now two hives with bees sat at the bottom of the garden. Congratulations Jemma, it’s fantastic that you’ve done so much in such a short space of time. I’m certain they’ll give you an enormous amount of pleasure, oh and pain, just wait for that first sting, it’s bound to happen.

Before I go a quick hello to backdoorbread on Instagram who left a lovely comment and who has only just started beekeeping in the last couple of days, it always delights me to know that I can help out beekeepers even when they’re on the other side of the planet, in this instance, Vermont USA.

Well, that’s it for this week, have a great beekeeping week,

Stay safe and Please do remember to check out my Patreon page where you can access lots more content, that’s www.patreon.com/norfolk honey.

I’m Stewart Spinks and that was Beekeeping Short and Sweet.

155 episodes