Episode 119: Starving Bees and Shocking Hives


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Hi, I’m Stewart Spinks and welcome to Episode 119 of my podcast, Beekeeping Short and Sweet, coming up this week, amazingly quite a number of my colonies are low on food in their brood boxes and I help out with a home-made beehive that’s gone rogue!

Do take a look at the extra content available on my patreon page, that’s www.patreon.com/norfolkhoney

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.

Hi everybody and welcome back to another podcast, it’s been a very fast week, it feels that just a very short time ago I was considering what to do when I was setting out hive stands a the oilseed rape pollination and looking forward to an exciting season of beekeeping and here we are just days away from the end of my Summer flow. I think the routine of beekeeping also makes it feel like the weeks race past, the cycle of inspections, videos, podcast and repeat makes the days kind of melt into one continuous regime.

I’m noticing a lot of my colonies this summer are not storing any nectar and thus honey in the brood boxes, plenty of honey stored int eh supers but the brood boxes that were full of Oilseed Rape honey just a month ago are completely empty. Now this isn’t happening with all colonies but more than I normally see like this at this stage in the season. The good news is, they won’t be clogged up with solid Oilseed Rape honey for the Winter the bad news is, if I remove all of the honey supers there is a real probability that colonies will starve before September before I would normally feed them. You can do a couple of things here but first you need to get into your hives and inspect them, know what you’re looking for and check them thoroughly. Like I said, not all colonies will be in this state and your bees might be perfectly ok, but it’s got to be worth having a check and not just assume they have plenty of food as you whip off the honey.......

...... If you want to leave a full super of honey on your bees then do that, if you want to remove the honey and feed, then do that. Just make sure that whatever you do, you’re taking good care of your bees and helping them as they prepare themselves for the long nights ahead. Remember they will soon be producing Winter bees that will survive many more weeks than the slimmed-down Summer bees and they will need resources to do that. We will all need to start checking colonies to make sure they are queen right, healthy, and have enough stored food to see them through to next year. I for one will be feeding syrup, it’s still warm enough to be feeding a light syrup, I’ll be using the Apimix from Modern Beekeeping over the next month, I do have some stock here in Norwich if you’re local but if not check out the link in the podcast notes. I’m sure Paul at Modern Beekeeping will have plenty of stock but it’s worth getting in early before there’s a mad rush. I will have some stock of syrup if you’re local and want to collect from me to save on the very high carriage charges for syrup these days.

And on that note, it’s time for my mad rush out of the door to check on my bees. Please do take a look at the extra content available on my patreon page, that’s www.patreon.com/norfolkhoney

I’m Stewart Spinks

And that was Beekeeping Short and Sweet

157 episodes