Queen marking colour for 2017 - YELLOW

Members - Branch Apiary

We hold fortnightly meetings at the Branch Apiary during spring and summer, April to September inclusive, where members are given the opportunity for hands-on instruction and can exchange views and information with experienced beekeepers.

Non-members are welcome to come and see what we do, but this is limited to one meeting to conform to our insurance. If you wish to attend please contact a committee member. Non-members may also come to one winter meeting without joining to get a taste of what we do.

Hive records

We encourage all beekeepers to keep some form of hive record sheet.  The format of the sheet is very much a personal matter dependent on many factors.  Download the
Hive Record Sheet (PDF file) used at the Branch Apiary and use as your starting point.

You are legally obliged to keep records of any veterinary medicines used on your bees. Download a Veterinary Medicines Record Sheet (PDF file) which gives all the details.


When a bee stings it injects venom through a fine barbed point. This is usually torn out of the abdomen when the bee flies away and is left in the wound. The venom sac will continue to pump venom, so the quicker it is removed the better. This should be done by scraping the sting out of the wound with a blade, hive tool or fingernail without compressing it.

Sample of bees for Nosema analysis.

30 bees must be examined in order to complete the diagnosis.  Condition of the bees is also important.  Freshly killed bees are best.  Avoid using plastic containers as this leads to more rapid sample degradation.  A standard sized matchbox is ideal.

To collect your sample, wait until the bees are flying then block the entrance with a piece of plastic foam.  Hold a plastic bag open in front of the entrance so that the returning bees go inside the bag.  When you judge there are 30+ bees inside the bag, close it and put it in a freezer or freezer compartment of a fridge.

Varroa Autumn Treatment

David Packham, our Seasonal Bee Inspector, has kindly allowed the notes from his ‘Living with Varroa’ presentation to be reproduced here for the benefit of all.

The PDF is a very comprehensive document containing all the information you need to know about Varroa and its treatme'Living with Varroa'nt.

        Living with Varroa    

Asian Hornet – Vespa velutina

As many of you will know the Asian hornet has now been found in the UK. Your committee have taken the view that our area will be invaded sooner rather than later. We must therefore take steps to inform ALL of our members of the potential dangers as well as the way forward with ways to combat the threat.

Essential reading:

Vespa velutina  
Courtesy The Animal and  Plant
Health Agency (APHA), Crown Copyright

Yellow ends to all legs.

We strongly recommend that beekeepers sign up to BeeBase. In the event that the Asian hornet arrives in our area, efforts to contain it will be seriously hampered if the NBU don’t know where vulnerable apiaries are located. Affected beekeepers will also receive notification by email.

More information on the Asian Hornet page

Comb changing

Why change the comb?


Bailey Frame Change

The gentle way to change all the old comb in the brood box. Does not affect the laying of brood, colony build up or honey yield.


  1. Place a clean box of foundation on top of the old brood box, feed with syrup and leave for a week.
  2. When at least one frame of new foundation has been drawn find the queen and place her in the new box.
  3. Put a queen excluder between the two brood boxes with a new entrance above the queen excluder. You may also wish to leave a small exit hole for drones in the original entrance.
  4. After 3 weeks all brood in the old box will have emerged. Remove the old box and frames and recycle.

    Supers can be placed above the new brood box (with queen excluder).

Notes for use of Snelgrove board.

Click on the PDF iconSnelgrove Method 1 + Ben Harden……………….
(Apiary meeting Sat 24/06/17)

East Devon Beekeepers

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