© 2014 East Devon Beekeepers
A Branch of the Devon
UK Registered Charity No. 270675
Queen marking colour for 2017 - YELLOW
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 have the opportunity to exchange views 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.
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 behind in the wound. The 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.
Living with Varroa
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.
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.
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
Why change the comb?
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.