Bees Flying & Dying

First nice day we have had for some time and the temperature has got up to 9°C and the bees are flying.

However, the colony that I thought was weakest hasn’t survived. A quick look through indicates some dead bees on the frames but not enough for a viable colony. I don’t know whether it was just too weak to start with, but I’m sure the combination of  the Oxalic acid  treatment and recent very cold weather hasn’t helped.

I will check them for stores this week-end and then decide whether to feed them pollen substitute to try and kick start the season.

With the remaining colonies there is certainly quite a bit of activity and one or two bees have managed to collect some pollen, although not very heavy loads. With the crocuses in flower they can collect some pollen from them.

Collecting Pollen from Crocus

Sticky crocus pollen

Reigate Beekeepers Auction for 2012

Starting to get ready for what has become the annual auction for my association. With 6 weeks to go I have got around 100 lots but from just a few sellers so far. I will need to chase people up and send out reminders to get more sellers registered.

Last year there around 150 lots which took just over 3 hours to get through. Some real surprises in terms of prices fetched, for example:

  1. Bees – full size colony, just bees – no hives: £300
  2. Brood boxes – Nationals in poor condition: £24
  3. Super boxes – Dadant: £8
  4. Dadant – complete cedar hive: £25
  5. Last year we were really lucky with the weather, so fingers are crossed for a similar sort of day this time around.

    In case you are interested it’s on Saturday, 31st March 2012 and more information is on the Reigate website at: auction details