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John the BeeMan's Blog - mid September 2014 - Treatment & NLB Honey Show

Around my Apiaries in August /September

I've had very little to do with my bees as they are well stocked with honey, each colony has a full super and they seem to be collecting enough nectar for their present requirements.   I had noticed several Deformed Wing Virus affected bees and knew that it was about time to treat for varroa.   I have now treated them all using MAQS formic acid.   Because my hives are away from home, I cannot report any bad affects this may have had.   There are still discussions about this full-on treatment.   65% formic acid is very strong and the bees certainly don’t like it.   I understand that some sources are suggesting the use of only 1 strip, rather than 2.   I’m sure we will hear more about this.

MAQS strips over the brood box
Apiary found on Algarve holiday
MAQS strips over the brood box
Apiary found on Algarve holiday

I holidayed in the Algarve and came across this small apiary on the way to a beach.   The bees were very dark and allowed me to have a look around without attack!

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Forage

Very little around, but I saw many honey bees on the pink 'Sedum' (ice plant) in the Kenwood kitchen garden and there was plenty of 'Michaelmas Daisy' buds about to open.

Michaelmas Daisy about to flower
Sedum (Ice Plant)
Michaelmas Daisy about to flower
Sedum (Ice Plant)

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North London Beekeepers' “Honey Show”

Most of you will know that I am very competitive and always enter several classes in our annual 'Honey show'.   This year was no exception and I had been preparing for this from the mid-season.   My solar wax extractor was put to use with wild comb and cappings (see my last Blog for the wax blocks).   When extracting honey, I will put to one side any good looking 'frame for extraction' and 'cut comb' frames with unwired foundation.   I take many photographs during the season which I store for my Blog which will be checked over later to select a good one for the show.

My honey started to granulate soon after extraction and had to be warmed at about 60 degrees C in the oven to ensure there were no granules left.   I had set aside 4 jars of granulated honey from last years harvest and choose the best two.

I was pleased with my results, 3 x 1st and 3 x 2nd prizes out of 8 exhibits.

Getting my exhibits ready
Everyone’s exhibits on show
Getting my exhibits ready
Everyone’s exhibits on show

I have been asked to hold a workshop next year to help members prepare for the 2015 Honey Show.   I will try to show how this can be done without elaborate exercises, but just a certain amount of care and understanding of the rules.

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Next Jobs

I need to assess each colony for stores, so that I can top them up with sugar syrup to about 40lbs.   This will stimulate the queen to lay ready for the winter.   Once these eggs have matured into 4-5 day larva, I will thoroughly examine them for disease.

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