Aug 2013

Letter from the HIVE : August 2013

The hive is slowing down as we move through August. The queen’s rate of laying diminishes and most of the major nectar flows have all but finished, as the bees start their preparation for the long winter ahead. Honey will need to be brought close into the brood chamber and capped with wax to preserve it (the bees raise the temperature in the hive to reduce the water content of the honey to 18%, this eliminates the risk of fermentation and gives the honey extended life). The bees also become quite defensive to protect their honey stores from robbing wasps, other bees and hornets being the main threat.

Throughout the growing season the bees have helped to pollinate most of the hard and soft fruits and vegetables such as beans, peas, courgettes,onions, cucumbers and tomatoes which have all benefited. Pollination is only the starting point for our crops to be successful. The right amount of water and sunshine are needed and this is always a topic of much debate, too much of one and not enough of the other is the usual starting point. From my own allotment I have had the best crop of strawberries,raspberries and gooseberries for many years.

The bees at the moment are still struggling to build enough brood to make a viable colony for the winter. We will give them until the end of August if things have not picked up they will be reunited with a stronger colony to make sure of survival.

A few more bee facts:

Kind regards from the HIVE