BBKA Forum

British Beekeepers Association Official Forum 

  • How Has Your Year Been In General

  • General Q&A, Bee chat and only Bee chat please
General Q&A, Bee chat and only Bee chat please
 #8860  by Steve 1972
 12 Sep 2020, 19:08
My season started of good with a lot of early spring activity which carried on till late June..and slowed down once swarming fever kicked in..i lost all but three 2019 Queens from eight hives..i now have five laying colonies at my Alwick Apiary and four in my Hartlepool Apiary with 2020 bought in Queens that will be moved to Alnwick come next spring before lambing season..
It has been a weird year for me regarding Queen losses and failed mating flights but none the less honey yield has been good..i know it is still not the end of the season but i have nearly doubled on last years crop with less colonies..
My main aim each year is to go into winter with ten strong colonies but so far i can't seem to get past nine..i will nail it in the end though.. :D ...
So how has it been for you lot of fellow Beekeepers...
Last edited by Steve 1972 on 12 Sep 2020, 20:53, edited 1 time in total.
 #8862  by Chrisbarlow
 12 Sep 2020, 20:43
I don't have a bear 😂

Great year

Amazing spring with an excellent honey yield. Well above average.

All overwintered colony losses were instantly replaced with overwintered nucs and excess nucs sold off

More apiary sites acquired, need to reflect on the ones I have and drop any sites that consistently give low yields.

Most empty nucs boxes now have strong nucs inside to overwinter

Average autumn yield, some sites have really good excesses but most just got enough to overwinter on.

Just wrapping up.
 #8865  by Alfred
 13 Sep 2020, 08:22
I went in with plans and preparation by the bucketful but the whole world got the sniffles and my job kept me away from the bees during swarm season.
I finally got to see them about a month ago and was expecting a Marie Celeste type situation but I too had doubled my colonies via the bait hives.
All doing nicely thank you very much.
Since then I've consiously taken a step back and let them get on with it bar health visits.
I'm enjoying it a lot more and they seem better for it.
 #8868  by AndrewLD
 13 Sep 2020, 12:12
Frustrating more than anything else.
Early swarming took me up to my 8 hive limit so I gave away three colonies for beginners, one then did a stupid late swarm that left the residual colony too weak to survive, so now I am down to 4 hives and they have not built up post-splits to the level that I would like.
Then I fell behind and so nadiring was done today coincident with clearing wet supers, only to find the brood plus super hives were worryingly light. Rapid feeding is now the order of the day.
In summary, an early start that has then faltered so I don't get my act together I won't have four hives at the end of winter.
 #8869  by NigelP
 13 Sep 2020, 17:37
I've yet to experience 2 years the same and this year was no exception. Weather has been to blame for a lowish yield, particularly during July and August, usually 2 good months for me. A nice spring crop with no OSR in sight....it was still runny a couple of months after harvest. Sample sent to National Honey monitoring scheme for pollen analysis, results should be back by Dec.
A swarmy year and my newly designed method of swarm control proved it's worth....didn't even have to destroy a single a queen cell, just let the bees do it. They find all of them....it's quite amazing and running at about 80-90% success rate, I (fingers crossed) think I've now cracked this aspect of beekeeping....but as always time will tell.
Mating's were hit and miss, several times got a new queen laying and then they drew queen cells on her larvae.....really annoying....and ended up with some F2 queens (the ones from hell)....still got them ...
Heather was frustrating with cold wet windy August and few hives had serious amounts of honey at the end of the month. They are still up their and hopefully piling it in, in this spell of good weather. It can't last so end of next week is their limit...then bring everything back treat for varroa and feed up for winter. Then time for a well earned break from beekeeping apart for a bit of hefting and selling my wares at markets.
 #8877  by Steve 1972
 14 Sep 2020, 11:06
I have six buckets of mixed set OSR honey here Nigel if you know anyone for it..ranging from 30lb to 32lb...i have another two put to one side for making mead and one that is failing to set over a month it was made into soft set..
 #8881  by AdamD
 14 Sep 2020, 17:17
Uninspiring autumn in 2019 didn't help and this year there was little pollen in early spring due to cold breezy weather which delayed build-up. OSR was early so colonies were too small to really take advantage of it although May was nice. June gap arrived and then, not as much honey coming in at the time of blackberry so honey crop down on last year. Little forage in August so nucs had to be fed and some had very little pollen. Occasionally I see signs of Himalayan Balsam - but not this year. Ivy has yet to really start although I am always hopeful. "Tomorrow will be a good day" as Capt Tom says.
Queen mating was not too bad although I had 2 or 3 that laid no more than a frame of eggs and then were superceded. And four mini-nuc queens absconded, the little devils!