Swarms and splits and new folk.

Every year I comment on how unusual the year is so far since I took up beekeeping. That’s because it’s a hobby which makes you acutely aware of the whole ecosystem surrounding you. Flowers, trees, temperatures, wind, cloud, what farmers nearby are growing all become so important. This year was unusual as the colonies had…

It’s all kicking off ! Springgg

All our colonies had laying queens over winter, meaning no break in brood (baby bee) production. You can tell a lot about a colony without opening the hive, which we don’t do, unless absolutely necessary, between wintering down in late September and around Easter. Opening the hive causes a drop in the temperature, and the…

Winter is still here, and so are the mites !

Over winter is the time when we leave the bees alone as much as possible. We stay indoors, reading, cleaning and repairing kit, making hive produce and dreaming of the day when we can open the hive and check our precious bees made it through winter. Traditionally there is a period where the queen stops…

New Beginnings !

Apologies for the long silence, I have a broken wrist so typing is the slow. I’m now learning to dictate to my computer, also slow! Our apiary at Whickham has been wonderful starting point for our bee breeding adventures, and club meetings. We have shared this site with G WK woodshed, an up cycling and…

Feeding Bees !

Gateshead Council and FoSP planted loads of wildflower seeds this year to help our bees in the park, and to raise awareness of what bees like to eat. We found some things work better than others, so the ones in the wildlife area didn’t do quite as well as the ones in the disused allotment…

Garden and surprises good and bad !

We put a call out for volunteers to come last Wednesday to do maintenance on the equipments and garden and a lovely crowd of beekeepers showed up to help. The garden has become overgrown with Ash and Sycamore which have distorted and blocked light from the plants at the back of the garden. They overshadowed…

It’s all about The Birds and The Bees !

The apiary in Saltwell Park is inside the “Bird Feeding Area” . I found out last week that there used to be a giant draughts board marked out here. We’ll have to look into the archives and see if we can find any images of it in use. It was then turned over to use…

FoSP Bees talk and LYP

It seems TBKA now does an annual talk to Friends of Saltwell Park http://www.friendsofsaltwellpark.co.uk , and as before there is a grand welcome of tea, biccies and friendly faces.   FoSP does such an amazing job of looking after the park, putting on events and fostering projects. Our apiary is there because they actively encouraged…

Bees for Schools and Schools for Bees !

This year we have worked with 3 fantastic schools just near Saltwell Park! Two had already been doing projects about bees, and had not known about us. Our team of Barbara, Walaa, Keith, Suzanne and David did so much work to make this all happen. Well done us, and here’s to doing more work with…

An Inspector Calls !

If you look closely you can see the logo on this bee suit says ‘National Bee Unit” http://www.nationalbeeunit.com/index.cfm?sectionid=43 NBU delivers the bee health programme for DEFRA (Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs). All beekeepers are encourage to sign up to BeeBase where they can keep hive inspection records, and (securely) let DEFRA know the location…

“3 rd Sundays” Apiary Meeting June 16th.

Come and meet “The Lady in Red”, with all her family. Hive inspections, subject to weather conditions. These meetings are very popular, so we might split the group into two to ensure beginners get hands on experience of handling bees. If you know you are allergic to insect stings please take an antihistamine beforehand, and…