We have had a very interesting beekeeping year and now have 3 colonies in Top Bar Hives. We also gave a swarm away to Paul Holdaway and he now has a thriving colony on his farm at Henaford.
The colony we call The Dolphins swarmed in late April. We caught the swarm and set it up in another hive, now called The Nectans.
Then, in mid June, we had a call from Morley and Jennifer Huxtable to say they had a swarm in an electricity box in their garden. After a couple of failed attempts, eventually having to dismantle the roof, we got them into a nucleus box and they are now our third colony. They are beautiful, very dark, bees and are probably closely related to the British Black bee. We have called them The Lintons.
Amazingly, 37 days later, in late July, The Lintons swarmed again. We caught the swarm and they are the colony now at Henaford.
We are hoping our three hives will all survive the winter. They have plenty of stores and after such a good summer, they all seem to be strong colonies. We also helped Ken Heard, at Shop, with his first colony this year. He came on the course last year and had his Top Bar hive all ready to go. He was given some bees from a beekeeper in Bude. The next Beekeeping course, at The Yarner Trust, is on the weekend of 10th - 12th October 2014. It is for Improvers and Converters, but Phil has said that he will accept people who have at least read a book about beekeeping and know the basics. There are still a few places, so if anyone is interested, do email Yarner at email@example.com as soon as possible. They do have a bursary scheme to help with payment if needed.
Talk about the native Black Bee Project Sunday 12th October, 6.30pm at The Old Smithy Inn
There will be a meeting of “The Atlantic Coast Friends of the Bees”, upstairs in The Loft, with Phil Chandler, after the Beekeeping course at The Yarner Trust. He will be talking about the Black Bee project he is going to be setting up in South Devon. We will be asking for a £2 (or more) donation to pay for Phil Chandler’s dinner, as he is staying on an extra night to meet with us. Any money left over will be given to Phil’s to help with the project. Anyone who is at all interested in keeping bees in Top Bar Hives is very welcome to come along. However we do need to know numbers, so please contact Mick and Sue if you plan to come on 01288 331700. We would also like to know if you plan to stay at The Smithy for dinner after the meeting, so we can give them numbers.