We would like to invite anybody interested in Beekeeping to come to one of our meetings and see what beekeeping is all about.

RBKA have visiting speakers that deliver interesting talks on various aspects of beekeeping. Past speakers have inclucded talks on wax modelling and candle making, bee diseases, early spring management, the British Bee Breeding Programme, mead and wine making, preparing honey and other bee products for show and sale, pollination under glass in a 2½ acre greenhouse to name but a few.

There is usually a honey show at the beginning of our winter programme with various categories including a novice class and a honey cake category.

The Rotherham Beekeeper Association
would like to wish all beekeepers a
Merry Christmas and
A Happy and successful New Year!

Beekeeping Year December.

As the year draws to a close the bees should be clustering quietly in the hive with plenty of stores to see them through the rest of the winter. The queen will have reduced her laying and, especially if she is a dark queen, and the weather is cold she may cease laying altogether. After the winter solstice on 21st December the queen's laying will slowly increase with the lengthening days.

This is the time to treat as, ideally, there is no brood and all the Varroa mites are on the adult bees and susceptible to treatment. Oxalic Acid is the substance to use and is now available as an authorised treatment as Api-Bioxal which comes as a sachet containing powder. It can be applied either as a trickle in sugar syrup or by vaporisation.

Read the instructions carefully and follow them precisely.

To trickle 500ml of 50% syrup is used for one packet. It is stated that this will treat ten hives as 5ml is trickled per seam of bees. However as few hives contain ten seams of bees at this time of year it will treat significantly more hives. Take care not to exceed 5ml per full seam.

Vapourisation requires a special device to heat the powder. Be very careful not to inhale any of the fumes.

Oxalic Acid can be used at any time of year when there is no brood, but should only be used once per hive per year.

Check the weight of the hives and place fondant on any that are light.

We have produced a Hive Record Card which you may find useful, these are the links to the pdf's. Hive Record Card and Inspection Key. You will need to print these off.

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