Romsey and District Beekeepers' Association

What's Happening for Bees in the Romsey Area in March?
Time for the season to get going
Hopefully your bees have wintered well and have started to bring back pollen which indicates that the queen is laying. The last of the snowdrops are giving some pollen along with hazel, hawthorn and hellebores. The odd splash of rape could possibly appear in the fields towards the end of this month. However, old bees (the foragers) will be dying off, new bees are too young to forage, and the expanding brood needs lots of food. Brood will outnumber adult bees for the next few weeks so be watchful and ready with small supplementary feeds of 1-1 syrup once it is warm enough. More colonies starve in March than in any other month. Monitor for Asian hornet queens. Any foundress queens that have hibernated over winter will be looking for their new nest site and must be stopped. Put a monitoring trap - not a killing trap - where you can see it; go to the Beebase website and click the link for the leaflet on 'A Simple Asian Hornet Monitoring Trap' then follow instructions for 'A honey jar with wick'. Check that you have the Asian Hornet Watch app on your mobile phone
Romsey's Weather
Keep an eye on the weather:
  • In spring the bees will use every warm, dry day to forage and build up colony strength. Cold or damp days can slow them down
  • In summer the days are long but if it is too dry there will be a shortage of nectar; too wet, and they will be unable to forage
  • In autumn the bees are consolidating. If it is warm, they will carry on rearing nrood and foraging. Cold weather will send them into a cluster
  • In winter they will cluster to keep warm, but heavy rain may lead to damp conditions in the hive, strong wind can topple a hive that is not secure, snow can block the entrance
Click for the weather forecast for Romsey.
Check the forecast for the coming week to be ahead of your bees
Be on the Lookout - Asian Hornets
Image missing - Asian hornet (Vespa velutina)
We make no apology for repeating this message.
If you have not yet heard about the Asian hornet, please pause to read this.
It is not native to UK. It was introduced accidentally to the south of France and in a few short years it has bred, evolved and migrated throughout western Europe.

It is a predator with an insatiable appetite for insects. All of our native insect species are at risk but a colony of honey bees offers a feast. A colony of Asian hornets will eat their way through a hive of bees in a few days by 'hawking' in front of the entrance and picking the bees off as they come and go.
Please look out for this predator. It may be pretty but it is not welcome. In fact, it is NOTIFIABLE so if you see one, please refer to the the latest advice IMMEDIATELY