R&DBKA

Romsey and District Beekeepers' Association

What's Happening for Bees in the Romsey Area in December?
Looking backwards and forwards
Autumn was mild and long but came to a sudden end with the recent storm and dip in temperature. Continue to make regular visits to the apiary to check all is well. Heft your hives but be aware that a hive saturated with rainwater will always feel heavy. Add fondant on a good day if you are concerned about their stores. Bees in our area remained active until the end of November so will have been using their stores. Check the entrance is not blocked with dead bees, and that the hives are weather-proof. Ventilation is important because the bees cannot tolerate damp. If you plan to treat with oxalic acid, it needs to be applied when the colony is broodless so watch the weather forecast and pick your time. Look back through your apiary records. Are there things that you could have done differently? Think about training - read a bee book while you are sitting by the fire, plan to take a BBKA module or assessment, browse bee-related websites. Plan to raise new queens even just 1 queen - from your best colony. Remember to wish your bees a Happy Christmas and New Year!
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