R&DBKA

Romsey and District Beekeepers' Association

What's Happening for Bees in the Romsey Area in October?
Autumn brings a dip in temperature
Although there have not been any confirmed reports of Asian hornet (Vespa velutina) sightings in UK this year, please be on the look-out for nests which can become exposed as leaves drop from trees and hedges. Please refer to the Asian hornet link on our Home page. At the apiary, queens will reduce laying and bees will cluster overnight to retain warmth. There should be no reason to open the hive until spring (unless for Varroa treatment with oxalic acid). Feeding should be finished - it is too cold for bees to ripen honey so sugar syrup given now could ferment and lead to dysentery. If a colony needs more food, give it fondant. Queen excluders must be removed so that the entire colony can move freely, taking the queen with them when they travel across frames to find stored food. Hives should be mouse-guarded and protected against woodpeckers with a net at beaks length. Strap hives down to protect against deer, badgers etc and strong winds
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 honeybees 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