Christmas feed for bees

Observations from beekeepers and Bee Inspectors across the UK suggest that some colonies of bees are becoming short of food.

Please monitor your colonies throughout the coming months and feed as required to ensure your bees do not starve. A standard full size British National colony needs between 20-25 kg (40lbs) of stores to successfully overwinter. If they need feeding at this time then fondant should be used. This should be placed above the brood nest so that the bees are able to access it easily.

For further information, please see the ‘Best Practice Guidance No. 7 – Feeding Bees Sugar’ on the following BeeBase Page: http://www.nationalbeeunit.com/index.cfm?pageid=167 It has also been observed that Varroa levels in some hives are starting to increase again.

This may be due to a number of factors, but the exceptionally mild weather this autumn has encouraged some colonies to produce more brood than usual which has allowed an increase in mite reproduction.

Please monitor mite levels and treat accordingly.

For further information, please see the’ Managing Varroa’ Advisory leaflet on the following BeeBase Page: http://www.nationalbeeunit.com/index. cfm?pageid=167

National Bee Unit