Friday, 16 September 2011

all clear for bee credible bees

On 6th September to the regional inspector e-mailed to inform us that:
 there is an outbreak of American Foul Brood in the Todmorden area (OS 10Km square SD92). The Bee Credible group’s bees are located in the ‘at risk’ area and I will therefore need to inspect them.

Yesterday, Thursday, 15 September, all of our 8 hives were inspected.
The Bee Inspector, Ivor, gave us the 
ALL CLEAR; NO American Foul Brood.

Ivor inspected each and every frame in all of the hives starting with a top bar colony that Bee Credible set up in June of this year.

He then moved onto inspect the other hives; 5 nationals (no added foundation) and 2 top bars at 3 more sites in Todmorden.

We can all breath a sigh of relief - for now. There are still hives to be inspected in the 'at risk' area...

We should also be grateful to the beekeeper that reported American Foul Brood - for his diligence. If he hadn't of acted so quickly and responsibly the story in the valley could have been quite different.
All his hives and bees were destroyed – burned. We are sorry for his loss.
We asked Ivor how American Foul Brood could have got in the region. Apparently it could be something as simple as someone throwing away a honey jar (bought off the shelf from an unknown source) with some honey left in it. Foraging bees could find this, eat it, contract the bacteria, and then pass the disease onto the whole colony – and beyond if not caught in time. 

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

bee first encounter

On Tuesday, August 23rd, we invited the 58 bee interested people who have contacted us to an evening about bees and our group. Around 24 people came to the Odd Fellows Hall where we had tea, coffee and homemade cakes.
Andy welcomed our guests, Helmut and Alan gave a slide presentation of our history and our bee keeping methods, then Kerry talked about our part of the ‘beespoke’ people’s millions award: community beekeeping in the valley.
We broke for more tea n coffee n cakes n biscuits and had time to answer individual questions as well informal chatter.
At the end we arranged “meet the bees’ sessions for all those who were interested in becoming beekeepers.
It was a very jolly evening and 2 people signed up to become members of beecredible there and then.

On Saturday, September 10th, our first ‘meet-the-bees’ session took place. A moderate breeze and nice sunshine – very pleasant conditions.
Three ‘bee meeters’ came; and what a great meet it was.

We had a cup of coffee, made sure our guests were properly dressed and bee-sting-proof wrapped (that applied to us, too!). We talked them through our plans for the morning and gave some behaviour instructions – don’t panic, don’t stress, relax, and enjoy. We prepared some bicarbonate of soda (the magic ease of sting related pain) just in case!

Then we opened 2 hives: a national and a topbar

Our ‘meeters’ handled frames and bars with bees and combs 

- all without foundation

They took to it like bees to honey!

No bicarb was necessary; our bees showed themselves from their best side!!!

Day 2 on the 11th was similar, following the same procedure.

They came in peace

we opened a national hive and the ‘meeters’ handled the frames

we then opened a topbar hive and explained how it functions before exposing the interior

and handing some bars to our guests

14 people had signed up to meet the bees – 6 turned up.
Of those 6, one joined beecredible.
Beekeeping isn’t for everyone. Some people are simply interested in beekeeping; others want to do it as part of a community group: like James – one of our new members; others prefer to solitary bee keep

As a group we will continue to be ‘open’ to new members, but we wont be twisting anyone’s arm.