Looking back over the year the number of swarms were low but that seems to have been reflected thought many other parts of the country. However other bee activities and events were successful and its fair to say we all had a good time and learnt as the year went along.
7/2/16 On our inspection of the allotment hives we found all but one colony had survived the winter. For what ever reason someone had partly removed the roof on a “top bar hive” exposing the bars and inner part of the hive to the elements so causing the bees to die.
26/3/16 A pleasant morning with sunshine and passing clouds so hive inspections were carried out on the allotment hives and we were pleased to find four robust colonies. All group hives were checked and fed as required generally on a monthly basis through out the year.
3/4/16 A visit to Brinscal Hall was under taken to meet their group members to discuss the “Natural Bee-keeping Northern Gathering 2016” which was scheduled for August.
An open forum was held to discuss the format the event was to follow/proposed order of events/speakers/anticipated costs etc. Thanks to the Brinscall Hall group for their hospitality and the tea and cakes.
10/4/16 During our routine hive inspections, we noticed there wasn’t a lot of activity at “Andy’s hive” so we had a quick look in and found only a few active bees so we closed the hive rather than disturb further. However when we checked again 15/4/16 there were no surviving bees. From May onwards we were on alert to try and catch swarms and hopefully increase our number of hives, however as it turned out we only had 3 swarms.
a) 8/7/16, collected swarm from “Keswick” which went in a top bar at the allotment and later absconded.
b) 21/6/16, Whirlaw, here the swarm was in a stone wall at below ground level (but high altitude) they appeared to have been there some time and although we tried to entice them into a bait hive sadly they would not be moved and did not survive.
c) 25/5/2016 Scaitcliffe Bees swarmed in the pouring rain into a position at the top of a green house where they could not be recovered but went back to the hive of their own accord. Prior to swarming it had been a robust colony however it became queen less and although a new queen was installed the hive failed.
13/5/16 A transfer of bees between hives took place at Keswick, this was an exciting and great learning opportunity. This was a large colony who were good natured and most of the bees were transferred without taking flight. It was interesting to see that although the position of the new entrance was only 150mm away from the original position that the flying bees still clustered for some time at the place the original entrance would have been.
15/5/16 A meet the bees open day was held at the allotment as “a taster” for people as an alternative to our usual training day there was no formal presentation secession in the morning just meet the bees in the afternoon. Five people attended and the weather was good, it seemed a popular format and feed back was positive so we will probably repeat in the future.
2/6/16 The ever popular gardening day at the allotment was well supported. With many hands making light work (there’s a joke somewhere), the shed was repainted and foliage/grass cut. The rain came down but were ready for it with the gazebo up and seating in place for tea and cake picnic as a reward for our efforts.
18/6/16 This was the “Todmorden Event” held on Pollination Street where we set our hospitality sweet (gazebo) to incorporate our bee presentation. The weather was good and we were kept busy with a steady flow of people with enquiring minds coming to visit us. We were also entertained by the groups who sang; played drums; danced and inspired by other stalls featuring local products and activities. We were also popular with local bees who came to visit our empty hive but they were good natured and no one was stung. 19/6/16 Training day which was held at the Odd Fellows Hall hall for the mornings presentation and at the allotment in the afternoon session of meet the bees. We did have some rain but living in Todmorden we were prepared with the gazebo erected. (its very popular when the rain is pouring down.) All in all though as usual a popular event with positive feedback from the participants.
23/7/16 This was our promotional day, we hired a market stall which was in a great spot on the front row looking down Burnley road. We had plenty of interest in our bee activities and a plus was we met lots of interesting people and had some “good banter”.
5 th to 7th August 2016 "Natural Bee-keeping Northern Gathering 2016” held at Brinscall Hall What a great event from arrival on the 5th to departure on the 7th there was something for everyone from bee keeping for beginners/hives types/learning from feral bees/seed bombing/harvesting from hives/honey tasting/harvesting from hives/social & quiz/hives & swarming/national to natural/moving towards a darker bee and more. A big thank you to all the facilitators, presenters and support staff as it was you who ensured the event was the success it was. Also on everyone’s behalf I would like to say a special thank you to Brinscal Hall management in particular Ian Jenkins for use of their excellent facilities and food preparation.
18/9/16 Harvest Festival – Down to Pollination Street to set up our presentation. (with help from one of our younger participants Jago) Another popular event similar in some ways to the “Todmorden Event” but one in which our presentation fits well in context. Again a lot of interest and we gave lots of advise. Also to support our cause the local bees turned out again to give us their support. 15/10/16 Time to prepare for winter. We visited hives to install winter feed and check the hives were well insulated and entrances protected with mou