A bad year for my bees

I have spent some time thinking about how I write this article and thought even longer before making the decision I have arrived at.

I am sure, most people will be aware, that for some time, Bees are having a hard time world wide; Bees in Britain are no different.

In Hampshire, after a very mediocre summer in 2011, we had a long wet winter and then spring 2012 was very cold, wet and drawn out. During that spring I discovered I had lost half of my hives to winter deaths, these were caused by damp cold conditions, the Bees did not swarm until late in the year, therefore I already knew they were going to struggle to build up ready for winter; as such, I took no honey from the hives last year, added to this, the summer was not good. Sadly, due to a prolonged wet spring in 2013, the last two hives I had also died. It was not just me, some of the most experienced Bee Keepers I know have had massive losses this winter, and therefore they are busy struggling to restock their hives.

The swarm coordinator for our area is reporting he has not yet been called out to a swarm this year (26-5-2013), this would suggest that Bees are rebuilding in the hives that have survived and are not yet ready to swarm, as such, late swarming Bees are going to struggle again this year, and to be honest, the way my hives are placed, they would be really hard to support, therefore, I will let someone with more time take on those Bees this year.

It is therefore, my decision to take a rest from Bee Keeping for a year.

I will, of course remain in contact with my Bee Keeping friends and am always happy for others to write a piece for the web page.