Programme of Events 2024

January 2024

Both Apiaries closed

February 2024

Sat 17 – Ruxley Apiary

9:30 am Colonies checked for damage. Weather permitting, quick check for amount of stores in colonies. If required colonies fed with bee fondant or with dry sugar.

10:00 am Newly bought equipment assembled. Please bring suitable tools – power drills/screwdrivers. New hive parts painted with timber preservative, bring old clean overalls and clean brushes.

March 2024

Sat 2 – 167 Tower Bridge Rd., SE1 3LN

9:30am Introduction to Beekeeping, Theory part 1

Sat 2 Ruxley Apiary

9:30am The apiary officially opens for the season.

Colonies checked for stores, health, viability, a note taken if stocks need equalizing. All live colonies given a pollen substitute food. In poor weather new frames made and fitted with foundation sheets.

Sat 9 – Baldwyns Apiary

2pm The apiary officially opens for the season.

 Weather permitting, routine inspections commenced.

Colonies checked for stores, health, viability, a note taken if stocks need equalizing. All live colonies given a pollen substitute food. In poor weather new frames made and fitted with foundation sheets.

Sat 16 – 167 Tower Bridge Rd., SE1 3LN

9:30am Introduction to Beekeeping, (Beginners’ Course) Theory part 2

Sat 16 – Ruxley Apiary

9:30am Weather permitting, routine inspections commenced. If the season progressed well thus far, 2nd brood box or 1st super added. Suitable colonies for the queen and drone rearing selected and noted.

Sat 22 – Baldwyns Apiary

2pm If the season progressed well thus far, 2nd brood box or 1st super added. Suitable colonies for the queen and drone rearing selected and noted.

Sat 30 – Ruxley Apiary – Easter Saturday

9:30am Routine inspection of colonies, swarm prevention measures undertaken.

Supers added to the colonies if needed. 2nd best colony selected and prepared for raising the drones for the queen rearing programme: it will be given a frame with drone foundation and fed with sugar and pollen substitute.

All other colonies will be given the Varroa entrapment frames

April 2024

Sat 6 – Baldwyns Apiary

2pm Routine inspection of colonies, swarm prevention measures undertaken.

Supers added to the colonies if needed. 2nd best colony selected and prepared for raising the drones for the queen rearing programme: it will be given a frame with drone foundation and fed with sugar and pollen substitute.

All other colonies will be given the Varroa entrapment frames

Sat 13 – Ruxley Apiary – also BBKA Spring Convention, Harper Adams University, TF10 8NB

9:30 Routine inspection of colonies, swarm prevention measures undertaken.

Supers added to the colonies if needed. Varroa frames checked. The colonies selected for queen rearing and for drone rearing given feed supplement: both sugar syrup and pollen substitute should be given.

Sat 20 – Baldwyns Apiary

2pm Routine inspection of colonies; swarm prevention. Supers added to the colonies if needed. Varroa frames checked. Old frames rendered down to retrieve beeswax.

Sat 27 – Ruxley Apiary

9:30am Introduction to Beekeeping, (Beginners’ Course) Part 3; 1st Practical session.

Apiary closed to all members, except for those helping with the course. All other members are advised to come to Baldwyns Apiary.

May 2024

Sat 4 – Baldwyns Apiary

2pm Routine inspection of colonies; swarm prevention. Supers added to the colonies if needed. Varroa frames checked.

The colony selected for the queen rearing is to be prepared (demareed).

Sat 11 – Baldwyns Apiary

9:30am Introduction to Beekeeping, (Beginners’ Course) Part 4; 2nd Practical session.

Apiary closed to all members, except for those helping with the course. Members are advised to come to the Ruxley Apiary. Note: Ruxley Apiary opens at 9:30 am.

Sat 11 – Ruxley Apiary

9:30am Routine inspection of colonies; swarm prevention. Supers added to the colonies if needed. Varroa frames checked.

11am Queen rearing (QR) part 1; Grafting.

Sat 18 – Baldwyns Apiary

2pm Routine inspection of colonies; swarm prevention. Supers added to the colonies if needed. Varroa frames checked. QR pt 2: Check on the grafting outcome, preparation of the mating nucs.

Tue 21 – Ruxley & Baldwyns Apiary

Time TBC QR pt 3: Distribution of ripe QCs into the mating nucs.

Sat 18 – Ruxley Apiary

9:30am Routine inspection of colonies; swarm prevention. Supers added to the colonies if needed. Varroa frames checked. QR pt 4: Check on emergence of the virgin queens from the queen cells.

Sat 25 – Baldwyns Apiary

2pm Routine inspection of colonies; swarm prevention. Supers added to the colonies if needed. Varroa frames checked.

June 2024

…to be continued…