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Posted: Sunday 21 February, 2010

by Rosemary at 9:31pm in Bees 1 comment Add your own

Well, it's week four of our beekeeping course tomorrow. Week one was an introduction and bee biology; week two was equipment (and we were given catalogues away with us!!); week three was handling bees (without actual bees) and week four is swarming.

Last week we also had a demonstration of how to light a smoker. It all looks very simple in the hands of an expert. Dan flicked through the catalogues and asked if we needed one of evrything - I said no, we needed two of somethings and none of others! I'm not sure if this made him feel better or not.

We're going to have National hives. I'm planning to get two, although we'll only get one colony - the spare will be for, well, spare! I'm also getting a bee suit - in stone (colour not material!), I think. White's a bit conspicuous and looks like there's been a chemical incident.

The beekeepers - the proper ones who are delivering the course - are just wonderful. They are so generous - with their time, their enthusaism and their expertise. This year, for the first time, they are running a queen breeding programme to develop nuclei that new beekeepers will be able to buy at a very competitive price. They hope to make importing bees from other areas unnecessary, thus preventing the spread of disease. They were meeting today to build the nuc boxes and hope to have nucs ready in May, June and July.

The Association gets a discount from one of the major suppliers of beekeeping equipment, so I have to get my list done and in for the mentors to check before the end of the month. That's my next job!

Comments

Jane

Monday 22 February, 2010 at 1:58am

Hello

I have just found your website looking for pig housing for some free-range pigs we plan to get once some fencing has been done.

Where are you? I am guessing in the UK because of the snow - where?

We have 30 acres in the Adelaide Hills in Australia and I get the feeling we are living your life!

I have bees and want to encourage you. They are wonderful and an example for us all. Very organised and industrious. I started with 2 hives and now have six. Have fun!

I want to run some Berkshire pigs. What do you have? I thought initially I would have weaners but make the fencing suitable for sows when I get more confident.

Must read more of your diary. So interesting.

Cheers

Jane

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