Barnsley Beekeepers

The Apiarist Blog

The Apiarist Blog

Professor David Evans is a virologist studying the biology of single stranded positive sense RNA viruses, including poliovirus, hepatitis C virus and deformed wing virus of honeybees. He has a fascinating, practical beekeeping blog, https://www.theapiarist.org/

  • The size of the artificial queen cell used when queen rearing influences the size, weight and ovariole number of the resulting queen. Another way of getting bigger, better queens.
  • Unless you have just one hive (and even then, you should), or a prodigious memory, you will need to keep records of your hive inspections. What are the options? Cryptic, analogue, digital, app, in hive or at home?
  • Beekeeping is all about making informed decisions, some of which involve calculated risks. Are there ways to improve the decision-making process?
  • The impact of queen excluders on the colony, decoding the waggle dance, a clever approach to control DWV and a not-so-clever way to treat Varroa, more beewash nonsense, an Asian hornet update and a DIY Varroa tray for poly nucs.
  • How might you exploit the maternal effect to generate bigger and better queens, and avoid needing to graft day-old larvae? Plastic queen cups and practical experiments.
  • How does the egg laying rate of the queen and the longevity of workers influence colony size, and why is the statement that 'workers live for 6 weeks' wrong?
  • Spring has sprung. Everything is a bit earlier and a lot wetter than last year. Colonies are looking good and the OSR is starting to flower. Some thoughts of spring 'dead outs', moving hives, phenology and copyright.
  • How to keep hive numbers to a manageable number, whatever that number is. Balancing the needs of swarm control and replacement of winter losses with the time, energy, equipment and enthusiasm available.
  • Expensive, versatile and really useful, at least they are if they are well-designed and manufactured. Some of the current models are good, but none are close to perfect.
  • Why are bigger queens, better queens? It may be more to do with queen mating success and colony fitness than simply the number of eggs she lays.