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16.11.15

What a strange year we had in the bee-keeping world. 

The pollination season seemed to be all over the shop this year, with cold easterly winds delaying things by a good ten days in some areas around the East Kent coast, but the further inland we came, pollination was almost the same time as last year.

Eventually it came and went, and talking to various fruit growers around the regions, everybody seems extremely pleased with their crops, cherries, pears and apples, though I understand that some of the plums could have done better.

The bees on the other hand had come into the plum category, many on the West and North of the country have had a disastrous season, many have had not much honey to extract at all, their harvest was down in some places as much as 75% and when this translates into wages, this will be a worrying time for them. They would have had to buy in extra winter feed, to get their colonies through this winter.

To the East, we fared a bit better, those Bee Farmers I have spoken to seemed to have just below average yields this year and if anything, things were too dry, but at least we got something.

Expect to see honey prices increase this year.

With a warm autumn this year the bees would have been working the ivy for a last chance to fill the hive with much needed winter stores of pollen and honey, and although many people do not like seeing it, Hymalan Balsam has provided a much needed pollen boost as well.

My bees were again fed by the end of September, treated for Varroa, feeders taken off, lids strapped down and chicken mesh placed around each hive to keep the green woodpeckers off.

I will not go into my hives now until February time, but will check on them occasionally to make sure that things are alright, no fallen trees, or woodpeckers getting through the wire, and that they are standing upright and water-tight.

It was good to see many growers at the Fruit Show, and again, I would like to say thank you to all those that use our Pollination Service. Alan Hart