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February – The Australian Beekeeping Season Is Coming To An End

Well it’s the end of February and that means this will be my last article from Australia! I can’t believe how fast my time has gone here and how much I’ve learnt about all aspects of commercial beekeeping. It’s given me lot’s to think about this season with my own bees.

This month as last month has been very much about queen rearing and requeening hives. We are coming towards the end of the season here and we are starting to push hives down to two boxes high ready for them to go through winter. This means we have also been busy extracting honey and sorting comb honey for our customers.

We also had an issue with rain, yes rain! After months of worrying about hives being damaged by fire it was actually water that caused the damage. One of our sites with Nucs became flooded and some nucs were as much as half submerged, amazingly despite being so water logged not a single one died!

Thinking back to my bees at home, I’m starting to plan where my bees will be going this season. I will be looking for sites after June around the midlands so if you have room for 20 hives and think you have a suitable location then please get in touch. I will be also looking for sites on heather moors so again if you have any contacts then please email me at – matthew@holthallapiary.co.uk

Hives at home braced for Storm Dennis

One of my first jobs will be going to see what’s left of the Oil Seed Rape crops I was due to be moving bees onto and then moving as may hives as I can to those locations. Many of my overwintered nucs are almost full already so many will be moved into full hives. Queen rearing will also start as soon as I see drones in the hive, Hopefully around early to mid April as it’s been quite mild.

I’m also excited to say I have a few talks coming up, one to a gardening club talking about bees and planting for bees. The other is to a local beekeepers association where I am talking about my time in Australia and honey extracting.

Next month I’m looking forward to being able to update you on my bees and then I hope to pick one topic of focus each month and write a more in depth blog which will be suitable for people interested in bees as well as actual beekeepers.

Thank you for reading
Matthew Ingram

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