Mickleham Apiary Tenderly Tended

Our Mickleham apiary, pictured here in Spring Splendour, has for the past couple of years been managed for us by Mary and Jim Wynn.

Mary is particularly proud of how the apiary is looking this spring, because it’s all her own work … with Jim convalescing from his knee op.

In addition to generating a useful contribution to RBKA’s honey harvest each year, the apiary also serves as a back-up source of replacement colonies for Henfold; should the need arise during the (normal) summer season practical training.

It has also been known for Mickleham to adopt the role of ‘naughty step’ for colonies that that prove to be, or become, a little too difficult for our Beginners to cope with. Woe betide the colony that continues to misbehave on Mary’s watch.

The apiary is sited within the grounds of Box Hill School next to an area of kitchen gardens used by the pupils. Hence the high boundary screening that serves to both hide the apiary from general view, and oblige the foraging bees to set off at height over the adjacent school and nearby residential gardens.

If you have attended one of RBKA’s Annual Auctions of Bees & Beekeeping Equipment;, during the auction you would have been standing in the apiary car park, with the apiary alongside behind a hedge.

Imagine … this site used to be RBKA’s main Training Apiary!

A beautifully kept apiary will not just be a joy to behold, but an immense pleasure to work in.     

Great job Mary.

 

 

Wasp Activity End December 2019 – reported

Our Brockham and Buckland Apiaries Manager, Richard Ramsden, reports some unusual goings on….

bee vs wasp

Whilst putting in the varroa boards late December, I found alarming quantities of bees wings, legs, and heads that had fallen through the mesh floor of half a dozen colonies.

Seems the wasps are removing bees from the cluster and dismembering them before making off with the thorax and its protein rich muscle contents. I presume they are also stealing honey stores too. Is this another sign of climate change? Cold enough to stop bees guarding the entrance and warm enough for wasps to fly on most days!

Have any of you further observations on this subject?

Vigo Farm (Holmwood) Apiary – Ready for Winter

A video report, as of the 9th October 2019, from the Vigo Farm Apiary team on the status of their preparation of the hives for winter.

The team, led by Mike Lowe, includes Maggie Minter, Pete Scroggs, Suzy Stevens, Pip Weller & Janet Whitehead.

The Vigo Farm site is our ‘Holmwood Apiary‘; as described on the Reigate Beekeepers labels applied to jars of the  bonus amount of honey that may be extracted from their hives.

 

The principle roles of the apiary are to serve as;

  • a quarantine site if needed for captured Swarms of doubtful pedigree;
  • a potential source of back-up colonies for Henfold if required;
  • a naughty step for troublesome Henfold colonies;
  • … and provides great husbandry experience for the team. 

During 2020, the team propose to add the dark art of Queen Rearing to their Summer Wednesday evening activities.     


 

Brockham Apiary Flooded Out

Flooding at Brockham Apiary

Flooding at Brockham Apiary

Concerned for the condition of the eight hives at the Divisions Brockham Apiary in the aftermath of the Christmas Eve storms, Malcolm Fry managed to fight his way through the felled trees between his home in Banstead and Kingswood, only to find Brockham Village and our apiary under a serious amount of water.

[Read more…]

Buckland – 2012 Report

The Buckland Apiary is located on private property who’s owners offered use of a portion of their garden for the Reigate Beekeepers Division to site a few of their hives. The apiary is managed for the Division by Alec Bourhill.

Alec reports on the year of 2012…

Not quite on the scale of other divisional apiaries the two colonies that struggled during the year only yielded 6 lb of honey. They were eventually united to over-winter as a single colony. It now remains to be seen how that has come through the past months.

Alec Bourhill

Vigo Farm – 2012 Report

The Vigo Farm Apiary is located in South Holmwood, not far from Henfold Copse, and is managed for the Division by Mike Hill. It is easy to get to and he would welcome any volunteers to help manage it.

Mike reports on the year of 2012…

Only one of the two colonies survived the 2011-2012 winter. The failed one had been ‘moused’. Entirely down to the beekeeper.

The plan was to use the site as an ‘quarantine’ site for [Read more…]

Brockham – 2012 Report

Reigate Beekeepers are very greatful to Martin and Louise Smith for the use of their site for our Brockham Apiary, that is managed for the Division by Malcolm Fry.

Malcolm reports on the year of 2012…

The year was not as successful as I would have wanted. The poor weather meant many inspections in poor conditions and difficulty planning for demonstrations. Grafting eggs and working with queens is not for cold wet days. [Read more…]

Mickleham – 2012 Report

Scene at MicklehamThe Mickleham Apiary is located in grounds, adjacent to the Mickleham Village Hall, owned by the Box Hill School. Reigate Beekeepers are privileged to be granted access to and use of the site. The site is managed for the Division by Andy Robinson.

Since the opening of the Henfold Apiary, its role has changed from that of Teaching Apiary to Queen Rearing/Nursery Apiary.

Andy reports on the year of 2012…

The beekeeping year at Mickleham has been an eventful one mainly due to the weather. During the season about six of us have been managing the colonies and the good thing about being a small group is that there is ample opportunity for people to have hands-on experience each week. [Read more…]