Whilst we’re all having to adjust to life with the coronavirus pandemic, we also have to look after our beehives. Fortunately, this is a task that doesn’t compromise social distancing. Our beekeepers checked the hives over the weekend, took the short video clip above, and gave us the following update:

“The six hives we have on the LMC roof and the two in the Maryam Centre have made it through the winter, and are currently building up. We have not completed our first spring inspection yet as it’s still a bit too cold. However, the bees are all flying, and from the weight of the hives appear to have enough food. Spring is a critical time for the bees; as the older winter bees are dying out, the queen will recommence laying in earnest, and the new brood needs feeding. It’s at this time when colonies can starve if we don’t monitor them regularly, or for some reason they have not got enough food from the previous year.

“The one thing we have done differently this year is to give all hives a spring Varroa treatment. This is the first time we have done this, and have decided on this course of action due to the very mild last few years we have had. This has has allowed the Varroa mite to continue multiplying, even in winter. We have noticed higher than usual Varroa loads last year, and want to give the colonies the best chance this year; one way of doing this is by managing Varroa.

“The video above shows a Varroa treatment being performed. This needs to be done three times in roughly weekly intervals to be successful. The roof hives have had three treatments, and the Maryam Centre hives need one more.

“Spring appears to be starting later than last year, so were not quite out of the danger zone yet, but initial indications are good, insha’Allah.”