Welcome, Guest

Author Topic: Hello from London  (Read 1866 times)

Offline Catford Beekeeper

  • New Bee
  • *
  • Posts: 5
Hello from London
« on: October 11, 2012, 01:27:35 PM »
Hello!
I have been beekeeping in an urban area of South East London (UK) since 1998, and keep about 15 colonies. The conditions are generally good here as the suburban gardens provide forage for most of the year, however we do have the usual disease problems.
Had heavy losses last winter, so hoping for better this year...
I have a particular interest in bee microscopy, and the study of bee anatomy.
Ian

Offline AllenF

  • Galactic Bee
  • ******
  • Posts: 8192
  • Gender: Male
Re: Hello from London
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2012, 03:09:54 PM »
What kind of disease problems do you run into there?    And welcome to the problem. 

Offline Catford Beekeeper

  • New Bee
  • *
  • Posts: 5
Re: Hello from London
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2012, 07:18:37 PM »
We have had varroa since I started, I guess like everyone, and it shows no sign of passing yet.
Nosema is also fairly universal, so we tend to change comb every couple of years (Vita Feed Gold also seems to help).
EFB outbreaks occur sporadically, and this is notifiable to our authorities. So when I had this two years ago, a lot of frames got burnt (about 250), but it did stop it, and my colonies have been clear since.
AFB has become rarer than 30 years ago, although I was recently advised that it was found within three miles of my apiary by the monitoring programme.
We haven't had CCD; but with varroa etc we can get fairly heavy winter losses.
In my opinion my colonies are a bit less vigorous than they were when I started 14 years ago. It certainly feels as if you have to keep managing disease to keep things going, whereas I didn't feel that to start with.
Hope all well there?
Cheers
Ian
 

Offline Larry Bees

  • Field Bee
  • ***
  • Posts: 711
  • Gender: Male
Re: Hello from London
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2012, 09:00:33 PM »
Welcome to the site Ian and good luck with your bees!

Larry

Offline Vance G

  • Queen Bee
  • ****
  • Posts: 1155
Re: Hello from London
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2012, 02:54:05 AM »
So, you are required to burn frames testing positive for EFB?  Here it is standard for AFB but not EFB.  I am becoming more inclined to cull older dark combs.  Glad you are here.  Vance

Offline Catford Beekeeper

  • New Bee
  • *
  • Posts: 5
Re: Hello from London
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2012, 06:22:30 AM »
If your EFB infection is not too severe, and it is early in the season, then you are allowed to do a shook swarm onto new foundation. The old frames and brood are burnt, and the hive hardware all scorched. If the EFB comes back in that colony then they have to be killed (with petrol/gasoline) and all the hive contents burnt. However the hive hardware can be scorched and reused.
I found the whole process quite heavy-handed, but it did work, and I reclaimed the cost of materials on my bee disease insurance. I think that there is also a situation in which you can treat with tetracycline, but I don't think they are very keen on this, as the recurrence rate is higher.
I did feel a bit like a criminal, standing back while three guys in official bee-suits went through the hives silently, with the occasional ' I've got another positive over here'; like having your house searched!
However I am grateful that they do keep the diseases under control, as beekeepers here are often quite close together.

Offline Joe D

  • Super Bee
  • *****
  • Posts: 2049
  • Gender: Male
Re: Hello from London
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2012, 09:14:22 AM »
Welcome to the forum, Ian.

Offline tefer2

  • Super Bee
  • *****
  • Posts: 2309
  • Gender: Male
Re: Hello from London
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2012, 10:04:30 AM »
Welcome to Beemaster.

Offline Vance G

  • Queen Bee
  • ****
  • Posts: 1155
Re: Hello from London
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2012, 04:19:32 PM »
I recently demonstrated my lack of judgement by starting around 30 splits with equipment bought from an old retiring beekeeper.  Every single one developed AFB.  I turned myself in and tests confirmed my suspicions.  I shook the bees onto new plastic frames and fed sugar with no medication after a few days.  I got no direction from the state and piled all the brood on the weakest colonies and when they emerged, those colonies were super strong.  I then shook them onto foundation and repeated the process.  I have saved most of the colonies and got them hopefully strong enough to make it thru our winter.  The contaminated equipment is stored in a bee tight storage waiting for a safe time to burn without starting a forest fire.   If these colonies are still free of disease next spring I will be able to think I whipped it.  I am purposefully not using any antibiotic as I think that might just mask any problem I still have.  I am glad that I had the latitude to work my program.

Offline betterbee

  • New Bee
  • *
  • Posts: 1
  • Gender: Male
Re: Hello from London
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2012, 08:08:45 PM »
hello from ireland,