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Drone Congregation Areas 2016 – roundup

To coincide with an article on Drone Congregation Areas to appear in the Bee Craft November 2016 issue, here is a small selection of videos of drones in action and below that a series of links telling of my searches for DCAs over the past two seasons.

1 July 2015 In search of a mate

2 July 2015 Drone Congregation Areas

7 July 2015 Another Drone Congregation Area

20 July 2015 Video of Life in a Drone Congregation Area

28 July 2015 Do drones assemble above prehistoric sites?

3 August 2015 Drone Goal?

10 August 2015 Rediscovering the first recorded Drone Congregation Area

8 September 2015 In search of a Drone Congregation Area SatNav

27 October 2015 Hilltopping

4 July 2016 Greenham Common DCA first visit

16 July 2016 Greenham Common – finding the extent of the DCA

25 July 2016 Drone to Drone

Turlough
Vita’s Guest Beekeeper Blogger

Bee Music Live at Kew Hive

The Hive, BE.ONE performance 29 September 2016

The Hive, BE.ONE performance 29 September 2016. Photo courtesy Kew Gardens

Last night saw the first live music performances inside the astonishing Hive at Kew Gardens, London.

BE – the musical collective behind the honeybee-inspited soundscape that fills Wolfgang Buttress’ Hive – performed live inside The Hive at Kew Gardens.

Amongst a thousand flickering lights glowing against the night sky, the sound, energy and symphony of tens of thousands of bees and a few musicians created an awe-inspiring atmosphere.

Wolfgang Buttress’s multi-award winning installation, inspired by the plight of the British bee, was the initial inspiration for a musical project, now available on CD: Be One.

Featuring a repertoire of vibrational messages that honeybees use, the composition has four main elements: Begging Signals, Waggle Dance, Tooting and Tooting and Quacking.

I was there for the first performance which wowed the audience. It was an unforgettable and magical evening. I’d recommend a listen to the CD for any beekeeper.

Turlough
Vita’s Guest Beekeeper Blogger

Wolfgang Buttress and BE perform under the Hive. Photo courtesy Kew Gardens

Wolfgang Buttress and BE perform under the Hive. Photo courtesy Kew Gardens 

The Hive, BE.ONE performance 29 September 2016. Photo courtesy Kew Gardens

The Hive, BE.ONE performance 29 September 2016. Photo courtesy Kew Gardens

 

Apiguard at work

Here’s just a fraction of the work of Apiguard after three days this week.

Don’t forget to treat! The shiny brown ovals are varroa mixed in with crystallised honey, pollen and wax flakes on a collecting screen below a mesh acting as the floor of the hive.

Throughout the season in my apiaries, varroa populations seem to be a little lower than previous years, but that’s quite enough thank you!

Turlough
Vita’s Guest Beekeeper Blogger

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Call in the propolis!

The forage and weather has been so good in southern England this season that I had to call into action some dubious supers.

The bees objected to the gap between two supers and called in the propolis.

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Turlough
Vita’s Guest Beekeeper Blogger

Wasps!

They may only be a small nucleus, but they have a double line of defence for the wasps taht dare encroach upon the hive. Here is the advanced guard attacking a would-be intruder wasp. I only just managed to glimpse the wasp once in this tangle of bees. Meanwhile at the door, the guards are lined up ready for more intruders.

Not all bees can be quite so effective against wasps, but this little nuc certainly has what it takes. And yet they are very calm during inspections.

Because the stings of honeybees’ stingers can’t usually penetrate a wasp thick outer skin, the bees form a ball around it and use their vibrating flight muscles to raise the temperature around the victim to about 47 degrees Celsius, enough to kill it! Death by baking! The original bake-off!

If you want to help your bees defend against wasps and hornets – especially the Asian hornet, try Vita’s Asian Hornet trap, Apishield.

Turlough
Vita’s Guest Beekeeper Blogger

Two lines of wasp defence

Two lines of wasp defence

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