News from Ireland – We have just opened our B and B

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breakfastSorry I’ve been so quiet of late – we have just opened our B and B – check out the website

If anyone fancies a trip to Ireland, we’d be delighted to see you !!!!

Our bees have survived the winter, thank goodness. Not everyone has been so lucky. I think the secret lies in treating with oxalic acid at Xmas and trying to keep on top of nosema. For this, we change 50% of the comb in each hive every year. A lot of other bee keepers have been phoning to say that they have lost 4 or 5 hives – most of the Irish bee keepers only keep about 8 hives max, so this is a major blow to them.

This year we also had freak snow at the end of March. This cold weather has lasted about a month longer than usual, which means that the bees will be set back by a month as the early forage such as Salix is not out yet.

In Ireland we used to be able to use Fumidil B to treat nosema, but the European Union has now outlawed that, leaving us with nothing at all ! What do you use in NZ?

Looking forward to hearing from you soon.
Best wishes

2 thoughts on “News from Ireland – We have just opened our B and B

  1. Phil Chandler says:

    Hi Vanessa,
    Some beekeepers here use oxalic, but I just can’t bring myself to open my hives in the middle of winter and pour acid over my bees. I have used powdered sugar in the past, but now I am doing virtually no Varroa treatments and not losing any more colonies than the average in my area – 15-20%.
    As for Nosema, I have never used prophylactic antibiotics and will never do so, as I think it is counter-productive in the long run. We need bees that can look after themselves, rather than being dependent on medications, so I breed from the strongest survivors and let nature do the rest.
    (I am in SW England, BTW)

    • vanessa drew says:

      Hi Phil – Yes it does go against the grain to put chemicals into the hive. It is a matter of breeding from the strongest. This winter, a lot of colonies have been lost, so maybe that will have left us with some of the stronger ones.

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