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Monday, 2 April 2012

Changed back to surgical gloves

At first, I used leather gloves.  Then I realised how impractical these are. You can't clean them!
Then I started to use surgical gloves.  But I got stung through them and my hands swelled into bananas.
So I started to use thick rubber gloves.  But I had to clean them after every inspection, and I was squashing a few bees.
So now I have gone back to surgical gloves. I have been stung a couple of time, but I have discovered Piriton tablets. Two of those seems to reduce the swelling and pain quite a lot.
I just discard them after each hive -- good for the bees.
But I also find that I take such great care not to trap a bee (and get stung) that I am treating the bees with greater care, and they are calmer as a result.
Anyone else find this?  What are your preferences?

Now set up for the spring season

In my last post, I wrote that seven hives had made it through the winter.  Having now inspected all the hives, there are only six viable hives.  The seventh, a swarm from June 2011, has weakened and is now queenless.

There are signs of starvation, so it looks like I didn't feed them soon enough.

The best colony is the polyhive with (traditional beekeepers look away now, take a blood-pressure pill) plastic frames.  I have added a super of plastic frames to it.

The Oil Seed Rape in now in flower -- and there are two large fields of it near my out-apiary that has three good hives.  So I'm hoping for a bumper crop.