100% Honeybee Colony Survival Over Winter
Absolutely fantastic news, all our woodland colonies have survived the 2018 winter.
They have emerged in Spring 2019, healthy and eager to go.
Why the high survival rate? This is because they are locally adapted honeybees.
Locally adapted bees including Amm, the youngest colony is over seven (7) years old.
They have never been fed syrup or fondant, and are very productive, producing a good excess of honey.
There has been no need to supplement their winter stores with processed sugars.
This is one of the reasons they are the healthiest apiary, within our range of apiaries.
Locally adapted, meaning bred from an ongoing lineage, this means, from older colonies that have shown the traits we are looking for.
The Amm component ensures (genetically tested) native Amm strains have been included within the apiary to ensure native genetics are included in the mating pool.
They are very hardy colonies, living in a woodland environment, because of this they are inundated with hornets.
Having survived and evolved in such an environment they are very adept at dealing with native hornets, I have watched them in action!
We treat them periodically to keep varroa to a manageable level.
Treatment includes rhubarb leaves and short back to back treatments of sublimated oxalic acid, to break the varroa breed cycle.
Now varroa is here, it is here to stay irrespective of treatments available.
We do not over treat with chemicals, we do not wish to eradicate the varroa mites, because they will simply return.
Better to allow the bees to evolve alongside the varroa mite, whilst managing the risk to the colonies.
Throughout 2019 we will move our stocks to locally adapted honeybees and will increase Amm mating.
So far, so good.