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Top Bar Hive inspection 23rd August 2020

3 min read

I was driving myself mad, I hadn’t inspected the hive since the end of July and it was now 23rd August.

The problem was that I had a run of flare ups and was basically waiting until I felt better but it just wasn’t happening!

Top Bar hive comb

I was worried because that last inspection showed that although the colony was doing well, the honey store were low and so I was stressing over the end of season and concerned that the girls wouldn’t have enough stores for over winter.

In the end I decided to just go for it and sod the consequences and now I am sat in bed the next morning writing this post and feeling like crap.

But I don’t care because I know the colony is more than okay!

The issue is not just having the physical energy to inspect the hive and coping with the pain, it is also mental energy and the fact that when I feel like this, I struggle to recall information.

So that is why I went through the hive back to front and then inspected again as I closed it up.

I wanted to make sure I was remembering everything!

I checked the bees themselves to check for wing deformities that would indicate a Varroa mite problem but the bees all looked really good, no signs of any problems.

I was also looking out for Wax Moth larvae and the silk from them and again, I didn’t see any problems.

Top Bar Hive comb with capped honey

As you can see from the video and the screenshot from the video above, the honey stores have increased massively and areas where brood was previously are now smaller and the comb is filled with capped honey or honey that is still to be capped.

The end of the beekeeping season is quickly approaching, I have loved my first season of being a beekeeper and it wouldn’t have been possible without the help of so many people.

Phil Chandler who inspired me and showed that with a Top Bar hive, that beekeeping can be enjoyed by anyone and I also used his plans to design my hive.

My father in law who brought his tools round and helped me to build the hive, well he built it and I helped.

Beekeepershour on Twitter and UK Top Bar Beekeepers on Facebook who have helped with advice and support.

Joe Ibbertson who took the time to make a phone call to my local beekeeping association and was the person who got me the swarm and therefore turned me from wanting to be, to being a beekeeper. Joe has also been there to answer all of my stupid questions and to tell me to stop worrying when I go into flap mode!

Nicolas who brought the swarm round that had swarmed from one of his hives is someone I owe a lot of thanks.

I would say that next year I won’t be a beginner any more, but that isn’t true and I know that next year I will have new beekeeping matters that I have avoided this year.

That is swarming and it does feel me with dread. I have read up on how to stop it or try to stop it happening but I know it will happen and of course being a wheelchair user, I can’t start capturing swarms and so I will again be reliant on help.

Disabled beekeeper

2020 will be remembered for being a very strange year with us all in lockdown due to the pandemic, but for me it will always be the year that I became a beekeeper!

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