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    I'ved been using the sample same carpet samples (freebees) for years. These are normally 18x18, ideal for National. Once feeding is finished, 2 or 3 of these is enough. The crown board openings have a metal mesh covering (offcuts from varoa floor mesh ). Bees on omf with restricted opening and...
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    Been using carpet sample tiles for years now that were given freely since they were not current patterns. Usually 18 X18" so fit nationals a treat. Put 3 layers under each roof in November and remove in April at first inspection. All my hives are on OMF and the only time I use the bottom...
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    Winter losses?

    Bad year for losing colonies via poor queens. Lost 5 hives from 23, discovering that they had laying worker and drones hanging around in September/October Whether the bees got the swarming/replacement/mated queen wrong or there is some underlining problem, I'm not sure. 2020 another challenging...
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    Two hives stolen Malmesbury

    I had 2 hives stolen a few years ago and purchased a branding iron. Branded everything including frames but as been mention already, if someone is determined enough then shaking the bees into another box isn't a big problem. Not sure why someone would steal this time of the season rather than...
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    Underfloor-entrance hives failing to keep out wasps

    For 3 years I'ved reduced the entrance using sponge and using a length of plastic pop bottle pinned across the entrance seems to keep the wasp out. Cheap solution.
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    warming cabinet

    heating tube Tried a heating tube in my warming cabinet, an old fridge and concluded that the existing light bulbs was better at giving the heat. The heating tube warn that these items have to be horizontal so limits size and position in my upright fridge.
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    Ron Hoskins vandalised

    Rons Apiary All Ron's queen rearing equipment has been destroyed including petrol generator, microscope and stereo scope. Majority of the hives/nucs were pushed over and although now upright it won't be for a few days to check the queens are ok and laying? Photos put on Facebook by Ron's son...
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    Mike Palmer nuc method for UK national size

    Purchased two half hives from Heather Bell Bees Ltd, Cornwall, Together they measure 18" square. Comes with open mesh floor. I made two queen excluders and put on standard supers. Ran with a queen in each box and bees seemed happy mixing in a standard super.
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    wasp tunnel mark two

    Using simple idea cut from plastic drinks bottle. Entrance reduced with sponge. Seen wasps flying around entrance but haven't seen one inside hive and/or exiting hive. Bees still come flying out and crashing into the plastic but they soon learn to walk to the side.
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    Stolen hives

    Had 2 hives nicked 5 years ago. Purchased branding iron for £50 with my BBKA membership number, shorter than my name. Branded top bars, inside and outside boxes, floors, roofs, crown boards and q/excluders. Since then the effort branding has been overtaken by the fact: 1) No one would notice or...
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    Theft of hives

    Following thieving of two of my hives 4 years ago, I use a branding iron on all my frames, boxes, roofs, floors, excluders, everything with my BBKA membership number but, who will know its mine if spotted 50 miles away. Bee inspectors can check Beebase numbers but not BBKA numbers!! Beekeepers...
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    Ink stamp

    stolen hives. I had 2 hives stolen last year, one had bees. So I brought a branding iron with my BBKA number from a nice chap in Yorkshire for about £60. Figures approx 18/20mm in height. The down side to this, having something powerful enough to heat the iron when I'm out in the sticks and if...