I’m taking advantage of the decent weather and painting a load of new poly mating nucs so I think it’s time that I tidy up the stands for them too – ‘insect friendly’ paint being used, of course. I also have some new Maisemore’s 6 frame poly nucs to paint.

I use Valspar “Oxford Blue’ smooth masonry paint on the poly stuff as it makes it more durable, and protects the poly from UV, which would break it down otherwise.

Once painted, the nucs will be left outside all winter, to be ready for next seasons queen rearing. They won’t be bothered by wax moth as I use plastic foundation, and it has all been cleaned and refreshed.

I’m going to paint the stands with brick red fence paint, after I’ve made a few repairs to some of them. I can get 10 of these mini mating nucs on one stand, and I have 4 stands.

I have re-invested the money from my honey sales into new equipment and I have ordered quite a bit of kit lately. I have pre-ordered some hives to collect at Thorne’s of Stockbridge open day, as they have special, knock down prices on these days, so long as you pre-order and collect.

That’ll keep me out of trouble over the winter, building the flat pack hives etc. Plenty of frames to make and add foundation to – I’m using black plastic foundation in the brood boxes of my breeder hives, and normal wax foundation in my production hives and all supers.

I found the black plastic foundation to be extremely helpful this year, as my close-in vision is poor (it’s an age related thing), and it makes seeing the eggs and very young larvae so much easier. It is also easier to graft from, as you can’t accidentally stab the grafting tool through the foundation. I have found the bees draw it out just as well as they do wax foundation, so long as it is primed with melted wax before use. I just melt some wax, and brush it over the plastic foundation with a 4 inch paint brush, job jobbed.

I have a fair few frames of foundation to render, along with some previously melted that needs cleaning, so have plenty to do, so I’d better crack on…

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