Ranger Joe’s first blog from his Uganda visit

Hi everyone, I’ve not long landed in Entebbe and am back in the wonderful Uganda! I’ve met up with our friend Ronnie who is driving me to the different places that I’m going to visit, I’m really excited to see Queen Elizabeth National Park again! I’m now sat at the zoo and am tucking in to my first tilapia and chips of my trip, it’s delicious! My view is of Lake Victoria the third largest lake in the world! Tomorrow I’ll be off to visit the projects good friend Raymond Engena in a place called Jinja, the source of the river Nile!

A big thumbs up from Joe on his arrival in Uganda.

A big thumbs up from Joe on his arrival in Uganda.

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Beekeeping – Marking a queen

Today, the Liss beekeeping club went to expect the hives up in our nature area. We had bad news last week when the swarm that we collected absconded after three days, so we are back to two colonies of bees. Our job in the first colony was to locate the queen and to mark her. We found the queen quite easily and Mr Stanley put her in a special plastic cage where she could be marked with a bright green pen.

In the second colony there are a few queen cells, but we couldn’t find a queen as yet, so we will inspect again next week. We would like to ask our friends in Kafuro how their colonies of bees are keeping?

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Updates from Kafuro and Liss

There has been much activity happening at both Kafuro and Liss over the last week or so. Firstly, Yowasi informed Mr Stanley that a new classrom is being built at Kafuro (where Mr Stanley used to park his car). Apparently, the school was told that a supply of corrugated iron for roofing was being made available by the government, so building is already well underway.

Secondly, ice pop sales are going well at Liss and over £800 has now been raised towards the £1000 target. This target should be raised some time next week. Mr Stanley has arranged for the money to be sent to Uganda next week so that the solar panels will be installed by the time he visits Kafuro in July.

Thirdly, we are confident that a tag rugby tournament, the Conservation Cup, will be held at Kyambura while Mr Stanley is in Uganda. This is an idea that has been a long time in the planning since Mr Stanley visited Uganda for the first time.

Fourthly, the sunflower challenge is continuing apace. At the moment it looks like the Liss sunflowers are going to be bigger from the evidence of the photos. Class AC has the biggest plants at the moment closely followed by Classes KB and MG. Mr Stanley will be measuring the plants on the last day of term in Liss and the first day he visits Kafuro.

Lastly, the Liss weather station has arrived. We hope to mount it in the next week or so. Then we can exchange weather data with Kafuro properly.

 

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Beekeeping update at Liss

The Liss beekeeping club went to inspect all three hives today following our successful acquisition of a swarm on Monday. This is what we found:

Hive 3

This is the newest colony of bees, who we acquired on Monday. They seem to have been settling in well and have been actively collecting pollen and making comb. We couldn’t find the queen, but will have another look next week and bring our marking kit with us.

The man who let Mr Haycock know about the swarm sent us this short video of the swarm in his garden

IMG_0021

Hive 2

This is the colony from which we took an artificial swarm a fortnight ago. A great deal of the brood has hatched and they have been raising queen cells. We think that the queen will emerge in the next few days and will mate and start laying her own brood.

Hive 1

Our original colony. The bees appear to be in good health with the queen laying lots of brood. We found the queen quite easily. The bees have started storing capped honey, but compared to last year there is very little. In all three hives we are supplementing the bees’ diet by feeding them a sugar solution.

We would like to ask our friends in Kafuro how their hives are? Has their been some rain allowing more plants to grow for the bees to forage?

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Bee update at Liss

Warm greetings to our friends at Kafuro Primary School. We have just returned to school today after a week’s holiday and we hear that you have returned to school also after your longer break.

We had some good news today when the school was phoned to say that there was a swarm of bees in Liphook (about 6 miles away from Liss) that needed collecting. Mr Haycock, our site manager, took his car up to Liphook and returned with a cardboard box full of bees. When Mr Stanley went up onto the school field later in the day, the bees had settled in to their new hive. The other two hives seemed to be in good order as well with the bees making the most of the good weather conditions we currently have. So, we are up to three colonies of bees again which is great news.

The beekeeping club will visit the hives on Wednesday and Mr Stanley will post some photos after the hives have been inspected.

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