A blog originally for keeping track of my hobby of being a Beekeeper which has evolved to include Home Brewing and even more recently to follow me and my families approach to "The Good Life". Eventually I hope to include baking recipes and stories of our flock of chickens also reporting on the success and failure at the allotments.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Homebrew Lager Kit

As mentioned in a very recent post, I got a lager making kit for Christmas. Yesterday I went to see my sister and brother-in-law and he has recently made the same kit so I had a chance to taste it before actually making it. I must say I was impressed with the flavour and decided to waste as little time as possible starting my own brew. I couldn't start it the same day so as soon as I'd let the chickens out this morning I got started.

The process was really easy as it was from an all in one kit. All I had to do was sterilize the brewing bucket and provide 1kg of sugar then make up with water to 23l.

1kg of sugar

The contents of the tin of lager mix.

Pour the contents into the bucket

Once sugar and mix are added put some water in to dissolve sugar.

When all is dissolved add water to make to 23l then sprinkle the sachet of yeast into the brew.  I then took a gravity reading of 1.034 at this point so will know the strength of the lager.
The whole process was really easy and I would encourage people to have a go themselves. The next thing to do is wait 4-8 days until fermentation has finished and then bottle it, then leave a further week or 2 for flavour to develop. I'll let you know how it goes. At some point in the future I will aim to make beer or lager without the aid of a kit but this will suffice for now.

Apiary inspection 28/12/2011

Yesterday was probably my final hive inspection of this year and in this inspection I applied the main varroa treatment for the year, oxalic acid. This acid is found in honey but at really low levels and by introducing it into the hive it kills the varroa mite. The treatment only affects adult Bees so the best time of year to apply the treatment is around now when the level of brood is at a minimum. I know that I have mentioned in a previous post that I would ideally like to keep Bees naturally without the use of chemicals, however as I am still a novice I believe getting my Bees through their first winter and into spring healthy is my number 1 concern. Maybe later I will try the more natural way.

To start with I needed to get hold of oxalic acid crystals and was in luck when one of the people I did my training course with offered to give me enough for two treatments. The exact amount of crystal he gave me was 7.5g per treatment. The crystals where then mixed by myself with 100g of sugar and 100ml of water to give a solution that is 3.2% oxalic in a 1:1 sugar solution. This was harder than it sounds, it took a long time to dissolve the sugar into the water and even longer to dissolve the crystals but I got there in the end. The next step was to introduce the mix to the Bees.

Upon arrival at the hive there was a distinct lack of movement outside the hive, but to be honest it was rather windy and I'd rather have been tucked up in my house. When I removed the hive roof I could see what was left of the fondant I added previously; 1 empty box and 1 almost full. As I removed the crownboard the Bees started to show themselves but were not as lively as I have seen them in the past. I did a quick check of the weight of the remaining frames by gently lifting a couple with my new hive tool and was surprised at how much honey they actually had left; I can only think that with the mild end to autumn the Bees have been collecting later than I imagined they would do, clever Bees! The only thing left for me to do now was to apply the treatment.

The treatment of oxalic acid recommends using 5ml of solution per seam of Bees; a seam being the Bees between 2 frames. In my case there were 9 seams with Bees in so I used a total of 45ml of solution. To apply the solution I used a syringe supplied by the same guy who gave me the crystals (thanks again Steve) and using this I sucked 5ml at a time into the syringe and gently dribbled this onto each seam of Bees. I was surprised that they didn't get aggressive when applying this but obviously happy not to get attacked. After each 5ml was applied I refilled the syringe until all seams had taken 5ml. When I'd put the treatment down I decided to take a short video of the inside of the hive. Here it is

Apart from maybe popping up and clearing snow from the hive (if we get any this year) and maybe a check to see if they have enough food stored, I believe this could have been my last hive visit until spring. I certainly won't be opening up the hive fully until the temperature has risen. In the next few months I will be continuing to go to my Beekeeping meetings and reading my new books which I got for Christmas as well as carrying on with home brewing.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Christmas Gifts

This year I did very well for Christmas. I always appreciate the presents I receive but have been especially impressed this year at the actual usefulness of my gifts. Below are pictures of what I received that are relative to my blog. If anyone who bought me any of the presents below is reading this blog then thanks again!

A hive tool. There are 2 main designs of hive tool, I already had the other now I have this one as well. As I am looking to have at least 2 hives by next year and my partner enjoys getting her Bee suit on and helping it made sense to request a spare hive tool. The hook on the bottom is really useful for lifting frames!
On the left is a Queen cage; this is used to capture the Queen and the using a non toxic pen (on the right) apply a small dot of ink so she is easier to see. There are 5 colours used when marking Queens but as I'm colour blind I will stick to white. Multiple colours are used to tell the age of the Queen so as I'm only using 1 colour I will have to keep good notes.

Beeswax mould; I'm sure some point next year there will be a blog to show this in action. It's basically used to make blocks of wax. 

An egg cup and a honey spoon. The egg cup is from my 1 year old daughter and is probably my favorite present out of everything I got! 

A Bee car sticker and a wind up Bumble Bee torch!

A home brew kit for making 40 pints of lager (far left), a large fermenting vessel (middle, I already have one exactly the same but having a second can't be bad, more beer!) and a bottle corker (far right). I imagine these items will all feature in future posts that I will be writing soon 

Beekeeping books. I look forward to reading these and trying out some recipes. 

Getting Ready For Spring

In the last few weeks I have been busy getting ready for the new Beekeeping year. Firstly I have purchased plenty of jars in anticipation of a good honey crop. Even if I don't fill all the jars next year, which I don't expect to do, then I will have spare for the following year or some nice jars to use for jam making! I bought my jars from a glass company in Leeds called Spinkscompak. They have a wide range and as a member of Yorkshire Beekeepers I received a discount.

A full box of 108 hexagonal jars
These will look great with my honey in and labels!
A larger 1lb jar. I have 72 of these.
...and of course the lids for the jars!

I have also been making frames ready to go into my second hive that I hope to get occupied with Bees in the spring. I have made enough to fill 2 supers and just need to make the frames to go into the brood box now. Below is some pictures of me making frames.

All the pieces of a frame before assembly.
This piece gets cut out and nailed back in on top of the foundation.
The frame made up without being nailed together yet.
A nail in each corner, both sides, keeps the top bar in place.
Remember the bit cut out earlier, it is now nailed over the foundation securing it in place
The finished frame ready to be "drawn out" by the Bees ready for honey storage!

Friday, 16 December 2011

Wine and Mead Bottled

I have been busy over the last few days bottling and racking some of my home brew. The brews I have done in the last few days have been ones where I was unable to get a initial gravity reading so I won't know how strong they are but that's half the fun.

To start with I bottled my dandelion wine (original post can be found here) as this was a smaller batch and one of the older ones. I have had a sneaky taste of it and so far it tastes quite nice, actually a lot nicer than I was expecting although this could be the flavour of the red grape juice I used. Either way if the taste gets better from what it is at the moment then I'm on to a winner and will make a much larger batch next year. I got 3 full bottles and a part bottle, the part bottle is in the fridge ready to drink and the others I have stored in the loft to age; by ageing the wine I hope to further improve the flavour.

Dandelion wine in home made Demijohn, dilute pop bottle!
Bottles I've been collecting. Soaking to try to loosen the labels. The next step was to sterilize them.
The finished product bottled and now away in storage in my loft. 

The next thing I bottled was the remainder of the second batch of mead I made at the start of the year (again link for that post here). This was a really large batch and I already have 3 gallons of it stored in my earthenware demijohns (link to that post here; in that post it says I have 4 demijohns but actually I had 5) that my granddad gave me at the beginning of the year. That left me with 2 demijohns with the mead in; one of these I have left alone and the other I added more honey to a while ago although I can't find the post that says how much honey was added, oh well! I got 6 bottles from each demijohn and have stored them along with the dandelion wine. I had a small taste of the mead as it was being bottled and it has got some taste, more than it has in previous tests, it may turn out nice after all when it's aged a while.

Bottled up and ready for storage.
The sweetened mead ready for storage.
Once I'd bottled all the mead I had a few empty demijohns so while I had the equipment out I also racked one batch of raspberry wine. This batch has been going since July so is also nearly ready to bottle up but I now have a shortage of wine bottles so will be asking my dad to start saving them again for me. The raspberry wine had developed a thin layer of sediment on the bottom, which is to be expected as this was the second time I racked it, the first time it had a very thick layer of sediment. Next time there will, hopefully, be little to no sediment for when I bottle it.

And finally with the remaining demijohns I had I've made 2 further batches of J.A.O. mead as this is my favorite and easiest to do. I followed the method on this page but as with the last batch of this I made I have upped the amount of honey to 1.8kg so now have 3 demijohns full of this at various stages of development! I hope the extra honey doesn't spoil it but I doubt it will, they are all smelling rather nice and the oldest of the 3 is clearing nicely.

Solidified honey.

Not even 1kg yet. 

1.8kg dissolving in boiled water that has been left to cool for about 30 minutes

This much honey takes a long time to dissolve even with vigorous stirring

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Wakefield and Pontefract Beekeepers: November Meeting

This months meeting was titled Queens and Things and was presented by a guy called Gerry Collins. As you can probably imagine by the title the subject was Queens and included other little bits.
We did have a presentation by him last year. Gerry mentioned that he used to be a biology teacher and some of this was shown in his presentation; he named a few of the pheromones that Bees produce along with the names of the glands that produce them, unfortunately I don't remember the names or I would have included them here. I may in the future need to learn them when taking advanced Beekeeping exams but at this stage I don't think I need to know them.

We were shown many slides throughout the presentation showing pictures of Queens illustrating the possible problems with locating her majesty. For example in one picture she could be clearly seen and then in a second shot taken seconds after the Queen had disappeared into a cluster of Bees. Other pictures included a Queen that was partly into a cell laying a egg making her hard to see and also virgin Queens that are only slightly larger than workers.

We were also advised about looking for the signs of having a laying Queen. One photo showed a group of cells with more than one egg in each cell. This normally would indicate the possibility that there are laying workers in there (which is bad because workers only lay drones). However in that slide what we were seeing was a young Queen that hadn't learned to just lay a single egg per cell; a clue to this is that although there were multiple eggs, they were mostly central right at the bottom of the cell, when you have laying workers the eggs are generally closer to the sides due to workers having much shorter abdomens.

There were plenty of other things covered but I either can't remember them enough to write up or I have previously written about the subject anyway so have chosen to leave them out. After the presentation there was, as always, a raffle with prizes including a bottle of wine, chocolates and honey storage buckets, along with other bits. I didn't win anything this month although I really would have liked to get some storage buckets, I only currently have 2 and one contains whats left of my honey and the other contains some honey my dad acquired for me over a year ago. The honey my dad got me has set solid in the bucket and it's this that I'm using to make my mead, when I have more mead making experience I will use honey from my own Bees, or what I like to call "The good stuff"

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Apiary visit 28/11/2011

On Monday I did my first apiary visit since 25th October. In the time between then and last Mondays inspection I have been worried about my buzzy little workforce. Things like have they enough food, have they been attacked by wasps or woodpeckers, has the wind blown the hive over etc. have been running through my head.

When I arrived at the allotment I was relieved that the hive hadn't been blown over but there was a distinct lack of activity outside the hive; I watched for about 5 minutes and saw no Bees. When I had suited up I went into the apiary and at that point saw my first Bee of the day entering the hive, I felt reassured for seeing her. The next thing I did was to gently tip the hive to see if it still had any weight to it and was happy that I struggled to lift it one handed; I have read that this is a good test to see if the have sufficient stores. There still wasn't much activity so I put a mouse guard on the entrance. A mouse guard works in a similar way to a Queen excluder in that it provides holes big enough to allow Bees out but not big enough for mice.

After I'd done everything that needed to be done outside the hive I lifted the top off and had a look inside. The fondant that I had put in last time was almost gone so I added another block of it. At this point loads of Bees flew out of the top and started buzzing round me but not too aggressively; some were flying straight at my face but most were just curious. This was a good sight for me as it showed that the hive still had plenty of occupants. As the temperature was dropping at this stage I decided to call it a day and not open the brood chamber. I didn't want to risk them getting too cold and developing any problems in the brood if there was any still present.

A small amount of fondant is visible at the bottom of the tub

Friday, 11 November 2011

Raspberry Wine From Frozen Fruit

I have started a new batch of raspberry wine, mainly to free up some space in the freezer but also because I like wine!  This will probably taste different to my first batch of raspberry wine (which can be found at this link) for a couple of reasons; the first reason is I didn't use the same technique to make the wine and secondly (and more importantly) the alcohol content will probably be much higher, I'll explain why later.

The method I used for this batch was as follows....

Firstly I defrosted a large bag of berries; they had frozen into a large block and when defrosted a lot of juice had already been released. I didn't weigh the berries but have an idea in my head of how large the bag was, slightly smaller than a bowling ball!

The next step I did was to pour a kettle of boiling water over the berries, approx 1.7 litres, to encourage more juice to be released. Then I poured the mix through a sieve in an attempt to catch any seeds and reduce the amount of pulp going through. With the pulp that was left over I poured the same amount of boiling water again and repeated the last step. Satisfied that I had got a good amount of juice from the berries I discarded the remaining pulp, it had lost most if it's colour anyway.

The pulp still full of juice.

Below is a video of me shaking the juice out!

When the mix had cooled enough I added a teaspoon of pectolase to further help break the fruit down and covered the bowl to leave it overnight. The next day I added the sugar, this is another area that I differed from the previous raspberry wine; instead of measuring the amount of sugar that went in I just measured the gravity and stopped adding sugar when I was happy. It was roughly 1.75kg of sugar but the main point is that the SG was 1.111 which will give a much higher alcohol level if all this is converted. For example, if the final gravity is .99  then alcohol level would be over 16% which I'm more than happy with!

When all the sugar was dissolved I moved the mix into a clean sterilized demijohn, again passing it through a sieve to collect any pulp. Once it was in the demijohn I added a teaspoon of yeast before putting an airlock on. The demijohn was then put to one side in the kitchen with plenty of kitchen roll underneath, just in case it overflowed like my plum wine did!

While I was waiting for this wine to start working I racked the plum wine. It seemed to have stopped bubbling and has been fermenting for about 3 months. There was a think layer of sediment in the bottom of this demijohn, partly from the fermentation and partly because I left a lot of pulp in the juice. This seems to have formed into small balls and sunk to the bottom. Now it is in a fresh demijohn and its clearing nicely. I had a small taste of the wine and am impressed with the flavour so far. Give it some time to mature and it'll hopefully taste great!

The debris in the bottom of  the plum wine.

Once a couple of days had passed the raspberry wine was bubbling away very happily. It has got an amount of pulp that has formed into balls, similar to the plum wine and due to the strong fermentation these are all floating at the top. Luckily there isn't as much as was with the plum wine so haven't had a eruption like before.

The raspberry wine at the front and plum behind

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Wakefield and Pontefract Beekeepers: Annual General Meeting

The last monday in October was the annual general meeting for WPBKA. This meeting was a members only meeting and involved voting in the associations president, chairman, secretary etc. As far as I could tell all posts stayed the same as last year. Who knows, when I've got more experience I may run for a position, not yet though! 

We had a presentation about finances going over expenses and incomes of the association. I'm no accountant but the numbers seemed ok to me. One area that interested me was the talk about the website being updated soon and after the main part of the meeting I got talking to the guy who runs the website; he had asked us to email him with any ideas for the site and I have also offered to send some photos for the gallery, which I will do in this next week. There was also talk about a facebook page and I offered assistance with that if needed.

Towards the end of the meeting there was a award presentation where trophies were presented to members who have won various prizes for their honey, mead, wax and honey cakes. To finish off there were several certificates handed out for those who had completed parts of the BBKA exams for beekeeping. I hope on the future I will be able to show off some awards or certificates!

I will also mention that I have bought a raffle ticket at the meeting with the first prize being a full hive, complete with Bees, and second being a nucleus hive, also with Bees. The raffle is for a excellent cause, which is Macmillan Cancer Support, in memory of John Dews; John was a highly respected and talented Beekeeper that unfortunately died earlier in the year. I never met him but have heard that he was one of the most knowledgeable Beekeepers in the area.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Bee History: part 1

Rather than just talk about my experiences with Beekeeping, which I imagine could get a little boring and repetitive to all but the most involved, I would do a few posts on things like the history of Bees and mans involvement with them.

Bees are believed to have evolved from wasps millions of years ago. I have read that this happened because the wasps were feeding their larva with insects covered in pollen and they evolved to collect the pollen themselves.

One of the earliest preserved Bee samples was found encased in amber and is believed to be over 100 million years old. This would make them older than triceratops and tyrannosaurus. The Bee in question is not thought to be a social Bee like the Honey Bee, but rather a solitary Bee similar to the mason Bees of today. This sample was found in Burma.

As I would like to have several parts to this subject I will leave it there for now. When I have done a few I may put them all together in a separate page.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Making Fondant

With the onset of winter and the weather getting colder the Bees will be getting less and less active with there being less forage for them to collect. Due to this I have already started feeding my Bees to help them prepare for winter. I have already given them a heavy syrup mix which they took in next to no time and now the weather is getting colder by the day it isn't feasible to give the Bees liquid feed any more; the reason liquid feed isn't recommended is that the syrup needs to be below 20% water for them to successfully store it without it going bad and with the lower temperature it makes it harder for the Bees to lower the water content. Instead of syrup I will be now giving them fondant to eat over the coming months. I decided it would be cheaper and more fun to make my own fondant and the recipe can be found here.

Step 1: Once all sugar and water is added put on hob and continue to stir

Step 2: When it starts to boil put the lid on and boil for at least 5 minutes.
I left to boil a little longer

Step 3: Check the temperature; if over 234°F then turn heat off and allow to cool

Step 4: When temp drops to 200°F start beating
(if you have a electric whisk I would advise using it!) 

Step 5: Keep beating air into the mix and it will start to thicken,
your arm will be hurting by now if you don't have a electric whisk

Step 6: When it is really stiff it's ready to box.
I have poured it into clean take away boxes.

Once I had made the fondant I allowed it to cool overnight and the next day (last Thursday) I took it up to the hive, removed the lid of the fondant and put it where the feeder bucket was. The plastic tray is now upside down at the top of the hive allowing the Bees to eat as much as they want in the safety of the hive. I will go back next month and see if they need the other box of fondant I made. When I was at the hive I also added an entrance reducer but the Bees were getting a little defensive so will attach a mouse guard next visit. I also received my first sting while they have been in my apiary; on my hand through leather gloves!

Monday, 10 October 2011

Apiary inspection 09/10/2011

Yesterday I managed to get to do my overdue hive inspection. I was due to go up last Thursday but, as mentioned in my previous post, the weather was unfit for opening the hive. I was concerned that I'd left the varroa treatment in for too long as it says remove after 4 weeks. It was only in a couple of extra days so I wasn't too worried. I also had a friend come up with me to see the Bees as he was round my house at the time the weather cleared up enough for the inspection.

Upon arrival at my dad's allotment me and my friend, Tris, suited up. I let him use my suit as it's slightly larger and I squeezed into my partners suit. As it was going to be a quick inspection I decided we would try to do the inspection without smoke. The weather wasn't the most ideal for the inspection as it was overcast and had been raining that day and due to this there was very little traffic coming and going from the hive when we got to the apiary. Upon opening the top of the hive there was a fair few Bees that got air born to see what we were doing but they didn't cause too much problem.

I showed my friend a couple of frames from the super that had stored honey in them, some with capped cells and others that were uncapped. He seemed amazed at how many Bees there were so I moved onto the brood chamber to show him how many were in there. When we removed the super to expose the brood chamber a lot more Bees started flying round us, but I was really impressed with my friend as he kept calm and I carried on showing him the brood area. We managed to get a good look at about 4 frames before the Bees got really angry and were trying to sting my face through my suit; at this stage we stepped out of the apiary for a couple of minutes to allow them to calm down a bit. Once they were a little calmer we went back in and I removed the APILIFE VAR bars that were in, thus completing the varroa treatment. I then reassembled the hive, adding a extra super to allow me room to add a bucket of sugar syrup for the Bees. They did have quite a bit of stores but I would rather feed them a bit extra than let them starve.

During the inspection I had thought I'd heard a rip from time to time in a certain area of the suit and when we returned to my car and removed the suit I found a hole in the crotch area; I'm so glad none of the Bees managed to find it! My friend who came with me really enjoyed the visit and as he has a huge garden I am now trying to convince him to also get some Bees or at least let me keep Bees on his property! I should also mention that he recently opened up his own barber shop in the area and I recommend you to visit the Facebook page for his shop.

My friend Tris ready for Bees!

More Mead

Last Thursday should have been the day I went up to see the Bees and remove the last stage of their varroa treatment however for those who live in my area may remember that the weather was atrocious that day; there was high winds and lots of rain, hardly good weather to be opening the hive up. Instead of wasting a day I decided it would be a good idea to start another batch of mead.

So far out of all my mead I have made there has only been one I've tasted as it's a simple and quick mead that is ready in 2 months unlike others that take literally years to age properly. A lot of people would turn their noses at this mead with it being ready so fast but I don't care. It's quick, easy and it works, also to me it tastes great. The recipe can be found here. The only difference I made to the recipe was to add slightly more honey to make it a bit sweeter. This may affect how long it takes to be ready but that's no problem. I added 1.8kg instead of 1.6kg and the S.G. for this was 1.090 so at the end I will be able to work out the alcohol level rather than just guess.

I did make a slight change to the method for making this as well but it was only slight. Rather than just adding the yeast straight to honey water I added it to the sample I'd taken out to do the gravity reading. This was in a half pint glass. When I'd added the yeast to this small sample I left it 10 minutes covered in cling film (or plastic wrap if you're american!) and then returned to see how it was doing. I wasn't expecting it to have properly started in that time but I was wrong and it had already started foaming out of the glass so I moved it into a pint glass until I was ready to add it to the honey water and other ingredients. When everything was put together I placed the demijohn out of the way and will return in a couple of months (Christmas time) to see if it's ready to drink!

1.8kg of honey dissolving in boiled water.

Half pint sample with yeast in bubbling over!

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

An Update on Homebrew

Over the weekend I decided it was time to bottle my second batch of mead, which was started all the way back in January. I didn't have a hydrometer when I first started so no gravity reading was taken, which means I won't know the alcohol level of this batch.

This batch was a really large one so I have four demijohns of it to process,three are unaltered and one has been sweetened with extra honey. The unaltered ones were all that I had time to do. I started by sterilizing the vessels that the mead would be going into, in this case I am using my earthenware demijohns for this; the two earthenware vessels hold the same as the three glass ones I'm transferring from. I also added a campden tablet to the mead before in the glass demijohns; this helps by killing off wild yeast and bad bacteria. When everything was sterile I started to transfer the mead into the stone vessels.

A campden tablet crushed ready to be added.

Once completed I put a rubber bung into the larger of the two and attempted to put a cork in the smaller one. I say attempted as the hole was slightly too large for the cork. I had picked up a tip from a friend to make corking easier, which was to soak the cork first to make it go in the hole easier. I thought that this could be why the cork was too small so I tried a dry cork and found this to be same. As I had no other corks at this stage I had to start getting inventive. I thought the most suitable thing to use would be beeswax. I quickly melted some wax and then poured it around the cork making it a complete seal. I'm not totally sure if it's worked so will check it again later and use more wax if needed.

The only thing to do now is wait. During the process I have tried to mead on several occasions and unfortunately it hasn't tasted too great, in fact it tasted pretty bland though ageing the mead is supposed to improve flavour. If after a year the taste is still poor then I will still drink it but use something to mix in it, possibly ginger ale. In the future when experimenting with recipes I will make smaller batches so not as much honey is used. I still have plenty of honey that my dad acquired for me so will keep using that rather than experimenting with my own honey!

Friday, 30 September 2011

Apiary inspection 29/09/2011

Just a quick post to say that on Thursday this week the last stage of the varroa treatment was added to my hive. As anyone else in the UK will know this week has been incredibly hot and sunny for this time of year and where I live, in Wakefield, was no exception; this helped as it meant a lot of Bees were out and about foraging. 

When I got to the hive there was a good flow of Bees coming and going. Once inside the hive I did a quick check in the supers to see how their stores were doing and was happy with what they had although I will keep an eye on this. When I start doing my Winter inspections a quick way to tell if they have enough stores is to tip the hive with one hand and if it tips easy they need feeding. That tip was given to me by someone I've been talking to on Google+. After checking the supers I did a quick check of the brood chamber and managed to find the Queen, eggs and larva so everything is still o.k. in there The only thing left to do now was to replace the treatment. Below are a few photos of what the treatment looks like.

The packet with directions, ingredients, batch number and best before date.

Half a bar of treatment, this half is wrapped in cling film to keep it fresh.

The above bar broken up and put in each corner of the brood chamber.