Bee Thread

If you keep other animals for productive purposes, whether for meat, wool or bi-products, here's the area to chat. I mean, you do realise chickens are the gateway drug to other animals, don't you?

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Re: Bee Thread

Postby ZacB » 16 Jun 2010, 10:43

Itsybitsy, a good harvest :)
We took our honey off last week, OSR in the main. 1*Super, castillations in place to reduce to 9*frames pre drawn from last year, 27lbs :grin:
& at long last following your advice removed queen + brood + food etc to 2nd hive & left original Q/Less. Cells were drawn, 1 selected & left. So now waiting for a few weeks & then hopefully eggs etc will be seen to confirm success :grin:
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Re: Bee Thread

Postby Itsybitsy » 16 Jun 2010, 19:25

milkmaid wrote:i'll have a go one day ,sounds as if it's not doing to badly ,but keeping you busy ;)


Yes......I'm getting really into it now, nothing is daunting anymore. It's such a steep learning curve and so much to learn.

btw....did you know Lewis is Varroa free....which has implications re bringing bees onto the Island from the mainland. If you want to start up you need to find someone on the Isle already beeking.

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Re: Bee Thread

Postby Itsybitsy » 16 Jun 2010, 19:34

ZacB wrote:We took our honey off last week, OSR in the main. 27lbs :grin:


That's great from one hive.

ZacB wrote:& at long last following your advice removed queen + brood + food etc to 2nd hive & left original Q/Less. Cells were drawn, 1 selected & left. So now waiting for a few weeks & then hopefully eggs etc will be seen to confirm success :grin:


Oh no............the pressure I'm under now :lol: :lol:

That's great too. Two hives are much better, if you have problems with one i.e. queen stuff, then a frame of eggs from the other sorts it out. Also spring build up you can equalize them out.....well all year really.

Last year my first extraction was OSR and 27lbs. I kept it in a covered bucket in the kitchen....I was so proud. I have a large stainless steel whisk (bought from farm supplies for mixing lamb milk :grin: ) I put the whisk in it and stirred it every day....not whisked, just a gentle stir, after two weeks it set to a beautiful fine grained seed and needed no more doing to it.........unlike someone else I know with bees who promptly put hers into jars and it set rock hard........ :lol:

Itsybitsy

ps Great pics.......and frames....ohhh you're on Manley's 8) I think one of those frames would win a prize at a show.
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Re: Bee Thread

Postby Itsybitsy » 04 Jul 2010, 22:17

I've been a bit busy.....and a bit lax over writing this.....well I've also been on holiday for a week too 8)

There were some colonies I didn't get chance to look in before I went away and have only just had opportunity today........fortunately everything which could swarm already has done :? so there was nothing too drastic today apart from a couple of colonies running out of space. I'm running out of supers and frames and have had to rob from Peter to pay Paul.... :lol: so a couple of colonies which aren't doing much have had frames nicked from their supers.....they won't miss them and instead of messing about and waiting and hoping for things to improve on their own (which they won't ) I'm slowly learning to actively manage the colonies to avoid this, so anything which isn't doing much will get its queen scrubbed and united to another. This sounds hard.....but a typical example is hive 1.....this swarmed, the remains had a few sealed queen cells, leaving them all means loosing the bees as cast after cast leave when a virgin queen emerges, so I scrubbed all but one cell. This has hatched, but before I went away there was no sign of a laying queen (there should have been by then) so I put in a test frame, this is a frame with eggs on, if the colony are queenless they will produce another queen. Today there were a few primed queen cells, but the lavae in them were too young to be from the test frame....which had no queen cells on it. So there is a laying queen in there, but she's not doing much and the bees are not happy with her, she will have to go, and sooner rather than later, I just need to decide which other hive to unite them to :?:

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Re: Bee Thread

Postby Itsybitsy » 16 Jul 2010, 13:43

Moving swiftly on.......as time always goes. The conclusion I came to over hive 1 was not that there was a laying queen in there, but possibly a laying worker, or a queen which hadn't mated properly and was laying drone eggs, so any 'queen' cells will not produce a viable queen as they were built from unfertilized eggs, so I united the remains of the colony to the hive next to it. I put a queen excluder on top of the supers and using a good dousing of icing sugar to create confusion, shook all the bees from the failing hive into an empty box on top of the queen excluder. The theory being if it is a drone laying queen, then she will not be able to get through the excluder.......meeting with the queen in the other hive would result in a fight and sod's law dictates the drone layer would win :? If it's a laying worker then the hormones from the good queen will over-ride and the worker will stop laying. The uniting has worked.

Yesterday I decided it was time to do some extracting.......I am desperately short of supers and frames so the easiest option was to empty some. I cherry picked the full and capped and was expecting to do about 18 frames.......maybe 50lbs. I actually got 100lbs from about 40 frames :shock: and haven't touched two of the hives which are living at a local garden centre, they will eventually stock the honey under their own label.

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Re: Bee Thread

Postby Itsybitsy » 04 Aug 2010, 22:01

So much has happened in the last few weeks, my total from extracting the main including what came from the capping was 115lbs and then I got another 50lbs from the two hives at the garden centre. I think that is mainly from blackberries as it is very close to where I live and there are acres and acres of them...cultivated gone wild. The honey is very light coloured and very floral.

I've had another 2 drone layers :shock: which I've shaken into other hives so now I am down to 7 colonies. But I've made up 2 nucs as insurance policies.

The summer flow is all but over, the dry summer has taken its toll on the nectar production in the plants and also everything is browning off. I may get a little more honey, but am just biding my time now and seeing how it goes, if the nectar supply dries up completely the bees will start to consume the stored honey, so taking it all off at this point in this particular summer is not a good idea. The end of the flow has also put the bees in a foul mood and stinging me is the order of the day whenever I go into them :?

I've also produced a small amount of cut comb.....2 frames to be precise, which is laughable really. I have cut up one frame and put it into cartons and it's gone into the garden centre shop, the other frame will go to a farm shop about 5 miles away. I'm quite proud of it, it looked lovely with pristine white cappings.

Soon it will be time to start thinking about treating for varroa and putting the bees to bed for winter.

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Re: Bee Thread

Postby MrsMopp » 05 Nov 2010, 11:13

I just thought I'd resurrect this thread. We took 60lbs of honey in September, primarily from one hive (housing our own swarm from April 2010). The original hive yielded a bit but not much. Our honey is pale and slightly spicy/lemony. Naturally we are over the moon :grin: We acquired 5 frames from our mentor in July - bees had arrived in one of his spare hives and he didn't want them. Fortunately we had a spare hive and so we took them and fed them, tho I can't say they've thrived and it wouldn't surprise me if we lost them over the winter. We've apiguarded and closed things up for the winter. On sunny days the bees are still out and about. This year they have been noticeably nicer natured than last year!
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Re: Bee Thread

Postby kated » 05 Nov 2010, 12:40

Today I saw around 5 honey bees gathering on the Elaeagnus flowers - surprising for November I thought.
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Re: Bee Thread

Postby jojosarah » 05 Nov 2010, 13:36

I wonder if the OH is up for some bee keeping????? I might be asking a bit toooooooo much :lol:
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Re: Bee Thread

Postby rcleffler » 21 Jan 2011, 18:33

My sister sent me this article this morning. I happened across your bee thread and thought this might interest you all.

Bees are mysteriously dying across the country, and it’s putting our entire food system in danger.

The death of bees is catastrophic. Bees don’t just make honey; they are responsible for pollinating a full third of our food supply. These tiny creatures are vital to life on earth - if we let them die we are looking at a world without fruit, vegetables, cotton, nuts and oils. Our entire food chain is in peril, and it is up to us to do something about it.

It’s become clear that small group of pesticides is at the root of the death of bees. We need to get the EPA to ban these poisons to save our food and bring back our bees.

We are partnering with the great film Vanishing of the Bees to protest this dangerous pesticide. Sign our petition to the EPA and its director Lisa Jackson to ban these bee-killing pesticides now, and watch a short video to learn more.

The death of bees is real. A recent study shows that already 96% of the four main bee species of the U.S. has been wiped out by the mysterious Colony Collapse Disorder. [1]

Mounting evidence suggests that one widely used class of pesticides may be a critical factor in the mass casualties. One of these pesticides, clothianidin, is produced by German company Bayer Crop Science and has been widely used in the US since 2003.

This isn’t your usual pesticide - it’s applied to the seeds of plants themselves. It remains in the plant as it grows, and comes out through the plants' pollen and nectar - honeybees' favorite food. The poison attacks the nervous system of bees and other insects, killing them off while having little effect on other animals.

Already France, Italy, Slovenia and Germany have banned this pesticide from use on their crops - and their bee populations have bounced back. [2] Now that we know the danger this poison presents to our entire food system, the US needs to ban the poison, too.

Tell the EPA: ban the bee-killing poisons that threaten our food. Click here to sign our petition. We’ll deliver your signature to Administrator Lisa Jackson and other EPA decision makers.

These poisons aren’t new to the EPA. Unfortunately, the EPA knew of the dangers to bees, and yet approved the pesticides anyway.

A leaked memo, brought to light by beekeeper Tom Theobald, shows that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been well aware of the dangers of this pesticide to the bee population - their own scientists called it “highly toxic” and “a major risk concern to non target insects [honey bees].” [3]

Yet just last year, despite this clear evidence at its disposal, the EPA approved this dangerous chemical for continued use. But now it’s out in the open.

The EPA needs to immediately move to ban this pesticide so our country’s bees can come back to live. It’s so essential for our food safety and security. Sign our petition to the EPA now.

http://action.freshthemovie.com/p/dia/a ... n_KEY=5213

Our food chain is becoming more and more delicate as the chemical companies assault our crops with pesticides. The researchers who are tasked with assessing the impacts of these chemicals are in the pockets of the companies who produce the chemicals. We need to speak loudly against this pesticide and move closer to a world that is safe for not only us, but the tiny hive workers who keep the whole system running.

With hope,

FRESH & Vanishing of the Bees

[1] Researchers Find "Alarming" Decline in Bumblebees
http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory?id=12545468

[2]“Nicotine Bees" Population Restored With Neonicotinoids Ban
http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/05 ... ds-ban.php

[3]EPA Leaked memo
http://www.panna.org/sites/default/file ... anidin.pdf
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Re: Bee Thread

Postby Captain Carrot » 20 Feb 2012, 00:43

Einstein said that if honey bees die out, two years later himan will follow suit.
Altsteirer, Bielefelders, Welsummer bantams, Silkies and Muscovy ducks (sold a load of them :) )
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Re: Bee Thread

Postby kated » 27 Jun 2012, 12:46

I have a problem with bees - hope someone on here may have some advice. We have a woodburner and a lined chimney. Bees are coming down the chimney and building up in the woodburner and crawling out through the damper, even when closed. We have let 100s out and many have died through landing in the ash and becoming smothered. I thought at first it was a swarm and we could drive it away by burning paper in the fire but they have obviously moved in big time. We have a fire burning in there now and have put quantities of grass mowings on to increase the smoke. We can see them flying round the top of the stack and trying to get in (we have a bird guard but the gaps are easily big enough for bees) and the heat and smoke is keeping them out but still they persist. This has been going on for 3 days now. Any ideas which could rid us of them? I really don't want to be cruel to them but they are really unhappy already when they come down the chimney and get caught in the living room windows or smothered.
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Re: Bee Thread

Postby CP » 27 Jun 2012, 21:02

Try contacting someone local who keeps bees - yellow pages maybe - they should know who may be able to help. Otherwise try local council, but they will just give you contacts & you will probably have to pay someone to clear them away.
Good luck! [-o<
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Re: Bee Thread

Postby kated » 28 Jun 2012, 11:43

Thankfully a full day of burning grass mowings seems to have done the trick - thanks CP!
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Re: Bee Thread

Postby CP » 29 Jun 2012, 02:18

:thumbright: Image Image Image
Happy in Hampshire!

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"Mistakes are a fact of life. It is the response to the error that counts" - Nikki Giovanni

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"If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter." - George Washington

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