Bee Thread

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ZacB
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Re: Bee Thread

Post by ZacB » 10 May 2010, 09:52

Oh for a queen cell [-o< Itsybitsy

All last year (our first) it was oh no a queen cell please don't swarm.

Now we are prepared & have a 2nd hive ready & waiting do you think they will ](*,)

Brood box full, bursting at the seams, won't go into a drawn out super even after spraying with a sugar solution, they should be eager to leave but will they heck.

Patience is the order of the day i think & a bit more [-o<

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Re: Bee Thread

Post by MrsMopp » 10 May 2010, 09:57

Well we had a swarm in the week from a hive with a full brood box but some reluctance to use the super as well but luckily for me a) I was watching and b) the bees only flew about 20 ft and settled on my hedge so I collected them and put them in a nice new hive. Since then the weather has been foul and they haven't been out, so I'm still hoping rather than expecting them to stay; I left them a moving in pressie of syrup so we'll see!

Itsybitsy

Re: Bee Thread

Post by Itsybitsy » 10 May 2010, 11:36

ZacB wrote:Oh for a queen cell [-o< Itsybitsy

All last year (our first) it was oh no a queen cell please don't swarm.

Now we are prepared & have a 2nd hive ready & waiting do you think they will ](*,)

Brood box full, bursting at the seams, won't go into a drawn out super even after spraying with a sugar solution, they should be eager to leave but will they heck.

Patience is the order of the day i think & a bit more [-o<


:lol: :lol: Well as I said the swarm season is upon us..........my local mentor collected a swarm over a week ago....

It's typical really that you want to increase and no queen cells. You could always just split the hive, take a couple of frames of brood out, some food and new foundation, you are effectively making a nuc, make sure you have eggs on the brood frame and leave the queen where she is, next week there should be queen cells, leave 1 or 2 max and destroy the rest, it's best if you destroy the biggest as they will have been made from older lavae. If there are no cells add another frame with eggs on, when you get the required queen cells and have left it so there are only 2 max, mark the frame/s that they are on with a drawing pin close up and leave alone for 3 weeks. After 3 weeks, check v carefully that the queen has emerged and close up, after 5 weeks you can start checking for eggs and looking for the new queen to mark her.

Itsybitsy

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Re: Bee Thread

Post by Itsybitsy » 16 May 2010, 22:39

Scuppered by the Carnis

I've now moved 4 of my hives to out apiaries I've been offered. One is on a local farm and very close to a field of oil seed rape, and the other is reasonably close and on a self pick farm, also very close to rape, but when that finishes the raspberries will be in flower, raspberries are a very important nectar source for bees.

I made a major executive decision about what to do with the Carniolans. I decide I was going to make an artificial swarm and split the rest of the colony into up to 5 nucs. Let them re-queen themselves and build up and then sell them as nucs, but with the knowledge that they need re-queening asap by the buyer. Bees are in short supply this year and there are lots of beginners out there desperate for a colony. One of my beginners turned up on Friday to help me re-felt a shed roof. I said we would be artificially swarming the hive later. Later arrived and we got geared up and set off loaded with boxes. To do an artificial swarm you have to find the queen. We had two boxes to look through, one each. I was also expecting them to have built lots of queen cells replacing the ones I tore down last weekend, I would use these in the splits. Not only could we not find the queen, but there wasn't a single cell in the two boxes. I began to lose interest :-k and black clouds were looming overhead. It can wait for next weekend now. Those damned Carnis have got one over me again...... :lol:

Itsybitsy

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Re: Bee Thread

Post by ZacB » 17 May 2010, 10:10

Never a dull moment with the little darlings :grin:

On checking our hive on Saturday still no queen cells :( .................but at last they have moved into the super so am hoping for some oil seed rape honey :grin:

Thanks for the tip on splitting Itsybitsy, am going to leave for a few more weeks & then may try. Good luck with the Carnis.

Itsybitsy

Re: Bee Thread

Post by Itsybitsy » 19 May 2010, 11:01

Scuppered Again.....Damned Carnis......!

I have a young turkey trying to sit....she had laid eggs somewhere and sat on them overnight Mon/Tues, last time she had made a nest in the hedge behind the beehives. Yesterday I set out on a thorough search for her. I geared up and walked down to the bottom hedge and nearly walked smack bang into a swarm hanging from the Hawthorn....damned Carnis have swarmed........

I walked back and swapped gear, sorted some equipment out and went back, set up a new hive nearby with a drawn frame of foundation and several new, liberally sprayed with swarm lure. I held a bucket underneath the swarm and tried to give the branch a sharp rap.......it's quite difficult to hit a specific branch in an overgrown Hawthorn, clumps of bees fell into the bucket, some fell on the ground......I gave them a sharper rap and a whole load fell in, I tipped these into the hive and went back for another go. After a couple of these trips I brushed the bees off the rim of the hive and put the roof on, any more can crawl up to the entrance. Then I spotted the queen (marked) as she flew onto the roof, I gently lifted the roof and brushed the queen into the box and left the rest of the outside bees to find their own way. Then I went off to the remaining bees in the old hive. There were about a zillion queen cells.......many sealed ( perhaps that is a slight exaggeration :lol: ) But after non on Friday it just goes to show how quickly things can change. I split them up into nucs, some with queen cells, some with eggs.

I've had enough of them, they can definitely pack their bags.........not a drop of honey in the super....all their efforts have gone into swarming :evil:

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Re: Bee Thread

Post by CP » 19 May 2010, 11:05

Freeloaders!!! :roll:
Happy in Hampshire!

"If your hate could be turned into electricity, it would light up the whole world" - Nikola Tesla

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

''The only thing of importance, when we depart, will be the traces of love we have left behind.'' - Albert Schweitzer

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

"A nation can survive its fools, but it cannot survive treason from within." - Cicero

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Re: Bee Thread

Post by Itsybitsy » 20 May 2010, 22:37

Another Swarm

I went to one of my out apiaries....2 colonies there, the Tree Bees and another headed by tree bees daughter. I did tree bees first and found several queen cells....2 sealed :shock: I couldn't see the queen and went through it 3 times, on the third time through I broke down all the queen cells but 1 unsealed with a grub in, closed up and moved onto the other hive, they were behaving themselves and putting a good amount of honey in the super. I finished and walked down the hedge and found a small swarm again hanging from the hawthorn. I set up a hive underneath and knocked them into a bucket and tipped them in the hive, did this a few times as they kept re-forming on the hawthorn, finally they looked like they were going in, so I strapped it all up and went home. I returned at about 9.30pm, taped the entrance and took it back to my field.

Today they were hanging out of their new home and scout bees were nosing in my bee shed hmmmm..........there is lots of talk on the beekeepers forum about hived swarms absconding........lets see what tomorrow brings. If I get up early tomorrow morning I could slip a queen excluder under the brood box and over the floor, that way the workers can go but the queen can't, so they will come back. Hmmm I don't like doing things like that.

Itsybitsy

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Re: Bee Thread

Post by MrsMopp » 21 May 2010, 08:30

Can I ask why you don't like doing the QEx thing? I've been advised to do that too (but haven't). I've been involved in 3 swarms this year. 2 left home again very quickly, and one has stayed to make up into a nice new colony for me.

Itsybitsy

Re: Bee Thread

Post by Itsybitsy » 21 May 2010, 13:52

MrsMopp wrote:Can I ask why you don't like doing the QEx thing? I've been advised to do that too (but haven't). I've been involved in 3 swarms this year. 2 left home again very quickly, and one has stayed to make up into a nice new colony for me.


Just consider me odd :lol: Well if you put the Q/E under it also traps the drones in. I won't clip my queen wings either..........but I'm really only a beginner and my opinion is based on the fact that I don't like the idea of it......not on years of experience.

An update is I went down this morning and took a Q/E with me. I also planned to put in a frame with some food in (in case they were short) and a frame with brood as they (apparently) wont leave brood. When I looked in they had drawn about 3 frames of foundation and had lots of food.......I put the brood frame in - which also had space and quick as a flash the queen was on there. I didn't put the Q/E on.

Do you look on the Beekeepers forum? There are lots talking of absconding swarms.......my local mentor had a hive swarm and they absonded twice this week and ended up using a Q/E.

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Re: Bee Thread

Post by Itsybitsy » 25 May 2010, 07:19

Well last week was just a bit of a week bee wise, I think I was doing something with them every day.......Thursday was the mentees evening with beginners turning up at my colleagues place to look through his bees, one of the mentees had problems with his bees, so I offered to go over and see if I could help, he had just bought this colony and it was full to bursting, with bees bearding out the front and round the hive stand legs, they had a sealed queen cell, which generally indicates they have swarmed, but they were all still there. He didn't know anything about the queen.....marked, clipped, age etc. I couldn't find the her despite looking long and hard and scooping up handfuls of the outside bees and dropping them on an outspread towel. Eventually I made an artificial swarm, which splits the flying bees from the brood and we moved the brood to a new site a few feet away and put the queen cell in with those. It didn't work and all the flying bees moved to the new site. I went again last night and we did a straight split, brood in both boxes. They had made several more queen cells so it does look as if the queen has been lost, we moved one half of the split two fields away and both halves had a single open queen cell left with them. Lets hope this works.

In the meantime I have found a new home for the Carnis.........one of my trainees. He brought his hive over on Sunday to swap them over, his hive is deeper than mine so he changed half the foundation, I'd put a super on them to keep them occupied knowing they don't go into them..........guess what?.........yes! they've half filled it and it's no longer mine :?

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Re: Bee Thread

Post by Itsybitsy » 01 Jun 2010, 07:41

Swarm scores..........

Lost......2
Lost and found.......2
Caught new.......1

The bee inspector visited on Friday and alas discovered 2 of my colonies had swarmed since my last visit........... :? Generally though my bees are healthy and strong colonies, with very little evidence of varroa trouble....I say very little evidence, everyone has varroa, it's how much damage is noticeable on the bees which is the real pointer to trouble. I've put a half sized frame into most of my colonies, on the bottom of that frame the bees should draw out brace comb, which is generally drone sized, the queen then lays drone eggs in there. Varroa prefer to lay and hatch in drone comb, so this hanging pices of amazing natural beauty can, when it is sealed, be cut off. This will drastically reduce the varroa future content in the hive, it also will somewhat reduce the amount of drones and also give a small supply of wax. I see it as plus, plus plus! :lol:

One of my mentors who is on the council swarm catching list, gave me one to catch on Saturday as he was too busy, It was a nice little cast, hanging tightly on a rose bush in someone's front garden, it was raining hard so they dropped in the box with very few fliers. I brought it home and put in a nuc. Spotted the queen yesterday.

Despite the fact that I want to reduce my hive numbers to 6........I started this year with 8, have given two colonies away and now have 10.........how does that work then :scratch: :lol:

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Re: Bee Thread

Post by CP » 01 Jun 2010, 09:37

:lol:
Happy in Hampshire!

"If your hate could be turned into electricity, it would light up the whole world" - Nikola Tesla

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

''The only thing of importance, when we depart, will be the traces of love we have left behind.'' - Albert Schweitzer

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

"A nation can survive its fools, but it cannot survive treason from within." - Cicero

Itsybitsy

Re: Bee Thread

Post by Itsybitsy » 15 Jun 2010, 23:39

Extracting the Spring Honey

Went round all the producing hives today and removed all the sealed supers and odd ones which still had a bit of unsealed. Extracting from unsealed supers runs the risk of the nectar not having enough moisture removed and therefore it could ferment. There wasn't much like this and I shook it first to see if anything was dripping.....it wasn't. I have hives now at 3 out apiaries, but because of the swarming earlier some of the hives have been split which reduces the workforce........well to cut a long story short I removed sealed frames not whole supers. Altogether I took 29 frames and extracted around 70lbs of honey. I'm quite pleased with that.

Some of the colonies were a bit shirty and not too happy to see me. We are now I think in the 'June Gap'.The spring nectar flow has finished and the summer hasn't begun, perhaps that is why they are shirty.

Itsybitsy

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Re: Bee Thread

Post by milkmaid » 16 Jun 2010, 07:18

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