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September 2017 Apiary Diary


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Bees! Bees! I have bees!. Thanks to our marvellous beekeeping community I am back in action. Thanks a million to @tommy dave for the hive, and @tudor and his friend for the delivery. I can't emph

A bit of Cororapa (nosemas) comb sterilisation - 50 deg for 2 hours and monitored with external temp probe.  You can do this if 1. You're a hobbiest with only a few frames and 2. Your wife or par

Just need 21c ..... Starters are starting to pump Jasper. Willows are probably ten days away yet to yield anything. On another note, and I don't want to skyte as it always seems to bring pro

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You are all reading too much into what im saying or not saying.

I always have smoker on hand - this means going,smoking. If i use it or not is dependent on the level of visit and the level of angst of the bee's.

The way I was taught - less smoke the better.

The hive became a grumpy SOB after i requeened it. Its just one of those things that can happen. 

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34 minutes ago, tommy dave said:

i didn't work hives with smoke for about the first two years.

using smoke makes a lot of sense.

there's a big difference between a hive that attacks on sight and a hive that attacks after you rip it apart without smoke..

Yep.

But I also think bees have memories.

At least 6 week ones anyway

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8 hours ago, Doughy said:

The way I was taught - less smoke the better.

 

I think you've been taught the wrong thing. Not your fault at all of course. However I do hear this a lot and it usually works for a while, then there is a traumatic event.

 

It's important to use not the least amount of smoke but the right amount of smoke.

 

Only a few days ago I was working with a guy who uses minimal smoke if at all. He had a full bee suit on, I didn't. All of a sudden I start getting stung by angry bees from the hive he was working then next minute the air was full of super angry bees, both he and I had to run for it. I took a few to the face and he got several stings in the gap between his gloves and the sleeve of his suit. They chased us to the trees we hid behind.

 

Gave them a few minutes to calm down then I went back and smoked the hive properly & brought it under control, did get pinged a few more times in the process, but then was able to complete the afb check, still with no veil. The whole thing was caused by not seeing little cues that said the bees needed more smoke, until it was too late. It was a more aggressive hive than normal but could still be worked if smoked properly.

 

More smoke or at least correct smoke, is better for the bees than allowing them to get all riled up.

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Iv found jus slowing down,take a minute,give a couple puffs and stop what your doing, to be a ploy for when bees come out angry as to  smash ya.I also give a few puffs around myself.

Two hives I use to dread lookin at last season were to my surprise,a lot tamer on their last check .I even made a split without any dramas .

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9 hours ago, Doughy said:

 

The hive became a grumpy SOB after i requeened it. Its just one of those things that can happen. 

 

In that case I would say the queen and her genetics are responsible for the agro and I wouldn't take the risk of using her genetics in a walk away split. If you can get a queencell or as others have said leave the split long enough for you to tear down the emergency cells then introduce a frame of eggs and larvae from a different hive.

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18 minutes ago, Janice said:

Bees! Bees! I have bees!. Thanks to our marvellous beekeeping community I am back in action. Thanks a million to @tommy dave for the hive, and @tudor and his friend for the delivery.

I can't emphasise enough, especially for newbies, how important it is to network with other beekeepers. They are a pretty nice bunch. 

Best advice ever good to hear 

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6 hours ago, Alastair said:

 

I think you've been taught the wrong thing. Not your fault at all of course. However I do hear this a lot and it usually works for a while, then there is a traumatic event.

 

It's important to use not the least amount of smoke but the right amount of smoke.

 

Only a few days ago I was working with a guy who uses minimal smoke if at all. He had a full bee suit on, I didn't. All of a sudden I start getting stung by angry bees from the hive he was working then next minute the air was full of super angry bees, both he and I had to run for it. I took a few to the face and he got several stings in the gap between his gloves and the sleeve of his suit. They chased us to the trees we hid behind.

 

Gave them a few minutes to calm down then I went back and smoked the hive properly & brought it under control, did get pinged a few more times in the process, but then was able to complete the afb check, still with no veil. The whole thing was caused by not seeing little cues that said the bees needed more smoke, until it was too late. It was a more aggressive hive than normal but could still be worked if smoked properly.

 

More smoke or at least correct smoke, is better for the bees than allowing them to get all riled up.

is one of the clues when they are all standing on the top of the frames and landing board with their bums in the air.

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3 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

is one of the clues when they are all standing on the top of the frames and landing board with their bums in the air.

 No, those are just confused/lost bees scenting to call in other confused/lost bees. You see it when you hive a swarm. 

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Well that's if they are nasanov fanning, there is another stance they take with their bums in the air and their stings out if you just brush your hand over them you can pick up a sting, that is somewhat aggressive, but judging when to smoke is really more in the behaviour.

 

The way to really learn it is to work with no veil and let the bees teach you. Being insulated in a space suit makes it easy to ignore and miss signals.

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It's unusual in the commercial world, but my first boss was a big fan of no veil and I was made to work that way, can remember walking home at days end with my eyes swelled nearly shut, every day, until immunity developed. Even doing that every day it took a few months until I could really keep a hive calm, every hive. So for a hobbyist who only works their one or two hives occasionally, especially if wearing a veil, it may be something that is never learned properly, there is just not enough opportunity to practise.

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2 hours ago, Alastair said:

It's unusual in the commercial world, but my first boss was a big fan of no veil and I was made to work that way, can remember walking home at days end with my eyes swelled nearly shut, every day, until immunity developed. Even doing that every day it took a few months until I could really keep a hive calm, every hive. So for a hobbyist who only works their one or two hives occasionally, especially if wearing a veil, it may be something that is never learned properly, there is just not enough opportunity to practise.

i generally do  not use my veil but i have my suit on and veil ready.

the only time i get stung these days is when i accidentally squash a bee getting a frame out of a crowded hive.

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19 hours ago, Doughy said:

Checked hives today, cracker day quite warm here.

One needs splitting pronto! 3 3/4 boxes high and it contains brood in all boxes

 

i think your way over estimating the strength of the hive.

its only 3x 3/4 boxes, which is not much at all. if it was 3x FD boxes, then thats would be a reasonable strength suitable for splitting.

i would add a couple of 3/4 supers. once they are well filled with bees then it will be up to splitting strength.

 

if you only want to have another hive next to the existing hive you can do an onsite split or half split. its a lot easier than having to take nucs away etc.

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1 hour ago, tristan said:

 

i think your way over estimating the strength of the hive.

its only 3x 3/4 boxes, which is not much at all. if it was 3x FD boxes, then thats would be a reasonable strength suitable for splitting.

i would add a couple of 3/4 supers. once they are well filled with bees then it will be up to splitting strength.

 

if you only want to have another hive next to the existing hive you can do an onsite split or half split. its a lot easier than having to take nucs away etc.

 

If it is busy congested hive though you may want to split it to reduce swarming risk and especially if you want more hives.  It is common to split a FD double brood box now so that the new hive has time for the Q to be mated and laying well, and to have the singles ready for the flow.

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5 hours ago, Alastair said:

It's unusual in the commercial world, but my first boss was a big fan of no veil and I was made to work that way, can remember walking home at days end with my eyes swelled nearly shut, every day, until immunity developed. Even doing that every day it took a few months until I could really keep a hive calm, every hive. So for a hobbyist who only works their one or two hives occasionally, especially if wearing a veil, it may be something that is never learned properly, there is just not enough opportunity to practise.

I reckon that's the way to go too ?

I know quite a few commercial guys who work with no gear.

 

I think for starters noobs should wear a suit until they aren't afraid of the bees and have had a few stings to build up a bit of a tolerance and make sure they don't have a bad reaction.

Bees tend to really pick on people who aren't confident in my experience.

 

Then take off the gloves, then the veil, then the suit.

I only wear a suit on cooler days or during harvest, the rest of the time I go suitless.

 

I think if I had staff I'd make them go suitless for sure because it means if your rough with the bees they'll give it right back.

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2 minutes ago, Daley said:

I only wear a suit on cooler days or during harvest, the rest of the time I go suitless.

 

That's my reasoning also, decked out in a full bee suit on a hot day is a killer, for me anyway. However there are times I'll wear a suit, even gloves sometimes, harvesting honey when there's also a bit of robbing going on for example is not something I'd normally do without a veil at the least.

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I used to be a hero now I wear the gear.

When theres moisture in the air, wear the gear which is most days here.

Caging queens is a bare hand job though.

My understanding of bee sting venom is that you are more likely to build an intolerance than tolerance.

 

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11 minutes ago, Philbee said:

I used to be a hero now I wear the gear.

When theres moisture in the air, wear the gear which is most days here.

Caging queens is a bare hand job though.

My understanding of bee sting venom is that you are more likely to build an intolerance than tolerance.

 

I'm pretty much completely immune.

I've had thousands of stings.

I don't do it to be a hero, I do it to be comfortable.

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22 minutes ago, Philbee said:

I used to be a hero now I wear the gear.

When theres moisture in the air, wear the gear which is most days here.

Caging queens is a bare hand job though.

My understanding of bee sting venom is that you are more likely to build an intolerance than tolerance.

 

i agree with this.

i know guys who don't wear any gear but every now and then they get absolutely dealt to. 

theres always a angry hive now and then or you slip and drop/bang something.

 

also the gear keeps you clean and the veil keeps bees out of your hair.

my suit is covered in mud at the mo.

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42 minutes ago, CraBee said:

 

If it is busy congested hive though you may want to split it to reduce swarming risk and especially if you want more hives.  It is common to split a FD double brood box now so that the new hive has time for the Q to be mated and laying well, and to have the singles ready for the flow.

its only congested due to the lack of supers.

while swarming risk varies, its not going to swarm due to population as its far to weak for that.

46 minutes ago, CraBee said:

It is common to split a FD double brood box now so that the new hive has time for the Q to be mated and laying well, and to have the singles ready for the flow.

depends greatly on when the flow is.

 

one common problem, especially with beginners, is splitting a hive thats to weak and ending up with two weak hives that are slow to build and open to issues.

had a few good examples today, the doubles had a box of honey on and the singles needed feeding. if the doubles had been split into singles, the whole lot would require feeding.

but if you took a 4 boxer and turned it into two two box hives, both would be big enough to work the flow straight away.

 

the other trick is that having supers on makes onsite half splits real easy to do.

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31 minutes ago, Alastair said:

Interesting one Phil, most old beekeepers have had thousands of stings and are almost completely immune.

Caging queens I may get 25 stings or more in a day and it doesn't bother me but Im not sure that it means Im immune, probably just not allergic yet.

I go to a site, do the job and move on

If the bees want to be grumpy its their problem not mine and its been my experience that if they are a bit grumpy and you offer them a target they'll take it.

 

 

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