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M4tt

June 2018 Beekeeping Diary

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Today I started my mid June Oxalic acid dribble which sees me pulling the boxes off, checking for brood and looking for disease , then dribbling 5 mls of solution along each seam of Bees via a drench gun . 

 

The hives have smaller populations than last year , and more stores , which is a good thing . The previous two years they have been stronger than they needed to be in August leading to excessive syrup feeding . 

Most hives have brood ranging from hardly any to more than you’d expect . Some hives have drones still . 

All hives that I’ve looked at so far are queenrite and the bees are healthy . 

The bottom boxes of three are now mostly empty of stores and have been removed and stacked outside tonight so the frost can deal to any waxmoth that may or may not be there . Tomorrow morning the empty boxes will be wrapped and put in the shed . 

 

Really good to be be back in the hives again working docile Bees ??

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@M4tt.

I have a DB hive with an empty box and a half full 3/4 box on top of a queen excluder..

I am thinking about shaking all the bees into one box.

But the bees like to move up and there is a queen excluder under the 3/4.

This is the issue with mixing 3/4 and FD gear .

 

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2 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

@M4tt.

I have a DB hive with an empty box and a half full 3/4 box on top of a queen excluder..

I am thinking about shaking all the bees into one box.

But the bees like to move up and there is a queen excluder under the 3/4.

This is the issue with mixing 3/4 and FD gear .

 

My gear is mixed too while I transition to 3/4 boxes , which may take years , but that’s ok . 

 

Your idea is a good one . The queen shouldn’t be rustling around in an empty box . My queens have all moved up . They will also benefit from a smaller space to occupy 

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Interesting that your bees are so docile @M4tt. My normally gentle hive is anything but. I just assumed they really don't like being opened up this time of year. My other hive (original mother hive) which was also previously gentle requeened itself last summer and have been savages since March. Needless to say I will be replacing that Queen come spring.

 

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21 minutes ago, Hellsbelle said:

Interesting that your bees are so docile @M4tt. My normally gentle hive is anything but. I just assumed they really don't like being opened up this time of year. My other hive (original mother hive) which was also previously gentle requested itself last summer and have been savages since March. Needless to say I will be replacing that Queen come spring.

Yep I’ve been less tolerant of bad behaviour than I used to be and it’s paying off as planned ?

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I put towels between boxes on 2 Double Box hives yesterday, just whipped the top box of and dropped towels in as although the sun was shining it was still pretty cold.

I also put some polystyrene insulation under the tin lids.

There seemed to be plenty of bees there and active but I hesitated to take any frames out to look for Queens, figured that even if they were not there I wouldn't be able to do much about it at the moment.

 

P1010638.thumb.jpg.d03cb9be9b26d36e9f3123d34043a184.jpgP1010642.thumb.jpg.d4a22ffc30d7a56b0cde9cb65a8c3959.jpg

Edited by DuncanCook
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Had a cracker day yesterday so got to check the city hives and nucs normally they are head and shoulders over the hives up country but this year is a lot different. Still warm for this time of the year and the snow is still high up the hills we have had only a handful of Frost's some years we've had 6 inches or more of snow by now.

IMG_20180608_132032.thumb.jpg.d48d595cbc80429d8df083e65b63a921.jpgIMG_20180609_083958_5CS.thumb.jpg.b03ddd02b3b5b2b3104f0a71d0027a6d.jpg

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2 hours ago, DuncanCook said:

just whipped the top box of and dropped towels in

Yes, it looks like it. Very half hearted. I've taken to completely covering the frames with a layer of towels.

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1 hour ago, yesbut said:

Yes, it looks like it. Very half hearted. I've taken to completely covering the frames with a layer of towels.

It's not that it was half hearted, I will invest whatever time and energy is needed for the benefit of the bees.

The towels had broken up and coagulated and while I could have spent time carefully separating and laying them out the improvement would only have been aesthetic and the extra time exposed to the cold would have been detrimental.

 

Wouldn't completely covering the frames stop the bees from moving between boxes and stop them getting out?

Edited by DuncanCook

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They chomp their way through..

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37 minutes ago, DuncanCook said:

It's not that it was half hearted, I will invest whatever time and energy is needed for the benefit of the bees.

The towels had broken up and coagulated and while I could have spent time carefully separating and laying them out the improvement would only have been aesthetic and the extra time exposed to the cold would have been detrimental.

 

Wouldn't completely covering the frames stop the bees from moving between boxes and stop them getting out?

Same principle as combining two hives together with newspaper between the boxes. The bees chew their way through. Less of an issue with the shop towel as it is a smaller foot print in the frames so bees can pass around it.

 

looks like there are only enough bees to warrant reducing to a single box too, looks like only 3 or 4 drawn frames in the pic with the towel.

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20 minutes ago, dansar said:

Less of an issue with the shop towel as it is a smaller foot print in the frames so bees can pass around it.

Not with my way ! :D And they have to clamber over or around or through a pile at the front door...

Edited by yesbut

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5 hours ago, glynn said:

Had a cracker day yesterday so got to check the city hives and nucs normally they are head and shoulders over the hives up country but this year is a lot different. Still warm for this time of the year and the snow is still high up the hills we have had only a handful of Frost's some years we've had 6 inches or more of snow by now.

IMG_20180608_132032.thumb.jpg.d48d595cbc80429d8df083e65b63a921.jpgIMG_20180609_083958_5CS.thumb.jpg.b03ddd02b3b5b2b3104f0a71d0027a6d.jpg

That must be my new breeder ..... are you posting those photos' straight from your phone ?

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1 hour ago, dansar said:

looks like there are only enough bees to warrant reducing to a single box too, looks like only 3 or 4 drawn frames in the pic with the towel.

I have to admit I had planned to reduce to one box, they have mostly moved to the top anyway, in the event the advice I had was to put the towels between boxes and since there is also some honey left in the bottom I left it.

That said I have a helluva lot to learn and am always open to further advice.

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41 minutes ago, jamesc said:

That must be my new breeder ..... are you posting those photos' straight from your phone ?

No this one is not doing that well the ones out here are doing much better

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Taking away a brood box because are not using also takes away pollen they will use in the spring. Bees heat the space they need and ignore the rest. Leave them alone for the winter.

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I gave a site of 20 Autumn single splits a frame each of Honey today since they didn't get any syrup and was pleased with the way they are going.

Not overly strong but looking good 

Some have almost completely disposed of their 4 Staples in 4 months and others not.
OA still present.
The Staple laying across the top bars is one Ive pulled out to inspect

autumn split 2.jpg

autumn split.jpg

autumn split4.jpg

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18 minutes ago, frazzledfozzle said:

@philbee how do you know the staples still have oxalic ?

taste them with the tip of my tongue 

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1 hour ago, Philbee said:

taste them with the tip of my tongue 

 I wonder if there is an “indicator” that could be sprayed on the strip to show that there is still active ingredient in the strips? Working in the sawmill there were a couple of test sprays we used, one was for anti sap stain and the other was  for boric treatment (H1.2). The reactors were in a simple trigger spray bottle. A squirt of the product and a colour change on the timber indicated whether the chemical was on the timber.

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6 minutes ago, dansar said:

 I wonder if there is an “indicator” that could be sprayed on the strip to show that there is still active ingredient in the strips? Working in the sawmill there were a couple of test sprays we used, one was for anti sap stain and the other was  for boric treatment (H1.2). The reactors were in a simple trigger spray bottle. A squirt of the product and a colour change on the timber indicated whether the chemical was on the timber.

litmus paper ?

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21 hours ago, dansar said:

....................looks like there are only enough bees to warrant reducing to a single box too, looks like only 3 or 4 drawn frames in the pic with the towel.

 

It was supposed to be reduced a while ago.

On a sunny morning I will rearrange the frames and leave it on one box. The cold weather is not over and the larger the room to heat the worse for the bees. If there is some food in the bottom box exposed to invaders then it is an even more important reason to reduce the size.

 

An excess of bee bread can be fed back to the same hive in a top feeder if that is important.

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23 hours ago, john berry said:

Taking away a brood box because are not using also takes away pollen they will use in the spring. Bees heat the space they need and ignore the rest. Leave them alone for the winter.

There is no residual pollen in my bottom boxes . I left them on till it was all cleaned out . There’d be 5% or less capped honey on the occasional frame . The bees are all up in Box two and three . 

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32 minutes ago, M4tt said:

There is no residual pollen in my bottom boxes . I left them on till it was all cleaned out . There’d be 5% or less capped honey on the occasional frame . The bees are all up in Box two and three . 

Did you remove your bottom boxes or leave them in place @M4tt ?

There seems to be a bit of conflicting advice here.

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