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Wildflower

Couple more Questions re Wintering down.

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Went to check hives today.

Did I make correct changes please?

Hive # 3 At last  proper check  on 11th April my notes stated 'may need to requeen in Spring.There wasn't much brood but lots of bees.

Today the hive seemed empty. Found a hatched swarm cell!

Didn't see a queen. Eyes couldn't see eggs but there are still two reasonable patches of brood and larva. 

Took hive down to two 3/4 boxes. One box is full of honey.

 

Hive #4 The little swarm hive. I have been feeding this one.

(3/4 box.) It has grown lots since last check.

Lots of brood. Very full now of either brood or honey. (5 frames with brood)Box seemed very cramped. So even though we are coming into Winter. Gave them a fully drawn box with the  feeder above. Will carry on feeding untill they have filled top box with supplies.

Anyway thoughts please?

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@Wildflower

Can you describe what 'cramped' looks like to you?

Are there bees covering both sides of all 10 frames?

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28 minutes ago, Mummzie said:

@Wildflower

Can you describe what 'cramped' looks like to you?

Are there bees covering both sides of all 10 frames?

Not as cramped as 10 frames can be. But yes bees covering all 10 frames. I wondered with 5 frames still to hatch out and nowhere for any more supplies, whether a single 3/4 box would be adequate. I have just fed them and they are now spread through entire 2  boxes. It still looks full. I might not be able to back up from todays choice because they will be moving supplies as we speak. I am now thinking of using some insulation cloth over hive while they build up? Hope I haven't done the wrong thing. 

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I think at this time of year @Wildflower  one has to relax a little.

What will be will be.

The main issue is to make sure  that the hive has enough stores to carry it through the next few months.

Crack the lids , and if it has bees, assume there is a queen. Then heft it . ....  lift one end of the hive and balance it back on the bottom board. If you grunt as you do it, then it's good. If you grunt and exclaim that was easy, then it was probably too light and could use a syrup feed. If they take the syrup down, then they are probably queen right. If you still have syrup in the feeder at the the end of the week the hive may well have queen issues ..... walk away  and relax until the spring, which is the time to start thinking about resurrecting duds.

Eyrewell is quite a warm and forward area in Canterbury.   Wait patiently until August til you think of starting to fix and even.

 

 

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All your autumn work including any top up feeding and varoa control should be well finished by now. I will not be going anywhere near my hives until 15 August at the earliest. I certainly wouldn't be taking boxes off or adding any to any hives. If your hives are light then you will have to feed them regardless of the harm that you do by feeding them at this time of year but like I said get them ready before the end of April and leave them alone.

Some of my hives will die over winter (hopefully only a few) but fewer will die if I just leave them alone compared to continually checking and changing things. The two exceptions to this rule are controlling wasps (and you don't need to go into the hive to do that) and stock damage which should be fixed up as soon as possible.

If you have a hive that is crammed up at this time of year then that is perfect . Hives get weaker over the winter not stronger and spring is the time for adding boxes.

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49 minutes ago, jamesc said:

I think at this time of year @Wildflower  one has to relax a little.

What will be will be.

The main issue is to make sure  that the hive has enough stores to carry it through the next few months.

Crack the lids , and if it has bees, assume there is a queen. Then heft it . ....  lift one end of the hive and balance it back on the bottom board. If you grunt as you do it, then it's good. If you grunt and exclaim that was easy, then it was probably too light and could use a syrup feed. If they take the syrup down, then they are probably queen right. If you still have syrup in the feeder at the the end of the week the hive may well have queen issues ..... walk away  and relax until the spring, which is the time to start thinking about resurrecting duds.

Eyrewell is quite a warm and forward area in Canterbury.   Wait patiently until August til you think of starting to fix and even.

 

 

Thanks for replying  jamesc. Yes I should relax more. My Mother Hen mentality does get the best of me sometimes.

I believe my 4 hives will get through Winter fine. I might have to feed or possibly even insulate? Mother Hen will hopefully succeed. And the relaxing thing will come naturally as I extend my apiary. 4 hives are not enough for me.

 

 

 

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14 hours ago, jamesc said:

If you grunt as you do it, then it's good. If you grunt and exclaim that was easy, then it was probably too light and could use a syrup feed.

I always say when you go to lift the box/hive to check for weight, if the hive comes to you -to light, if you go to the hive-just right.

When i first started I used to carry one of those set of scales with a hook on the end, and hook the top honey box on the front and lift it so its tilting on the back , and if it read 8-10kgs I was happy as that was about 16-20kg of feed on there.

Now my back has its own set of dodgy scales built in. and now i rock the hives and get a pretty good feel now.

  • Good Info 1

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