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Wildflower

NZBF Lots of queen cells and or swarm cells but couldn't see queen.

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Three more years and you will be finding out just as much each season as you are now. There are so many variables - wet, dry, warm, cold, early spring, late spring, long winter, wet spring, varroa surprises, swarming, wind, dud queen, failed queen mating, hive accidents (stock knocking them over etc), lots of new beekeepers in the area, neighbours spraying, single brood box, double brood box etc etc.

By the time you get through all possible permutations once as a hobbyist, you will be too old to lift the boxes, let alone remember what happened last time under the same circumstances. Well I know I will be, anyway.

I am already too old for my liking.:eek:

At least as the next few years pass, I will be able to read the frames and have more clues as what to do.:)

I know, like work in the garden, plants that thrive one year can die the next. Seasons are vastly different each year.

What do you think is the ideal amount of hives to have as a hobbiest?

Not thinking money, but security of always having some bees to play with when times have been tough?

Might seem like a silly question, but I bet there is a scientific answer!!!

( Just had a scientific rave 'bout other stuff from son)

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What do you keep them for ? If you want honey, the more the merrier. If you want home pollination, perhaps not so many, if you just want pet buzzies, maybe even fewer.

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What do you think is the ideal amount of hives to have as a hobbiest?

As you become more competent as a beekeeper you'll find that the problem is having too many bees.

 

This is my third season as a hobbiest. I started with a single swarm in November the first year. Now, not even two years later I have just under 20 colonies. That number will shrink as this season's queens replace last season's. When you provide the right conditions the bees will thrive even when you don't need more bees.

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Not thinking money, but security of always having some bees to play with when times have been tough?

Tough times is a subjective thing. Do you mean the weather, interest rates, the price of petrol, or Nth Korea bombing us ?

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What do you keep them for ? If you want honey, the more the merrier. If you want home pollination, perhaps not so many, if you just want pet buzzies, maybe even fewer.

I saw soooo many people lose hives this Winter.

Yep pet buzzes would bee nice.But not the angry ######s I have got at mo.

No not into it for the honey. Polination and preservation of the bees is where I am at.

 

As you become more competent as a beekeeper you'll find that the problem is having too many bees.

 

This is my third season as a hobbiest. I started with a single swarm in November the first year. Now, not even two years later I have just under 20 colonies. That number will shrink as this season's queens replace last season's. When you provide the right conditions the bees will thrive even when you don't need more bees.

Yes I can see it can grow. Having said that,a long term beekeeper friend, lost 3 hives this Winter then his fourth in Spring. He is back to none!!!

I hear lots of stories. A nurturer like me is likely to end up with too many. Like my plants. Even if they are not right for the spot, I can't kill them.

Have to make new spot!!

 

 

As instructed, I checked my hives today.

Not a REAL check, because virgin queens can fly away and not bother to come back.

A View from the Top...

Carefully lifted first lid..

Box one 4 happy frames

Carefully lifted lid two.

Box two 10 happy frames

Carefully unstrapped main box.

Feeder empty of stores, but full of bees. ( Sorry M4tt feeder was still on)

Top box loaded with bees.

Bottom box loaded with bees.

Within seconds I was the intruder again.

Covered in a mass of buzzy pokey, grumpy bees I made my decision.

Decided to give them a new honey box to play with/ stretch thier legs.

Forgot to grab a queen excluder. That is tommorrows job.

Two new skills for the week....

When being smothered by angry bees....

1. Brushing down back of bee suit before sitting in car saves squishing bees and getting multiple stings on backs of legs.

2. Leaving car door open for 2/3 of my drive home ( my lane 250 meters) means that most of the bees are out before my right hand corner to my gate, that nicely shuts my door for me. Perfect....

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I saw soooo many people lose hives this Winter.

Yep pet buzzes would bee nice.But not the angry ######s I have got at mo.

No not into it for the honey. Polination and preservation of the bees is where I am at.

 

Yes I can see it can grow. Having said that,a long term beekeeper friend, lost 3 hives this Winter then his fourth in Spring. He is back to none!!!

I hear lots of stories. A nurturer like me is likely to end up with too many. Like my plants. Even if they are not right for the spot, I can't kill them.

Have to make new spot!!

 

 

As instructed, I checked my hives today.

Not a REAL check, because virgin queens can fly away and not bother to come back.

A View from the Top...

Carefully lifted first lid..

Box one 4 happy frames

Carefully lifted lid two.

Box two 10 happy frames

Carefully unstrapped main box.

Feeder empty of stores, but full of bees. ( Sorry M4tt feeder was still on)

Top box loaded with bees.

Bottom box loaded with bees.

Within seconds I was the intruder again.

Covered in a mass of buzzy pokey, grumpy bees I made my decision.

Decided to give them a new honey box to play with/ stretch thier legs.

Forgot to grab a queen excluder. That is tommorrows job.

Two new skills for the week....

When being smothered by angry bees....

1. Brushing down back of bee suit before sitting in car saves squishing bees and getting multiple stings on backs of legs.

2. Leaving car door open for 2/3 of my drive home ( my lane 250 meters) means that most of the bees are out before my right hand corner to my gate, that nicely shuts my door for me. Perfect....

Sounds like you have the situation addressed for today ;):)

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Tough times is a subjective thing. Do you mean the weather, interest rates, the price of petrol, or Nth Korea bombing us ?

 

Tough times is a subjective thing. Do you mean the weather, interest rates, the price of petrol, or Nth Korea bombing us ?

Some think it is tough to get up before mid day.

If I had curtains, I might even stay in bed until 8!

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I find when I walk under the low hanging trees ion my way back to the house the clingon bees get brushed away. I do a twirl or two to be sure.

And I think two or three hives is a good number for a hobbyist with another job and a family to wrangle as well.

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Three more years and you will be finding out just as much each season as you are now. There are so many variables - wet, dry, warm, cold, early spring, late spring, long winter, wet spring, varroa surprises, swarming, wind, dud queen, failed queen mating, hive accidents (stock knocking them over etc), lots of new beekeepers in the area, neighbours spraying, single brood box, double brood box etc etc.

By the time you get through all possible permutations once as a hobbyist, you will be too old to lift the boxes, let alone remember what happened last time under the same circumstances. Well I know I will be, anyway.

 

Could not agree more. I'm just going n my third season and each season I'm surprised by how little I know due to new happenings. Most interesting and rewarding hobby I have ever had.

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Could not agree more. I'm just going n my third season and each season I'm surprised by how little I know due to new happenings. Most interesting and rewarding hobby I have ever had.

 

Same here, third season commercial, still learning so much! Most interesting and rewarding job I have ever had :D

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Had another quick check. Bees are just about ready to meet me as I get out of car :eek:

Made sure each hive only had two cells. Was going to take some pix but bees decided I should be quick.

If a queen becomes a drone layer, do the bees kill her?

Still wonder what happened to my queen? :cry:

Pic 1 One of the cells.

Pic 2 Special larvae /dead bee /pea and grain dinner for my broody bantam that won't eat. She STILL won't eat!!

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20161028_101214.jpg.1a135ca569416559db1a0067b13f490e.jpg

20161028_112208.jpg.158049beb751fb5589e2756b82e5fca5.jpg

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I don't believe drone layers are killed.

You do get a lot of drones though...

nice cell.

We have broody chooks too, quite bad this year.

Never had one starve, they'll eat eventually.

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The Beekeeper kills the drone laying queen. There's a good chance the new queens will mate well this time of year .

As @ChrisM said, very nice cell.

You are doing well :)

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@Wildflower I thought I was confident my Queen had not swarmed partly because neighbor would have told me. Found it it did swarm and neighbor was out of town for a few days, I managed to get mine back though!

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The Beekeeper kills the drone laying queen. There's a good chance the new queens will mate well this time of year .

As @ChrisM said, very nice cell.

You are doing well :)

Thanks M4tt. Appreciate your support. I felt a bit proud of myself today braving the horror bees without fear. Full suit helps!! And I actually managed to get my smoker going finally. Been bad at it this season... 'would be so much easier if my bees would chill. Saw a vid on utube today. The guy went through 6 or more boxes, and found cells plus no queen. He only had a veil and the bees couldb't give a Whoot that he was there! I really really would love that.

Up an onwards...loving it, even with grumpy grumpy bees!!!

 

 

@Wildflower I thought I was confident my Queen had not swarmed partly because neighbor would have told me. Found it it did swarm and neighbor was out of town for a few days, I managed to get mine back though!

Lucky you.

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would be so much easier if my bees would chill. Saw a vid on utube today. The guy went through 6 or more boxes, and found cells plus no queen. He only had a veil and the bees couldb't give a Whoot that he was there! I really really would love that.

i suspect that you find that the bees chill more as you become more competent working the hive

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@Wildflower, Daley tells me I just don't use enough smoke. I get caught up looking for all the things and forget! I'm trying to use more, bees love to land on me, lotsa them, I think it's cos I'm cuddly and they love me... Im getting faster at looking and it's becoming more natural, I look at lotsa hives every day hundreds every week. It's just practice makes permanent.

I've been a holiday and weekend beek until this year.

You've done the best for your girls and they will do their thing, most of the time without your help, but every now and then they need a wee hand.

Why did your queen do a runner? Probably because her time was up.

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He only had a veil and the bees couldb't give a Whoot that he was there! I really really would love that.

Summer is nearly here. If you're ever in Hawke's Bay do drop in. My girls are pretty cruisy.

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Summer is nearly here. If you're ever in Hawke's Bay do drop in. My girls are pretty cruisy.

Thankyou. I would love to visit one day. Same goes for you if you are ever down this way. Hopefully by then my lot will have sorted thier 'can't say it' out.

 

i suspect that you find that the bees chill more as you become more competent working the hive

Yes I agree but no not with my current situation.... I originally worked the hive with no gloves and they stayed more or less on the frames doing thier business. All was calm. I used to hang around the hive with no protection wearing shorts.

Right now they literally become a cloud of angry bees as soon as I lift the lid!!

 

@Wildflower, Daley tells me I just don't use enough smoke. I get caught up looking for all the things and forget! I'm trying to use more, bees love to land on me, lotsa them, I think it's cos I'm cuddly and they love me... Im getting faster at looking and it's becoming more natural, I look at lotsa hives every day hundreds every week. It's just practice makes permanent.

I've been a holiday and weekend beek until this year.

You've done the best for your girls and they will do their thing, most of the time without your help, but every now and then they need a wee hand.

Why did your queen do a runner? Probably because her time was up.

So do they sometimes just fly away without bees?

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Not according to what I have read or heard. Sometimes she just runs outa juice.

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Not according to what I have read or heard. Sometimes she just runs outa juice.

She always looked a bit petite to me. Only lasted 11 months. I am hanging out for my cells to hatch and see how things go. I read though that in Spring it can take up to a month for queens to mate. I guess it is weather dependant.

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@Wildflower I think your hive has or is about to swarm.

Bees that are "swarmy" can get really nasty.

When you have been beekeeping for a while you can tell by how the bees act and sit on the frame if there's a virgin in the hive.

 

Once your bees do their thing and have a new queen they will settle down. Leave them for a bit and go back in a couple of weeks.

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@Wildflower I think your hive has or is about to swarm.

Bees that are "swarmy" can get really nasty.

When you have been beekeeping for a while you can tell by how the bees act and sit on the frame if there's a virgin in the hive.

 

Once your bees do their thing and have a new queen they will settle down. Leave them for a bit and go back in a couple of weeks.

 

There still looks like a lot of bees to me. But maybe there was more,

and half have gone? Does the queen stop laying for a bit before swarming?

There is always the possibility I just haven't seen her.

There was plenty of bees to split up.

Yes they seem VERY swarmy and unsettled. Hopefully when a new queen emerges they will settle. They have plenty of room and stores. Hopefully they just need a Mummy..... As hard as it will be, I will leave them two weeks. (and just peep from the car):mask:

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Hopefully they just need a Mummy.

Probably just what they DON'T need

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@Wildflower yes the queen will often stop laying before swarming the bees won't feed her so she slims down enough to fly ( there's a lesson in that for some of us I feel :P )

Sometimes if the hive is very full it can swarm and still seem full.

Often if it's a good swarm there's only drones and young bees left :(

 

The queen looks like a virgin before flying and is hard to spot amongst so many bees

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