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About AlanB

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    Commercial Beekeeper


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  1. I use them on all my hives and think they are great. They give good ventilation without over doing it, they are no harder to clean than any other base it seems to be only certain hives that collect debris in the slots, more of a house keeping issue than a design fault I would say. I just give the base a quick bang on the ground to clear them. They do need to be screwed to a pallet to keep them from sagging or sinking into the ground, I make small individual pallets for ease of moving. I strap all my hives to the base and moving becomes a breeze because you can just turn the entrance and your bees are locked in and have ventilation. I had no problems with them breaking or buckling with some pretty heavy loads of honey in some very hot weather.
  2. My trick for separating the boxes is a 150 mm wooden wedge which fit s in my pocket, I lift one edge up and push the wedge in which lets me work quickly along the front with my hive tool flicking down the lower frames. This really saves the back when removing honey supers as you're not twisting trying to hold up all there weight. My wife came out with me once and when I was moaning about my sore back she said " why don't you use a wedge" and a new tool was born, it seemed so obvious.
  3. In defence of the poor old plastic queen excluder, I've used them for the last year or so and have come to like them better than the wired ones. They don't need a frame as they sit on top of the hive frames and use the bee space of the super above, they are easy to remove by gently peeling them from one corner which is also safe on the bees. I find them easier to clean than the wired ones, if you put them on a flat surface you can scrape them with your hive tool on both sides which only leaves wax about 2 mm thick which the bees can move or pull down as they want. There is no risk of bending a wire and letting your queen through and they are cheap to buy! The only problem I've had is when a hive isn't level (which it should be) the boxes can some times slide as they are fairly slippery. I now strap my hives and make them level, end of problem.
  4. Hi Dansar, my experience with raising late autumn queens last year, was that robbing of the mating nucs was a major issue. Every time I fed every bee in the district appeared, late evening feeds and one bee entrances didn't solve the problem. I will be rearing in spring and summer this season.
  5. Thanks Wayne I usually expect payment before you use my image. The swarm came down after another couple of shots and most of them happily trundled into a nuc box, they stayed overnight and then absconded mid morning. I think I'll pick out the queen next time shoot her and hopefully the rest will go back home.
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