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DuncanCook last won the day on July 7 2019

DuncanCook had the most liked content!

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About DuncanCook

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    Beginner Beekeeper


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  1. My first few I re fixed the bottom bar but (as @M4tt says) it doesn't seem to make any difference to the bees and is a fiddly job so I didn't bother with the rest. I think I posted pics at the time. I have just converted frame feeders to 3/4 as final stage of converting to 3/4 depth, took a while to figure that one out but it works well.
  2. Only took a little sun and the girls were out in force, so many around this ornamental acacia you could almost imagine they were swarming. Had a quick look under the lids without disturbing them too much and found some brood and eggs in all (though not a huge amount) and penty of stores so shouldn't be any need to feed this winter.
  3. Yes very easy to install and fits perfectly, I have a spare HD Smartboard so was able to do a dry run first and I was fairly confident when it came to the actual installation, bees took to it straight away and are using it quite happily. No robbing anyway at the moment so will have to wait to comment on that aspect. Thanks for your prompt response to my order @SeanMonica I used the pliers you see in the photo to squeeze the lugs at the bottom of the red disc and it popped out easily
  4. Thanks for the response M4tt, I thought maybe I should move the staples but it would have meant really forcing them in' The picture is of the bottom box, top one has far more bees and the remainder seem to be in the process of moving up. They did the same last year and once the majority were up there I took away bottom box and did the rest of winter on single box it seemed to work although I have only my own 3 hives and very limited experience to draw on.
  5. I couldn't bring myself to do it and so I closed access to absolute minimum reduced to 1 x 3/4 box and donated a frame each of honey and brood from other 2 hives. Observed quite a bit of activity at the entrance and pollen coming in but forced myself not to open up until yesterday. I was pleased to see that robbing has stopped and quite a lot of stores and fresh brood and eggs in evidence. Still a weak hive but if it can make it through to Spring I can re Queen. Admittedly the above is the best frame but I am still quietly hopeful
  6. Two of my three hives are at pretty much the same level as regards numbers and distribution of bees, I have placed a hive gate in one and kept the other as control. Obviously not enough for a definitive test but will be interesting nevertheless, the girls took to the hive gate with no hesitation and it certainly cleared the backlog more quickly. As an aside the staples which have been in place since 5th March are still looking ok and although I didn't do a wash there were no obvious signs of varroa problems. The gate seemed secure enough and I have no plans to move the hive so I didn't bother to fix it in place
  7. That looks quite promising @SeanMonica I have checked the site and watched the video, I have HD smart bases but presume your product will fit these. Anyone tried these or got any feedback?
  8. I reduced access on my hive doctor bases to minimum on the centre disc a few weeks ago to minimise robbing but I have noticed lately that the girls are queuing up to get in and out. they seem to manage eventually so the question is should I increase access now there are fewer wasps and robber bees or leave as is for the winter. pics are from mid afternoon today.
  9. Ah! the age old question. "If women are so good at multi tasking why can't they have a headache and sex at the same time?" Any spare room in your shelter @jamesc
  10. I re attached the bottom bar with clear silicone when I did mine, still good after 2 seasons but then I use a wooden spatula to get honey so am just a bit more careful with them. Having said that I had a few this year that I had cut down but hadn't got around to re fixing the bar I used them anyway and it didn't seem to make any difference.
  11. My job for tomorrow, not looking forward to it though
  12. That is pretty much what I had decided although I was just going to let the hive fade rather than preempt it. Very first thing I did was the matchsticks, no roping whatsoever I am glad to say
  13. Quite a few bees at the moment though I am expecting that to reduce quite quickly (they are very lethargic) The Queen is from a swarm I caught last year so have no idea about her provenance, though I took a split from her this spring and that is thriving Alcohol wash when staples went in showed 3% I will do another and see. No signs of DWS , I looked in some of the capped cells and found dead bees almost ready to emerge but no mites
  14. That was already the case, if you look at first pic the outer discs are closed and centre on minimum
  15. One of my hives seems to be in real trouble, I think the other 2 hives are using it as a storehouse. I placed staples on March 5th at which time (like the other 2) it had a full box of stores, Queen was still laying and all seemed well, checked again a fortnight later and did not detect any problems. Yesterday however I spotted a wasp exiting the hive, which I killed, but I then found a carpet of dead bees on the HD base On further inspection there was no new brood or eggs and what was there looks unhealthy and no stores whatsoever the bees were mostly clustered in one corner of the box But I did spot the queen so am hoping all is not lost I gave them 3 frames of honey which was all gone this morning though suspect it was robbed again I have now made up some sugar syrup at 2:1 which I will give when it cools but was wondering if I should close the hive right up in order to make sure they get the benefit?
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