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Everything posted by Carlton

  1. Thanks for the reply... They were queen cups. There's always a few when i go in the hive so I have been pulling them out with my hive tool, just in case they develop them any further. The only frame that is undrawn is the outside side of one end frame. This is a plastic frame, and the bees seem none to keen to draw these if they don't have to. I replaced as many as I could, about 6 I believe with wooden frames which they took to drawing more readily. Lots of fresh nectar.
  2. Hi As of an inspection today, my 1 x FD brood box + 1 x 3/4 honey super, is jammed with bees. The brood box has about 6 frames of capped brood + eggs and larvae and the bees are bringing in lots of pollen. The 3/4 honey super is about 2/3-3/4 full of honey which I intend to leave on over winter. I also removed about 8 queen cells today. Is this an indication that they are running out of space and wanting to swarm because of this. I have a FD box and frames in my garage which wasn't needed earlier in the season as my hive started quite weak in November, but am now wondering if I should add it? Thanks C I probably should have added that she is a new spring queen this season and that she doesn't seem to have had any laying problems... except waiting for comb to be drawn!
  3. Hi.. the brood box is 1 x FD and as of an inspection today it pretty much has about 6 frames of capped brood, some larvae and 1 x side of frame of eggs... it is very very busy, full of bees. Thanks
  4. My hive started off relatively week in mid-late November and took quite a while to build up strength, really only getting there in the last few weeks. My 3/4 depth honey super started off with 10 new wax foundation frames, and it too a long time for them to get interested in drawing the frames... to cut a long storey short: - 5 weeks ago, 2 frames drawn no honey - 3 weeks ago about 6 frames drawn, lots of honey none capped - 1 week ago, 7-8 frames drawn all with honey, about a 3rd capped Bees are still incredibly busy.... and lots of new and capped brood and pollen going into hive. Is it too late to remove honey in, say a couple of weekends time or should I just leave as winter stores? Thanks C
  5. I was thinking of using an old wooden nuc box, but was inspired by your video... and now am the proud owner/builder of the below...
  6. Hi I received my hive about 7 weeks ago and it was relatively week with only about 2 1/2 frames of brood, but a couple of good frames of stores. Since then I have managed to grow it to about 6-7 frames of brood and all looks good and healthy in the hive, with the queen laying, new brood, no signs of varroa. I posted previously that I had put a 3/4 depth honey super on but the bees would just wax up the excluder. Subsequent to that I removed the excluder to see if this would encourage the bees to draw the frames over. They have drawn one, but have put no honey in. In my main FD brood box I have 3 frames that they seem to be only using for honey stores. I think they are also feeding a lot on the stores. I'm resigned to the fact that i will not get much honey this year, but that is ok as I see this year as a learning curve. But, as I maybe have a couple of months to still build stores I was thinking of taking the following action. 1) Remove the 3/4 super. 2) Replace it with a FD one. 3) Move the 3 frames that are being used for honey stores into the FD super. 4) Keep the 3/4 drawn frame in the FD super. 5) put in new undrawn frames into the brood box. My rationale is that as they have started filling 3 FD frames with honey only they will continue this even with the frames now being above the excluder. Does this sound sensible? Thanks Carlton here are a couple of photos showing the kind of bee numbers I have... Frame 1, bottom of pic is honey only as are 9 and 10 at top other frames are all brood with stores in corner
  7. Hi All A few days ago there was quite a raucous going on in and around my hive. Bumble bees trying to get in, bumble bees being ejected, one bumble bee flying off with a honey bee hanging off one of its legs! Also, lots of big black bees. A internet search leads me to believe these are most likely Carpenter bees (Xylocopa sonorina). I have attached a couple of pic's below of a dead one that was outside the hive. I'm just interested to know, are these bees common in New Zealand and do they often try and rob hives? Thanks C
  8. Thanks for all your responses. So, the situation is that I left the queen excluder off for a week and the bees have nearly drawn a 3/4 frame in the honey super, so I have put the queen excluder back in. However, in my FD brood box I have 3 frames that are only being used to store honey. So, taking the above comments into account i am thinking about taking the following action. Replacing the 3/4 depth box with a FD box. Moving the honey frames up into this box and leaving the 2/honey/pollen frames in the bottom box with 3 new frames adjacent the brood to allow this to continue to build. I will put the drawn 3/4 frame in the FD super as well and accept that I will get some hanging comb off the bottom of that. Has very much been a trial and error process over the last 7 weeks as this is my first hive. The hive was quiet week when I received it, only 2/12 frames of brood, put they seem to have been building well and there is currently a lot of capped brood and and eggs/larvae and the volume of bees has increased considerably and are very busy collecting pollen. If I do do the above, then I think at this point in the season I will have to accept that this is how the hive will have to remain, and maybe next year as I will have more drawn frames ready I can look at better management.
  9. Hi all, and seasons greetings. I have a hive which is currently one FD brood box and one 3/4 honey super, which put on just over a week ago as it has taken a while for the colony to build out in the brood box frames. I received a nuc 6 weeks ago of approx 3 frames of brood. I currently have it set up with 2 frames of honey and stores at one end and one frame at the other and all brood frames in the middle. The last brood frame only being 50% drawn, this is where the queen was last seen laying. The bees keep building burr comb on the top of the brood frames and also filling up the queen excluder, and not drawing any comb in the honey super. From my research it seems that bees will do this if there is too much space between the tops of the brood frames and the excluder. So, what I have done currently is removed the queen excluder (2 days ago) to try and promote the bees to start drawing comb in the honey super. I realise that this means that the queen can enter this box, but as there is currently no comb to lay in and the bees are drawing comb on the last brood frame where she is laying, I though I may have a few days grace in which i will give the queen excluder a good clean to remove all wax traces and the either: 1) Replace it as is (it is a metal excluder with a wooden frame), as if bees have started drawing comb in the super they may continue this and not draw on the excluder! 2) Shave the wooden fame of the excluder down so there is no space to draw comb. There is currently only minimal space and if I did shave it down it would no doubt mean the bees would not be able to move over the tops of the frames so excluder would really be sitting directly on top of these. There is a 3rd option: 3) Do not replace the excluder. As rookie beekeper I'm not massively keen on the 3rd option as I am managing the hive with very inexperienced eyes and think the excluder is likely the way to go for now. I will however need to add a brood box in the next week or two, and was wondering if this would help with managing a no-excluder hive. Apols for the very long post, and as usual any help would be most greatly appreciated. Many thanks in advance Carlton
  10. Hi In my new hive I currently have 3 frames of brood, and 2 frames of stores. The brood frames also have some stores in as well. I've only had the hive for nearly 2 weeks so may be unduly concerned, but... the brood frames are now pretty full of capped brood. The 2 stores frames are full of nectar and capped honey. I moved the stores frames out to one frame in from each side of the box with empty frames between these and the brood to allow the brood to expand. However, in the last week there is no sign at all that the bees are drawing out the empty frames. My concern is that the queen will soon run out of space to lay. The frames are plastic, so I have replaced 2 with wooden frames with wax foundation sheets to see if this has any affect. There are no feeders in the hive, and I have't put one in purely because they have a lot of stores in the brood box.... I also have a 3/4 honey super but this hasn't been touched yet. Should I be concerned? Any tips on what I can do to promote them drawing the frames would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Carlton
  11. Thanks Rob... spotted her when I did a quick check later on in the afternoon.
  12. Hi All I was inspecting my new hive this morning and a stores frame slipped out one hand and knocked the bees off the side of a frame of brood. This is where I have sighted the queen. Lots of bees in the base of the up the inside, but I couldn't see the queen on the frame. I assume she is with all the other bees... i didn't see any that looked dead. I shut the hive down and will go back and inspect in the afternoon to see if i can sight her. Should I be concerned or is this par for the course! Thanks C
  13. Hi All, and thanks for your valued responses to my first couple of questions posted in this thread. In the next week or two I'll be buying my hiveware, and have decided on FD brood boxes with 3/4D honey supers, and wood frames with foundation instead of plastic. I have a question re the box wood. There seem to be three types out there: - Untreated - Copper treated - Heat treated Which type? I like the wood look of the heat treated ones, but am not sure re their longevity, and also question of the copper treated ones will not effect the bees in someway! As usual any advise would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Carlton
  14. Hi... I'm now researching buying my spring bees, and have seen that Nucs have started popping up on Trade Me. I've previously been advised that Italian Bees are more friendly than Carnolians, which tend to be a bit stingy! The bees I have seen advertised are Italian-Carnolian hybrid! Any information/advice on this type of bee would be greatly appreciated. Thanks C
  15. Hi Neil. Yes, everything that I have heard/read/been taught is leading me to italians due to the more aggressive nature of the carnolians. My plan is to start with a single hive, via a nuc. Starting with 2 would be good, but I am thinking I'd like to do a split at the end of the season all going well. I am actually on Carter Road, have been there for just over a year now and previously lived in Laingholm/Titirangi. Currently working on where he bee site will bee, as well as trying to track some down for the spring. I've been attending the A.B.C. field days which are proving invaluable, and am also thinking of volunteering here as a novice hive manager. They are talking about having teams made up of experienced keepers and novices so that the beginners can learn. Many thanks for your reply/advice Carlton
  16. Thanks Martin... i'll be there. Am taking the course through the A.B.C. with Carol and Kim as tutors. Have been to the last couple of field days and am finding it invaluable.
  17. Hi All I am, hopefully, starting out as a hobbyist bee keeper this spring. Am currently finishing my introduction to bee keeping course. It would be great if I could get some advice of anyone, especially those who have learnt the do's don'ts the hard way in their first year. I am also interested in what the pro's and con's are for italian vs carnolian bee. I know the italian is supposed to be more docile, but we are in an area of lots of native bush and have a lot of manuka around us, which I believe been told the carnolian is better for. Also, starting out a colony; buying a complete hive, vs a nuc, vs swarm collection (which one of my teachers thinks is a good way to go)... not sure re the last for a new bee keeper!!! Any assistance would be greatfully appreciated. Thanks Carlton
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