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Everything posted by tudor

  1. Without an excluder the bees develop the brood nest into an onion or shallot shape. Adding boxes into the brood nest means the bees love the space and work hard, and I usually alternate foundation and drawn frames so there is a good drawing of the foundation. Right now most hives are 6 x 3/4 high and very busy with flow on, and as the brood hatches out the cells are cleaned and used to store honey, so the top 3 boxes are solid honey in March, or before depending on how capping is going. I just can't understand why people waste energy making life difficult for themselves and the bees, it can be difficult enough at the best of times. But that's ignorance for you ! Unless it's just done for fun.
  2. All very well, but has this data been subjected to peer review and published ? If not, it's just another anecdote.
  3. Lime/linden really out, we noticed the bees buzzing at just after 6 this morning. The tree is about 25 years old, and just covered with flowers, handkerchiefs, and bees. Very nice.
  4. Why not ask your mentor for advice ?
  5. Linden tree here in Portobello, Dunedin, is flowering well and the bees loving the 20 degrees and sunny day - and hopefully 5 days of this to follow ! Photo tomorrow ...
  6. I'm a retired rehab specialist and my ex-wife (now divorced and deceased) was a psychiatrist, so anything was usually in the mind. My wife now is a wise woman who prescribed rest and common sense, and application of Flamme cream which has helped greatly - or, as she says, it's just normal recovery. Anyway, much better, and reducing hives from 35-50 to 15 this season has reduced the load, and she is keen and strong. Physician heal thyself ?
  7. And clever me lifted a very heavy 3/4 box of honey on Friday and hurt my right wrist - so it's half-by-half boxes until the tenosynovitis settles down
  8. Lots of us use nitrile gloves (thick version, long cuffs) which enable one to pick up the queen by her wings and do other sensitive actions, and the gloves reduce the effect of stings from full blooded to minor. For those of us who are more sensitive ...
  9. If you have a really grumpy hive, then re-queening with a new queen from different stock is effective. A queen cell works fine (and the VQ acts as an assassin to remove the old queen), and sometimes there is an immediate response, but usually after about 6 weeks when all is happy after the grumpy bees have died. By really grumpy I also mean that the neighbour in their garden gets chased inside !
  10. The pattern I have been seeing is regular and ordered, which is unlike laying workers produce a pattern which looks cobblestoned and messy. It's easy to assume that the regular pattern is queen laid - and I don't use QE's so she can go where she wants.
  11. Get started right now you have time for a nuc to get strong enough to build up to 1-2 boxes and come through winter. And you can take off a couple of spoons of the best honey you will ever taste ! And use all 3/4 format equipment to make life easy, and have a peek at my "Easy Bee Keeping" book. So, just go for it !
  12. This year there have been lots and lots of drones - no obvious reason. Some in solid blocks on one side of a frame. Puzzling. But you do know there was a queen above the QE 3 weeks ago - probably a leaking QE so she went on a tiki tour and ended up where the BK wants her. Is there an escape so the drones can get out from above the QE ? I would just tidy up (fork out lots of the drone cells, the bees use the remaining white gooey stuff to feed larvae with) and let the bees sort it out, and they are happy using drone cells for honey storage and later harvesting. What's the toilet spray for ?
  13. I was talking yesterday with a small size bee keeper who noted 5 small swarms hanging around his 15 hive apiary on a very hot day a week or so ago. He collected and hived them, and an older BK later wondered whether they could be mating swarms. This this concept well documented, or are these just very small subsequent swarms ? Or, if they are mating swarms, do they eventually go back home ? In my 8 years I have seen one "mating swarm" from a very strong Nuc, just caught it and returned it to the nuc with success. I would value comments.
  14. Maybe give her another week before any action, funny how often eggs appear when one is about to go to plan B.
  15. When buying a nuc get it delivered to your place having been closed up the night before so you get all the bees. Then insert the frames yourself (as in my Easy Beekeeping book), etc. and send the nuc back or keep it, depending on the deal. In your situation you have emergency cells which are not swarm cells, so you don't need to remove any - just let the bees manage it, the first queen to hatch will probably kill the rest. Do your arithmetic: if her majesty was squashed on 9/11/18 when will the new queen emerge from her cell ? Work that out (check with us) and then after a couple of days confirm that a queen has emerged, if not then get a queen. If OK, then you LEAVE THEM ALONE for at least 3 weeks so she can get mated and start laying. Only get worried if it is 4 weeks after emergence. It's all so simple once you get the arithmetic sorted out. If you start to run low on bees then give them a frame of closed brood with a few open cells on it - this will boost numbers and should prevent workers from laying (another good topic, look it up).
  16. Use the search function and you can find it out yourself. Been covered many times.
  17. Bees very busy but your frames are too far apart - tidy them up with your hive tool and then get them closer, maybe 10 frames. Don't worry, the Q is likely to stay on the frame rather than jump.
  18. Do yourself a favour and start with 3/4 format boxes !
  19. Can we explore this "supercedure error" concept ? This sounds like a BK problem, a bit difficult to believe that worker bees get confused - or are they being mixed up by silly interventions. Its the whole "vibe" of the hive rather than making a diagnosis based on a few swarm/supercedure cells. A BK who can't tell the difference needs to get out with an experienced BK and learn ! And why bees swarm ? Do some reading. Good management of a hive can usually reduce the chance of swarming - young queen, enough space, and identifying the early signs of swarming such as nectar storage within the brood nest. And interventions such as splits, nucs' or artificial swarm. Not doing all of these actions reveals fatalism, and if the BK has not done them they should learn and do them. The FFC group and I opened 8 of my hives on Saturday and had a great time covering all these issues, and carried out 1 AS (swarm cell found), 1 split (very strong hive), and inserted boxes into a number of the hives when they were very full of bees and brood. Time will tell how clever we were. Regards.
  20. When merging hives I have found that a .PDF book does not work well, newspaper does.
  21. And the title of the thread is quite wrong, these should be called "emergency cells", even through they look like supercedure cells. Picky but accurate ...
  22. Hmmmm, I can hear "Boom and Bust" and "Greed and Stupidity" words floating around. Ah well, Myrtle Rust may (or may not) decimate a zillion trees, and it's all about a honey which has no benefits when taken by mouth. Non-smiley icon. Let's think about our fantastic honeys which will continue into the future. Smiley icon, now.
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