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Bee diary - 29/05/2016

 
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joanne



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 7085
Location: Morecambe, Lancashire
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 16 4:06 pm    Post subject: Bee diary - 29/05/2016  Reply with quote    

Last weeks's bee diary entry here

So as last week turned vile and wet before I had chance to split the bee's I've just done it today.

They are such lovely calm girls, I really hope that the new Queen inherits her mothers temperament.

Queenie is now in a 6 frame nucleus closed up on the smallest setting which lets air through but not bee's out. She has a couple of frames of sealed brood, a mixed frame of grubs and eggs, a frame of honey and pollen and 2 empty frames. I've also given them some ambrosia. I also shook a couple of frames of bee's in with her and there was also bees on the frames as I put them in.

The main colony has all the rest of the bees, I've given the two frames of eggs a little more space to let them draw out nice big Queen cells. I'll check them next week to make sure they've drawn out some nice Queen cells and choose which two I want them to have. Then I'll close everything up and leave it alone for a fortnight.

The nucleus will be moved into a full sized colony next week as well. By then some of the brood will have hatched as well. I'll open it up and let it start foraging probably on Tuesday.

I need to make or buy a new hive stand as well as build some more brood frames before that though. Hopefully this should stop them from swarming whilst I'm away at Download.

Last edited by joanne on Sun May 29, 16 4:55 pm; edited 1 time in total

joanne



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 7085
Location: Morecambe, Lancashire
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 16 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Oh and my SiL to be has agreed to let me put some bee's at the bottom of her huge garden. It probably won't be until next year now but I'm going to put Top Bars in there. She backs onto fields that are used for grazing and there are lots of gardens as well nearby. Should be perfect for them. The only reservation I've got is that she's less than 6 miles away from where they grow Rape and I've never had to deal with Rape honey before.

sean
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 41682
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 16 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

That all sounds good. Will they bother to fly 6 miles to the rape if there's other stuff nearer?

joanne



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 7085
Location: Morecambe, Lancashire
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 16 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

sean wrote:
That all sounds good. Will they bother to fly 6 miles to the rape if there's other stuff nearer?


I don't know tbh, the problem is that the rape is often out first, it produces vast amounts of nectar and they go a bit bonkers on it, we'll just have to wait and see

Tavascarow



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 8404
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 16 5:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Bee diary - 29/05/2016 Reply with quote    

joanne wrote:


I need to make or buy a new hive stand as well as build some more brood frames before that though. Hopefully this should stop them from swarming whilst I'm away at Download.
I use upturned supermarket produce crates.
Just the right size for a national hive & the ones I have had for over ten years appear completely UV stable.
(Hope no over zealous Tesco employee doesn't read this).
joanne wrote:
Oh and my SiL to be has agreed to let me put some bee's at the bottom of her huge garden. It probably won't be until next year now but I'm going to put Top Bars in there. She backs onto fields that are used for grazing and there are lots of gardens as well nearby. Should be perfect for them. The only reservation I've got is that she's less than 6 miles away from where they grow Rape and I've never had to deal with Rape honey before.
Six miles is to far for bees to fly.
Two miles is about their limit. If they are starving & there's little wind they can stretch to three.
It's a case of diminishing returns.
Much more than two miles & the energy expended equals the gain.
sean wrote:
That all sounds good. Will they bother to fly 6 miles to the rape if there's other stuff nearer?
As Joanne says it produces a very heavy crop.
Scout bees returning to the hive do their waggle dance & the vigour of the dance indicates how abundant the source.
The bees will fly over lesser abundance to reach the more abundant for the same reason I stated above. A field full of nectar bearing yellow flowers where the bee can walk from one bloom to the next & fill up quickly requires less energy than flying around a field numerous times to get a crop full. Even if that field is closer. It's all about energy expended compared to energy gained.

Tavascarow



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 8404
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 16 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

My bees are going bonkers on the sycamore at the moment & the hawthorn is about to reach peak.
Hope we have settled weather for the next couple of weeks.

joanne



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 7085
Location: Morecambe, Lancashire
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 16 6:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Bee diary - 29/05/2016 Reply with quote    

Tavascarow wrote:
joanne wrote:


I need to make or buy a new hive stand as well as build some more brood frames before that though. Hopefully this should stop them from swarming whilst I'm away at Download.
I use upturned supermarket produce crates.
Just the right size for a national hive & the ones I have had for over ten years appear completely UV stable.
(Hope no over zealous Tesco employee doesn't read this).


That's a brilliant idea! I shall see if I can track some down.

Tavascarow wrote:

joanne wrote:
Oh and my SiL to be has agreed to let me put some bee's at the bottom of her huge garden. It probably won't be until next year now but I'm going to put Top Bars in there. She backs onto fields that are used for grazing and there are lots of gardens as well nearby. Should be perfect for them. The only reservation I've got is that she's less than 6 miles away from where they grow Rape and I've never had to deal with Rape honey before.


Six miles is too far for bees to fly.
Two miles is about their limit. If they are starving & there's little wind they can stretch to three.
It's a case of diminishing returns.
Much more than two miles & the energy expended equals the gain.


I've just worked out how to measure it using Google Maps and it's actually about 1.5 miles depending on which fields they use. I'm hoping that they might ignore it but I doubt it. I don't really like Rape honey but its a great opportunity to have an out apiary somewhere completely different and as it's about 45 miles away more than enough to be able to make use of it for a second location. We are there every week anyway so it's not exactly going to be a chore to check on them especially if I use top bars as I won't need as much kit.

joanne



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 7085
Location: Morecambe, Lancashire
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 16 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Tavascarow wrote:
My bees are going bonkers on the sycamore at the moment & the hawthorn is about to reach peak.
Hope we have settled weather for the next couple of weeks.


The hawthorn is amazing this year, it looks like snow there is so much of it.

There is definitely a flow going on, before I split them the second brood chamber that they were just investigating last week was nearly half full of honey, I will probably need to put a super or two on very soon.

Tavascarow



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 8404
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 16 6:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Bee diary - 29/05/2016 Reply with quote    

joanne wrote:


I've just worked out how to measure it using Google Maps and it's actually about 1.5 miles depending on which fields they use. I'm hoping that they might ignore it but I doubt it. I don't really like Rape honey but its a great opportunity to have an out apiary somewhere completely different and as it's about 45 miles away more than enough to be able to make use of it for a second location. We are there every week anyway so it's not exactly going to be a chore to check on them especially if I use top bars as I won't need as much kit.
If you don't like or want the honey or haven't the time to harvest it before it sets you can always store the combs to feed back to the bees in the Autumn.
That way you can be greedy with the other field & hedgerow flows like hawthorn, bramble & clover.
But if you feed honey back to the bees it's wise to only feed them from their own hive.
Brood disease spores can be transferred in honey.
Mark the frames with a wondermarker before storage so you know which hive they belong to.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8732

PostPosted: Mon May 30, 16 7:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Winter Rape is very good to get an early build up of the colony. We have had it here for years, and as long as you take it off as soon as the flow stops it is fine. The flavour is a matter of taste, as my absolute favourite is rape and field bean. Can't stand heather.

In the south of England here we reckon if the bees are on the hawthorn then there won't be much more of a honey flow for the year. Seems it might be different for you.

Tavascarow



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 8404
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Mon May 30, 16 8:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Taste is fickle.
I love heather honey & find OSR tasteless. & unless you cream it, to granular for my pallete.
I think the problem with OSR honey is even if there are other sources nearby the resulting honey is as good as a single source, because the bees love it so much.

I love the fact that a good local wildflower honey is a direct reflection of the habitat & local weather.
My honey will be subtly different to my neighbour beekeeper a couple of miles away.
I suppose a beekeeping equivelent to wine makers terroir.
You can't say that for OSR honey. Yours will be exactly the same as all the others.
Although the honey blending industry love it because of that consistency.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8732

PostPosted: Tue May 31, 16 6:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Pure OSR honey is very mild, but other plants do get in to it sometimes. I have had it with field bean and also sometimes horse chestnut as they are both good sources the bees will sometimes go on at the same time. Yes, everyone tastes things differently. To me heather is disinfectanty, but to others it is the ulitimate honey.

We had an interesting one a good few years ago, which was black. We are not sure if it was virginia creeper or oak honeydew or a combination. The man down the hill had almost black, with a very strong flavour. He got 1st prize at the honey show for dark honey with it. Ours, a bit further away, was very dark brown and slightly less strong, although it still tasted like strong cough mixture. As you say, each one will vary slightly.

Tavascarow



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 8404
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 16 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I'm romanticising & I bare a grudge against OSR because of pesticides.
My passion is the natural history of the country so I want my bees to play their part in pollinating wild plants or plants from sustainable agriculture.

First few white clover flowers poking their heads up yesterday.


Joanne IMHO if you move them I would try & find out who the farmer is & ask him nicely if he can let you know when he's spraying.
Ask very very nicely if he can restrict his spraying to the late afternoons & evenings when fewer pollinators are flying.
Explain how with sympathetic management these methods will help maintain pollinators & that will have an impact on yields.
When hives get poisoned we can't get too p***ed off if we haven't told them we are there.


Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8732

PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 16 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Our beekeeping association had a spray warniing system. I think most farmers are a lot more sensible these days, particularly with flowers like rape and borage, as they want them pollinated.

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