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Artificial swarming!
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Chez



Joined: 13 Aug 2006
Posts: 35864
Location: The Hive of the Uberbee, Quantock Hills, Somerset
PostPosted: Tue May 20, 08 3:58 pm    Post subject: Artificial swarming!  Reply with quote    

We've had a very interesting day - we got a phone call last night from the local bee inspector, saying that he was in our area and would we like him to pop round and go through the hives. We jumped at the chance and have effectively had a four-hour one-to-one on hive management and beekeeping.

The nuc box that we thought we'd got the queen in to last week was still occupied - BUT, not by a queen - they'd made a couple of queen cells and were going strong.

The hive that we'd tried to divide was still going bonkers - half a dozen queen cells. He found the queen and marked her (phew!) and decided that we should try another artificial swarm. So we popped the lady and some brood and some bees in to another hive about five feet away and destroyed all but two of the cells.

All those hives were healthy - but hive three has a touch of varroa, which the inspector is going to have a chat with his boss about and then get back to us about the best way to treat at this time of year.

We are going back this evening to put in some more brood frames, take off the half super of honey remaining and feed them all Spring Syrup, which I am just about to start making up.

Jamanda
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Joined: 22 Oct 2006
Posts: 34886
Location: Devon
PostPosted: Tue May 20, 08 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Sounds like you are doing very well. I've got my bee class tonight.

joanne



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 7086
Location: Morecambe, Lancashire
PostPosted: Tue May 20, 08 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

They are really useful those Bee Inspectors aren't they - I wouldn't have been able to find my Queen without my Bee Inspector's help -You've basically done the same as me - albeit in a slightly different way - I still can't believe I've done it - I'm keeping my fingers crossed that its all gone OK

Chez



Joined: 13 Aug 2006
Posts: 35864
Location: The Hive of the Uberbee, Quantock Hills, Somerset
PostPosted: Tue May 20, 08 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

My aim is to end the season with four strong hives and overwinter them successfully; not too fussed about getting honey off and anyway if we treat them for varroa that will be out of the window.

I'm really conscious that my manoeuvrability is going to decrease rapidly from now on and I want to get them in good order. Poor management was partly the reason that we lost two last winter - although the inspector says that in the Montgomery area, not far away, losses have been around 60%

Jamanda
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Joined: 22 Oct 2006
Posts: 34886
Location: Devon
PostPosted: Tue May 20, 08 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We did lighting smokers and making up frames tonight. It was the last evening session - they move to Saturday afternoons for the practical handling sessions from now on. The next to last one being building your nuc

Chez



Joined: 13 Aug 2006
Posts: 35864
Location: The Hive of the Uberbee, Quantock Hills, Somerset
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 08 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Yay! My project over the winter - when I'm not up to my oxers (what ARE oxers?) in baby paraphernalia, is to make a WBC hive. Aim high, I thought .

Arvo and his dad went over last night to put all the extra frames in and feed everyone. It all went very smoothly and they have taken off the last of the stores in the remaining super and we are going to spin that out this afternoon. I think we are going to have to do a varroa treatment, so any more honey is probably out.

Apparently Mochyn took some pictures .

Arv's dad has never been near a hive before. He kept saying 'Wait until I tell the boys at the gym THIS on Friday!'

sean
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 41705
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 08 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Chez wrote:
what ARE oxers?


Dunno. Oxters are armpits.

mochyn



Joined: 21 Dec 2004
Posts: 24550
Location: mid-Wales
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 08 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Chez wrote:

Apparently Mochyn took some pictures .

Arv's dad has never been near a hive before. He kept saying 'Wait until I tell the boys at the gym THIS on Friday!'


That was why I took a pic! It was only the one of Arvo & Tom kitted up.

I need to make the outside bit of a WBC hive too: have you got plans?

Chez



Joined: 13 Aug 2006
Posts: 35864
Location: The Hive of the Uberbee, Quantock Hills, Somerset
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 08 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

mochyn wrote:
Chez wrote:

Apparently Mochyn took some pictures .

Arv's dad has never been near a hive before. He kept saying 'Wait until I tell the boys at the gym THIS on Friday!'


That was why I took a pic! It was only the one of Arvo & Tom kitted up.

I need to make the outside bit of a WBC hive too: have you got plans?


Yes, somewhere. In pdf I think. I'll dig and pm. Or, perhaps, if I PM them to a mod, they could go up on the site if the copyright stuff is okay?

lottie



Joined: 11 Aug 2005
Posts: 5059
Location: ceredigion
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 08 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The bee inspectors threatened us with a visit this week but so far no phonecall----hoping we hear from him---watched him helping someone check their hives on sunday and I was well impressed and learnt loads. We are out at Welsh class tomorrow and off very early friday to pick up 2 nucs--so we might miss him

Jamanda
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 22 Oct 2006
Posts: 34886
Location: Devon
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 08 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Chez wrote:
mochyn wrote:
Chez wrote:

Apparently Mochyn took some pictures .

Arv's dad has never been near a hive before. He kept saying 'Wait until I tell the boys at the gym THIS on Friday!'


That was why I took a pic! It was only the one of Arvo & Tom kitted up.

I need to make the outside bit of a WBC hive too: have you got plans?


Yes, somewhere. In pdf I think. I'll dig and pm. Or, perhaps, if I PM them to a mod, they could go up on the site if the copyright stuff is okay?


sounds good. Pm to me if you haven't already sent them some one.

alison
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 12908
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 08 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

chez

At the apairy we use "Hive Clean" and you can still take honey off afterwards, it is food safe.

lottie



Joined: 11 Aug 2005
Posts: 5059
Location: ceredigion
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 08 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The bee inspector I was speaking to on sunday said the jury was very much still out on hive clean and reccomended the person whose hives were being inspected to treat a varroaed one with thymol

joanne



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 7086
Location: Morecambe, Lancashire
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 08 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We used Oxalic Acid earlier in the year - I think I was lucky and we managed to do it when there was very little brood and that seems to be keeping the levels down for the time being but alot of members around us have had problems with Nosema this year and are suffering quite badly

Apistan is the one that is usually recommended for Spring use isn't it - It doesn't 'alf make the hive stink !

Chez



Joined: 13 Aug 2006
Posts: 35864
Location: The Hive of the Uberbee, Quantock Hills, Somerset
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 08 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Isn't 'Hive Clean' largely Oxalic Acid, though? Which means you can't use it when there's brood? There is something called Apivar that is widely used in Europe and New Zealand, which is food-safe; but it is not licensed in the UK yet.

Apistan only works on non-resistant varroa ... but it may be the best we can do. They are such nice bees, I really don't want to lose them.

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