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Artificial swarming!
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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: 35863
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.

lottie



Joined: 11 Aug 2005
Posts: 5059
Location: ceredigion
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 08 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

It was apiguard the thymol jelly stuff the bee inspector supervised smearing on a piece of cardboard and putting on top of the frames----has anyone tried sprinkling them with icing sugar to increase grooming and varroa removal---opinions are undecided on that as well---but it can't hurt to try I suppose.

Chez



Joined: 13 Aug 2006
Posts: 35863
Location: The Hive of the Uberbee, Quantock Hills, Somerset
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 08 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

No, haven't tried that, Lottie. 'Our' inspector was saying yesterday that a lot of people put/used to put Thymol in the autumn feed and it worked pretty well.

lottie



Joined: 11 Aug 2005
Posts: 5059
Location: ceredigion
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 08 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Varroa is a right burger---the problem with varroa floors is that I'm not keen for winter[I'm probably totally wrong]---lost 2 colonies to spraying last summer but living up a hill I like to keep them snug in winter---a lot of people lost colonies this winter ,but I've overwintered a very weak september swarm who are now fine---which didn't happen for the columnist in this months beecraft I've just discovered

Chez



Joined: 13 Aug 2006
Posts: 35863
Location: The Hive of the Uberbee, Quantock Hills, Somerset
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 08 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We think our two 'lost colonies' went because they swarmed and cast so much that they were unsavably weak by the autumn. We'd kept the brood chambers and the inspector went though them; one showed signs of my requeening being partially successful, but it looked like she didn't have a chance to mate before the hive ran out of workers. The other had a 'typical' nosema ceranae pattern of dead bees on a few combs - but apparently it's also typical of something else that I now can't remember that is completely benign.

I do like WBC's; the varroa floor is compensated for by the extra layer of insulation.

This year we have decided to build each hive up to a brood and a half. I am hoping it will give them a better chance of overwintering.

Jamanda
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 22 Oct 2006
Posts: 34886
Location: Devon
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 08 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The consensus at our apiary is that because it was so dire this time last year, many of the new queens didn't get mated properly, which is why they ran out of sperm to keep the colony going through the Winter months.

Chez



Joined: 13 Aug 2006
Posts: 35863
Location: The Hive of the Uberbee, Quantock Hills, Somerset
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 08 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I think we were different, though - it was a very warm April, May and early June, here. We got our first swarm on 1st of May and at least four more (some of which must have been casts) in the following six weeks.

Despite it all, we got 40lb of honey off of the two strongest hives - and some people didn't get any.

I feel much more confident this year and sure of what we should do.

lottie



Joined: 11 Aug 2005
Posts: 5059
Location: ceredigion
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 08 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

What we've discovered is that we just don't get the honey flow early like we did in Bolton----it builds up more slowly---not a rape field for miles etc but what we are lacking in quantity is more than made up in quality. We have planted 60+ fruit trees so hopefully this should be a plus in future.

joanne



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 7086
Location: Morecambe, Lancashire
PostPosted: Thu May 22, 08 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The trouble with solid floors is that in Winter the damp builds up - I keep getting told that it isn't cold that kills bee's its Damp - If you have Varroa floors the air can circulate better, helping to keep the colony dry - From what I've been told and heard - its extremely bad practice these days to have solid floors

I've used Icing Sugar to encourage them to groom and it does appear to work although you've got to be careful that you don't get it into the open brood as it can suffocate them

Mrs Fiddlesticks



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 10460

PostPosted: Thu May 22, 08 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

jocorless wrote:

I've used Icing Sugar to encourage them to groom and it does appear to work although you've got to be careful that you don't get it into the open brood as it can suffocate them


they need the beely equivalent of a nit zapper don't they!

Impressive swarm landed in next doors chimney last night. Too far up and at an odd angle for us to brave a ladder sadly. We did wonder about setting up a bait hive but this sealed off chimney has been home to bees on and off for years so it'll be full of comb and stores (plus varroa I'd have thought at the very least of the possible narsties) so didn't think we could provide anything more enticing than that.
The neighbours have got very young children and are quite fearful of bees so I think the pest controller is on his way. And perhaps this time they'll get the chimney repointed like we suggested last year when the same thing happened - we said the bees'd be back...

Tavascarow



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 8404
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Thu May 22, 08 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Chez wrote:


This year we have decided to build each hive up to a brood and a half. I am hoping it will give them a better chance of overwintering.

Don't bother with brood & a half go with a full double brood.
Half frames are awkward when you find queen cells on them & want to make up a nuc unless you have shallow nuc boxes.
Keeping all the brood frames uniform makes manipulation a lot easier.
If the queen isn't overly prolific & the bees use the extra space for stores you can reduce the brood size by using dummy frames.
jocorless wrote:
The trouble with solid floors is that in Winter the damp builds up - I keep getting told that it isn't cold that kills bee's its Damp - If you have Varroa floors the air can circulate better, helping to keep the colony dry - From what I've been told and heard - its extremely bad practice these days to have solid floors

I leave my floors open all year & have dispensed with the collecting tray entirely but the Cornish climate is a lot milder & generally wetter than other parts of the UK.

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