The Bumbling Keeper of Bees

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Trev62
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Re: The Bumbling Keeper of Bees

Post by Trev62 »

manda wrote: 18 Apr 2023, 00:20 we want them more than anything as pollinators and because we just love watching them get busy.
They are fascinating to watch entering the hive and when inspecting the frames.

We wrap our hives in winter due to the temperature drop, we can average @ -15 C but -25 C is not unknown.

Due to where we live we also have a serious wind issue :-D we are planting wind breaks but they take time to grow so are looking into securing them with ratchet straps at present.

Do you use wax foundation in your frames or just let them build their own?
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manda
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Re: The Bumbling Keeper of Bees

Post by manda »

Spreckly wrote: 18 Apr 2023, 10:31 yike* Sorry to read about your diagnosis, Manda. I have type two. Hope you manage your levels, but it is sickening when you crave something and shouldn't have it.
I have been lucky that within a week I got my bloods pretty much down to normal and now they sit in the 5's mostly which was pretty good from 15's yike*. It's all pretty new to me at the moment (4 weeks) but hey it is what it is, I'll just have to manage it (but I'm going to miss Amaretto {cry} )
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manda
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Re: The Bumbling Keeper of Bees

Post by manda »

Trev62 wrote: 18 Apr 2023, 20:27 Do you use wax foundation in your frames or just let them build their own?
So far foundation I had planned in the future to let them build their own so we could do honeycomb but I'm not so bothered now I can't eat it LOL! The bonus is it means they don't have to work so hard so we'll keep with that for the time being anyway.
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(¸.✰´¨(¸.✰ Manda

Living our version of the Good Life with 4 dogs, 6 cats, a cow, a few sheep, Angora Goats and ???? chooks.
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Trev62
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Re: The Bumbling Keeper of Bees

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We did another hive check today and compared to last year all things appear to be going well.

Lots of capped brood, bee bread, larvae and eggs, a Queen, a couple of frames being worked on but the super....... although the frames are still being drawn out there is not a lot of activity in it.

Worryingly there was little honey though there was some waiting to be processed and capped.

So when the rains stop again we will add a couple of frames of honey. There was no swarm or queen cells but this is the healthiest we have see this hive so, we are considering an early split to see what happens.
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Trev62
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Re: The Bumbling Keeper of Bees

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Split our hive today, it will be interesting to see if we are successful or if we have managed to kill both of them off! So far the original one is still active but the new one no bees are going in or out but they are a buzzing inside, so now we wait to see.

In the meantime I am off to try and purchase another package of bees for our next experiment, problem is the lady I am dealing with speaks so fast a lot of conversation gets "lost in translation", still it is fun and a learning curve as always :-D
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Trev62
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Re: The Bumbling Keeper of Bees

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Hive check done today on our original hive, really looking good after we split it, lots of brood (some in the wrong place though!) lots of uncapped honey along with a couple of drawn out but empty frames still to be used. Will check again in about a week and if it is still filling up then will try another split. Considering the mess we got ourselves into last year things are go well.

Also the farmer has planted his fields full of sunflowers this year so there will be an abundance of pollen/nectar to be collect from late summer so fingers crossed there will be lots of honey to harvest.
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Trev62
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Re: The Bumbling Keeper of Bees

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Well, we split our main hive again today as lack of space and a few capped queen cells looked like they could swarm. Anyway we shall see what happens, amazing that they have filled all the empty frames so fast. So from one to three hives in a matter of weeks, lets hope the amount of honey they produce matches their reproduction rate!
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Re: The Bumbling Keeper of Bees

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Checked Hive 1 which was populated from a split and it is thriving, super placed on top even though there is space in the deep/brood box as we are surrounded by sunflowers in full bloom at present so things should get busy as there is plenty of brood in the hive. Struggled to find the Queen which I make of point of doing as my eyesight is not good enough to see the small eggs to know she is there and laying. I am thinking get some of the glasses model makers/watch repairers use to see if they will help.

Another week or so we can check the other two hives to see if they have produced queens, the hives are really active so fingers crossed.
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manda
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Re: The Bumbling Keeper of Bees

Post by manda »

How are your hives going Trev?

We are just getting to the warmer weather now and so our little buzzy friends are getting more active. We need to get a hive inspection done in the next couple of weeks but just recently the weather has been appalling if its not raining it's been blowing a hooley neither which is helpful for checks.
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Re: The Bumbling Keeper of Bees

Post by Mo »

I found it difficult to keep on top of the checking for queen cells, either the wrong weather or either my friend or I was doing something else. I found I couldn't juggle smoker, hive tool and frames by myself.
So when my friend moved away she took the hives.
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Trev62
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Re: The Bumbling Keeper of Bees

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manda wrote: 30 Oct 2023, 21:09 How are your hives going Trev?
We have collected a fair amount of honey again this year but have doubts the hives will survive our winter.

There was an onslaught of wasps attacking all the hives, resulting in a drastic reduction in bee numbers. A large wasp nest was found on the electricity pylon in the farmers field situated about 6 metres from our hives. The Electric board doused the whole area with insecticide and the drift came our way, dead bees everywhere.

Normally they would inform us if they were spraying and we would close the hives up for the day but.............

Last check we had virtually no bees, definitely no queens or brood and it is too late to repopulate or re queen them now. So will be removing the last of the honey this week, merge all the hives and see if any make it through the winter. Outside chance if the last brood to hatch were winter bees but not counting on it.
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Mo
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Re: The Bumbling Keeper of Bees

Post by Mo »

Hope some of them make it.
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lancashire lass
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Re: The Bumbling Keeper of Bees

Post by lancashire lass »

I hope some have survived - bad enough with the wasps without the spray as well.
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manda
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Re: The Bumbling Keeper of Bees

Post by manda »

Oh no ....mind you our friend and neighbour had 7 hives ...now all gone over winter. Bee keeping can be so rewarding and suckey at the time {cry}
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(¸.✰´¨(¸.✰ Manda

Living our version of the Good Life with 4 dogs, 6 cats, a cow, a few sheep, Angora Goats and ???? chooks.
Don't get your knickers in a knot..it solves nothing ~ just makes you walk funny
Trev62
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Re: The Bumbling Keeper of Bees

Post by Trev62 »

The thing I have discovered is that bees will always do their own thing no matter what you do. If they want to disappear they will, if they want to kill their queen they will, they are fussy collectors of nectar/pollen (we were surrounded by fields of sunflowers this year and they would not go to them) the list goes on but never mind, as with keeping any animals or growing any crop you get good and bad years.

Roll on next year...........
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