How Are Your Bees

redwood
Posts: 111
Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2015 9:31 pm
Location: Swansea

How Are Your Bees

Postby redwood » Sun Apr 26, 2015 6:47 pm

Just post what your bees are doing.
So far this year things have been extraordinary with some colonies building up nicely while others have gone into overdrive with queen cells present already. Supers are now on and being filled slowly but surely and with the long term weather forecast giving us a good summer we could be in for a bumper year.

redwood
Posts: 111
Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2015 9:31 pm
Location: Swansea

Re: How Are Your Bees

Postby redwood » Wed Mar 16, 2016 6:03 pm

checked fondant levels today and glad to say all hives are flying with most taking fondant at an alarming rate except one colony of black bees that refuse to take it down but plenty of bees in the hive judging by the bees that are flying, most where bringing in little bits of pollen and some where doing orientation flight. still to cold to lift the crown board and do an inspection.

redwood
Posts: 111
Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2015 9:31 pm
Location: Swansea

Re: How Are Your Bees

Postby redwood » Sat Dec 31, 2016 9:25 am

This is the time of year that new beekeepers are getting concerned about their bees because they cannot see ant at the entrance or flying and they think they are dead. Fear not as this is what bees do in the winter as they cluster in the centre of the hive keeping the core temperature at 37c, only when the weather warms up do bees break the cluster and start cleansing flights.
There are a few things a beekeeper can do to ensure the survival of their bees through the winter. One is make sure they have enough stores, this can be estimated by hefting the hive and feeling the weight and if it feels light feed with fondant.
There is nothing much else to do unless you treat for varroa in the winter.
You will occasionally get a few dead bees outside the hive which is normal but to see a more than a handful can be the result of Nosema.

There are two strains of nosema, apis which you will see a heavy defecation outside the hive and Nosema ceranae which is know as the silent killer because the lack of any obvious signs except a dwindling colony.
There are treatments available on the market.
One thing you should not do is open a hive in freezing conditions, bees have made their hive as thermally efficient as possible by building wax blocks between frames and cutting out holes in comb, by removing frames you are destroying all their work and giving them more to do when they should be clustering and conserving energy.

redwood
Posts: 111
Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2015 9:31 pm
Location: Swansea

Re: How Are Your Bees

Postby redwood » Fri Jan 13, 2017 3:57 pm

Two weeks ago now I vaporised my hives some decided to come out onto the landing board and fan like crazy trying to extract the fumes left in their hive. These were the defensive colonies in the apiary whilst the more genital colonies where not too bothered by the whole affair. Whilst I was there I hefted all the hives and all feeling heavy enough for the rest of the winter.

Emyr Jenkins, WGBA apiary manager reported that all colonies in the association apiary were bursting with Bees except one. All were administered oxalis acid via the dribble method and fondant given.

redwood
Posts: 111
Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2015 9:31 pm
Location: Swansea

Re: How Are Your Bees

Postby redwood » Mon Jan 23, 2017 5:53 pm

I had to move a hive in the association apiary today, me thinking that because the weather has been so cold I would be able to move them in one go and plug the entrance with some magic twigs but unfortunately the bees where out flying like a summers day so I could only move them three feet, I will move them the remaining distance in a few days. There was some pollen gathering going on, don't know where from but good to see.

redwood
Posts: 111
Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2015 9:31 pm
Location: Swansea

Re: How Are Your Bees

Postby redwood » Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:34 pm

!2c and sunny here today which gave me the opportunity to heft and feed a couple of nucs, ended up feeding all hives with fondant as I had it all made up although none of them really needed it. no dead outs and all were doing orientation flights.

redwood
Posts: 111
Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2015 9:31 pm
Location: Swansea

Re: How Are Your Bees

Postby redwood » Sat Apr 08, 2017 6:55 am

Bees have certainly been busy over the last two weeks, some colonies are now on 9 frames of brood (14x12) and are now double brooded, others are on seven and all have had a super except one that is struggling a bit, probably as the queen is now age four.and looks like she will be re-queened unless the bees do it for me.
Interesting observation that coming out of winter, hives have too much winter stores this year which is odd as I didn't need to feed last autumn, except for a small feed of thymolated syrup, frames of stores have now been removed and stored until needed for nucs or splits later on.
There is a small flow happening at the moment with probably Dandelion and Black Thorn

redwood
Posts: 111
Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2015 9:31 pm
Location: Swansea

Re: How Are Your Bees

Postby redwood » Sat Apr 29, 2017 6:36 am

What a beginning, three supers on some colonies already and some on double brood. Despite this last cold snap bees have been busy as ever collecting nectar and pollen. No sign of swarm activity yet but it won't be long considering the size of colonies

redwood
Posts: 111
Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2015 9:31 pm
Location: Swansea

Re: How Are Your Bees

Postby redwood » Mon Aug 28, 2017 12:39 pm

What an eventful year so far. Bees are doing really well despite a high number of failed matings reported locally, lucky for me I only had one this year with some beekeepers reporting a very high level in full hives and the complete opposite in nucs, I'm still trying to get to grips why this is so and probably the wrong selection of QC in hives that have already swarmed, selecting a sealed QC is no guarantee the pupa inside is a healthy one so you would be better off with hives in this situation to leave the bees decided, you will probably get a cast swarm but you will get a healthy queen most of the time. Selecting an open cell is a far better option, you can see the pupa developing and floated in royal jelly. leave only one and you could put another in a nuc for insurance purposes.

I had a good excess of spring honey from one apiary that was very nice and honey boxes have now been refilled and yet again I have run out despite increasing by more than four every year (I will have to make it six next year Ragwort and Balsam are the two biggest foraging plants at the moment with still lots of heather available in the upper areas of Wales, and a big thankyou to Swansea Council for planting hundreds of Wild flower margins that bees will frequently forage and look a dam sight nicer than regimental planting of hybrids.

West Glamorgan Beekeepers had a visit from Ade Bowen who is our seasonal bee inspector last sunday, good to say we had a clean bill of health on all our colonies and other colonies that members have temporarily moved there. This is an ongoing yearly inspection due to an outbreak of AFB close to our apiary two years ago.
it is important to contact a local bee inspector if you see anything unusual in your hive. It is no shame or blame of a beekeeper if they have a fowl brood disease, it could happen to anyone of us and if the infection from EFB is light a colony can be saved if spotted at an early stage.
There are preventative measures that will minimise your chances of contracting these diseases and every beekeeper should know what they are.

The picture shows an open QC floated in royal jelly, these are the QCs you need to select
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