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Neils
03-02-2013, 05:36 AM
thought this would be interesting.

I'm not putting myself up as "the" expert. got a question about bees? it might be a wikipedia answer that you should take with a pinch of salt, but... Ask me (us) anything...

prakel
03-02-2013, 09:04 AM
Great idea Neils.....

A question was recently asked on another forum regarding where you can purchase the queen number plates/marking tags which come in different shapes rather than just the usual discs which are on sale now. A cursory look at European suppliers seems to suggest that they're no longer available...but don't let that stop you checking....please.

By the way, one thing that I've learnt is that there's a mass of intelligent information out there covering various aspects of insect marking (and associated behaviour) which I was previous unaware of.

Neils
05-02-2013, 12:36 AM
Fallen at the first hurdle! Discs are no problem and Thornes even do a magnetic one for catching her Majesty but I've drawn a blank and finding other shapes other than discs and to be honest don't recall ever having seen any other shapes. Maybe I should have put this one in the public area in the hope of getting some easier questions :D

prakel
05-02-2013, 12:54 AM
Sorry! Was a bit unfair, that question, having already done quite a good search myself. There are photos in the older literature (Ruttners 'Queen Rearing' might be one source although I don't have mine to hand at present) of the different shaped tags. Perhaps they were specifically in-house items used by the German researchers. Where's Hors gone?

I hope you get some more questions as I reckon that this could be a good long running thread.

prakel
05-02-2013, 12:55 AM
Double Post.

Black Comb
05-02-2013, 11:02 AM
Where/who is the cheapest for 20 x 12.5/14kg tubs of ambrosia or Apisuc. Delivered cumbria or collected HA?

Jon
05-02-2013, 11:08 AM
As a reference, this is what we pay (http://www.finlayfoods.com/contact_us.html) locally.

11.85 for 14k invert sugar syrup. 12.5k in five 2.5k bags fondant, 12.70 collect prices.
Must be cheaper still in bulk.

Black Comb
06-02-2013, 03:33 PM
Thanks. I will follow this up when we return home.

Mellifera Crofter
07-02-2013, 08:06 AM
Also look at Jon's thread (http://www.sbai.org.uk/sbai_forum/showthread.php?1090-Invert-sugar&highlight=apisuc) of last year called 'Invert Sugar'
Kitta

Oh, sorry - I just noticed that you've seen it, because you've contributed to that thread.

prakel
07-02-2013, 12:18 PM
I'm not putting myself up as "the" expert. got a question about bees?...

but... Ask me (us) anything...

How effective is the annual renewal of a third of a colony's brood combs with regards to maintaining/improving colony health?

My thoughts are that it's akin to washing one (alternate) hand each day.... but I welcome scientific evidence to the contrary.

Jon
07-02-2013, 02:14 PM
How effective is the annual renewal of a third of a colony's brood combs with regards to maintaining/improving colony health?

My thoughts are that it's akin to washing one (alternate) hand each day.... but I welcome scientific evidence to the contrary.

I am not sure about that one either and I don't habitually replace comb.
I do fumigate boxes of spare comb over winter with 80% acetic acid along with apideas and other equipment but the comb is always going to be the biggest disease risk.
last couple of years I have been removing some comb and letting the bees draw some fresh stuff of their own on frames reinforced by fishing line.

In the US, the commercial beekeepers irradiate old comb to kill pathogens.

Here is a fera document on comb replacement (http://www.bbka.org.uk/local/ludlow/bm~doc/fera-faq5-replacingoldbroodcomb.pdf)

Neils
08-02-2013, 01:55 AM
Fizzing to reply to this, but had a shandy watching question time.

prakel
08-02-2013, 09:03 AM
Here is a fera document on comb replacement (http://www.bbka.org.uk/local/ludlow/bm~doc/fera-faq5-replacingoldbroodcomb.pdf)



2. How often should I change them?
There are many opinions as to this question but no brood comb should be used for
more than three years.

It would also be interesting to know the who/when/where behind this statement from the fera guidlines which Jon referenced. How was the three year (rather than the 'four year') rule reached? I'm not even convinced about the Bailey comb change idea although I suppose that it must be better than this notion of replacing three or four combs annually.

Jimbo
08-02-2013, 12:46 PM
OK here is my question!
Is there any scientific research papers that shows a good correlation between wing morphometry and DNA analysis in particular Amm

gavin
08-02-2013, 01:23 PM
OK here is my question!

You *are* allowed to answer your own questions!

EmsE
09-02-2013, 10:10 PM
Can I ask about the solitary bees?

Do both castes of the bees survive through the winter or is it just the female that hibernates? (Am I right to jump to the conclusion that there is no Queen caste for the solitary bee)

Is the caste in solitary bees determined by an egg being fertilised or not as it is for the honey bee?

gavin
09-02-2013, 10:31 PM
For the Red Mason bees - and probably most of the others - not even the female survives the winter, just her offspring in the form of a pupa or larva tucked up in its burrow.

And the gender gets determined by fertilisation or not. Just males and females, no workers of course.

EmsE
09-02-2013, 10:47 PM
...... Just males and females, no workers of course.

of course:o

So was the honey bee around before the current social bees species or did they just evolve quicker to a colony set up? I am curious to know whether there is proof that the honey bee evolved from the solitary status or whether it the most likely theory.

gavin
09-02-2013, 11:36 PM
All sorts of imponderables there. Academics can and probably do spend careers on such things. I'll bet there are some good papers out there that give some insight.

For one thing, you get social and parasitic bumble bees. Once you've gone social, is that the only way out, to become parasitic?

And why do hymenopterans seem to be able to pull off the being social trick? Ants, bees, wasps, termites ..

Sent from my BlackBerry 8520 using Tapatalk

EmsE
10-02-2013, 01:01 AM
The type of imponderables that come along with a glass of wine ;)
According to one of the speakers at the centenary who was very good (I'm no good with names- sorry) a theory is that humanity could be edging ever more towards the social set up albeit we have several centuries of evolution to go. Personally I don't think we will ever make a good a job of it as our bees have if that is the way we're evolving.

If honey bees did evolve from from being solitary, I wonder which of their behavioural traits / instincts / body parts could be a throw back to that time and not really relevant for their current needs.

Could the parasitic bee be a lazy way of becoming being social as well as a way of moving away from it?

gavin
10-02-2013, 10:30 AM
Given that evolution can only proceed in small steps it may be a step too far to go solitary after you've done the social thing, whereas bumble queens are probably already pinching each others nests' at an early stage in the season.

As for the evolution of sociality in Apis, well, maybe its worth a read through the literature ......

Easy beesy
11-02-2013, 12:29 AM
I thought bees evolved from social wasps not solitary bees...

Black Comb
11-02-2013, 03:37 PM
As a reference, this is what we pay (http://www.finlayfoods.com/contact_us.html) locally.

11.85 for 14k invert sugar syrup. 12.5k in five 2.5k bags fondant, 12.70 collect prices.
Must be cheaper still in bulk.

Today they are quoting 15 for a 14kg tub. Minimum 40 tubs is a further 75 delivered. A bit more expensive than last year's Apisuc quote.

nellyp
11-02-2013, 08:47 PM
Recently purchased a pallet of Ambrsoia syrup ( 60 x 12.5kg) jerry cans for association and members for 850 delivered, worked out 14.17 per can.

The Drone Ranger
14-04-2013, 09:10 AM
Hi Neils

On the original premise of "ask me anything"
Have you heard much about allergy to oil seed rape?
http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1990/feb/08/oil-seed-rape-allergy
this is from 1990 and makes reference to a study done on my own doorstep I clipped a couple of bits

"During the 1989 flowering season, an epidemiological study was carried out in the village of Bowriefauld near Letham, in Angus. Angus district council, to its great credit, funded that study in response to allegations of public health nuisance. Eighty-five adults and 40 children were studied, and medical information obtained before, during and after the flowering season—using questionnaires, diary cards and standard skin and blood tests, along with the monitoring of pollen counts, wind-speed direction, temperatures and pollen collected by the Scottish Crop Research Institute in Invergowrie."....

46 per cent. of the study population reported symptoms at the time when oil seed rape pollen counts were high and when no other pollens were present. The culprit is clear. Half of those individuals confirmed positive allergy tests. Allergy skin testing revealed that reactivity increased from 5 per cent. before the flowering season to 38 per cent. after the season. That is a massive rise compared to the 20 per cent. sensitivity normally shown for most allergic substances."

gavin
14-04-2013, 10:13 AM
Goodness, this was 24 years ago. Almost all of the staff involved have retired or moved on. I wasn't involved at the time but do have experience of pollen movement in oilseed rape and it is very sensitive to environmental conditions. A dry soil when the rape is in full flower and the pollen gets airborne. Damp weather, as we seem to have had in recent years, and little of it does so.

Perhaps this may be an issue that has gone away but could recur?

You're making me nervous, though, with all that talk in Hansard of collaboration with what was the SCRI and the Medical School at Ninewells :(

The Drone Ranger
14-04-2013, 10:52 AM
Hi gavin

It's something that seems to have been a worry at the time.
But it also shows two things
1) the public health issue would seem to be less important then than the crop value
2) rape was not popular except with farmers

I expect the varieties grown now have addressed some of the early issues

I was surprised to read of fields being treated with metaldehyde to keep slugs off rape surely that can't be allowed
Apparently it is allowed http://www.agrii.co.uk/blog/2012/09/04/meeting-the-major-slug-control-challenge/

mbc
14-04-2013, 12:24 PM
How effective is the annual renewal of a third of a colony's brood combs with regards to maintaining/improving colony health?

My thoughts are that it's akin to washing one (alternate) hand each day.... but I welcome scientific evidence to the contrary.
A good question, a myth that needs to be busted IMHO
Possibly in an area with endemic efb its a good idea to rotate out old comb, but surely a complete comb change would be more effective in this case.
As for nosema, chalk brood and other minor ailments these are endemic anyway and whether a colony suffers from them has much to do with the bees and little to do with their comb. AFB is a binary situation, they either have it or don't, it won't magically appear on old comb.

Trog
14-04-2013, 12:24 PM
There was also some concern that OSR pollen was causing problems for horses and was a possible cause of head-shaking. The stuff certainly makes me sneeze so very glad there's none here!

Jon
14-04-2013, 12:37 PM
I thought head shaking was perfectly normal.
I have a mental picture of DR shaking his head like a horse at any opportunity.

The Drone Ranger
14-04-2013, 04:41 PM
I thought head shaking was perfectly normal.
I have a mental picture of DR shaking his head like a horse at any opportunity.

rude!!

The Drone Ranger
14-04-2013, 05:04 PM
There was also some concern that OSR pollen was causing problems for horses and was a possible cause of head-shaking. The stuff certainly makes me sneeze so very glad there's none here!

At one time there was a minimum distance from homes that could be planted
I don't know if that still applies because I see it planted right up to garden fences
and does it have to all be yellow can't we inject some other colours like with runner beans

mbc
there was some debate about whether old comb was best replaced with new and somehow it got tangled up with Apistan and similar residues
I wonder if you might be right and renewing comb should be all or nothing

The forum is very quiet where is everyone?are they preparing for the state funeral ? ( I didn't get an invite)

Bumble
15-04-2013, 12:39 AM
The forum is very quiet where is everyone?

Still hibernating!

wee willy
15-04-2013, 10:41 AM
Playing catch up:) my bees are bucketing pollen in before 9am this morning and in huge numbers!
Typical I have other things to do(pre booked) when I should be inspecting the bees and piling on the supers!:D
WW


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The Drone Ranger
08-06-2013, 08:27 AM
My Beecraft subscription has run out at a time when the magazine has just hit a new low
Can you suggest an alternative ?

gavin
08-06-2013, 08:56 AM
Scottish Beekeeper.

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drumgerry
08-06-2013, 09:19 AM
What - you mean you've been missing out on the joys of the letters page in the SBA mag DR?!!

The Drone Ranger
08-06-2013, 12:47 PM
Scottish Beekeeper.

Sent from my BlackBerry 8520 using Tapatalk

drumgerry

What - you mean you've been missing out on the joys of the letters page in the SBA mag DR?!!

Ah !, yes, well, apparently when you leave SBA you stop getting the magazine (my knowledge of GM crops has suffered badly as a result)
I was thinking of doing a U turn and re-joining but ,and I happy to be corrected here, I would have to cough up a full subscription then again in January only 6 months later-- so might as well leave it till then
How about Bee Culture or Beekeepers Quarterly -- anybody get them

drumgerry
08-06-2013, 12:50 PM
I get the American Bee Journal and it's a great read if you're not so bothered about getting UK-specific information. Highly recommend it. I ordered direct from Dadants and saved a bit of dosh rather than getting it via Thornes

The Drone Ranger
08-06-2013, 05:20 PM
I get the American Bee Journal and it's a great read if you're not so bothered about getting UK-specific information. Highly recommend it. I ordered direct from Dadants and saved a bit of dosh rather than getting it via Thornes

Thanks DrumGerry

I'll check that out online

gavin
08-06-2013, 05:40 PM
I would have to cough up a full subscription then again in January only 6 months later-- so might as well leave it till then.

Cheapskate! Why not sell some of those nucs to funds your association joining activities? You could always try this organisation if you wish lower rates or even a publication freely available on the web:
http://www.eastofscotlandbeekeepers.org.uk/newsletter/newsletter06.pdf

The Drone Ranger
08-06-2013, 05:48 PM
Cheapskate! Why not sell some of those nucs to funds your association joining activities? You could always try this organisation if you wish lower rates or even a publication freely available on the web:
http://www.eastofscotlandbeekeepers.org.uk/newsletter/newsletter06.pdf
Thanks Gavin
I'm no cheapskate actually come to think of it...
Anyway most of the funds go on the magazine but the rest is for beano's and outings for you and your mates LOL
Can't see much chance of nucs on the horizon at the moment

gavin
08-06-2013, 06:08 PM
Anyway most of the funds go on the magazine but the rest is for beano's and outings for you and your mates LOL
Can't see much chance of nucs on the horizon at the momentOK, why can't I get <return> to work on this new laptop in IE?
Then you'll miss having your finger on that pulse of beekeeping in Scotland that is the Scottish Beekeeper. This month you could have read a letter by Eric making what seemed like a personal attack on an English beekeeping scientist (why does the editor publish such things?), and a guy somewhere near Glasgow talk about his particular thoughts on why his rather idiosyncratic Varroa control and feeding strategy might have been the reason for him getting most of his colonies through the winter - this year at least. Plus some sensible stuff: the SG Lead inspector taking about what's happening (always worth reading anything Steve writes) and no doubt some other useful stuff as well. Plus of course Phil McA's comment discussed in another thread. As for beanos and outings .... my own claims have been zero in the last couple of years (maybe one day I'll get around to reclaiming the forum costs.).

The Drone Ranger
08-06-2013, 06:41 PM
OK, why can't I get <return> to work on this new laptop in IE?
Then you'll miss having your finger on that pulse of beekeeping in Scotland that is the Scottish Beekeeper. This month you could have read a letter by Eric making what seemed like a personal attack on an English beekeeping scientist (why does the editor publish such things?), and a guy somewhere near Glasgow talk about his particular thoughts on why his rather idiosyncratic Varroa control and feeding strategy might have been the reason for him getting most of his colonies through the winter - this year at least. Plus some sensible stuff: the SG Lead inspector taking about what's happening (always worth reading anything Steve writes) and no doubt some other useful stuff as well. Plus of course Phil McA's comment discussed in another thread. As for beanos and outings .... my own claims have been zero in the last couple of years (maybe one day I'll get around to reclaiming the forum costs.).

Your right I should get it just to see whats going on elsewhere
sorry did I say beano's I meant conferences and AGMs etc :)

30 would be about 5-00 an issue though
"Ach I dinna ken sounds fell dear to me" (fraser dads army)

Trog
08-06-2013, 07:24 PM
AGMs are a necessary thing if you're a charity organisation (or any other, afaik). Don't forget your 30 also gives you access to the insurance and compensation scheme. If you have bees you ought to be insured: just think of the cost if a member of the public got stung and reacted badly. Your household insurance wouldn't cover it.

gavin
08-06-2013, 07:27 PM
Your right I should get it just to see whats going on elsewhere
sorry did I say beano's I meant conferences and AGMs etc :)

30 would be about 5-00 an issue though
"Ach I dinna ken sounds fell dear to me" (fraser dads army)

I think everyone pays their own way to conferences and AGMs - although many will recover travel costs to committee meetings which is only fair. 30/12 = 2.50 per issue. Twice as much of a bargain as you thought, and of course there is so much more to the SBA than a magazine.

Jimbo
08-06-2013, 08:41 PM
DR I gave up on Beecraft as I thought it was getting a bit repetative and used my subscription to join IBRA. So far I have received two magazines which I think have been high quality. The latest edition had a guest editorial by Dan Basterfield on his views on the ban of neonicotinoids by the EU. An article by Norman Carrieck again on pesticides who Eric had a pop at in the SBA magazine.
Its not all doom and gloom about pesticides. There was an interesting article about Manuka honey and explaining what all those factors mean and how it was marketed at about 30+ a jar. There was articles about beekeeping methods in Saudia Arabia,Uganda,India, and the Ukraine. An article about the Tayfield bee-house if Fife and the Steele & Brodie Wormit works in Scotland. There was also a scientific article about host-parasite interactions. To sum up something for everybody.

fatshark
08-06-2013, 09:40 PM
The recent Beekeepers Quarterly has the usual mix of UK and overseas articles. I tend to find the latter rather more interesting. They also have - in my view - a very unbalanced view of pesticides, and neonics in particular.

A page or so from Margaret Ginman Gen Sec BFA on winter losses this year ... claimed to be 50% 'across the country' (UK) with a further 50% of the survivors so weakened that they will only be fit for production colonies in 2014*. The 200,000 also gets a mention (or four). I know some have suffered badly, but I await local association reports of losses and expect these to be less.

Aren't there any Scottish bee researchers for Eric to take a pop at ... ?

* edit ... If her claimed 50,000 remaining UK production colonies in 2013 is correct I'm putting up the price of my honey with immediate effect.

The Drone Ranger
08-06-2013, 09:59 PM
DR I gave up on Beecraft as I thought it was getting a bit repetative and used my subscription to join IBRA. So far I have received two magazines which I think have been high quality. The latest edition had a guest editorial by Dan Basterfield on his views on the ban of neonicotinoids by the EU. An article by Norman Carrieck again on pesticides who Eric had a pop at in the SBA magazine.
Its not all doom and gloom about pesticides. There was an interesting article about Manuka honey and explaining what all those factors mean and how it was marketed at about 30+ a jar. There was articles about beekeeping methods in Saudia Arabia,Uganda,India, and the Ukraine. An article about the Tayfield bee-house if Fife and the Steele & Brodie Wormit works in Scotland. There was also a scientific article about host-parasite interactions. To sum up something for everybody.

Jimbo that sounds good I'll check that out on the net


Guys I'm only kidding about the meetings AGM's beanos etc

Gavin for a scientist your maths needs some work
If I join now its 30 for 6 months 30/6 =5.00 :)
Renewal again in January eeK!


Trog I'm not sure what Afaik means maybe that's what they shout when my bees sting passers by :)
Fortunately as they are wild creatures as opposed to our dog I can't be held responsible for their actions
You can't train a bee
Good sales pitch though

drumgerry
08-06-2013, 10:01 PM
As Far As I Know = AFAIK . Get with the kids DR!

The Drone Ranger
08-06-2013, 10:02 PM
The recent Beekeepers Quarterly has the usual mix of UK and overseas articles.
Fatshark is it worth the subscription would you renew ?

The Drone Ranger
08-06-2013, 10:06 PM
As Far As I Know = AFAIK . Get with the kids DR!
Sorry I'm a moron I though it came from Father Ted
Good luck to GCHQ spying on and checking this forum
Would you be held responsible if one of your Alpacas provided some unwelcome hair gel for a passer by ?

drumgerry
08-06-2013, 10:32 PM
Of the green variety?! They could try and hold me responsible but maybe they shouldn't have put themselves in the position to get coated in green slime. In reality it's fairly unlikely as the alpacas usually only spit at each other and I'm sure I could argue that it was the recipient's fault in court!

The Drone Ranger
08-06-2013, 11:07 PM
Of the green variety?! They could try and hold me responsible but maybe they shouldn't have put themselves in the position to get coated in green slime. In reality it's fairly unlikely as the alpacas usually only spit at each other and I'm sure I could argue that it was the recipient's fault in court!

That's my bee defence in a nutshell
"What kind of idiot hangs around beehives without a veil"
I think that stands up

Re the warning signs I thought something like "WARNING DANGER OF SWARMS "

Jon
08-06-2013, 11:28 PM
Twice in the last month I have looked up to see an adult and a small child from the nearby allotments leaning over the association apiary fence watching me while I do some hive manipulation.
The bees are quiet but watching from 10 feet away without protection is stupid.
When asked to move away, they start some bull about how bees are fascinating end endangered and they wanted the child to be able to see the beekeeper working with bees.

I actually had to point out that there is a reason why beekeepers use veils.
Candidates for Darwin awards.

The Drone Ranger
08-06-2013, 11:48 PM
Twice in the last month I have looked up to see an adult and a small child from the nearby allotments leaning over the association apiary fence watching me while I do some hive manipulation.
The bees are quiet but watching from 10 feet away without protection is stupid.
When asked to move away, they start some bull about how bees are fascinating end endangered and they wanted the child to be able to see the beekeeper working with bees.
I actually had to point out that there is a reason why beekeepers use veils.
Candidates for Darwin awards.
Scary stuff

I only have 1 neighbour and he's a fair distance away
There is a person with access rights down my road but I don't care if he gets stung he's a moron

fatshark
09-06-2013, 09:15 AM
Fatshark is it worth the subscription would you renew ?
Frankly I'm not sure ... through the associations I think it's only 16 (don't quote me on that). I usually renew in the off-season when I'm at a weak point in terms of wanting anything bee related to do. However, having just read a few pages of the current issue - two pages of short snippets from scientists on the neonics ban (generally well balanced, for and against) followed by two pages from Graham White (which I feel is not balanced and not particularly well informed) - I'm thinking "why do I pay for this?". There are a lot of articles about beekeeping overseas. These are of little relevance to our practices, but interesting nevertheless. There's an interesting piece on Saudi Arabia, where the traditional hives are cylindrical and commentaries from the USA (Flottum), Southern and Eastern Europe.

If you can put up with articles with subheadings like "The betrayal of bees and beekeepers" (White on the BBKA) then it's worth a read ... and in November, 16 isn't too much to get a "fix".

The Drone Ranger
09-06-2013, 06:28 PM
Thanks Fatshark I think you are right
In the winter I would read anything
16-00 is very reasonable these days
If there's two pages of Graham White that should get the blood flowing :)

fatshark
09-06-2013, 08:09 PM
If there's two pages of Graham White that should get the blood flowing :)

PM me your address. I'll rip 'em out, you're welcome to them!

The Drone Ranger
09-06-2013, 11:08 PM
PM me your address. I'll rip 'em out, you're welcome to them!
Lol!!
Very good offer but I'll pass on that one :)

gavin
10-06-2013, 11:24 AM
You could scan them, post them here, and we'll rip them apart?! I almost miss 'discussing' things online with ol' BBM.

Sent from my BlackBerry 8520 using Tapatalk

Jon
10-06-2013, 11:34 AM
He never had a DISCUSSION with anyone in his life.

gavin
10-06-2013, 07:28 PM
Funny that. On the phone/Tapatalk the capitals look a bit odd. On the laptop (switched to Firefox and the line spacing issue is resolved) the full formatting is revealed and I can happily add: :D

wee willy
10-06-2013, 08:50 PM
Funny that. On the phone/Tapatalk the capitals look a bit odd. On the laptop (switched to Firefox and the line spacing issue is resolved) the full formatting is revealed and I can happily add: :D

:D :D :D :D
WW


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The Drone Ranger
10-06-2013, 11:53 PM
He never had a DISCUSSION with anyone in his life.
Hi Jon
Read a page the other day that no chalkbrood indicates hygienic bees
I know you are looking for ways of identifying hygienic behavior
It's fairly obvious I suppose but apparently its a reliable indicator

I was exploring the possibility that early season chalkbrood might limit varroa expansion

The Drone Ranger
12-08-2013, 09:31 PM
I could have posted here for suggestions on how to clean the thick tar layer out of my smoker
I probably could have googled it; but no I took a different route
Digging out the hot air stripper, I found I have two of these, goodness knows why I hate decorating
Now the clever(ish) part.
Using the hot air stripper I blast the inside until the tar catches fire
Fascinatingly as the air blows in it starts to resemble a blacksmiths forge
Sparks, fierce heat, flames etc
I keep going till all the combustible material has gone ,the smoker is glowing red hot and the remaining red slag can be turned out
By now I have noticed that the hole in the smoker bellows is on fire so I put it out (not too much damage)
For the first time I now look at the hot air stripper
All the plastic at the front has melted and it looks bleedin' 'orrible
So once again don't try this at home folks :)

wee willy
12-08-2013, 10:27 PM
I use a blow torch ,no plastic bits to melt :)
I do this often to avoid the build up described!
VM


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The Drone Ranger
13-09-2013, 06:21 PM
Thanks Willy
I have now bought a replacement gas canister for the plumbers blowtorch
I'm not sure why I have one of these I think I bought it to sterilise boxes and floors
I couldn't plumb to save my life

prakel
10-02-2014, 12:32 PM
thought this would be interesting.

I'm not putting myself up as "the" expert. got a question about bees? it might be a wikipedia answer that you should take with a pinch of salt, but... Ask me (us) anything...


Hi Neil, another one for you.

Where do all the July and August prime swarms go because they don't seem to come my way (or try to leave my hives)? Thinking about this recently because I keep reading internet reports of July and August casts. Now, to my thinking the one presupposes the other; unless of course, a lot of these small swarms late in the season are something other than casts...

madasafish
10-02-2014, 05:16 PM
Twice in the last month I have looked up to see an adult and a small child from the nearby allotments leaning over the association apiary fence watching me while I do some hive manipulation.
The bees are quiet but watching from 10 feet away without protection is stupid.
When asked to move away, they start some bull about how bees are fascinating end endangered and they wanted the child to be able to see the beekeeper working with bees.

I actually had to point out that there is a reason why beekeepers use veils.
Candidates for Darwin awards.


Nope..
Bees SHOULD be docile... see German beekeeping videos..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8EOgCHl_5ko

Jon
10-02-2014, 06:12 PM
I have watched most of those German videos before.
Those Carniolans they work with are highly selected and very docile.
Although not all the handlers in the videos work without a veil.

I have seen the same veil free inspections during demonstrations at the Galtee apiary with native bees..

Would you be happy with members of the public standing watching at your shoulder while you did a hive inspection?

drumgerry
10-02-2014, 07:37 PM
Absolutely not. We had an association meeting at my apiary last summer and one old gent turned up and was adamant he wouldn't suit up when everyone else didn't have a problem with it. The thought crossed my mind to insist but I let it go and in the event he was fine and didn't get stung. On another day and in different circumstances he might not have been so lucky. Something new beekeepers often fail to realise is that bee temperament is, or at least it can be, a sliding scale. Bees which are docile in April/May might not be under different conditions in August (or even the next week!). So in my opinion it pays not to be too casual and assume all will be well. I know I've been caught out a few times when I've been fully suited up and simply had to close the hive up. I dread to think what might have happened if I'd been veil-less.

Trog
11-02-2014, 09:58 PM
There was an old Polish chap who used to work his bees near where we lived. Don't think he had a veil and 'suited up' meant just that - he wore an old suit. Smoker was a baked bean (or similar) can stuffed with rags. I think a lot of the time he just spent time among his bees, not opening hives, perhaps just talking to them ...

busybeephilip
14-02-2014, 03:16 PM
Even the quietest bees can have their off days, they may have been disturbed earlier in the day, always wear a veil when disturbing bee hives, it would just take one sting in the eye to potentially blind you

The Drone Ranger
08-11-2015, 05:55 PM
Hi Neil
The question I would ask is where the devil are you ?
Come to think of it where is everybody else as well ?

I really hope I don't wake up tomorrow to a zombie apocalypse
I'm not keen on all the head bashing and shooting you need to survive

gavin
08-11-2015, 07:09 PM
I'm pleased to report that he's safe and well at home, tucked up for the winter with his favourite Land Rover. He comes out occasionally on another internet medium to rail at the choice of panel member on Question Time but as that isn't a suitable topic for here I'll pass over it.

Why don't we get given good advice like this on our side of the Pond?

http://s.wsj.net/public/resources/images/BN-CC229_zombie_G_20140326100627.jpg

drumgerry
08-11-2015, 07:32 PM
I'm sure I've met a member or two of the living dead at various bee meetings in the past! Never occurred to me to lop their heads off with a Japanese sword but then again it might have been a mercy...

The Drone Ranger
08-11-2015, 10:13 PM
Thank goodness for Gavin and Drumgerry at first I thought it was just me going a little crazy :)

gavin
08-11-2015, 10:53 PM
You'll never be alone on here. There are *always* a few search engines and dodgy spam-bots from far away countries looking in.

Neils
14-11-2015, 11:12 AM
Hi Neil
The question I would ask is where the devil are you ?
Come to think of it where is everybody else as well ?

I really hope I don't wake up tomorrow to a zombie apocalypse
I'm not keen on all the head bashing and shooting you need to survive

Real life getting in the way of things. I moved out of Bristol to the depths of Somerset last year, lost most of my bees over winter and in between sorting out the house have been trying to build things back up again. I've now got two apiary sites and 4 reasonable colonies going into winter so should start to be more active on here again.

The Drone Ranger
14-11-2015, 01:49 PM
Real life getting in the way of things. I moved out of Bristol to the depths of Somerset last year, lost most of my bees over winter and in between sorting out the house have been trying to build things back up again. I've now got two apiary sites and 4 reasonable colonies going into winter so should start to be more active on here again.

I was beginning to think Anaphalaxis then I realised I couldn't spell it and thought bad reaction to bee sting was the cause?
You haven't packed it in then Neil that's good
Somerset is nice in Summer whats it like in Winter ?

(Thought I would give you an easy question first)

Neils
16-11-2015, 04:41 PM
Thankfully still going. Winter in my limited experience wasn't too bad, but we'll see what happens when it snows!

I moved the bees onto a local farm last summer. They were all alive just before chrimble for an OA dose, but all bar one was dead come end of March. Combination it seems of isolation starvation, dysentery/nosema in most cases.

Built up again from spare swarms and now have two sites with 4 colonies. They were all packed with stores at the end of September but I'm going to check them all again over the next week or so and get fondant on them early given the warm autumn thus far.

The Drone Ranger
16-11-2015, 06:58 PM
One of our friends had bees on a fruit farm but they never really thrived
Every time you went there they were spraying one or other of the fields of raspberries
When they spray its more like a drench than a light mist

She was convinced it also made the bees bad tempered
I was sceptical but as the season progressed they got really nasty
I wanted to requeen the lot but she moved them to another 3 different sites
One was on an estate ,one in a friends garden and the rest moved into the city

They all gradually became pretty docile so I was barking up the wrong tree
Well you live and learn as they say

So watch what goes on at the farm they can sometimes be a pretty hostile environment for bees


Sent from my LIFETAB_S1034X using Tapatalk

Neils
25-11-2015, 02:02 PM
Still early days for me. Both sites are on animal farms do we ranch with horses in this country? Rather than crops/fruit that would seem to be of immediate benefit but there is a lot of meadow and/or OSR about. If they survive winter we'll see how they get on next year.

The Drone Ranger
25-11-2015, 02:23 PM
Still early days for me. Both sites are on animal farms do we ranch with horses in this country? Rather than crops/fruit that would seem to be of immediate benefit but there is a lot of meadow and/or OSR about. If they survive winter we'll see how they get on next year.
Sounds good Neils

castanea
14-12-2015, 11:23 AM
Hello,

I am a new beekeeper, I bought a nuc in May put them in a new hive. For the time being all is well. I have a few questions.

1) I was reading that in Spring time you need to clean all frames also to change the floor. It then goes on to say to put the clean frames in a new brood box.

Cleaning the frames and the floor makes sense but changing the brood box won't it disturb the bees, any info would be gladly accepted.

2) It also says to change some frames every year, all my frames are new. The only ones I am not sure of,is the age of the 5 frames which came with the nuc.

Thanks

gavin
14-12-2015, 12:08 PM
Hello - thanks for posting!

There's a good lesson which it seems you have partially learned already, you'll get a lot of dodgy (or at least contradictory) advice!

There is no need to be so clinical and interfere so much (in my view). Probably the most common of these actions is to swap and clean the floor. I sometimes do this, sometimes don't bother, the bees will do it when strong enough.

Yes, replace the oldest and worst frames when there is an opportunity but don't force the issue. When you can gently rearrange frames without disturbing them too much (ie late summer), try to get the worst frames to the outside so that in late spring they may be empty and easy to remove. I'll bet that your bees are centred on your oldest frames now which means you can't easily remove these frames.

Some try a Bailey comb change (getting them to work up into a new clean box of frames) or even a shook swarm. Nah, only for beekeepers with OCD, or possibly for those in warm southern locations and high local disease pressure.

Focus on being nice to your bees and not disrupting things for them too much in preference to renewing everything often.

cheers

G.

prakel
14-12-2015, 12:20 PM
This is an interesting read:

Effects of comb age on honey bee colony growth and brood survivorship by Jennifer Berry; Keith Delaplane


This research examined the effects of comb age on honey bee colony growth and brood survivorship. Experimental old combs were of an unknown age, but were dark and heavy as typical of combs one or more years old. New combs were produced just prior to the beginning of the experiment and had never had brood previously reared in them. Either old or new combs were installed into each of 2124 nucleus colonies each year over a three-year period. On average, colonies with new comb produced a greater area (cm2 ) of brood, a greater area (cm2 ) of sealed brood, and a higher weight of individual young bees (mg). Brood survivorship was the only variable significantly higher in old comb


https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiD4daqnNvJAhXGWCwKHe2GD0YQFgglMAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ent.uga.edu%2Fbees%2Fpublicat ions%2Feffects_comb_age.pdf&usg=AFQjCNHRR0CJAqGcPlTQGl5c3qPKw7DmBA&sig2=X5M6fWAKWCTnMSD2xLD5ag&bvm=bv.109910813,d.bGg

gavin
14-12-2015, 01:16 PM
It is. I'm all for a spot of science illuminating these issues. But would it differ according to the practices in the apiary - by that I largely mean the history of use of pesticides that could build up in comb?

What do you do, R? Frequent swapping out of a third of combs, Bailey comb change, shook swarms, or do you keep old comb?

prakel
14-12-2015, 03:13 PM
What do you do, R? Frequent swapping out of a third of combs, Bailey comb change, shook swarms, or do you keep old comb?

OK. Second attempt at a reply, the last one seems to have vanished.

I've been a long term believer in keeping old comb if everything else is OK. But like so much of what I do my oppinions have changed, for various reasons although there are obiously some advantages to keeping good old comb especially when you're trying to increase colony numbers.

Firstly, large scale efb experience where blanket treatment with OTC failed but later shook swarming almost completly nailed the problem on the first round.

Then, there's my use of all natural comb for a few years (largely back on the foundation road now). There's no doubt in my mind that bees given the chance to build plenty of comb seem to have a vibrancy not so clearly seen in bees which have been sat on the same combs for a few years. To be clear a swarm newly stationed on old comb shows that same energy so it's not (I think) the comb itself but the actual act of building new brood comb that seems to benefit a colony. I may be wrong of course :).

I'm not a follower of any religious comb renewal method -yet. Still trying alternative approaches. The best I like so far is similar to what finman promotes, getting combs drawn above the brood during the normal course of the season and then taking the old away as the nest relocates itself (with a bit of help sometimes) but there are lots of flaws especially with the md brood frames. I actually think that Calluna4u's promotion of late season comb drawing, which we did try in a quite aggressive manner with twenty colonies this year may actually suit this area very well. Time will tell.

Finally, just a bit of fun:


The purchaser should examine the combs, in order to know the age of the hives. The combs of that season are white, those of a former year are of a darkish yellow: and where the combs are black the hives should be rejected, because old hives are most liable to vermin and other accidents.

A Treatise on the Management of Bees by Thomas Wildman 1768

castanea
14-12-2015, 09:12 PM
Hello
Thanks for the reply, my sentiments entirely, sometimes too much medalling is a bad thing( especially for a newbee). The bees worked really well and filled all the frames with honey, (they are Italian Caucasian). I was thinking to change 2 frames in the spring but don't know how to go about it. Right now they are still bringing in some pollen I just hope they hibernate well and are still alive then next worry what can I do to stop them swarming??

Thanks
S

gavin
14-12-2015, 11:27 PM
As for exchanging frames, just take them out when they are empty (once things are properly underway and in decent beekeeping weather!). If the bees start using them for brood or stores before you get to them (or they never empty them) never mind, just leave them and take them out another time.

Preventing swarming? Books have been written on this! Look out (weekly) for the first signs of queen cells being made (ie queen cups with eggs or larger, usually in May or June) then act. Wise to start with a basic artificial swarm - and leave only either the queen or one queen cell in each split. Watch out for them rapidly making more queen cells and intervene (check within a few days). Bees in a mood to swarm will try to make more cells quickly and depart before they are sealed. If there is only one queen with no Q cells, or one queen cell only, in each unit then they will not swarm.

This is a big topic though. It is wise to read some books.

The Drone Ranger
15-12-2015, 02:02 AM
Hello
Thanks for the reply, my sentiments entirely, sometimes too much medalling is a bad thing( especially for a newbee). The bees worked really well and filled all the frames with honey, (they are Italian Caucasian). I was thinking to change 2 frames in the spring but don't know how to go about it. Right now they are still bringing in some pollen I just hope they hibernate well and are still alive then next worry what can I do to stop them swarming??

Thanks
S

Hi and Welcome :)

If you have a National hive with long lugs you can fit plastic ends as they are called
They come in seasons colours like queen marking and that helps keep track of their age
If you have frames with the short lugs like Smith then they are a nuisance so don't get them
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/like/121478533831?adgroupid=13585920426&hlpht=true&hlpv=2&rlsatarget=pla-131843269746&adtype=pla&ff3=1&lpid=122&poi=&ul_noapp=true&limghlpsr=true&ff19=0&device=c&chn=ps&campaignid=207297426&crdt=0&ff12=67&ff11=ICEP3.0.0-L&ff14=122&viphx=1&ops=true&ff13=80

fatshark
15-12-2015, 12:44 PM
And remember to keep the old manky brood frames for your bait hives (assuming no disease or stores in them).
Nothing better than freebees :D

Calum
16-12-2015, 08:41 AM
And remember to keep the old manky brood frames for your bait hives (assuming no disease or stores in them).
Nothing better than freebees :D
:P
bait hives are quite illegal in Germany.
Free bees can also bring with them unwanted side effects....
If you are going to bait, better have frames with starter strips (in case they are bringing A or EFB with them in their honey stores), and paint the inside with propolis to attract them just as well as an old frame!
Those are best for getting the fire or bbq going :D

castanea
21-12-2015, 10:33 PM
Hi

Thanks for the welcome and the advise for the lugs. I have a Dadant Hive not sure they will fit, Why a Dadant? simple I live in France.