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Thread: Hi there everyone

  1. #11
    Senior Member busybeephilip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gavin View Post
    One last night would have been entertaining as I when I opened a double brood hive it erupted into thousands of angry bees zig-zag flying at chest height in a radius of about 15 ft around the hive. I retreated into the trees and then there were only 20 or 30 trying to kill me through my veil.
    Gavin
    Gavin, sounds like you've got a carnolian mellifera mix which are rather nasty when the hive gets strong and can be a tad difficult to requeen with a more docile bee

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Drone Ranger View Post
    Graham Thornes sell a blue metal thing for hanging a frame on outside the hive
    I have found that handy
    http://www.thorne.co.uk/hardware-clo...roduct_id=1783
    They were 5.00 in the sale last year or one before
    Hi thanks for the reply and the input, they say great minds think alike LOL. It just so happens that my one turned up today from Fleebay... used it today and yes it is a god send.

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by gavin View Post
    Hi Graham

    Yes, brave putting up videos of beekeeping so early in your career! One of mine would show lots of things folk would pick up on. One last night would have been entertaining as I when I opened a double brood hive it erupted into thousands of angry bees zig-zag flying at chest height in a radius of about 15 ft around the hive. I retreated into the trees and then there were only 20 or 30 trying to kill me through my veil. I had to leave them to settle for 20 min before I could face going back to retrieve the smoker. That one has been getting worse and worse. I managed a quick peek at the queen cups along the join between the boxes thanks to a dense cloud of wood smoke but then had to retreat again. It has joined its neighbour in the 'unmanageable' category.

    Anyway, two things. Once you prise open a hive more than a bee space try not to let the gap close again. Some use wooden wedges, I just hold the equipment apart. The crunchy sound is never pleasant, though in your case you may have managed to keep bees out of the gap with smoke.

    Just wanted to amplify Al C's comments on queens. Once you see queen cells (I doubt that they're supersedure cells) you need to switch over to detective mode before doing anything removing them. Is the queen still there? Are there eggs? Nowadays my first move is to find the queen, move her into a nuc on her frame plus a frame of stores, making sure that there are enough bees with her. Then I leave them alone until a couple of days before the first queen is due to emerge. Alternatively you can do a classic artificial swarm. To find the queen you have to take your time, starting looking all round the edges of each frame and working in. I use the back of my hand or a hive tool to gently touch thicker layers of bees to make sure I'm seeing every bee. You did some of that but not enough to check thoroughly. Also look on the walls and floors as you go (and the underside of the queen excluder when you take it off).

    If any of those cells were sealed you might have lost a swarm already. As Al said you could have lost the queen (perhaps damaged on the last inspection) and if so then removing all the cells renders them hopelessly queenless. If there are eggs or young larvae the bees can recover from the loss of queen cells by making more, but if they have moved on from that point there are no young larvae to use so the colony cannot replace their queen.

    It looked like they were open queen cells. Assuming the queen is there you need to do an artificial swarm. If you managed to remove all part-developed queen cells leaving only perhaps larvae less than a day old then you may have a few days (perhaps 4), unless they make emergency cells from older worker larvae. Removing the cells doesn't solve anything and risks a swarm earlier in the process before queen cells are sealed. If you missed one you may have only a day or two. In other words it has become urgent to find the queen and do an artificial swarm. All weather dependent of course, that may delay them swarming.

    hope that helps

    Gavin
    Hi Gavin,

    thanks for the reply and your input,,,,

    It so happens that I was at the local club apiary today to check on my 2 hives that I have there and when checking that hive in question the queen was found second time around and there are eggs present. So under the guidance of a local beekeeper doing a check again on Sunday and if more queen cells are found an artificial swarm will follow.

    I also helped him with one of the clubs hives that has 2 suppers on it and I got my eye OPENED I thought my hive was getting big Nothing compared to this one 40,000 bee's plus he told me..

    We then checked on another that were very aggressive and we discovered that they had lost the queen (not something I will forget) Second bee sting and counting.

    The worry that I have about splitting this hive is DO I have enough bees to split ok ? I am sure Sunday will tell one way or another..

    Thanks again to everyone that has commented so far, I will keep everyone up to date on its progress

  4. #14

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    Gavin, the wooden wedges is an awesome idea. I've never thought of that, so simple.

  5. #15
    Senior Member busybeephilip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alclosier View Post
    Gavin, the wooden wedges is an awesome idea. I've never thought of that, so simple.
    works even better if you screw in an eye hook to each wedge and tie a bit of string to them, dont get lost so easy. I tried wedges but now its just twist and lift.

  6. #16
    Administrator gavin's Avatar
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    Good tip, Philip. You may have just encouraged me to try wooden wedges after all these years.

    I'm now doing a lot of propping brood boxes on their front edge having been shown that in a demo for the Smartbee project at Sand Hutton earlier this summer. You can lift the back of the top box, slide the upper box backwards a few inches (few more centimetres) then tip it up at quite an angle to assess lower frame coverage or to look for charged queen cells along the bottom of the upper box. A useful quick check for queen cells in those colonies of killer bees.

    When I'm putting boxes back after lifting one off I try to overlap them in both directions by the thickness of the walls, making contact with just the edges of the rims. Then slide them back to make them properly aligned without crushing a bee. Usually.

  7. #17

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    Hi Gavin
    Laminate flooring spacers are plastic wedges and they just about do the job
    You lose a lot of them (well I have anyway)
    Like the ones in this pic

    ae235.jpg

  8. #18
    Senior Member Bridget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gavin View Post
    I'm now doing a lot of propping brood boxes on their front edge having been shown that in a demo for the Smartbee project at Sand Hutton earlier this summer. You can lift the back of the top box, slide the upper box backwards a few inches (few more centimetres) then tip it up at quite an angle to assess lower frame coverage or to look for charged queen cells along the bottom of the upper box. A useful quick check for queen cells in those colonies of killer bees.
    Gavin
    I have 2 brood boxes and 2 supers on a couple of hives of very aggressive bees which are all over the place and a bit intimidating. Do you reckon that lifting as suggested is good enough or is it something to do if you have lots of colonies and don't mind loosing the odd on or two? I only have the 2.
    I am hoping to re queen these with a couple of queens originating from Drumgerrys calm quiet bees but not just yet. On the plus side these aggressive bees have built up beautifully and I've never had 2 bb's AND 2 supers before.




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  9. #19
    Administrator gavin's Avatar
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    Great set of posts, thanks everyone. I usually go and get a cup of tea and settle in the sofa when C4U has posted one of his highly informative ones.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bridget View Post
    Do you reckon that lifting as suggested is good enough or is it something to do if you have lots of colonies and don't mind loosing the odd on or two? I only have the 2.
    If it fails perhaps 1 time in 10 then it should be good enough for you now .

    I've only turned to it recently when forced to, when frisky colonies and sub-optimal weather conspire to intimidate me. The other option is to shift the entire colony aside and leave for a while a BB, floor and roof on the original site.

    However it is reassuring to see a row of perhaps 10 queen cups and determine that there isn't as much as an egg in one. That ought to give you a week's reassurance in most circumstances. With a clipped queen in residence I'm happy with that. Bear in mind that backwards sliding of the top box resting on its forward edge only works for boxes with frames at right angles to the entrance.

    One bee farmer (not C4U) mentioned to me recently that he was happy if he'd stopped 80% of swarms.

  10. #20

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    Well guys, some good news for me anyway I have found the queen in the swarm hive and marked her today, it was just a very quick inspection to see if I could find her and see if there was any eggs. NO eggs so far but have noticed that they have a good deal of the comb drawn out now and the bees are taking in some amount of pollen good signs I believe, I will not check this hive now for another 3 week just to leave the queen alone to get on with it.

    I will be checking on the hive No: 1 tomorrow weather permitting and checking to see if they have got more queen cells and if so do a artificial swarm, will keep you all posted on the outcome.

    Hive No: 4 I am picking up from a member on Monday night

    This is what I have decided to do for the marking of the queens, I am going to stick to a 2 colour system White and Yellow! reson easier to see Yellow for odd years and White even years ect, ect.

    regards Graham

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