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Thread: Queen Failures

  1. #11
    Senior Member prakel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Poot View Post
    Hi Prakrit, unfortunately yes; I'm in an area of fields for cattle, grass for silage and so on. In a valley too so my bees didn't benefit from the osr on the tops. I can now appreciate how bees can do better in semi urban areas than the countryside. I'm hoping the brambles in the many hedgerows will give a nectar surplus.
    Hi Poot, you've found a lost part of the county which I've thankfully missed! My own experience over the years that I've been here has been much better. Not saying that there haven't been localised (and sometimes blanket) crop failures but nothing on a permanent basis, similarly, I find queen matings down here to be, for the most part, very good although most May's prove to be a let down (this year was something of an exception), August and September are very good in my experience; I know that there can be some concern over drone quality later in the summer but experience has shown good results over a couple of decades in these parts.

  2. #12

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    Hello Prakrit,
    (Sorry I mis-spelled your name last time)
    I moved from Somerset, quite close to Yeovil, where things were generally good, to proper rural Dorset. The hedges are flailed to an inch of their lives in the early Winter, stopping them flowering in the Spring. The fields don't have borders for wild flowers either. I'll have to start an action group or try to educate some farmers I reckon. My first Summer here hasn't gone to plan bee-wise, so it might be that I'm just a grumpy old sod!

  3. #13
    Senior Member prakel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Poot View Post
    Hello Prakrit,
    (Sorry I mis-spelled your name last time)
    lol

    Quote Originally Posted by The Poot View Post
    I'll have to start an action group or try to educate some farmers
    Yes, I find they respond well to being told how to do their jobs properly.
    Last edited by prakel; 20-06-2017 at 10:02 PM.

  4. #14

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    "get orff moi laaarnd"

  5. #15
    Senior Member prakel's Avatar
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    Yes, that's what they might start saying if 'beekeepers' start lecturing them. As I've said, I think you must be very unlucky to have found such a 'desert' in the County of Dorset. Maybe the farmers need to organize a group to lecture the local beekeepers on how to raise good queens and get a crop too.

  6. #16
    Senior Member Greengage's Avatar
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    Maybe this should be a different thread "get orff moi laaarnd" but why should a farmer invite a beekeeper onto his or her land. What's in it for the farmer except hassle.
    1. A beekeeper moves their hives onto land that is not theirs probably with no written agreement as to what is involved.
    2. Farmer cannot access the hives if they are in the way they have to contact the beekeeper to move them phone call and time wasted waiting for beekeeper to call or not available to take call.
    3. There is a weather window for spraying beekeeper not contactable.
    4. Ag contractor working on land farmer forgets to inform him there are bees on the site.
    4. Poor beekeeper swarms causing nuisance.
    5. Aggressive bees following farmer when on site.
    6.Excess equipment left on site or not collected.
    7. other beekeepers visiting site without permission.
    8. Other beekeepers see hives on site and move theirs on to same without permission.
    9. Beekeepers fighting over right of access.
    10. No thanks received either from beekeeper, no pot of honey passed on no ,money exchanges hands,
    11. Local associations always complaining about farmers Spraying, hedge maintenance, crop rotation. headlands, fertiliser spreading, poor forage etc...
    12. Conflict between beekeepers and conservationists in relation to native pollinators and honey bees.
    Last edited by Greengage; 22-06-2017 at 02:44 PM.

  7. #17

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    Hi Prakel and Greengage,
    I understand there are incentives for leaving headlands in some counties and some farmers have proved the benefits from attracting pollinators onto their land. Higher yields and so on. But for wind pollinated crops there is no such benefit so most farmers don't bother. I'm still sussing out forage available and thus far it's not positive - my first year at this location. I think your list of negatives Greengage, is about right sadly. I guess as very busy people farmers have every right to consider headlands and so on as unnecessary distractions.
    I intend to get into raising my own queens but am still a novice with much to learn.
    Today my neighbour has a swarm high in a tree and the scouts are investigating my bait hive, so I'm hoping tomorrow they'll move in and I'll be back to two colonies after losing the one robbed out.
    I appreciate your comments.

  8. #18
    Senior Member Greengage's Avatar
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    I grew up in a rural area and can see it from both sides. There is nothing worse than someone moving from an urban area to a rural and telling farmers how to maintain their lands. They complain about smells, Slow machinery on roads, generators running, cows and donkeys calling, Loose animals. I have asked our people would anyone be interested in attending farmers meetings or joining there group work with them listen to their concerns, no takers. Honey bees are not the answer to any of their problems. For OSR honey bees can contribute to an even pollination of the crop, OSR can self pollinate.. OSR was used as a break crop and farmers got paid for growing it but now there is a move away from it to grow maize more money in it , remember Farming is a business not a hobby. Apples are better off pollinated by lots of different pollinators not just Honey bees. As for Strawberries, Peppers, Tomatoes, Cucumbers they are all grown in green houses and pollinated by bumblebees. Don't get me started on the Bee Armageddon when we all die due to lack of honey bees. For the majority of people Honey bee keeping is a hobby and even at that its a middle class hobby as it is an expensive hobby to get involved in unless you have good carpentry skills and somewhere to keep your bees. My final rant as for Urban bee keeping versus Rural beekeeping the only difference is that it is more convenient for some people to keep there bees in urban areas than rural areas. saves on travel time for the bee keeper.

  9. #19
    Senior Member prakel's Avatar
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    Poot, have you tried this mapping device which Mellifera Crofter told us about? You may find it interesting.

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by prakel View Post
    Poot, have you tried this mapping device which Mellifera Crofter told us about? You may find it interesting.
    Hi Prakel,
    Thanks for pointing me to the mapping site - I've clearly been a bit short sighted. The bees must be flying further afield than I estimated. Perhaps I've been a little pessimistic! Still unfamiliar territory.
    On a brighter note a large swarm is making their home in my bait hive�� For once a plan has come good and the bees abided by the rules! I added a frame with open brood from my other hive to make them feel at home and persuade them to stay.
    How many colonies do you have? How are they doing this year?

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