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Thread: todays news

  1. #4041
    Senior Member Adam's Avatar
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    I recall once that I put a caged queen in a hive without realizing that there was still a queencell in there. One of my many beekeeping mistakes. The virgin from the queencell left in a swarm - I guess she thought that the caged queen was the remaining 'queencell queen' and so had the all-clear for takeoff.

    In your case, the virgin left knowing there was queen in the hive she couldn't kill.

  2. #4042

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    Is everyone else having a shocking success rate of queen matings this year? Very frustrating! The good news is the bigger colonies are finally putting some honey away, they seem to be all over the willowherb.

  3. #4043

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    Jambo Jambo - I set up for 17 new Qs and got 14 which mostly seem fine so far. One looks a bit runty, one runs everywhere. They were due to start mating flights when we had some bad weather and I was concerned but they just took their time. The shortest period between estimated emergence and laying has been 3 weeks, most were 4 or 5.

    June gap was pronounced here in Tayside, slowed down the old Qs and may have contributed to the slowness of the newer ones so colonies seemed a bit on the weak side for the main flow. I've been uniting to get strength for the heather. Only picked up 3 swarms this year; called out to two that ultimately were Q-less or I missed her and the only good-un was my own when I missed a Q cell after ignoring my carefully made notes. Nothing in my bait hives, which I've now taken down. I'm guessing there will be swarming in tropical Fife deep into Sept!

  4. #4044
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    It was all doom and gloom for me here in June.☹️ I was hoping to make up eight nucs but only managed to do four and I also bumped off three old queens. With hungry colonies, high levels of chalk brood and poor weather I was just about ready to write off this years beekeeping.
    Four weeks later there has been a big improvement in the weather and in the state of my colonies. Two new queens in full size hives were mated and laying within two weeks of hatching which is pretty good for up here. Two of my poly nucs have laying queens and Iím hoping the others will start shortly. Queens that went off the lay in June are making up for lost time at the moment and a few hives are wall to wall with brood but itís too late for anymore splits. The downside is that líll have hives bursting with bees when the forage is coming to an end and they might require extra space when I should be feeding.
    Plenty of queen cells are also being made because nobody has told the bees itís getting too late in the season for swarming. With the weather being so mild Iíve been managing to keep on top of things and havenít lost any yet! Other beekeepers here have had swarms in the last few weeks. (E Mcarthur in Julyís Scottish Beekeeper hit the nail on head when he wrote about late swarming due to unfavourable weather earlier in the summer).
    On the plus side there has been a flow on and the bees are bringing in plenty of pollen. If I time things right I might even get some surplus honey this season.🙂 Iíve never known a beekeeping year like this and its not over yet!
    Last edited by lindsay s; 30-07-2019 at 11:08 PM.

  5. #4045

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    Maybe I have had an unusually good success rate in previous years with queen matings, and it is only my third season... But have had a couple of cases now this year of colonies failing to produce a mated queen evidenced when giving them a test frame. I have enough nucs to cover myself though which is nice. Nucs are awesome.

    It's all good though - a proper summer flow on here and without wanting to jinx things completely I think it could be year of the lime here. Checked a colony last night which has packed a super in 9 days with lovely minty tasting honey - first time I've tried it, deliciously bizarre!

    Now if I could just get them cleared in time to put them on the ling!?

  6. #4046
    Senior Member fatshark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feckless Drone View Post
    Nothing in my bait hives, which I've now taken down. I'm guessing there will be swarming in tropical Fife deep into Sept!
    No ... I think it's all over bar the shouting in the balmy South. Queens are still laying OK, but there's not the frenzied activity of earlier in the season. Strong colonies are still bringing something in. The rest are just ticking over. I've still got a queen or two who's not mated (or not laying) and will shortly start uniting colonies so I have fewer mouths to feed for the winter. Delaying taking supers off in the hope that a few more frames will be filled ... will I ever learn?!

  7. #4047

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    We have had a lovely latter part of July. Hot and sunny but with enough moisture in the ground. Two of my colonies under the lime trees had a bonanza after the cold wet June and early July when I had to feed. Hoping for some heather in my Ullapool hives but they have eaten all the honey they made in May so I may just leave it on the hives. However all my queens mated eventually so I am going into the winter with strong colonies with new queens. All set for the best season ever - next year!


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  8. #4048

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    Quote Originally Posted by fatshark View Post
    No ... I think it's all over bar the shouting in the balmy South.
    ...
    Delaying taking supers off in the hope that a few more frames will be filled ... will I ever learn?!
    It's definitely over up here now apart from the heather - home bees are taking an interest in buddleia and fuschia which in previous years I've been delighted to see but later learned it to be a sure sign of nothing else going on. Clover/bramble/RBWH yields have been pretty mediocre but as per RDMW hives with access to lime have done quite nicely indeed.

    First time trying the heather this year and hives up there are looking promising!

    Clearer boards on the hives which are still at home and soon time to pillage brood boxes, add foundation, treat and feed. Boo.

  9. #4049

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    The willow herb is still flowering here. Interesting comment about the buddlia. Ours had lots of bumbles honeybees as well as the painted ladies.
    May I ask what you are treating with? I would be interested to know. Thank you


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  10. #4050

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    Yeah the willowherb is still flowering here and the fields are still white with clover but Iím fairly convinced neither is producing much.

    I find Amitraz strips effective, easy to use and can be applied at the same time as using a top feeder. Never tried anything else though and only my third season so Iíd treat my opinion with caution...!

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