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Thread: todays news

  1. #3961
    Senior Member Adam's Avatar
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    My guess is that the chalkbrood will resume after shook swarm. Queen replacement is probably the answer and it has worked for me. (And I transferred a CB queen to another colony a few years back and the CB transferred with her).

  2. #3962

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    Swarm season here in the north-west highlands of Scotland kicked off on the 28th of April with all four of my colonies making active swarm preparations. Thus far I have managed to avoid any swarming with a mixture of splits, transferring the old queen to a nucleus hive and Demaree. The demaree worked well but I had to grub out a lot of cells from the top box. At least I have managed to hang on to my bees but I have two bait hives set up just in case. We had a very mild February followed by a cold March and a very warm second half of April.
    The challenge now is to amalgamate and get a decent colony to take to the lime.


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  3. #3963
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    Excellent weather here this week and Iím on holiday, so Iíve spent plenty of time with bees. Iíve supplied three beginners with colonies that were overwintered in poly nucís. The last was moved into a Smith hive on Sunday at a very exposed location and Iím hoping theyíll be ok.
    I was helping Sue (our secretary) with her bees on Monday, she was marking queens and adding first supers. Most of my colonies are still drawing out new foundation in their brood boxes and three were given their first super. Seven queens have been marked this season and they came through it unscathed, itís a job I hate doing because Iím heavy handed. Itís usually mid June before swarming starts up here and it reaches its peak about the start of July, so Iíve got time yet to get my nucs ready for splits.
    Finally me and Sue did a recording at my apiary for radio Orkney today. We were speaking about Orkneyís dark bees and because they are varroa free we stressed the importance of not bringing in bees from the south. The recording went well but when we were packing up the reporter got stung on the lug as he was removing his veil.☹️ I hope the jar of honey he got is some consolation.

  4. #3964
    Senior Member fatshark's Avatar
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    Post a link to the recording when it's broadcast ... hopefully with the expletives at the very end redacted

    Down here in the balmy South I hived my first swarm on the 30th of April. Colonies are generally very strong and the OSR is in full-swing. Most boxes have been split or Demareed already, perhaps too early in some cases as there was a coldish period earlier in the month and it's still not consistently warm for queen mating.

    A few colonies are a bit slow and I'll have to decide whether to persevere with them or unite with strong colonies the in the next 2-3 weeks. With splits and nucs being moved up to full hives I've already got too many boxes to inspect ...

    The west coast has had better weather than the east (at least the bits I've seen - but I've mainly been stuck in an office ). I've still yet to see a honey bee in our part of Ardnamurchan and the bait hive sits there looking expectant. The bait hive in my garden in Fife has had some interest but that waned after I did some swarm prevention at my local apiary

    They'll be back!

  5. #3965

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    Yes, would be interested to hear this interview Lindsay.
    I have similar situation to FS, but a week of two behind. Some but not all colonies making swarm preparations, and splits underway using a mix of nucleus method with old Q and Snelgrove boards. All 2018 Qs still laying well. I've run out of supers! and I need them yesterday. Some OSR coming in, sycamore is yielding really well this year and hawthorn pollen piling in. Seems strange but I've only really done two proper inspections and will have to harvest in the next week - 10 days. Big lesson this year has been Bailey comb exchange (colonies now working two supers) and shook swarm (4 nice frames and eggs) but long way to go - this is one of those colonies that should have been dealt with before now - the new comb, and once united with a 2019 Q might make something good for the heather.

    Can see lots of the commercial setups around OSR fields in Angus; more so than last year I think.

  6. #3966
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    I have bees again!

    Two local nucs, inspected as we transferred to my boxes, queens seen, brood in all stages. Bees nice and calm on the frames and a fellow land rover enthusiast to boot.

  7. #3967

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    I had an interesting thing happen. I made up a nuc at the end of April and it developed a nice Queen cell which hatched fine. We had a spell of lovely weather just right for mating.
    Then I noticed a large number of bees clustering under the nuc (it is a Payneís polynuc with a mesh section in the floor) initially I wondered if they had reared two queens and were about to swarm. But the cluster persisted for several days during which I did not have time to deal with it. I wondered if the nuc was very congested. A few days ago I went through the nuc. No eggs. Lots of bees inside the nuc but not overcrowded. I transferred the frames into a National hive and brushed the cluster off the bottom of the nuc into the hive. Since then the bees have all stayed in the hive and flown as usual
    Is it possible that the queen flew and mated and on return missed the entrance and ended up on the outside of the mesh floor and then workers clustered round her??



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  8. #3968

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    A hectic start to the season for me so far! Took seven hives into winter, one queen turned into a drone layer leaving me with six.

    Of those six, five of them have already made swarm preps which I've tried to deal with by removing the queens into nucs. Four of those five were 2018 queens... I think I was late to super them as I hadn't appreciated how far on they were in early April. Trouble is it has got cold again so I am unsure how well queen matings will be going and I have had to open hives up in far from ideal conditions to knock down QCs. Only one hive needing 7 day inspections now though which is nice, and fingers crossed I'll have a good bunch of vigorous queens for my first trip to the heather!

    I'd like to boost the main colonies (in process of raising new queens) with frames of brood from my nucs - can anyone confirm at what point in the cycle of raising a new queen they will no longer try to draw QCs on said frames of brood? Should an emerged virgin be enough, or better to wait for signs of laying?

    PS - Fatshark's latest blog post (https://theapiarist.org/keeping-track/) has a great idea for keeping track of colonies and queens. I have taken it a step further and found some coloured discs on ebay (item no. 282431167115) which can be bought in the five standard queen marking colours, so have got myself a set of green and red ones which should get me going!

  9. #3969

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    Quote Originally Posted by RDMW View Post
    I made up a nuc at the end of April and it developed a nice Queen cell which hatched fine. We had a spell of lovely weather just right for mating.
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    April/early May in Ullapool seems early to expect good mating. Do you think there were enough mature drones available? Has that worked before? My limited experience is that the bees seem pretty good at guiding a new Q back to the comb or the Q's have learned where they need to be. The only time I find bees under the boxes is when a clipped Q fails to get too far. My first Qs of 2019 are only due to fly around now (and the forecast is not good).

  10. #3970

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    Hello. I was hoping for mating mid to late May. We had a very mild February and April and there were lots of mature drones in early May. It has been an unusually mild spring although the last few days have been cold and wet. Time will tell if eggs appear!!


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