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Thread: todays news

  1. #4061
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    Iíve been waiting for an iffy queen to start laying in one of my poly nucs for the last few weeks. Sheís little bit small but I was hoping sheíd fill out. The bees have got rid of most of their drones and there have been no Q cells made on the bar of open brood they were given. Today was going to be her last chance for eggs or she was for the chop. Sheís not laying yet!
    On arrival today there was a lot of robbing going on nearby. The owner of the other hives hasnít been feeding his bees yet and they are in robbing mode. Iíve been feeding all of my nucs and they have narrowed entrances and should be able to defend themselves. On inspecting the nuc I found the bees were balling the queen. After I had separated the ball the queen took to the air and landed on the front of the nuc and re-entered. I found her on another frame and the bees were starting to ball her again. I shut the nuc and have left them to their own devices. Could the queen not yet be laying because of all the robbing going on or is she just duff anyway and it might have been her own bees balling her. Iím going to sort them out once and for all next weekend. I welcome all opinions.
    Ps Iíve come across queens being balled before and feared the worst, only to find them running about fine on the next inspection.
    Last edited by lindsay s; 01-09-2019 at 05:48 PM.

  2. #4062
    Senior Member Mellifera Crofter's Avatar
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    Lindsay, I've heard that the disruption to the hive sometimes cause the bees to ball the queen. I've discovered a new queen being balled when inspecting a hive, and despite saving her from the ball, she disappeared. Perhaps, shutting the nuc and returning it to normal might have been your best move, as it seems you've managed before!

  3. #4063
    Senior Member Mellifera Crofter's Avatar
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    Saturday's news: We (the ADBKA) had a another excellent afternoon on the heather with Murray - and we did not need any umbrellas!

    Despite my many attempts to capture the beauty of a comb of heather held against the sun - this was my best effort.

    Kitta

    IMG_4560-2.jpg

  4. #4064
    Senior Member fatshark's Avatar
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    Held up against the sun all bees look dark

  5. #4065
    Senior Member Mellifera Crofter's Avatar
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    I should remember that, Fatshark, when I bemoan the influx of yellow bees in my colonies!

  6. #4066
    Senior Member Adam's Avatar
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    I've seen balling a few times but not for years. It was always with young queens, so maybe I used to be too keen to go inside and see if the queens were laying or accepted. In those occasions I smoked and pulled the bees off and caged the queens with candy and the queens were OK a week later once released with me out of the way and interfering with the smooth running of the colony.
    If it's the only queen they've got, it would be unusual for the bees to do that. But if she's duff anyway..... they might have diffferent ideas.

  7. #4067
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    Quote Originally Posted by lindsay s View Post
    I’ve been waiting for an iffy queen to start laying in one of my poly nucs for the last few weeks. She’s little bit small but I was hoping she’d fill out. The bees have got rid of most of their drones and there have been no Q cells made on the bar of open brood they were given. Today was going to be her last chance for eggs or she was for the chop. She’s not laying yet!
    On arrival today there was a lot of robbing going on nearby. The owner of the other hives hasn’t been feeding his bees yet and they are in robbing mode. I’ve been feeding all of my nucs and they have narrowed entrances and should be able to defend themselves. On inspecting the nuc I found the bees were balling the queen. After I had separated the ball the queen took to the air and landed on the front of the nuc and re-entered. I found her on another frame and the bees were starting to ball her again. I shut the nuc and have left them to their own devices. Could the queen not yet be laying because of all the robbing going on or is she just duff anyway and it might have been her own bees balling her. I’m going to sort them out once and for all next weekend. I welcome all opinions.
    Ps I’ve come across queens being balled before and feared the worst, only to find them running about fine on the next inspection.
    Well I looked at the queen a week later and she was moving about quite happily despite the mauling she got last time I saw her. She was still not laying but because I was waiting for some brood to hatch out on a test frame l delayed in giving her the chop and uniting the nuc. Today I was intending to cull her and unite the bees, but on inspecting the colony I saw her and found a small patch of eggs and larvae on one frame. It was in a nice pattern and I think she started laying about the middle of last week, she’s not duff after all.
    I decided to give the poly nuc a frame with some sealed brood for a boost because it had enough bees to keep it warm. It wasn’t that easy and I was on my third hive before I found a half suitable frame. Because of queens cutting back on laying and heavy feeding what little brood there was, was on the bottom third of the frames. It’s unusual for me to see that because I’m not usually in hives at this time of year. The poly nuc has plenty of stores and is warm so I hope the queen keeps laying for a few weeks yet. Although I would like a look in couple of weeks time I’m going to leave it alone because there is nothing more l can do. Here’s hoping they make it through the winter.
    Last edited by lindsay s; 20-09-2019 at 12:52 PM.

  8. #4068
    Senior Member Mellifera Crofter's Avatar
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    Default todays news

    That was a lucky queen, Lindsay - having escaped being balled and being squashed. I hope she she does well.
    Kitta

  9. #4069
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    Thanks Kitta.
    Excellent weather here today sunny, still and 16-17c. Iíve been tidying up a couple of town apiaries and all the hives are busy and pollen is still coming in. The temptation was to much so I ended up checking out the poly nuc. The queen is now laying well and thereís eggs and larvae on both sides of the frame. This is the latest Iíve ever had a queen come into lay and she should be OK. Apart from topping up feed, I definitely wonít be back in the nuc until Spring!!!

  10. #4070
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    It’s all over for me this year. Feeding finished a few weeks ago and my hives have extra bricks on their roofs and are now ready for the winter. I’m using ex storage heater bricks, they are heavy and they look much nicer than stones. I got loads of them in exchange for a few jars of honey last year.
    It was a very mixed summer here and if June’s weather had carried on there would have been no honey for me at all. July’s was a massive improvement and the bees made up for some of their lost time. I averaged 30lbs of honey per hive, down a third on last years average. The feedback on my honey is good and it will soon be sold out. To sum this year up l’ve the same amount of hives to over winter as last year but I would have liked to have had more nucs. Although my honey is down a third I’m delighted with what I’ve got because I had written off this year in June! Would anyone else like to say how their year has been?
    Last edited by lindsay s; 08-10-2019 at 08:30 AM.

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