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Thread: todays news

  1. #3491
    Member Wmfd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatshark View Post
    I was told by an authoritative source today that there's been quite a bit of trouble with flea beetles in the South/South East (UK), but much less elsewhere.
    Is that this year, or last? I suspect the reasons for the switch here were based on last year as the farmer seemed to have decided very early. Having said that it does seem localised as a few farmers in the area have switched, whilst a little way away the OSR is in bloom.

  2. #3492
    Senior Member prakel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gavin View Post
    Possibly oil/fodder radish.
    I reckon that you're right Gavin, not seen that in these parts before.

  3. #3493
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    Made the most of the glorious weather to see properly what's going on in the hives. All three queens in lay so even my iffy hive looks like it will pull through as missing queen very much in evidence and a couple of frames now contain brood, I'll transfer that to a nuc as there is mouldy pollen and a distinct smell of fermenting going on though I've removed all frames of old stores where there was no brood. Poly national nuc is now in a full size hive and final -4x12 has been tidied up and fresh frames replacing old frames of stores that will be mostly syrup.

    Drone frames removed and stores cut out, they need rewiring but can then go back and a frame of stores also likely syrup moved to the freezer for later use.

    Way too early to need supering but lots of food coming in and an uplifting start to the year after the disappointment of the last few years.

  4. #3494

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neils View Post
    Way too early to need supering
    I'm seeing pictures of OSR fields fully out down south, on Tayside they are now turning and I have seen some sycamore that is almost ready to yield. So, I thought things would be in full flow south of here. I've had to super up some of my colonies with nectar coming in. My choice was go to double brood or add the super to provide some space. According to my notes this is 2-3 weeks ahead of last year. I am not exactly sure what the source of nectar is at the moment - we have lots of gorse in flower but that is not really thought to provide much. I suspect some of my colonies are going to build up further on the OSR but not get much of a crop given that it is early this year.

  5. #3495

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    Based on flowering times in a range of hedge and meadow species, we are about 2 weeks ahead of last year. Masses of willow, dandelion and Prunus-type (laurel?/plum?) pollen loads coming in. Hives bunged with bees, sealed brood and ivy stores (bees sucking water from damp leaves to dilute?). Early swarming year?

  6. #3496
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    The OSR is out as are the dandelions. None of the colonies are big enough currently, nor are the queens in full lay as I don't feed unless they're short. They've all got laying queens and I'll use my bigger colony to boost the smaller in the coming weeks. The stronger colonies have fresh frames in the brood boxes to play with which will keep them occupied for a bit and it's going colder again this week.

    I'm also about as high up the mendip hills as you can get so we're typically a few degrees colder and a couple of weeks behind the tropical lowlands of the rest of the south west.

    There's definitely a flow on, hence being happy to remove some of the stores left over from winter, but it'll be a little while here before they need a super.

  7. #3497
    Senior Member Adam's Avatar
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    A yellow-flowered radish was grown near me as a green manure this winter. It's now been killed off and ploughed back in. Prunus (plums of various types) and blackthorn are out as are dandelions. The apple tree in the garden will be in flower in the next day or two. Despite a good income and plenty of liquid stores in my hives, bees are still sucking up water. OSR is out in Norfolk - has been for a couple of weeks. I don't think there's any near me this year though. I do believe that there were East Anglian hotspots of problems with OSR last year with the stem flea beetle which might have put some farmers off. And as sugar has been cheap, there may not have been a good price for it.

  8. #3498
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    Although it was less than ideal bee weather I managed to carry out a quick inspection of all of my colonies at the weekend. The hive floors were cleaned, mouldy combs were removed and the heavy stones were reduced down to one per hive at the same time. One hive was riddled with drone brood and there was no sign of the marked queen. I will sort it out and unite with an over wintered nuc as soon as the weather improves. Another hive had dwindled down to a few hundred bees no brood and one open queen cell. The bees were brushed off the bars and left to find new homes in the other hives because I removed there old home. As for the rest they all had between 3 and 4 bars of brood ok levels of stores and there was plenty of pollen coming in. Although I’m disappointed to have lost two colonies, being left with eight out of ten ain’t bad. The weather has turned colder (between 6 and 9c max) and is set to stay like this for the next week. The dandelions are coming out and there is other forage out there so the only thing holding the bees back is the weather. They could be in for a very long wait.
    P.S. Losing the two colonies might be down to late supersedure but I will leave that for another post.
    Last edited by lindsay s; 11-04-2017 at 09:31 PM.

  9. #3499

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    Hi I'm a lurker and don't normally post so if any of the link or pasted text is not accepted convention here I apologise. I came across when looking at news back home.

    http://www.hebrides-news.com/rare-bl...len-12417.html

    Theft of rare black honey bees is serious blow to conservation efforts

    12 April 2017

    Police are investigating the theft of thousands of rare black bees in the Western Isles.

    The two hives in Manish in Harris were part of efforts to save the threatened native European honeybee species, generally known as black bees due to their dark colouring.

    Dedicated breeder, Gavin Jones, believes his hives were deliberately targeted. He was off the island caring for his dying father when thieves struck.
    The 56-year-old said his stolen stock was vitally important genetic resource in the drive to stop the species becoming extinct.

    Since the last Ice Age, the European dark honeybee was the dominant bee in the UK until it was brought to the brink of extinction by disease from imported Italian bees.

    Now only a handful of isolated spots in the far north of Scotland are free from the Varroa parasite which decimated the original pure Scottish or British black bee. The Manish colony would have swollen to tens of thousands of bees over the summer.

    Mr Jones is “upset” at the theft after trying to increase their numbers after seven years and breeding a local “Harris” subspecies of high purity tough enough to stand up well to the Hebridean climate, flying in rain, wind and poor weather to forage in moorland and exposed terrain.

    He said: “I think they were specialist black bee thieves. I’ve had breeders turning up here offering me good money for nucleus I just don’t have to sell.

    “There’s not that many people breeding at this level of purity and they can’t keep their stock clean [due to disease and cross-breeding with Italian bees] but we can here.

    “It is so hard to breed black bees up here and I had something that was useful for the whole world.”

    Dr Alan Bowman of Aberdeen University who is involved in research into bees said it was a “completely baffling” crime.

    The senior lecturer said: “To me, this seems to be targeted - not random.”

    “Its rather completely baffling for what purpose they were stolen.

    “This is quite sad when a bee enthusiast puts in time and effort and then someone has stolen them.”

    The researcher said: “This is a significant loss to the bee community and to the amount of genetic material in the UK.”

    A Police Scotland spokesman said a family friend last saw the hives on 14 March but they were missing when he returned to check on the property two weeks later.

    He said inquiries are ongoing and anyone with information should call Police Scotland on 101.

  10. #3500
    Senior Member fatshark's Avatar
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    Welcome amacaul ... Greengage mentioned this on a recent thread on the Scottish Native Honey Bee Society (SNHBS) and expressed his opinions which I suspect are shared by many readers.

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