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  1. S

    Polyhives and styrene leaching?

    I'd be more worried about how you sterilise the hives. You can put a blow-torch on wood... Savoyard
  2. S

    queen excluder over winter

    A brood-box with a super full of stores. However, with a small colony the bees could move into the super, leaving the queen behind in the brood box. You only need an excluder present if you are keeping the queen out of something. All-in-all, it is generally a bad idea in the winter. Savoyard
  3. S

    Roof Depth?

    If the hive roof encloses an (empty) space then it MUST be ventilated. A couple of summers ago I lost a roof to dry-rot when the vents became blocked. In hives with top bee-spaces, a flat, un-vented roof can double as a crown board. Savoyard
  4. S

    Roof covers?

    My friendly neighborhood printing shop lets me have old A-zero or A-one aluminium litho plates. They can be cut using old scissors, and fold down to the roof dimensions quite nicely. It's not necessary, but a jar of honey as a "thank you" makes things more amenable for next time. Savoyard
  5. S

    Beekeeping books owned by newbies?

    Snodgrass? Laidlaw? The ones I recommend to my mentees are For husbandry (management and handling):- "Guide to Bees and Honey" by Ted Hooper "Practical Beekeeping" by Clive de Bruyn For background (social organisation, natural history, genetics, anatomy, pheromones, etc.):- "The honey bee...
  6. S

    Beekeeping books owned by newbies?

    Just to be controversial - May I recommend to (British) newbies that - IN THE SHORT TERM - they avoid American books. American books are among the best, but their climate, legislation, and husbandry techniques are quite different to ours. You need the confidence to know when something doesn't...
  7. S

    mould in hive

    FWIW I have found something (almost) definitive in some hand-outs from a local guru about cold wintering on a mesh floor. My notes from those hand-outs (acknowledgments to D Maslen esq) 1. MAXIMUM AREA OF OPEN FLOOR - Stiff mesh - No ledges to trap debris - Circa 20mm space between...
  8. S

    mould in hive

    This is ventilation ABOVE the crown board - I expect it would still need to be the same... There are two holes in each side - making four times the area of the modern roofs. A very good experiment to try! Savoyard
  9. S

    mould in hive

    I found condensation underneath the space quilt on one hive - next to the blocked off feed holes. Glass / perspex / polycarbonate crown boards are not vapour permeable - another reason to start using them... You still need a ventilated roof though. Damp + no ventilation = dry rot; I lost a...
  10. S

    Storing comb/foundation

    Over time, foundation will develop a grey crust or "bloom" as the surface dries out / oxidises. The bees seem unwilling or unable to work this crust into drawn honeycomb. Warming the foundation with a hair dryer or in front of a hot fire, will release the natural oils in the wax, and make...
  11. S

    Dead Hive - Now What?

    In the days before varroa they used to say "If a colony dies, FIND OUT WHY". Take a sample of dead bees (about a matchbox full) and try to get them analysed. Many local associations have microscopists who could help. The organisation which is now CSL used to take samples for analysis, perhaps...
  12. S

    Nematodes and varroa!

    I read about a week ago that they are able to "switch off" individual genes in the Varroa mite. If they can use this to switch off (say) the auto-immune system, or the moulting mechanism (a la sacbrood) then we would have a powerful new weapon against the b****y things. Heres hoping Savoyard
  13. S

    Smoker Fuel

    Whether they need it or not :)
  14. S

    Experience using Hoffman Converter Clips

    The converters which clip round the outside of the side-bar interfere with the bee-space, so I am told. The ones which go over the top of the frame are better (again, so I am told). If you put plastic spacers on two consecutive Hoffman frames, then the Hoffman shoulders don't quite touch and...
  15. S

    Equipment Records

    I don't keep an inventory, although I number my brood boxes and supers. I foster the habit of making up "colony kits":- a floor, entrance block, QX, and crown board, all packed inside an upturned roof. If you want one, you will want them all. Other than that, I maintain a simple journal of...
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