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Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum

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    Idle B's ?

    It's raining hard and all the foragers are inside hives. Do they just literally hang about, or do they do something useful?
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    Scenting. Why?

    During a sunny spell between heavy showers this afternoon one of my hives was very active with a cloud of bees in front which is not that unusual. This time there were half a dozen bees around the entrance with their backsides high obviously scenting, (no, they were not just fanning). It all...
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    Slimming the queen

    I was helping with a hive inspection yesterday. Double brood and a super, and bursting with bees. Drones were flying, and there were plenty inside. There were half built queen cells at positions from 1/3 way down to the bottom on some frames, none of them capped yet. I didn't see eggs in the...
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    Emergency queen survival?

    I inspected my hives this afternoon. Although heavy, One was unexpectedly dead and empty of bees, so I brought it in to protect the honey from predators. At the end of a super frame (no excluder) I found about a dozen static and seemingly dead bees. I brushed these off, and found the queen was...
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    Eye wiping

    Some bees stop briefly to wipe their eyes at the hive entrance. Is it just a reflex response of 'blimey, it's bright out there' or has it got some deeper significance? And why only some?
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    Marzipan as fondant?

    I have been offered a free 12.5 Kg box of marzipan, and some other large chunks too. The ingredients are Glucose syrup, Invert sugar syrup, Water, and 25% almonds. I am wondering whether to use it as winter 'fondant'. I seem to remember reading that bees dislike the smell of almonds, but mine...
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    Does a queenless hive eject drones?

    I visited a friend today planning to help inspect a possible queenless hive (a swarm hived a while ago) but rain and gusty wind postponed play. We did notice that that drones were being dragged out of this hive. This got us thinking. Would a queenless hive or one with a virgin queen eject drones?
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    Faulty mite drop count?

    I have trays in at the moment to monitor mite drop. I could hear rustling under a hive just now and pulled out the tray by torchlight. On the tray i found there were a few woodlice, a few earwigs, and 2 garden beetles, (which I think are carnivorous?). With all that going on during the hours of...
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    Brittle wax. Why?

    Wax I recover from cappings or combs is always much more brittle than the wax in foundation sheets whether it comes from the solar extractor or melting pot even and even if I refine it a few times. Do they add something to foundation wax?
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    Swarm, cold nights, close OMF?

    I was given a swarm on Thursday, and I have put them into a brood chamber with frames of foundation on an open OMF. I was surprised to see that last night the garden temperature here dropped to 4 degrees centigrade, . Would it make sense to close off the floor to keep the temperature up to help...
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    Drone layer. Did I do the right thing?

    I have had 2 casts for about six weeks hived on 5 frames each in 2 brood boxes on top of each other with entrances facing different ways and a crown board with mesh covered holes between them. When I checked them today One was queenright with eggs and capped brood and the other had either an...
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    Swarm returned to original hive next morning

    One of my hives swarmed yesterday, quite a big swarm. I collected the swarm which had only gone about 10 metres and put them into a super (all I had) which had a full set of drawn frames. This morning before 9 there was a lot of activity on the landing board of the original hive, with plenty of...
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    Brood and queen cells in super. Did I do the right thing?

    When checking the (poor) stores in a super last week I found worker brood on 2 frames and a well developed but not yet capped queen cell at the bottom of one of these frames. This cell was damaged when removing frames because it was also fixed to the excluder by brace comb. I visited the local...
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    Does shaking frames damage brood?

    Does shaking/knocking frames to clear bees off for inspection harm brood in their various stages of development?