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  1. W

    Two queens in a colony

    I assumed one of my colonies had superseded late last year as I noted the queen was different in my first inspection of the year. I've inspected it regularly and either seen a queen or eggs. I've not done a thorough inspect until today due to the weather. Today I went through it and found two...
  2. W

    Willow and nectar

    I thought I'd start a specific thread as I'm thinking of planting up a large area with goat/grey/pussy willow. Anyway, I have a very large goat willow tree that's a mass of bees and I also have been planting it in amongst some new hedgebanks. My bees are one them and bringing in large amounts...
  3. W

    Fermenting capped stores?

    I've only just managed to take some supers off, due in part to the stormy weather we've had for the last month. Processing one and it was 17.5% water and tasted fine. 2nd frame was completely capped and as soon as I uncapped it it smelt slightly fermented. Checking with my refractometer and it...
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    Merging questions

    Can I just check a couple of things about merging hives? 1) Can I merge a queenless hive with a hive that has a very young queen - one that has only been laying for a few days? If not, how long should I wait? 2) If I want to dispatch a queen in the other hive do I kill her and merge right...
  5. W

    Queen cell in super

    I know this has been asked multiple times but I would like to know if it means anything in terms of future management of the colony. I have a hive on brood and a half (I know, but it seems to suit them). 8 frames plus 9 half frames of BIAS. Queen in bottom box with a couple of full frames of...
  6. W

    Colony slow to build up.

    I have a colony that did well last year. It was over wintered on a double brood and had decent stores, the Q is about 1 and half. Treated like the other hives for varoa and no obvious sign of diseases I'm aware of. This year though it hardly built up at all, just a frame or two of brood whilst...
  7. W

    Too early to split?

    One of my poly hives is rather full, it's on a double brood and there's about 10 frames of brood in the top box and 7 in the bottom. I was a bit late on the first inspection which I did a week ago and I added the first super. That is 3/4 full now. Today there's a Q cell that's has started to be...
  8. W

    Overwintering a double brood colony

    How do people normally overwinter a double brood colony? Do you leave them as a double brood or remove one of the boxes? The last couple of winters here have been very different. The winter before last was very cold with a late spring, the bees overwintered ok on a single national brood box but...
  9. W

    Bramble melomel

    Does anyone have a simple bramble melomel recipe? I've made a fair bit of blackberry/bramble wine over the years and I'm planning on just swapping the sugar for honey. Will this work or is there anything special I need to do when making fruity honey wines?
  10. W

    Queenless after split

    Sorry for another queenless question but... I split a colony and the Q- half formed plenty of Q cells that were reduced to the best one. This appeared to hatch around 10th July (cell open at the tip). I've never seen the Q and, to date, there's no eggs and the bees don't seem to be preparing...
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    Thornes branch sale items

    I note Thornes has its branch sale items listed today and the prices look reasonable. Has anyone bought their budget brood boxes and supers? If so what was their quality like? I understand the wood is cedar and may contain live knots but are they still fine to use? I've purchased other makers...
  12. W

    Strange swarm

    One of my hives swarmed on the 22nd May, leaving behind open Q cells. After a couple of checks I left a single sealed Q cell which appeared to hatch at the start of June. Today they swarmed again and on inspecting the hive there were four sealed Q cells but all were empty. As it was starting...
  13. W

    New Queen trying to swarm

    One of my colonies replaced it's queen early on this year. She is small and I worried about how well she mated as it was early for us with few drones flying. The good news is she's laying well with about 8 frames of brood & eggs. The bad news is the colony is starting to produce Q cells. The...
  14. W

    2 virgin queens in same hive

    One of my hives was last inspected about 3 weeks ago (weather has been poor and very windy since). All was well with a laying queen and I put the first super on. Today there were several broken down or open Q cells. I could not find the original Q (who was about 23 months old). I did find two...
  15. W

    Super frames in a brood box

    I know this may be a daft question but... I have a poly hive that has 2 x brood boxes and 2 x supers. I'm not using a double brood so don't need one brood box, but I could do with another super. It currently has a brood box, then a super on top, which was over wintered and has a little brood...
  16. W

    Lack of stores in March

    I've just had a quick look through most of our hives and was a bit surprised at the lack of stores. All but one had hardly anything left. I'm surprised as they are not large colonies, just a single brood box, and all had a full super of extra stores left on. They filled up with ivy at the end...
  17. W

    Very little brood

    I'm looking for some pointers as to what may be up with one of our hives. It was a strong colony housed last year from a large swarm from one of our other hives. Q is about 2. It's a poly hive and it overwintered fine, and had about 8 frames of brood in it's first inspection of the year, about 6...
  18. W

    Full nuc trying to swarm?

    I'm new to bee keeping this year but did go on a course by our local bee society. We started off with a 6 frame nuc and put them into a national brood box and then the fun began... Basically we've spent most of the year trying to stop them swarming, failing and then catching the swarms. We had...