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Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum

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    Anyone to help a school near Overton?

    Not sure whether these apply to the specific school in question, but there are two problems that apply to modern primary schools that may not have been the case a few years ago: 1) Outdoor space is extremely limited because playing fields have been sold off and pupil numbers have increased at...
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    Play cups. To tear or not to tear?

    I usually knock down play cups because that way at the next inspection I can easily see how many new ones have been built. I'm pretty certain that knocking them doesn't make the bees any more or less likely to swarm. Hooper advises knocking down open queen cells the first time they appear in a...
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    Sinister !

    I find it quite easy to believe that a non-beekeeper might come across a hive, have a nose around to see what it was and upon discovering that it was full of stinging insects decide to write "DO NOT TOUCH" on it. I'm not saying that's completely normal behaviour, but it doesn't seem too weird...
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    Bee Suits

    BBwear do a bespoke service for a bit extra. I ordered one recently because I'm >6'2" and skinny. The fit is good but it's too early for me to comment on durability. I only wash the hoods of my suits rarely, and on a much gentler wash than the rest of the suit. From what I've seen, mesh...
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    Newbie paranoia...

    Those big pollen pellets are normal. Bees don't store pollen for very long, and this means that they often have to go out and collect the stuff even when flying conditions aren't very good or there aren't many flowers out - I think that's how they end up with the smaller pellets in spring. Also...
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    Converting WBC to 12x14

    The "itma method" (carefully transfer all frames to national box onsite, then move the national box) seems best to me. The "heebeegeebee method" (use a temporary floor, remove lifts and move the WBC inner box) is also good, but I there are a couple of things to consider: 1. If there are...
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    Attacked without provocation .....

    Hello Buzzingalong, thank you for being patient whilst your thread goes off on a few interesting tangents! One possibility that I haven't seen mentioned is that you unwittingly walked into a flight path and the first bee crashed into you because it wasn't paying attention on it's way to or from...
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    Transferring from Nuc given current weather

    My advice would be to have your empty hive ready when you inspect the nucleus, and decide whether or not to transfer based on what you see.
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    Drones only

    OK, if I've understood it right, you split a colony 3 ways on May 1st. The "parent" queenright colony is now in a nuc and in good condition. There is a "no drones" child colony (presumably no brood of any kind) - probably worth waiting at least another week to see if it comes good. The...
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    Drones only

    How long ago did you do the artificial swarms, and what type of queen cells did they have? At a guess it was about 2 weeks ago and you need to wait another 1-3 weeks for the virgins to get mated and start laying.
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    A question about swarming?

    That's a cloud of bees about 1 rod in across with about 2 grains of insect per cubic foot, for those who prefer imperial units. ;)
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    Another swarming question

    Even if you find what looks like a textbook case of supersedure (single QC in the colony in the middle of a frame), at this time of year it's probably safest to assume that they're preparing to swarm and act accordingly. There might well be a few more QC's hidden at the sides of frames that you...
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    Mobile phone masts.

    I've never noticed bees reacting to a mobile phone (ie. a small, weak mobile transmitter), even when it's very close to them. So I can't see why they would have a problem with a larger, more powerful mobile transmitter much further away. Bear in mind that the signal from a transmitter 30 metres...
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    polyhives and petrol don't mix

    Agree that summary execution isn't the normal way to deal with a DLQ or laying worker colony. As to how to kill bees without destroying a polyhive - I've often seen detergent (foam from washing up liquid, per eg.) recommended as a way of killing bees, but I'm not sure exactly how best to apply it.
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    Inspection Min temps

    There's no real danger of low temperatures injuring the bees or the brood during an inspection - I've seen a few anecdotes on the forum of bees and brood surviving short spells in a deep freeze! However, if it's cold enough that the bees aren't foraging then the inspection will be hard work...
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    Forcing a hive to be queenless

    Problem is that a stock which was originally nasty will be even more nasty if they're queenless. Are you able to unite them with a couple of good colonies? If there's a well behaved colony within a few feet, you could remove the nasty colony and let the flying bees beg their way into their...
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    Bait box design...

    I would use properly sized and constructed nuc as a bait hive because: - easy to transfer the bees - or keep them until they build up - if it's already been occupied by bees it should be more attractive to swarms - if the swarms don't arrive, you can still use it for queen rearing etc. If you...
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    Are swarms attracted to apiaries?

    This is an interesting question. From a colony's point of view, it might be nice to have no other colonies within a mile radius to avoid competing for forage. However, if they are forced to have neighbours then it doesn't really make any difference if they're 10 yards away or 100. Perhaps living...
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    Your thoughts on inspecting hives close to but away from the apiary

    First impression - this is a crazy idea, don't even consider trying it. I see the following problems: 1. It adds a *huge* amount of extra work (but you don't seem bothered by that) 2. Risk of your family and neighbours getting stung during and after inspections is just as great as if the bees...
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    Moving Mason Bees

    I believe that you get one mason bee per hole, busy laying eggs (ie. if you are seeing lots of visits to a particular hole, it should be the same bee making lots of visits). I suggest blocking the holes ASAP and making the bees homeless. The eggs already laid will be lost, but hopefully they...