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  1. Normandie

    Cheeky sods!

    At our French bee school, one of the hives had ants exactly like your photo. However, the guy working the hive said that he isn't averse to ants doing that. His reasoning is that ants and bees can live alongside each other particularly as any formic acid will be bad for any varroa so it's not a...
  2. Normandie

    Bees gathering on the front of hive

    An update. Coupled with advice I received on the "bad temper" thread, we started asking around for test frames - as we have only one hive. Despite apparent good intentions on the part of several beeks in the region, a test frame wasn't forthcoming. One thing that one beek said was give it at...
  3. Normandie

    Feeding bees early in spring

    Discussing our bees with a French beekeeper earlier today, we outlined what we'd done early in the season - several feeds of about 100g / 150g each time of fondant - and he was quite dismissive. He puts half a kilo or even a kilo at a time on top of the frames when the weather begins to warm up...
  4. Normandie

    Bees gathering on the front of hive

    This photo was taken at about 5pm this afternoon (4pm UK time). The weather has been hot, humid and building up to thunder most of today. Is this normal activity for bees in those conditions or is this "building up to swarming" behaviour? We last checked them on Thursday - so 5 days ago - and...
  5. Normandie

    Bad Temper

    A few minutes away - in a cider apple orchard. We've been inspecting them about every 10 - 12 days. Edit: Actually, that's not strictly true. We aim to visit every 10 - 12 days but the weather has been poor this spring and even sunny days have been chilly and windy so the visits haven't run to...
  6. Normandie

    Bad Temper

    Have just questioned OH closely and on reflection, he thinks he only saw queen cups. Certainly nothing that was sealed. One thing someone at hive school said was that sometimes if you move a hive to a new location for a few days and then bring them back and place them in a different position to...
  7. Normandie

    Bad Temper

    Sealed queen cells? Not as far as we could see. There were queen cells but empty. We talked about an artificial swarm after todays visit but as there did not appear to be any eggs and the lavae we saw were probably more than 3 days old, the queenless hive would not be able to raise a new queen...
  8. Normandie

    Bad Temper

    Thank you for the replies. It's really appreciated. Are we using too much smoke? I don't think so. Based on what we've seen at hive school and what we've seen on tv, on Youtube bee videos, etc, we're using a couple of puffs at the entrance on arrival, a couple of puffs across the top when we...
  9. Normandie

    Bad Temper

    How can I tell if my bees are the angry / aggressive sort? This is our first hive of bees; this is the second year we've had them but the first year we've been actively managing them. Compared to the small hive we had last year, I'd say we've doubled or tripled the number of bees. As we're...
  10. Normandie

    Forum Hack update

    Welcome back - I missed you too. :)
  11. Normandie

    Got me first sting!

    What antihistamine do you usually find most effective for stings?
  12. Normandie

    Bad Temper

    Presumably a benefit over bare hands is that you can remove them (and the sting) immediately if you do get stung?
  13. Normandie

    Bait hives set

    Thanks, MJBee. Noted. :)
  14. Normandie

    New Beekeepers questions

    As a newcomer, I like things as they are so have voted accordingly. I'd say no. Primarily because - as a newish beekeeper myself - I'd like everyone to have the opportunity of answering my (possibly daft) questions. I'd like opinions and advice from everyone, whether they're beekeepers of 50...
  15. Normandie

    Bait hives set

    When you've got the swarm in the box, is re-homing them as straight-forward as: having the new hive ready a ramp up to the entrance - ramp covered with sheet or poly tip bees (gently) out at the base of the ramp allow bees to walk up the ramp to their new home mark queen if you spot her Is...
  16. Normandie

    I think my bees are about to swarm advice please

    Yes we do, Susan - and we only got our first hive last year so I'm at a similar level of understanding. I'm cheering you on from the sidelines here. Keep asking the questions and listening to the answers. Good luck. :-)
  17. Normandie

    adding super

    Can one add a super too early? We've had sunny but chilly days and we haven't been able to look at the bees for about 2 weeks. There is a lot of activity with pollen going in and honey being made; 2 weeks ago there were eggs, brood and capped cells spread over 6, maybe 7 frames. It's a Dadant...
  18. Normandie

    Plant name please.

    Isn't it common ivy?
  19. Normandie

    Spring watch

    We had our first pair of swallows late Sunday afternoon - 22nd. So they are moving north... :)
  20. Normandie

    Beekeepers quarterley free online

    Thank you for that link - I've downloaded the pdf too. Will read it later. Surprisingly, we do have a monthly beekeeping magazine in France... (for any other beekeepers in France) ... but - less surprisingly! - it's in French and although I do read French, it...