3 weeks away & all hell broken loose!

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Sutty

From Glossop, North Derbyshire, UK
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Mar 11, 2021
Messages
2,246
Reaction score
1,597
Location
Glossop, North Derbyshire
Hive Type
National
Number of Hives
4 to 12!
I'm just back from a 3 week trip abroad. I wasn't too worried as the bees seemed well behind last year.
How wrong I was! I got home to a small swarm,duly collected.
Currently I've just inspected 4 of my 9 colonies. So far every one has open and sealed QCs!
To add insult to injury a hive swarmed whilst I was inspecting, but I didnt see which one! They were in the "starting to pitch" stage on the other side of the garden.
As damage limitation I've cut back the hives I've inspected to one QC.
I only have 2 spare hives, a nuc for the swarm, plus a bunch of supers.
I was actually hoping to unite some hives this spring as I want to reduce numbers!!
Not sure what my best way forward is now as I don't really know the state of play. It's possible there have been swarms whilst Ive been away too! (Though not into my bait hives)
ARGH! 😱
 
I'm just back from a 3 week trip abroad. I wasn't too worried as the bees seemed well behind last year.
How wrong I was! I got home to a small swarm,duly collected.
Currently I've just inspected 4 of my 9 colonies. So far every one has open and sealed QCs!
To add insult to injury a hive swarmed whilst I was inspecting, but I didnt see which one! They were in the "starting to pitch" stage on the other side of the garden.
As damage limitation I've cut back the hives I've inspected to one QC.
I only have 2 spare hives, a nuc for the swarm, plus a bunch of supers.
I was actually hoping to unite some hives this spring as I want to reduce numbers!!
Not sure what my best way forward is now as I don't really know the state of play. It's possible there have been swarms whilst Ive been away too! (Though not into my bait hives)
ARGH! 😱
I feel for you I’ve just been to an apiary down the road 4 colony’s there and three have charged cells some have three supers as there right next to osr I’m home now making frames and sorting nuc boxes out , so much for a couple of days of this is slowly starting to be a pain of a season for increase on a plus note I have 40 odd grafts ready to harvest next Tuesday and next week is rain looks like the gasibo is coming out .
As to equipment at work I have 300 brood frames and 20 brood boxes to build anybody want a job?☺️
 
I feel for you I’ve just been to an apiary down the road 4 colony’s there and three have charged cells some have three supers as there right next to osr I’m home now making frames and sorting nuc boxes out , so much for a couple of days of this is slowly starting to be a pain of a season for increase on a plus note I have 40 odd grafts ready to harvest next Tuesday and next week is rain looks like the gasibo is coming out .
As to equipment at work I have 300 brood frames and 20 brood boxes to build anybody want a job?☺️
Osr has a habit of doing that😂
 
I'm just back from a 3 week trip abroad. I wasn't too worried as the bees seemed well behind last year.
How wrong I was! I got home to a small swarm,duly collected.
Currently I've just inspected 4 of my 9 colonies. So far every one has open and sealed QCs!
To add insult to injury a hive swarmed whilst I was inspecting, but I didnt see which one! They were in the "starting to pitch" stage on the other side of the garden.
As damage limitation I've cut back the hives I've inspected to one QC.
I only have 2 spare hives, a nuc for the swarm, plus a bunch of supers.
I was actually hoping to unite some hives this spring as I want to reduce numbers!!
Not sure what my best way forward is now as I don't really know the state of play. It's possible there have been swarms whilst Ive been away too! (Though not into my bait hives)
ARGH! 😱
Ooof, not what you want to come back to! Hope you sort it out.
 
I'm just back from a 3 week trip abroad. I wasn't too worried as the bees seemed well behind last year.
How wrong I was! I got home to a small swarm,duly collected.
Currently I've just inspected 4 of my 9 colonies. So far every one has open and sealed QCs!
To add insult to injury a hive swarmed whilst I was inspecting, but I didnt see which one! They were in the "starting to pitch" stage on the other side of the garden.
As damage limitation I've cut back the hives I've inspected to one QC.
I only have 2 spare hives, a nuc for the swarm, plus a bunch of supers.
I was actually hoping to unite some hives this spring as I want to reduce numbers!!
Not sure what my best way forward is now as I don't really know the state of play. It's possible there have been swarms whilst Ive been away too! (Though not into my bait hives)
ARGH! 😱
I know the feeling, due to crap weather inspections have not been as frequent as I would like so today I inspected some hives I last inspected 9 days ago.
Of the 23 I inspected I had to carry out some kind of manipulation on 15 of them. I think I have lost 4 queens (not swarms as all the queens were clipped) and all those within about a 2 miles of OSR are piling it in!
 
I know there is a a lot of thought against clipping queens, sorry if we are not retired and have a non bee keeping life this is where it is a life saver, 4 of mine swarmed, but i lost no bees. One was just going back into the hive when i turned up. I have ended up with 20 QC's in mating nucs, two full size Nucs with Queens in - yes I also had two colonies with sealed QC's where where the queen was still walking around. Now away for 2 weeks, lets see what i find when i come back
 
Once the dust has settled & new queens are laying I think I'll be clipping!
I'm as keen to avoid nuisance to neighbours as I am to avoid losing bees!
The swarm I found on getting back from holiday was 10m from the hives and on the floor under a bush. This made me suspect it contained my oldest queen (2020) as when she swarmed last they tried to abscond after I'd hived them, but she only managed to fly a few yards & I found her in the grass with a small cluster of bees - she clearly doesn't fly well any more!
Sure enough there she was when I inspected the hived swarm! I think that's the 4th time I've collected her!
You may wonder why I keep such an old swarmy queen, but she produces the nicest docile bees I've ever had. Some of the "swarmyness" has been from me not keeping ahead with space too.
 
I know the feeling, due to crap weather inspections have not been as frequent as I would like so today I inspected some hives I last inspected 9 days ago.
Of the 23 I inspected I had to carry out some kind of manipulation on 15 of them. I think I have lost 4 queens (not swarms as all the queens were clipped) and all those within about a 2 miles of OSR are piling it in!
agree

weather has slowed inspections but not colony growth
 
weather has slowed inspections but not colony growth

Quite. I was intending to inspect today, but the weather hasn't been the same for ten minutes at a time. I've given up for the day now and I'll have another go tomorrow. I'm starting to see the attraction of a bee house.

James
 
I'm starting to see the attraction of a bee house.
I’ve been eyeing my bee shed and wondering if it’s too hot to keep a couple of hives in. I’d like some back in my garden, but they would need to be inspected indoors as the neighbour is allergic to anything that bites or stings.
 
I'm just back from a 3 week trip abroad. I wasn't too worried as the bees seemed well behind last year.
How wrong I was! I got home to a small swarm,duly collected.
Currently I've just inspected 4 of my 9 colonies. So far every one has open and sealed QCs!
To add insult to injury a hive swarmed whilst I was inspecting, but I didnt see which one! They were in the "starting to pitch" stage on the other side of the garden.
As damage limitation I've cut back the hives I've inspected to one QC.
I only have 2 spare hives, a nuc for the swarm, plus a bunch of supers.
I was actually hoping to unite some hives this spring as I want to reduce numbers!!
Not sure what my best way forward is now as I don't really know the state of play. It's possible there have been swarms whilst Ive been away too! (Though not into my bait hives)
ARGH! 😱
Judging from the experience of myself and local beekeepers here and in our club apiary, this season has been remarkable for the number of colonies preparing to swarm.
 
Judging from the experience of myself and local beekeepers here and in our club apiary, this season has been remarkable for the number of colonies preparing to swarm.
That's what I thought last year!!
To be fair mine were probably caused by lack of space.
 

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