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A year in the life of Le Bâtard Anglais Warré Hive

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DulwichGnome 

Field Bee
Joined
May 7, 2009
Messages
534
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Location
SE London, UK
Hive Type
other
Number of Hives
8 & 5 nucs all Rose
Hi folks,

As it is getting to the end of the season and the bees are tucked up ready for the winter I thought it might be time to review how my foam lined broad boxes have fared this year. For those of you who have not seen them they are on my blog.

Late last year I went into the winter with 14 colonies, 8 established on 1½ or double broad 11 frame nationals and 6 small, 2 or 3 frame, splits in my foam lined ‘BA’ boxes, over 5 sites. All over wintered but 4, 2 of each, did not make it thru the spring. The 6 established colonies where ‘under supered’ or ‘nadired’ with two of my boxes, the 4 weak ones with 1. The plan was to leave them all till the autumn without opening them.

Well the best laid plans and all that meant that things needed changing around. One site on a second floor roof did not work out (the slightest breeze and the returning bees were sent into a corner of the roof in a vortex and died) another had the hives facing the wrong way (corrected now). Others have swarmed, I might look at requeening from the less swarmy hives, and some have done very well. Two needed an extra box as they filled all 4 with bees, brood and honey!!

The new boxes have stood up to the this year very well. They are easily cleaned with washing soda and a soft cloth, including the observation window and lightly sanded and varnished on the outside if need be. There has been a small amount of damage in one which looks like wax moth and was easily filled and varnished over. Being able to look at the bees thou the window really helped and meant that I did not need to go prodding around just to find out they were doing well. Where there is cause for concede I was able to something about it. I am hoping to see the main benefit next spring with an early start to the season.

As most of my sites are hosted in other people’s gardens, this system means they are not pulled apart during the summer and only disturbed when collecting the honey in the autumn. It may not suit everyone and it might not ‘work’ the bees as hard as the conventional way but it seems to be working for me. All my colonies are now on double BB and are settling in for the winter.

Mike.
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2010
Messages
2,374
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0
Location
Dartmoor edge, uk
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
5...2 wooden National, 2 poly Nat & 1 poly nuc...bursting at the seams
Sounds like you have had a good year - look forward to hearing more as the programme progresses!
 

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