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Swarm

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Sweltering heat and sunshine has brought on a big flow and the hives are looking stuffed. Spent the season until now assessing last years queens and still have five in mind for queen rearing next year, excellent temperament and they are piling nectar in.
Three of these queens have made no swarm attempts, the other two are mother and daughter from a preemptive split. The daughter is now in a double brood with four full supers, I only have deep boxes to offer now. Her mother has gone on to fill a double nuc with brood and the third box I added was completely drawn and filled today with two frames nearly capped so I added a fourth. All five of these colonies are beautiful black bees and it looks like I'm going to have some lovely cut comb from them.
Clearer boards going on tomorrow with a view to getting some supers spun off and back out sharpish.
Decided to leave two colonies that drew single cells to their own devices, one did actually supersede but the other one swarmed last week, they are now hived up and getting on with things, only four colonies made swarm attempts this year, I'm very happy where we are at the moment.
mother daughter.jpg
 

Robinredcar

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Sweltering heat and sunshine has brought on a big flow and the hives are looking stuffed. Spent the season until now assessing last years queens and still have five in mind for queen rearing next year, excellent temperament and they are piling nectar in.
Three of these queens have made no swarm attempts, the other two are mother and daughter from a preemptive split. The daughter is now in a double brood with four full supers, I only have deep boxes to offer now. Her mother has gone on to fill a double nuc with brood and the third box I added was completely drawn and filled today with two frames nearly capped so I added a fourth. All five of these colonies are beautiful black bees and it looks like I'm going to have some lovely cut comb from them.
Clearer boards going on tomorrow with a view to getting some supers spun off and back out sharpish.
Decided to leave two colonies that drew single cells to their own devices, one did actually supersede but the other one swarmed last week, they are now hived up and getting on with things, only four colonies made swarm attempts this year, I'm very happy where we are at the moment.
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Your bees sound like they are doing great! Just inspected my colony they seem to be building up quickly now.
 

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Robinredcar

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Caught the ladies on the borage in the garden today, nice to see its not just the bumblebees enjoying them :-D
 

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Swarm

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Plant some Oregano, I've never seen a plant like it for honey bees.

Oz Armour suit or not, I was dripping by the time I finished adding extra boxes and putting clearer boards on, I'm up on the stand now so I can see in with some of the hives. I could hear them as soon as I pulled up, someone turned the fans on and I was met by a load of bees at every entrance, fanning for all their worth. The supers of foundation I put on last week are now full and being capped, I lost a few super combs to wax moth a while ago and I wanted to make them back but these are tempting me to cut them out. All my super wax is cut comb foundation so I'll have to think about it.
I just sent my friend a photo of a colony, third generation from one of his Amm, these are every bit as black as they were so will be requeening most of his colonies with queens from these and the other candidates.

 

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Robinredcar

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Plant some Oregano, I've never seen a plant like it for honey bees.

Oz Armour suit or not, I was dripping by the time I finished adding extra boxes and putting clearer boards on, I'm up on the stand now so I can see in with some of the hives. I could hear them as soon as I pulled up, someone turned the fans on and I was met by a load of bees at every entrance, fanning for all their worth. The supers of foundation I put on last week are now full and being capped, I lost a few super combs to wax moth a while ago and I wanted to make them back but these are tempting me to cut them out. All my super wax is cut comb foundation so I'll have to think about it.
I just sent my friend a photo of a colony, third generation from one of his Amm, these are every bit as black as they were so will be requeening most of his colonies with queens from these and the other candidates.

I'll have a look at that, I've put chives in as one of the nabours says my bees are always on his. Fruit yields have never looks so good as this year to!
Lovley looking bees btw! I feel your pain, I only had to go through one colony yesterday but my god was it hot 27c, I think it was 1327c inside my suite !
 
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Very pleased with the bees today.
Hilda, a native black queen from Northumberland Honey is doing well. Lovely laying pattern and temperament. She’s in a poly nuc, with double brood box, 11 of the 12 frames are laid up. Added a super today as they needed space. See photo below for brood pattern.
‘M’, a locally mated black queen, is just incredible. I have taken a lot brood from her to support other colonies and queens this year. She is on 9 over 9, and currently has 14 frames of bias and 4 supers. See photo below for a capped super frame.
 

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Ian123

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According to some native types shouldn’t be requiring 2 boxes they’d squish her😂……lovely white cappings by the way.
 
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Swarm

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Star performer! Worth hanging on to. You must be very pleased, that new queen is laying nicely as well, soon be loads of bees in there.
Lovely honey frame ;)
 

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After six weeks waiting for signs of a viable queen in one of the supersedures, I convinced myself she had failed. Cells stuffed with nectar and bee bread, I decided to shake them out next visit.
Nothing much had changed a week later so moved the hive away and prepared to start shaking the frames. I had a little check to see if the returning bees were sorting themselves out with other hives nearby, which they were so leave them carry on while I check the supers and then I'll shake out any remaining.
I spotted her then.
Bold as brass, alone on the stand wondering where home has gone!! A fair amount of cursing followed, half her bees have gone by now, oh what a plonker.
Twice she flew away thanks to my loss of dexterity and I gave her time to return, finally got her back on the combs.
I had missed a small patch of eggs on one of the last frames.
I found a much reduced colony last week and put them into a nuc but at least I found small patches of brood. I now owe her a comb of emerging brood and my humblest apologies for being so impatient.
Seven weeks!!
And beautiful she is too ;)
 

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Swarm

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All good news today, she has sealed worker brood and now has a frame of emerging brood to pick her numbers up. The swarm is also viable with a nice black queen strolling the combs and laying well barely a week after boxing them, like chalk and cheese.
Different feel today, plenty of dopey bees in the supers as I checked each one. All the boxes I threw on for space have either been fully drawn or filled and capped, they really have done well this year, it's going to be a record harvest despite all the foundation they drew. I'll bring another batch of supers for extracting next week and squeeze them down in stages with a view to getting them all off before August ends. I keep saying this but it usually goes into the first week of September.
How fast the season passes.
 

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All good news today, she has sealed worker brood and now has a frame of emerging brood to pick her numbers up. The swarm is also viable with a nice black queen strolling the combs and laying well barely a week after boxing them, like chalk and cheese.
Different feel today, plenty of dopey bees in the supers as I checked each one. All the boxes I threw on for space have either been fully drawn or filled and capped, they really have done well this year, it's going to be a record harvest despite all the foundation they drew. I'll bring another batch of supers for extracting next week and squeeze them down in stages with a view to getting them all off before August ends. I keep saying this but it usually goes into the first week of September.
How fast the season passes.
Beautiful cappings
 

Big ears

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Sorry not posted for a time.
First season in bee keeping and my hive count went from one to seven. All AMM. We are blessed with feral black bees in my area and two have come good. After planting a wildflower meadow I was hoping for big things.
First hive extracted yesterday and 24lb removed. They are a pleasure to work with and so calm. I am so glad I went down the black bee route rather than buckfast.
 

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Big ears

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Thanks for the update.
That meadow is stunning ....... but so is the honey!! Nice amber stuff, how does it taste?
Sustainable beekeeping and gentle colonies :)
To me like nectar😂😂. My wife thinks so too and has become as possessive as the bees about it😁

Yes it’s been a great first year. The cider apple trees have fruited well which I like to think is down in part to the bees as well, but may be the weather! looking forward to a good autumn brewing of mead and cider.

Hoping that my skills are enough to get them through the winter and already making plans for a second apiary next year on an organic farm.
 

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A couple of grafted queens in their new colonies. These from a good calm second generation queen of local stock, with hopefully a bit of influence from John Geddes queens producing drones.
 

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