Apidea Instructions

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SteveJ 

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I'm trying to write some instruction for a beginner on how to use an Apidea. I've come up with the following from various sources and would appreciate any comments hints etc.
Regards
SteveJ


1. Assemble Apidea.
2. Frames can either be left for the bees to fill with comb or to ensure the bees build the comb in the right place strips of foundation can be cut to size and held in place in the frame using melted beeswax.
3. If the Queen cell and Bees are coming from the same hive this next step can be done at the same time that the queen cell is introduced.
4. Brush and frame full of bees into a box and then spray them with sugar syrup.
5. Take a cup full of these bees and introduce to the Apidea.
6. Fill the feeder with either Fondant or Syrup.
7. Close up the Apidea and ensure the entrance is sealed.
8. Place in a cool dry place for a couple of days. (Not necessary if Queen Cell comes from same colony as Bees).
9. Place Apidea on site and open entrance. Ensure Apidea is securely held down.
10. Insert sealed queen cell between gap in frames. A paper clip or similar can be used to hold cell in place
11. Allow cell to hatch then leave for a week before inspecting Apidea for eggs. If no eggs are found then leave for another week and inspect again.
12. Once confirmed laying new queen can be used to create a new nucleus or to replace an existing queen.
13. Once the queen has been removed the bees can be left in the Apidea and reused for another queen cell.
14. At the end of the season the Apidea can be reunited with another colony by removing the slide on the bottom and using the newspaper method.
 

RoofTops 

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I don't agree with 8. I keep mine in a mini-nuc for 4 days before releasing but I expect it wouldn't make a huge difference if you only kept them in 2 days, but when they are confined - with food - they will start to draw out the comb. I haven't heard of not confining them at all - but I would be interested if anyone has tried it. You also need to give them a daily spray with water when they are confined - which should be in a cool dark place.

I also don't spray with sugar syrup - too messy and water works as well.

You also must use starter strips. Left to their own devices the comb would go in all directions.

Open up the mini-nuc for the first time at dusk and do your first inspection also either early morning or in the evening. Avoid the middle of the day when the queen could be on a mating flight.

Keep the food compartment topped up. They will starve very quickly in bad weather.

I time things so the queen emerges from the cell about 24 hours before the mini-nuc is moved to the mating site.

There is a thing called Tom's Timetable which has some useful timings. It is meant for using a Jenter but it is easy to see how to modify it for grafting. A PDF is enclosed. There is also a spreadsheet version which can be adjusted to show the actual dates but this site won't let me upload it - a security issue I suspect as nasties can hide in spreadsheets.
 

drstitson 

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min nucs

"I haven't heard of not confining them at all - but I would be interested if anyone has tried it."

That is one of the uses stated for BeeBoost pheromone.
 

RoofTops 

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Here are some instructions I wrote for Kieler mini-nucs. By all means use them as a basis for your own Apidea guide if you want - modified with any feedback from here of course.
 

Poly Hive 

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When collecting bees, shake the frame lightly to remove flying bees. You want young ones not old codgers.

Use starter strips, essential for reasons given above.

Feed dampened sugar if your unit has a feeder.

I collect the bees, load the units and leave over night at least to discover that they are both queenless, broodless which = hopeless.

I then give a virgin in the morning, then leave another day at least before setting out.

It pays to have the units clearly painted with a O or X or cross hatching or half rectangles so the virgin can easily see where home is. This is something that is often neglected and tomorrow I will take a pic or two for you of Bernards minis which he gave me, and after all he did write the book...

Mating in Miniature.

PH
 

MJBee 

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Steve,

Further to your point 12 - I prefer to leave the queen in the Apidea until the first eggs laid are sealed and confirmed as worker not drone. ie the queen has been properly mated.
 

drstitson 

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young bees wanted!

"When collecting bees, shake the frame lightly to remove flying bees. You want young ones not old codgers. "

You're also meant to kick the box you shake them into aren't you? to make the foragers get airborne leaving the young non-flyers waiting for a soaking!
 

admin 

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Good on you Steve,will be very usefull for forum members.
Thank you.
 

Poly Hive 

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Yup... kick the box to further the despondment... but dinna tell the welfare peeps...

I told you I was a cruel bas***d.

PH
 

beebreeder 

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The easiest way to get young bees is to use a Marburg box as like this, plans are on Dave Cushmans website, a good winter project. The side of the box hinges open revealing a chute, at the bottom of the box is a section of q/excluder, with a couple of drawn frames inside for clustering the young bees go inside and the old bees take to the air. You can shake as many bees in as you like to make as many mini nucs as you like, just a light spray of thymolised syrup to mask pheremones and the bees can be from various strong hives. Ten mini nucs at a time is easy and I run a virgin in the bottom of the box as I fill them, simples. Dont try any mini nucs like the last pic, IT DOES NOT WORK keep them spread out wth different landmarks for orientation.
 
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Poly Hive 

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Bernard painted the mini nucs, I will set some out tomorrow and take a pic so you can see the strength of the contrasts.

I once set a virgin flying, gave up after ten minutes, gave it 20 and returned.. Buzzzz and in she came, she needed me, the big white land mark to orientate on to return.

Being able to identify the box is critical and if all your boxes are the same brown, then I would seriously think in doing some winter painting.

Every trick you play to ensure good mating, is another shot in the locker. A very cheap one too.

PH
 

beebreeder 

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They are now 12-14 feet apart next to shrubs,trees, wood on the roof,stones etc, worked very well had over 25 on on site this season, but all over the place. Personally I would not write instructions on using apidea I would just tell them to buy the book.
kev
 

Poly Hive 

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Still better marked clearly, it's cheap and very effective.

As for the book... they all want it for free on here.

PH
 

beebreeder 

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Perhaps its worth a thread, "Good Reference books for new Beekeepers"? A small but well choosen library of books is still invaluable, this is full of opinion and as you know we all do things in our own way that works for us
 

Poly Hive 

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I agree.

When I lecture I say this way works, another thousand ways might work, but I know this does and so treat it as a foundation.

As for a library... I agree.

PH
 

DanBee 

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Personally I would not write instructions on using apidea I would just tell them to buy the book.
Yup, Ron Brown's book is still available, costs £1.50 including postage, and tells you all you need to know to get started with them. It's less than 1/10th the price of an Apidea... :)
 

Poly Hive 

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Mating in Minature by Mobus is the bible.

Seems to be out of stock at Northern.

PH
 
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