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Petewhite 

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I'm a newbie this year and have been reading the forum with interest hoping to get some tips.
I've done a couple of (stupid?)things recently that I'd like to run past you guys to get an opinion on.
1.After reading the debate on insulation and overwintering I thought I'd try using some old triple wall polycarbonate sheeting I had (i.e. old conservatory roof). Ive made a box about an inch and a half bigger all round than my hive ( langstroph) which I've slotted over the hive. This is topped off by a sheet of poly which overlaps the box on top, held down by a breeze block. There is a gap at the bottom and at the top for ventilation and obviously a gap at the front for the entrance. My reasoning is- the hive is kept dry, sheltered from the wind but able to ventilate. Any thoughts?
2. A few weeks ago I was given some old frames of comb with honey in it (possibly 10 years or more old, not langstroph frames, much smaller). I had been feeding my bees with sugar syrup but decided to give them the comb in a super (loose, 4 frames, propped up against each other) to take down to the brood as they had been doing with the syrup. When I last looked at the end of October they had not taken it down but just seemed to be using it insitu. Shoud I leave it there now? Was this a bad idea?

Any comments appreciated
 

Black Comb 

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YOu should never use old comb- it could contain disease(s).

YOu should cut it out and burn it or melt it down for wax, then boil the fames in water with washing soda added to clean them for re-use.

I would take it off now if I were you.

They are not likely to take/need much feed at this time of year.

Suggest you do lots of winter reading.
 

MuswellMetro 

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YOu should never use old comb- it could contain disease(s).


They are not likely to take/need much feed at this time of year.

.
but he is in hampshire not wet cumbria, the temperature until today has been 14c to 17c, i expect his bees have only just clustered as it dropped to 10c daytime 5c overnight, so until today i expect they will have been flying and feeding

old honey yep, not wize, but its done i dont expect any more spors would transferred, if its AFB they are already goner and EFB does not last 10 years, so is it worth removing it?

reading yep, and save up for a new hive if it gets AFB from the comb

Insulation, yep could work, but is it neeed in hampshire? i suppose you might if his bees are italian senoritas..need a bit a pampering
 

Black Comb 

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All good stuff MM.
As for feeding I mean going forward from now - temps are dropping fast, even in Hampshire.
 

Poly Hive 

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If in doubt put on some candy.

Have you felt the weight of the hive? Tip it forward so the back edge is off the ground and "heft it" it should feel nice and heavy and if in doubt buy or borrow a spring balance aka baggage allowance scale and see what it reads.

If memory serves me then x 2 for the all up weight. Should be 50 lb +

PH
 

MuswellMetro 

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If in doubt put on some candy.

Have you felt the weight of the hive? Tip it forward so the back edge is off the ground and "heft it" it should feel nice and heavy and if in doubt buy or borrow a spring balance aka baggage allowance scale and see what it reads.

If memory serves me then x 2 for the all up weight. Should be 50 lb +

PH

but as he is in the south, might have foriegn girls.. in a hard winter they may need double stores

Pete white, do you knw what race of bees you have? ?colour
 

Petewhite 

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Thanks for the comments so far. The bees were flying until the middle of the week but have kept there heads down for the last couple of days.
I don't what race of bees they are, they were a swarm from this summer. The only other bees I have ever seen in a hive were carniolans, my bees are much darker than those.
I've tried lifting the hive, hard to tell with no previous experience -but I doubt it's 50lb+ in total
 

MJBee 

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Have a look at this:-
http://www.balanzza.co.uk/?gclid=CKmVlr_UrZ4CFQ6Z2AodBWLYlQ
A "cup hook" or similar screwed into either side of the floor, lift using the Balanza and you have an accurate total hive weight to .1 of a lb or kg.:cheers2: Mike

PS useful to make sure you don't get hammered for excess baggage too:)
 

oliver90owner 

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At 44kg you could probably put that cup hook in the middle of the roof(!!) and lift the whole thing, for a lot of hives.

Yeah, I know - it might make the roof leak or only pull the roof off. Picky.

Regards, RAB
 

Black Comb 

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Thanks MJ

As a new beek I was going to post a thread asking about this.

What does everyone use? = or just heft?

A local beek uses 2 pieces of aluminium angle iron as a type of "lever hoist" - only lifts one side.

The benefit is that the main weight is taken by the ground and not by your back.

I haven't seen anything for lifting in the suppliers' catalogues either.
 

oliver90owner 

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suppliers' catalogues

They are probably not there because they would be so rediculously expensive - and anyway it might encourage too many beeks to go skip-diving to retrieve good-enough-for-purpose bathroom scales! And one idea might lead to another - that all these expensive gizmos in the catalogue are really just that.

Me? On 14 x 12s and a full hive in autumn, I will not be worrying until they start rearing brood in the springtime. More is better than just enough, as a hobbyist (rather than commercial) beekeeper.

I might just use a bathroom scale on a board, over a small hydraulic jack (for lifting) at each end of the hive. There again, a quick heft will probably be enough to ring alarm bells.

Regards, RAB
 

MuswellMetro 

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Thanks MJ

As a new beek I was going to post a thread asking about this.

What does everyone use? = or just heft?

A local beek uses 2 pieces of aluminium angle iron as a type of "lever hoist" - only lifts one side.

The benefit is that the main weight is taken by the ground and not by your back.

I haven't seen anything for lifting in the suppliers' catalogues either.

seems a good idea, if it had a fixed fulcrum, so 10 to 1, you could even calibrate itas to when it started to lift...5lb on long end= 50lb, 3lb = 30lb hive
-
 

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