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Bees and the eleventh frame.

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planbee 

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Have just been to look at the bees I collected from Mike in Gloucester yesterday.

They are on ten frames, plus a feeder board; I only went there today, to see if the frames had moved much during the journey, I couldn't do it yesterday, they had travelled 85 miles in the "Kangoo", been bumped over a cowfield, and hauled through a fence - plus it was pluviating, there was gallons of pluve everywhere!

First frame is full of honey; the next five are eggs, larvae, and hatching brood, [I think, there was a short patch of sunshine, and I was trying to be quick]

Then two more frames, each about one third to half, full of honey, and finally, two frames of undrawn foundation.

I tried looking for HM, but after I had seen seven different queens, I figured that they just might be drones, and gave up !

The ladies are coming and going freely, and they seem to be extremely well tempered - I gave them a little smoke, but it really was only a little; I think I needed a sniff of it more than they did!

It's been ten or twelve years since I've manipulated a hive, and that was with the most ferocious bees I'd ever seen, one of the local beeks reckoned they needed a whip and chair, rather than a hive tool !

No sign of any QC's, so what now, leave 'em for another week, go back and take the feeder out, and give 'em an eleventh frame, or are they near the stage when I should be groping in the corner of the shed for a super?

John
 
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Poly Hive 

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Five frames of brood? Steady on here.

Why would you expect Q cells? Steady on again. Relax.

If you had lost the queen it would be five days before you would see a sealed Q cell.

Arrange the foundation on either side of the five brood frames and with in a week they will be on 7 frames of brood. Another week at most they should be on 8 or 9, then consider your excluder and super.

I wish you all success with them.

PH
 

planbee 

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Thanks PH,

I didn't particularly expect QC's, but I only had the briefest of looks yesterday at Mikes, because of the weather.

This wasn't the first one I looked at, either, I looked at seven, I think, ranging from 2 frames covered, to this one, plenty of choice.

Mikes assistant was very good, he helped with putting the straps on that I'd taken with me, and even loaded it into the van, wouldn't let me do anything, a thoroughly nice, helpful, young lad.

It's simply that I've read so much about these Carnies absconding with the swarm, and how they lay plenty of eggs, plus the fact that I don't know how much time it's taken them to get to this point.

You've put my mind at rest, I'll do what you suggest, and no doubt I shall be back for further advice, help, and giving progress reports.

John
 

Geoff 

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I have had experience of Mike's carnies. Never ever allow them to feel crowded. They work like the clappers and are gentle in nature but will not tolerate being short of space.
 

planbee 

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OK Geoff,

I'll bear that in mind, now I've been through them for the first time, I now know how much of the brood box is occupied, and how much is free.

I should be able to observe progress now, and watch the speed of the build up.

It's a nice day today, so I should be able to get down to them later, and spend a couple of minutes re-arranging the frames, as per PH' advice.

John
 

grizzly 

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I have had experience of Mike's carnies. Never ever allow them to feel crowded. They work like the clappers but will not tolerate being short of space.
I can second that - i had a nuc last year, they were lovely and behaved for 6 months, this spring, they rocketed through double brood and supers, QC everywhere and not particularly friendly.

Something to be aware of for next spring, particularly if the weather is good early on like this season.
 

planbee 

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"and not particularly friendly" Grizzly ?

They are wonderful compared to what I had a few years ago!

I've been down this afternoon, whipped the top off, and re-spaced all the frames, plus replaced the feeder.

No smoke, and they just looked at me, and carried on - that would have never happened with the others - they were all over your side of the windscreen, and drivers side window when you pulled up down the track and stopped by the gate to the wood - and there was still 60 yards to walk!

It was 150 yards from the public road to that gate, and you had to garb up on the public road.

Anyway, that's all in the past, and my new ladies are all busy, working away, I'm looking forward to them, I never did that with the others.

As a matter of interest and record, what are the gentlest bees, or is it a matter of taste?

John
 

grizzly 

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perhaps this years are better than last.
They are workable, they bring in the honey, they expand rapidly, the queen is a great layer, but move your hand over the top of the brood frames and its like runing a magnet over iron filings.
 

Bucks_Boy 

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Similar for me, my easybee nuc last year had to be artificially swarmed 7 weeks after collection, single brood too small for her. Unfortunately she also absconded from the AS.

Daughter this year went off like the clappers, double brood and two supers when she went down swarming path .... this time I put a QX under the Artificial swarm ....... like her mother she tried but failed ( evidently the attempted swarm was quite a sight , my old man was about to mow the apiary when it started !) . She's now been taken as a small nuc to another site with 4 frames foundation and only some of her flyers -- drew the whole lot out in last 2 weeks ( and laid up 3 frames) and will be promoted to full sized hive this weekend.

The only time I have been stung by these was when I was trying to find the queen this spring to mark her -- I had the hive open for about 20 minutes and they had enough.

Compared to my other bees ( buckfasts and Local mongrels ) they are quiet and easy to work, but seem to want to repopulate the wild bee community and the queens are shy. I often do not see her on an inspection --- as long as there are eggs and no Qcups with jelly, I'm happy...
 

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