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wensumbee 

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Hello everyone, I am novice beekeeper (first winter) I have done some good local courses, got all new gear, some books. Scanned internet for info etc.
My question is, I fed bees on sugar at the start of winter - of which they took all down. I then had syrup feeder which leaked and caused some bees to stay outside sadly. I bought a nuc with about 10,000. I have had bakers fondant in there for a while now and they do not seem to be taking it.
I am wondering, is this because they have enough stores and prefer that?
Something that puzzles me - they do not seem to be taking many dead bees out, although I have observed some doing so. And cleansing flights in the main seem to be around the hive but also inside on the empty frames. Is there anything Is should be wary of in this coming up to summer? Anything I should look out for as spring starts? Any tips to get me thinking on this would be really appreciated.
 

taff.. 

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And cleansing flights in the main seem to be around the hive but also inside on the empty frames. Is there anything Is should be wary of in this coming up to summer? Anything I should look out for as spring starts? Any tips to get me thinking on this would be really appreciated.

unless its really warm where you are, surely you shouldn't be taking the hive apart yet?

does the bold bit ^^^^^^ up there mean that you have streaks of poo on/in the hive?

if you do, then this can be sign of Nosema and someone experienced will be along shortly to give advice on that.

other things to be thinking about for the spring is swarm control, how are you going to deal with it when they start making queen cells? have a plan ready to put into action and see it through.
 
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wensumbee 

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Hive/Nosema

It has been warm here 8 plus or so. I checked if that was ok with some other beekeepers, including Mike Thurlow who was featured on the BBC program recently. He said just quickly check but I am not brave enough to lift and frames out...!
Yes there are the tell tale light brown streaks on tops of empty frames and floor. I only have 4 frames full (in a national). Thankyou for the advice re. Nosema. As I say, I regularly witness cleansing flights above and 10/20 feet away but the flecks of poo inside does concern me a little...
 

wensumbee 

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I should say, what is the best course of action to prevent further spread of nosema. I ahve noticed small numbers crawling outside the hive but very small numbers at the moment. Obviously want to do the best while it is not so bad - any tips much appreciated everyone.
 

taff.. 

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sorry, I dont have the experience to answer that, but I'm sure one of the experienced guys will be about soon.


in the mean time, I'm sure there must be a few threads on here if you have a quick search. :cheers2:
 

wensumbee 

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Sure thanks for the help...I am thinking also - could it be that the fondant is fermenting? and that causes the Nosema like symptoms?
My hive (national) is in heavily diverse wooded area near water ways. Could it be there is something in the area also that may produce these symptoms? I am going to dissect a bee and look at the abdomen asap - check for colour from one of the walking bees.
 

admin 

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Hi Wensumbee welcome to the forum.
Regarding nosema it may be nothing,it is very common to worry after the first winter,its a bit like buying a medical book and thinking you have every disease listed.
Get a few bees tested for your peace of mind.

Do you have a division board in the hive ?

If you have bees on 4 frames you may find they fail to build up very fast if they have to much room,they will get disheartened and stressed leading to illness.
To little room and they will swarm,its all the fun of beekeeping getting it right.

It sounds like you have spoken to a few beekeepers and read up over winter,you are doing fine,relax and get ready for spring as you are going to be busy pretty soon.
 

Poly Hive 

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Welcome too.

there is a huge difference between a quick check and pulling frames.

In my book a "quick check" is taking off the roof, then crown board and having a very fast peep to see that there are bees alive, and that they have supplies and putting it together again. Two or three minutes is enough.

Yes there may well be dead bees on the floor s the undertaking staff have not been hatched yet and the old codgers are well a bit old and in their dotage now and the memory banks are not so good either.

Not to mention the weather has not been so good for flying over the last few weeks.

8 degrees is a bit cool to be moving frames in as the brood if there is any yet is highly liable to chilling.

The faecal matter you are seeing is most likely to them taking the opportunity of nipping out for a quick dump and not being too fusy about how far they fly to do it. As in they are desperate to go.

Try and relax and have patience, the chances are all will be very well and you will be wondering why you were worried.

PH
 

Hebeegeebee 

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it is unlikely that the fondant is fermenting as a) it is probably too cold and b) there isn't the water content in fondant to allow it to ferment - taste it and see! Fumidil B can be used for treating Nosema - usually given in the autumn but I guess it could be given in the Spring. If they don't want the fondant they won't take it. You won't see thousands of dead been being brought out so don't worry - if you have seen a few then the sisters are doing the right thing. Pleased you haven't opened up and taken frames out - it's too early and what could you do in any case!
In a couple of weeks' time when the weather is better and you can inspect, you may wish to consider a division board as Admin says so the bees don't have so much space to keep warm. It can be removed later once numbers increase.

Some bees cluster small and don't use much stores. Some will be laying lots of eggs now some not so don't worry your bees should be fine. Do you have a mentor who could have a look see - sometime later in March?

Is wensumbee close to the river wensum or does it mean something else?
 

Mike a 

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My question is, I fed bees on sugar at the start of winter - of which they took all down. I then had syrup feeder which leaked and caused some bees to stay outside sadly. I bought a nuc with about 10,000. I have had bakers fondant in there for a while now and they do not seem to be taking it.
Just to add to what others have said already...
Its still a little to cold for them to eat the fondant and they will in some cases need to collect water to help break it down if it is solid, but as they have made it through winter they should be ok with the fondant for a few more weeks until we get warmer weather.
 

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