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Experiences from fast spring build up

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Finman 

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I have done much work to understand how to get early yield from dandelion lion and gardens' berries and fruitrees.

The basic idea is that all wintered bees will be dead when gardens start to bloom. Young bees are not old enough to do foraging job, even if they are many. It must be a balance between nursing bees and foraging bees that surplus honey will be generated.

The start of colony must be big enough that colony can get honey enough to be extracted.
In many years bees get surpluss but they loose the yield if weather is cold and rainy for 2 weeks.

I have to had 2 store hive over winter that I get early honey.
1-store hive grow so slow that first yield blooming goes over before it has enough foraging bees.

Small hive forages busily but all its food is used to grow new larvae. Capped honey will not be generated so you may extract it.

Hive may be quite large - 4 stores- but if its balance within nurser bees and foraging bees is not proper, it is not ready to get surpluss.

***********

I must start 2 months earlier the brood raising with patty, if I want dandelion honey. It bloom here at same time as winter rape. Summer rape blooms 1-1,5 months later.

If the colony is only one Langstroth box in winter/spring, its build up is not fast enough to catch dandelion. It is ready to catch suprpluss 2-3 weeks later.





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What do your customers think of the Dandelion honey?
Is it a little bitter?
 

Finman 

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What do your customers think of the Dandelion honey?
Is it a little bitter?
It is strong. I get it seldom alone. The most valuable is that it adds aroma in rape honey. Pure rape honey is almost like sugar. Not good.
 

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STAGES OF COLONY BUILD UP

1) Colony needs all the time pollen or patty that it gets protein to rear larvae.
I noticed with Carniolan bees that they have good pollen stores for spring build up. When I feed Italians with pollen, the build up is as fast as Carniolan's.

2) First 3 weeks pollen patty feeding or elctrict heating seems not help compared to natural colony. It revieles that number of nurser bees is limiting factor after winter.

3) When new nurser bees emerge, the limiting factor is size of cluster.
With electrict bottom hating I may add build upp 3-fold compared to narural progress.

4) Patty feeding ensures protein need but pollen from nature adds brood area 50%. = Inspiration and adaptation to weathers.

5) Turbo handling helps best in biggest colonies. The advantage will be los if the hive swarms.

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SMALL HIVES

Small hive do not occupye whole langstroth box. Often the the reason for small size is nosema.

It is difficult to get 5-frame colony to grow faster than it does. Only if you give one frame or two emerging brood. When nosema colony get healty nurser bees, it start normal growing.

Small colony is easy to get chalk brood if you use turbo handling.
It is better to wait that you get assisting brood from big hives.

When hive fills totally a langstroth box, it begin to grow without help.

When 5-frame colony starts, it takes 2 months that it fills whole box =10 frames. So if you split the colony too early in spring, it slows down growing.

When I feed and heat 2-store colony, it will be 3-4 stores after 2 months.

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I have no read of any beekeepers in the uk who run over 2 brood boxes.
Does anyone ?

Finman when will your bees start to fly next year if weather is kind?
 

Finman 

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I have no read of any beekeepers in the uk who run over 2 brood boxes.
Does anyone ?

Finman when will your bees start to fly next year if weather is kind?

I actually have 3 brood box in midd summer. I do not use exluder. The lowest acts as pollen store and room for forager bees.
A good queen lays 2 stores about 10-12 langstroth frames.

My bees are inside to the first week of March. Then they make cleansing flight and continue wintering.

At the first week of April snow melts. Alder is the first plant to get pollen if weather is favorite.
Real pollen foraging begins first of May when numerous willows start blooming. So natural brood rearing begins.Willow is only food source to the end of May.

***********
Our professional use one brood box limited with exluder. Then they use 3-4 supers.
 
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Polyanwood 

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So what is your advice to us Finman?

I was told that if it was warm enough around Christmas I should put a pollen/sugar patty open in the roof above one of the hole in the crown board. Then in February/March depending on temperature and how much stores are left in the hive, put on weak syrup.

I think 3 brood boxes is too difficult for a beginner. I found 2 brood boxes difficult... so many frames to go through checking that they weren't about to swarm... and I must have missed a queen cell because they did swarm at the beginning of May last year. I was disappointed because the biggest flow here is at the end of May.
 

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So what is your advice to us Finman?

I was told that if it was warm enough around Christmas I should put a pollen/sugar patty open in the roof above one of the hole in the crown board..
The hive need patty much. Half of frames must be covered with patty.

Warm enough? I start about 1 month before natural willow blooming. If feeding starts too early, bees get no drinking water and they will be sick.

If we calculate from rape bloomin in the midd of April, it is enough if you start in the midd of February. I don't know your systems but not too early.

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Then in February/March depending on temperature and how much stores are left in the hive, put on weak syrup..
I put strong syrup. When bees dry up the syrup to store it, extra water just condensates inside he hive.
The minimum factor is number of nurser bees and ability to keep brood area warm. Sugar feeding do not affect on minimum factors.

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I think 3 brood boxes is too difficult for a beginner. .
Brood boxes are so many as queen can lay. Some of my queens may lay only one store. Who knows.

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I found 2 brood boxes difficult... so many frames to go through checking that they weren't about to swarm... and I must have missed a queen cell because they did swarm at the beginning of May last year.

I was disappointed because the biggest flow here is at the end of May.
It is easy to miss some queen cells and swarm escapes. Some are hidden and you cannot find them all. The best way is to make flying false swarm as soon as you notice queen cells. It is vain to break them. It is difficult even to me stop their swarming fewer.

When main flow starts. you join false swarm and brood hive. Another part has foragers and another part has home workers. Good flow and hard work stops swarming fewer. Fewer continues on bad weathers .

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In the uk first pollen is gathered from hazel and few other plants in late jan early feb when the weather is good,the first dandelion and rape starts at the end of march,in april rape is in full bloom,i move hives to rape fields at end of march,brood rearing starts in feb when bee's begin to bring in pollen.
 

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I feed pollen patty up to dandelion bloom. Even if bees get pollen from nature, there are bad weeks, rainy and cold, so their stores will be empty soon.

5 years out of 10 dandelion does not give surplus honey. It is weather which order what happens. They bloom every year hugely. June is quite cold for bees in our country. Dandelion blooms about 18.5-10.6.

 

Hivemaker. 

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That is the best dandelions i have seen,very thick on the ground,think i will move some hives to Finland,yes we can also get bad spring weather which holds the bee's back,but now we have you as an expert on nutrition,we learn things that many do not realise,this is why all the interest in pollen patties.Most beekeepers in uk do not do this,they do not want bee's too strong in spring because they worry about swarming,before main flow in july,this is what all the old beekeepers worried about.I don't let them escape,that easy.
 

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that's the challenge... getting them to build up quickly, but preventing them swarming. To stop them swarming, I am going to try that demareeing trick in April if it is warm (putting frame of bees with eggs into a new box and putting on the site of the old box, putting a floor on top, then putting the old brood body on top facing the opposite way).

Also going to start practicing cutting wings on drones.... none of people round here seem into clipping queen's wings, but since I am facing having to buy more new queens AGAIN, quite keen to slow them down.

How will I know when swarming season is over and you can reunite?
 

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New I was confused! Thanks. And when could I unite them again?
 

Hivemaker. 

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This is from cushman site on demareeing it is better than an artificial swarm,it can even be treated as an artificial swarm,and is good for queen introduction or to rear one,or just rotate the box's,allways gives the queen plenty of laying room. but you don't want it like this to long,to much work,and bee's around your head


Demareeing
The Demaree method is not just a method of manipulating bees, but is a system that can be used for swarm reduction or queen replacement or producing nucleii. Any or all of these options are available at the same time.

Wedmore was a big proponent of this system, which was first described by George Demaree in an article in the American Bee Journal in 1884. I had long been aware of the ideas, but had not tried them when a friend of mine, Bob Boone, (a fellow bee equipment manufacturer) enthused over all of the possibilities and I resolved to try it for myself.

The method and Wedmore's variations on it have been the basis of my beekeeping up until I no nonger had the physical strength to do the lifting involved.

The principle behind the Demaree method is the rearrangement of a colony, one one site, in such a way as to separate the queen and foraging force from the brood and nurse bees. That is about the simplest way of stating it, but the permutations of different ways of doing it are enormous.

My way of doing it...
If I found queencells during a routine inspection I would shift the open brood box to one side and cover it with a cloth.

Locate a spare broodbox with foundation or drawn comb (I used to store several in each apiary so that they were always available) I would also have spares in the van if none were already stacked up. This spare box minus it's centre comb was placed on the original floorboard.

Run through the original box and find the queen, take her and the frame she was found on and place it in the centre of the new box, removing any queencells that are on that frame, as you do so.

Put the queen excluder on this new box and then the supers (add another super if thought prudent at the time). Place an additional queen excluder over the supers.

Returning to the original box, move the combs to one side of the box and fill the empty space at one side with the odd drawn comb that was removed to make the gap. This box now goes on top of the topmost queen excluder.

Fit crownboard and roof and the job is done.
The original Demaree method actually allowed the bees to swarm, which required that they be collected (a great deal of un-necessary work and a risk of losing the bees completely). After some trials it was decided to treat the colonies as if they had swarmed even if they were making no swarm preparations.

This regimental treatment of all colonies was aimed at suppressing swarming. and was totally succesful for a period of 14 to 21 days. To further extend the non swarming period, the queen excluders could be removed allowing the original queen full use of the combs. This gave another 14 to 21 days with about 90% chance of swarm suppression.

Requeening a honey production hive.This is probably the most common useage of the method and to be true to the originators ideas you should do this upon finding queencells. In practice I used to carry out the manoeuvre on all colonies in an apiary if I found queencells, that I had not anticipated, in any hive in that apiary.

I always had spare boxes with mixture of drawn comb and frames of foundation available either in the back of the van or sealed up, stacked on hive stands, in the apiaries concerned. The supers were already off, the brood box was placed on one side and a fresh box placed on the original floor. The central comb was removed from the new box and retained for later. The original brood box was searched and the queen and the frame that she was found on were placed in the central gap in the new box. A fresh queen excluder was placed on this new box the original supers replaced. The original queen excluder was placed on the supers and the brood box with the occupied frames was placed on this. The frames being pushed together to remove the gap that the queen's frame left and the spare comb placed in the outside position. Crown board and roof on the top of the stack and our job is finished. This all takes less time than it took for me to type the description.

Producing two stocks from one... By introducing a split board instead of the uppermost queen exluder, a few days later.

Producing two, three or four nucs, whilst still producing some honey.

Wedmore 4 square boards
separate cover boards (coverboards?)
Box with dovetail grooves (draw up plywood version)

Repopulating "baby" nucs with young bees after the existing ones are too old for our purpose.

Divided 5 frame nucs {link to nucs}
wedmore 4 square type split board with mesh removed, newspaper and full sized Herzog grid

Why it works.






Generated... 20 October 2001
 

Polyanwood 

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useful thanks. Interesting that my mental block was that I forgot about finding the queen. If they are still vicious artificial swarm will be easier... but perhaps I will have successfully requeened them all by then!
 

Hivemaker. 

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Hi poly,it is a method like above i use to requeen and unite just before the main honey flow in july,i then keep the old queen in a nuc,or destroy if she is no good.
 

Polyanwood 

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Cool. So if I can get then united when the candles of the horse chestnut are just opening, that will be perfect for me.
 

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