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SixFooter 

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I have lost a total of 4 swarms this month and lost most of my bees from one colony. This is in spite of doing AS manipulations. At first, I thought the artificial swarm technique just ddint work, but now I think I have not been vicious enough in destroying the Queen cells, have only damaged them and the bees have rebuilt one or two. Either that or there were QC on the side of the BB. I noticed what could have been the remains of a QC on the side of the BB on Saturday. Next AS, I will remove all brace comb at the bottom of frames and make absolutely sure the QCs are destroyed.

At least I have not annoyed the neighbours as the swarms have all gone into a large overgrown field next to my house. Cant see where they went though as it's so overgrown. It's too dense to walk around on to have a look.

I now have 6 colonies and only one headed by a mated Queen.

Anyway, not much chance of me getting the 2nd year beek's know it all attitude, but perhaps next year I will know everything!
 

plumberman 

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If it's any help, I was taught to be very thorough in examination for QC's - and will
1) get all the bees off the comb ( brush or shake) ( unless QC that I want to keep, in which case brush only)
2) repeat it all twice to be certain. Makes me feel better and satisfies my OCD compulsion.....
3) destroy anything I am suspicious about - even these slightly elongated drone cells that I see, but can't be 100% sure not an emergency QC
 

Somerford 

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sixf,

if it is any consolation, this season does appear to be turning out to be odd - I have had similar difficulties on one of my hives that I did an AS on, then the weather turned and then both queens disappeared, and I needed to rectify with new brood pretty quickly. Why, I have no idea, but then I have also seen a nuc from last year prove very slow to build up, and a cut out hive also slow to do anything positive at all.

It could be the cold weather holding them back, tricking the bees into thinking the queen is failing,(she isn't, she is merely going off lay as there is a lack of pollen coming in due to lack of flights as temps weren't high enough) so then making preparations to swarm by building QC and then swarming as soon as the weather improves (as of late !!)


Furstrating yes. not much honey - yup. You could unite the remaining colonies to try for honey but then it might be best to just maintain the colonies you have ready for next year. An investment of a non swarmy queen from a proven source could also pay dividends.

regards

S
 

rae 

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8 and 3 nucs...it's swarm time...
Seems to be the pattern! We AS'd a colony on double brood, split the double brood into two colonies, each with a few queen cells, and both of them swarmed last week. We think there were three swarms, we got two of them back - one a large (7 frame) and one small (3 frames). Once the swarms were back in boxes, all of the remaining queen cells were dispatched, and they seem to have settled down.
 

Poly Hive 

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When one does an AS then it is much safer to leave one open cell only. Preferably a very young one.

You need to check every frame CAREFULLY especially down the side bars as they are very very good at camouflaging one in-between the frame and the side bar and nonchalantly clustering over it so it stays invisible to you.

PH
 

SixFooter 

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Thanks all. I think I've got it now. It took a while, but lesson learnt!
Frustrating that what was a really strong colony is now a bit feeble, but hopefully there's time for it to build up again.
 

oliver90owner 

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Their is no free lunch! Increase means reduced honey crop based on the 'before increase' hive-count. Buying in, or using one's own reared and mated queens, is a better option for honey production every time.

Why do you think a lot of the commercial bee farmers do it the way they do? To maximise output, of course. They buy in young mated and laying queens annually, to avoid a lot of the swarming problems reported recently on the forum. In the long term it is easier, more efficient - and more profitable.

But most of us are satisfied to keep bees and take enough honey for our needs. I understand the need to keep a reserve of honey back for a bad year. Lately that stock has been running down, but I am not going to worry about it. Just need to sell less, that is all. Not that I sell enough to even break even financially, what with the inefficiencies of my few colonies. I just enjoy beekeeping.

Regards, RAB
 

SixFooter 

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I just enjoy beekeeping.

Regards, RAB
Me too and I really wouldnt care about not getting much honey except that I just like to do things properly. Plus I lined up a local shop that is really keen to sell the honey that I'm probably not going to get :)
 

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