First Year Bee Keeping Setup

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Jon.21 

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Started beekeeping in April this year and have 2 colonies so this is my first winter. Finding the advice on here really useful and using it in conjunction with a Bee keeping friend who I bought my nuc off.

Due to sometimes having deer and other wildlife in the garden and being on top of a hill where we often see high winds I’ve built my own concreted in hive stand where the straps go through the frame so no chance of them going over. Being tall I’ve also set the height higher than normal which makes inspections much more comfortable.

Maybe a bit over engineered using sleepers etc (3off 2.4m 100x200 sleepers) but being an engineer I like to often over engineer ;)
Put some Thorne mouse guards on last night with a head torch which was an experience. Thought I could get away doing it without a bee suit but trying to get the last grate in I made quite a bit of noise and vibration resulting in them coming out and going into defence mode. Got the suit on and with a bit of smoke got them back inside and finished off.

Still feeding one of the colonies as not quite up to weight yet as I weighed a couple of days ago and calculated there was around 17kg of stores The other colony has around 22kg stores so going to not feed that anymore.
 

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That's a terrific job.
 

Erichalfbee 

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They look pretty good. We have fence posts sunk into the uneven ground.
 

Ian123 

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Am guessing the second box is to take the feeder? Keep an eye on weights as depending on area many hives are active or brood rearing well through November into December. Those are 14x12 boxes so will hold a lot. Push any empty frames up against brood area whilst your adding last feed. The queen will lay or they will fill with stores. Keep any brood aligned with entrance to help prevent wasps entering when temps drop and bees cluster. Hope that helps. Ian
 

Jon.21 

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Am guessing the second box is to take the feeder? Keep an eye on weights as depending on area many hives are active or brood rearing well through November into December. Those are 14x12 boxes so will hold a lot. Push any empty frames up against brood area whilst your adding last feed. The queen will lay or they will fill with stores. Keep any brood aligned with entrance to help prevent wasps entering when temps drop and bees cluster. Hope that helps. Ian
Yes 2nd box is for the rapid feeder. Taking down about 1kg of sugar every 2 days at the moment with it mixed at 2:1. Thanks for the advice on moving frames. I’ve noticed that when the temp drops the wasps can get in much easier. Once I’m up to 20kg of stores which should be by wed based on current takedown rate my plan was to weigh my hives every week for at least the next month to see how they get on . Do you think this is the right approach ?
 

Ian123 

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Yes 2nd box is for the rapid feeder. Taking down about 1kg of sugar every 2 days at the moment with it mixed at 2:1. Thanks for the advice on moving frames. I’ve noticed that when the temp drops the wasps can get in much easier. Once I’m up to 20kg of stores which should be by wed based on current takedown rate my plan was to weigh my hives every week for at least the next month to see how they get on . Do you think this is the right approach ?
Yes top up and monitor for me that’s just a simple heft but I’ve been doing it a while. Do watch the weights in November and December in mild periods you can feed if needed. In my area bees are still very much active in this time, between wasps and brood rearing stores can drop rapidly. Every spring there’s posts saying bees have starved but I fed in autumn. Proactive beeks Will prevent this.!
 

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