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Curly green finger's 

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Hi I'm planing to take some hives to the Heather this season and I was wondering what sort of set up you will be using eg double brood reduced to one brood box, splits, swarms or a combo of any of the above or neither..
Our ling Heather forage is around 600 acres.
Your thoughts and comments pls.
 
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Hi I'm planing to take some hives to the Heather this season and I was wondering what sort of set up you will be using eg double brood reduced to one brood box, splits, swarms or a combo of any of the above or neither..
Our ling Heather forage is around 600 acres.
Your thoughts and comments pls.
I had a fab heather crop last year at home. I make sure the colony has a young queen (that season) and I unite a Nuc in July ahead of the flow to boost the foraging force. There are lots of techniques re preparing the brood box, most people constrain to a single box and max 2 supers of predrawn comb. Best to watch Tony Jefferson - one of our best Heather men in Yorkshire - on the Bibba webinar series, he covers it well.
Here’s some pics of my extraction last year, yummy 😋

 

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Curly green finger's 

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I had a fab heather crop last year at home. I make sure the colony has a young queen (that season) and I unite a Nuc in July ahead of the flow to boost the foraging force. There are lots of techniques re preparing the brood box, most people constrain to a single box and max 2 supers of predrawn comb. Best to watch Tony Jefferson - one of our best Heather men in Yorkshire - on the Bibba webinar series, he covers it well.
Here’s some pics of my extraction last year, yummy 😋

Thanks elainemary I will watch the video and I like your press (y)
 

Curly green finger's 

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I bought it for use for our association - it’s much cheaper than a heather press, it’s sold for pressing apples, worked well when lined with a scrimp bag.
That's given me an idea you could make a press like that it wouldnt take much.
Thanks.
 

Amari 

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I bought it for use for our association - it’s much cheaper than a heather press, it’s sold for pressing apples, worked well when lined with a scrimp bag.
Your press looks similar to Thorne's 'economy heather press' I've had mine several years but seem to remember it cost nothing like £340. I'm sure it used to be called 'budget heather press'.
 
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Your press looks similar to Thorne's 'economy heather press' I've had mine several years but seem to remember it cost nothing like £340. I'm sure it used to be called 'budget heather press'.
I think mine cost much less than that, about £150 max, will have to see if I can find details and post. It’s v sturdy and stainless steel inner.

Edit: not a bad guess re price, bought it 3 years ago, here’s the link to the price today

 
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Amari 

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I think mine cost much less than that, about £150 max, will have to see if I can find details and post. It’s v sturdy and stainless steel inner.
Edit: not a bad guess re price, bought it 3 years ago, here’s the link to the price today

Wow! We beekeepers have been robbed. T's say theirs is made in their own works, maybe yours is made in China?
 

Antipodes 

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I think mine cost much less than that, about £150 max, will have to see if I can find details and post. It’s v sturdy and stainless steel inner.

Edit: not a bad guess re price, bought it 3 years ago, here’s the link to the price today

Neat design.
 

Curly green finger's 

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Wow! We beekeepers have been robbed. T's say theirs is made in their own works, maybe yours is made in China?
I wonder if the Japanese would of made one better? Cheaper? finny just recently said they use to make everything.
My wheels are turning tonight and there made of stone!
Chinese are good for one thing incubators and Chinese food :ROFLMAO:
 
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I took 8 stocks to heather on the Long Mynd, not a million miles from The Clee, for a year or two quite some time ago. I stopped because of winter losses with dysentery and so it is necessary to let them have syrup to cluster on in early winter. Also it is such a distinctive flavour that my regular customers didn’t like it!
Interestingly, I looked at the site again last year and there is now hardly any heather. It has been ravished by the heather beetle. It is National Trust land and they don’t like to burn heather; can’t help feeling there is a link
 

Curly green finger's 

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I took 8 stocks to heather on the Long Mynd, not a million miles from The Clee, for a year or two quite some time ago. I stopped because of winter losses with dysentery and so it is necessary to let them have syrup to cluster on in early winter. Also it is such a distinctive flavour that my regular customers didn’t like it!
Interestingly, I looked at the site again last year and there is now hardly any heather. It has been ravished by the heather beetle. It is National Trust land and they don’t like to burn heather; can’t help feeling there is a link
Interesting you say that maybe it has something to do with the beetle they can also live along side in grassland they winter in the moss, both larvae and adults eat Heather even more so I think when it's not growing so much or even if there is lots of lush grassland surrounding it.

What are your thoughts then if we know the life cycle of the Heather beetle.
Would you say burning at different times would help?
 
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Interesting you say that maybe it has something to do with the beetle they can also live along side in grassland they winter in the moss, both larvae and adults eat Heather even more so I think when it's not growing so much or even if there is lots of lush grassland surrounding it.

What are your thoughts then if we know the life cycle of the Heather beetle.
Would you say burning at different times would help?
We had heather beetle year before last & the crop was negligible. However it totally recovered last year and my bees in my best colony brought over 2 full supers (were completely empty beforehand) in 1 week. My other 2 colonies here last year brought in a super and half in a week. Need the right weather - it was c20C+ degrees and humid that week. I’m in a SSSI south Pennines moor area.
The north York moors were badly affected with heather beetle last summer, I do hope it’s different this year. I have noticed some heather burning has been happening on the moors above where I live. My bees have to fly just 1 field away to be on the heather. They are hand to mouth the rest of the year, bring in a spring crop (from trees and wildflower meadow) of just under a super in May but consume it in June and July.
 
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I took 8 stocks to heather on the Long Mynd, not a million miles from The Clee, for a year or two quite some time ago. I stopped because of winter losses with dysentery and so it is necessary to let them have syrup to cluster on in early winter. Also it is such a distinctive flavour that my regular customers didn’t like it!
Interestingly, I looked at the site again last year and there is now hardly any heather. It has been ravished by the heather beetle. It is National Trust land and they don’t like to burn heather; can’t help feeling there is a link
I over wintered the 2 colonies I left here at home with a full uncapped super of Heather (I took a capped super off for me). I gave each a feed of inverted syrup first, then nadired the super. I also sprayed the bees with Nosevit.
Both have come through winter very strongly, One had got 5 frames of brood and is jam packed with bees, no dead bees on the hive floor, no dysentery.

In my first year of keeping bees both colonies had dysentery (different lineage). Think the difference was I now have the right bees for where I live, they are nosema free, hardy bees that overwinter frugally (c20lb stores). I make sure the brood box has a mix of invert and Heather & I do think the Nosevit has helped together with spring testing for nosema. Know dysentery isn’t always related to nosema but my first colonies I bought as a beginner, both tested positive with high levels of nosema.

I think the high levels of pollen in Heather can give bees a v good start in the spring when pollen is in short supply, but you need to watch that the stores you’re leaving don’t have too high a water content and they are strong enough to reduce this down before autumn.
 

Ian123 

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Hi I'm planing to take some hives to the Heather this season and I was wondering what sort of set up you will be using eg double brood reduced to one brood box, splits, swarms or a combo of any of the above or neither..
Our ling Heather forage is around 600 acres.
Your thoughts and comments pls.
Depends on the hives if you have dbl brood that are filling the box take them. If you have Dbls that can be condensed to a single do that. You do brood to outside emerging to the centre, it’s meant to force the nectar up stairs rather than around brood area for what it’s worth. If your moving bees to the site I wouldn’t worry what the set up is(queen age)but just take the strongest.
 
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Interesting you say that maybe it has something to do with the beetle they can also live along side in grassland they winter in the moss, both larvae and adults eat Heather even more so I think when it's not growing so much or even if there is lots of lush grassland surrounding it.

What are your thoughts then if we know the life cycle of the Heather beetle.
Would you say burning at different times would help?
We have been on the parallel ridge, The Stiperstones, today.That is managed by Natural England and the heather looks really healthy. Someone was cutting old heather and I have seen them burning it also. On looking it up on tinternet, it appears that the NT do burn some areas after the heather has been killed. A bit late then? It seems that not a lot of research has been done on the subject. Traditionally of course old heather was burned as the regrowth is good food for young grouse , and other ground nesting birds. Unfortunately the anti grouse shooting lobby are against this to the detriment of all bird species.
Burning is only allowed during the winter.
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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They're trying something new around here - better than nothing as the only burning we see are the farmers doing it 'on the fly' because the national parks make it so difficult to get a burning licence. No burning has an adverse effect on the mountainside, and too much burning the same, at one time the heather came to within half a mile or so to me, now it's a good two miles before we see any decent stuff.
This year I was called up as something strange was happening on the Drysgol - rather than burning, they've cut all the heather in firebreaks, baled it into big bales, then the bales were helicoptered away to the next valley where they've been used as bank revetments on river habitat improvement schemes.bales 2.jpgbales 1.jpgbales 3.jpg
 

Niv 

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I think mine cost much less than that, about £150 max, will have to see if I can find details and post. It’s v sturdy and stainless steel inner.

Edit: not a bad guess re price, bought it 3 years ago, here’s the link to the price today

Interestingly, they have a stainless steel version that says 'Ideal for apples and honeycomb'

9-10 Litre All Stainless Cross Beam Fruit Press with Mesh Basket (V20 INOX) - Ideal for Apples & Honeycomb

Definitely something to consider. Thanks elainemary
 

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