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Stiffy 

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I am lucky (?) enough to have been offered an-out apiary site on a huge heather moor. I was wondering what if anything I should be looking for and any tips on gettting the best out of the resource and keeping the girls in good condition would be very welcome?
Cheers
Stiffy
 

Poly Hive 

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Look for good access, look for bracken (signifies shelter), look for water.
Look for a managed grouse moor, (burnt strips signifies)
Get your bees up early. The classic date is August 12th but times it is all over by then.
Mid July is good.

PH
 

jezd 

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One lesson I learnt was get them there and then out once the heather has finished, don’t leave them hanging around on the moors/heather as its pointless. The risk with leaving them is if it stays mild then the bees will stay very active with no forage.
 

Poly Hive 

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I have found that the heather can be blooming nicely well past the 12th and not a drop coming in.

I have to say arriving at the site at 7 in the evening and hearing the bees fanning loudly with the smell of ling heavy on the air is just wonderful :)

PH
 

Hivemaker. 

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Pick a good sheltered site,and make sure they have ample stores when you move them to the heather,and keep an eye on these stores,they can soon starve if the expected ling flow does not happen.
Best to use only the strongest colonys,the mortality rate can be high.
 

RoofTops 

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Stiffy, are you thinking of keeping them there all year round? If so, the lack of forage when the heather is not in bloom will a be a major problem. Buckfast Abbey mating site is on Dartmoor and the bees have to be fed a lot of syrup.

In theory bracken can provide for the bees from extra-floral nectaries, but this will not be enough if the Buckfast experience is anything to go by.
 

jezd 

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I have found that the heather can be blooming nicely well past the 12th and not a drop coming in.

I have to say arriving at the site at 7 in the evening and hearing the bees fanning loudly with the smell of ling heavy on the air is just wonderful :)

PH
how can you hear the bees over the howling wind, the driving rain and the biting midges!! lol

midges make working the heather a nightmare at times
 

Poly Hive 

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They can indeed which is why I have a "Skye midge hood" ;)

Mind you it does darken things a fair bit at night.

PH
 
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jezd 

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no way!!! I need to check that out....I had more midges in the hood than bees outside!
 

Black Comb 

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Make sure the sheep (if there are any) can't knock them over.
 

Stiffy 

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Stiffy, are you thinking of keeping them there all year round? If so, the lack of forage when the heather is not in bloom will a be a major problem. Buckfast Abbey mating site is on Dartmoor and the bees have to be fed a lot of syrup.

In theory bracken can provide for the bees from extra-floral nectaries, but this will not be enough if the Buckfast experience is anything to go by.
The farm is about 30 miles from my main site and belongs to a friend who owns the farm and is very close to the moor. He keeps a few cattle which he has offered to fence away from hives. I hadn't made any plans regarding keeping them there all year round but just to take a few hives there when the heather is right and then bring them back to my main site. I was just sounding out the logistics and the value of taking them there?
Regarding bracken will bees make use of it, it grows in abundance close to me but I cannot remember seeing bees on it?
Many thanks for all the advice, as usual its a great help.
Cheers
Stiffy
 

Poly Hive 

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"look for bracken (signifies shelter)"

Seems I didn't make this very clear. Along a track you may see little defiles with bracken growing there, those wee spots are saying we are sheltered. Those are the spots to look for for that reason.

PH
 

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