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How often to check hives

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BarnBrian 

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I'm about to venture into getting my first hive. One predicament I have is that I work offshore and am away for five weeks at a time, I'm not sure if my other half will have the confidence to open up a hive. Would five weeks be too long to leave them unattended?

Brian
 
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It certainly would at this time of year. Especially this year which has been very swarmy.

A good way for your wife to build up confidence would be to get a 5 frame nuc, not a full hive as it's no where near as daunting to open up and they tend to be quieter as well, if you did that and let them build slowly for the rest of the year and then over winter them, then next spring they will be ready to go and she will have had a lot of handling experience and will hopefully feel happier about it. :)

Frisbee
 

hedgerow pete 

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i can go longer than that between inspections, so dont worry

the other thing is when you are off shore theys is not alot you can do when they swarm so set up a bait hive around 200 yards away if you can , and just injoy the ladies when you can get to them, or may site them at a local bee apiary and then some one else can inspect them for you
 

VEG 

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Pete how can you go longer than 5 weeks between inspections without loosing a swarm? As I am very curious as to how this can be done. :cheers2:
 

hedgerow pete 

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its very easy and since before the thief striped me out i had not had a swarm in 6 years

and are we ready for my great wealth of usless knowlegde

i requeen every two years so we have no swarm issues i also never ever ever ever, did i just say never ever? i will add several more onto that but i dont have anything that has any form of carni in it, cant stand them sorry, i have some thing which is of a dark european bee type-ish i have no idea exactly what they are but they are slower to start there season off but will soon catch up, there are not the world greatest super bee, but for me and my beekeeping ways they are spot on wonderfull, i have not properly checked my main two hives for 8 weeks now last time i lifted the super off pulled out the two frames (4,7) and put the super back plus the new super i wanted to stick on any way,

as my dad always used to say work smarter not harder
 

jimbeekeeper 

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Roughnecks

Hi Brain

Welcome to the forum and as a fellow "Roughneck".

See my recent post link below I asked a similar question.

http://www.beekeepingforum.co.uk/showthread.php?t=1113

I am sure "compnay man" Polyhive will be along soon when he picks up the word "oil"

I am still on-shore, and only been off shore (rotational) when I did not have bees.

Jim
 

Hivemaker. 

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Learning so much on here,its great,thank you for this info pete,will save me so much time not having to do any swarm control,just re-queen every two years,but don't use anything with carniolan in it. How do you ensure yours don't ever mate with carni drones.
 

hedgerow pete 

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thats the beauty of beekeeping i dont know.

all i know is as long as i flood the area with drones when i want queen bees mated i have a rate around 75% that are usable 25% pure evil and and so out of the 20 i start may be 10 good ones and 5 evil and 5 poor as for the true type of bee i have i dont know what they are just that they are called dark european bees
 

Hivemaker. 

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Fair enough,sounds amazing,you must of got some very special breed of bee,don't swarm or get varroa,your very lucky,how do you rear more queens,grafting.
 
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hedgerow pete 

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the problem is not if but when i get vorra and as for the breeding ,ever heard of a book called queen rearing simplified by vince cook, thats it thats what i do basicly turn a single hive into ten nucs by removing it and breaking it down into a set of nucs, proberly get told now that, that way of doing things is way old fashioned and there are many newer and better ways , but it works for me e so i stick with it if you know what i mean
 

jon 

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Pete:
How long does it take you to tell that a queen is bad news re. temperament? I presume it must be 2-3 months after she starts laying when there are a fair number of her own bees around her.
I guess you have to requeen some colonies a couple of times in a season if the queen is not up to scratch.
Rearing your own queens from your own stock is the way to go.
 

hedgerow pete 

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all i do is try and i do meen try to raise twenty queens around may/june time, these queens then go off to my 20 nucs where they stay for at least 4 months normal, i usual re queen in september ish time, if when having a play with these 20 nucs i find a good one i might requeen a poor hive sooner rather than later, but each box has notes in the roof and if say i open the nuc and get mobbed i will kill the queen and merge two nucs together, but like i say iam a mere mortal and there are much better or should i say more constant breeders of queen s than me
 

Polyanwood 

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Wow!!! H Pete. Your advice on avoiding swarming is incredible. I look at mine every week and still have a few swarms. When I am more experienced and I can reliably clip the queen's wings without doing her in, I hope to be able to go 10 days between inspections in the swarm season. I thought that even the most experienced beekeepers didn't go over 10 days???

Never heard anyone claim they have got swarming licked with such confidence.
 

jon 

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Swarm control has been a real headache this year. I just found several queen cells in a colony headed by one of this year's queens which started laying on June 2nd. It was on double brood and 4 supers, two of which were empty.
A lot of people seem to be reporting this sort of thing this year.
 

Hivemaker. 

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H Pete,what is your theory why your bee's don't even have one single varroa mite,and you therfore never need to treat,considering you are sourounded by colonys which are infested,and collect lots of swarms which would also have mites. Just be interested in your thoughts as to why this is.
 

Poly Hive 

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I was never a Drill Rep, just the Materials Man. :)

Had 28 years of it all and am now a year ashore. Do I miss it? Errrr..........





Not at all.

PH
 

Bcrazy 

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Pete
From past conversations you don't know what breed of bee you have and leaving them for over five weeks. Come on come clean with us all.

Regards;
 

hedgerow pete 

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the bees i own were sold to me as english blacks form mick the bee at kidderminster, as i have no way of knowing what an english black is i dont call them that , i call them dark europeans, i want to get into bee type descriptions over the winter to try and identify them

varroa, the guy i buy them from does not have varroa in any of his hives and never has so there fore my bees are clean when i get them, i dont like swarms and as such ant i collect apart from people coming to collect them i never bring a swarm to my bee shed , bio security being high,
every month i insert a vasaline covered new paper to the bottom of the high to see what falls out and also all drone brood is cut out fror 9 months of the year and only allowed when i want it also cutting down varroa.

dusting, several threads have and are running about this , i do it every month with the news paper to see what falls and when, if i was to remove varroa from a hive which i have done in the past, i would use every single meathod going and more many times, but that is another very very long message , and i am off to work this morning for once so will do it tonight if i gat time.

forgot to mention bee type!!
as i said my bees are dark europeans and as such are no way near all these super duper bees everyone else has, if you went back intime say 40 years ago you find these bees every where, they guy breeds to type not to improve, he wishs not to improve them they are what they are and thats it, my honey production is proberly 3/4 of yours but with out any of the agro some of you are having, and as for swarmy ness this as anyone will know from the books can yes i will say that again YES IT CAN be breed down not out of a bee in less than 5 seasons, now that statement can cause a millon emails and hate mails and letter bombs so please send them else where iam off to work
 

Poly Hive 

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You are very right HP and before anyone thinks of saying other wise I too have had bees of that ilk.

I am frantically trying to find them again to use for what I want to achieve.

Swarminess can definitely be seriously reduced by breeding.


PH
 
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