Manleys and young queen's for Heather.

Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum

Help Support Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum:

elainemary 

Field Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jun 1, 2019
Messages
612
Reaction score
644
Location
Yorkshire
Hive Type
wbc
Number of Hives
10
I did this last year and worked v well. Best heather crop. I don’t take my bees at home to the heather they fly there, as just a field away.

Think the logic is the conditions on the moor can be harsh, so you need a young queen to help prepare the colony for the following season and to overwinter well.

As a result of my good crop last year I left a super of heather on each of my 2 colonies at home. I left one on double brood (nadired the super and took it away after the stores were moved up).

Boy have they come out of winter strong. Now on 15 frames of brood, never had a colony on more than 8 frames at home before. I’m just hoping I can keep them together to capitalise on a spring crop from the trees, when the weather eventually warms up!
 

Ian123 

Queen Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jun 20, 2018
Messages
3,296
Reaction score
981
Location
surrey
Hive Type
none
I believe the thinking was young queens continue laying later also forcing stores up in your supers. When I started I was told bees don’t winter well on heather, over the years have found it to be the exact opposite. Bees really benefit from the late sources of pollen and those with ivy and heather sources are streets ahead. Ian
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

International Beekeeper of Mystery
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Mar 30, 2011
Messages
26,750
Reaction score
4,330
Location
Glanaman,Carmarthenshire,Wales
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
Too many - but not nearly enough
When I started I was told bees don’t winter well on heather, over the years have found it to be the exact opposite.
That was the only winter feed my grandfather gave to the bees - heather extraction was too much of a faff (and was never popular around here) so he would just take off the summer floral honey then leave the bees the heather - it also meant that the bees' "ration sugar" could be used to bottle a boxful of pears that he used to get sent down from Hereford on the train 😁
 

elainemary 

Field Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jun 1, 2019
Messages
612
Reaction score
644
Location
Yorkshire
Hive Type
wbc
Number of Hives
10
I believe the thinking was young queens continue laying later also forcing stores up in your supers. When I started I was told bees don’t winter well on heather, over the years have found it to be the exact opposite. Bees really benefit from the late sources of pollen and those with ivy and heather sources are streets ahead. Ian
Thanks Ian. Yes I fretted about leaving them on heather, there’s so much mis-information and teaching about how over wintering on heather is bad for the bees re dysentery. Probably from people who have never done it and just lift it out of books. Not found it to be the case, quite the reverse.
 

Erichalfbee 

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
22,197
Reaction score
3,880
Location
Ceredigion
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
7
Thanks Ian. Yes I fretted about leaving them on heather, there’s so much mis-information and teaching about how over wintering on heather is bad for the bees re dysentery. Probably from people who have never done it and just lift it out of books. Not found it to be the case, quite the reverse.
That's what makes this forum so great. Advice comes from experience not somebody else's notes
 

elainemary 

Field Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jun 1, 2019
Messages
612
Reaction score
644
Location
Yorkshire
Hive Type
wbc
Number of Hives
10
That was the only winter feed my grandfather gave to the bees - heather extraction was too much of a faff (and was never popular around here) so he would just take off the summer floral honey then leave the bees the heather - it also meant that the bees' "ration sugar" could be used to bottle a boxful of pears that he used to get sent down from Hereford on the train 😁
Nice story. My grandad in Lincolnshire used to help his mate take bees to the heather to the North York moors, my mum recently told me. He had a huge pear tree in his garden. Got lots of nice memories of him storing all his pears in wooden crates in his out building and all people in our village coming to buy them. That pear tree used to pay his rates every year.
Unfortunately the person that bought his house after he died had it chopped down 🥲
 

mbc 

Queen Bee
Beekeeping Sponsor
Joined
Feb 16, 2010
Messages
6,100
Reaction score
613
Location
bestest wales
Hive Type
national
Hi, Manley preferred using that years queen's for the Heather I know a few others that do this what are your thoughts.
I'm considering taking up lots of this year's nucs with a second brood box of drawn comb to fill up with lovely heather honey, see how it goes.
Anybody selling a good loosener?
 

Ian123 

Queen Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jun 20, 2018
Messages
3,296
Reaction score
981
Location
surrey
Hive Type
none
I'm considering taking up lots of this year's nucs with a second brood box of drawn comb to fill up with lovely heather honey, see how it goes.
Anybody selling a good loosener?
If your taking up the Nucs to build up fine if your going for a crop then take the strongest you’ve got
 

jeff33 

Drone Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Mar 9, 2016
Messages
1,156
Reaction score
272
Location
Gower, where all the fun happens
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
14 now...and still counting
They need to be set for the heather mid July around here I think. I may take a couple on Rhossili Downs to see what it's all about but if I was hoping for a crop that would be to the detriment of a summer floral crop which doesn't seem worth the effort with all the faff of the extraction. Maybe a few nucs to prep them for the winter?
 

Curly green finger's 

Queen Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jul 30, 2019
Messages
3,171
Reaction score
1,391
Location
Titterstone clee South Shropshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
Over 20
I'm considering taking up lots of this year's nucs with a second brood box of drawn comb to fill up with lovely heather honey, see how it goes.
Anybody selling a good loosener?
I'm considering taking up lots of this year's nucs with a second brood box of drawn comb to fill up with lovely heather honey, see how it goes.
Anybody selling a good loosener?
Yeah they can cost a bit but on a big scale worth saving the comb.
Scraping and pressing would you still need the loosener. ( on a smaller scale)
 

Curly green finger's 

Queen Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jul 30, 2019
Messages
3,171
Reaction score
1,391
Location
Titterstone clee South Shropshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
Over 20
They need to be set for the heather mid July around here I think. I may take a couple on Rhossili Downs to see what it's all about but if I was hoping for a crop that would be to the detriment of a summer floral crop which doesn't seem worth the effort with all the faff of the extraction. Maybe a few nucs to prep them for the winter?
I think the Heather is worth the hastle if it pays of, as with moving bees to any crop like the osr so far this year in Shropshire it's dia.
 

Latest posts

Top