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Skyhook 

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OK, here's the plan

I will overwinter my one colony perfectly. In March, weather permitting, I will start stimulative feeding and brood spreading to build the colony as big and fast as possible, getting onto double brood. I then put supers between the boxes and arrange the frames as per Ted Hooper to induce queen cells in the top box. I then split the boxes to make 2 colonies. If my 2008 queen is still in residence I take her out and bank her in a nuc for insurance. I then have 2 lovely strong hives.

To house these on 14 x 12's, I buy T*****s bees on a budget hives and Ekes.

Comments please? (be gentle!) :svengo:
 

Onge 

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Thats the plan, now let's see what happens. I find the maximin chance that they will follow any plan is 90% on a good day. :)

Sounds reasonable, hope it all goes well.

Keep us posted. :)
 

Mike a 

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I can predict one slight flaw in your master plan assuming they make it through winter.

Have you told them the plan and did they agree with it?
:biggrinjester:

Other than that it sounds fine.
 

Polyanwood 

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It is great to share a bit of your enthusiasm!

I would strongly recommend you treat with oxalic in Winter. On just one colony you will be able to afford the pollen patties that actually contain pollen... neopol and nectapol are they called? You can give them these as their Christmas present. The protein in the pollen helps brood development. March is late for stimulative feeding around here. ( I've had my first swarms in April) I think January for patties and February for weak syrup.

I would favour AS over the technique you suggest, but mostly because I think really getting how to do that into your head is really, really helpful and will save you from losing many bees in the future.

Good Luck
 

Brosville 

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All that hassle.......... the way I did it was hive a swarm in a top bar hive last May, and let them build into a big bouncy colony, which overwintered with no feeding or manipulations whatsoever, who graced me with a lovely prime swarm this May, which is now housed in a second top bar hive, which if anything is further ahead than last year's.........
Chill, work WITH nature, don't try to bludgeon her into doing your will........

ps total financial outlay so far for 4 hives and colonies, and all essential equipment - circa £150!
 
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the naked beekeeper 

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The thought of feeding my bees sugar when I don't need to is abhorrent to me, but each to their own.

I would warn that with stimulative feeding, you may well end up with lots of bees, but if the weather starts to turn bad for any period, you will find they will eat more stores/need even more feeding. Whilst more bees = more foragers, it also = more mouths to feed if the weather goes awry.
 

beebreeder 

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Have you ever seen bees struggling with concrete ivy honey from previous autumn in an effort to survive because its all they have.
 

admin 

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It is great to share a bit of your enthusiasm!

I would strongly recommend you treat with oxalic in Winter. On just one colony you will be able to afford the pollen patties that actually contain pollen... neopol and nectapol are they called? You can give them these as their Christmas present. The protein in the pollen helps brood development. March is late for stimulative feeding around here. ( I've had my first swarms in April) I think January for patties and February for weak syrup.


Good Luck
Personaly I would think hard about an OA treatment as the queen is a 2008 so will of been exposed before to OA.

Regards the pollen pattie I am not a beliver that it makes any difference down south,I think it will do just as well if you bung it in the bin.

Weak syrup during Feb sounds good though.

In Hants I always look forward to Valentines day as the snow is normaly finished by that date and the temp tries to head for double figures giving a chance of a peak in the hives.
 

Skyhook 

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It is great to share a bit of your enthusiasm!

I would strongly recommend you treat with oxalic in Winter. On just one colony you will be able to afford the pollen patties that actually contain pollen... neopol and nectapol are they called? You can give them these as their Christmas present. The protein in the pollen helps brood development. March is late for stimulative feeding around here. ( I've had my first swarms in April) I think January for patties and February for weak syrup.

I would favour AS over the technique you suggest, but mostly because I think really getting how to do that into your head is really, really helpful and will save you from losing many bees in the future.

Good Luck
Thanks for the feeding tips. The reason I'm thinking of that method of increase is that so far, I havent seen a single queen cell- if that doesn't change in spring I will have to induce some.
 

gavin 

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Personaly I would think hard about an OA treatment as the queen is a 2008 so will of been exposed before to OA.
I haven't heard that before Mark. Might it be the case that queens get their syrup second-hand as it were, and so are not so exposed to the acid?

G.
 

oliver90owner 

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Plan is good, but execution may not be quite so easy as writing it down.

The important underlying strategy I see is doubling up your colony. That is a superb goal.

You may find a three way split (or more might) be on the cards, so take that into consideration when stocking hive parts through the winter. You might also consider, at this stage, whether to change format. Polyhives? Langstroths?

Dependent on your type of beekeeping, space and a load of other factors we don't know about, you might want to at least consider alternatives such as a Dartington or a TBH. I mention these as you may have enough skills to easily construct your own beetainers during the winter period. You might not want to go the plastic Dartington way, I would think!

A crop off the OSR might be good before splitting and, as others have said, don't constrict yourself with dates (as in earliest you intend to do it) or you may find the bees have already passed that stage! This year was a late start; last year a split was easy in early April.

Keeping the old queen is always a good plan - you may need extra queens later in the season if either (or any) of your new queens is unsatisfactory. I would be inclined to leave her in a bigger colony, at least initially, to continue laying at the spring rate, removing her to a nuc later.

Plenty of time to refine your plan, but a good start.

Regards, RAB
 
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Hivemaker. 

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I haven't heard that before Mark. Might it be the case that queens get their syrup second-hand as it were, and so are not so exposed to the acid?

G.
But maybe when the acid is trickled over the bee's she does not get it second hand,the attendants may feed her some straight away...who knows...but being as its only recommended to trickle the bee's once,as more will harm them(seems to me that once actually harms them) then surely it cannot be good to give the one bee in the colony which you hope will live the longest and perform well....maybe three doses or more as she ages.
 

justme 

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Personaly I would think hard about an OA treatment as the queen is a 2008 so will of been exposed before to OA.

Regards the pollen pattie I am not a beliver that it makes any difference down south,I think it will do just as well if you bung it in the bin.

Weak syrup during Feb sounds good though.

In Hants I always look forward to Valentines day as the snow is normaly finished by that date and the temp tries to head for double figures giving a chance of a peak in the hives.
Does that mean they should only be OA'd once in their life? Sorry for being thick. Di
 

oliver90owner 

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only be OA'd once in their life?

Possibly that is once too many (per Hivemaker's post #14), but the general rule is 'not more than once a year'. As the rest of the colony has likely pegged and been replaced(more than once) before another dose would likely occur, you can draw your own conclusions.....

Beefarmers who routinely change their queens each year would automatically avoid giving a queen more than one treatment, so they are not particularly bothered. I try to avoid any hard treatments on my bees and particularly the queens marked down as likely breeding stock. Sometimes one cannot avoid a 'hard' chemical treatment, of course.

Regards, RAB
 
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have the bee's agreed to this plan yet?

i have one woman in the house and she can devilishly hard to get an agreement and you want to try 5,ooo??

apart from that i love a great plan evan if they dont work there is nothing like a great plan

I always planned to make a plan...

but senior moments interevened....
 

milkermel 

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Thanks for the feeding tips. The reason I'm thinking of that method of increase is that so far, I havent seen a single queen cell- if that doesn't change in spring I will have to induce some.
First year of keeping bees last year, my girls behaved wonderfully and I didnt have a single QC.

WHATCH out for the next year!!! As soon as that box gets full you will have QC everywhere! - well I did!! Had a problem getting them to go up top and draw supers so brood box jamed full of bees Think you may find they are happy to provide QC next year!!
 

fatshark 

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I had a similar plan this time last year ... the overwintering and move to a double brood box went flawlessly but the bees obviously had slightly different plans as they generated QC's in both boxes after splitting. I'm ending the season with four hives - two very strong which have yielded honey - and two more I expanded from nucs. In the meantime I've provided a couple of mated laying queens to friends.

The overall outcome is good and I'll be better prepared for next year, but it's clear I've been making bees, not honey. I suspect I separated the double brood box too late and they were already committed to swarming.

Time to make plans for next year ... and build a lot more supers ;)

--
fatshark
 

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