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seymour 

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Several of the hives I purchased from my local French beekeeper have since swarmed. I expected to get nucs when I ordered them but they turned out to be full size, with QE and one super. The hives had plenty of bees in them but they seemed reluctant to go up in the super.The QE was one of those slotted plastic ones. Was overcrowding the cause ? if so why didnt they go up in the super ? Most of the Queens seem to have blue marking on, which I think is 2008, yet with a new purchased hive I expected a this years Queen. Have I been conned ?
 

plumberman 

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In the UK, blue is the colour for 2010 Queens, so from that respect you have not been conned, unless France uses a different convention for marking queens.
 

Mike a 

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Several of the hives I purchased from my local French beekeeper have since swarmed. I expected to get nucs when I ordered them but they turned out to be full size, with QE and one super. The hives had plenty of bees in them but they seemed reluctant to go up in the super.The QE was one of those slotted plastic ones. Was overcrowding the cause ? if so why didnt they go up in the super ? Most of the Queens seem to have blue marking on, which I think is 2008, yet with a new purchased hive I expected a this years Queen. Have I been conned ?
Overcrowding is the most likely cause of them swarming, I assume you bought them before you learnt how to manage a hive. I would recommend you buy




(good book for most I think)

and read up quickly so you can prevent them from swarming again and hopefully get some honey towards the end of the season. If you have a local association near you in France join them and attend their meetings.
 

MJBee 

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France has the same colour convention as UK so blue marked queens = 2010, unless the only pen he has is a blue one:)
 
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I think that's a bit harsh Mike.

We've all lost swarms even though we know the theory. Sometimes the bees don't read the bee books and just want to swarm.
 

oliver90owner 

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northernsoul,

You are right, 'Mike a' was a bit harsh. Had he looked back through the poster's other posts he would have seen that beekeeping has been on-going for several years. I have another term for it but would not post it at the moment. The suggestion of a good read was about right, though.

Regards, RAB
 

Mike a 

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I think that's a bit harsh Mike.
northernsoul,

You are right, 'Mike a' was a bit harsh.
Ack, that wasn't my intention. Far from it and I humbly apologise to you Seymour if my post was badly worded and caused offence.

I read the post as a couple of questions
1. why did they swarm
and
2. Colour codes - Have I been conned ?

As Seymour wasn't sure of the colour code I assumed (no doubt wrongly) he was new to bee keeping and needed some advice of how to manage the bees.
The book I quoted was one of the first books I bought and I would recommend it to every bee keeper to read.

Once again Seymour it was not my intension to be rude, patronising or harsh in my reply.
:(
 

MuswellMetro 

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The plastic slotted queen excluders are not that Bee Freindly, the galvenised metal slotted ones are even less Bee friendly, i dislike them and prefer the rod type as you get less wing damage and Bees go up much more easily to draw supers

so iexpect they felt crowded
 

seymour 

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No offence taken Mike, I just appreciate all you guys taking the time to help. I trusted someone elses word on this years colour not being blue, will check next time ! All the hives that swarmed were owned by newbees, I arranged the purchase of them and have been trying to pass on what little knowledge I have, but obviously not quick enough !!
 

Mike a 

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No offence taken Mike, I just appreciate all you guys taking the time to help. I trusted someone elses word on this years colour not being blue, will check next time ! All the hives that swarmed were owned by newbees, I arranged the purchase of them and have been trying to pass on what little knowledge I have, but obviously not quick enough !!
Thank you Seymour

I see why you wanted to double check now and good luck mentoring your friends, its not fun explaining what happened when the colony just don't play ball and do some thing completely unexpected.
 

oliver90owner 

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Maybe those ten colonies in hives were not quite 'the steal' you thought. A clever ruse by the vendor to supply the swarmiest bees he has got? Sell more hives that way? Well, he would have done, if they had made regular weekly inspections!

RAB
 

seymour 

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A good point RAB. I intend to recommend they are requeened next year anyway, at least everybody is happy they have their beehives. All part of the learning curve I guess.
 

davethegas 

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Guys was there anything Seymore could have done to persuade the bees to move up through the QE ? Has this bit been explained? If they were hellbent on swarming regardless then so be it, but if the QE was the problem, what could he have tried to try and prevent it?
 

davethegas 

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Guys was there anything Seymore could have done to persuade the bees to move up through the QE ? Has this bit been explained? If they were hellbent on swarming regardless then so be it, but if the QE was the problem, what could he have tried to try and prevent it?
 

davethegas 

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Just noticed that. Just noticed that. Lolol. Too much Shropshire sun & pinot grigio don't you think?
 

oliver90owner 

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Well remove it dear Henry, dear Henry. Remove it!

No Q/E, no problem of moving through it.

Regards, RAB
 

davethegas 

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Rab

Thanks RAB, to the point as expected. How long for? Day or two, or just until you see movement, would you put same QE back on?
 

oliver90owner 

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If they were all the same, I might be suspecting that french beekeeper!

Time? As long as it takes. If brood was deposited, it just means extraction would have to wait at least 3 weeks after the Q/E was replaced - oh, and the comb would probably not be so good for cut comb!

Regards, RAB
 
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