Quantcast

Newbee Inspection - Your Thoughts?

Beekeeping Forum

Help Support Beekeeping Forum:

honey 

New Bee
Joined
Jul 12, 2010
Messages
22
Reaction score
0
Location
Kent
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
1
Hi all,

I did an inspection on Sunday & added Apivar strips to the hive. For the first time since I got my bees in July, I saw one bee with an obvious varroa mite on it during the inspection, but that was all. Queen was present & active but I noticed a lot less brood than previous inspections - about a 1/4 of what there usually is in there.

At this time of year, is this ok? Or something to worry about?

The bees have plenty of honey stores, I have been feeding them since I got them in July, as they were only a small caste of about 5,000 & was told to feed them up. They are now covering 7 frames.

Can I also ask, should I now switch to 1 kilo sugar / 1 pint water (have been feeding half & half so far as advised)? How long do you feed your bees for? Some people at my local assoc. say until the bees stop taking it, while others say their bees keep on taking it through the winter! Which would mean - do they ever stop?!
 

MJBee 

Drone Bee
Joined
Dec 4, 2008
Messages
1,818
Reaction score
0
Location
Dordogne 24360 France
Hive Type
commercial
Number of Hives
16 a mix of Commercial, National, 14 x 12, Dadant and a Warre
Bees on 7 frames - good, but are the remaining frames drawn out into comb?

You say they have plenty of stores but you are still feeding. You may find that the reduction in brood is because the queen has nowhere to lay as the workers are filling her cells with syrup. I would stop feeding for a week or two and see if the amount of brood increases.
 

MuswellMetro 

Queen Bee
Joined
Oct 1, 2009
Messages
6,522
Reaction score
24
Location
London N10
Hive Type
14x12
if you feed now it should be 2kg to 1litres so they can pack it away without evaporating it

watch out for honey blocking the brood

have they been treated for varroa
 

oliver90owner 

Queen Bee
Joined
Jul 15, 2009
Messages
15,628
Reaction score
26
Location
Lincolnshire
Hive Type
14x12
while others say their bees keep on taking it through the winter!

You either misunderstood them, or they need marginalising.

Bees do not keep taking down sugar syrup all winter. You feed them to fill the available space and then stop. They should have sufficient stores to keep them going until fresh forage is available in Spring. If the bees need supplementary feed during the winter use fondant (candy).

The time they should possibly need feed is when the queen gets 'into lay' and then there is a cold snap, preventing much foraging, with stores being used to keep the brood nest that much warmer (expanding with brood) and, much more importantly, the brood need a lot of food.

If those beeks are really feeding liquid all year they must be using frame feeders, I would think. Even so, the feed is likely to ferment, so I am confident you were misunderstanding what they were meaning. Some only feed fondant in the autumn anyway - an expensive option.

I try not to interfere with the colony in the winter time, just regular checks of the outside. I do not heft until spring as I know there will be adequate stores for them however cold it may be, but with a smaller box it may be a good idea to keep an eye on the hive weight. Lift both sides as they may be using all the stores up the one side leaving it feeling heavy on only one side - especially when they start brooding (she/they will make the nest on the warmer side of the hive)

And I don't often disturb them for oxalic, either - only if they are in need of treatment.

If the box is not full of stores by the time they are beginnng to cluster, fill out the un-used space with insulated dummies or dividers.

Regards, RAB
 

honey 

New Bee
Joined
Jul 12, 2010
Messages
22
Reaction score
0
Location
Kent
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
1
ok thanks everyone. so when do you all usually stop feeding syrup then?

RAB - can you buy insulated dummy boards for winter or are they something you can make up yourself? if so what materials do you use?

i feel a bit lost atm as my "mentor" from my local assoc. course has pretty much abandonded me & has told me i'm on my own now. the thing is this is all new & a bit daunting to me & i really need someon'es help/advice :blush5:
 

honey 

New Bee
Joined
Jul 12, 2010
Messages
22
Reaction score
0
Location
Kent
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
1
MJBEE - sorry i forgot to say, no, the frames they haven't used are completely untouched, no comb.

i will give feeding a break & see if the brood starts to increase again...
 
Joined
Jul 8, 2010
Messages
2,985
Reaction score
1
Location
Grantham/Sleaford/Newark
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
None of my own
Hi all,

I did an inspection on Sunday & added Apivar strips to the hive.

Quite surprised no ones picked up on this - isn't Apivar largely ineffective across most of the country now, apart from being pesticide based?

Appreciate that there are probably far flung outposts that the resistant mite hasn't made it to, but Kent?
 

Skyhook 

Queen Bee
Joined
May 19, 2010
Messages
3,054
Reaction score
0
Location
Dorset
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
5
. the thing is this is all new & a bit daunting to me & i really need someon'es help/advice :blush5:
You've come to the right place then! You'll get lots of advice here, and only most of it contradictory! :) Here's what I've gleaned so far-

My understanding is that the key thing is to have plenty of late brood, and to do this the bees need food, but not so much they fill the BB with it. To this end I haven't fed at all yet, just keeping an eye to make sure they don't run short. Then about the end of Sept (depending on the weather) I'll put a feeder on to top them them up, using 2kg sugar to 1 litre water with Hivemakers thymol recipe added. I will at this point feed lots, quickly, until they stop taking it, having filled the cells the late brood have emerged from.

I'm currently coming to the end of Varroa treatment with Apiguard. If you look here https://secure.fera.defra.gov.uk/beebase/public/BeeDiseases/vorroaResistanceReport.cfm You can see if mites in your area are resistant to Apivar- lots are now, in which case you may wish to restart with another treatment.

Oh, and the only insulated dummy boards I've ever seen are home-made,, and as technical as some insulation board cut to size and shoved in. Doesn't mean nobody sells them.

It's really good fun, honest! :hurray:

OK, now the more experienced beeks can tell me that's all wrong :banghead:
 

honey 

New Bee
Joined
Jul 12, 2010
Messages
22
Reaction score
0
Location
Kent
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
1
thanks skyhook - others have also suggested i give the feeding a break & see if brood builds up again, so will do that now til the end of the month. how long does feeding usually go on for?

thanks also for the link to the apivar info - and yes there is resistance in my area. shall i remove the apivar syrips, and what would people suggest i use instead?

my mentor gave them to me & he's got a good rep within the local assoc. so can't think why he didn't know about resistance?
 

Skyhook 

Queen Bee
Joined
May 19, 2010
Messages
3,054
Reaction score
0
Location
Dorset
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
5
thanks skyhook - others have also suggested i give the feeding a break & see if brood builds up again, so will do that now til the end of the month. how long does feeding usually go on for?

thanks also for the link to the apivar info - and yes there is resistance in my area. shall i remove the apivar syrips, and what would people suggest i use instead?

my mentor gave them to me & he's got a good rep within the local assoc. so can't think why he didn't know about resistance?
You're sure they're Apivar, not apilife var? That's still OK. If they are apivar, I would have thought take them out and replace with apilife var or apiguard.

The beeks with the most experience aren't always the most up-to-date. The accumulated knowledge of decades is a wonderful thing, and I can't wait to have been doing it for 30 years- but this is one area where it may not suffice.
 

honey 

New Bee
Joined
Jul 12, 2010
Messages
22
Reaction score
0
Location
Kent
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
1
yes they are apivar strips & they were french - oh well i'll just have to replace with something else! think i need to try & find a new mentor, mine isn't even responding to my messages now :confused:
 

Hivemaker. 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 8, 2008
Messages
14,310
Reaction score
1
Location
Exmoor.
Hive Type
national
Think your getting Apivar mixed up with Apistan....not much resistance to Apivar in the uk yet.
 

Hebeegeebee 

Drone Bee
Joined
Dec 4, 2008
Messages
1,970
Reaction score
13
Location
S.E. Norfolk
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
12 on a good day, often more..
Apivar is effective but not licenced in the UK although some use it it appears.

On a good day, look at your hive and the brood area and see if it is full with stores so the queen can't lay. You will know what a brood area looks like by now I guess and will see if it is being filled with stores. The brood area will usually be a smaller circle than you saw, say 2 months ago. Don't just guess! How many frames of brood are there? I have some hives that had 14 or so frames of brood in the summer that are now down to 4 or 5. Brooding reduces dramatically.

Syrup should be thick at this time of year, otherwise the bees have to evaporate the excess water off before storing. Syrup should not be fed in the winter and very early spring, only candy - if needed.

Don't worry too much. With effective varroa treatment most hives survive the winter!
 
Last edited:

Latest posts

Top