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OSR When and how to prepare.

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Joseph 

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This will be my first year that I have OSR in proximity of my hives. I am however right near a large apple orchard. I do not really need the OSR honey so I will not pollen feed, but, I don't want swarming bees and supers filled with congealed honey either. So I will have to let my bees do their thing and deal with it.

When and what do I need to super up for the OSR flow assuming that my bees will go for it?

Any time soon?
 
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crazy_bull 

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Bit of time yet, hasn't even begun to grow after the long winter round here, still only a few inches above the ground, wait until the stem elongation starts before even thinking about it and super up once the first flowers begin to show, my guess would be 1st week April at earliest this year but have seen OSR flower mid March before, very late year this year.

C B
 

Poly Hive 

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You super according to how the colony is not the flora.

I super on 8 to 9 frames of brood when the brood box is looking pretty stuffed full of bees.

PH
 

crazy_bull 

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You super according to how the colony is not the flora.

I super on 8 to 9 frames of brood when the brood box is looking pretty stuffed full of bees.

PH
Sorry yes totally agree but, i have also found that on OSR i have put a nuc into a full body (So perhaps only 3-4 frames of brood) and within 10 days they have filled the brood box full of honey and have prevented the queen laying (yes i know i should have been on top of it before it got to that stage:blush5:) so think it is a joint decision between colony size and projected flow size, nice warm days at the height of an OSR flow can mean a super is filled in days rather than weeks.
 

Midland Beek 

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OSR pollen is rich, so as the flowers emerge you can expect not only the appearance of honey, but also an increase in brood rearing - weather permitting, of course.

If you are lacking OSR experience and are not looking forward to the prospect of early swarms (with that the possibility of virgin queens not getting mated in poor spring weather) better to super a bit too early as opposed to a bit too late. Supering just before the first flowers emerge is no bad thing.

I would expect your bees to ignore apple in preference of rape.
 

Cazza 

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My bees definately ignore my apple orchard in favour of OSR. The apples are usually worked on by some tiny bees ( I only really know about honey bees so don't know the name of the weeny ones.) Advice on OSR is as per others:be quick or the honey sets.
Cazza
 

Poly Hive 

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Of course there is a down side. Coldness.

If you super to soon you put them (the bees) back.

When I had a mix of supers I used to put on a poly super as the first one as it was just that much warmer to help them decide to go up.

PH
 
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johna 

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You will find the bees probably wont swarm during the flow from OSR but may do immediately afterwards.Dont let the bees fully seal supers before you take them off for extraction atherwise the stuff will granulate ,take a filled but not sealed frame out of the super hold it over the top of the super and give it a light shake.If watery honey doesnt fall out then the honey is probably ripe enough to extract.If at the end of the rape you put the extracted super back on to the hive then you can expect the dregs of rape honey set off granulation in the subsequent honey stored in that super.Best to set them away from your apiary and let the bees rob out the residue.Just look out for robbing on your hives and close down the entrances if you suspect robbing of hives is going on.
 

Hivemaker. 

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>Best to set them away from your apiary and let the bees rob out the residue.

John
good advice above,but i completely disagree with the above mentioned part of your post,that can be a recipe for disease far and wide.
 

johna 

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I dont have bees far and wide ,being pretty isolated.I've worded my reply wrongly,I meant to say to one side of your apiary not in the middle so as not to encourage hive robbing.
 

Hivemaker. 

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Thats okay if you have your bee's in a very remote place, well out of the range,flying distance of anyone else's bee's,as its only all your own bee's that can become diseased,but this would not apply to the vast majority of beekeepers.
 

Rosti 

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I have moved mine to a new out apiary over winter, the new site will have a rape crop within 100m. Local advice has been to place extracted frames back on their own hives to limit disease transfer and robbing but to eke them above the brood or any other active supers to ensure they are cleaned not re-stocked. That feels like the best of Johns advice with the cautionary protection that hivemaker raises on robbing. Thoughts? R
 

mbc 

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I dont find a problem with reusing extracted rape supers straight away as if the rape flow is still going I'd extract them again quite soon and if the rape flow has finished then there's normally a gap before the next flow(hawthorn and sycamore by my bees)so the bees normally clean out any osr honey residue. Letting bees rob out extracted supers to clean them up isnt a hanging offence either if you re confident you dont have brood desease( which you should be anyway!)
 

Hivemaker. 

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No not a hanging offence,think Manley said it should be an imprisonable one,with the thousands of people now taking up beekeeping,how many are even going to be able to tell if they had a disease or not,very few i suspect and it only takes very few to spread disease far and wide.
Suggest the idea to any bee inspector,or go suggest it to Murray and several others in Scotland at the moment.
 

Finman 

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In one research it was as follows:

There was 10 hives in the yard and they had no spores of AFB.
Then they made an experiment. To one hive was give extracted supers which had AFB. After that in all hives it was met AFB spores even if robbing between hives was not found.

Spores of AFB can be met 2 years before visual symptoms appear. Another bad disease is now Nosema ceranea.
 
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mbc 

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No not a hanging offence,think Manley said it should be an imprisonable one,with the thousands of people now taking up beekeeping,how many are even going to be able to tell if they had a disease or not,very few i suspect and it only takes very few to spread disease far and wide.
Suggest the idea to any bee inspector,or go suggest it to Murray and several others in Scotland at the moment.
Prison! Oops I'll have to change a usefull management strategy
Its obviously not the best advice to give a begginer but the likleyhood of spreading nasties from supers from healthy colonies is miniscule copared to bees robbing out dead outs which by definition are far from healthy
 

Hivemaker. 

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IF everyone in the area can be sure that all the supers from all the colonys in the area are from hives that have no disease,and can see the spores two years before the visual symptoms appear,then carry on,spread the word.
 
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victor meldrew 

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In one research it was as follows:

There was 10 hives in the yard and they had no spores of AFB.
Then they made an experiment. To one hive was give extracted supers which had AFB. After that in all hives it was met AFB spores even if robbing between hives was not found.

Spores of AFB can be met 2 years before visual symptoms appear. Another bad disease is now Nosema ceranea.
Silent robbing goes on more than people realise.
When a heavily burdened forager returns to the wrong hive she is often admitted (bees know a good thing when they see one :)).
Next ftrip she returns to her correct colony carrying any spores she may have picked up whilst being in the wrong one !!.

john Wilkinson
 

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