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sahtlinurk 

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Hi all,

i am reading the forum here and trying to put my plans together for the next season. The amount of information available is huge and making up the mind is the hard part. So far i got 6 hives still buzzing. Now asking the wise and experienced some advice.

My plan is to take 4 out of six to the OSR in Spring. When should i move them?

The ones left behind want to use for breeding new queens (Simple Queen Rearing By Nick Withers) and for collecting some quality honey. Same time would like to expand.
Can i do splits from the ones on OSR after the OSR has finished and during OSR just rear new queens from the hives left behind? As i have standard national brood do i have to go double on OSR?

At the same time I got to get some honey out of OSR to supply my boss's wife farm shop..
 

gavin 

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> My plan is to take 4 out of six to the OSR in Spring.
> When should i move them?

Is there other early forage near the rape? If so, move anytime. Otherwise when the first flowers are coming out.

> The ones left behind want to use for breeding new queens
> (Simple Queen Rearing By Nick Withers) and for collecting
> some quality honey. Same time would like to expand.

Because the bees are different? Otherwise I might do it on the rape. How far it it from this site to the rape anyway? They will fly quite far for it and it can be difficult to find sites where they will not work it.

> Can i do splits from the ones on OSR after the OSR has
> finished and during OSR just rear new queens from the
> hives left behind? As i have standard national brood do
> i have to go double on OSR?

I don't think that you will have time to raise new queens and have them laying before the rape finishes. Schedule your queen replacement for later. Your colonies on the rape may make swarming preparations ahead of the other ones (I don't know the Withers method though).

Do you have to go to double brood boxes? No, but it will help if you want to increase colony numbers and might be advisable for some types of bee.

all the best

Gavin
 

Somerford 

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Hi Saht,

Personally, I have tended to move to the OSR as soon as I see the plants 'shooting upwards' prior to their start of flowering. This can happen in southern counties as early as April but can be as late as end May further north.

A benefit would be they are in place, but if there is no other forage to be had (ie in a complete arable area with few hedges) then it would be best to pop them into posiiton as soon as flowering starts.

Regarding double broods - no need to go to this - I never have and I know of a commercial beekeeper in Glos that never does and he runs nearly 1000 colonies on single brood nationals.

However, if you do there is a danger you will loose some honey crop into the 2nd brood, although with a prolific queen it could give her and her bees a bit more space (which could be solved with an extra super anyway)

If you are looking to increase, then there could be every chance the hives will be looking to make preparations to swarm by the end of the flow, so then would be an ideal time after you have taken a nice crop !

The idea on queen rearing is sound, although if it is honey production you are after as a 'trait' then it may be better to select from the most promising colony at the OSR mid flow.

Whatever you decide, have plenty of supers ready - 16 for the ones at the OSR alone.

regards

S
 

oliver90owner 

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Now then, I would start much further back than you seem to be.

Considerations:

Which colony or colonies are you going to multiply from? Choose carefully.

Previous build-up is important if you want to maximise the OSR flow. Encouraring brood is a priority. Getting them too early is a pain, but too late is more of a disaster where production is concerned!

Balancing or enhancing some colonies is the plan I use - slows the fastest developers and boosts the slower ones. You will take what you decide whenever the rape is just coming into flower, but must watch stores as weather may not be conducive to nectar flow (and some varieties of rape can be a complete failure for honey production. So I would try to spread my hives on different crops!

Quality honey? OSR is quality! - it may not be what you want but some people think it is the bees knees! I would possibly take all of them, depending on forage available elsewhere. Depends on how you intend to do your increase. An extra three supers over half a super at home - you do the maths!

A queenless colony on OSR might well out-collect all others for a week or two - no brood to feed! So not necessarily black or white (as the old saying used to go, before PC) or any particular shade in between.

I never plan in detail this far ahead, only the bare bones of the plan. Too 'many a slip twist cup and lip'.

By all means start now, but just write out a plan and look for all the alternatives which might be forced to follow you and you will see what I mean!

Regards, RAB
 

sahtlinurk 

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all of them are local, haven't bought any special fancy queens.I do believe there will be a lot before OSR to forage, the place is just next to little village with many many gardens. Well, my opinion of OSR honey -- it is more quantity not quality honey but everyone has right to their opinion.:hat: Fields are ca 2 miles away from my original location.

queen removal during main flow. I red about it many years ago from my very old beekeeping handbook. Any comments on that? Probably Finman would have something to say.

broods. I am playing with an idea with brood and a super.In spring let the queen to fill it up with brood and then then place it above QX. The bees will emerge and it will be filled with honey. after that one BB as normal. Will it work?

good idea to leave the increase bit for the end of OSR.
this method i was on about:
http://www.kentbee.com/files/queenraising.pdf

Another reason for queen rearing on these two left behind hives is that they are just 50 feet from my doorstep. better control over any situation.


Lauri
 

Repwoc 

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broods. I am playing with an idea with brood and a super.In spring let the queen to fill it up with brood and then then place it above QX. The bees will emerge and it will be filled with honey. after that one BB as normal. Will it work?
You will end up with some (maybe quite a lot) of drones trapped above the qx. This is what happened to one of my colonies last year - queen got into super above qx somehow and I didn't notice for some time - I thought they were queenless and I even got a new queen; I only noticed the brood in the super when I was preparing to introduce her (so I didn't of course).

I removed the qx for a few days then replaced it when I was sure she had moved back downstairs. All the brood upstairs (super was full of brood) emerged and the queen laid up the bb too so a bit of a population explosion occurred over the following weeks. The bees then stuffed the super with honey in ~ 2 weeks (this all happened from mid-August when the h.balsam was in flower).

However I did find some dead drones on the qx and quite a lot of drones escaped when I did my inspections. So if you do this, make sure to open up the hive (at least take the roof off) every few days to release the drones.
 

gavin 

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Hi Lauri

Unless there is a lot of good forage nearer, your bees two miles away from OSR are likely to work it too. If you don't like OSR honey then use it to make bees rather than honey.

Apart from the drone issue, a lot of beekeepers prefer not to switch between brood raising and honey gathering in the same comb, citing worries over extracting honey from used (and in some people's eyes, soiled) comb. There is an image somewhere of coils of dark matter coming off into honey from cut brood comb. One reason for not encouraging breeding in a super.

The web page on queen raising suggests leaving it until June, after the OSR stops flowering. Most people would start this in May when the colonies are big enough, and then the bees are quieter during June (waiting for mated queens to come into lay) when there often a bit of a lull in nectar income. To do your queen raising before the OSR comes into flower would be difficult, and having mature drones around would be just as difficult as raising queens. For queen raising colonies you need boxes overflowing with bees and good stocks of pollen adjacent to the eggs used for queens.

The methods given are a little complex though. I'm sure that they will work, but if you have less experience then something simpler might be easier. Using the natural urge to make queen cells gives good quality queens. You can encourage this in prosperous colonies by deliberately not given enough space. Then you can use queen cells from these colonies in nucs for mating and also either build them up to full colonies or relace old queens.

Queen raising on your OSR site means that if you make up nucs you can then bring them home. A second site helps stop the flight back to the queenright mother colony.

Just my thoughts - others will differ.

all the best

Gavin
 

ian 

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Hi

As one who has put a few hives on rape, I think you may find the bees try and rear a few queens of their own whilst there:toetap05:

You may of course take this chance to take a couple of frames together with a Q-cell. Not the best form of selection but easy enough.


Regards Ian
 

thurrock bees 

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Hi

As one who has put a few hives on rape, I think you may find the bees try and rear a few queens of their own whilst there:toetap05:


Regards Ian
:iagree:

Hi all
ref plans for 2010,
attend a queen rearing course
increase to 20 hives,
requeening two hives
buy uncapping tray and extractor ( 9 or 20 frame, not decided yet)
and have a good time beekeeping.

But the girls will have a different idea though. lets see what the year thoughs at me

TB
 

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