Positive beekeeping plans

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E&MBees 

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I am very much reminded as I read through this thread - - "To accept the things I cannot change; Courage to change the things I can; And wisdom to know the difference" - - .


Such wise words, and so very true.
 

Murox 

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Always an exciting time. I'm thinking of breaking out of my garden again. Last summer I chose several possible sites, but wondering if it's very wise at my age. Getting beekeeper's fingers.
Yes I feel much the same way especially regarding age - nevertheless - I have a site on on local farm that is far more favourable re forage, just need to clear an area a little and get a stand ready - then move a hive or two.:)
 

StephenT 

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Will try different things on different hives to see what happens. Going into my third year and so I feel it’s good to learn different techniques without being radical. Plan to Demaree one hive, double brood on another (adjusting volume with kingspan dummy boards and relocating the brood nest as required) and probably one or other with the third. Hoping to keep it at 3 hives as really shouldn’t have more (and don’t want less) in my garden. I guess a lot will depend on the characteristics of the bees. Two mongrel hives - one with a supersedure from last year and another with the original swarm queen. BS Honeybees Buckfast in the third. Must get them through winter first though!
 

The Poot 

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I plan to have a swarm free Summer! Generate nucs and provide for local association / local beekeepers. End the season with a maximum of four colonies, same as ( hopefully) at the start.
Start generating colonies from my most gentle queen(s).
Not too bothered about a huge honey harvest as I don’t sell. Just looking for enough for friends, family and neighbours.
 

elainemary 

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Planning in beekeeping ? Best make the plans flexible...

If you plan to make increase ... they will swarm so much you won't have enouugh kit to accommodate them ..

If you buy enough kit in the sales to accommodate your proposed increases they will stalwartly refuse to swarm and the splits you take will fail to create a single queen cell.

If you decide to buy the biggest extractor your can afford to cope with all the honey you intend them to produce it will be the worst season ever and they will eat their way through everything they store...

Beekeeping needs to go with the flow, by all means be prepared, as much as you can be, but fixed plans have a habit oif disappointing. Consider anything that you have fixed in stone as a moveable feast ... it will come together eventually but not usually to your timetable.
Agree with this, definitely need to be flexible as your bees and the weather will have other plans in mind! I do like to plan ahead and have some goals in mind tho so the right equipment is there when needed and I’ve thought through what to do. Think especially for someone like Emily and myself still in our early years of beekeeping, with lots to try and learn. As you become more experienced like you, you instinctively know what to do and can be more relaxed about every challenge from the bees and the environment!
 

madasafish 

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Raise about 30 -40 Qs- weather dependent
Keep same number of main hives - produce honey more efficiently and inprove yields (51lbs last year) - weather dependent.
Raise more nucs for overwintering and National nucs for sale - weather dependent.

Keep my aging body in working order and drink less.
 

E&MBees 

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Agree with this, definitely need to be flexible as your bees and the weather will have other plans in mind! I do like to plan ahead and have some goals in mind tho so the right equipment is there when needed and I’ve thought through what to do. Think especially for someone like Emily and myself still in our early years of beekeeping, with lots to try and learn. As you become more experienced like you, you instinctively know what to do and can be more relaxed about every challenge from the bees and the environment!
Totally agree Elaine. My bees threw so many challenges at me last year. I am going to be really organised this year so that I don’t panic when it all goes wrong again. Your earlier point about having the same hive types in each location is a really valid one, especially if you want to split etc.
 

pargyle 

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As you become more experienced like you, you instinctively know what to do and can be more relaxed about every challenge from the bees and the environment!
No ... it's very hard to relax ... whatever you think you know the bees will inevitably leave you pondering what to do for the best - sometimes you get it right - sometimes it's a case of the bees sorting out what you have inflicted on them. Yes, you get a feel for what is going on as you get to know your bees and what they 'normally' do but the reality is, as you say, it's often a challenge.

In some respects it's one of the joys of beekeeping, keeping abreast of what they are up to, reading what you see at the entrance and in your inspections, considering the options and putting your plan in action. Early on in my beekeeping someone told me that beekeeping is not like painting by numbers... it's more Picasso style, you have to step back a bit and look to see what the picture tells you - sometimes it's a bit confused but when you think about it over a bit of time it makes sense.
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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Early on in my beekeeping someone told me that beekeeping is not like painting by numbers... it's more Picasso style,
And some never get past the crayon stage, in fact it's hard work trying to stop them eating the crayons
 

elainemary 

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Totally agree Elaine. My bees threw so many challenges at me last year. I am going to be really organised this year so that I don’t panic when it all goes wrong again. Your earlier point about having the same hive types in each location is a really valid one, especially if you want to split etc.
Yes I’ve made that mistake Emily. I’m going to make sure this year all my Thornes wbc equipment is in one place , my polyhives (all the same type for a change!) in another and my heavier older WBCs at home. Also I’m planning this year to buy a large outdoor plastic toy storage box to put key bits of kit in and store it in my out apiary sites - fortunately will be safe in friends large gardens. I’m forever carrying equipment between my shed and the car - got to be a better way of getting organised!
 

pargyle 

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And some never get past the crayon stage, in fact it's hard work trying to stop them eating the crayons
Yes... it's one of the problems I regularly see - not just in new beekeepers either - the reluctance to think about what is going off and react accordingly and the desire to stick to a rigid timetable regardless of what is happening in the environment or with a particular colony. There are so many variables we have to deal with as beekeepers you do have to think about what you are doing - I still spend as much time pondering as I do actually doing ....
 

elainemary 

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No ... it's very hard to relax ... whatever you think you know the bees will inevitably leave you pondering what to do for the best - sometimes you get it right - sometimes it's a case of the bees sorting out what you have inflicted on them. Yes, you get a feel for what is going on as you get to know your bees and what they 'normally' do but the reality is, as you say, it's often a challenge.

In some respects it's one of the joys of beekeeping, keeping abreast of what they are up to, reading what you see at the entrance and in your inspections, considering the options and putting your plan in action. Early on in my beekeeping someone told me that beekeeping is not like painting by numbers... it's more Picasso style, you have to step back a bit and look to see what the picture tells you - sometimes it's a bit confused but when you think about it over a bit of time it makes sense.
Like that & agree. Makes complete sense. All about reading their behaviour & constantly asking why & looking for clues. As you say one of the joys
 

Curly green finger's 

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Like that & agree. Makes complete sense. All about reading their behaviour & constantly asking why & looking for clues. As you say one of the joys
I second that, this is one reason I enjoy beekeeping so much they make you think, keep you on your toes, and the pleasure they give is like no other livestock I have ever worked with.

I only wish I took the craft up sooner, it would of kept me out of a lot of trouble..
I should of paid more of an interest when pa was alive.

We would have more bees than sheep.
 

mbc 

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My plan is the same as always, to be in a position to take advantage of whatever flows we are graced with.
Also, each seasons initial goal is to make sure each super of drawn comb gets on some bees at least once in the season, once that's done then at least they shouldn't deteriorate too badly with moth.
After that it's usually a juggle to keep enough empty supers ready to cope with a flow.
Honey farming is a delicate balance of having too few or too many boxes, either side of ideal is when things go pear shaped, which is pretty much every season to a greater or lesser extent!
 

elainemary 

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If you're going to Demarree why bailey them all?
Why Bailey them all, period?
Having now done both, I can see there’s benefits from doing a Bailey comb change IF you find nosema spores in spring. By moving the entrance to a new top box with new combs and the queen and separating all the old combs below til the brood has emerged, newly collected pollen is stored in the new combs. New combs get drawn in the upper box really quickly too, especially if feed. Tend not to get new honey stores put in the bottom box, so left with old empty combs that you can sterilise or dispose of after brood has emerged. I’ve tested colonies I’ve done BCCs on afterwards, no spores, none the following season either. I do like Demaree too for swarm control, as you say, you can remove the odd old comb out the top box if you want to.
 

GuyNir 

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Yes... it's one of the problems I regularly see - not just in new beekeepers either - the reluctance to think about what is going off and react accordingly and the desire to stick to a rigid timetable regardless of what is happening in the environment or with a particular colony. There are so many variables we have to deal with as beekeepers you do have to think about what you are doing - I still spend as much time pondering as I do actually doing ....
Completely agree. No two sessions are the same.
 

rolande 

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We've got another 40 or so old dadant supers which have been in store for a few years to convert into four-way mating nucs. Admittedly not an urgent job but it'll get them back into productive use.
IMG_20200823_175841.jpgIMG_20200823_175432.jpgIMG_20200823_175202.jpg
 

The Poot 

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I second that, this is one reason I enjoy beekeeping so much they make you think, keep you on your toes, and the pleasure they give is like no other livestock I have ever worked with.

I only wish I took the craft up sooner, it would of kept me out of a lot of trouble..
I should of paid more of an interest when pa was alive.

We would have more bees than sheep.
If you count them you will have more bees than sheep, I reckon.
 

Curly green finger's 

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If you count them you will have more bees than sheep, I reckon.
You right of course me Poot.
I wouldnt fancy having 250,000 sheep.
if there is an average of 6,000 in a colony.
Just thinking about shearing that amount or even running them through a race.

I would also need 5,000 acres of ground to keep them on.

Shearing on my own would take 625 days, shearing 400 a day.

Winter feeding would break the bank.
Lambing if they are in lamb :hairpull::icon_204-2:
 
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