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Skyhook 

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Just supposing my bees make it through the winter, they will be moving to a new site near to rape fields. I know that a) I want to build them up as early as possible, and b) I need to get the honey off quickly as possible, but what else will I need to know? One thought that concerns me is spraying- do people visit their local farmers to find out spraying dates?
 

Vergilius 

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Skyhook,


Yeah, consult your farmer about the sprays he/she uses on the crop and remember to extract any frames of honey early otherwise you end up with granulated combs- I do not have rape within one mile of my bees and yet when I extracted I found granulated rape honey- a nightmare that I have to sort out.
At least I know next year to do an early extraction.

And be warned, it is a well-known fact that bees that are working rape are more agressive than usual!


Ben P

P.S "Bees at the bottom of the garden" has a very good section on rape.
 

oliver90owner 

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bees that are working rape are more agressive than usual

I've not really found that to be true - until you go nicking their goodies, when the flow is ending - and that holds true throughout the season, OSR or any other crop!

Regards, RAB
 

Chris B 

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They'll be ripe for swarming at the end of the rape, or perhaps earlier. So it will pay to be vigliant.

As far as aggression goes, well we have had it a few times with the rape. I'm talking about bees returning from foraging, still 100 yards from home, divebombing from 30 feet and burrowing into your hair to sting you. Then a week later they'll be back to normal. Of course it might not be anything to do with rape, but that's the time it always happens.
 

rae 

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I'm quite upset that the local farmer is replacing his rape this year. The bees had a fantastic start to the year as a result of his field, and the honey was fantastic. Rather comically, people who loved our first batch of honey were quick to decry "rape honey", and I didn't enlighten them,

On the positive side, he is replacing it with clover, and combined with our Sainfoin, we should have a good crop.
 

oliver90owner 

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Rae,

OSR is usually part of a 3 or 4 year crop rotation. Mine are usually close enough to collect some from my garden and there is usually OSR very close-by, in one direction or another, to my 'out-apiaries'.

I try to position a hive, or thee, absolutely adjacent to, or within, the field to maximise the honey crop, before moving those colonies to field beans. Spring rape is even better as the bee colonies are always strong by the time that flowers.

The 'town' bees probably make the 'better' honey and collect steadily throughout the season, so swings and roundabouts really.

Regards, RAB
 

Rosti 

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Skyhook, I would not be concerned, mine were all of 3m from rape with a total 30Ha within 1 mile this year. I took the rape honey end of May when the rape had gone over, no granulation, no extraction problems at all. As others have said the colonies were very strong by then and I had to place empty supers under the full supers before clearing down and removing to avoid over crowding, nice problem to have!

Rape is a nice flavoured honey certainly has a pleasent sweet note but not very aromatic, perhaps the higher glucose to fructose ratio? Sets opaque white with a coarse crystal structure (well mine did after about 6 weeks in the jar)
 

oliver90owner 

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Sets opaque white with a coarse crystal structure

Rosti,

Yes. Typical of OSR granulating coarsely. If you follow Rooftops' video on 'soft-setting' the product all will likely be well after bottling (as long as you are ready to bottle it as it sets! BTDT).

You will be amazed at the improved final product when soft-set just right. Sometimes bottling 'direct from the spinner' just does not work out.

Regards, RAB
 

rae 

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Yes, I am sure there will be rape somewhere in the locality and it is good to know that it will back on the field that is half a mile from the hives in 3 years time.

Ours set solid in a 40 litre container. We gently warmed it (in a south facing conservatory), and then stirred it with a stainless paddle. If liquefied beautifully and flowed into the jars. It is now a slightly stiff paste - perfect.
 

Bcrazy 

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On the positive side, he is replacing it with clover, and combined with our Sainfoin, we should have a good crop.
The nutritional value of clover is one of the highest there is in the pollen stakes. So your bees should fare well.
 

Skyhook 

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They'll be ripe for swarming at the end of the rape, or perhaps earlier. So it will pay to be vigliant.
As others have said the colonies were very strong by then and I had to place empty supers under the full supers before clearing down and removing to avoid over crowding, nice problem to have!
Good news! I'm hoping to increase my colonies in the spring, it sounds as though rape is just the thing to make plenty of bees. bee-smillie bee-smillie bee-smillie

As regards aggression, they will be well away from anyone then, so not a worry.
 

lazybee 

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I suppose you all know 'Canola' is a Canadian variety. The name is from Canadian oil something. I've no idea if the same strain is grown in Europe. Here in France it's called Colza.

Just googled it it's Canadian Oil Low Acid
 
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Canola honey - yes sounds much nicer doesnt it. So is all spring OSR in this country canola?

Skyhook - as everyone says, great way to get the colony going, personally I found the Bees at the Bottom of the Garden chapter on OSR a tad downbeat, Alan Campion seems to regard it as a nusance. Just be ready to extract when most is capped or when the crop goes over.
 

pbh4 

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I have set a variable so it comes out as:

'canola' (osr)

Much nicer..
I like to eat sc'canola' (osr)d g'canola' (osr)fruit d'canola' (osr)d over a the pa'canola' (osr)t of a skysc'canola' (osr)r. It's more the'canola' (osr)utic than a t'canola' (osr)ze!

The censorship is getting really *****!

The R in OSR is surely the English word for the stuff.

Paul
 

admin 

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I dont mind what word we use,its not censorship,its being nice to the search engines,Google has the "R" word on its list of banned words when indexing forums.

The more we use the word the further down the seach listing's we go..

So what about 'osr' ?

The only other censorship is in regard to advertising,many members part with their hard earned cash so that we dont have to be advertised at.
 

tidymeup 

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I think OSR would be better as it's more widely used abbreviation.
 

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