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Some questions about my bees

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kazmcc 

Queen Bee
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Hi everyone, I have MORE questions, and have nearly hijacked a few threads as the questions pop up, so I thought I'd start a new thread and get them answered in one go :)

1. Our bees are Carnis, they are very dark. A few posts I've read seem to say darker bees are more temperamental. Is this true? The bee inspector supplied our bees and he knows all about the project and that children will be accessing the hives to some degree, and Paul kept them for a while to make sure they are gentle, but they are very dark. They are stunning, very unusual, for me anyway as I've never seen a dark bee :)

2. When they were in the nuc, they were starting to outgrow it. Carnis are very swarmy, and i am sure Paul checked the night before, but is there any chance they could have started making queen cells due to lack of space? The queen is marked green, so she is, by my reckoning, about 1 year old. What should I be looking for when I visit next. Paul will be there but I would like the chance to try and check myself before he confirms or denies it.

3. We didn't give them water. The allotments are very big, and there is a river running through the middle of it. Will the bees find their own water, will they use the river? Do they need a pool of water or will they find water by licking it off leaves?

I am sure I had more but for now I can't think of them. As these are answered, no doubt more will be created ;) Looking forward to all your opinions and advice.

Karen
 

keithgrimes 

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Hi everyone, I have MORE questions, and have nearly hijacked a few threads as the questions pop up, so I thought I'd start a new thread and get them answered in one go :)

1. Our bees are Carnis, they are very dark. A few posts I've read seem to say darker bees are more temperamental. Is this true? The bee inspector supplied our bees and he knows all about the project and that children will be accessing the hives to some degree, and Paul kept them for a while to make sure they are gentle, but they are very dark. They are stunning, very unusual, for me anyway as I've never seen a dark bee :)

2. When they were in the nuc, they were starting to outgrow it. Carnis are very swarmy, and i am sure Paul checked the night before, but is there any chance they could have started making queen cells due to lack of space? The queen is marked green, so she is, by my reckoning, about 1 year old. What should I be looking for when I visit next. Paul will be there but I would like the chance to try and check myself before he confirms or denies it.

3. We didn't give them water. The allotments are very big, and there is a river running through the middle of it. Will the bees find their own water, will they use the river? Do they need a pool of water or will they find water by licking it off leaves?

I am sure I had more but for now I can't think of them. As these are answered, no doubt more will be created ;) Looking forward to all your opinions and advice.

Karen
1. Impossible to generalise about darkness of bees versus temperament. The queens genes control temperament to a degree but behaviour can also be dramatically affected by other factors. Weather, wasp activity, availability of feed, bad handling, over crowding etc etc.
2. Carniolans have a reputation for 'swarminess' but all honey bees swarm, it is a natural part of their life. As well as looking for QCs you should check for sealed brrod, larvae, eggs, stores.
3. With a river running through the allotments you are sorted for water.
 

kazmcc 

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Thank you Keith, I would love to inspect the bees and know a little of what I am doing, Pauls face when I was explaining the warm way and the cold way to the guy who is looking after the bees with me was a picture " Where did you learn that?" he said lol. This forum has taught me so much and the picture help greatly...but their is no substitute for experience, I know that.

Oh, another question! What do you need to put in the hive notes? I need to start some.
 

keithgrimes 

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The basics for hive notes would be.
Queen seen? (I don't bother much as long as I see eggs and larvae)
Frames of Brood
Brood (eggs/sealed/unsealed)
Food Stores
Temper (I use 0=bad,5=good)
You should also not feeding regime. Date, amount, strength.
 

kazmcc 

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Thank you again Keith, I did see the queen, and again, I am sure all this was checked the night before by Paul, but I want to do things myself if possible with Paul there as a back up. This was the first queen I have ever seen, and she was amazing ( maybe I am biased :) )

I have read that you keep your notes in the lid of the hive, in a plastic folder. Does this not pose a health risk? Is there any other way, as there is two of us taking care of the bees and the notes will need to be kept with the hive.
 

Silly Bee 

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I went on a visit to a pro Beekeeper and he has devised a method that needs no note book.

He has colour coded velcro inside the hive roof.

He notes the changes in the hive by changing the small squares of colour coded squares of velcro.

ie

A strip of velco is glued inside the roof. He has a selction of small vecro squares of different colours that represent different things.

Queen seen

Eggs

Brood

Honey

etc.


Useful and quick if youhave many hives.
 

kazmcc 

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Thanks everyone, I read somewhere today that if you are taking the exam, you have to show you have kept notes and explain them to the inspector properly. I think it would be a good idea to start as I mean to go on, by keeping detailed notes.
 

wilderness 

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The basics for hive notes would be.
Queen seen? (I don't bother much as long as I see eggs and larvae)
Frames of Brood
Brood (eggs/sealed/unsealed)
Food Stores
Temper (I use 0=bad,5=good)
You should also not feeding regime. Date, amount, strength.
and treatments. Apiguard, Oxalic acid, Fumidil etc. & dates
 

oliver90owner 

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Notes are no good until something goes wrong. Then they are often invaluable to recognise something is going awry, to get things back on track and to analyse whether earlier intervention could, or should, have occurred.

Well, that is one way of looking at it!

A waste of time and space if everything was perfect - but we know it will not continue and something, sometime will upset the apple cart. Even if it is only a trace of a medication in some honey. Even to help the bee inspector to 'timeline' a disease outbreak to determine the origin, etc etc.

I admit to only jotting down the important things at different times of the year, or if I note something different with the colony (eg no eggs). Early on it is much more important in order to gain that experience and to continually analyse what is happening and why.

Regards, RAB
 

Arfermo 

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Record cards

I cribbed the attchment from Fera - I think? If its too complicated, knock out some columns etc. Any good? If you need it in another format because you cannot open it or whatever, let me know.

Arfermo
 

kazmcc 

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Thank you everyone, all the notes templates were really helpful. I have printed them off and will take them to my meeting with Paul and the guy who will be looking after the girls with me.

They were very helpful and gave me a good idea of what an inspection should entail
 
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I'll PM you about hive notes...
 

Mike a 

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kazmcc

In time you will learn a lot from just watching the entrance, listening to the volume of the bees and their general behaviour in and outside the hive. I like to just observe the entrances of each hive for a few minutes before I open any of them.

My favourite is watching them bringing in lots of pollen of various colours in the early months of the year, then later in the year watching them seemingly crash head first into the hive as they are heavy with nectar.
 

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