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bramblebee 

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Wisbech
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Hello my first post
Im new to bee keeping
We have had bees in the past for pollenation of our fruit trees
But know we are keeping them our self, which is what ive wanted to do for years
Every thing seems to be going ok, bees all look good we have 10 hives
honey is selling well
But we have over 50 acres of apple and pear trees on different sites
So was woundering if we can, or when we can make these into more hives
and which hives it is best to use
Any help would be apriciated
We thought we would have a few swarms buy now but nothing
Although we are trying not to let this happen
We are using hational hives
We are in Wisbech Cambs
Most of the hives at the moment have only one super on will be adding more to it in coulple about a week, some i dont think need more and we have 2 with no supers a swarm in a nuc
and the best hive has about 3 supers on
Thank you
 

MuswellMetro 

Queen Bee
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London N10
Hive Type
14x12
Hello my first post
Im new to bee keeping
We have had bees in the past for pollenation of our fruit trees
But know we are keeping them our self, which is what ive wanted to do for years
Every thing seems to be going ok, bees all look good we have 10 hives
honey is selling well
But we have over 50 acres of apple and pear trees on different sites
So was woundering if we can, or when we can make these into more hives
and which hives it is best to use
Any help would be apriciated
We thought we would have a few swarms buy now but nothing
Although we are trying not to let this happen
We are using hational hives
We are in Wisbech Cambs
Most of the hives at the moment have only one super on will be adding more to it in coulple about a week, some i dont think need more and we have 2 with no supers a swarm in a nuc
and the best hive has about 3 supers on
Thank you
Hi

welcome again :coolgleamA:

they easiest time to split hive is in spring when the Bees naturaly biuld quality Queen cells and then swarm with the old queen leaving a new virgin queen behind

you can force a QC to be made but then these tend to be weak queens ( scrub Queens)

to split now, really it would be better to buy in queens

you have national frames ,so i think it would be best to stick with the same frame hive Nationalsv ary from £50 for basic kit ply hives to £300+ for quality cedar hive made up hives. you need to ad frames and foundation to that

The way foward is next spring to plan and buy your hives, then split when they make QC instead of swarm control

Your queen will by then be a few years old, you might therefore have to re queen . so if the colony is strong split them into: old Q , 2 QC ,2QC then once the nucs are queenright use one in a new hive and one as a new queen for the old hive

Do you have the Nucs, to do this on all ten hives?
 
Last edited:

oliver90owner 

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Lincolnshire
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Always a compromise. Increase colonies, collect less honey (often meaning no surplus).

Lots of options. Split some, or all, of your present colonies (don't think so, for 'all' option).

You have alternatives of buying in new queens and introducing to the queenless halves (or even less than halves), or tempting some of your colonies into producing supercedure queen cells and distributing these cells to splits which would develop, hopefully into full colonies by the end of the year. You may find that some would not be big enough and some uniting might be required in the autumn.

A lot depends on weather, the forage available, length of the season, your strain(s) of bees, etc, etc. So not too keen to suggest what you do as it can easily go pear-shaped.

Safest is buying in laying queens (there is about a month lost with queen cells), weather at time of mating can be awful, etc, etc. You are getting the drift. A lot of areas for potential failure, especially if you are new to beekeeping.

Also may be time to sit back and be sure you have the best kit for your bees. Standard Nationals are considered by many as just a little too small for most modern strains. Better to get it right now before getting many more units.

The longer you leave it now, the harder it will be to get things completed by the seson end, so ordering nucs, for early delivery next spring may be a good alternative, as you will not need to over-winter those colonies.

Hope this helps for a start.

Regards, RAB
 

bramblebee 

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Thank you both for your replys
I have no problem waiting till the spring
Were is the best place to buy good queens
And what strain do you all recomend
We have no probs making nucs and hives so this can cut costs and we can get them as needed
If the national is to small can we add a super to the brood chamber, or will this then be to big
I have also seen nationals that hold an extra frame would this be better
 

MJBee 

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You can add a super to your brood box thus making a brood and a half. The down side to that is you have two sizes of frame with brood in it. Better IMHO to go to two brood boxes you then have:- a)same size frames b) easy to make increases, just move one of the boxes and requeen the one that does NOT have eggs after 4 days.

Another possibility is to change to 14 x 12 frames (the equivalent of brood and a half). You can modify your existing national boxes with an eke.
Regards Mike
 

bramblebee 

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sorry what does IMHO and EKE stand for
if you put on a whole brood box on top will the queen make full use of it
also that could mean a lot of bees
so should get extra honey
also would you leave that layer on over winter or try to re queen it this year
thank you
 

MJBee 

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Sorry IMHO = in my humble opinion
Eke is an extention that fits to the bottom of a standard national brood box so that it can take the bigger 14 x 12 frames.
Providing your queen is a prolific layer - as most "modern" breeds are - she will use both brood boxes and yes there will be lots of bees. Lots of bees = lots of honey providing the weather lets them gather it.
I overwinter 2 of my colonies on double national brood, open mesh floor, solid, insulated crown board and have had no problems. They seem to be the first off the mark in the spring too. The only down side is the 20 frames to look at during the swarm season.
Regards Mike
 

Poly Hive 

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My first thought is how many colonies do you need to pollinate fifty acres of top fruit?

My 2nd thought is there are specialist Bee Farmers who do precisely this, pollinate top fruit. Yes they charge for it as there is a risk of losing the colonies on the job due to starvation.

My third thought is this, a bit more complex. If you are depending on pollination by honey bees for a substantial part of your income which appears to be the case then some serious studying is going to be required to maximise your income, both from the fruit and the bee hives.

PH
 
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Baggyone 

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One of our association members works the hives that are owned by one of the countrys leading seed producing companies. They have hives contained in pollination tunnels so are pretty much confined onto the plant they want pollinating.

They feed syrup all the time.

Baggy
 

susbees 

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Cannot imagine bees working soft fruit in preference to oilseed rape.
Top fruit not soft fruit ;). I used to live just outside Wisbech and can't remember OSR at all on our side of the town. Megatonnes of sugar beet, carrots and some wheat though with the chemicals to match.

Somewhere I've a hives/acre/crop chart....um....but of course they'll need nectar crops for the rest of the season.
 

bramblebee 

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Our land is well spred out and we are a growing farm, so getting larger year on year
Luckerly we are in a bit of a market garden area, so have only had rape near us on ocasions
We have had pollernation hives brough in in the past
Some years honey bees are a waist of time like this year
We do a lot to incourage bumble and mason bees, which to be fair are much better when weather is colder
But on a good year the are a good help with cell division, size and shape
The other reason is we can sell the honey at a freinds farm shop
And another reason is we show all the supermarkets around the farm, and it does us good to show we are working with the enviroment and they like to see bees
They also interest me a lot and i like a challenge thats why im a farmer
So it gives a little hobby as well
We have planted a lot of wild flower our tree rows are full of clover, we do not cut the grass that often, so i also think it will be a good inviroment for them
 

tkwinston4 

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Our land is well spred out and we are a growing farm, so getting larger year on year
Luckerly we are in a bit of a market garden area, so have only had rape near us on ocasions
We have had pollernation hives brough in in the past
Some years honey bees are a waist of time like this year
We do a lot to incourage bumble and mason bees, which to be fair are much better when weather is colder
But on a good year the are a good help with cell division, size and shape
The other reason is we can sell the honey at a freinds farm shop
And another reason is we show all the supermarkets around the farm, and it does us good to show we are working with the enviroment and they like to see bees
They also interest me a lot and i like a challenge thats why im a farmer
So it gives a little hobby as well
We have planted a lot of wild flower our tree rows are full of clover, we do not cut the grass that often, so i also think it will be a good inviroment for them
Sounds like bee heaven to me :party:
 

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