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Tempering excitement, aka Beefeever...

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Poly Hive 

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A wee word to the Newbies and other starters.

At this time of year it is just a bit cool to be pulling frames and peering to see eggs and larvae, too cool for them that is.

Patience friends patience.

If you HAVE to assure yourselves that she is alive and well then seeing sealed brood should suffice. After all if there is sealed brood at the very worst she was there and laying how many day ago? If you don't know immediately then you need to do some memorising as she was there.... ?

Hint. 3 days an egg, five days a larvae and sealed on day 8/9. So she was there 8 days ago and as you were not in since then she should be fine. More queens are killed by beekeepers than any other method.

There is no need really ever to find a queen unless you are doing serious swarm control which requires she is found. Or queen rearing when you want to ensure she is where you need her to be.

Supers. You will find you will need four per colony as an average I find that works about right. If there are two full and one half full on the colony you can clear off the two full ones into the one and a half and have time to extract and have ready the others. Having said that nectar is a three to one ratio to honey at best so you NEED to be aware of the colonies space requirements.

Please wait for proper balmy weather before practicing looking for eggs and so on, as you ARE doing more harm than good apart from being able to say... I saw... xyz.

Patience. This is a delicate time of year for your colony, the oldies are dying off and the new bees are not yet in abundance. Stay your hand unless they are in desperate straits.

Beefeever can be a serious condition in which the afflicted cannot resist looking in the hive every other day. Does a gardener dig up his potential price winning veg the same way? So try to be hands off as much as you can.

PH
 

Poly Hive 

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If you prefer to by all means.

I made a general post as at this time of year it is dangerous to get too carried away.

PH
 

Annrbel 

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Really timely advice, and perhaps not just for the new keepers! There is an old saying that when the Ribes is in full flower is the first time you should open your hives. In the meantime, seeing lots of pollen going into the entrance and the bees searching for water, give a welcome indication that all is right with the colony. I still gave some extra feed at the beginning of March - just in case all the cold weather had put pressure on their stores, but that only entailed putting on a feeder, not opening the hive. And in view of this new research into heater bees, glad I left well alone.

Today all our hives have clearly come through winter well and are flying strongly, with a little sunbathing and socialising going on betweentimes on the landing board - perhaps the bee equivalent of talking to yourself! :party:
 

Peebels 

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Well I did ensure that the temperature was above 12 (13 actually) degrees, in full sun and kept breif. I actually timed it and it was less then a 3 min peek really!
 

jezd 

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13'c in Manchester? think we have maxed at 9'c so far this side the hills
 

Bcrazy 

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I agree with PH on his advice about waiting untill the weather is right. I know my bum is making buttons to get going but so far I have resisted the temptation of having a look. The first good day when they are out and about I shall done the whites and wellies and off we go.

Regards;
 

Firegazer 

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Sitting on a bin-liner and watching the entrance for hours, with bees only coming out every five minutes or so is my approach - after good 'hands off' advice from a few Tribal Elders on here :)

A question for you: if a bee comes out, walks around a bit, then goes back in without doing anything at all, is that:

a) it thinking it's too cold after all;
b) a sort of minimalist orientation 'flight' where it's practicing going in and out?

FG
 
T

Tom Bick 

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Well I did ensure that the temperature was above 12 (13 actually) degrees, in full sun and kept breif. I actually timed it and it was less then a 3 min peek really!
Its hard to stop yourself looking especially when you are new to beekeeping given the information above I doubt that you did that much harm and although at first you had concerns due to inexperience it passably also confirmed a few things for you.

I think more damage can be caused when new beekeepers and we have all being one at one time or another want to look in the hive two to three times a week as the excitement overflows.
 

taff.. 

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I had to resist temptation this afternoon, I knew that today would be my last chance to get over to see them for the next 2 weeks.

I resisted and know that they are better off being left alone for now :)
 

MJBee 

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Firegazer - that bee has been told by his elders " go and see if that wally is still sitting on a bin liner watching our front door":):):)
:cheers2: Mike
 

Firegazer 

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I thought that fluttery noise I could hear through my stethoscope was the cluster keeping warm - maybe it was just the bees giggling . . .

I'm reminded of that advert where the Pandas come out roller-skating when the bloke puts his camera away for a kit-kat.

FG
 

Annrbel 

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So that's what's happenin', and there was me thinking they were pretending nonchalance whilst doing a sneaky bit of working out the most direct route either into my hair or onto my husband's chin. Bin liner won't do for me, nice cushion on top of the garden roller, otherwise after half an hour time wasting very numb situpon. Love this forum, learn all the time and fun bits too.:biggrinjester:
 

steve1958 

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Thanks for the advise Poly Hive

and for the humour everyone :)
 

Bcrazy 

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Hey taff
I have one body, and it is fat
I thought your chest had come down for a rest that's all mate.

Regards;
 

taff.. 

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Hey taff
I thought your chest had come down for a rest that's all mate.

Regards;

I should be considering giving you a virtual slap for that, but I know that Royals dont get old, their berets just get a little looser (as their hair falls out)



:sport-smiley-002:






:D
 

Bcrazy 

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Nice one!

Now behave yourself if that's possible.

Regards;
 

gill68 

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Thanks Poly Hive for the advice about waiting! I was thinking of having a peek this Friday, so I will hold off for a couple more weeks. All looks well so far; plenty of bees flying and bringing in pollen.
Its SO tempting when the sun comes out and spring has sprung!
 

thedeaddiplomat 

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Oops! Sorry Poly

Sorry Poly!

I have just popped out to say Happy New Year to my bees. Though not a proper inspection, just a check that they were still there and that they still had some stores (since I haven't fed at all through the winter).

Original hive, which I had left with a full super of honey (mainly ivy I think!): very active - but with virtually the entire super of honey still sealed. I thought I saw evidence of slight overcrowding, so put on a super of new foundation for them to draw, and a dose of syrup to keep them going.

Second hive (latish swarm) had been left with about four (brood) frames of honey over winter. Again, bees seemed v active and content. But at least three of the four frames of honey still uncapped. Removed one and slipped in a frame of new foundation to keep them busy until I can rush out and buy more supers!. Again a dose of syrup to keep em happy.

Hope I haven't mucked up!
 

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