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Weather forecast for May...

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skydragon 

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Just as I was starting to hope that warm/sunny weather is to continue into May , I had a look at a few weather forecasts.... Mid May is due to yield max day temps of 4deg C and some snow...!!!

Let's hope as a forecast it's completely wrong.
 

Poly Hive 

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Ner cast a clout til May be oot.... Aye!

Blo**y weather.... shivering here

PH
 

oliver90owner 

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At least a bit more activity than yesterday, but a late start, intermittent foraging and an early finish! Still lots on water collection duties so obviously needing it to keep all the brood going on honey rather than nectar. I am thinking even more of the OSR crop will be wind pollinated this year.

So, not the time to get queens mated? Some of these early-reported swarms may be leaving behind a doomed colony unless we get some warm weather for mating flights, or will be superceding later in the year, or another crop of drone layers to deal with. Ho hum, it must improve soon......

Regards, RAB
 

wilderness 

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Weekly inspections?

so with the forecast cold weather for the next week, what do we do about our weekly inspections?

My next one is due on Wednesday/Thursday and looks like it will be 12'C. Too cold to do a proper inspection?

As it has gone so cold, will the bees decide to wait to build queen cells or push ahead anyway?

At my last inspection I saw only a couple of drones but plenty of drone brood, a few queen cups and one bigger queen "mug"? None had any eggs or grubs in them.
 

Haughton Honey 

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Lots of Commercial hives.......
Yes it's worrying.

I've got Queens arriving from Norton on Thursday and it's forecast to be 10c here on the day and not getting above 12c before the weekend :svengo:

What's a man to do?!
 

oliver90owner 

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wilderness,

Consult your last inspection notes. Are you supered? Are all frames drawn? How many frames of brood? How much laying space? Queens clipped? Type of bee? Young queens?

If you are that worried, close the exits for the queen with a swarm trap or a Q/E on a regular basis (but let the drones out).

What do you call a proper inspection? A quick check for queen cells does not entail a lot of time unless you are already on an extra brood box and would normally be at the bottom of the top box, if that high. The commercial boys who have to get through their hundreds of hives, so will not stop work entirely. I would certainly not be giving a 'full' inspection if too cold.

Bait hives out?

I would suggest a quick check if you feel it necessary. Mine will wait a little longer, if too cold, but I am in not-so-sunny Lincolnshire.

Regards, RAB
 

wightbees 

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here on the IOW it's ment to be 14c and sunny tomorrow :)
Would that be ok for checking bees ?
 

admin 

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Wightbees,spend five minutes in the garden with short sleeves,if you are still warm enough to not want to put a coat on then its warm enough to open them up.
 

wightbees 

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I work all day outdoors so i think i will have a look to see what others are wearing.
I have even started to get a suntan :)
 

jezd 

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be careful with supering! I have been told about 2 hives that the bees have moved up above the excluder and killed the queen left behind over the last 2 nights! very cold at mo, keep cover boards above excluder for now.

JD
 

Hivemaker. 

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be careful with supering! I have been told about 2 hives that the bees have moved up above the excluder and killed the queen left behind over the last 2 nights! very cold at mo, keep cover boards above excluder for now.


Never heard of this before,bee's on eight or nine frames of brood all moving up into an empty super away from the brood, and leaving it and the queen below to die,is this what your saying?
 

jezd 

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yes, so i was told, not mine so I cant confirm yet, not sure on number of frames either.

we didnt move any supers on fully yet due to weather either mind, all have excluders with coverboard and then the super above.
 

oliver90owner 

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Sounds more like somone has 'done' a 'Bailey' frame change but isolated the queen in an empty bottom box and put all the brood in the top box! Can't think of any other scenario at this time of the year and surprised at that as well.

Regards, RAB
 

wilderness 

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wilderness,

Consult your last inspection notes. Are you supered? Are all frames drawn? How many frames of brood? How much laying space? Queens clipped? Type of bee? Young queens?

If you are that worried, close the exits for the queen with a swarm trap or a Q/E on a regular basis (but let the drones out).

What do you call a proper inspection? A quick check for queen cells does not entail a lot of time unless you are already on an extra brood box and would normally be at the bottom of the top box, if that high. The commercial boys who have to get through their hundreds of hives, so will not stop work entirely. I would certainly not be giving a 'full' inspection if too cold.

Bait hives out?

I would suggest a quick check if you feel it necessary. Mine will wait a little longer, if too cold, but I am in not-so-sunny Lincolnshire.

Regards, RAB
Hi RAB, thanks for your response, as always a steady hand on the tiller!

Are you supered? Yes
Are all frames drawn? No
How many frames of brood? 5-6 on 14x12
How much laying space? 4 frames
Queens clipped? No
Type of bee? Mongrel
Young queens? Last years
Bait hives out? Yes

I always check for AFB as I'm in a hot-spot so the inspection takes longer than just looking for QCs.
 

oliver90owner 

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I always check for AFB as I'm in a hot-spot so the inspection takes longer than just looking for QCs.

Make an exception this time. Chilled brood could make you worry more than you need to.

Check the super. If nearly full, put another one on. Rest looks low-risk to me (can never guarantee it). If any lingering doubts about laying space, put the new super under the Q/E.

Regards, RAB
 

Hivemaker. 

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Bee's will simply not abandon the brood and queen to move into an empty super,not even if they only had two frames of brood,but why on earth anyone would super a hive like that is beyond me,all of mine are now supered,many on double brood plus supers,no abandoned queens or brood yet,or ever in the past for that matter.
 

Haughton Honey 

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Lots of Commercial hives.......
And why on earth do you want to put a super or another brood box on top of a crown board.....just make sure that they only have a small hole to access the new box??
 

jezd 

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And why on earth do you want to put a super or another brood box on top of a crown board.....just make sure that they only have a small hole to access the new box??
seen this twice recently, both bigger commercial groups, last week in North(ish) Yorkshire, they do it to just get kit in place ready for 'warmth' should it arrive :)
 

Haughton Honey 

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Lots of Commercial hives.......
seen this twice recently, both bigger commercial groups, last week in North(ish) Yorkshire, they do it to just get kit in place ready for 'warmth' should it arrive :)

So these commercial guys just keep boxes with drawn comb/foundation above the existing crown board above the brood nest......just so that they're ready when the weather starts to warm up? Is that what you're saying jezd?
 

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