What did you do in the Apiary today?

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Curly green finger's 

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Hefted, looked through the crownboards, lots of bees flying as it was a balmy 10 degrees and sunny down here on the Costa del Fareham.

Cracked the crownboard on the one colony I was worried about .. no heat coming up and no activity that I could see. It was a dead out .. small pile of bees on the floor, two full frames of stores at the back of the hive but not much at the front but no signs of bees with their heads in cells. No sign of the marked queen among the bodies and no sign of disease .. they tested low for varroa in September and they were fed athough they took less invert down than the other colonies. No sign of any brood although there was a frame of mostly pollen in there. No signs of Nosema but I've kept a sample of the dead bees and I will test tomorrow. Sad ... perhaps I should have looked in earlier moved the stores towards the front or added fondant. Having said that I suspect it's a case of a failing queen ... she was a Buckfast going into her third season so may have just run out of steam when there was a need for her to lay up winter bees. It looked fine going into Autumn but not as strong as my other colonies. No waxmoth in there. Who knows ? Cleaned the floor, removed the bodies and sealed it up. I'll give the frames a blast of Dipel tomorrow if there's no nosema in there and look to replace in spring.

Cracked the crown board of an 8 frame poly nuc I'm overwintering and pulled an empty frame out and replaced it with a full frame of stores, took seconds and I just slid the crown board across to access the end frame .. they came up to see me but soon went back down, no smoke needed (not that I had the smoker going anyway !) .. plenty of bees in there and quite active. Enough stores now for a couple of weeks but I might put a container of fondant on them.

Rest of the hives all heavy and I could see good numbers of bees through the clear crownboards. Left them all to it.

NIce to be playing with them again even if only for precautionary reasons ... roll on spring.
A sad post Philip but also a happy one.
Spring is only around the corner.
My thoughts my friend :)
 

pargyle 

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A sad post Philip but also a happy one.
Spring is only around the corner.
My thoughts my friend :)
I hate losing colonies and usually question whether there was anything I could have done differently ... the reality of keeping bees is that once in a while you will have a dead out ... and sometimes there are no explanations. I've lost colonies in the past and expect to lose colonies in the future but if you can keep the majority alive you have to look at the positives ... survivors will be stronger.
 

Erichalfbee 

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Would you mind posting an example at some point, as am considering buying one of these. Thanks in advance if so, no problems if not possible.
Here you are.
 

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The Poot 

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I hate losing colonies and usually question whether there was anything I could have done differently ... the reality of keeping bees is that once in a while you will have a dead out ... and sometimes there are no explanations. I've lost colonies in the past and expect to lose colonies in the future but if you can keep the majority alive you have to look at the positives ... survivors will be stronger.
That’s a positive attitude Phil. Onwards and upwards. (Sorry for the loss though).
 

Somerford 

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Half way through the afternoon I checked the fondant on 10 colonies at my home apiary - only one needed a top up, all thriving .
made up some spare floors, roofs and added to the pile of frames that need filling with foundation

8 weeks until spring ... I hope

kr

somerford
 

drex 

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Milder with beautiful sunshine. One colony was flying, the rest nothing. Dug out the drainage channels some more, which were pouring water after all the rain. At least there is no more standing water. Will put in land drain pipes when it stops running.
All hefted heavy.
 

beeno 

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Hefted, looked through the crownboards, lots of bees flying as it was a balmy 10 degrees and sunny down here on the Costa del Fareham.

Cracked the crownboard on the one colony I was worried about .. no heat coming up and no activity that I could see. It was a dead out .. small pile of bees on the floor, two full frames of stores at the back of the hive but not much at the front but no signs of bees with their heads in cells. No sign of the marked queen among the bodies and no sign of disease .. they tested low for varroa in September and they were fed athough they took less invert down than the other colonies. No sign of any brood although there was a frame of mostly pollen in there. No signs of Nosema but I've kept a sample of the dead bees and I will test tomorrow. Sad ... perhaps I should have looked in earlier moved the stores towards the front or added fondant. Having said that I suspect it's a case of a failing queen ... she was a Buckfast going into her third season so may have just run out of steam when there was a need for her to lay up winter bees. It looked fine going into Autumn but not as strong as my other colonies. No waxmoth in there. Who knows ? Cleaned the floor, removed the bodies and sealed it up. I'll give the frames a blast of Dipel tomorrow if there's no nosema in there and look to replace in spring.

Cracked the crown board of an 8 frame poly nuc I'm overwintering and pulled an empty frame out and replaced it with a full frame of stores, took seconds and I just slid the crown board across to access the end frame .. they came up to see me but soon went back down, no smoke needed (not that I had the smoker going anyway !) .. plenty of bees in there and quite active. Enough stores now for a couple of weeks but I might put a container of fondant on them.

Rest of the hives all heavy and I could see good numbers of bees through the clear crownboards. Left them all to it.

NIce to be playing with them again even if only for precautionary reasons ... roll on spring.
I would not overwinter a third full season queen neither did Manley or other pros.
 

Erichalfbee 

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I would not overwinter a third full season queen neither did Manley or other pros.
Do you never have any treasured queens that you have a soft spot for?
 

beeno 

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Expected activity at the hive entrance as sunny, but only 8°C. Got a bit concerned when I could only hear one colony. Had to resort to tapping and got a resounding reply. All but one hefted ok, so will apply some fondant later in the week when we expect a balmy 11°C! I would say that in previous years my bees would have been out in force at this time of the year collecting pollen.
 

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