What did you do in the Apiary today?

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Swarm 

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Inspected our split hive and the chalkbrood hive today. Used a tweezer to remove some of the mummified larvae. Didn't seem to bad mostly on the outer frames. Such a lovely calm hive, found the queen, hope it rights itself as would hate to get rid of her, mass of bees, the odd play cup,pleasure to inspect. Put a super on the split not sure if they need it but thought it would keep them busy. Desperate to get into the queenless hive but have to be patient, what is the minimum time we should leave them? Mentor said another few weeks:unsure:
Yes, I usually don't bother them for five or six weeks (that will feel like an eternity :D)
See if that chalk clears as the temps rise. If so just keep an eye early next year to see if there's a pattern.
I had one with quite bad chalk brood a few years ago, they always recovered and matched others for supers. I say always because I gave them a chance but enough was enough, I decided to cull and requeen. Winter did it for me.
 

Swarm 

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I was greeted by a massive swarm when I got to the farm, three hives plastered with bees and a cloud in the air so went to check the other stands while they settled. A large cluster was gathering in the brambles (let's just say, very difficult) Went through the culprit and spotted the barely marked queen. Tidy, in a nuc you go my girl. Took down a couple of sealed cells and left them with one. Loads of bees, a glance at the brambles explained it, they had all returned. Luck really was on my side and as I cleared up the carefully removed cells, one began to emerge.
Tidy, into this lovely queenless colony you go. Oh, they were so happy and were on her in a flash.
I brought another home and have her in a cage ready for tomorrow.
I think I'm in love (again :rolleyes:)
 

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einsteinagogo 

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-3 degrees C overnight, and temperature didn't get much above 5 degrees C all day, and then it fell to 3 and hailed like snow!

an observation, when the bees were out early in the morning sunshine, lots of pollen, from dandelions, based on orange colour.

On my daily walk at lunchtime inspected the OSR fields, less than 200m away, very stunted growth, and no pollen.

So here is a drones-view (a little pun!) at legal height according to the law! of the OSR fields SE of my apiary. If only the weather was warm enough, otherwise this spring season is going to be poor. There are 7 OSR fields this year, which is much less than last year. Sorry it's dark, auto exposure and sun going down.

OSR-fields-drones-view.jpg
 

E&MBees 

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-3 degrees C overnight, and temperature didn't get much above 5 degrees C all day, and then it fell to 3 and hailed like snow!

an observation, when the bees were out early in the morning sunshine, lots of pollen, from dandelions, based on orange colour.

On my daily walk at lunchtime inspected the OSR fields, less than 200m away, very stunted growth, and no pollen.

So here is a drones-view (a little pun!) at legal height according to the law! of the OSR fields SE of my apiary. If only the weather was warm enough, otherwise this spring season is going to be poor. There are 7 OSR fields this year, which is much less than last year. Sorry it's dark, auto exposure and sun going down.

View attachment 25860
Beautiful scenery and lovely sun set. There isn’t any osr around here, but the fields near my parents look equally poor.
 

Boston Bees 

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Retracted: Going off lay was probably a bit extreme.
I was referring to the fact that, from my own observations coupled with what I've read, the April cold has meant a comparable reduction in laying.
I'm also in Yorkshire and have noticed the same. Hives were wall to wall brood a few weeks ago. Now, about half as much. Major reduction in egg laying rate. Will no doubt pick up again next week.
 

masterBK 

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One of the two colonies I keep at home was demareed on 25th April and when I looked a week later it had generated three queen cells. Two were on the same frame so today, I took advantage of a brief warm spell to harvested one of these by cutting around it with scissors and set it up with cupful of bees in an Apidea. The frame with the remaining cell was used to set up a two frame mating nucleus , leaving the other frame with the third cell in the demaree top. Hopefully I will get three decent queens out of this. However unless the weather improves I have worries about the mating success of these not forgetting several others down at the out-apiary. This may well turn out to be a bumper year for unmated drone layers (hope not)
 
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Swarm 

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Must think positively.
 

BugsInABox 

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I'm also in Yorkshire and have noticed the same. Hives were wall to wall brood a few weeks ago. Now, about half as much. Major reduction in egg laying rate. Will no doubt pick up again next week.
A few have mentioned reduced laying. Will this affect drone numbers. Hoping to get an emergency response queen mated in next few weeks (should have emerged just).
 

Boston Bees 

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A few have mentioned reduced laying. Will this affect drone numbers. Hoping to get an emergency response queen mated in next few weeks (should have emerged just).
It might, although my hives had already produced a lot of drones, who are still (mostly) around, so should be OK.
 

Swn58 

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Off to the farm today as yesterday's weather was rubbish. I didn't fancy a touch of sunburn, then frostbite and generally getting wet!
Unless there's an emergency, I will be leaving the bees alone and getting on with putting some legs on some pallets.
I went by train, Jewellery Quarter and then bike. Trying to keep up my 'Green' principles 😇 However, no good deed goes unpunished. I was standing along the platform, in the open with two minutes before the train arrived. Clouds appeared and dumped a storm of rain and hail on me, just as the train came into view. I got soaked!
The forty minute trip was as nice as ever, with loads of lambs, horses to see. I always look out for a fairly 'new build' house, across the fields from the train. It appears to have around ten beehives in a paddock!
It takes about fifteen minutes to get to the sanctuary of the wood. It was cold and windy to start off with. Not many bees were flying, so I swapped down some of the cow parsley, nettles and brambles in front of the hives.
I had scavenged some branches from a felled tree to make legs for the pallets. Sawing and screwing them onto the pallets was heavy going, as the wood was very dry and dense sycamore.
The bees were very active when the sun finally warmed things up. I had the unwanted attention of just one bee, that made me have to wear my bee-jacket for some of the time! Never mind, jobs done. I was back home by 4.30!
 
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E&MBees 

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Quick check on a split before work. Doing nicely. Added a super as bees filling laying space with nectar. Still space for queen though. Some lovely red pollen from horse chestnut also coming in.
 

Goran 

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So far most of seasons since I beekeep were the seasons which my mentor and friend describe as " perfect for beginners" ( to stay afloat in awful seasons due to catastrophic weather which decimate main forages). But this season seems to become not " perfect for beginners" but " perfect for all beekeepers", since it seems not decimate main forages - it wipe them out.. For me till now spring forage is gone, little they got are eating these days and I fear not enough if continues.. Black locust.. some trees couple days before looked as it is February, yesterday I saw some show signs of life with leaves ( no flowers of course).. To continue further some migratory beeks reported that as they estimate false indigo bush forage seems struck as well.. Next ones to migrate - they got chestnut/lime and sunflower ( continental beeks as me), but that is still to see what will offer..
 

Niv 

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Not been involved in swarms before but was given a swarm last night in a sealed cardboard box so hastily transferred them into a nuc as I didn't think leaving them in a sealed box overnight would end well! Not ideal due to light levels / time of day so I couldn't really coax them in over a period of time etc so I tipped most of them in then brushed many of the the remainder. I left literally a couple of stragglers so am fairly positive that i got the queen in the nuc. I left a couple of frames of undrawn foundation in the nuc (there was also a drawn frame with a small amount of stores) and left a small entrance (hoping it was too small for the queen to get out just in case). I intend to check on them later today / tomorrow and add a couple more frames of foundation.

Any hints or tips on what I could have done differently if this happens to me again?
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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You did it the right way - all this nonsense about walking them in on a white sheet etc. is nothing but a quaint Victorian parlour trick.
jus dump them all in a hive with the middle frames taken out, then rest those middle frames on top of the pile and the frames will gently settle in place with the bees gathering up on to them, job done
 

Niv 

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Fab. That's exactly how I introduced the middle frames. Appreciate the feedback.
 

drex 

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As long as you get the queen in, the rest will eventually follow ( stragglers). Some would pin a queen excluder across entrance to prevent absconding, or put in a frame of brood, but I have never bothered and not lost any
 

Murox 

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Well I have just managed to complete a first full inspection despite it only being 9 degrees in a stiff WNW breeze. The apiary at the lowest altitude, just 65m above sea level, is doing very well. One hive has finished the fondant, seems to have "all been converted into brood". This is a blue dot queen from J Getty, prolific, full frame layer and very steady non runny bees. The apiary at 140m is much further behind. One hive, which I thought had gone queen less has brood in evidence though the bees are very runny they are calmer than at the last quick check - I really will have to find this queen once the weather improves a bit more as she also is producing rather too much in the way of chalk brood.
 
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