What did you do in the Apiary today?

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Horseradish 

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My girls were really grumpy today. The were pinging off my veil before I got within 10 meters of the hives. decided to peer in through the crown board, bee escape hole, and have a good huff of hive air. Left it at that. Put another bait hive out.
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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Identified a weather window early afternoon so popped up to the range to check as many colonies as possible - been unable to do anything for a whole fortnight, surprsingly all seems OK there although the bigger colonies have made serious inroads into the multiple supers they had filled. The slower colonies have come along nicely although some were getting desperately short of store so the supply of winter frames I had taken off most colonies in spring were quickly popped into those hives,
 

Swn58 

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Went to my allotment apiary yesterday. Last week there was a 'pod' of bees sitting just under the roof of my super-hive. I had tried to move them into a nuc, but they seemed determined to stay put. I ended up leaving them under the roof with an upturned nuc above them, in case they decided to move in. I was not certain that it was a swarm. Bees often sun themselves on my poly hives. I went back in the week and they were still there, now clinging on to the underside of the overhanging nuc.
On Sunday I decided that something had to be done, as they were going to be problematic when inspecting the hive! I prepared another nuc, a double entrance BS with queen excluder discs set and new frames this time. I knocked the ball of bees into it and closed the roof. A small piece of comb, formed under the roof, pointed to the fact it was a swarm after all! I left the nuc a few yards away and watched the bees gathering on and around the two entrances.
An inspection of the hive itself found one unsealed QC, no sign of any others, or a broken open, hatched cell. I moved the cell on the frame to another nuc along with a couple of frames of brood and stores.
Considering the mayhem that was going on during this time, the bees were very well behaved. These are the line of bees I hope to be growing on, using the Nicot system this year. They may be 'mongrelly' colonies now, but they have a direct line, back to my first bees of over ten years ago. They are all much nicer than the farm bees in general! :love:
 

gregior 

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Inspected 6 of my big 'production' colonies .It was only 13c but I had to get in them and today is one of the warmer ones this week! To sum it up in one word- DIRE! All supers empty apart from one which had 15lbs in (all used to feed the other hives as they were VERY low on stores). Brood nests contracting and bees not surprisingly very grumpy.

Really need the weather to drastically improve pronto or this could be an awful season for me. :mad:
 

Kaz 

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Gave up. For the first time ever. Took the first super off what had always been a tetchy colony and they went for the kill. Even with long sleeves and trousers under my beesuit they managed to make contact and I just couldn't face going any further. Some of my stings have actually come out in bruises, another first 😒. They swarmed a couple of weeks ago so should have a virgin queen in there, it clearly hasn't helped their mood. Next weekend I'll be adding another layer under my suit, doubling up gloves and having a good look at them. Planning to split them and requeen both halves unless anyone has other suggestions? .
 

Newbeeneil 

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Gave up. For the first time ever. Took the first super off what had always been a tetchy colony and they went for the kill. Even with long sleeves and trousers under my beesuit they managed to make contact and I just couldn't face going any further. Some of my stings have actually come out in bruises, another first 😒. They swarmed a couple of weeks ago so should have a virgin queen in there, it clearly hasn't helped their mood. Next weekend I'll be adding another layer under my suit, doubling up gloves and having a good look at them. Planning to split them and requeen both halves unless anyone has other suggestions? .
I had a similar episode this morning. A hive that was so nasty last inspection that I squished the queen was twice as bad when I went in to remove the q cells and introduce some eggs from a nice hive.
I donned the Ozarmour and my normal nitriles pulled over my cuffs and opened the hive. Within seconds I was covered in pinging, stinging bees with a couple of stings to my wrists so I retreated to add another pair of nitriles and went back to remove the brood box to a stand about 25m away.
Another couple of stings to the wrists but the box moved and losing most of the aggressive bees. I went back to the van for a bit of kit and spotted a pair of marigolds that I pulled over the nitriles.
Hands well and truly protected I went through the box and knocked down all the cells and added a frame with eggs on. Replaced all the boxes and bees together and left them to it!
If they are still sh*t when I go back I'll split them and give them each one of the sealed cells they produce.
 

Antipodes 

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Gave up. For the first time ever. Took the first super off what had always been a tetchy colony and they went for the kill. Even with long sleeves and trousers under my beesuit they managed to make contact and I just couldn't face going any further. Some of my stings have actually come out in bruises, another first 😒. They swarmed a couple of weeks ago so should have a virgin queen in there, it clearly hasn't helped their mood. Next weekend I'll be adding another layer under my suit, doubling up gloves and having a good look at them. Planning to split them and requeen both halves unless anyone has other suggestions? .
My suggestion would be to give them a truly vengeful smoking with acrid (slightly dampened) pine needle smoke right into the entrance before you open them up next time. More smoke than you could imagine you'd ever give them.
 

elainemary 

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:Dyes apparently the banana gives off a chemical, some swear by it others think nonsense, thought I'd give it a whirl
I tried this a couple of seasons ago on a Nuc I bought, and the chalk brood disappeared. Had read the ethylene from the banana kills the spores. Could be coincidence as the colony naturally got stronger as it built up in a hive.
It’s a stress ‘disease’ (but can be genetic) and so more common in Nucs. Worth a try!
I now put thymol in feed in Nucs that show any signs. That works v well.
 

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madasafish 

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Gave up. For the first time ever. Took the first super off what had always been a tetchy colony and they went for the kill. Even with long sleeves and trousers under my beesuit they managed to make contact and I just couldn't face going any further. Some of my stings have actually come out in bruises, another first 😒. They swarmed a couple of weeks ago so should have a virgin queen in there, it clearly hasn't helped their mood. Next weekend I'll be adding another layer under my suit, doubling up gloves and having a good look at them. Planning to split them and requeen both halves unless anyone has other suggestions? .

Move the hive to one side (at least 1 meter) and replace it with a brood box with a couple of frames ,floor and roof (and any supers if you want) - when bees are flying.

Leave for 30 mins for the fliers to go back to the empty box.
Then inspect the by now depleted original hive.

With far fewer fliers, inspection becomes less of a battle.

When finished. replace hive on its original position and spare B Box to one side so fliers can return to hive.

Saves an awful lot of aggro.

My go to solution - works every time used.
 

elainemary 

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Gave up. For the first time ever. Took the first super off what had always been a tetchy colony and they went for the kill. Even with long sleeves and trousers under my beesuit they managed to make contact and I just couldn't face going any further. Some of my stings have actually come out in bruises, another first 😒. They swarmed a couple of weeks ago so should have a virgin queen in there, it clearly hasn't helped their mood. Next weekend I'll be adding another layer under my suit, doubling up gloves and having a good look at them. Planning to split them and requeen both halves unless anyone has other suggestions? .
I’d hold off requeening until they’ve settled down and you can assess them properly after a round of brood or two from the new queen. I’ve found colonies can be temporarily tetchy when they’re raising a new queen, or have a virgin in the colony, they then tend to settle down when mated.
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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My suggestion would be to give them a truly vengeful smoking with acrid (slightly dampened) pine needle smoke right into the entrance before you open them up next time. More smoke than you could imagine you'd ever give them.
Sounds to me like a surefire way to wind them up to a fever pitch.
Unless of course you believe the fairy tales about prehistoric forest fires and bees gorging themselves with so much honey they fall asleep
 

Erichalfbee 

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Sounds to me like a surefire way to wind them up to a fever pitch.
Unless of course you believe the fairy tales about prehistoric forest fires and bees gorging themselves with so much honey they fall asleep
Any of my slightly edgy colonies get worse with smoke. Water spray works better .... no sugar
 

Nannysbees 

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I tried this a couple of seasons ago on a Nuc I bought, and the chalk brood disappeared. Had read the ethylene from the banana kills the spores. Could be coincidence as the colony naturally got stronger as it built up in a hive.
It’s a stress ‘disease’ (but can be genetic) and so more common in Nucs. Worth a try!
I now put thymol in feed in Nucs that show any signs. That works v well.
Brilliant thank you for that, nice to hear something positive 👍
 

Antipodes 

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Sounds to me like a surefire way to wind them up to a fever pitch.
Unless of course you believe the fairy tales about prehistoric forest fires and bees gorging themselves with so much honey they fall asleep
They gorge on honey without the smoke. Have a careful look next time you open the lid.
 

Antipodes 

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That much smoke would completely disorientate the bees and mask all pheromone messages in the hive. How does it then calm them?
I think that is why it must work, ie. no messaging between the bees to sting. They can't smell me because of all the smoke. You won't calm them as such, but it really helps to reduce them stinging. When you have a truly aggressive colony, when you pop the lid without smoke, or pop the lid with the usual pathetic few puffs in and around the entrance or even "a bit more than usual" smoke, the result is the same. No bees buzzing at your veil as they are too busy stinging your bee suit around the legs :eek:They are too busy stinging to make it up any higher!
 

victor meldrew 

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Sounds to me like a surefire way to wind them up to a fever pitch.
Unless of course you believe the fairy tales about prehistoric forest fires and bees gorging themselves with so much honey they fall asleep
I remember . Pre Varroa , attending a demonstration on detecting the threatened Varroa invasion .
this consisted of sliding a sheet of news paper under the colony,.next igniting tobacco in a little cage hanging In a smoker . Pumping the smoke into the entrance and blocking it .
The upshot was , after 5 mins , the crown board was lifted to reveal the entire colony zonked out in a heap on the newspaper.
thankfully they all recovered !
Back to the drawing board!😳
 
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