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madasafish 

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Popped up to put some more feed on the nuc, and got stung on the neck. Another 'I'll just...' job :rolleyes: One day, I promise, I will learn to suit up every time I go near the bees. It just might take another couple thousand stings before I learn my lesson ;)
I use a £5 veil and hat. No suiting up. Kept in a supermarket bag hanging next to suits. Takes 5 seconds to put on. Drawstring round neck to deter adventurous bees.
Makes "I just need to.." visits much safer.(altho my bees are very placid)

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StephenT 

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Checked all 3 hives yesterday to reposition the Apivar strips and to see how much feeding they will need. Feed goes on later today. Also checked to see if the hive with the queen that ended up on the ground a couple of weeks ago still had a live queen, and they do! :) I keep forgetting the nuc tucked away in the garden so must remember to feed that as well.
 

drdrday 

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I use a £5 veil and hat. No suiting up. Kept in a supermarket bag hanging next to suits. Takes 5 seconds to put on. Drawstring round neck to deter adventurous bees.
Makes "I just need to.." visits much safer.(altho my bees are very placid)

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I actually have a jacket up there, in the bee shed close to the bees - doesn't mean I'll always put it on though!!! ;)
 

pargyle 

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I use a £5 veil and hat. No suiting up. Kept in a supermarket bag hanging next to suits. Takes 5 seconds to put on. Drawstring round neck to deter adventurous bees.
Makes "I just need to.." visits much safer.(altho my bees are very placid)

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I have a couple of those as well.. 'er indoors hates my bees and they seem to have a mutual dislike of her ... I can be stood in the garden with the bees flying all around me and she will come along and the next thing I know is there's one in her hair or buzzing her and all hell breaks loose. I bought her one of those and she wears it when she's gardening and if any of my bees take an interest in her ... I bought one for myself as I figured it would be good for those ' I was only ...' bits of interference when you inevitably get complacent and get stung ... I can live with stings to my hands and arms .. but I don't like stings to my face. For what they cost ... thoroughly recommended.
 

hemo 

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Gave a nuc another carton of fondant and put it's PIR winter coat on.
Fed the parent colony 14lbs of syrup.
 

Parsonage Bees 

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I've not been inspecting the hives in my main apiary for the last month or so. Just hefting as I pass through and seeing how they are getting on.
With the last forecast warm day for a while I thought I'd just have a quick peak to make sure the hives had plenty of stores and were q+.
First one I looked at was very busy and when I popped the crown board the bees boiled over on to the top of the frames. I was extremely pleased I pulled couple of outer frames and found them solid with nectar. ( Ivy I presume) I almost closed them down but thought I better check for some brood. That's when the wheels fell off - as I went through the box every comb was crammed with nectar with no sign of any brood at all!
I hope the queen has just gone off lay and they have filled in all the brood nest with nectar because the flow is so strong but I'm having doubts.
What I did in the end was replace the three middle combs with drawn combs then put another brood box with drawn comb above in the hope that if there is a queen in there she will start laying in the empty combs and the bees will start filling the upper box rather than squeezing the queen out!
I found another hive in a similar state but just added a couple of empty combs as the brood box was not quite a choked with nectar as the first hive.
So bloody frustrating this bee keeping lark!!!!!!!!
I've got one like this but population has dropped. Only a handful of eggs. The rest, including her mother, are still laying well. Never noticed such a shutdown before in last 5 years. This has been my biggest colony all year. Now they look the weakest, worried about them getting robbed once ivy is over.
Every colony stuffed with ivy nectar (also not seen before). Haven't started feeding.
Maybe one more inspection and feed for winter. . . .. . Ben
 

Nannysbees 

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Topped up the feeders on all four hives. Is there a cut off date when to stop or is it just temperature dependent?
 

pargyle 

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Topped up the feeders on all four hives. Is there a cut off date when to stop or is it just temperature dependent?
Not a date .... beekeeping is never about dates - the time to stop feeding is when the hive is up to the weight with stores they need to survive until spring. Temperature more than date will determine when they stop taking syrup down but hopefully by then they will be well stocked.

If you can weigh the hives it makes life a lot more secure for new beekeepers - a luggage scale and some means to attach it - weigh it each side and add it together - it's rough and ready but should give you an idea of when they are nearing full stores. You can also track the usage over the winter - these measurements give you confidence to heft in the future.
 

Nannysbees 

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Not a date .... beekeeping is never about dates - the time to stop feeding is when the hive is up to the weight with stores they need to survive until spring. Temperature more than date will determine when they stop taking syrup down but hopefully by then they will be well stocked.

If you can weigh the hives it makes life a lot more secure for new beekeepers - a luggage scale and some means to attach it - weigh it each side and add it together - it's rough and ready but should give you an idea of when they are nearing full stores. You can also track the usage over the winter - these measurements give you confidence to heft in the future.
Thank you, yes we weigh weekly and they are down, I thought we needed to transfer the feed to fondant as the weather gets colder if they still need food?
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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I thought we needed to transfer the feed to fondant as the weather gets colder if they still need food?
Yes, although it's not too cold yet. As the weather gets colder they will struggle to reduce the water content to store the syrup safely. At this point they will just take the fondant and eat it without storing.
 

pargyle 

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Thank you, yes we weigh weekly and they are down, I thought we needed to transfer the feed to fondant as the weather gets colder if they still need food?
You should be able to get enough syrup into them before it gets to the stage where they won't come up for it ... a slab of celotex above the feeder will keep it warm - if you can also have insulation around the feeder it is even better. Most decent size colonies can empty a 2 litre rapid feeder overnight ... a week or so of feeding should be ample to fill the brood box with winter stores. Mine are still bringing Ivy nectar in like there's no tomorrow and I haven't even started feeding yet ... just going out to see how they are getting on and with the wet weather predicted for the next few days my feeders are ready and I have Invertbee on standby ... I'm rather hoping they won't need much of a top up.
 

Nannysbees 

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Yes, although it's not too cold yet. As the weather gets colder they will struggle to reduce the water content to store the syrup safely. At this point they will just take the fondant and eat it without storing.
Thank you :)
 

The Poot 

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You should be able to get enough syrup into them before it gets to the stage where they won't come up for it ... a slab of celotex above the feeder will keep it warm - if you can also have insulation around the feeder it is even better. Most decent size colonies can empty a 2 litre rapid feeder overnight ... a week or so of feeding should be ample to fill the brood box with winter stores. Mine are still bringing Ivy nectar in like there's no tomorrow and I haven't even started feeding yet ... just going out to see how they are getting on and with the wet weather predicted for the next few days my feeders are ready and I have Invertbee on standby ... I'm rather hoping they won't need much of a top up.
I’ve not found any ivy in flower around here yet, so I’m surprised it’s flowering in Fareham. I assumed it would flower later for you than me. Mine are taking in lots of yellow pollen which infers ivy ( I think) but despite four mile dog walks, I’ve still not seen any in flower.
I did find a field of what appeared to be rape, yesterday, about a mile away from the apiary. Would this be rape or some other lookalike crop??
 

Boston Bees 

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I’ve not found any ivy in flower around here yet, so I’m surprised it’s flowering in Fareham. I assumed it would flower later for you than me. Mine are taking in lots of yellow pollen which infers ivy ( I think) but despite four mile dog walks, I’ve still not seen any in flower.
I did find a field of what appeared to be rape, yesterday, about a mile away from the apiary. Would this be rape or some other lookalike crop??
Masses of ivy in flower here in West Yorkshire
 

GuyNir 

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I’ve not found any ivy in flower around here yet, so I’m surprised it’s flowering in Fareham. I assumed it would flower later for you than me. Mine are taking in lots of yellow pollen which infers ivy ( I think) but despite four mile dog walks, I’ve still not seen any in flower.
I did find a field of what appeared to be rape, yesterday, about a mile away from the apiary. Would this be rape or some other lookalike crop??
Ivy is open here in SW Scotland, so I’d assume it reached Dorset by now…
 

Brewer24 

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I’ve not found any ivy in flower around here yet, so I’m surprised it’s flowering in Fareham. I assumed it would flower later for you than me. Mine are taking in lots of yellow pollen which infers ivy ( I think) but despite four mile dog walks, I’ve still not seen any in flower.
I did find a field of what appeared to be rape, yesterday, about a mile away from the apiary. Would this be rape or some other lookalike crop??
Also seeing small crops of what looks like Rape dotted around Dorset amongst other crops, not a farmer so don’t understand the reasoning behind it. Also only a small amount of Ivy flowering around me so just need the weather to be kind for a bit longer.
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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Also seeing small crops of what looks like Rape dotted around Dorset amongst other crops,
Maybe it's not a crop just weeds - I've noticed over the last few years that bastard cabbage is sprouting up everywhere (looks very much like OSR at a glance) I think they were putting it into some wildflower mixes for a while
 

hemo 

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Look high up in some trees as it often colonises them, around my way there is quite a lot of hedging made up with it.
 

Murox 

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Maybe it's not a crop just weeds - I've noticed over the last few years that bastard cabbage is sprouting up everywhere (looks very much like OSR at a glance) I think they were putting it into some wildflower mixes for a while
There is also a mustard thats used as forage, had some up here on the farm I have a couple of hives on.
 

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