What did you do in the Apiary today?

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pargyle 

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As you know, the beginners don't just stick to the beginners' section. There are plenty of beginners reading and taking notes from this thread.

Well, my bees HAVE. It may be the opposite in 'most' places but clearly some people don't have bees in 'most' places.
Perhaps the beginners who read my post will take my advice and check whether the brood boxes are stuffed with stores before they start slapping a slab of fondant on 'just in case'... but for the benefit of those who did not understand my original comments (few they may be ... indeed, they may be limited to a minority of one ...).

Don't put a slab of fondant on top of your hives if they are full of stores - be it of their own collection or as a result of feeding. If they need it in Spring then by all means feed them fondant - you can tell whether they will need it by hefting your hives regularly or, if you feel hefting is beyond you, you can weigh your hive with a luggage scale and record the weight as they progress through winter.

Does that satisfy your inability to understand what I was saying and the implied lack of comprehension that our beginners who dip into the main forum may have ?

As for your bees contrary behaviour at the end of this extraordinary end to the season - well perhaps your particular location in Essex is devoid of the sources of forage over the last few weeks that appear to have been available mostly elsewhere. If they were my bees I would be worrying .... are they dwindling and unable to leverage sufficient foraging force to take advantage or are they diseased and incapable ? Who knows ? Or perhaps they are just lazy and they are waiting for a slab of fondant to be put their way ? They are your bees and obviously quite unique .....perhaps you have an explanation as to why they are acting in such a contrary manner ? Do tell ....
 

Little_bees 

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They are your bees and obviously quite unique .....perhaps you have an explanation as to why they are acting in such a contrary manner ? Do tell ....
I don't know Philip otherwise I would tell.
As I mentioned in a post last week:
My garden hives have been piling it in but my out apiary ten miles away might as well be on another planet. A poor summer there and now no ivy. Never had to feed them so much. :cry:
The whole apiary, not just one hive, and, yes, I do know how to check for disease. 🙄
Perhaps it was the same reason they foraged on borage this year instead of the usual lime that they've always done, which is one of the reasons I keep them there.
 

Erichalfbee 

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Don't put a slab of fondant on top of your hives if they are full of stores - be it of their own collection or as a result of feeding. If they need it in Spring then by all means feed them fondant - you can tell whether they will need it by hefting your hives regularly or, if you feel hefting is beyond you, you can weigh your hive with a luggage scale and record the weight as they progress through winter.
Yes waste of money...especially if you are buying proper fondant
 

DaveG23 

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Fed 3 hives with hopefully their last feed. Topped up the feed in a few nucs. Ivy is in full flower and giving off a strong smell when you get up close to it. But no smell at the hives and no sign of bees on the ivy itself.
 

madasafish 

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I am feeding syrup to a nuc full of stores so they will draw comb in the super.

(Unusually warm October, no frost yet - unusual> Neighbour's ivy hedge smells strongly when it is sunny

A Large ceanothus bush is on its second flowering this year. Never seen that before.
 

Swarm 

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Mad dash to get supers off before the rain arrived, just a few but had to give the Ivy a try. I've never seen an Ivy flow like it, probably won't see another.
 

Moobee 

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Topped up one feeder as still light on stores (small cast swarm from July). They are very laid back bees and quite nonchalant about the changing season!
Third hive (late season nuc) had feeder & empty super removed as nice and heavy now and eke and clear crownboard added in case fondant needs adding mid winter.
Hive straps added to all as nasty weather due Wednesday. These will stay on now as don't want to be dashing outside in my pajamas again at 3am when an unexpected storm blew up last year :oops:
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Repwoc 

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My garden hives have been piling it in but my out apiary ten miles away might as well be on another planet.
Sames here. My urban garden bees have done fantastically well on HB and ivy, but those at my rural out apiary have struggled since mid July. There seems to be no HB or Willowherb at all anywhere local to them - presumably wiped out by farmers and/or do gooders. The ivy has yielded a bit, but I've fed > 150 Kg of sugar over the past weeks. Some hives still feel a bit light so will need watching.
 

Dutchman 

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Just taken Apivar strips out and put on perspex crownboards and insulation for the winter. !4 out of 15 hives are heavy enough (30kg+) that I don't need to worry about them till March. Some had put on more than 5 kg from the ivy over the past week. All good!
 

BoStor 

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Just taken Apivar strips out and put on perspex crownboards and insulation for the winter. !4 out of 15 hives are heavy enough (30kg+) that I don't need to worry about them till March. Some had put on more than 5 kg from the ivy over the past week. All good!
Sorry if a stupid question but- do you use insulation for polly hives or is it just for wooden?
 

Wilco 

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Sorry if a stupid question but- do you use insulation for polly hives or is it just for wooden?
Poly hives are already insulated by virtue of the material so shouldn't need extra.
 

steve1958 

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I don't add any insulation to my polyhives.
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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Too many - but not nearly enough
At least it’s a void for feeding fondant.
Overwintred loads of Maisie's nucs in the past, never needed to put any fondant on them, usually end up pulling frames of stores out in the spring, if push comes to shove and it was a genuine emergency, there's about 5mm over the top bars in the old nucs so plenty of room to slap a thin slice of fondant on.
 

Beebe 

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Somehow it's escalated to seven.
I don't add any insulation to my polyhives.
I do on some of them. On this one it's also forms a ridiculously deep eke where I keep the feeder or fondant. I ought to cut the thing down but I'm reluctant to do that because one day I might really need the depth. I cover the feeder with insulated cushions and there's still enough room for a square of 25mm PIR above that, followed by the custom, 50mm PIR lid which replaces the Abelo roof for the winter.

I know it's overkill, but I like it and have the time and resources to do it. Feint praise...it's not doing them any harm ;) ; this is my strongest colony going into winter and the next best performer is just in a plain Abelo but has a 25mm PIR floor with an underfloor entrance arrangement...very cosy!. The only issue with that warm floor is that the bees have built one frame right down to touch it.

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Beebe 

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Somehow it's escalated to seven.
Today I removed Apivar strips from my six hives and got a slight sting on one finger.....only my second sting of the year**


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