What did you do in the Apiary today?

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The Poot 

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First swarm call of the year for me. Quite early, around 1030. The weather was bad here yesterday so wonder if they were delayed.

Funnily enough, just over the road from where I collected two swarms last year.

10 points if you can spot the queen below!
View attachment 31946
I achieved 10 points after six run through.👍
 

Badgers bees 

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As I'm in Ireland I don't have much choice due to the AMM preference of most ( which is fine ).

Only 4 "breeders" of Buckfast I know of here and these will be my first two from their particular stock.

Went a bit OTT on buying brood and super frames today and picked up some Poly National Hive Roofs too which were at a decent price. Something to keep me busy next weekend.
Any where near Ardfert, Banna.
 

Wilco 

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Extracted 3 supers, not weighed them all but about 20kg total plus a bucket from the other day. Already well ahead of this time last year. Three of the supers are from the Northumberland Honey Buckfast queen colony that had the failed Demarree- quite chuffed with her. Just think what they could have accomplished had the Demarree worked! Still, good start but plenty could change for season averages yet.

Inspected the swarm from my parents' garden- suspect cast/VQ as no eggs yet but did spot her. The foundation helpfully had pulled a wobbly which meant the comb is a mess already. Will check the prime swarm in the bait hive tomorrow.
 

Moobee 

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Checked nuc 1 and the queen is laying well but still ok for space.... although not for much longer I suspect so will need to be hived shortly.
Took the plastic tab off the cage of the Payne's local queen in hive 1 - bees were gently round the cage (introduced yesterday morning) and fanning so looks promising.
Did a split of hive 2 into a 2 x 3 frame nuc with a cut out QC each and frames of brood & stores and left the hive with a nice sealed QC and some drawn frames.
Had a quick heft of hive 3's supers and decided to clear 2 tonight to extract tomorrow. Think it's a mix of OSR and other forage as OSR was quite late flowering here (it's only just gone over) so hopefully will be fairly easy to extract. If not, i'll be using a hammer and chisel tomorrow....
 

Nannysbees 

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Extracted 3 supers, not weighed them all but about 20kg total plus a bucket from the other day. Already well ahead of this time last year. Three of the supers are from the Northumberland Honey Buckfast queen colony that had the failed Demarree- quite chuffed with her. Just think what they could have accomplished had the Demarree worked! Still, good start but plenty could change for season averages yet.

Inspected the swarm from my parents' garden- suspect cast/VQ as no eggs yet but did spot her. The foundation helpfully had pulled a wobbly which meant the comb is a mess already. Will check the prime swarm in the bait hive tomorrow.
Can I ask why the Demarree failed?
 

Nannysbees 

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They made swarm preps in both boxes after a couple of weeks. Not sure if I did it too late or they just did too well.
Exactly what happened to us, we have just bought a queen as the other one disappeared but if they swarmed they left a huge amount of bees behind!!!!!
 

JamezF 

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Inspections at my home apiary today were curtailed by sudden torrential rain. I really don't know what to make of one of my colonies though. I suspected it was queenless at my first inspection this year and I'm not seeing any reason to believe otherwise now. They've also gone from relatively placid to really quite feisty. No headbanging or stinging, but a few followed me for fifty-odd yards from the apiary until I got irritated and squished them.

The odd thing is that there are really still quite a lot of bees in the colony whereas I'd expect to have numbers dwindling quite significantly by now given that I believe they're all over-wintering bees.

I'm a bit pushed for time tomorrow and Friday, but I'm tempted to make one more inspection to see if there's anything I can have missed. Perhaps a separate thread is a better choice for discussing options there.

James
 

masterBK 

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Pulled V queen run into one of my colonies at the out-apairy last week seems to have been accepted OK. Yesterday while I reducing the number of queen cells in Demaree tops from an average of three to one (probably not necessary but I do like to choose the largest cell) I heard the noise of an incoming swarm which subsequently entered one of my several bait hives I have there. Bees were very dark much darker than those I keep. Honey still pouring in so will need to extract this spring honey soon before I run out of empty supers.
 
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Swarm 

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Managed to get around most of the colonies that have not made any preparations, some double brood, some single. Every single box has brood to the hive wall and are rammed with bees but still just the odd cup. Realised one double brood had not been inspected for twelve days but no need to worry other than this lot are a nuisance for drawing messy comb.
 

enrico 

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Extracted a couple of boxes of bargeman's cabbage! A lovely light honey but I reckon it will set quickly. Thanks for the name #pansypots
 
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Inspected a tiny swarm collected 3 days ago. 1 frame of bees, if that. Drawing empty queen cups in desperation so, as I suspected, obviously not in a sustainable position. Shook them off their frame and placed them in front of another nuc, containing a large swarm from 2 days ago, and they all walked in gratefully
 

Wilco 

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All colonies checked. OSR definitely ending/ended as worst behaviour this year, quite twitchy. Did improve as the day went on.

Sadly seem to have missed something with a colony I moved last week- normal inspection last Thurs, moved them in the evening and they appeared to have swarmed a day or two ago. No idea how I missed that and a shame as they'd rocketed from a tiny size at the end of Winter.

Otherwise ok although one colony I just requeened with a new virgin a couple of weeks ago is on four frames and making swarm preps. Ridiculous!
 

Erichalfbee 

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Inspected a tiny swarm collected 3 days ago. 1 frame of bees, if that. Drawing empty queen cups in desperation so, as I suspected, obviously not in a sustainable position. Shook them off their frame and placed them in front of another nuc, containing a large swarm from 2 days ago, and they all walked in gratefully
Ah......sweet! :love:
 

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