What did you do in the Apiary today?

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Went to the out apiary to check on status of two hives being united (one was weak & had failed to make a new queen). All good there…..
Second hive not so good - evidence of CBPV which is upsetting as I’ve been so careful with apiary hygiene…..
Confused bees wandering around on the outside of the hive and several shiny black hairless bees :(
The two hives are over three feet apart but guess I could still get drifting & a second infected hive?
I gather there is no real cure but sometimes it goes of it’s own accord?
Any sage words of advice)?
 

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Erichalfbee

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Went to the out apiary to check on status of two hives being united (one was weak & had failed to make a new queen). All good there…..
Second hive not so good - evidence of CBPV which is upsetting as I’ve been so careful with apiary hygiene…..
Confused bees wandering around on the outside of the hive and several shiny black hairless bees :(
The two hives are over three feet apart but guess I could still get drifting & a second infected hive?
I gather there is no real cure but sometimes it goes of it’s own accord?
Any sage words of advice)?
This


And this


 
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This


And this


Thanks Dani. That’s really helpful and a good read.
Interestingly this hive was a swarm I collected in June, so I don’t know the queens provenance. They were isolated and treated for varroa with OA.
The hives are on 18” stands but I don’t think floor removal is an option as there is a wasp nest somewhere nearby as there are a lot of wasps around the hive hence the wasp guards added (& multiple wasp traps outside the apiary area).
So it looks like requeening sounds the best option.
I have a lovely hive with a locally bred queen (definitely unrelated) so that’s the best bet I think. Hope there are still enough drones around…..
 

The Poot

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Thanks Dani. That’s really helpful and a good read.
Interestingly this hive was a swarm I collected in June, so I don’t know the queens provenance. They were isolated and treated for varroa with OA.
The hives are on 18” stands but I don’t think floor removal is an option as there is a wasp nest somewhere nearby as there are a lot of wasps around the hive hence the wasp guards added (& multiple wasp traps outside the apiary area).
So it looks like requeening sounds the best option.
I have a lovely hive with a locally bred queen (definitely unrelated) so that’s the best bet I think. Hope there are still enough drones around…..
You should be ok ref drones - there’s loads still coming and going at my hives and should be good till well into September.
 

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Gave all the lavenders a haircut to encourage a second flush for late Summer. All flower heads were “gone over”.
Didn‘t wear a suit......until I got pinged by something bee or waspish.
Then, suited up, spent some time next to the hives just enjoying the traffic to and fro. Wasn’t pinged again, so reckon it was a wasp.
There was noticeably less wasps around the hives today than heretofore. Perhaps someone close by has dealt with a nest?
 

Swarm

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My landlord does it again. Pulled 23 supers today, he had used two Porter escape boards, the rest are a mix of Poly Hive's corner half rhombus type or ordinary single hole rhombus. All have ekes below except the Porters and all had some bees left in the supers except for the Porters. It happens every year.
Colonies are still very big, it felt wrong to be removing supers rather than adding them.
 

The Poot

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My landlord does it again. Pulled 23 supers today, he had used two Porter escape boards, the rest are a mix of Poly Hive's corner half rhombus type or ordinary single hole rhombus. All have ekes below except the Porters and all had some bees left in the supers except for the Porters. It happens every year.
Colonies are still very big, it felt wrong to be removing supers rather than adding them.
Are you reducing the space and not fitting empty supers back on? I keep thinking with the colonies so big and the weather set fair, reducing the space could lead to swarming. I have five supers to remove, but just can’t decide when to do it. Also thinking that if I remove them now, as there is a dearth at present, am I going to need to start feeding this early? But if I don’t remove the supers, the bees may well consume it themselves! My head is going round in indecisive circles!
 

Erichalfbee

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Are you reducing the space and not fitting empty supers back on? I keep thinking with the colonies so big and the weather set fair, reducing the space could lead to swarming. I have five supers to remove, but just can’t decide when to do it. Also thinking that if I remove them now, as there is a dearth at present, am I going to need to start feeding this early? But if I don’t remove the supers, the bees may well consume it themselves! My head is going round in indecisive circles!
How much honey is in the brood and actually how many bees are in the capped supers?
 

drex

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Space is only a part of the swarming equation. They will only swarm if they are "well off"- plenty of stores and Drones etc.
I add space when clearing down, an eke or super, under the clearing board. I put supers back on for them to clean up and then take them all into storage.
Has never prompted a late swarm yet.
I ensure there are sufficient stores in the BB ( double brood).
If you want the honey and it is ready take it off. Then play it by ear, feeding if needed .
Of course all depends on where you are in country and local forage sources.
Instead of flying out into country mine are now flying into town
 

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Are you reducing the space and not fitting empty supers back on? I keep thinking with the colonies so big and the weather set fair, reducing the space could lead to swarming. I have five supers to remove, but just can’t decide when to do it. Also thinking that if I remove them now, as there is a dearth at present, am I going to need to start feeding this early? But if I don’t remove the supers, the bees may well consume it themselves! My head is going round in indecisive circles!
It was supposed to be a phased pull of the supers, we took mainly doubles today but one tall stack (splendid queen) we removed three and returned one. I know what you mean, I've never seen supers so full and heavy and there are bees right to the top, the clearers were absolutely full of bees.
Plans can change, though what they will forage next week in the sunshine I have no idea, I saw only bumbles on the Balsam, honey bees were more interested in the Hairy Willow Herb.
Any double brood colony still has at least two supers and three or more with single broods so they should still have room but the flow has ended here by August for at least the last four years, it was a couple of weeks earlier this year .... and now this.....
I'll watch what happens with the super we returned today, I found fresh eggs with a couple yesterday so no sign of a brood break just yet.
The last batch of supers will come off when when Ivy blooms and I assess feeding at that time but I'm not expecting to need to feed much this year.
 

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I’ve had another colony takeover, last week I put some cells out and checked a few nucs today to see the virgins. The first 1 I spotted eggs thinking laying and young larvae within the week was a little strange I found a great big fat black queen. Funny enough I’d noticed bees around the entrance some days ago and thought robbing as this box was made up from the cell raiser and moved to a new spot. That’s twice this year at home, I wonder how often it actually happens this 1 was at least successful. plus there’s obviously a local beek who’s loosing a lot of black queen swarms😂 judging by my bait hives.
 

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Thank you Dani, Drex and Swarm,
I’ll assess the capped supers and brood areas and make a decision next week.
Previous years here, I’ve not taken the supers off until the back end of August, but this year everything seems to be finishing early - forage wise that is. The hives are still very busy though. I half expect to need to remove the supers and add back empty ones temporarily before compressing the space down at the end of August.
Thanks again,
 

Erichalfbee

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I won’t know until I inspect this next week. Haven’t checked them this week.
My point was that once the flow is over I find few bees actually in the capped supers so reducing them down really isn’t a problem for me. I usually take the filers off the last week in august but I’m in a hurry this year so they are off next week. If I need to I will leave one super on till the brood nest reduces.
Masses of balsam but never get anything from that
 
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Checked on a lovely colony today, headed up by a queen from Jonathan Getty. Beautiful laying pattern and the bees were calm and very gentle. No smoke needed, just a gentle push with a finger to get them to move away from the edges of the nuc when closing up.
Strong smell of nectar/honey in the apiary today and the bees were returning to the hives heavily laden. No wasps spotted fortunately, however all the entrances were very busy, so they wouldn’t have stood much chance gaining access to the hives.
 

jenkinsbrynmair

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My point was that once the flow is over I find few bees actually in the capped supers so reducing them down really isn’t a problem
:iagree: popped over to clear one of my apiaries today as extracting was on hold (three hour power cut) one hive with five supers on had very few bees up there so didn't bother giving them an additional empty super and they will be down to one tomorrow.
 

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