What did you do in the Apiary today?

Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum

Help Support Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.
Checked on the out apiary hives this morning as weather was dry and bright and not windy for a change.
Three hives had a good strong cluster of bees and had mostly munched through two takeaway trays of fondant so added three more each.
Two hives had dwindled to a small handful of bees and were under the fondant which was hardly touched.
All were in similar positions last month - lots of bees, all left a super of honey, brood boxes with plenty of stores, Apiguard treatments done early September and a couple of blocks of fondant for insurance.
Can only put it down to possible queen failure maybe?
Or Apiguard failure?
 
It’s similar technology but flat so it sits in a “wall” in the middle of the bottom box along with the other fan so that the air has to be blown/drawn around the boxes and not just sucked from the back of the fans. TBH it’s really too powerful and I think if I designed it again I would put a couple of 60w green house heaters in the bottom of the right hand side and have a couple of fans in the dividing wall.
 
too much space to heat may be a contributing factor - especially seeing the bees ended up huddled up at the topmost part of the hive.
Just so surprised to see how much they had dwindled from the last check when the cluster was a really good size. Should put them in a nuc but fear it’s too late now 😢
 
Is that a thing?
Probably not in so short a time frame, so I would favour queen failure in this case. I doubt the space has been an issue with such mild temperatures of late.
 
With this being the last moderately warm day forecast I decided to investigate the nuc I hefted and found very light recently.
I opened them up and found the middle 3 frames almost solid with bees but hardly and ounce of stores on the outside frames. (not much on the middle ones either!)
I decided that they stood more chance if they were in a insulated 3 frame nuc so I wedged the middle frames into my homemade nuc made from 50mm PIR and slapped a new lump of fondant on top. I'll keep topping up the fondant and see how they fair over the winter.
They have 2 chances .............
 
Not actually in the apiary but I made a few combs this evening ready for a Christmas fayre on Saturday.
IMG_2555.jpeg
I used some of the new boxes from Thornes and was pleasantly surprised by the quality. My only problem, some combs were a bit thick for the boxes and the lids touched the wax.
I’m please with the result and will order some more boxes now I’ve tried them.
 
Not actually in the apiary but I made a few combs this evening ready for a Christmas fayre on Saturday.
View attachment 38209
I used some of the new boxes from Thornes and was pleasantly surprised by the quality. My only problem, some combs were a bit thick for the boxes and the lids touched the wax.
I’m please with the result and will order some more boxes now I’ve tried them.
These look pretty good. Huw much do they weigh?
 
Moved a couple of hives to a new beekeeper. Her old hive was swept away when the River Bain decided to create a 20m gap in it's bank (it used to be a canal) during the recent floods. The lost hive apparently was a valiant little swarm that survived for days hanging from the arm of a garden chair before it was hived. They were doing well until the deluge. Poor little buggers.

BainFlooding.jpg


(Photo copied from L-CAT Facebook account)
 
Hefted colony’s today and fed some fondant , cleaned over 50 inspection boards ,jarred honey and collected pallets from Different apiary’s to winter them in the dry.
inspection boards show about half the colony’s are still brooding so I’m holding off for another week or two with my winter vape.
 
Having a real frost last night I realized my hives only had weren't adequately prepped for winters worst. I spent a couple of hours cutting up a "seconds" sheet of kingspan to make inserts for the crown boards and fitting them in close contact with the perspex. A few bees came up to the perspex to see what I was doing but none came out to investigate. All hives hefted reassuringly heavy ☺️
 

Attachments

  • 20231125_162721.jpg
    20231125_162721.jpg
    3 MB · Views: 0
  • 20231125_162736.jpg
    20231125_162736.jpg
    2.9 MB · Views: 0
  • 20231125_162750.jpg
    20231125_162750.jpg
    2.9 MB · Views: 0
Finally got a dry and reasonably warm day to get Apivar strips out of my hives. Was nervous of causing too much disruption but hopefully I haven’t done anything too stupid. Bees were fairly active even in the brief time the hives were open.
 
had a first season beekeeper turn up for a chat today, he contacted me a month ago on advice of his daughter to ask for advice on varroa control and bees in general, and I've been talking him through his first foray into vaping with a varrox. He had brought the two inspection boards from his hive down for me to look at/talk through so we chatted a while and he hefted a few hives at the home apiary, promised to cover up the feeder holes in his crown boards and spoke about top insulation.
the inspection boards have been in for a week and both hives are still showning strong lines of brood cappings as well as signs of them going through the stores.
he's eighty years old by the way!!
 

Latest posts

Back
Top