What have you learned (bee keeping) this year?

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Wingy

Field Bee
Joined
Mar 20, 2017
Messages
752
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Location
Wigan, Lancashire
Hive Type
Langstroth
Number of Hives
21
Personal experiences or personally witnessed. Not something you heard 2 or 3 times so must be true or something a mate told you who heard from someone who’s been keeping bees for years.

my experiences learned

1) it is possible to reduce the moisture content of honey by mixing it with lower moisture content and leaving open with a dehumidifier
2) bees don’t always know best.
After re queening a nasty hive, successfully, they immediately tried to supersede. I knocked down the cells twice so they threw the Q out failing to make a new one. They then ignored 2 x test frames and ended up a doomed colony with a laying worker.
3) bees do store fondant, while cleaning out a number of frames came across one stuffed with fondant .
4) the 8 frame Lyson extractor is a pain to clean as you have to release the cage from underneath then take care not to get water in the bearing housing
 
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First full year of beeking so too much to mention but I did learn:

Not to hang around, an inspection can be quick and still be calm and complete.
Write notes on a hive as soon as you're done or you will *not* remember them next time
 
Relearning from an episode in 1974: if you bodge any manoeuvre after dark, eg. Closing a hive up for transfer, the bees will be mega-angry and wreak revenge. Both episodes occurred when not properly suited up.....
 
if you bodge any manoeuvre after dark, eg. Closing a hive up for transfer, the bees will be mega-angry and wreak revenge.
I’m taking note of that
We have two colonies on the potting shed roof. They are being moved against a wall and closed up tonight while an Ash tree adjacent to the shed is felled tomorrow.
Travel screens in place already.
 
I’m taking note of that
We have two colonies on the potting shed roof. They are being moved against a wall and closed up tonight while an Ash tree adjacent to the shed is felled tomorrow.
Travel screens in place already.

It’s difficult to exaggerate their ferocity, made worse by not being able to see them in the dark
Good luck!
 
I learned that it's best to catch queens in mating nucs in cooler weather/ early morning, because on hot sunny afternoons they often decide to fly off. Also, I now spray the frame with the queen on with water before picking her up.

Also, I discovered that my main apiary/HQ is going to be destroyed by 2 new railways in future (one being HS2). Plenty of time to move them and I wonder if it will ever happen.
 
I learned that it's best to catch queens in mating nucs in cooler weather/ early morning, because on hot sunny afternoons they often decide to fly off. Also, I now spray the frame with the queen on with water before picking her up.

Also, I discovered that my main apiary/HQ is going to be destroyed by 2 new railways in future (one being HS2). Plenty of time to move them and I wonder if it will ever happen.
Hi and welcome back :)
Maybe the rest of HS2 will be abandoned?
 
I learned that the success rate with mating nucs can be very dependent on where they are located - attached to stands on large trees in woodland much better than an open plot a little over a mile away. 75% vs 20%.
 
It’s difficult to exaggerate their ferocity, made worse by not being able to see them in the dark
Good luck!

A head torch with red light setting helps... You can see but they can't. Slight tactical advantage that helps if they start to escape.
 
2) bees don’t always know best.
After re queening a nasty hive, successfully, they immediately tried to supersede. I knocked down the cells twice so they threw the Q out failing to make a new one. They then ignored 2 x test frames and ended up a doomed colony with a laying worker.
3) bees do store fondant, while cleaning out a number of frames came across one stuffed with fondant .

2. Very true. It happens to me quite a lot. You give them every possible chance and they selfishly do some thing else!

3. Yes they do. I found this out some years ago. It scared the living daylights out of me, until I realised it was not a chalk-brood infection!
 
Another one learned - wax moth don’t restrict themselves to brood frames.
After extraction I let the bees clean the frames / supers then left them stacked ready for storage. I put all my drawn frames in an old chiller & torch / scrub all my boxes.
This morning a number of frames have wax moth all over them. Now scraped off the first batch & into the chest freezer for a couple of days
 
After extraction I let the bees clean the frames / supers then left them stacked ready for storage. I put all my drawn frames in an old chiller & torch / scrub all my boxes.
This morning a number of frames have wax moth all over them.
That was your mistake, stored wet in the supers, they're left alone - I've even overwintered a stack of brooded deeps after a Demarree, stored wet and they were fine for use in the spring.
I see no point in scrubbing and torching the boxes every season unless you've had disease.
 

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