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Vergilius 

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First day of half term and it seems like winter has arrived down here in the south-east. Semi-frost last night and temperatures in single figures all day. Watched a few foragers brave the cold to get at the late ivy but not much activity in the apiary. As for me, not much left to do except installing mouse guards, removing a few ekes and bricking-down the roofs, then the bees are on their own until next spring.


Ben P
 

oliver90owner 

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not much left to do

I will have loads to do readying for next year as well as protecting what I already have. Rodents, larger mammals, woodpeckers, wax moth, varroa, disease, loss of queens, deadouts, weather checking (wind and snow mostly) and other things can all present a challenge or simply need to be monitored.

Recycling frame parts, wax extraction and cleaning, water sources for the bees, hefting (only later on for mine), checking/feeding nucs, checking entrances for dead bees.

Loads to do really. Never need to forget the beekeeping for long, even if the bees are quiescent in their clusters.

That's without the reading to keep up with developments, etc.

No, Ben, as a beekeeper there is always something to do?

Any expansion plans, new frames to knock up, even new hives or parts to make order or construct from flat packs?

Getting the drift?

What is the coming weather? They may be like mine - really busy in the sunny part today - and could be foraging intermittently for some time yet (but may not, of course).

Regards, RAB
 

victor meldrew 

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First day of half term and it seems like winter has arrived down here in the south-east. Semi-frost last night and temperatures in single figures all day. Watched a few foragers brave the cold to get at the late ivy but not much activity in the apiary. As for me, not much left to do except installing mouse guards, removing a few ekes and bricking-down the roofs, then the bees are on their own until next spring.
Ben P
Hard frost up here-3c.
Cold and very bright from dawn til dusk .
Prompted me to fit mouse guards this afternoon :)

John Wilkinson
 

Silly Bee 

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Sharp frost here too.

No sign of the ladies.

Put up a windbreak to ease the wind blowing across the alottment.
 

Vergilius 

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not much left to do

I will have loads to do readying for next year as well as protecting what I already have. Rodents, larger mammals, woodpeckers, wax moth, varroa, disease, loss of queens, deadouts, weather checking (wind and snow mostly) and other things can all present a challenge or simply need to be monitored.

Recycling frame parts, wax extraction and cleaning, water sources for the bees, hefting (only later on for mine), checking/feeding nucs, checking entrances for dead bees.

Loads to do really. Never need to forget the beekeeping for long, even if the bees are quiescent in their clusters.

That's without the reading to keep up with developments, etc.

No, Ben, as a beekeeper there is always something to do?

Any expansion plans, new frames to knock up, even new hives or parts to make order or construct from flat packs?

Getting the drift?

What is the coming weather? They may be like mine - really busy in the sunny part today - and could be foraging intermittently for some time yet (but may not, of course).

Regards, RAB



True, I was getting a little ahead of myself. I want to expand to 4/5 colonies next Summer so I should think about acquiring hive parts and bees. Forecasters are predicting a cold but thankfully dry winter this year. Last year my bees were still foraging in late November, even later the year before. But judging by the forecasts I think they may cluster slightly earlier this year.




Ben P
 
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beebreeder 

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Likewise, first frosted w/screens this morning and no sign of bees at least when I was at home, probably remove all liquid feeders this w/end and then start the seemingly endless job of cleaning them all and causing trouble indoors as the family seem to have taken a dislike to the smell of thymol, its fondant as and when needed from now on.
kev
 
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victor meldrew 

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Sharp frost here too.

No sign of the ladies.

Put up a windbreak to ease the wind blowing across the alottment.
Remember last Winter :)
All came though and went quickly into swarming mode :ack2:




John Wilkinson
 

Silly Bee 

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Had no bees last Spring John, I have two new queens in residence, and the old queen from one of the hives.

I fully expect a swarm as soon as the weather picks up, just a matter of catching them before they wander off.

It will be a testing few days/weeks.

I have a WBC waiting to house them.
 

Vergilius 

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Had no bees last Spring John, I have two new queens in residence, and the old queen from one of the hives.

I fully expect a swarm as soon as the weather picks up, just a matter of catching them before they wander off


Don't let them go; revise the artificial swarm over Winter and do it the minute you see a queen cell. It is a much safer technique than letting them go in the hope that they will swarm onto something where you can catch them. I did the latter last summer and they swarmed onto a high branch of an oak tree- no chance of me ever catching them.



Ben P
 

Silly Bee 

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Don't let them go; revise the artificial swarm over Winter and do it the minute you see a queen cell. It is a much safer technique than letting them go in the hope that they will swarm onto something where you can catch them. I did the latter last summer and they swarmed onto a high branch of an oak tree- no chance of me ever catching them.



Ben P
Yes Ben, thats what I'm hoping to do. but you know how it is, "Best laid plans of mice and men"
 

Silly Bee 

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Same here just down the road Pete.

Frost took the Dahlias on the alottment, oddly the ones in my front garden are fine.
 

madasafish 

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-CC Wedbesay, 4C am today, then bright sun and bees collecting yellow pollen.

Fitted home made wooden mouseguards.

Two new TBHs on stocks for winter build... Plans to double to 4 hives next year...Lots of gardens /fields here with no honey bees seen but mine.. Nearest beekeeper 1 mile away..afaik
 

jezd 

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Fitted home made wooden mouseguards.
but dont the mice just eat the wood to gain entry? that why mouse guards are metal usually

bees busy today, another cold snap early next week and then it warms up
 

oliver90owner 

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madasafish,

What were/are the construction and fitting details?

I would think two blocks together and holes cut along the join @14mm diameter would likely suffice (7mm high semi-circles). Thickness would be relevant to chewability, as would hardness, so any attack would be obvious, possibly before entry is achieved, if thickness is generous.

BTW, I was wondering whether the normal entrance to a TBH was positioned in a wide steep, negative angled face, to prevent rodents even approaching the entry hole(s), so no mouse guards are needed?

Regards, RAB
 

steve1958 

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My morning started with ice on the pond and temperatures below freezing.
No sign of the Bees until around 11am when the weather warmed.
However by 2pm they were as busy as Bees,
With a steady stream of pollen being taken into the Hive.

As the Hives were quiet I decided to do some work on my shed. I caught the sun a little. And now have a red nose!

All in all, an enjoyable day :cheers2:
 

madasafish 

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madasafish,

What were/are the construction and fitting details?

I would think two blocks together and holes cut along the join @14mm diameter would likely suffice (7mm high semi-circles). Thickness would be relevant to chewability, as would hardness, so any attack would be obvious, possibly before entry is achieved, if thickness is generous.

BTW, I was wondering whether the normal entrance to a TBH was positioned in a wide steep, negative angled face, to prevent rodents even approaching the entry hole(s), so no mouse guards are needed?

Regards, RAB
I have constructed a mini rectangle of wood - about 1cm thick all round holes on sides and front, top solid- and placed it on the hole. It's wider and higher than the entrance hole so provides no impedance to bees . 10mm drill holes.. and with wood width easy for bees to enter without losing pollen.
Photos to be taken: attached today in a hurry as the weather was brightening and guard bees came out to play..:)

End entrances on my TBHs and landing strip so in theory a mouse could clamber up a leg, and climb on landing strip and in full view of local foxes knaw a hole...

It's glued using gorilla glue so quite strong. Easy to see if mice attack them...
 

oliver90owner 

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I think a mouse will not need to gnaw any material away to gain entry with a 10mm hole. They will squeeze thhrough fairly easily!

Regards, RAB
 

blackbrood 

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very cold this past few days in Yorkshire. Not seen much of the bees but I am gearing things up a notch in the garage making boxes, roofs, floors and some bait hives/nucs. So I intend to be busy all Winter.
 

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