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ferretgirl 

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I am the worlds worst bee keeper!

My whole colony has died! I'm absolutely gutted!

I gave them food, a bit of insulation in the roof, but bviosly that wasn't enough, I've obviously made some stupid rookie mistake and killed them all!

I have no idea why they've died, unless it's some disease! There's honey in the supers still, so they had their own food too! There aren't that many bee's inside though, so I wonder if maybe the queen was dead or just missing and therefore no new bee's to take the place of the old bee's?? I don't know!

I feel I've let down all bee keepers everywhere, I tried to do my bit for the bee population and I failed miserably!

Alas I shall try again though!
 

Poly Hive 

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It's no consolation but it happens.

Please don't give up at this time, instead think of what went wrong, what it might have been, (as you have) and get going again.

PH
 

oliver90owner 

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worlds worst bee keeper

Simply not true.

If you have left them covered and warm with lots of stores, that is all you could reasonably have done.

It happens. Easy to lose one colony - and if it was the only colony you have, your losses are 100% immediately.

May be worth going back to the vendor. He may be willing to help you get re-started? He may have a conscience and has realised some of his bees were not in the best shape, health-wise. I would not contemplate selling a colony in October, unless I was packing in beekeeping.

I think we could all expect you to persevere - you don't seem like the type to give up at the first hurdle. Wish you better luck this year.

Regards, RAB
 

ferretgirl 

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Thanks for your support guys!

No it wasn't a swarm, I bought a full colony about October time last year because the guy was giving up beekeeping.

Have any of you any experience of buying nucs from places like these:
welshhoney
Easy bee

Or are there any more that you would recommend?? I'm willing to travel a few hours each way to pick up from breeders/farms!

As you said RAB, it was my one and only hive, so I've lost everything, but I'm thinking this time I should buy 2 (as long as the owners of the farm agree)!

Thanks again guys!
 
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Poly Hive 

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Save your money lass, buy one and then we can tell you how to make it two.

Be a beekeeper, cut costs. ;)

PH
 

Onge 

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If you got them in october. They should have been ready to go through the winter.

Sorted by the previous owner.
 

mbc 

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Have any of you any experience of buying nucs from places like these:
welshhoney
Easy bee

Or are there any more that you would recommend?? I'm willing to travel a few hours each way to pick up from breeders/farms!



easy ... sell nucs with imported queens still in their cages- at least thats how they were arriving last season- not even introduced yet !
Personally I'd go for a proper nuc with a queen belonging to it - far more likely to succeed
 
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Yes absolutely, I've done nothing with mine since October save Oxalic acid in December and Fondant in last few weeks. Obviously a dodgy colony when you bought them and not your fault

Best to go into the winter with more than one colony

You haven't let anyone down its all a learning curve.
 

grizzly 

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It happens Ferretgirl, i have two colonies currently being obliterated by Nosema, possibly a third when Admin runs the test.

I blamed myself too, plenty of stores, strong colony before winter, the long winter has not helped matters, but you must not blame yourself particularly when you did as all of us do. Sometimes its down to nature despite our attempts at management.

Can your local beekeepers supply you with some bees ? get local ones, avoid the imports.
 
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mbc 

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Its worth remembering that some species, blue tits for example, had their populations crash by up to 80% over the winter. Nature is as cruel as she is kind
 

victor meldrew 

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Nature isn't cruel, neither is she Kind .
SHE is totally indifferent !!.

John Wilkinson
 

ferretgirl 

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Unfortunately our local beekeeper group can't supply any, I did a course with them last year and they were unable to supply any of us with bee's then.

I'll put a post on the 'bee's wanted' bit on here and see if anyone knows of any local breeders/suppliers.
 

warts 

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but I'm thinking this time I should buy 2 (as long as the owners of the farm agree)!

Thanks again guys!
Really sorry to hear about the bees! I can fully appreciate what you are going through, as I am still nervous about mine making it (a few weeks left I think before I will relax I think).

Though I have yet to earn my beekeeping spurs (and therefore may not really be qualified to answer your post) I will say just get one nuc to begin with. I got my nuc in early May last year, and by June they had swarmed and I had then two hives! Two for the price of one ! OK I admit though I originally only wanted one hive to begin with (didn't want too much to cope with in the first year as all so very alien to what I had done before), my heart sunk a little when they swarmed. Yes, I repeat, my heart sunk (in part because I missed the signs, and secondly because I was very worried I wouldn't cope with two hives). But I think you are absolutely right...two is best. If nothing else it is really good to see the differences between the two hives in terms of growth, behaviour, and even what they bring in (late last summer they were often bringing in different pollen even though the hives are only about 50ft away from each other. So, take heart, look forward and not backward, (given the number of possible variables involved I suspect the most experienced of beekeepers lose hives occasionally through no fault of their own) and get ready for that swarm!
 

oliver90owner 

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Warts,

Tell us a little more about your colonies, hives and honey crop last year. Or maybe take note that WBCs are simply too small for some strains of bee, so they could be swarming quite early again.

Are you on a single brood of ten frames? If so, you might consider brood and a half (messy IMO) or double brood (still messy, but better) or a 14 x 12 brood, or even fit in a National 14 x 12. Your second colony is likely to supercede before swarming (as she has swarmed once already), but not definite, of course.

You may have worked all this out already, but I feel this info may be useful for new beeks reading the thread.

Regards, RAB
 

warts 

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Warts,


Are you on a single brood of ten frames? If so, you might consider brood and a half (messy IMO) or double brood (still messy, but better) or a 14 x 12 brood, or even fit in a National 14 x 12. Your second colony is likely to supercede before swarming (as she has swarmed once already), but not definite, of course.

Regards, RAB

You are quite correct RAB (re box size). At least I think you are. Following the swarm I quickly needed a new hive (having built one out of an old bookcase as a temporary measure until I could get to the shop to buy another [and here lies another tip about having spare equipment]). I bought a national hive (partly because they had it in and I was desperate to buy something that was fit for purpose, but also because I realised that the brood box in the WBC may be a little too small). However, by the end of the summer both hives (WBC and national) were looking pretty short of space, well they did in IMHO, though the new queen in the WBC seemed not quite as productive as the queen now housed in the national. In the end I decided to take control a little more and got a 14x 12 for both hives. In truth, I do prefer the WBC, not for the looks, but because I can't get it out of my head that two walls are better than one for helping regulate the heat. I know that I am more than likely wrong, but can't help making the connection when I think about the properties I have lived in in the past.

In terms of honey...well, I shall be honest, that all went horribly wrong as well. I found myself in a rape area. And when I say rape area, I mean ever field (bar one that had potatoes in) that I could see within for miles of was rape rape rape. I took my frames out in time (a least I did that shake test and it seemed like it was the right time), but then the extractor that I was going to use didn't come in time and it all crystallised in the frames (four and 3/4 supers in total).

In a positive note they are seldom moody apart from when there was what seemed to be a veritable army of wasps hanging around for about a fortnight in September. And more importantly I am now armed with two spare hives for this year, and am now far more organised (I hope) with the extractor

I am hoping that rape is a crop that is rotated (do farmers still rotate crops?).

Thanks for your input, without doubt I have learnt more from reading posts and responses on these forums than I have from books. I now just have to make sure I can put it into timely practice in the future


Regards

Warts
 

ferretgirl 

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I'm going to clean out the hive this week and get it all sorted for another colony, am I right in thinking I should give it the once over inside with a wee blowtorch?? Should I throw the whole frames out or just the foundation??

There's a bit of honey inside, should I just chuck that too or can it be kept........or am likely to kill myself if they did die of some disease........think I may have answered my own question there......but always good to ask anyway!
 

grizzly 

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I know that I am more than likely wrong,

No need for the self doubt, i have been the same, but very quickly realised that within the realms of Beekeeping, there is no sure hard and fast way of doing any one thing, the vast majority of books available are old and things change, some equipment is new, the climate is changing, even the bees are moving on.

Your thought makes sense, and many swear by the insulation a wbc provides.

Hope the bees pull through.
 

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