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General Q&A, Bee chat and only Bee chat please
 #9692  by Chrisbarlow
 30 Dec 2020, 18:26
NigelP wrote:
30 Dec 2020, 14:53
Most hives (bar 2) nice and heavy, fondant added to the lighter ones.
I know checking my boxes, a small number of nucs needed some fondant but and I'm surprised at this, most are still weighing heavy which is great news considering the unseasonably warm weather.
 #9693  by Steve 1972
 31 Dec 2020, 13:31
I vaped the four hives in the garden apiary six days ago checked the inspection boards today and not a single mite has dropped...one is very small though and not touching the fondant..i had one the same last year that sadly did not make it due to badly mated bought in Queen..the 2020 Queen in this weak colony had laid a very small patch of brood when i last looked a few months back so things are not looking good for this one.
 #9698  by Alfred
 01 Jan 2021, 18:26
Neighbours finally finished their seasonal celebrations at 5am this morning- it sounded like the Helmand Province up until then.
šťastný nový rok to you too - ya noisy bstards.
Mrs A had to go to work so I left her Barry Manilow CD on repeat ,at full volume, and
bleary eyed I went up to the bees to give their final vaping.
Oh Mandy indeed .......:twisted:
Temps struggled to get above 3 degrees so it went on a bit thick-some frosty bees came out of a few of the hives to express their disappointment.
Any remaining mites would have had their day spoiled too so that's one upside.
Topped off with some homemade fondant as all boxes have tucked well into their stores with frosts every night for the last week or so.
I also put my homemade thermal wraps on the brood boxes to compliment the Kingspan slabs on top.
Broke the perspex on my vaping eke so that's on the repairs pile too now....
 #9803  by Steve 1972
 18 Jan 2021, 13:25
Saturday i did a quick visual inspection of the entrances of the five colonies at my main apiary site..three of them had the sun on them and doing mass orientation flights the two in the shade where quiet..
Today i checked the four nucs at another spot for fondant levels and all was ok with that..three of the nucs where looking well through the clear crown boards and to my surprise the weak colony that i thought the frosts would kill are still hanging on in there..you have got to hand it to them for there resilience and want to survive..
 #9804  by Alfred
 18 Jan 2021, 17:46
Certainly do Steve I have one that's down to a grapefruit size and still going despite temps all last week that didn't make it to 2degrees even at midday.
Me and Satans Little Helper have planted 300 trees and 2000 bulbs over the weekend,plus laid down 3 tons of crushed concrete.
So that's the wildlife and the vehicular access sorted for the next few years.
We warmed our hands this morning by slotting them under the hives in the OMF tray voids-!!!
 #9860  by NigelP
 24 Jan 2021, 17:31
Possibly unnecessary worrying... but one of my colonies is semi clustered away from the added fondant (Perspex crown board). They seem okay but hive is light, decided it was better if they had access to the fondant. Opened up very briefly (-4C here this morning) and moved fondant across and placed on top of cluster (10 seconds max).
A quick check a few hours later showed the fondant covered in bees.
Maybe the right thing to do, maybe not....
I won't know for sure until I can inspect and see if they had stores around them, but more likely they are sitting on a bit of brood and won't move.
 #9861  by Patrick
 24 Jan 2021, 18:01
Well, if it is wrong its exactly what I would have done as well. I think we are unnecessarily prissy about cracking open crownboards if there is a good reason to. Bees may use up a few grams more honey making up for the lost heat but they will starve if unable to forage for some weeks yet. There isn't a month of the year I haven't opened a hive if I think I need to. Most of the time you can't do much useful by taking out frames, so that's hardly an issue.

I have a consistently problematic colony that has clustered deep into the brood chamber and into the nadired super below. The whole box was poor taking down syrup and is vertically separated from the fondant I put on a while back. Its a bit of a puzzler as this time of year I am used to the clusters being up in the brood chambers or against the crownboard. I am hoping as the weather warms they will move around enough to find the fondant as otherwise they are in trouble. Any suggestions?
 #9863  by NigelP
 24 Jan 2021, 18:35
A possibility comes to mind....remove a frame next to bees (drastic I know) replace with a a frame filled with syrup.
 #9865  by Alfred
 25 Jan 2021, 15:16
After a sphincter shrinking journey over pack iced hilly lanes to get to the apiary
we found a Christmas card scene with three inches of snow covering everything including the hive roofs
The Kingspan ekes and thermal wrap is well worth the effort

Checked feed levels all doing ok except the 'village idiots' who were all dead.

Two years ago I would have been mortified but
a, I hadn't expected them to survive this long anyway -they were test guinea pigs.
b, I can finally bring the kit in for maintenance
c,that DNA is no longer in the gene pool
d, Im not having to waste any more time on them

It was like a scene from Where Eagles Dare out in the snow with all the white camouflage and treachery.
They don't call me Broadsword for nothing ,Heidi. :shock:
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