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  • General Q&A, Bee chat and only Bee chat please
General Q&A, Bee chat and only Bee chat please
 #6005  by Chrisbarlow
 20 Mar 2020, 16:52
Making up frames, stopped when I ran out of foundation. Need to order more
 #6043  by AndrewLD
 24 Mar 2020, 14:36
Today was the day I always face with some trepidation; the splitting of the brood boxes from their under-supers. The hope is that they come away cleanly, are cleaned out and aren't full of brood..... Got away with it once again, supers empty but brood boxes far too heavy so next inspection I'll be swapping out stores bound boxes to give them room. I don't try to do it all in one go that's too much to expect of them:
My grateful thanks go to:
- The beekeeper who advised keeping wooden wedges in the tool bucket so I could prise apart frames glued to those above.
- The beekeeper who invented the stainless steel 10-inch razor sharp J-tool that slices through anything - pity I have forgotten where I bought it.
- My bees, who tolerated all this messing around without a single one having a go and that includes the hive that had to be wedged open for 5 minutes while I cut away the brace comb.
 #6046  by NigelP
 24 Mar 2020, 16:31
Yup, first inspections 16C (brief inspections) except one I had laid fondant over the frames and it had dried out and set like a rock. Hammer and "J" tool. They were as good as gold....which is surprising as I found they were queenless.
One drone layer....so all 12 garden hives survived but reality is with 2 casualties.
Tomorrow will be going to out apiary to make sure what is going on there. I am expecting one casualty which was a dwindling hive around Xmas time....we shall see.

Notes to myself on using poly hives DO NOT FEED as much syrup in winter. It's easier to add fondant than to move out all the store bound brood frames. One double brood had 7 solid frames of unused stores removed from top box and replaced with drawn comb....(Gawd knows what I will find in the bottom box). I also bruised several areas which hopefully they will free up by next inspection.

Second note to myself. Whilst all colonies have some pollen it is probably the restricting factor in spring expansion. Must take the plunge and buy yet another deep freeze and freeze 2 summer pollen clogged frames per hive overwinter so I can add to hives in spring.
 #6048  by Japey Edge
 24 Mar 2020, 17:21
I refrained from inspecting today despite it being the warmest in a long time at 15 degrees. If it's nice tomorrow I might. I hefted today and found them as heavy as they have consistently been throughout winter. I expect I'll be removing some frames jammed full of stores and keeping them for next winter.

Think I'll set up a bait hive and another hive stand tomorrow too.
 #6049  by AndrewLD
 24 Mar 2020, 17:37
Japey Edge wrote:
24 Mar 2020, 17:21
Think I'll set up a bait hive and another hive stand tomorrow too.
Excellent paper on bait-hives from Cornell University:
https://pollinator.cals.cornell.edu/sites/pollinator.cals.cornell.edu/files/shared/documents/Bait%20Hives%20for%20Honey%20Bees_accessible1.pdf

Always successful and a smidgeon of lemongrass. Watch with wonder as scout bees find it and over the days take it over. I even predicted a swarm's arrival almost to the day - sadly - it turned out to be one of mine :oops:
 #6057  by Alfred
 24 Mar 2020, 20:52
Hit 19c today- tea in a cocktail glass with poncy umbrella and little finger held out.
Rotovated the ground that less than a week ago I was sinking in to

Hives very busy outside and in, with OLYMPIC class bracecombing going on- I observe beespace so why cant they??
 #6059  by Steve (The Drone)
 24 Mar 2020, 22:17
Tomorrow is 1st proper inspection day. I've come through with 4 out of 5 hives and the one I lost should have been merged at the end of August. My fault.
Today I've been trying out the Thornes Steamer. At 107 quid it seems expensive but you can't buy a steam generator much cheaper. Results as follows!
When used on a single super full of tatty frames it very quickly cleans it and the wax is recovered in a good clean state. The muck is left behind and can be scraped out.
Two supers or a single brood chamber then it works ok but takes longer.
A 12x14 brood chamber is about the limit, steam rises don't it and the wax doesn't flow out but remains inside.
Am I happy with it? A blow torch is quicker but I now have a lot more clean wax to exchange. And everything has been sterilised. Don't know if we should be reviewing products on this forum, maybe I'll be dropped from Thornes' mailing list.We
Steve.
 #6061  by AndrewLD
 25 Mar 2020, 07:54
I am waiting to try my Thorne's Easi-steam, which I bought at the same time as a Kochstar wax/honey melter - and that is an ace piece of kit that is very efficient at melting granulated honey (I bought the insert, which give more flexibility).

I am guessing here but I think for the bigger jobs using the EasiSteam you need to insulate the top cover and possibly the brood box as well. Try one of those close cell sleeping mats from Sports Direct - I have found them very useful and they are cheap.
 #6064  by NigelP
 25 Mar 2020, 08:59
My Easy steam (National size) is up for sale if anyone is interested. It works but not very well and certainly not in the colder months of the years. As Andrew suggests you need to insulate it to get it to work more efficiently.
I've also found that regardless of what method you use to heat remove wax from frames (solar melter excepted) you nearly always end up with wax remaining between the two bottom bars. Meaning you still have to dismantle the frames and scrape the damn stuff out before adding new foundation. I'm not really seeing a big gain in time saving with these steamers.
Knowing I have to scrape at some point I scrape the lot, collect. Use an old hessian tesco/Lidl shopping bag tied around a large bucket to form a small bowl, put several pounds of wax and gunk in there and use heated cabinet at 80C (or oven overnight). Result is nice filtered wax that is ready for most uses.
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