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General Q&A, Bee chat and only Bee chat please
 #8074  by NigelP
 30 Jun 2020, 17:35
Japey Edge wrote:
30 Jun 2020, 15:24

All being well that will mean I am running all buckfasts. Hopefully I won't need to purchase any more queens for a few years yet!
AS long as they have sufficient space you should be fine, but space is key....double brood minimum with these prolific queens. Some of my colonies are quite frightening at present, double brood 4-6 supers all rammed packed with bees and frames and frames of wall to wall sealed brood shortly to emerge....and yet more honey ready to extract. One of the benefits of a huge workforce.
I'm a bit concerned about the density of bees in quite a few of my hives it's way above what I consider "safe", but short of making increase (which I don't want) can't think of a way to reduce bee numbers.
If anyone needs bees to set up nucs let me know....I have A LOT to spare.
 #8078  by Steve 1972
 30 Jun 2020, 19:54
On the subject of Queens.. :roll: .. for every positive i have had this year i have had just as many negatives..in fact the worst year yet..
I checked a colony i united last week over news paper and air freshener and she is in there laying like a train..
I checked the hive next door with a supposedly laying Queen in there..on removing the supers to get to the brood box i spotted this super frame above the Queen excluder full of drone brood..

Image

This is the hive where the Queen vanished a couple of weeks ago and then reappeared with the virgin Queen disappearing so maybe she is getting through the excluder but why only drone brood..
When i did get to the brood box NO eggs and no Queen but three Queen cells which where knocked down to one yet again..
I went through a third colony that got a test frame last week but never produced any Queen cells..today i found Queen cells so i knocked them all down and united the colony with a laying Queen colony..
I went through a fourth colony and the bees are starting to dwindle..no eggs/larvae and border line for a Queen to be mated and get laying..
I went through a fifth and the same as above..
The last one i went through with a Virgin in there give me that feeling of winning the lottery..eggs and brood in all stages so i have managed to keep hold of one virgin Queen that got mated out of seven this year..
That gives me hope that i can make some nucs up with bought in Queens BUT not as many as i planned to do..not too worry anything is better than nothing..

To reflect back on this season so far..i came out of winter with seven strong colonies..after the spring flow.. i ended up with ten colonies..some with Queen cells and some with laying Queens in Nucs from artificial swarms..all the laying Queens are united now which gives me three strong colonies and one newly laying Queen colony..not what i wanted but better than nothing..
So this year i am going to go over board and go past my ten hive limit going into winter when i buy some mated Queens in..it might lessen my summer crop but it should boost next years crop if the poop does not hit the fan like this year..
 #8081  by NigelP
 30 Jun 2020, 21:03
It always hits the fan...every year......you get used to it. I'm bleeding off flyers from 2 hives that I'm pretty sure have unmated virgins in them...Reduce numbers, last look ,if can't find throw out and let them beg.
Killed a 2020 mated queen that wouldn't lay more than about 20 eggs per week....over a 4 week period.Duff
One possible success might be a hive with dwindling numbers but so calm and cool I was sure there was an unmated virgin in there.. Was about to relocate and bleed off, but one last look....small patch of eggs today....there is hope....unless drone layer.....otherwise throw out or bleed off the failures....Get used to some success and lots of failure..... It's an annual PITA.
The hives you don't notice are all the ones that just get on with the job.
 #8082  by Steve 1972
 30 Jun 2020, 21:33
NigelP wrote:
30 Jun 2020, 21:03
It always hits the fan...every year......you get used to it. I'm bleeding off flyers from 2 hives that I'm pretty sure have unmated virgins in them...Reduce numbers, last look ,if can't find throw out and let them beg.
Killed a 2020 mated queen that wouldn't lay more than about 20 eggs per week....over a 4 week period.Duff
One possible success might be a hive with dwindling numbers but so calm and cool I was sure there was an unmated virgin in there.. Was about to relocate and bleed off, but one last look....small patch of eggs today....there is hope....unless drone layer.....otherwise throw out or bleed off the failures....Get used to some success and lots of failure..... It's an annual PITA.
The hives you don't notice are all the ones that just get on with the job.
I was going to quote one part of your post as a positive..but your full post is spot on regarding positive and negatives ..no matter what we do the poop certainly hits the fan..unless we are naturals and never loose a swarm or a virgin Queen.. :roll: ..my main aim now is to get a bit more summer honey from any capped supers and expand..either way lets hope you get you beat the 2 ton mark.. ;) ..if you have not already done it..
 #8094  by thebeewhisperer
 02 Jul 2020, 11:04
As a new beekeeper following Wally Shaw’s methods, it was music to my ears to read your post below.

I have done part 1 oh the Snelgrove and am awaiting the day for part 2. I am doing the horizontal version with the old brood box on a new stand 5 ft away.

My question relates to what to do after I have raised a new queen and effectively completed the method. I started off with one deep brood box and one hive. I don’t want two hives. So:
1. When do I reunite and if I’m to do this every year how do I not go from single BB, to double, to triple as the years go by?
2. How do the flying bees find their way back to the hive if I move the brood box from the new stand back to the old stand as it’s more than 3 ft away? (5)

Thanks.

[i[/i]
Patrick wrote:
01 Jun 2020, 22:45
NigelP wrote:
On a more positive note, Snelgrove method 2 is sheer genius. All queen cells torn down in upper brood box....alas operator error meant loads of queen cells in lower box (should only be sealed brood in lower box)....so leave for another week before adding queen back downstairs.
As I am sure you know, putting some eggs in the bottom box and letting them raise emergency cells (which after you have left a bit you tear down prior to reinstalling the Queen) is the modification of Snelgrove 2 that Wally Shaw advocates, and which I now use as standard. I don’t know why the raising then destruction of the emergency cells seems to switch off the swarming urge in the downstairs part, but it reliably does.

I did several this year and in all cases the top half have raised a new mated Queen and the lower half has the old queen happily laying like a train. I was hurrying on one hive and simply put queen in lower half and brood and a foiled queen cell in upper a la a vertical Pagden. And as per usual, top half raised a new Queen and bottom part tried to swarm again (but I only physically lost the clipped queen). Reduced bottom part to a single cell and now waiting for that to come into lay also.

I keep on forgetting how rubbish conventional Pagden is. And yet every year it is parroted out on poor beginners. A small tweak a la Snelgrove and you something that actually works.
 #8095  by NigelP
 02 Jul 2020, 15:01
Even Snelgrove method 2 is not totally foolproof. Seems I must have missed a queen cell or two or three in the bottom box and had an enormous swarm issue yesterday. Fortunately it landed somewhere accessible and is now safely re-housed....presumably with virgin queen.

Bee Whisperer, why did you move your brood boxes apart? Sounds more like Pagden than Snelgrove.
Snelgrove Method 1 (swarm prevention) or Method 2 (swarm control) is a vertical method that means your bees (even after you unite) will find the hive as they are already attuned to its position. If height is an issue (and it can be) then side by side with the new box facing a different direction is all you need to do.

After you unite you can then go through your brood boxes and remove any frames without brood, or excess stores to get back to a single brood box. Of course you will have approx twice the number of bees and so will be constricting the space they have (or need) which may cause them to swarm again. Perhaps best to leave on double brood until autumn when you can return them to single brood....but be cautious this a judgement call based on the number of bees in your hive.
There are few certainties in this game.
 #8096  by NigelP
 02 Jul 2020, 15:13
Been doing more extraction with yet more to come. Was delighted to find that me and my stream knife are now up to about 6 supers extracted/spun/bucketed per hour. Wow what a time saver that has proved to be. It doesn't make your uncapping fork redundant as there are areas of capped comb that lie beneath it's reach (see photos below). Now my constriction in extracting is extractor time as I can uncap far faster than spin out.
Anyone with spare cash to burn should consider one.
https://www.abelo.co.uk/shop/uncapping-tables/uncapping-steam-knife/
Really good video of one in use on utube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Am1xeYZ1aUE
I want that extractor he is using.....LOL
This is how it works in my hands with a couple of before and after photos.

Image
 #8097  by Chrisbarlow
 02 Jul 2020, 16:38
Harvesting queens cells and distributing into nucs.
 #8106  by Japey Edge
 03 Jul 2020, 10:47
NigelP wrote:
30 Jun 2020, 17:35
Japey Edge wrote:
30 Jun 2020, 15:24

All being well that will mean I am running all buckfasts. Hopefully I won't need to purchase any more queens for a few years yet!
AS long as they have sufficient space you should be fine, but space is key....double brood minimum with these prolific queens. Some of my colonies are quite frightening at present, double brood 4-6 supers all rammed packed with bees and frames and frames of wall to wall sealed brood shortly to emerge....and yet more honey ready to extract. One of the benefits of a huge workforce.
I'm a bit concerned about the density of bees in quite a few of my hives it's way above what I consider "safe", but short of making increase (which I don't want) can't think of a way to reduce bee numbers.
If anyone needs bees to set up nucs let me know....I have A LOT to spare.
Cheers Nigel - I haven't checked on the out-apiary in over a week now. Last thing I did was give both hives a second brood box - so hopefully that will keep them busy. I have some empty wet supers which I will take over and give to them if there's a break in the weather today.

I'm wondering when to start my newspaper unite of the queenright nuc (introduced a week ago) to a queenless hive. Is about now good? I know you advocate air freshener method Nigel but I don't think we have any.
 #8107  by NigelP
 03 Jul 2020, 11:12
When in doubt use newspaper........it's almost foolproof...as is Air freshener as is heavy smoking before uniting (the bees that is not you :) )
I like knowing that there are several methods to achieve the same outcome and can chose which one to use depending on circumstances at the time. A lot of the time it's just a matter of gaining confidence that a different ,method works.
Any time is good for uniting Jaz, just do it.
I was at an out apiary to put clearer boards on when the heavens opened, a real torrential downpour with no end in sight. So I just got on with it....everything ended up fine.....apart me being totally drenched.
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