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  • General Q&A, Bee chat and only Bee chat please
General Q&A, Bee chat and only Bee chat please
 #10901  by Steve 1972
 16 May 2021, 14:45
No inspections but the bees where piling it in yesterday and fairly active on the Apple and will cherry trees..I did notice a mole working in a field next to my hives which has started working under my hive stands..two traps put in so it is safe to say it is on borrowed time.. :roll: .
 #10903  by Patrick
 16 May 2021, 18:46
This weather is getting beyond a joke. Only had evening clear yesterday so tried to do my weekly inspection but was beaten back after two and half hives in the rain as bees were savage. Retired to lick my wounds and had another go this morning and just as bad but got all done between showers. Interestingly two were trying to swarm with sealed cells but queen still there (clipped). Deeply unpleasant - bees have hardly any stores and obviously everyone is high alert to their neighbour's having a go at robbing. Notably, a large colony on 10 Commercial frames of brood with two supers for space was incendiary yesterday I would have sworn was queenless it was so bad but no, queen there but not a scrap of food - any amount of smoke had little impact as they simply had not stores to load up on. Just shows how much a big colony raising lots of brood needs just to support itself before storing away a scrap of surplus and feeding has to be considered necessary when it is necessary, whatever the time of year.

A nuc has a nasty outbreak of sac brood. Used digital photos blown up on laptop to check for EFB just in case but pretty confident "only" sac brood. Afternoon trip to supermarket to buy sugar, having a tactical rethink and just going to concentrate on getting the bees through and forgetting even trying for a spring honey crop. Just have to roll with it and remember all the good years, can't win every time.
 #10911  by AdamD
 17 May 2021, 13:15
I had a chap come to the door yesterday asking if I had a small piece of beeswax. He wanted to rub it around a bait hive to attract a swarm and was disappointed that he had not caught a swarm in (just) a week. I explained that colonies are a month behind normal years and in East Norfolk or Suffolk, swarming is not on the agenda yet. He said that he had a spare super comb he could use and also had some lemon grass oil, so I explained that wax was probably not going to help much. Pray for better weather might give better results!

Although we should have a few reasonable days in the next week.
 #10915  by Bobbysbees
 17 May 2021, 18:17
Steve 1972 wrote:
16 May 2021, 14:45
.I did notice a mole working in a field next to my hives which has started working under my hive stands..two traps put in so it is safe to say it is on borrowed time..
I'm not sure if a mole skin waistcoat is proper beekeeping apparel but you could set a new fashion trend complete with Gold chain and watch. :lol:
 #10922  by MickBBKA
 17 May 2021, 23:54
Inspected 9 colonies today but then had to give up because of the biblical deluge that hit about 4.00pm. Sheep took shelter in the hen house, first time I have seen that, drove home at 20mph because the traffic couldn't see the road for the flooded roads, rain and spray. Not a single charged QC in any colony despite their size. The fishing syndicate that has the pond on the farm are worried because what is now a lake is dangerously close to meeting the beck and they will lose their prize carp. I have made 4 walk away nucs just to change out some old frames and give the queens space to lay. I have a theory that this year because the bees have probably had a reduction of about 75% flying time the numbers are so big because they are not working and being worn out. 4 weeks would be the life span at this time of year, I bet lots of these bees wear born in March. Temperature got to 14c before the rain hit, that's the highest I have seen it in May this year. The Swallows chicks have died in the barn. What a cruel year.
https://youtu.be/ewnPvaHaK70
 #10930  by JoJo36
 19 May 2021, 05:07
Looks a nice cosy nuc box!
I've just ordered one which has arrived and have never used a poly type before.
Actually feels sturdier than I assumed!
Weather still been terrible down here in Devon so thats a good news story for a change :)
 #10947  by AdamD
 20 May 2021, 15:56
Inspected some stocks yesterday, so much behind more normal years but doing OK - a couple have now gone onto double brood. I usually split them 5 frames over 5 frames. Bees were noticably tetchy as we had a thunderstorm approaching. I returned later in the day to finish my work and bees were much calmer.
 #10948  by JoJo36
 20 May 2021, 18:40
Hi Adam

Do you double brood to avoid swarming or just generally to get the colony to expand more?
I know some say they hardly get swarms with double brood??!!
 #10949  by NigelP
 20 May 2021, 18:44
Due to weather hadn't finished an full apiary inspection so went bac k again to my "bad girls" apiary before todays monsoons started. They new it was coming as very badly behaved and both colonies had charged queen cells. Bit the bullet and snelgrove method 2 was started. They were not amused and neither was I.
This is what happens when the local gene pool invades my nice calm bees and despite room/logic/or anything else they revert to annual swarming. A real PITA and difficult to requeen until I have some new queens to requeen them with!

And to answer your question Jojo both these are on double brood.
There are lot of depends about swarming regarding strains and genetics.
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