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General Q&A, Bee chat and only Bee chat please
 #10731  by JoJo36
 01 May 2021, 05:37
Never used a snelgrove board but sounds good when you are running out of space!

Does it matter which box goes where as I've heard some say fish out queen on one frame and put her in new brood box otherwise empty on existing site catching flying bees yet others say put her above existing one with entrance same direction and other box remaining on same site with entrance changed??!!
The whole business of opening and closing doors sounds too complicated for me??!!
 #10733  by JoJo36
 01 May 2021, 06:33
just had a further thought! I suppose its easier to put queen in box underneath snelgrove with entrance in exactly same place as it makes it easier to check the upper box for any new queen cells they could try to make?!!
I've ordered a snelgrove to try to get myself organised!!

Could I keep the two colonies like this long term (I'm still thinking of space)??!!
 #10734  by Patrick
 01 May 2021, 10:29
In short JoJo, yes you can and there are several methods that do that but there can be logistical issues down the road with very high stacks and dealing with individual colonies trying to swarm etc.

Two queen systems reportedly can produce massive colonies and huge crops but...have never been popular and there are good reasons why.

I do overwinter two colony splits on the same stack quite often however.
 #10735  by JoJo36
 01 May 2021, 11:11
Thanks Patrick

I suppose better to unite them eventually rather than getting a higher stack especially if I'm not exactly tall although not quite a midget!!
 #10737  by Patrick
 01 May 2021, 13:51
You don’t have to be a midget fir a beekeeping stack to run away with you 😁.

Had the pleasure of a warm, sunny and largely windless daytime opportunity to check bees just for once. Only managed one inspection in late April - all the weather when I was available was impossible. Was rewarded with significant expansion of most colonies although supers are still generally light. Two queenless colonies end March now have laying queens but will miss the spring flow. I was concerned whether they would get mated as few drones seen then and weather here had been freezing and windy all April.

Typically, the only colony I couldn’t find the queen to mark and clip end March, had sealed cells and gone by my next opportunity to see them a week ago (if had clipped her, I would have lost the queen but still had the bees). They were in a commercial box and two supers so plenty of space but obviously Mrs ran out of laying room.

I am annoyed with myself for not being more ruthless and just checking even if it was a constant freezing hooley. Oh well.. her daughter is not laying yet but lots of polished cells so cross fingers.
 #10738  by JoJo36
 01 May 2021, 17:37
Sounds more positive overall than negative!

Blimey yours look as though they are building up to what could be a fantastic honey crop:)

Mine are mixed!!

Hive 1 okay so far.....

Hive 2 had a supercedure cell but queen laying and plenty of eggs and brood, so, I had a bright idea of taking out charged queen cell and placing in my nuc letting the bees in the hive make another queen cell if queen really is dodgy??!!
I added nurse bees and a frame of brood and food and have fed them. Found about 15-20 dead bees floating in syrup as they managed to get in cover board with hole not covered by me despite roof on:( I don't reckon they will make a queen as the weather has been totally naff and cold but hey ho you never know??!!

My farmers hive developed a split in brood box about half a centimetre wide top to bottom so decided to do a shook swarm!! I have put a feeder on and a frame of eggs so not sure if I shook an unmated queen out or whether they will build a cell??! The sealed cell I had was half torn down, but not sure if queen emerged and they pulled down rest!! Lots of bees so I'll take a check when a warmer day. Been cold down south for a good few days now with rain showers on and off!
 #10741  by MickBBKA
 02 May 2021, 23:57
Its never been above 11c in April and to be honest I haven't a clue about the real state of the bees. 4 colonies were on 20+ frames of brood last I looked for a 90 second inspection at 10c, lots were no further forward than they were 5 weeks ago. 23 nights below -3c and freezing East winds of death forever are doing my nut in. My farmers have their sheep spread over every field they have because the grass hasn't grown since March. Coldest April on record. That's 50% of my honey season gone for no reward. Cherry in full flower being destroyed by east winds and hawthorne just opening. Every inch of roadside verge is covered in dandelion and its so cold and windy the bees can't fly. Its gonna be the worst season I have ever had. I hate living here.................................................................
 #10742  by JoJo36
 03 May 2021, 05:20
Most places are going to improve from next weekend with warmer temperatures expected including places (up north)!!
You are right re temperatures, not been great here either, no rain for about 5 weeks but now you just wait it won't stop, but added today with 50mph winds, so not great for bees overall?!
I've only a few hives and last year next to no honey crop as I managed to squash one queen, mistook a swarm for a supercedure and the list went on!!
I hope that I have learnt lessons but I seem to go from one thing to another....
I just wish beekeeping was as easy as raising tortoises, I had two now got seven and gave away five??!!........
Anyway back to bees and the weather can only improve??!!
 #10743  by Patrick
 03 May 2021, 08:16
I know what you mean Mick. If someone had told me I would only manage one inspection in April proper I would have told them that was madness.

Unfortunately I seem to have to learn the hard way as well JoJo . I remember hardly any honey crop the first two or three seasons - mainly down to failures using Pagden AS swarm control and assuming I just had to be doing it wrong (which I probably was).

Had a couple of hours dismantling, stripping out and rewaxing super frames knocked over and chewed up by my local badgers. Sadly they were all eight to a box far frames so it’s back to square one there. Queen survived and is re-laying up broodnest but I suspect that’s it for honey from that on this year. Electric fencing has meant no repeat incidents.

Made up some fat dummies for mating and Ben Harden queen rearing a la Steve, with blocks of waste kingsman edged with wide gorilla tape suspended by fencing staple as lugs. Really simple idea. Be interested to see what bees make of them.
 #10745  by Alfred
 03 May 2021, 14:03
Cant even get to the bees this weekend
Gathered together scraps to make up a crownboard to take my mind off the voices.
Too cold wet and windy to do the critical splitting
Perhaps the weather will buy me some time
Perhaps they have had enough and have a!ready gone.........
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