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General Q&A, Bee chat and only Bee chat please
 #14342  by AdamD
 17 Apr 2024, 09:59
On 6th April my notes for a couple of nucs said "needs syrup" On 13th April, the nucs were over-full as the weather improved for a few days and the OSR came in. Supers have gone on larger colonies. Such are the changes in fortunes due to weather. It was actually pleasant inspecting the bees when the weather was fair. First time this year!
 #14344  by NigelP
 18 Apr 2024, 08:24
Lucky you :D
Only managed quick inspections and one apiary was done with while it was raining. Currently 4C and predicted to hit 9C later before the rain next cascade begins. I have a feeling this is going to be a tough year for beekeeping.
Looking at OSR, many fields have lost a load and what is there is very straggly looking.
 #14345  by MickBBKA
 18 Apr 2024, 12:57
We had a brief gap in the rain and 45mph winds on Tues and I got a fast look through 10 colonies. 1 had 14 frames of brood and I put a super on for space. 2 others had 8 frames of brood, the rest were between 2 and 4. Every colony was completely out of food even though I have fed them constantly. Dandelions are about finished, lots of Hawthorn in full flower now and the Elderberry & Lime trees have flower buds on them and its 7c and not even May yet. Its going to be a very bad harvest this year.
 #14348  by AdamD
 19 Apr 2024, 08:55
The forecast for me for the rest of the month is temperatures below the 14C I believe that OSR needs to yield well. I suppose there may be a few warm corners in the fields here and there.
Most colonies have expanded OK and the fillip of a few days of OSR means that they won't need feeding.
I have a couple of virgins from an early supercedure which have been waiting to mate. I was hoping that last weekend would have been warm enough but it was not quite there - although that would have been the earliest mating ever mfor me. My expectation is that they will be past their mate-by-date before the weather improves.
 #14349  by MickBBKA
 22 Apr 2024, 09:02
Had no choice but to inspect 12 colonies this weekend in 9C conditions as I needed to find out exactly how much stores they had. It was zero in 10 colonies. I put pollen sub on all 12 and 1 gallon feeders on the other 10.
Most have had a brood break as there was only sealed brood and eggs along with very small larvae. Forecast for next 2 weeks is abysmal. :cry:
 #14354  by AdamD
 25 Apr 2024, 11:27
I had a few days of warm weather a week or so; not now though. I gave a nuc 2 litres of syrup yesterday as it had nothing in it.

How do entrance feeders work for you? I have never used them and some reports are that they 'encourage' robbing. Have you had any problems in this regard Nigel?
 #14356  by NigelP
 25 Apr 2024, 12:18
They work fine. Never had an issue with robbing in spring, all the liquid is inside the hive so other bees aren't aware ....and seeing as how its too cold for the bees to fly at the moment......
 #14380  by MickBBKA
 04 May 2024, 01:55
Today I checked on colonies I last looked at on 26th April when I put on some supers for space and was blown away....... All 4 had 3/4 filled the supers after a week of North 9c winds, rain and thick sea fret with the occasional couple of hours sun. Those amazing little creatures never fail to impress bless them. The scent of fresh nectar never fades. 2nd supers on and fingers crossed for some better weather as the rest of them are just getting by.
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