BBKA Forum

British Beekeepers Association Official Forum 

  • What do you do to get your bees ready for winter and did it work?

  • More advanced beekeeping discussion forum.
More advanced beekeeping discussion forum.
 #2328  by Chrisbarlow
 13 Mar 2019, 06:49
very interesting to know. couple of questions then

Mick, what do you use to measure brood temps?

and what feeder type are you all using? frame, rapid, miller, contact?
 #2332  by AdamD
 13 Mar 2019, 15:01
As long as bees can get out; syrup is fine. Some local to me feed syrup towards the end of Feb to encourage colonies to grow for OSR. However I have seen some OSR about to flower now so it is coming early this year.
 #2344  by MickBBKA
 13 Mar 2019, 22:36
I use a digital probe to measure colony temp and just ease it into the centre of the colony through the feed hole. I am using rapid feeders but only filling halfway.
We often get what looks to be OSR covering whole fields at this time of year. Our local farmers call it Runt and I think its a self seeded crop. It gets ploughed in and sown over with something else later.
Amazed to see the bees bringing in masses of pollen today in 45mph winds that have pushed my 8x6 green house a yard across my allotment.

Cheers, Mick.
 #2349  by Patrick
 14 Mar 2019, 13:59
OSR has a quite prolonged flowering period and for a variety of reasons may lose a significant quantity of seed due to pod shatter before being combined, therefore early the following season you quite often get a "volunteer" crop (never heard it referred to as Runt before Chris, nice one).

It obviously often looks to the casual eye very similar to the previous seasons's planted crop. But it won't fit with an intended rotation with wheat / beans whatever and allows pests such as flea beetle to persist longer and so reduce the effectiveness of intended rotations on pest populations, so would need to be ploughed in before the next crop is drilled. If the field were to be left fallow however, its more tricky and expensive to manage,
 #2715  by Chrisbarlow
 05 May 2019, 18:42
It ended up being a very good winter. My loss rate was 13% in the end. The colonies that came out seemed very strong indeed, however reading other forums, Facebook and you tube this seems common and not just in the uk either. I think the biggest thing I need to work on is knocking down small nucs and colonies in september and merging with stronger stock.
Last bumped by Chrisbarlow on 05 May 2019, 18:42.