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General Q&A, Bee chat and only Bee chat please
 #4994  by Japey Edge
 09 Oct 2019, 21:13
Cheers for the fast response Patrick. I knocked so many bees out of the feeder and since there was comb there I figured it would be typical for me if the queen was up there. I had a look but nothing.
Took the feeder apart and got rid of the comb and dead bees. Moved feeder to the colony with the new queen and now all overdue Apitraz strips are out.

Nigel, thanks for the pliers advice - they took some force to remove - with a clang noise as they were separated from whatever structure was connecting the strips to the mesh floor!

I filled the ashforth feeder about half full (as that's all I have) with thymol syrup with a little red food colouring. Heard it done before so I'm curious if I'll see red combs in spring. The colour and the thymol should be more than enough to tell me it's not honey :lol:
 #5000  by AdamD
 10 Oct 2019, 14:49
AdamD wrote:
28 Sep 2019, 20:38
AdamD wrote:
09 Sep 2019, 20:05

And I have a nuc and mini-nuc both with open queencells with queens ready to mate. The forecast for Thursday and Sunday is for 21 degrees. There are still some drones around so maybe, just maybe.
It looks like the weather last week (24th/25th) was good enough for one of the queens to mate, with a few eggs seen in the mini-nuc this morning. The queen in the nuc has gone, I believe, as a frame of brood that went in 2 days ago resulted in queencells being made. So 50% success is OK at the end of September. I'll check that she is laying worker brood in a week or so's time, weather permitting, and then she can go into the queenless nuc. It's of a fair size so it should be good for winter if she is a good-un. There's a chance that she didn't mate well, of course, but I won't be able to see that, only the bees can tell me.
By yesterday my late-mated queen had laid up a good solid frame of brood, in a mini-nuc with another started, so she has been transferred to a bigger colony from which I had stolen the queen 10 days before.

I then united three mini-nucs together and shook out another in front of the combined 3-nuc tower. They have the bottom boards and roofs and crown boards removed and have been gaffa taped together. Not an elegant sight. However there should be enough bees and brood in there to survive winter unless it's a particularly bad one. If it survives, it means that I have mini-nuc frames to start off queen-rearing next year - or the queen can go into a full-sized hive in spring if a queen fails over winter.

My Paynes nucs had the feeders cut out years ago to make them 8 frame boxes. However one new one still has the feeder in place. I did a final check yesterday and left the hive tool on the plastic cover whilst I got a final litre of syrup for them. The wind blew and the plastic flapped and the hive tool flipped and is now in the feeder! I think it may have to stay there until next year. :roll:
 #5001  by AdamD
 10 Oct 2019, 14:51
Japey Edge wrote:
09 Oct 2019, 21:13

I filled the ashforth feeder about half full (as that's all I have) with thymol syrup with a little red food colouring. Heard it done before so I'm curious if I'll see red combs in spring. The colour and the thymol should be more than enough to tell me it's not honey :lol:
I've not done the coloured feed thing - I do understand that during the war, green coloured sugar was given to beekeepers to help their bees get through winter. The idea was that it couldn't be sold on the black market for other uses. Will be interested to learn if you have pink honey next year!
 #5003  by Chrisbarlow
 10 Oct 2019, 17:06
Well done Adam. Thanks for sharing.
 #5010  by nealh
 11 Oct 2019, 23:09
Changed over BB on two colonies yesterday to their winter poly one.
One colony I wanted to check as a new queen emerged beginning 2nd week of Sept, going in to winter they should be ok with 4 broods frames laid up.
Also added the 40mm deep poly carb crown boards I made in the spring.
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