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General Q&A, Bee chat and only Bee chat please
 #6068  by Japey Edge
 25 Mar 2020, 09:53
AndrewLD wrote:
24 Mar 2020, 17:37
Japey Edge wrote:
24 Mar 2020, 17:21
Think I'll set up a bait hive and another hive stand tomorrow too.
Excellent paper on bait-hives from Cornell University:
https://pollinator.cals.cornell.edu/sites/pollinator.cals.cornell.edu/files/shared/documents/Bait%20Hives%20for%20Honey%20Bees_accessible1.pdf

Always successful and a smidgeon of lemongrass. Watch with wonder as scout bees find it and over the days take it over. I even predicted a swarm's arrival almost to the day - sadly - it turned out to be one of mine :oops:
Thanks for that. I only have a 5 frame nuc box as a bait hive but I am thinking about making something out of pallet wood "purpose made" for baiting swarms.
I tried the lemongrass thing last time. I think this time I will do it again but I won't fill the box with frames. Just one old comb in there and maybe at the opposite side a frame with foundation.
I also read somewhere not to put lemongrass at the entrance because the queen isn't keen?
 #6071  by nealh
 25 Mar 2020, 13:49
First inspection in he bright sun on an out apiary colony, colony overwintered on BS NAT B & Half.
14 frames of E/U/S and fresh nectar in cells 90 - 95% of winter stores used up. I refrained from feeding fondant for now whilst the warm foraging weather is here.
Placed colony on a UFE I made in January and bees took to it quite quickly, transferred the brood frames into a clean Abelo poly brood box from the 10F Swienty and added a super.
 #6072  by Japey Edge
 25 Mar 2020, 15:29
What a lovely day!! Spent a couple of hours inspecting the hives and switching out some (not all) syrup-packed frames for empty frames.

Had to do rotate the two national brood boxes as I now need to inspect from behind.

My local-bee colony is huge. Bees in every seam. Only four frames of brood though - which is in a lovely pattern. Saw the queen I marked last year. They're 8/10 for behaviour so I'm really happy with them. Also noticed a very small amount of capped drone cells. I am thinking these will build up the fastest and may need to be split soon (or possibly given double brood?)

The middle hive is headed by a queen I bought from Ged Marshall at the end of August. Wow they were so calm and easy-going. 9.5/10 for them. I took some propolis out as it was getting in the way - likely from the pre-GM queen days. Only on 2 frames of brood but building up nicely. Still plenty of thymol syrup stores (these had red food colouring in so were easy to tell).

The nuc bothered me. I think the queen is failing. Only one small patch of capped brood on one frame. No eggs on that side. Flipped the frame to find cells with eggs. Noticed one with 3 eggs and a few with 2. Failing queen? Laying workers?
They were also quite noisy, but weren't aggressive. Again, loads of stores so switched the heaviest frame out.

The girls are still bringing in loads of pollen.

It feels good to have done an inspection again. So good!
 #6073  by AndrewLD
 25 Mar 2020, 15:33
Japey Edge wrote:
25 Mar 2020, 09:53
Thanks for that. I only have a 5 frame nuc box as a bait hive but I am thinking about making something out of pallet wood "purpose made" for baiting swarms.
I tried the lemongrass thing last time. I think this time I will do it again but I won't fill the box with frames. Just one old comb in there and maybe at the opposite side a frame with foundation.
I also read somewhere not to put lemongrass at the entrance because the queen isn't keen?
I have used 6 frame 14x12 poly nucs with success - roughly the 40litres recommended. Small entrance, closed floor, facing south but shaded entrance etc. etc. My trick is to mix in some frames that have national deep wax with an added set of bottom bars leaving a section left open - gives them space but directs any wax building.
I do not recommend just one frame but to put in a full set. That way you can move the NUC to your preferred position in the apiary once they have come out of quarantine and transfer frames to full size hive without a lot of palaver - and if you miss them taking up residence, they can put down a lot of wild comb before you get in there.
 #6077  by Patrick
 25 Mar 2020, 21:21
I do not recommend just one frame but to put in a full set. That way you can move the NUC to your preferred position in the apiary once they have come out of quarantine and transfer frames to full size hive without a lot of palaver - and if you miss them taking up residence, they can put down a lot of wild comb before you get in there.[/quote]

Yes, they do. As my good friend called er... , Batrick, found out when he once did just that.. :lol: :lol:

A set of foundation is still better than leaving empty space, which they will unerringly preferentially use to draw combs in rather than just utilise the nice frames you provided. Honestly, bees..
 #6078  by Japey Edge
 26 Mar 2020, 08:40
Good shout, I might do that then! I have frames where the (wired) foundation has sagged and to me it looks like it's going to create all kinds of wavy comb. I might cut that foundation out, leaving the wires. Then the scout bees can do their flying around the box to determine space thing.

Any thoughts on my nuc with multiple eggs in cells and a small patch of capped worker brood? Couldn't spot the queen. She was really easy to spot last time, with red paint on her abdomen, and eye.... :lol:
 #6080  by AdamD
 26 Mar 2020, 09:17
"Any thoughts on my nuc with multiple eggs in cells and a small patch of capped worker brood? Couldn't spot the queen".
Sometimes queens are a bit too eager and push out more eggs that there are cells for. As the colony grows that problem disappears. So not all is necessarily lost.
 #6081  by Japey Edge
 26 Mar 2020, 10:18
AdamD wrote:
26 Mar 2020, 09:17
"Any thoughts on my nuc with multiple eggs in cells and a small patch of capped worker brood? Couldn't spot the queen".
Sometimes queens are a bit too eager and push out more eggs that there are cells for. As the colony grows that problem disappears. So not all is necessarily lost.
Cheers Adam I appreciate it. They definitely had a lot of stores so maybe that was taking up needed space. Will keep an eye on them.
 #6082  by Patrick
 26 Mar 2020, 12:00
Japey Edge wrote:Good shout, I might do that then! I have frames where the (wired) foundation has sagged and to me it looks like it's going to create all kinds of wavy comb. I might cut that foundation out, leaving the wires.
If you can remove the sagged foundation and put it somewhere warmish to soften, you could flatten it between newspaper sheets and then reuse it maybe? A number of frames with wires together might end up with brace comb still being drawn across and between frames - but to compound matters held together with wires. Or even just use part of the sheets as starter strips? That wavy comb crossways bracecomb is very attractive to look at but a real pain to manage out once it has been laid in.
 #6083  by Japey Edge
 26 Mar 2020, 12:35
Good point - if I take all but 25mm of the wax foundation out, leaving a large opening and hanging wires, would that do the trick?

So the config of my 6 frame maisies poly bait nuc would be 1 dirty old comb frame with pollen in it and 5 frames of wired starter strip foundation?

Ooo also I have some propolis, if I dissolve this in alcohol and use it to varnish the inside of the bait hive will that be attractive?
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