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kaz

Dave's Bee Blog

Dave turned up here this morning with 2 hives of angry bees. I was ready with the camera so here is the start of Dave's Bee Blog as he documents his progress with the bees through the year

It's a good job that the ground was rock hard so that the hives didn't have to be dragged through the mud to get to their site.






Then Dave suited up to open the hives up.







Taking the foam strip out that had kept them in while he travelled.



and fitting a mouse strip



Done



Dave should be along to comment later
bodger

A pleasant New Years day suprise. The bees prescence should improve this years apple and pear crop considerably.
Captain_Dingbat

REALLY looking forward to hearing about their progress! Will their honey be up for sale on here?? I love the stuff!

I also love bees....but my son is terrified of them...always tells me that if I get hives at the field, he will never go anymore!

It's just too risky at our field though, some sod would no doubt nick them.... though Pete reckons it would be quite easy to disguise the hives behind something....
bodger

The hives were nice and quiet this afternoon as I fed the chickens with not a bee in sight.
ClaireK

Will follow this one with interest as I had to get rid of my bees a few months ago due to very bad reactions to stings by both my eldest daughter and myself. I would love to have another hive but it just isn't worth the risk.

Claire
Pembroke

I hope your expert knows what he's doing. My local expert would be having a fit if anyone told her they had opened their hive this early in the year. The hives aren't supposed to be disturbed in any way between the end of October and March and that includes moving them.

Can't see if there's an entrance block behind the mouse guard but you may need to put one of those in as well, it's too cold to have a completely open entrance this time of year (it would be like leaving a outside door open in your house 24hrs a day).

It may help you to join your local beekeepers association.
http://www.wbka.com/

You are unlikely to see any bees outside for quite a while yet.

Regards,

Pembroke.
(Just starting my second year of bee keeping).
bodger

Dave has been waiting for a cold spell like the one we had over the New Year inorder to better facilitate moving the bees, we certainly don't anticipate seeing any bee activity while this cold weather continues
The hives are in a sheltered spot and will be protected from larger livestock with an electric fence. Living where we do, we'll quite often go for a full winter without a frost, they should do well.
beeman

Dave has waited for a cold spell lasting at least 7 days, by which time the Bees will have forgotten their bearings, and when they fly out of the hive they will reorientate theirselves, and not try to find their previous position.

As for not opening the hives up, how would a Beekeeper administer the Oxalic acid Varroa treatment needed at this time of year?As long as the crown board is not left off longer than needed no harm is done.

The wide entrance is nothing compared to the open mesh floors I have used for years, good ventilation keeps Bees healthy and strong.

Keep the good work up dave.
kaz

Dave's hives have open mesh floors as well.
bodger

A touch of spring today. Todays the first time since they came that I've noticed just a few bees outside the hive.
pestie

im gong to watch this thread as bee keeping is something i have always wanted to do but would not know where to start
bodger

Daves been to check on his hives today and is of the opinion that one is doing better than the other. He doesn't seem too concerned but says that he can't open them up to check until March.
bodger

Its nice and sunny here and one of the hives is quite busy with a lot of bees flying in and out. The other hive has few if any bees showing, so Dave might very well have a problem with one colony. Only time will tell.
whiskywill

Pembroke wrote:
The hives aren't supposed to be disturbed in any way between the end of October and March and that includes moving them.


I would suggest that your local expert gets some advice from a more expert expert. The winter is easiest time of year to move hives as the bees are not flying and will reorientate themselves to their new home without losing any of the bees.





Edit:  I have since read the later posts and see that you have already been advised about your misconceptions.
Diz

This one is reading like a good thriller! Whats going on now?
Bees are on next years list.
Slainte
Diz
DaveP

Progress report for April 18

Now that winter appears to finally releasing its icy grip on the countryside both hives were given their spring inspection on April 10, a nice warm day of 16C with no wind.
Hive 1 - Bees were very active in the sunshine taking in lots and lots of pollen into the hive. Always a good sign. This hive had been left with a super over the winter and already when I took off the roof it was full of bees, with plenty of honey in the frames. The brood and a half had lots of sealed cells and larvae in all stages of development. Obviously a very active Queen. Everything was cleaned up and the hive put back together.

Hive 2 - Bees were active in the sunshine taking pollen into the hive. Always a good sign. This hive had been left with a super over the winter and when I took off the roof it was noticeable how few bees there were compared to Hive 1. There was plenty of honey in the frames. The brood and a half had good numbers of sealed cells and larvae in all stages of development but not as good as Hive 1. At least the queen was alive and laying.

April 18 2010 - Following the spring inspections I decided to give Hive 2 half a gallon of syrup to which I had added VitaGOLD. This is recommended if you want to give the bees a helping hand at the start of the season. I will monitor their progress over the next couple of weeks. Hive 1 on the other hand is doing well and today when I lifted the roof the first super was full of bees so I installed an additional super to give them some space.

DaveP
bodger

Thanks for the update Dave.
Gareth

Supurb

Please keep up with this bee keeping blog. For a wannabe Apiarist such as me, it is an entralling read.
Tweety Pie

When will your honey beeeee  on sale?  
beeman

What sort of season has Dave had with his Bees?
bodger

You tell me He comes to look at his bee's regularly but part of the deal was that he kept this blog going. I think he may have taken his honey away last week and supplied them with sugar for the winter but apart from that, things have unfortunately been a bit of a mystery.

I think that he's due to retire from work shortly, so hopefully he'll be a bit more forthcoming in the future.
Lorrainelovesplants

Ill try and add a bit in here next week - when Ive got time.....

Ive just finished taking my honey off from the 2 hives I have here.....not bad and selling at 6 per lb jar and 4 for three quarters is going to cover my expenses and make me a small profit...

in the meantime here are some photos


This is me and my mentor (taken 5 yrs ago) with my first colony of bees....Ive learnt loads since this and have captured 3 swarms - one of which has proved an absolute belter - very prolific, non swarming and quite tame....

More later.
beeman

That must be the best price I've ever heard of for Honey,double the price around here.Is that local trade or to tourists?
lottie

I couldn't sell much honey for that price here---and it's good honey

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