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donky7



Joined: 27 Oct 2008
Posts: 47


Location: nottingham

PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 5:37 pm    Post subject: hi honey i'm home  Reply with quote

well, very new to bee keeping, I've picked up bits n bobs over last year even had a hive given by an old keeper who hasn't the full time now but would still like to nibble.

anyway 2 month ago my hive, sighted for now on my back garden ( I have the choice of 5 farms to sight, once I have a swarm) this hive had a swarm ... oh boy was I pleased, I even filmed it, 30 mins later it left....!!!

the bait hive had combs with honey in, but no idea why they left.

since then I've been feeding passing bees on the front step of the hive when yesterday, quite a large number of bees came to feed. from what I counted outside, no more then 100. lifting the lid yesterday they were still inside all huddled together.  

now I have wasp traps near as they are very active too

http://youtu.be/ThYEbk7iPqU
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Pembroke



Joined: 31 Oct 2009
Posts: 30


Location: Carmarthenshire, West Wales

PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Get an entrance block in as soon as you can with a very small slot in it approx one inch wide should be enough. The bees that you have assuming they have the queen with them will need to have all the help they can get to protect the honey they have from wasps and the full entrance is just too much for them to defend.

Also remove the outside feeder if that's what it is for the same reason.

Wasps are a menace this year I have four of the pop bottle traps around my hive and each one is at least one inch deep in drowned wasps with more being added all the time.
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donky7



Joined: 27 Oct 2008
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Location: nottingham

PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 6:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks, entrance drastically reduced.
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Rick & Carol



Joined: 31 Dec 2008
Posts: 1027


Location: Drefach Llanybydder, Ceredigion

PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

same here - fairly new colony so I was concerned they'd wear themselves out with the maurading wasps - two jars now foll of dead wasps near the entrance.

I'm working 200 miles from home art the min and lots of wasps in evidence there too
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donky7



Joined: 27 Oct 2008
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Location: nottingham

PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not using these yet but the best wasp trap available is the wasp bane trap. I'm about to order a few.
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Lorrainelovesplants



Joined: 28 Mar 2008
Posts: 2496


Location: North Cornwall

PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you havnt had a swarm in by now forget it - they will not have enough time to build up and make stores to get them through the winter.  This year has been an odd one for bees and swarms but the last swarm I housed was start July.
I also use clean frames with new foundation and only 1 old frame to attract them in a bait hive.  You have no idea why the bees left, but it could be nosema or any other disease or illness.
Im taking off honey this weekend and on Monday starting my autumn varroa treatment.
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Pembroke



Joined: 31 Oct 2009
Posts: 30


Location: Carmarthenshire, West Wales

PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would also have to agree with Lorraine. What you have there is a cast. It's a second swarm from the same hive that produced the big swarm you thought was moving in but didn't. Chance are the first swarm left a pheromone trace and they followed it. The chance's of it surviving the winter are very slim but it can happen.

First off don't do anything to the hive for at least a week, don't open it, don't bother it, all you can do is observe the bees going in and out. What you're looking for is the worker bees collecting pollen in their leg baskets, that is a generally reliable indicator that the queen is laying. After this happens start feeding them with a top feeder. You will need a second super frame to lift the lid off the feeder, don't balance the roof on the feeder as it will let the wasps in and use a sugar solution that's 2 pounds of sugar to a pint of water (or if you will a kilo bag of white sugar, not brown or half and half, just ordinary boring granulated, my local Tesco currently sell a 5kg bag for £4.50). If you use warm water the sugar will melt easier and the bees won't mind it a little warm just not boiling. Feed every couple of days, the feeder goes on top of the crown board and under the roof so you don't need smoke or anything to top it up just wear your veil.

Join your local association, I'm sure they would welcome your professional expertise as when there are swarms around next year they will inevitably get called out to wasp as well. You can also get swarms from the more 'interesting' places that an ordinary member might not attempt, which then means you will have swarms that you can hive and maybe sell on to other beginners as well as getting one or two for yourself.

Oh and put on your websites home page 'We Collect Bee Swarms' you never know that might turn up a few as well.
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donky7



Joined: 27 Oct 2008
Posts: 47


Location: nottingham

PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fantastic advice, many thanks.

prior to reading this, I had fed the bees twice now, both late last night and this afternoon, as they had consumed the entire pint from last night.

I had mixed 1 pint of warm water to a full bag of asda sugar.

when I lifted the lid last night they were all still in there, so as you suggest, maybe a cast from the previous lot.

i'll certainly learn from this experience should they not survive, my friend is attending sunday to have a proper look inside for a queen.

oh and each time I've looked and fed they don't seem aggressive, I have not yet worn a veil either.

incidentally I was called earlier this year to a wasp problem in a chapel, 3 mins after arriving, pointing to the groundsman where the entrance was and they were honey bees not wasps, a bee left his tail on my forehead... so I have experienced aggressive bees before'

many thanks for the support.
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Pembroke



Joined: 31 Oct 2009
Posts: 30


Location: Carmarthenshire, West Wales

PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's some winter reading for you:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Keeping-B...reen-Guides-Series/dp/1847869858/

this will give you the basics.

For a more technical look at beekeeping:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Guide-Bee...-Selling-Beekeeping/dp/1904846513

Forgot to add, I mentioned your cast to my expert today, she says there is a chance it will survive but it would be better in what's called a nuc (pronounced nuke) box. This is essentially half a hive with only 5 or 6 frames in it. A small cast can then keep it warmer over the winter than a full size hive.

The biggest enemy of your bees isn't cold but wet or moisture. So a smaller space can be warmer and there's less condensation. ask your friend if he has one and get them moved before they settle in.
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Lorrainelovesplants



Joined: 28 Mar 2008
Posts: 2496


Location: North Cornwall

PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 5:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Re turning your hive into a nuc - if you have an end board - essentially a frame that had a solid panel in it instead of foundation - confine the colony to 5 or so frames with this and reduce the entrance right down.  Also treat them for varroa and then feed up for the winter.
I managed to get a really small colony through last year - its not the cold that kills them (think about it - they have successful bee colonies in Scandinavia) its the damp.
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donky7



Joined: 27 Oct 2008
Posts: 47


Location: nottingham

PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

fantastic,

my friend has offered me the use of his nuk, so that's todays mission.

the pint of feed I placed yesterday has gone already, were they hungry or is this normal..?

i'm sure Barry, my friend will aid with the mites.

thanks... Martyn.
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donky7



Joined: 27 Oct 2008
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Location: nottingham

PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

here are a few images






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donky7



Joined: 27 Oct 2008
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Location: nottingham

PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bees transferred from hive to nuke'

we guessed there was more like 300 rather than 100

I witnessed a few workers returning this evening with yellow legs......... !!!

pics to follow.
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rhino



Joined: 03 Aug 2007
Posts: 1344


Location: The white peak

PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 7:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're not far from me Donky, I too have had a swarm come to my hive and have seen a lot of activity in the last couple of weeks with a real build in numbers, including lots of pollen going in, and a lot of wasps around as well but the bees seem to be holding their own.
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donky7



Joined: 27 Oct 2008
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Location: nottingham

PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

update on my bees

new box applied, new stocks made up, wasp pots in situ.. lol






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