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Bee Keeping

HE117

LE
I can't remember the exact distance, if you're keeping it at the same site, less than 6'? If you're moving it to a new site, it has to be at least 3 miles away. Bees usually fly within a mile and a half radius from their hive. If you move the hive 6'+, they'll head for the old position. Similarly should the hive be less than 3 miles distance. It can pick up the old flight path, but the hive isn't there anymore.
...less than three feet or more than three miles otherwise the bees simply return to the original location of the hive!

I had to move a hive from one side of the house to the other a couple of years ago and could only move the hive three feet every six hours or so. I got fed up and moved it four feet and the bees revolted.. they climbed up the wall of the house next to where the hive had been and just sat there moaning.. Having left them for a couple of hours and still no movement, I moved the hive a foot back. Almost immediately a queue formed down the wall, across the path and up into the hive and in about ten minutes, they were all back in.. you could almost hear them tutting as they went back....

wimmen eh!
 
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HE117

LE
I was lucky to get Buckfast queens, and would recommend them to anyone. Very gentle bees to work with, but cracking workers. I was never stung by them, plenty of times with other peoples bees, not once by my Buckies. Brother Adam was away ahead of the field by picking the drones from gentle colonies to artificially inseminate the queens thus producing the Buckfast Queen. He also changed the way the hives were positioned, and numbers in a given area, to maximise the yield.

I read a few of his books, and although some could be a bit heavy going, taking my time I picked up a lot of useful advice/tips from them. I read a few years ago someone selling British queens, really? Br Adam had searched the length and breadth of the country, trying to find such a creature for years. That included remote Welsh valleys, and the highlands and islands in Scotland. The reason he never found any was because our native bees had been wiped out by acarine in 1917, or thereabouts.

Oh yes, I am well aware of the Buckfast Queens, however up here in Scotland, we are trying to maintain the old Scottish native black bee. The current trend in the SBA is not to bring in foreign strains and to encourage the development of localised strains, if only to stop the transfer of pests and diseases.

We have only recently won a battle with DEFRA to stop people importing foreign bees into the outlying islands where there are still sustainable, varroa free colonies of black bees.
 
In my experience Buckfast Queens are great, but you will have to stick to a schedule of re-queening.

if left to their own devices the progeny of an F1 cross are often unbelievably violent. Proper psychotic.
 
We have only recently won a battle with DEFRA to stop people importing foreign bees into the outlying islands where there are still sustainable, varroa free colonies of black bees.

Their predecessors, MAFF were just as bad. Back then as well as AFB and EFB ,notifiable as you know, you weren't allowed to treat for the varroa mite, which I believe has changed since then.

The problem is not importing foreign bees, it's importing any bee products including honey. Of course the honey produced in this country is not enough for what's required, hence honey from other countries being imported. The problem then arises when the jars aren't washed properly. Thrown out, break and your nice healthy bee comes along does what she always does, becomes a robbing bars tard. Tells mates when she gets back and lo and behold they've imposed AFB/EFB into the hive. Hive gets weaker, another robbing little sod comes along, goes back tells mates and AFB/EFB moves to the next hive. Rinse and repeat.

I believe this country could supply enough honey for our needs, but it would need a major shift in Government attitude before that could be achieved. Becoming like the really big players, USA, Oz, etc, and like them ban all by products from bees into the country. I hate to think what it costs now for a hive, let alone a colony to fill it. It also struck me as funny, the way you were classified as an amateur, or professional beekeeper. 19 amateur, 20 professional.

Regarding the British bee. I do remember, as said earlier, it had been wiped out in 1917. We imported black bees from? can't remember. Br Adam was looking for a British bee, but he wasn't my only source regarding their demise. I'll see if I can find my books on bees, then read through them and quote the source, provided I've still got them!

I hope you're a good beekeeper and always have your tool ready. ;) Auld I know, but so am I.
 
In my experience Buckfast Queens are great, but you will have to stick to a schedule of re-queening.

if left to their own devices the progeny of an F1 cross are often unbelievably violent. Proper psychotic.


I was lead to believe it's good practice to re queen every two years anyway. A friend, who didn't have a Bucky, would chalk mark a hive if stung from that hive. Second sting, find the queen, beheaded, new queen introduced. More ruthless than that there Henry.
 
A very nice woman in my local BKA hosted a monthly meeting in her big garden and proudly showed how she had requeened her hives with Buckfasts.

Queue next season and a distraught phone call. One hive had nailed the gardener at 100 yards, killed three of her doves, attacked her two retrievers plus hubby and besieged the house. She was in a right old state.

Told her to stay indoors untill nightfall and I euthanized the colony.
 

jmb3296

War Hero
Artificially swarmed my hive this afternoon after carefully studying the government leaflet. Appears to have worked and I now have two colonies but a week will tell.
The original (donor) colony was bursting at the seams and now all frames apart from the new one is covered in bees and brood.

Can I artificially swarm it again in a week or two or am I better leaving it.
 

HE117

LE
Artificially swarmed my hive this afternoon after carefully studying the government leaflet. Appears to have worked and I now have two colonies but a week will tell.
The original (donor) colony was bursting at the seams and now all frames apart from the new one is covered in bees and brood.

Can I artificially swarm it again in a week or two or am I better leaving it.
...I assume that you now have two colonies.. one on the old position with the old queen and a couple of frames of brood, and the other on another location with the rest of the brood and no Queen?

If so.. the colony on the original position with the old queen will only have the flying bees and a small number of nursies and brood. They will be putting all their effort into building up brood and will not swarm. There should be no queen cells present in this colony..!

The other colony should be queenless with loads of brood and nursie bees but no flying bees..? You did not say if there were any queen cells present? Did you knock down any queen cells in this colony? There are various strategies to deal with this situation. Some say knock down all the Q cells when you split, other say knock down to two.. This colony will not swarm without a queen. The bees can make a queen provided they have an egg or an up to two day old grub. After this they cannot produce a queen.. I would check the colony after a week and knock any Q cells down to two, and then leave them.. It will take the hive at least a month to re-establish a new queen and flying bees..

You cannot do an artificial swarm on a queenless hive!

That said, remember that the colony is 98% female, and they will do as they damn well please!
 

jmb3296

War Hero
...I assume that you now have two colonies.. one on the old position with the old queen and a couple of frames of brood, and the other on another location with the rest of the brood and no Queen?

If so.. the colony on the original position with the old queen will only have the flying bees and a small number of nursies and brood. They will be putting all their effort into building up brood and will not swarm. There should be no queen cells present in this colony..!

The other colony should be queenless with loads of brood and nursie bees but no flying bees..? You did not say if there were any queen cells present? Did you knock down any queen cells in this colony? There are various strategies to deal with this situation. Some say knock down all the Q cells when you split, other say knock down to two.. This colony will not swarm without a queen. The bees can make a queen provided they have an egg or an up to two day old grub. After this they cannot produce a queen.. I would check the colony after a week and knock any Q cells down to two, and then leave them.. It will take the hive at least a month to re-establish a new queen and flying bees..

You cannot do an artificial swarm on a queenless hive!

That said, remember that the colony is 98% female, and they will do as they damn well please!
Thank you.
 

HE117

LE
How are we doing folks?

I have just been in to my hives... One now has three full supers with one capped, so I have put in the separating board and will have to rescue the spinner from the attic! No proper signs of swarming yet, which is a bit of a PITA as I have another hive I want to get on the go...!

The other hive was on a wobbly peg for a bit.. I think I clonked the queen while marking her earlier in the season. The hive produced an emergency queen cell, but no queen. I took a frame of eggs from my other hive and they brought on two queen cells which were capped a fortnight ago.. I have just had a look, and there is a large fat queen wobbling about, but no eggs so far that I can see. I think the workers have filled the brood chamber with honey and pollen as there have not been any grubs to feed. I will have another look in a few days time and see if she has started laying.. if not, I have some drawn brood comb I can put in to give her some space to lay!
 

dontenn

War Hero
Are any keepers harvesting Apitoxin, I thought about collecting a couple of years ago but ill health got the better of me. My new collector arrives this week so I will be trying it out, just wondering if any keeper is already collecting Apitoxin.
 
Is anyone else having a bleak year with their bees? I have only one colony this year and a supercession, which meant no swarm. My harvest was a mere 11lbs and as of today I have only 4 frames of stores in the brood box with some brace comb in the super directly above. I reckon I'm going to have to start feeding if I'm going to get them through the winter.
 

HE117

LE
Well.. my main hive never swarmed so I was stuck with two hives this season.. luckily the main hive produced about 50lb of Honey. Her Maj in the other hive was a bit slow to get down to laying (although she has picked up since) but never got sufficient numbers to crop honey..

You need to get a shift on with feeding.. you should really have it all done by the end of the month to make sure it doesn't ferment. Just feed 2:1 syrup until they stop taking it up.. should take a week or so! Get the super off now!
 
Well.. my main hive never swarmed so I was stuck with two hives this season.. luckily the main hive produced about 50lb of Honey. Her Maj in the other hive was a bit slow to get down to laying (although she has picked up since) but never got sufficient numbers to crop honey..

You need to get a shift on with feeding.. you should really have it all done by the end of the month to make sure it doesn't ferment. Just feed 2:1 syrup until they stop taking it up.. should take a week or so! Get the super off now!
Many thanks for the advice. I've taken it and hope for the best.
 

chrismcd

Old-Salt
minard+20.jpg
 

HE117

LE
There are many "experts" in beekeeping, and "opinions vary"! The bees however tend to not to listen to them.

It is perfectly possible to open a hive without a veil if the weather and the colony is calm, although wearing a suit, boots and gloves without a veil does seem somewhat illogical...!

Cartoonists should stay away from subjects they know nothing about...!
 

chrismcd

Old-Salt
There are many "experts" in beekeeping, and "opinions vary"! The bees however tend to not to listen to them.

It is perfectly possible to open a hive without a veil if the weather and the colony is calm, although wearing a suit, boots and gloves without a veil does seem somewhat illogical...!

Cartoonists should stay away from subjects they know nothing about...!
You are perfectly welcome to your opinion - but most of us do not have bees that we would handle without veils.

The joke is valid and relevant so lighten up
 
You are perfectly welcome to your opinion - but most of us do not have bees that we would handle without veils.

The joke is valid and relevant so lighten up
Perhaps you might want to "lighten up" yourself.
 

dontenn

War Hero
Just out of interest has anyone started keeping bees since the start of this thread ? if so tell us your story how you are getting on
 
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