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Hello from Transylvania


#1

Hello everyone!

I’m a n00b beekeeper from the Transylvania region of Romania.

My father used to have bees (around 20 colonies) while I was living abroad for many years. He sold them two years before I moved back home, neither of us knowing at the time that a time will come soon when I’ll want to keep bees. After buying a house in a rural area with a nice backyard, where my partner and I started a small vegetable garden and orchard, I realized it would be nice to have some bees, for honey, pollination, and an amazing relaxing hobby.

It was in May 2013 when I borrowed and reconditioned two old hives from a friend of my fathers, bought two colonies and started learning with the help of my father (who lives 120 kms away). During the year I had two uncontrolled swarms which I managed to catch and I now had to care for four hives. Quite an experience. Winter went well, but 2014 was a bad year for everyone in the region, many experienced beekeepers lost a significant part of their colonies, and I lost all mine.

In 2015 I caught another swarm, which I nurtured through the year, but during summer 2016 I had to be out of the country, and I came back to a weakened colony that I wasn’t able to save.

Here we are in 2017, I ordered a Flow Hive on last Friday which arrived today, and I want get back to beekeeping again.


(Flow) Beekeepers from Romania
#3

I think I might be the same one :slight_smile:


#5

About 2 weeks ago I visited an acquaintance who I didn’t know was a beekeeper. He explained that he doesn’t have much time for beekeeping anymore, already sold some of his colonies, has only 4 left, and is thinking about selling all. After sleeping on it, I decided to buy his remaining colonies, and will relocate them to my backyard tonight.

I’m very excited about having bees buzzing in the yard again! :smiley:


#6

Good luck with your new bees, Lori. Please let us know how things go for you! :blush:


#7

@Lori …and we are always partial to a photo or two if you would care to share once you get your hives setup :slight_smile:


#8

Thanks Dawn!

Installing the hives in my backyard went well, and the bees are quite busy :slight_smile:

…and I already have a question. One of the hives is a long hive with two 10-frame compartments (see this post for Romanian hive and frame types) and one of the colonies is quite crowded, I saw queen cells being started. So they’re most likely preparing to swarm, and I can’t give them more space in this hive. I took one brood frame and put it in another hive with a weaker colony, replacing it with an empty frame. On hindsight, I probably should have replaced the brood frame with a built-out frame, so the queen has space where to lay, but I’m not sure what’s best.

Any suggestions on preventing swarming in this case? I would hate to see this colony weakened, and I’m unlikely to see and catch the swarm if it leaves. I thought inspecting every two days and removing any queen cells (I haven’t removed any so far), but I’ve been told that’s just delaying the inevitable?

I’ll post some photos of the hives in a bit.

[BTW, should I have started a new topic for this question?]


#9

You might actually create a worse situation. Usually with a primary swarm, the laying queen leaves with the swarm. If you destroy the swarm queen cells, they often swarm anyway, and you may end up with a queenless hive. :astonished: Here is an article that I have quoted probably a few hundred times now, which tells you what to do when you find queen cells, and how to identify the different types:
http://www.wbka.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/wbka-booklet-english-PDF.pdf

Unfortunately weakening the colony is what you must do if you want to overcome the swarming urge. Here is an article which describes how to manage swarming in your hives. You will need to adapt the instructions to a long hive, but it shouldn’t be too hard once you have the concepts. I like the modified Snelgrove split, which is described on page 17:
http://www.wbka.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Swarm-Control-Wally-Shaw.pdf

I wish you luck, and bees which stay at home! :blush:


#10

I just shared three in the “Show a pic of your setup” thread. :wink:


#11

Thanks Dawn!

I have two plans for today then. Check in which stage of swarming they are (I have seen the queen, so it’s definitely swarming), and also move the two colonies into two separate individual hives, which will stay in the same position (maybe entrances will move up to 5" at most). These will allow supers to be installed to have more space. If they are in a stage that makes them very likely to swarm, I’ll see if I will have the guts to try the Snelgrove split :slight_smile:


#12

I didn’t do this part, since I did the next one a bit late in the evening in a hurry.

This was successful, and the bees seem to be happy in their new homes. I’ll post some updated pictures soon.

I’ll check for swarming preparations tomorrow, and see if I have the conditions for putting on a super. I will use more advice I came across from @Dawn_SD (in another thread):

Regarding the swarming advice, I already stumbled on it in yet another thread, and you said here …

… have you thought about a pinned post with a title like “Dawn’s FAQ” which should be required reading for forum participants? :wink:


#13

Absolutely not, I am far too shy for that! :smile: