…Dawn has an Arnia
Another cold week, I can’t wait for the weather to warm up.
This is the time of year most colonies are lost in the uk so keep an eye on them c
Have any of the UK beekeepers had experience with feeding pollen patties. Would love to hear about your experience using the pollen patties.
I keep Ultrabee for Autumn if the weather is really rubbish as the bees need protein to tank themselves up to survive the winter. In spring pollen patties are traditionally used if you are preparing your hive to be extra strong and have sufficient foragers for OSR. Otherwise there is absolutely no need. You run the risk of an early brood build up and no forage for all those bees if you don’t have an early crop like Rape. Then you will have to feed syrup to keep the colony going which then runs the further risk of adulterating your honey. If you want to feed Candipolline then that’s ok because that has little protein in it and is just coloured fondant
Bee’s doing their routine orientation flight, Have not noticed any pollen been brought in when doing the video.
Morning UK FlowHive Beekeepers
What been happening in your Apiary, how are you winter survival. I have heard few people have lost their colonies.
Would love to hear from you and what you been doing, are you ready for the swarm period this year.
I have bought two 8 frame Langstroth hives from bee-equipment for swarm control, and making a snelgrove board to ensure my FlowHive have the full strength of bees when the honey flow starts.
Hefted the two hives and put my ear against the brood box to hear if the bees still there. Snow White hive (Flowhive 1 queen) has plenty of stores, and Fire Opal hive (Flowhive 2 queen daughter of Snow White) I gave them fondant in January as seemed light.
Both colonies appear to be okay, I dare not open the hive now and see as the weather too cold. I think I shall wait till we have a week of good weather before opening the hive for inspection.
There are few people who have lost their hives this year who are in my club, this seems like a tough time for the bees this year.
Today I checked on the hives to reverse the brood box setting from top to bottom. Both hive were packed with bees.
Snow White colony had too much stores so moved the stores in the bottom and placed an empty brood box above that and the bottom brood box on top. Was amazing to see the amount off bees that where there.
On Fire Opal colony this colony had almost each and every frames packed with bees. Placed the top brood box in the bottom an empty brood box on top and then bottom brood box on the top.
On 14th April I shall do a through check the empty brood box and check if there any signs of swarming. I plan on replacing any excess stores with foundation and place the FlowSuper as the bees will be ready for April harvest.
I have a feeling I might end up with four strong colonies this year.
Wintering with double brood work out really good and would certainly keep with that.
Oh to be in the balmy south.
I reverted back to double brood, as I should have done pyramid to help the bees move around rather than breaking the brood the way I did. This caused a break in the brood for 3 week. A lesson learnt.
I took two frames of stores from Snow White colony and have to Fire Opal colony as they had brood no stores and were expanding rapidly. This was on Saturday.
Yesterday I decided to give them Flow Super, as Fire Opal colony had a new Flowhive Super, I two frames I had harvested from Snow White’s colony and placed them in the New FlowHive super.
Both colonies straight away went up and after 30 mins could start seeing honey being deposited in the frames.
Snow White is laying eggs in queen cups already so I might have to throughly examine the hive on Sunday, frame by frame and if they preparing for swarming I shall use the snelgrove method of swarm control.
my bees survived the winter well, and are very strong, left a brood box on top of the original box which they filled with honey and fed on over winter, did a varroa treatment and hopefully split them soon.
all the best Ian.
That is good news Ian,
When is your main Nectar Flow in the area you living, if you want to enjoy the honey and also have two hives. look up on YouTube Snelgrove swarm control.
This is what I plan to do to increase the hives.
Thanks for the info, they have started bringing in plenty of pollen and nectar now, I have just finished treating them for varroa and hopefully they will be ready for a split.
Lovely to hear, I had an experience day today with a mentor of mine.
We picked up a swarm he caught yesterday and relocated this bees. Did an artificial swarm on a colony that had queen cells. Got the queen and the other second colony the bees had swarmed but the hive was still strong, so we knocked and left one good queen cell.
Then went another beginner house where it’s hive had swarmed and split the existing colony to two for the beginner to easy maintain the bees.
My mentor and I were saying some people get started with bees but expect others to do the work. But what an experience I had today.
My bees are doing great, Snow white’s colony is not as strong as Fire Opal but there are few bees in the super moving the nectar from brood frames up.
While Fire Opal colony is more active in the super lately, I think this colony will give me a good yield this year. I am keeping an eye for swarm cells after which I will then perform artificial swarm using snelgrove method. Once the virgin queen is mated, I shall move the hive and let the flying bees return to the old colony via the snelgrove board.
My bees are keeping me on my toes at present as there is no swarm cells in my colony at present, may be they may not swarm this year but don’t want to leave it to chance. Might inspect the hive again on Wednesday evening to ensure that no swarm cells are present.
getting quick now looking at the colony now, spotted all the queen cells on the hives today, so really chuffed about it.
Yesterday My instinct told me to inspect the hive and found swarm cells in both my colonies.
Both Snow White & Fire Opal colony had swarm cells, Snow white had 6 frame of brood while Fire Opal had 12 frames of brood. I have performed artificial swarming using the snelgrove method.
I should have two strong colonies when the nectar if on flow and also have two additional colonies for next year, which I intend on getting more FlowHives.
Would love to hear stories from other UK FlowHive beekeepers.
We did a successful walk away split this weekend, and both hives are doing well. I will check this weekend to see if they have made any new queen cells in the new split which is queen less fingers crossed, and also put my super on the main hive.
That is great Ian,
I need to check my two new colonies and check if they have not created dozen of queen cells. I shall leave them with only one to raise the queen. If they not successful to raise a queen I shall merge the hive back with the original hive.
Fire Opal’s colony is strong and you can see honey on the viewing window.
I hope to see a good harvest from this colony.
With your queen less box check your queen cells four days after your split. Remove any sealed ones as they would have been made on older larvae and will produce an inferior queen.