Guess What!

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Re: Guess What!

Post by Sean Ph'lib on Thu Nov 22, 2018 9:22 am

Speaking for myself Cristy, I wish them well every time I pass them. It's an old saying: "A kind word never broke a tooth"! Wink

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Re: Guess What!

Post by cristy on Mon Dec 31, 2018 10:25 am

The mild spell is much appreciated by my girls. The past few days they have been out in force for a wash and brush up. Its great to see them strong. I was doing a bit of work in the polytunnels yesterday and my peach tree is showing signs of movement. In the past I have had to pollinate by hand but this year I am hoping that the bees will do it for me. The same goes for the cherries and apricots. I do need a cold spell soon as I want to move the hive into a new apiary that I have been constructing.

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Re: Guess What!

Post by Sean Ph'lib on Mon Dec 31, 2018 12:48 pm

This mild weather is not good for the bees. They're very active - and, thereby, burning up a lot of valuable winter stores. It's just this kind of weather which leads on to starvation in March. Heft the hive from the back to make sure it's heavy and, if not, feed 'em. The best feed - and the only one I use - is a few frames of sealed honey, if you have it; if not, candy or baker's fondant is probably best this time of year. Anything is better than letting them starve.

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Re: Guess What!

Post by cristy on Mon Dec 31, 2018 4:07 pm

I checked their weight yesterday and I struggled to lift them so we are ok at the moment. Like you I dont like to feed unless I have to.

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Re: Guess What!

Post by cristy on Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:00 am

I have been thinking about Veroa!. I dont like using chemicals in the veg plot let alone on my bees but! In the UK we lived in the Fens which is very much flat and featureless. Miles upon miles of tillage prairie interspersed with small hamlets. Isolation of aperies must have helped in containing this parasite. I checked for the mite as advised by the Min of Ag but never found signs of them. However times and location have changed so I am looking for some advice on the current situation here in Ireland. Its been a good few years since I kept bees and things have moved on of course. The last I heard was that the UK scientist were still testing products that were used in Europe and not yet approved. This was twenty odd years ago and our testing procedures involved using tobacco in the smoker and a sticky sheet placed onto the floor. I hope nowadays this problem has now been sorted. Any comments lads?

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Re: Guess What!

Post by Sean Ph'lib on Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:45 pm

Well Cristy, I can only speak for myself, but I do nothing at all to them. A good few years ago, I was short of bees and bought four nucs from a fellow in Wexford. When I examined them, three of them were infected with varroa. Those three died out, but the fourth survived. I split that later in the year into four nucs. The next year, I had three hives which showed bad signs in the Spring - lots of bees with deformed wings - but by the summer they had recovered. I had a couple similar the next year, but since then, nothing. I'm keeping my fingers crossed and hoping they have built up some immunity - or at least tolerance - to it. I know the "professionals" advise treating all hives with this that and the other, but I don't believe that is the long-term answer. For me, honey production is all about purity of product, free from all contaminants, so I will be putting nothing into my hives.

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Re: Guess What!

Post by cristy on Sun Jan 13, 2019 4:33 pm

Sean. I had a notion that you would say something of the sort. I am making new hives at the moment with screens and removable floors. A new idea to me but the design has some merits. All very modern but the modern hives are missing the charm of my old WBCs.

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