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Post by Sean Ph'lib on Mon Apr 22, 2019 9:33 pm

I spent the day putting up bait hives around the apiary today. I put up eight and will get three or four more up farther away around the woods later in the week. I had to put supers on several hives. Now I need to make a good few nuc hives.

Sean Ph'lib

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Post by cristy on Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:54 am

Hi Sean. I will be making two more hives this week. Three will be enough me thinks. With this number I will be checking each colony for swarming preparations each week. Once the parent colony is divided I will leave the other hive as a bait hive. This warm spell has seen my bees working well. I have also put on another super as the existing one is 3/4 full. No sign of drones as the entrance yet. I was wondering if this hot spell might get them going early. We have a field of rape a few miles away which is not particularly good news but at the end of the day, honey is honey. I plan to do the first full inspection next week weather permitting.

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Post by Sean Ph'lib on Tue Apr 23, 2019 3:37 pm

As you say, honey is honey. Awkward stuff to deal with,  OSR.  If id didn't granulate so fast it would be fine to blend with other honeys.  You can always put the granulated combs aside and give 'em back to the bees as winter feed. I notice lots of bees going in and out of my bait hives already, so a swarm is in the offing! Very Happy

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Post by cristy on Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:03 pm

I had tons of rape honey in the past. It was often the only honey harvest available, living in area of prairie tillage as far as the eye could see. I would send it to Scotland in exchange for heather honey. I think I had the better deal but the Scots loved my rock hard overly sweet tasteless honey. The big advantage of rape honey is that you get it early and if I was lucky, I would still get a better quality crop during the main honey flow period.

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Post by cristy on Sat May 11, 2019 6:48 pm

For the time being at least, I am ahead of the game. Bait hive in place and duly lemon grassed up. I have seen bees investigating so fingers crossed. In the passed I have divided colonies artificially but, I will let them do what comes naturally and hopefully go into the bait hive. If all goes to plan I will break down all but one of the queen cells and be happy with two colonies this year and hopefully some honey harvest. I need to get some more super frames soon, just in case. Looking good Smile

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Post by Sean Ph'lib on Sat May 11, 2019 7:55 pm

Things were going well here too for a while, lots of interest in the bait hives and so on, but then it turned cold and that put a halt to their gallop! With the help of God, things might improve next week and get things moving again.

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Post by Sean Ph'lib on Tue May 14, 2019 2:34 pm

Lot of action around one of my bait hives this afternoon. Swarm rising somewhere soon...

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Post by cristy on Wed May 15, 2019 8:46 am

Yes Sean. Lots of action around my bait hive. I luv watching swarms, I just hope I am around to see it. Fingers crossed.

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Post by Sean Ph'lib on Thu May 16, 2019 4:31 pm

Bingo! Came home an hour ago to find a swarm in one of the bait hives. Funnily enough, it wasn't the hive I noticed all the interest in on Tuesday - and there are bees still checking that one out.

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Post by cristy on Thu May 16, 2019 7:33 pm

SNAP!! Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy . Full moon tonight. I wonder if this is just coincidence? I first noticed the lack of action at the parent hive. Checking the bait hive I could see "Bouncers" checking out at the entrance. Its a pity I was also out. I like to watch swarms, but very pleased I am.

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Post by cristy on Mon Jun 17, 2019 7:57 am

The swarm seems to be a bit lethargic to me. This is a bad sign and I have had this notion in the past with Queenless colonies. On the last inspection they seemed to be working on the foundation right enough but no signs of a laying queen. They do have ample stores as I gave them two extra frames as there is not a nectar flow at the moment around these parts. I hope all is ok with this queen but I have no idea how old she is. It may be that I will need to replace her. I will leave them another week by which time the original colony should have a mated queen and I can take a section of brood and introduce it to the swarm. Fingers crossed. Two colonies is not enough me thinks when problems arise.

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