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Author Topic: Planning for year two  (Read 1760 times)

Offline charentejohn

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Re: Planning for year two
« Reply #20 on: November 14, 2020, 09:59:46 am »
Yes, in the middle of nowhere.  I have neighbours but well away so no problem there, photo attached.
Re risk to neighbours of managed / unmanaged unless I guess you mean of hives just put in a garden and being unobserved suddenly causing a problem.

Mine may be unmanaged but tey are under constant surveilance  :smile:   I can see mine from the kichen door and regularly check them with binoculars, saves walking down there, every time I am passing. 
Two or three times a day I get up close to check pollen etc arriving, and ensure asian hornets are not too much of a problem.
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Offline Bob Wilson

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Re: Planning for year two
« Reply #21 on: November 16, 2020, 12:33:06 pm »
Looks like a beautiful place to keep bees.

Offline charentejohn

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Re: Planning for year two
« Reply #22 on: November 18, 2020, 05:39:16 am »
Attached is a photo from the kitchen door (binoculars observation point) showing the actual location, tried to make it a good all round spot.   In full sun as east facing, under shade of the trees from noon in summer and protected from SE winds and rain by trees and neighbour's high hedge.  They tend to go out east to forage but also curve back into the small stand of trees. 
I did this because of the bees in the photos who took up residence in a sealed bird roosting box, there constantly for 7 yrs.  Box of 16mm ply was on a west facing wall in full summer sun (40c) hence the sunshade in the photos, and -10c occasionally in winter.  Had to do running repairs as it was rotting away.  I noted the convoluted shape of the comb as the 30L ish box must have warranted it rather than the usual straight combs.  Looks like they ended up there and knew how to make it work for them despite not being ideal.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/GmsnGhbwzWiqKfcz8
https://photos.app.goo.gl/WKVtpai1btREBAxd8   
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Offline Bob Wilson

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Re: Planning for year two
« Reply #23 on: November 19, 2020, 10:38:06 am »
I can see the appeal for them. It seems to be the size of a good swarm box... about one and a half deep box.
Great pictures.

Offline charentejohn

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Re: Planning for year two
« Reply #24 on: November 19, 2020, 07:06:18 pm »
I am looking to build a box to put in nearby trees (on my land just behind the current hives) and think that is a good size, just thicker walls needed.
The photo showing it next to a warre box shows the interior, two shelves and some dowel perches.  Some birds prefer to huddle together hence the options.
Just shows they will work with most things.  We have a lot of trees but now that I think about it not really the rotten centred hive types so such would be scarce, some barn walls etc.  A local keeper has two in his house roof and one in his barn roof.
 
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Offline charentejohn

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Re: Planning for year two
« Reply #25 on: February 22, 2021, 10:13:10 am »
Now in year 2 and one hive down but the other is up and running, video here  
The other one was always less active so I wonder if it was queen failure, otherwise they have been the same all last year.  The one that woke up came on 3 covered frames of a 5 frame nuc, the other had all 5 covered so I expected them to be way more active but they never were, active enough just about 2/3 of the other one.

There were a few bees coming and going a few weeks ago but all quiet now.  I will dismantle when the weather is suitable just in case there are salvagable bees, doubt it though. Nothing worrting about the die out just guess the queen wasn't laying enough and as they died off not replaced, none at all flying now.
I can clean it up and await a swarm rather than from a Nuc again as should attract other bees I hope.       
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Online The15thMember

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Re: Planning for year two
« Reply #26 on: February 22, 2021, 10:43:45 am »
There were a few bees coming and going a few weeks ago but all quiet now.  I will dismantle when the weather is suitable just in case there are salvagable bees, doubt it though. Nothing worrting about the die out just guess the queen wasn't laying enough and as they died off not replaced, none at all flying now.       
I would clean up a deadout as soon as possible.  If you don't really know what they died of, I wouldn't want to chance spreading something to your other hive, or other hives in your area.  Those few bees coming and going a few weeks ago were probably robber bees from your other colony, and therefore whatever damage could be done is probably done, but just for the future.  Deadouts are a big culprit for the spreading of varroa and other diseases, as robbers from other colonies enter the empty hive to steal resources and pick up whatever other nastiness the colony died of and bring it back to their healthy colony.

I can clean it up and await a swarm rather than from a Nuc again as should attract other bees I hope.       
 
Generally swarms will not prefer a location right next to another colony, but swarms pick weird locations all the time, so anything is possible. 
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Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Planning for year two
« Reply #27 on: February 22, 2021, 11:30:53 am »
>. The other one was always less active so I wonder if it was queen failure,

John from your older post and discussions; Just adding two and two together. I would say mites and the problems associated with mites brought to a hive, did them in. Sadly many new beekeepers do not grasp the deadly effects that mites can have on our bees.
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline Bill Murray

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Re: Planning for year two
« Reply #28 on: February 22, 2021, 11:35:53 am »
I should probably start a new post but the question is Has anybody say south of NC. tried the Saskatraz Bees?

Online The15thMember

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Re: Planning for year two
« Reply #29 on: February 22, 2021, 01:05:14 pm »
I should probably start a new post but the question is Has anybody say south of NC. tried the Saskatraz Bees?
You should definitely start a new topic.  No one is going to see that here. 
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Offline charentejohn

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Re: Planning for year two
« Reply #30 on: February 22, 2021, 03:06:20 pm »
My mistake for posting this, self inflicted as we say.  I will report on the mites / not mites when I have a look.
As this is the (near TF but not TF, I know) section I expected no where were your chemicals then replies.  Come on now, you know I am TF and both hives mirrored each other just one died.  Just as likely to be the chemical drizzle use before the came to me damaged one queen but no the other.  Give me a few days and I will post details and photos.   
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Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Planning for year two
« Reply #31 on: February 22, 2021, 03:28:34 pm »
My mistake for posting this, self inflicted as we say.  I will report on the mites / not mites when I have a look.
As this is the (near TF but not TF, I know) section I expected no where were your chemicals then replies.  Come on now, you know I am TF and both hives mirrored each other just one died.  Just as likely to be the chemical drizzle use before the came to me damaged one queen but no the other.  Give me a few days and I will post details and photos.

Why would it be self inflicted being honest? You were honest about losing your hive. You mentioned a theory of a failing queen. I responded another suspect, possible mites as per the in depth of discussions from your past post concerning mites and your hives. Naturally mite infestation will be suspect number one. As far as that goes it could have been anything else since you have not inspected.  Good luck.
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Online The15thMember

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Re: Planning for year two
« Reply #32 on: February 22, 2021, 04:29:35 pm »
My mistake for posting this, self inflicted as we say.  I will report on the mites / not mites when I have a look.
Why would it be self inflicted being honest? You were honest about losing your hive. 
I agree.  Beekeeping is hard, it happens.  But the assumption is that you are posting so people can share their own opinions and try to help you out.

Come on now, you know I am TF and both hives mirrored each other just one died.  Just as likely to be the chemical drizzle use before the came to me damaged one queen but no the other.  Give me a few days and I will post details and photos.
Bee colonies are like macroorganisms, each is an individual.  Only one dying gives no indication as to why the hive died.  I had one robust colony die of cold exposure this year, and all my colonies are under seemingly the exact same conditions.  Each hive is different, and can respond to any stressor in a different way.

As far as that goes it could have been anything else since you have not inspected.
 
This is the struggle with Warres.  Without inspecting, you don't know what's going on until it's too late.  And that's a choice you've made, John, and we respect that, but your options when things go wrong with a hive are necessarily limited having made that choice.     

 
« Last Edit: February 22, 2021, 05:05:39 pm by The15thMember »
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Offline charentejohn

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Re: Planning for year two
« Reply #33 on: February 24, 2021, 08:34:50 am »
The self inflicted bit was that I was reluctant to post as it can lead to some treatment comments when I am looking for info on the actual cause.  I asked on a Warre group and seems most likely queen failure in autumn, too late for emergency queen.   Some varroa faeces I think but then small to dying colony anyway.  Both hives had virtually the same varroa drop but this one struggled.  Seems no bad diseases, dead bees no deformed wings etc. just dead queen and cold finally finishing the stragglers.   A shame but such is bee life.  I will harvest what I can as honey is ok.  The frames are dadant from an adapter, I can use some of the old comb to attract new swarm hopefully - https://1drv.ms/u/s!AgZCpYNgfmp7hk5wqF1VCRd0XzyV?e=J3fbCK   

On Warre inspections it isn't that tricky as the boxes are small.  David Heaf's trick is to slide them half out or tilt them back to look from underneath, no disturbance pulling frames etc.  Small area (1/2 dadant) so easy to see up into the space.    https://www.thewarrestore.com/warre-hive-quick-check 

I don't want to mess with them and so no need to see exactly what they are doing inside.  If they die out in future I can dismantle and inspect but otherwise no intrusions.  In this case queen failure would mean someone may buy a new queen but I don't want to do that.  Better to let them do what they think is best, any problems I can clean up and await the arrival of a swarm.  If commercial then a new queen would mean you can make use of the workers and ensure the hive continues, not what I do so I prefer a new lot to take over hopefully with more success.

Edited to add this link to varroa based dead out whch I found helpful https://beekeepingforum.co.uk/threads/friends-lost-colony-pictures.49617/
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Online The15thMember

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Re: Planning for year two
« Reply #34 on: February 24, 2021, 10:53:57 am »
Great pictures, John.  I'm noticing 3 things.  1) Is that big white fuzzy spot mold?  If so, that indicates to me this hive has been dead for a while.  2) I'm definitely seeing some varroa frass in the brood cells.  It's always hard to tell on pictures how much exactly is there, with the variable focus of the camera, but definitely some varroa pressure in this hive.  3) That queen cell in the middle of that honey/pollen frame seems weird to me.  That queen cell may be older, since they've backfilled the nest around it.  Actual question: Have your bees been foraging over the winter at all?  Probably unanswerable questions:  It looks like they attempted to raise a queen at some point, but the question is when and why?  When did they construct that queen cell, and was it ever capped?  Was it a late supersedure and the new queen didn't mate well?  If so, why did they attempt a supersedure?  Was the previous queen of poor quality, or were they under some sort of stress that they attempted to fix by rearing a new queen?  Based on the lack of bees in the hive, it doesn't seem like it was starvation or cold-related, so my guess would be it was either some sort of queen issue, varroa issue, or perhaps a combination of both.  Hopefully others will offer their opinions as well.

You may want to start a new thread about evaluating the deadout, John, just because many people may not see the conversation under this thread title.         
« Last Edit: February 24, 2021, 12:09:21 pm by The15thMember »
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Offline charentejohn

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Re: Planning for year two
« Reply #35 on: February 24, 2021, 06:54:02 pm »
Good point 15th, I will do a new thread in the general section mainly to share the photos.
On the mould, there were a few bees flying (3-4 every 5 mins) in early Feb but then nothing so they were the last survivors, at the same time green hive looked like this    Apparently the mould is normal after some time as the air isn't being circulated, or so I read.
This hive has just always been less active but not to a worrying point, the other one being so active really highlighted it.  These were the two hives on the same day in July, active green and not so active white they are active but not as much.
I can only say that the queen was ok but may have had a problem hence the low activity.  When they arrived on 5 full frames there was no more space so maybe she slowed laying, they built into the box below but didn't use it.  As you say always hard to be sure what happened but a combination of these things is possible.
There are some Varroa faeces but with such low numbers there wouldn't be loads I guess. If the queen had stopped laying they would have died out anyway, that said all bees that were there were healthy looking. 
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