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Learning Curve versus Growth Curve

 
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AugustC
Silver Bee


Joined: 08 Jul 2013
Posts: 613
Location: Malton, North Yorkshire

PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 3:02 pm    Post subject: Learning Curve versus Growth Curve Reply with quote

I have noticed two large fields of oilseed rape just over the road from where my hive is. There is the odd flower out at the moment but it looks as though it will flower soon. This is my first spring as a bee keeper and I have one hive with bees in from a late cast swarm last year. They look as though they are doing well and are already raising brood. I have put some empty bars on at either side of the brood nest and have a spare hive ready and a few bait hives dotted about the village. Is there anything else I can do to prepare for the OSR nectar flow that will ensue?
I am not intending to try and harvest the OSR honey and will instead (hopefully) use it to build up the hive and perhaps get a least one or two more colonies. I have the horrible feeling that I am missing something Confused This is a feeling become all too familiar with the bees.
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andy pearce
Silver Bee


Joined: 30 Aug 2009
Posts: 663
Location: UK, East Sussex, Brighton

PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is said they can get a little irritable on the OSR. So be cautious round them while it is in flower, and see if they in fact do.
A
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catchercradle
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 1486
Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting, Andy, what I have been told is that they often get irritable when the OSR flow stops. The old, "Ask two beekeepers a question and get three different answers" one.

With the OSR being so early, I have seen one field in full bloom already though one a bit nearer is more like 10% in bloom I do not expect to get much honey from it unless the colonies have built up with the mild weather earlier. I don't feed syru to encourage them to build up early which is what a lot of the conventional beeks do around here. Even they may not have this year as it has been a little cool for syrup feeding.
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biobee
Site Admin


Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1051
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have certainly seen them get bad-tempered on OSR, but also on heather.

I suspect that it may be a 'monocrop' response: they are not getting a full range of nutrients, so they get tetchy. Much like I would if I was forced to live on toast alone...
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catchercradle
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 1486
Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe I am just lucky in that there are usually other things around here at the same time as the OSR. Certainly a couple of years the honey I took off thinking it was from the OSR was still liquid 8 weeks later which is unlikely for our temps with OSR.

Whether or not it make them tetchy I certainly agree it can't be good for them to have nothing else.
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imkeer
Foraging Bee


Joined: 03 Oct 2011
Posts: 203
Location: Belgium, Antwerpen, Schilde

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 6:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think you are missing something important. Keep observing your bees daily if possible. You'll learn a lot from them, but it takes time and a certain 'connectedness'.
At the hive entrance, by Heinrich Storch:
http://www.biobees.com/library/general_beekeeping/beekeeping_books_articles/At%20the%20Hive%20Entrance.pdf
Observation and interpretation is important to know how your bees are doing, without opening the hive...

Luc P. (BE)
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lord tedric
Guard Bee


Joined: 30 Mar 2011
Posts: 79
Location: Moira,Swadlincote,Derbyshire,UK

PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to throw in another spanner, my rather more native bees (darker and smaller) got very techy when the OSR ended, where as the very obvious italian hybrids hives seemed more easily irritated during OSR.

That said mine are nothing like as nasty as the bee's I handled while training, put bluntly they where little s*****. There again if you had several novice bee keeps going thru your house each week you'd probably have a sense of humour failure.
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