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North Kent - especially Medway towns

 
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chickenofthewoods
New Bee


Joined: 28 Feb 2010
Posts: 2
Location: UK, Kent, Gravesend

PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:34 am    Post subject: North Kent - especially Medway towns Reply with quote

Anyone from this area that I could chat to? I'm looking for TBH owners as our local group (though lovely) are a bit traditional in their thinking and habits and I'd like to learn more about TBH's & if possible see one in action. Smile
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biobee
Site Admin


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

PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

About time you made it over here!

Welcome - and I'm sure you will find some locals to help you out.
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greenbeast
Nurse Bee


Joined: 11 Jun 2010
Posts: 45
Location: Kent, UK

PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm in Sittingbourne, but to be honest, i've only just got my first hive
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Citrine
House Bee


Joined: 02 Jun 2008
Posts: 12
Location: UK, England,Kent

PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have PM'd Chickenofthewoods - Im in Sittingbourne too, Greenbeast!
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greenbeast
Nurse Bee


Joined: 11 Jun 2010
Posts: 45
Location: Kent, UK

PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

excellent, i've PM'd you
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Citrine
House Bee


Joined: 02 Jun 2008
Posts: 12
Location: UK, England,Kent

PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Got it Very Happy
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ReedMace
House Bee


Joined: 22 Jun 2009
Posts: 15
Location: UK, Cumbria, Carlisle

PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2010 2:46 pm    Post subject: Feral colony in bromley may need home Reply with quote

What sounds like a feral colony has made its home for around 3 years now in the eaves of a church in Bromley Kent. Is anyone interested in giving it a new home if they have to get rid of it?

I need a response quite quickly to this

ReedMace
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Citrine
House Bee


Joined: 02 Jun 2008
Posts: 12
Location: UK, England,Kent

PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2010 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yup!
Am I too late?
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chickenofthewoods
New Bee


Joined: 28 Feb 2010
Posts: 2
Location: UK, Kent, Gravesend

PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2010 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Embarassed Ooops. How embarassing! I leave a message & then don't return for ages - how very rude of me! Sorry folks, life got in the way & I forgot to return to check the forum. However, I've bookmarked it properly now so you should be seeing me more frequently and more actively!

Thank you for all the kind replies - Biobee, thank you for the welcome I don't know what's taken me so long either!

Off to have a proper browse now. Thanks again folks! Smile
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worrywort
House Bee


Joined: 26 Dec 2009
Posts: 24
Location: UK, Kent, Gravesend

PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 6:24 am    Post subject: north kent Reply with quote

Hello There.
After yet another year of grief, I'm swapping my Dadant hive for a Warre.
and maybe my Nationals too.

I live in Gravesend But My out apiary is near Cobham. I could bodge my way through it on My own, but it's nice to have someone hold My hand.

Regards Derek.
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Tamar
New Bee


Joined: 17 Aug 2011
Posts: 3
Location: UK, Kent, Faversham

PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 7:50 pm    Post subject: Faversham very neewbie Reply with quote

Hi
I am a very newbie. Just starting with an interest in ethical beekeeping. Do you all have hives? Top bar? Anyone mind showing them to me? All I've seen close-up is an observation hive. I'm still at the 'can I do this, and if so- how?' stage. I would love to see a working top bar hive, and talk with someone local. I'm in Faversham.
Thanks
Tamar
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Alan B
House Bee


Joined: 14 Apr 2014
Posts: 24
Location: Kent

PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 3:11 pm    Post subject: Sittingbourne Kent Reply with quote

Hi - Have people's hive, awaiting its first occupants. Would love to speak to similar in Sittingbourne. Also noticed on other thread possible group being considered Faversham-Canterbury - anything happening - are there any local natural bee keepers groups?

Regards

Alan
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Smorning
Foraging Bee


Joined: 20 Aug 2013
Posts: 150
Location: Faversham Kent UK

PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 8:40 pm    Post subject: Meeting Reply with quote

Alan B we did have a meeting although we are a small group it was interesting to chat about natural beekeeping if you are interested we could try to meet up I am just outside Faversham
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Alan B
House Bee


Joined: 14 Apr 2014
Posts: 24
Location: Kent

PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 8:13 am    Post subject: North Kent/Faversham Reply with quote

Need a bit more setting up at my end. Did the group agree to meet again, how many and what was the general feeling? Regards Alan.
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Smorning
Foraging Bee


Joined: 20 Aug 2013
Posts: 150
Location: Faversham Kent UK

PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 6:33 am    Post subject: Natural beekeeping Reply with quote

Alan like all things it was a very slow start we only had two members many of those that previously posted on this forum did not respond. Since that time we have another that is interested in our village who is starting with a hTBH. I also know someone with a Warre hive in Canterbury located on an allotment. It was agreed that we would meet maybe once a year but the most important part was to provide a support network locally. We would like it to grow over the years fingers crossed
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Alan B
House Bee


Joined: 14 Apr 2014
Posts: 24
Location: Kent

PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 8:07 am    Post subject: Local group north Kent Reply with quote

Would be interested in next meeting, will look out for details. In the meantime, I am not sure how to go about getting a swarm - don't want to go down nuc-route and attracting a swarm naturally does not seem a viable option where I am. Am a little bit wary of getting in contact with the mainstream groups/keepers who have been a bit sceptical/suspicious to date.

Regards and thanks
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1569
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Alan

Is there any reason why baiting a swarm to your hive doesn't seem viable?
Are you just not seeing any honey bees in your garden? If not then maybe planting flowers and shrubs that they love will attract them. Beekeeping and gardening do seem to go hand in hand although of course they have to.

Are you unsure about how to catch a swarm? Or how to advertise your interest and ask people to contact you if they see one? If it is the latter, try making some eye catching posters and attaching them to lamp posts near shops etc in the same way as people do when they have lost a dog or cat. Contact local pest control businesses/council/police and possibly fire brigade and leave your details. Tell family, friends and colleagues and ask them to spread the word that you are on the look out for a swarm. It's amazing how word gets around because it is something a bit unusual.

If you are just unsure about how to catch a swarm, there are lots of You Tube videos. An old sheet, a cardboard box and usually some long handled pruners and perhaps a saw, some step ladders or a long handled rake and protective clothing is pretty much all you need. If you can make contact with a local swarm catcher and perhaps tag along on a call out, practical experience is hugely beneficial, but not essential. We all started with our first one, some easier than others and each swarm will be in different circumstances, but it is a huge BUZZ when you successfully catch one, especially your first.
Also, don't worry if it takes you a few attempts before you get them to settle in the box. They will often recluster in the original location if you don't get the queen and even sometimes when you do catch her, as they can still smell her pheremone at the original site but gradually it will lessen and they will be lured to the box where the other bees are fanning.

Anyway, good luck with it and any other help or encouragement I can offer, just shout up.

Regards

Barbara
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Alan B
House Bee


Joined: 14 Apr 2014
Posts: 24
Location: Kent

PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 3:08 pm    Post subject: North Kent/Faversham Reply with quote

Hi Barbara

Thanks for the suggestions.

I've heard that one local swarm catcher is a bit sceptical on natural bee keeping hence DIY. Would love to bait a swarm, main issue is getting a bait box up high enough - don't really have anything high to put in on and presumably baiting a swarm at ground level is a non-starter?

Yes honey bees are a bit thin on the ground in the garden so far this year despite lots of bee friendly plants. I think I am an oasis in a sea of concrete, paving and gravel.

Regards

Alan
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1569
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi again Alan

A bait hive doesn't need to be far off the ground. Just because the optimum height is 10 feet up or whatever, doesn't mean you will not be successful lower down.
I know someone who attracted a swarm straight into his brand new horizontal TBH with no experience at all, the first season he put it out.

Set it up with two boxes, rub the inside with some beeswax and if possible get a piece of brood comb perhaps one of the natural beekeepers in your area might offer some. The brood comb is not essential but it is very attractive to bees. Just be sure it is from a healthy colony. Smear a drop or two of lemon grass oil around the entrance and perhaps put some on a rag and tie it to a twig or fencepost or something nearby so that it will waft in the breeze. Then just reapply the lemon grass essence every week and keep your fingers crossed. In the meantime, put feelers out for a swarm. Chances are, you will get a call for a swarm the same time as a swarm moves in and you then have two colonies and one hive.... beekeeping is kind of like that. Nothing for a while and then everything comes at once and catches you unprepared.

All you can do is make it as attractive as possible and hope a scout bee finds it. Really you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by trying and there is no better feeling then bees choosing to move into a hive you have made of their own accord!

Good luck

Barbara
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Smorning
Foraging Bee


Joined: 20 Aug 2013
Posts: 150
Location: Faversham Kent UK

PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 6:03 pm    Post subject: I agree Reply with quote

They sometimes just turn up at a hive that is empty so it's worth having a go, baiting with old brood comb is good but as a new bee you will not have this. I can supply some drawn out comb if you want, worth using lemon grass oil as well as it mimics the queen pheromone I am told. Best of luck trying costs nothing and may be successful fingers crossed
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1569
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's brilliant that Smorning has jumped in so quickly with a kind offer of some brood comb.
I love it when this forum enables people to get local support so directly like that!

Will be keeping my fingers crossed that one your posts in the next few weeks will be an excited report of a swarm having taken up residence Razz
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Alan B
House Bee


Joined: 14 Apr 2014
Posts: 24
Location: Kent

PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 8:13 am    Post subject: Thanks both Reply with quote

Thanks Barbara and Smorning

Am going to go for attracting a swarm 'naturally' this year. Lemon grass will be here in day or 2 and will hang sum up as well. If I fail then there is always next year when I may have a bit more confidence to collect a swarm.

Thanks for very kind offer of comb - I would be happy to pick it up if you want to contact direct - otherwise I can try my luck with just the other bait.

Thanks again

Alan
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Smorning
Foraging Bee


Joined: 20 Aug 2013
Posts: 150
Location: Faversham Kent UK

PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 7:59 pm    Post subject: Swarm Reply with quote

Alan

Hope it's progressing well it's sure been busy swarms are very common at the moment just populated my second hTBH tonight. According to forecast it's going to get hot from Friday after recent rain so swarm incidents may accelerate this weekend. My apiary has increased from 3 to 10 hives already this year looks like I will be busy in the workshop again !
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Alan B
House Bee


Joined: 14 Apr 2014
Posts: 24
Location: Kent

PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 3:19 pm    Post subject: North Kent Reply with quote

Have had two scout checkings out of the hive this weekend. The first spent about 4 hours sizing things up. The next day the second was here about 20 mins. The second was a different species so I am assuming it was from a different colony. Nice to see some interest at least even if it comes to nothing. Not sure the time gap between a scouting and a successful arrival? The only lure has been lemongrass - would you renew this every so often? We have also ordered bee kit!

Regards
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1569
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes renew the lemon grass every few weeks.
The bees certainly could be from the same colony. The queen mates with numerous drones on her mating flight so the bees is a hive are full and half sisters, so it's not unusual to see a large variation in colouring of bees in the same hive.

Good that you are getting interest from scouts but 10-50 scouts checking it out is the time to get excited. Sometimes you see a mass of interest and then it all goes suddenly quiet and then a short time later the swarm arrives. They won't accept the opinion of just one or two scouts though, they have to have a quorum, so keep fingers crossed for more bees showing an interest!
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Smorning
Foraging Bee


Joined: 20 Aug 2013
Posts: 150
Location: Faversham Kent UK

PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 7:58 pm    Post subject: Success Reply with quote

Managed to catch a swarm today hanging onto an apple tree in our orchard, swarm most probably emanated from one of my hives as Brazil were getting thrashed by Germany ! I took it to Alan's and Michelle's today and we successfully installed it into their warre hive (1st for all of us). Two more natural beekeepers have started their interesting journey in beekeeping Very Happy
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