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Living in a bee house
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Barbara
Site Admin


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

PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Dusko

Yes, it is the same here. Mostly they will swarm around midday, but can start as early as 11am and go on till 3pm. It's very unusual to go beyond those parameters.
I usually see a reduction in pollen intake as the brood is capped and no new brood needs feeding. They do still bring it in, but there is a noticeable drop. I try to make a point of being at home in the garden as much as possible around lunchtime once we reach swarming season. I've just caught my 5th one.
Normally it is pretty much the hottest day of the year but this prolonged spell of cold windy weather after a warm April, means that they are having to come out regardless of the weather now.... cold, windy, showery.... they are not happy! The first prime delayed until they couldn't wait any longer, because the first cast came out only 4 days later! The swarm this morning should have been a prime by my reckoning but there were multiple small clusters in the tree and on two hives. Not sure if the blustery cold weather has caused them to lose coherence or I've missed the prime from that hive and this is a cast with multiple virgins. Nothing is quite as it should be this season so far, so I'm really saying, don't put your money on them following the norm.
Perhaps a benefit of this cool weather is that it will favour our native dark bees over those that prefer fine weather. I envisage a lot of virgin queens not mating successfully and bee populations may fall in general as a result but most of the successful ones should be with dark drones and therefore redress some of the genetic balance. Hopefully I won't have a problem as I have almost exclusively dark drones and perhaps this is why my cast swarms that I capture and hive almost always survive.

Anyway, I hope that helps a little in predicting when they will blow!

Good luck

Barbara
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Che Guebuddha
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1549
Location: Hårlev, Stevns Kommune, Denmark

PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Barbara. Will keep an open eye. I am every day in the apiary between 11-14h watching for the last 2 weeks. It's been a long watch. I hope they make a move in the next few days. Sunny and warm here from tomorrow
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Barbara
Site Admin


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

PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, that's a lot of waiting and anticipation!
It's due to warm up here for the next few days (and hopefully from there on!!) and I anticipate most of mine will swarm then, but of course the bees have been making these plans to swarm for over a month, so they can really only delay it a day or two by the time it gets to this stage.

My bees hardly ever swarm before June, so if anything I was taken a little by surprise a couple of weeks ago to come home and find my cherry sapling bent double with the weight of one. And then the first cast 4 days later when I thought I had at least 8 days before the next one. Thankfully it has all worked out remarkably well so far, as people are bringing me their bait boxes to put them in just ahead of the swarms emerging..... it's like they know there is a new home waiting for them! I haven't had any of them show direct interest in the bait hives though. I find it pretty rare for my bees to take up residence voluntarily in the apiary.

Hopefully your wait will be over this weekend.
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bee foraging geranium: in slow motion

http://youtu.be/RWM8FFKWKKg
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ingo50
Scout Bee


Joined: 30 May 2014
Posts: 311
Location: Newport, Gwent, Wales, UK

PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Multiple swarms in early May here, the weather was rainy and they swarmed despite the poor conditions. They were from my National hives that were rammed with bees from a good wintering. They had obviously decided to swarm early this year as borne out by numerous reports from elsewhere in the UK.
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Che Guebuddha
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1549
Location: Hårlev, Stevns Kommune, Denmark

PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have 2 extremely strong colonies after the winter in top bar hives and they have been flying strong all may yet still they are not swarming. I do see several scout bees checking one of my empty hives today maybe some neighboring hive has swarmed.

Sorry for hijacking your theread Bernhard
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ingo50
Scout Bee


Joined: 30 May 2014
Posts: 311
Location: Newport, Gwent, Wales, UK

PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2015 3:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Che are there reports of swarms elsewhere in your area yet?
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Che Guebuddha
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1549
Location: Hårlev, Stevns Kommune, Denmark

PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2015 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Only one two weeks ago which was a conventional hive. The guy kept removing queen cell but missed one Wink

My bees are not manipulated except 2 shallow supers placed on top of them.
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Che Guebuddha
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1549
Location: Hårlev, Stevns Kommune, Denmark

PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2015 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



My bees today
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2015 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beekeeping without fear: teaching handling bees with a swarm.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFzVEpzENwQ
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scout bee Bernhard reports a field full of cornflowers! (Centaurea cyanus)
Waggle dance, waggle dance!

Now this is a very rare sight. A farmer did not spray and this is the result. Already put some bees there, cornflowers make excellent honey.













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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sweet chestnuts are about to bloom. This year the blossoms are superb, because the longer they are, the more nectar they give. In about ten days I'll move the bees into the deep sweet chestnut woods.









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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What's going on?! Flight activity at 9 pm ...what's this? The pollen trap reveals, it is the blackberry that blossoms! Greyish pollen all over the trap!







Same apiary, but those hives did not want the blackberries...




Another observation that even if the hives are in one location, they forage sometimes on different plants.

Bees in cornflower show lots and heaps of activity, too, bees all over the cornflowers.

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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2015 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My new bee clock:

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ingo50
Scout Bee


Joined: 30 May 2014
Posts: 311
Location: Newport, Gwent, Wales, UK

PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2015 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent fotos, when the alarm goes off are you woken by a sting!
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2015 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bees enjoy the cornflowers. The farmer grows his own fodder for his pig farm. Instead of soy food. Good man!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWVH8Uoe66o
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Che Guebuddha
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1549
Location: Hårlev, Stevns Kommune, Denmark

PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2015 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wish I had such farmers around here. In my locality it's starting to be popular to grow seed grass for football stadiums in Brazil. Sprayed several times a season to keep bee-friendly weeds away. Huge fields with just sterile grass. The rest is sterile wheat, rape seed and oats. I will have to start winter feeding end of Jun/July already. That's how bad it's here. Now it's election time and most around here talk about the immigration issues yet very few talk about Danish nature being dead. Ignorance is deep
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2015 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What I said, you need to migrate your bees. My location doesn't look any better but there are some islands - or let's call them oases - in between.





Trapping pollen:




You can feed back the pollen in times of scarcity (summer, autumn, early spring) and when there is a lot of spraying going on outside the hives. And you can sell it for profit. One kilogramm sells for 25 €. (1 lbs for 14 US$)

Making use of other bee products adds on the profit of natural beekeeping, making up for the lesser honey harvests, especially when swarming is allowed. Also pollen is very reliable, nectar availability depends a lot on weather and all, while pollen is available under most conditions within the season. Also small colonies can make a lot of pollen, while they are poor honey foragers.
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Made a video on queen rearing. Making a starter hive with the Gatineau hive.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tIjiXvJb50
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Filmed a solitary bee - one that has hair on her belly which she collects pollen with.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2WfBBeknl8
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Che Guebuddha
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1549
Location: Hårlev, Stevns Kommune, Denmark

PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2015 7:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think its an Osmia Mason bee. In the Swedish study recently done its shown that Osmia suffers more from Neonicotinoids than Honeybees because Honeybees can clean their body a bit throuhg wax production and this bee cant do so, so it totally reduces their amount of valid queens. Same is for the Bumblebees. I have lots of these on my farm. A very beautiful bee
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2015 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A friend (he is a professor working with bees) says, it should be a Megachile willughbiella.

Bees in the sweet chestnut. Hopefully this gonna be a good chestnut year 2015.

Female blossoms.




Male blossoms.


Good old handtruck saving me back pain.


Just need some sun next days and it can begin.
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 12:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sweet chestnut trees are full of ladybug larvae...




Tons of ants in the trees, too.


And all over the trees: aphids...
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 12:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some more of my roses:









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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The sweet chestnuts are about to blossoming. Some slow motion, too.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=da7eOsLxvJI
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andy pearce
Silver Bee


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

PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2015 5:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bernhard
Just watched your queen rearing video.

Correct me if I am wrong.

You are starting a new hive

Is that fully drawn comb under that excluder?

You shake the bees in from a number of hives

You cought and caged the queens for other use

You checked the front of the hives that had another queen excluder on the front...presumably to stop any queen you missed getting into the hive. (Just in case there was more than one)

You then showed what looked like a Jenter bee rearing system with eggs layed into the plastic cups and then popped them into your queenless hive.

The queenless bees will draw these out into queen cells and then you have lots of new queens.

Will you be showing the next bit?

Someone I know is going to use an old fridge for the last part of the process after drawing out and capping. He is going to add a thermostat to keep the right temperature constant so that hatching day is very predictable. I have not seen him for a while so do not know the full details.

Any chance of following your German subtitles with English ones?

I still say you would not do that with my bees without a full suit! Smile
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2015 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

andy pearce wrote:
I still say you would not do that with my bees without a full suit! Smile


He he, I won quite some bets on this. I come and do some magic. Laughing

Basicly this is the approach:

14 days before I graft, I go and collect capped brood combs from a number of hives. In a Gatineau hive I need 16 combs of capped brood per starter hive. I put those combs on a hive with a queen and a decent broodnest and lots of bees. This is done to get lots and lots of bees into the starter hive. One comb has worth of 3,000 young bees. 16 combs by 3,000 bees per comb is 48,000 bees hatching from those combs.

The shear mass of those bees causes a strong swarming fever in that hive, that received the capped worker brood combs. This is what you want, a hive that wants to swarm. Such a hive does produce good quality queen cells, premium and superb cells. A good cell is halfway to get a good premium queen and a healthy hive.

10 days later I go and break all wild cells.

14 days later I graft. I use the Nicot queen breeding system. In the morning I crunch all the bees that hatched into one or two boxes. I leave combs filled with pollen and open nectar in that starter. But no brood. Just pollen and nectar combs. I leave two gaps, so I can insert the grafting frame later in the afternoon. Wait three hours at least, before inserting the grafts.

Next day feed honey diluted with some water. After five more days you cage those queens and another 6-8 days later all the queens hatched. I make 40 queens per starter although 60 cells per starter is possible. But I want the highest quality I can get. So I reduce the number of cells and this way I make sure, the larvae get enough attention and feed.
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2015 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the corn flowers.

Bees like it, too, and do profit from the rich food provision.


Tons of brood.


And a lot of delicious cornflower honey.






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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2015 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Going to be another year of varroa I reckon'. I find a lot of varroas in the hives this year.

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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2015 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Catching a swarm with the help of my "bee tractor"


Pluck the swarm bit by bit and dump it into a hive with some drawn comb.




Having fun while working bees. That's the way.
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