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Trumpington Allotments (Cambridge) update.

 
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catchercradle
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 1492
Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 12:41 pm    Post subject: Trumpington Allotments (Cambridge) update. Reply with quote

Five out of ten hives on site (three different bee keepers) inspected by bee inspector yesterday. Two colonies in danger of starvation (both swarms this year) one colony very bad varroa, (a national and not one of mine).

Good news is that there was no evidence of EFB which has been found in a hive within 3Km of our site.

Due to weather only one of mine was inspected, (a Warré) and this was found to be in good health with brood in three boxes, though the top box contained mostly stores with only two bars of brood.

The moral is that in this area we do need to pay attention to what is happening with our hives and while established ones have made far more honey than in recent years, new swarms have not done as well and need a bit of help.
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CeeBee
Foraging Bee


Joined: 16 Jun 2013
Posts: 104
Location: UK, Cambridge, Milton

PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not heard from the bee-inspector here - just outside Cambridge on the other side (and registered on BeeBase) - must log on to BeeBase and see what it can tell me - sort-of expected email if there was thought to be a risk of foulbrood or whatever in the area.

Anyway, think that my two top-bar hives (with swarms from this year) are fine. More than 20 bars in each - looked through them all on Monday, and counted dropped Varroa on board below mesh floor (seemed a bit high - up to maybe 12 per day); Tuesday took one comb of honey from each (selected candidate comb on previous day) - not much choice, as brood still close to the ends - pleased with about 2.5kg of cut-comb to get on with sampling; Wednesday appplied MAQS strips (i.e. formic acid against varroa). So far so good with the latter - behaviour looked very normal today (after 2 days). I intend to write about this in another thread, if I get round to it - took photos of what I did with the MAQS - as I could find no evidence on the web of anyone trying them on a TBH. Of course the important thing will be whether the MAQS strips have knocked-back the Varroa, rather than just that the bees appear to have coped with them.

P.S. assume your Warré has removable bars for inspection (think the original Warré plans intended that they be nailed down?). How easy was getting bees off brood comb for inspection, given that you can't shake them off as with a framed comb? Was pleased, with my own honey harvest, that brushing bees off one comb wasn't too difficult, but would have taken a long time to do it to every brood comb.
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catchercradle
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 1492
Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2014 6:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Because of weather, didn't go right through the Warré. When you put the nails in the Warré bars, you cut the heads of the gimp pins so you can pull them up and then push them back down in place. I felt that the inspector was much more respectful of the bees than the chap who retired last year. Not surprisingly she had differences of opinion with some of us more let alone bee keeping types but she wasn't anti top bar hives as some are.

I am gradually fitting metal castellations to my Warré boxes so won't be using nails at all in the future.
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catchercradle
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 1492
Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All hives seem to have made it through the winter. - 9 on allotment site. (six of mine, one from fellow bee keeper on site and two I am looking after for friends who have moved away who are selling them to a new bee keeper before starting afresh in Lancaster.

In community orchard have taken observation hive out of it's housing and will shortly be adding glass to use the whole space for them to build completely natural comb in. I will then introduce a swarm early in the season. Glass will only be removed if the colony dies out.
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catchercradle
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 1492
Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:33 pm    Post subject: Another vist from the Bee Inspector. Reply with quote

Bee Inspector came again yesterday. - EFB had been found within 3Km on another inspection which surprised the inspector as it is rare in our bit of Cambridgeshire. (Much more common in North Cambridge where a certain factor making jams etc. has in the past been fined after leaving unwashed drums that had contained imported honey out to be robbed.

All five colonies clear and bee inspector very gentle with my bees. Made some suggestions that were helpful for future work with my bees. Also not at all judgemental about my non-treatment for varroa.
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1573
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good to hear that you had a beneficial visit from the bee inspector and that all is good in your hives, although worrying that EFB is so near. I must confess I would not be happy to have to open my hives for inspection at this time of year.

The past week or so, my bees have been as busy as they have through the height of the spring/summer and the apiary stinks of what I'm pretty sure is ivy honey..... it's a really pungent sweet smell! Lots of yellow ivy pollen going in. There is a wall in my neighbour's garden that is covered in ivy and it was humming with them yesterday when I passed. The balsam is just about finished and they have had a good run at it but the ivy really seems to have them buzzing! This mild autumnal weather is perfect for them to stock up for winter.
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catchercradle
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 1492
Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, my plan hadn't been to open up till spring and do some sorting out of minor niggles then. As it is, I am clearer about what I need to do in spring. I know some people stay off bee base to avoid inspections but that does mean missing out on alerts. I would have had a look in my hives following the alert which I got via email but probably not been as thorough about it.
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