Author Topic: Beekeeping  (Read 3634 times)

Gurtie

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Beekeeping
« on: May 22, 2015, 08:03:00 AM »
This may just turn into a thread where I ask Woz advice a lot, but since at least a couple of other people are vaguely interested in bees, I thought might be a nice one to rumble along!

so I now have two hives, I got the first two years ago and was luck enough to get a (late) swarm given t me which survived the winter. My first bees were so gentle that I could work on the hive with no tools and no smoke and wearing flipflops, and I only got stung twice all year. The second year that hive swarmed and the new queen started to produce incredibly defensive little workers who reacted badly to everything from lawnmowers to touching the hive.  Yesterday the hive swarmed again, so new queen time - lets hope this one is a bit calmer and we're back to being able to enjoy working with that hive.

Swarrms are amazing. when bee's swarm they're actually at their most gentle and calm and you can stand in the middle of it as they fly around you with pretty much no risk of being stung. I think when my first hive swarmed that first time was when I massively got the bug (as it were) because I immediately got a second hive last year, which also survived its first winter. So far so good.

But it is a hell of a steep learning curve. There are 70,000 bees in a summer hive and thats quite a lot of little lives to be responsible for, although they don't need a lot of worrying about thankfully!

did you find a BBKA Jason?  How're you getting on?

Rooftop

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Re: Beekeeping
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2015, 08:37:06 AM »
...  got stung twice all year.... produce incredibly defensive little workers who reacted badly to everything ...  "pretty much" no risk of being stung....  There are 70,000 bees in a summer hive .

Not sold.  However, if any of you need a honey taster I do a great Pooh Bear impersonation.

JasonD

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Re: Beekeeping
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2015, 09:58:06 AM »
> BBKA

On my to do list.... Still not done :)

I think it'll be next year before I actively get into bee related stuff, but this summer I'll be reading up and hopefully starting the education to honey nirvana.

Brad

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Re: Beekeeping
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2015, 11:08:12 AM »
I like hearing about this, so please go on.  I'd be a terrible beekeeper, but like Rooftop, I like honey.  How do you get the honey?

JasonD

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Re: Beekeeping
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2015, 03:44:59 PM »
>How do you get the honey...

Like this?

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=2c6_1432442012

Gurtie

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Re: Beekeeping
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2015, 08:14:45 AM »
that's one hell of a comb!

this is a swarm flyng into a log hive which one of the group had as a bait hive this year - amazing to watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSJK4807Imo&feature=youtu.be

and NO stings Mat :)

Rupert

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Re: Beekeeping
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2015, 07:19:56 AM »
My friend and neighbour keeps bees.. So I don't have to :)

Love it! "Th3core Honey"

Might it catch on as a brand?  :-\
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Woz

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Re: Beekeeping
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2015, 05:54:40 AM »
So, how are everyone's bees going?

It's the middle of swarming season here, although I am deliberately not catching any this season. Got a couple of cutouts to do, one is a massive outdoor hive hanging in an Apple Tree, the other a 4 box Lang tipped on it's side and presumably has been that way for quite a few years. (long story)

Of my 16 hives, I brought 8 up to the farm earlier this year (6 Langs, 1 Warre, 1 Kenyan) and left them all the honey they had to see them through winter as I hadn't got a handle on available forage at that time. Sadly three hive didn't make it, 2 small ones, perhaps understandable, and my biggest 4 boxer. Don't know why that one failed, haven't opened it up yet. The Warre and Kenyan are doing fine.

Still have 8 hives back in the city and word is they are doing fine, have to organise an inspection/robbing trip.

I would imagine all your northern-hemispherers will have packed down for winter already. How was last season?
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Gurtie

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Re: Beekeeping
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2015, 09:33:59 AM »
wow - 16!

I have two, the oldest is on its 3rd winter now, it swarmed massively again this year and I was going to take my first honey but I had a few hectic weekends and am glad I didn't manage to as we had a horrible august and used a lot of their honey. They've put on a lot of late stores from ivy so hopefully that will see them happily through the winter if it doesn't totally crystalise.  The second hive is going into its second winter and seems really strong, so hopefully I can get some honey from that come spring!

A lot of hives are failing this year around here - people who've had bees for years had massie failures over last winter and again hives just dying out over the summer. I think its partly because we had a great spring and then a pretty shitty summer for bees, the wasps have been evil and loads of people are getting mice in the hives early too... this beekeeping malarky is more complicated than you imagine!

How's your planning coming on Jason? Joined the BBKA yet?

JasonD

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Re: Beekeeping
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2015, 02:20:24 PM »
ermmmmm, no :)

maybe next year I'll get to it....

DogBoy

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Re: Beekeeping
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2015, 05:08:59 PM »
As far as hives go, I hear this is 'the bees, knees':

http://www.honeyflow.com

...looks like a fantastic invention.