Archive for June 2015

Apiary:July Outlook

The spring harvest has been extracted resulting in a crop of between 90 and 100 pounds in weight. The BBKA Basic Assessments have also been conducted although the availability of suitable hives (queenright, >6 frames of brood, >8 frames bees, queen excluders and supers) was touch and go. A Warre hive has been recently set up as the 9th hive in the apiary. Along with the two 14×12 hives and the all-shallow hive the vertical top-bar Warre will give some variation to the five Nationals. Although these too are configured differently with a double deep ‘warm-way’, as well as single deeps and ‘brood and a half’. Plenty of options for those members looking to experience different configurations.

We currently have 6 mating nuclei having lost 1 to robbing/absconding. 1 of these has a confirmed queen laying. We look forward to more confirmations in July. Re-queening of some of the hives will follow. The Warre hive will need careful attention in order to become established. Hopefully the July main flow will be good this year but we will need to keep the availability of storage space in the supers high. With the onset of the main flow the swarming urge tends to lessen but checks will be continued. A reduction in the frequency of the Sunday meetings to fortnightly will take place once the trustees feel that weekly checks are no longer required. Please check the website if you are intending to attend a meeting.

A Wednesday afternoon meeting has been pencilled in for 15th July 14:15 to allow those members who are unable to make Sundays a visit to the Apiary. In order to confirm interest in this please contact Brad (07790 173624 PDBKA@nullBeeDavis.co.uk) the session will be confirmed on the website.

Please consider taking on the role of Apiary Trustee. It is an opportunity for any member to increase their experience but particularly for someone considering expanding their beekeeping to an out-apiary.

– Brad Davis, Fred Whetnall, Richard Williams

Apiary:28th June

Hives #1, #2 & #3 were not inspected as they have new queens developing. Hive #7 was not inspected due to lack of time.

Weather cloudy, 19C at 14:30.

Hive#1

Not inspected, awaiting laying of new queen

Hive#2

Not inspected, awaiting laying of new queen

Hive#3

Not inspected, awaiting laying of new queen

Hive#4

Inspected by: Anne B
Brood Chamber (Double Deep):
Frames aligned ‘warm’ way.
Queen (Green/2014) not seen.
Lower Deep
0 queen cells
4 frames with brood
? frames with stores
? frames empty room for laying OK
Upper Deep
2 queen cells removed
10 frames with brood including eggs
? frame with stores
? farmes empty room for laying OK
Super: 1
Needs additional super
Temper:9

 Hive#5

Inspected by: Liz H
Demareed Brood Chambers:
Lower Brood Chamber (Single Deep)
Not inspected
Upper Brood Chamber (Single Deep)
With second entrance
No Queen
1 sealed  queen cell removed 1 sealed queen cell from last time left.
3 frames with brood all stsealed
3 frames with stores
2 empty drawn frames
Supers: 3
Plenty of stores confirmed in top super
Temper:8

Hive#6

Inspected by: Mel E
Brood Chamber (Shallow over Deep):
Queen not seen
Deep
0 queen cells
3 frames with brood including eggs
? frames with stores
? empty frames room to lay OK
Shallow
0 queen cells
0 frames with brood
8 frames with stores
? empty frames room to lay OK
Supers: 2
1 drawn, no stores
Temper:10

Hive#7

Not inspected ran out of time

Hive#8

Inspected by: Brad D
Brood Chamber (Single Deep)
 Queen (Blue/2015) seen
0 queen cells
5 frames with brood including eggs
3 frames with stores
4 undrawn frames, room for laying OK
Supers: 3
Added foundation super other two supers heavy
Temper: 8

Hive#9

Warre Hive
Inspected by: Brad D
Queen (Green/2014) gone
2 Boxes:
Upper Box
5 sealed queen cells removed 1 sealed and 1 unsealed queen cell left
6 frames brood including older larvae no eggs
2 frames stores
Masking tape outside entrance
All frames checked for removeability
Extra comb has been built
Box changed
Box 2
Top bars only
Temper: 10

Mating Nuclei

#15A
Inspected by: Liz H
Assembled 3rd May from Hive#3 (Primary rearing) housed in Wooden nucleus
Queen still not seen
0 frames brood.
Stores OK
Room OK

#15B
Inspected by: Brad D
Assembled 10th May from Hive#3 (Primary rearing) housed in Wooden nucleus
Queen (2015/Green) seen
0 queen cells
5 frames brood, including frame donated from Hive#4
Moved 3′ towards Hive#7.
Stores OK
Room OK
Temper:6

#15D
Inspected by: Liz H
Assembled 17th May from Hive#6 housed in Cardboard nucleus #1
Queen still not seen
1 frame brood few eggs, few larvae
Stores OK
Room OK

#15E
Inspected by: Liz H
Assembled 17th May from Hive#6 housed in Cardboard nucleus #2
No queen seen
No brood or eggs
Stores OK
Room OK

#15F
Inspected by: Mel E
Assembled 20th May from Hive#2 (Secondary rearing) housed in Deep box
No queen seen
4 frames of brood including eggs, poor pattern with capped drone brood
Stores OK
Room OK

#15G
Inspected by: Mel E
Assembled 24th May from Hive#8 housed in Cardboard nucleus #4
Queen not seen
4 frames of worker brood excellent pattern
Stores OK
Room OK

Apiary:21st June-Fathers Day

The meeting followed the third and final round of Basic Assessments involving hives #4 and #5 on Wednesday 17th. Hives #2 & #3 were not inspected as they have new queens developing.

Prior to the inspections a short demonstration on the Pagden method of Artificial Swarms was given using spare equipment. The expectation being that there would be queen cells in hive #5 and a vertical modification of this method would be employed.

Following experiences of bad temper from Hive #7 last week it was left till last and measures taken to allow full inspection of the brood chamber.

Weather sunny, 20C at 14:30.

Hive#1

Inspected by: Liz H
Brood Chamber (14×12):
No queen seen
1 emerged queen cell
6 frames with brood
5 frames with stores
room to lay OK
Supers: 2
Empty
Temper:9

Nucleus#15/H:
Empty. Bees all gone no sign of queen

Hive#2

Not inspected, awaiting emergence and laying of new queen

Hive#3

Not inspected, awaiting emergence and laying of new queen

Hive#4

Inspected by: Peter N
Brood Chamber (Double Deep):
Frames aligned ‘warm’ way.
Queen (Green/2014) not seen.
Lower Deep
0 queen cells
2 frames with brood
3 frames with stores
? frames empty
Upper Deep
0 queen cells
5 frames with brood
1 frame with stores
? frames empty
Super: 1
Temper:7

Hive#5

Inspected by: Richard W
Brood Chamber (Single Deep)
Queen (Green/2014-Clipped) seen
6 queen cells removed 2 left
? frames with brood all stages including eggs.
? frames with stores
3 empty drawn frames
Vertical artificial swarm implemented with queen on foundation at bottom. Queen cells, old brood chamber and nurse bees with own entrance at top.
Supers: 3
Added wet super to increase distance between brood chambers.
Temper:8

Hive#6

Inspected by: Liz H
Brood Chamber (Shallow over Deep):
no indication of queen presence seen but no queen cells raised on test frame added last week
Deep
0 queen cells
1 frames with brood
5 frames with stores
3 foundation and 2 partially drawn frames
Shallow
0 queen cells
0 frames with brood
10 frames with stores
1 drawn frame empty
Supers: 2
Temper:10

Hive#7

Inspected by: Brad D
Brood Chamber (Double Shallow):
Queen (2015) eventually found under box, marked and clipped
Lots of eggs and good sealed brood pattern throughout
Supers:1
Temper:4
Isolated brood chamber before inspection

Hive#8

Inspected by: Richard W
Brood Chamber (Single Deep)
New queen marked blue
0 queen cells
2 frame with  eggs
4 frames with stores
room for laying OK
Supers: 2
Porter escapes put in top super to clear prior to extraction
Temper: 10

Hive#9

Warre Hive
Inspected by: Brad D
Queen (Green/2014) not seen
Box 1
6 frames brood including eggs
2 frames stores
Masking tape outside entrance
All frames checked for removeability
Extra comb has been built
Viewing panel preventing roof from fitting correctly
Box 2
Moved to bottom
Top bars only
Temper: 10

Mating Nuclei

#15A
Inspected by: Peter R
Assembled 3rd May from Hive#3 (Primary rearing) housed in Wooden nucleus
Queen still not seen
2 frames brood larvae and eggs some chalkbrood

#15B
Not inspected
Assembled 10th May from Hive#3 (Primary rearing) housed in Wooden nucleus
Queen (2015/Green)

#15D
Inspected by: Peter R
Assembled 17th May from Hive#6 housed in Cardboard nucleus #1
Queen not seen
Few eggs, few larvae chalkbrood plus suspect
Very damp and mouldy – pupae dying

#15E
Inspected by: Peter R
Assembled 17th May from Hive#6 housed in Cardboard nucleus #2
No queen seen, removed emerged queen cell and dead sealed cell
No brood or eggs
Stores OK

#15F
Inspected by: Peter R
Assembled 20th May from Hive#2 (Secondary rearing) housed in Deep box
No queen seen
4 frames of brood including eggs, poor pattern with capped drone brood

#15G
Not Inspected
Assembled 24th May from Hive#8 housed in Cardboard nucleus #4

Apiary:14th June-Warre Hive

The meeting followed the second round of Basic Assessments involving hives #4 and #5 on Wednesday 10th. Hive #2 was not inspected as it has a new queen developing.

Weather fair, 18C at 14:30.

Hive#1

Inspected by: Liz H
Brood Chamber (14×12):
Queen (Yellow/2014-Clipped) seen and removed to nucleus #15/H (Cardboard 3) with two shallow stores frames and nurse bees from a 14×12 frame positioned on top of hive#1.
1 sealed queen cell appeared to be emerging
? frames with brood some drone brood removed contained varroa
5 frames with stores
? partially drawn frames
Supers: 2
Empty
Temper:9

Hive#2

Not inspected, awaiting emergence and laying of new queen

Hive#3

Inspected by: Richard W
Brood Chamber (Deep):
queen not seen.
4 queen cells on test frame, 3 removed. Leave for 3 weeks
1 frame of brood (test frame last week)
? frames with stores
6 frames empty
Supers: 0
2 empty supers plus cleaned super removed.
Temper: 10

Hive#4

Inspected by: Anne B
Brood Chamber (Double Deep):
Frames aligned ‘warm’ way.
Queen (Green/2014) seen.
Lower Deep
0 queen cells
5 frames with brood including eggs
2 frames with stores
? frames empty
Upper Deep
0 queen cells
6 frames with brood including eggs
1 frame with stores
? frames empty
Super: 1
almost empty
Temper:8

Hive#5

Inspected by: David P
Brood Chamber (Single Deep)
Queen (Green/2014-Clipped) seen and remarked
8 queen cells removed
7 frames with brood all stages including eggs.
4 frames with stores
room for laying OK
Supers: 2
Temper:8

Hive#6

Inspected by: Liz H
Brood Chamber (Shallow over Deep):
no indication of queen presence seen, test frame added
Deep
2 extended sealed queen cells removed contained putrified remains.
0 frames with brood, test frame added
1 frame with stores
? room
Shallow
0 queen cells
0 frames with brood
5 frames with stores
? room
Supers: 2
Temper:9
Varroa board removed

Hive#7

Inspected by: Richard W
Brood Chamber (Double Shallow):
Queen (2015) not seen.
Inspection aborted as very aggressive. Brood and eggs seen.
Temper:4

Hive#8

Inspected by: Anne B
Brood Chamber (Single Deep)
Queen (Green/2014) not seen
2 open queen cells
3 frames with brood no eggs or larvae
1 frames with store
room for laying OK
Supers: 2
Temper: 9

Hive#9

Warre Hive
Assembled by: Liz H/Brad D
Queen (Green/2014) seen
Box 1
Filled with bees and comb from shallow frames taken from Hive#2 last week attached to top bars with masking tape.
6 frames brood including eggs
2 frames stores
Box 2
Top bars only
Temper: 10

Mating Nuclei

#15A
Inspected by: Richard W
Assembled 3rd May from Hive#3 (Primary rearing) housed in Wooden nucleus
Larvae and eggs some chalkbrood no sign of queen

#15B
Inspected by: Richard W
Assembled 10th May from Hive#3 (Primary rearing) housed in Wooden nucleus
2 frames brood including eggs
Queen seen and marked green

#15C
Inspected by: Richard W
Assembled 10th May from Hive #3 (Primary rearing) housed in Polystyrene nucleus
Absconded last week

#15D
Inspected by: Richard W
Assembled 17th May from Hive#6 housed in Cardboard nucleus #1
Very few eggs (2), few larvae chalkbrood
Queen not seen
Very damp

#15E
Inspected by: Richard W
Assembled 17th May from Hive#6 housed in Cardboard nucleus #2
No brood or eggs, stores OK

#15F
Inspected by: David P
Assembled 20th May from Hive#2 (Secondary rearing) housed in Deep box
No brood or eggs

#15G
Inspected by: Richard W
Assembled 24th May from Hive#8 housed in Cardboard nucleus #4
No brood or eggs
Very wet

Queen bee, mating flight video

a short video of the Queen’s inaugural flight

Apiary:7th June-Sunshine

Following the first of the Basic Assessments involving hives #4 and #5 on Friday 5th the meeting was held in bright sunshine. Hives #6 and #7 were not inspected as they have queens developing in them. Mating Nuclei #15E, F and G were left for the same reason. A ‘Wet’ super was put on top of each hive at the end of the meeting following extraction on 1st June.

Weather sunny, 19C at 14:30.

Hive#1

Inspected by: Liz H
Brood Chamber (14×12):
Queen (Yellow/2014-Clipped) seen
1 unsealed Queen Cell left
? frames with brood including eggs, some ‘dirty’ sealed drone brood
4 frames with stores, cappings removed to encourage moving to super
? partially drawn frames
Previous deep brood frame now clear of brood and Bailey comb change configuration dismantled. 1 deep frame put in roof for cleardown. Subsequently put in deep box above crownboard as caused roof not to fit and attracting robbers.
Supers: 1
Empty
Temper:9

Hive#2

Inspected by: Brad D
Brood Chamber (14×12):
Queen (Green/2014-Clipped) not seen in brood chamber but after finding eggs in super eventually found and removed to new site (#9) along with shallow brood.
Queen cell on marked frame now sealed. 2 sealed emergency queen cells removed.
6 frames of brood no eggs or larvae
4 frames of stores
(box short of 2 frames. Dummy board used and space packed with 1 deep foundation frame and wide deep dummy as interim measure).
Shallow Brood Bailey Change dismantled now clean.
Supers: 1
Temper:9

Hive#3

Inspected by: Richard W
Brood Chamber (Deep):
Queen not seen. First inspection since queen cell left to develop.
0 frames of brood prior to adding frame with eggs as test frame from Hive#5.
5 frames with stores
5 frames empty
Supers: 2
Temper: 10

Hive#4

Inspected by: David P
Brood Chamber (Double Deep):
Frames aligned ‘warm’ way.
Queen (Green/2014) seen.
Lower Deep
0 queen cells
5 frames with brood including eggs
4 frames with stores
1 partially drawn and 1 foundation frame
Upper Deep
1 unsealed queen cell taken down
4 frames with brood including eggs
2 frames with stores
5 frames undrawn
Super: 1
almost empty
Temper:7

Hive#5

Inspected by: David P
Brood Chamber (Single Deep)
Queen (Green/2014-Clipped) seen
9 queen cells removed
7 frames with brood all stages including eggs, plus 1 frame donated to Hive#3.
2 frames with stores
2 frames room
Supers: 1
Temper:8

Hive#6

Not inspected, awaiting emergence and laying of new queen

Hive#7

Not inspected, awaiting emergence and laying of new queen

Hive#8

Inspected by: Richard W
Brood Chamber (Single Deep)
Queen (Green/2014) not seen.
7 queen cells removed 2 left
2 frames with brood no eggs or larvae
6 frames with stores
0 frames empty. Room for laying OK
Supers: 2
1 removed for extraction
Temper: 9

Mating Nuclei

First inspection of some nucleii – details to follow

#15A
Assembled 3rd May from Hive#3 (Primary rearing) housed in Wooden nucleus
Emergency queen cells removed 10th May
Due for first check for laying 24th May not checked

#15B
Assembled 10th May from Hive#3 (Primary rearing) housed in ?
Due for first check for laying 31st May

#15C
Assembled 10th May from Hive #3 (Primary rearing) housed in ?
Due for first check for laying 31st May

#15D
Assembled 17th May from Hive#6 housed in ?
Checked for emergency queen cells 28th May
Due for first check for laying 7th June

#15E
Assembled 17th May from Hive#6 housed in ?
Checked for emergency queen cells 28th May
Due for first check for laying 7th June

#15F
Assembled 20th May from Hive#2 (Secondary rearing) housed in deep box
Checked for emergency queen cells 28th May
Due for first check for laying 14th June

#15G
Assembled 24th May from Hive#8 housed in cardboard nucleus #4
Checked for emergency queen cells 28th May
Due for first check for laying 14th June

History of smoker video

A Youtube, American talk on different patterns of smokers.  36 minutes.

Apiary:1st June-Spring Extraction

The extraction of the spring harvest from the apiary took place on the evening of Monday 1st June.

Having been prepared with porter escapes, supers were taken from hives#1, #2(x2), #3(x2), #5 and #6(x2). The porter escapes had done their job on hives #1, #5 & #6 but we had to resort to brushing the bees off of the supers from hives #2 & #3. As a result the super on hive#8 was missed and remains on the hive. Each super was marked with the hive it came from.

The supers were transported to the Petersfield Community Centre where the extraction took place. Although we had brought along the association’s electric extractor it transpired that the sockets in the new kitchen were too high for lead of the extractor and without an extension lead we had to fall back to the manual extractors of the association and Richard Williams’.

Following a brief resume of Hygiene and Honey regulations it was all hands on. The frames being uncapped where required and shake tested where not.  Some of the capped frames had already started to granulate, some were still ‘green’ and two frames were found to have unsealed brood in them!

The manual extractors were used intensively with the honey extracted being filtered into buckets. A refractometer was used to record a water content of 17.5%, well within the requirements for honey (<20%).

The association extractor was then cleaned and adapted to become a bottling tank. Empty jars were washed then heated in an electric oven before being used to hold the first batch of honey. The weight of each jar was checked with the ‘fillers’ vying to get closest to 454g.

We ended the evening with 38x1lb jars and approximately 60lbs (in 3 buckets) of honey.

The extracted frames and those not processed will be retuned to their hives in the apiary.