15 January 2019

Phil Chandler - Gives me help - Beekeeping

This video was shot in Late August 2017 I think it was, and the bees are seen at a busy time of year. The hives have been in use for four seasons and are beginning to show signs of losing their once pristine look. Much has been learnt over this period and my limited knowledge of beekeeping is slowly being added to. As I write this update the weather is kind at 10deg C and the bees naturally are low in numbers, and concentrated into heat conserving clusters in their respective hives. The weakest of my four hives is doing well on Candoline, (a pollen and sugar mix)  in advance of  much colder weather to come.  I closed up the entrance way leaving just one hole in each hive complete with a mouse excluder. Due to the height above the ground it is unlikely that mice will find their way but the excluder is a good way to reduce heat loss.
The other three hives seem to have enough stores of their own to survive.
Here in Mid January short cleansing flights are being made.

3 November 2018

Preparing bees for Over-wintering - So. West UK.

3rd November on a mild overcast day at 14deg.C sees activity levels at about 70%.
Pollen presumed to be Ivy is being brought in.
Ventilation holes were to be restricted and a couple of layers of cloth insulation added above the top bars.
One attack by a wasp is seen here being effectively repelled whilst another is seen to gain access unchallenged. The images below show the highly effective team collaboration as the bees move together to push the wasp away from the entrance. I don't know if the wasp survived or was fataly stung but it was desparate to gain access to the hive at all costs.
All four hives look to be in good health. The intention remains to treat for Veroa with an Oxalic acid vapour in December as they were previously treated in December 2017.

5 September 2018

Dusting Top Bar Hive with sugar

The second dusting of August/September to clense my bees of the Veroa mite. The first hive of the cathedral or barn type went ahead and was completed without incident as seen in the sequence of images here. The other hive treated today was of the ordinary top bar shape but the sequence was interrupted after one comb broke away from the top bar, and fell to the bottom of the hive so upsetting the proceedure. Understandably the bees were none too happy and decided to see me off. After lighting up the smoker afresh I managed to regain control to continue with the dusting and finally closed up the hive.
I am carefull to use pure icing sugar labelled as fondant icing sugar that contains no anti-caking agent or additives.

To take these shots I set up my Nikon D750 camera on a tripod to take a picture every eight second. Here are some of those showing the sugar dusting to best advantage. The remainder of the 518 total were discarded. (250th at f11 auto focus and exposure at +1.7 to get better into the shadow detail.)

The flat TopBarHive pictured below became a little chaotic as can be seen here; The water spray canister contains tap water. The smoker is fueled with dry grass. The grey cloth dangling dummy wasp/hornet nest is believed to spook attacks from these insects that sometimes plunder the apiery.

The broken off comb is being retrieved from the bottom of the five

Hooking out the broken comb

Gently placing down and under attack

Stung around the waistline and through the upper arm of my tunic

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Smoker re-fuelled with dry grass