Backyard Farming Forum

First full look this season.
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Author:  rmcpb [ Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:21 pm ]
Post subject:  First full look this season.

Just opened the hive fully for the first time since autumn. They didn't like the brood nest getting opened, they had propolised the hessian bottomed warree quilt to the top of the frames so I had to push the hive tool in to free it. They came out like a spitfire squadron!! Left them alone for a while then went back for a good look.

The quilt worked perfectly! The top of the wood shavings against the roof are quite moist and the bottom ones totally dry. No mould problems there.


There is a relatively small amount of brood but its tight and well defended so doing well. Only one empty queen cell in the whole hive.

Added another 8 frame box to the back of the hive as there were only two spare frames and there is a fair flow on at the moment. Now the hive looks like a little steam engine :)


Anyway, it looks like they are going to really go gangbusters this season.

Author:  Peasants [ Mon Dec 30, 2013 10:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: First full look this season.

That looks interesting….why wood shavings and hessian??

Author:  rmcpb [ Mon Jan 20, 2014 4:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: First full look this season.

Its based on the Warre design where the moist air rises and ends up in the quilt where it is absorbed so the water does not condense and drip over the bees in winter. Also, i summer it acts as an insulating layer and helps keep the hive cooler.

Regardless of the season it always appears to be a bit moist so helps keep the hive humidity at a good level and more stable.

Author:  Peasants [ Mon Jan 20, 2014 4:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: First full look this season.

Thanks, looks great!

Author:  rmcpb [ Mon Feb 03, 2014 5:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: First full look this season.

Went right through our backyard hives this arvo. The new hive off the package has two 8 frame boxes and they are almost full. The queen has moved up into the top box (we saw her, big and very dark), with only a little brood in the bottom box. Her laying pattern is dense so all is OK, its just where she wants to be so that is fine by me. Next season I will put another box on top with an excluder so there is two brood, pollen/honey boxes and a honey one on top which would be over what they need so we will take what we need from there.

The older, second season hive was a different matter! From the start they were bouncing off our veils and all over our hands. This is the long hive with the 8 frame super on top and its really full and strong. The super only has two partly empty frames so we will need to keep an eye on the space in the hive, may have to rob them sooner rather than later. Down into the main hive body and they went ballistic! My offsider and I were in a cloud of angry bees all intent on killing us, thank goodness for our veils and gloves. Anyway, the brood is really tight and there is lots of honey and pollen in there as well so this hive is in good condition.

We did not see one SHB in the whole inspection. They would have a really hard time with this little lot after them. So keeping the hive size to what the bees can handle and keeping it tight so there are no hiding holes seems to be working.

Author:  rmcpb [ Mon Oct 13, 2014 9:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: First full look this season.

How things change. I have gone from the horizontal lang to the normal lang with a Warre quilt on top as I found the horizontal hive let all bees on me at once and they were harder to handle. In the vertical structure we can split the hive so you only have a small proportion of the house bees to handle, much easier.

I have started doing a bit of queen breeding so now have four hives (2 hives and 2 nucs). Just did a walkaway split from my best hive into the 8 frame nuc. This resulted in 6 queen cells so I had the 4 frame nuc ready and took one of the frames with a couple of queen cells and set it up in the little nuc. All doing well at the moment but next time I will split into 4 frame nucs as they seem to be doing better with a bit less room.

Anyway a couple of photos

File comment: Taking a break while robbing the bush hives.
P1010078.jpg [ 203.4 KiB | Viewed 8249 times ]
File comment: Now we have four. Where does it end? In reality we will take the best from these and put them in the bush apiary.
13102014661.jpg [ 251.2 KiB | Viewed 8249 times ]

Author:  Perpetuitas [ Fri Nov 28, 2014 3:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: First full look this season.

Great! they are looking strong!

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