Author Topic: Beekeeping?  (Read 14246 times)

Wowbagger

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Re: Beekeeping?
« Reply #50 on: 30 April, 2024, 04:39:04 pm »
Another pretty reasonably sized swarm today. I think I collected that. I was on an old rosemary plant and I sawed a lump off and shook the bees into a box. Hopefully the queen went in.

I went through the hive and found a good sized queen cell whose cap was open - that must have been the queen that emerged today. Yesterday's swarm has long since gone. I think I left a solitary queen cell in the hive so I'm hoping there won't be any more swarms.
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Wowbagger

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Re: Beekeeping?
« Reply #51 on: 01 May, 2024, 10:56:02 pm »
I've been reading about varroa treatment - something that wasn't available when I last kept bees. It seems that oxalic acid is pretty effective at killing mites without harming bees, but to be most effective, the bees need to be treated when there are no sealed cells. So what better time than when you've just collected a swarm and the queen hasn't started laying yet?

I've just ordered some oxalic acid and a syringe and I'm going to have a go at treating this hive at the weekend.
Quote from: Dez
It doesn’t matter where you start. Just start.

Woofage

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Re: Beekeeping?
« Reply #52 on: 01 May, 2024, 11:19:28 pm »
The squeezy dosing bottles are easier to use than a syringe. I think Thorne stocks them.

ETA https://www.thorne.co.uk/health-feeding/pests-diseases/varroa/varroa-chemical/trickle-2-empty-bottle.html
Pen Pusher

Wowbagger

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Re: Beekeeping?
« Reply #53 on: 17 May, 2024, 06:31:01 pm »
Last week, I ordered a 14*12 brood body "in the flat". I laid out the bits of wood - 4 flat bits for the walls, and 4 struts for reinforcements - and I noticed that one of the struts was a good deal heavier than the others. It was also a different colour and texture - very much smoother to the touch.



It's clear which is the odd one out in that photo.

I weighed the struts to compare. Three of them were between 150 and 160g, the odd one was about 270g. My immediate thought was that it was pine rather than the much more desirable Western red cedar which was as advertised. "No matter," thought I, "I'll assemble it anyway."

Except it did matter. When I nailed the box together, the odd strut split quite badly, and so did the sidewall that it was slotted into.



I was pretty pissed off with this, as you can imagine, and I sent photos to the company, E. H. Thorne, a very long established beekeeping equipment co. I exchanged a couple of emails in which I was assured that Thorne only sell hives made of Canadian Western red cedar, but they couldn't account for the different qualities of the bit of wood concerned. I expressed disappointment, but that was all. I didn't demand refunds, replacements or discounts off future purchases. The box is useable and I've bunged a load of "Gorilla glue" along the cracks.

However, yesterday I received another email from (presumably) a more senior bod asking me to pack up and return the box and they will send me a replacement. I've named the day for the replacement arriving as Tuesday. This was backed up by a phone call this morning. I think that is excellent customer service - above and beyond.
Quote from: Dez
It doesn’t matter where you start. Just start.

alfapete

  • Oh dear
Re: Beekeeping?
« Reply #54 on: 18 May, 2024, 09:13:19 am »
I think that is excellent customer service - above and beyond.

It certainly is and it's great to hear of such rare examples.

But do they really need the old one back with the hassle of packing it up and taking to the courier of choice? Even better service would have been for a shiny new one to arrive without prior notice, that would really have been 'delighting the customer'.
alfapete - that's the Pete that drives the Alfa

Feanor

  • It's mostly downhill from here.
Re: Beekeeping?
« Reply #55 on: 18 May, 2024, 10:41:18 am »
Yes, that's good service.

But looking at the photos, I'd be highly disinclined to belt a nail in there.
Those are pretty small pieces, and you are nailing pretty close to the end.
Splitting is always going to be a risk.

The glue would probably be enough by itself, if the pieces are a good fit.
If you wanted a more mechanical fixing, I'd be inclined to drill a pilot hole and use a screw.


Wowbagger

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Re: Beekeeping?
« Reply #56 on: 18 May, 2024, 10:48:25 am »
The instructions are clear about where to nail it and since this was the flirt hive I have constructed for well over 30 years, I followed the instructions to the letter. The great think about cedar is that it has a “spongy” coarse grain whilst having good strength and excellent natural weather resistance and in my non-technical mind, that is why you can get away with hammering nails into relatively thin bits like that.

There was a bit of me that was tempted to decline their offer as the box is perfectly useable, I put effort and swearing into its construction and it will almost certainly “see me out” as they say.
Quote from: Dez
It doesn’t matter where you start. Just start.

Woofage

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  • Ain't no hooves on my bike.
Re: Beekeeping?
« Reply #57 on: 18 May, 2024, 11:39:09 am »
That'll be fine, I'm sure. The bees will fill any gaps ;). Credit to Thorne for swapping it out.

I've assembled several "seconds" quality boxes to save money and they've all gone together fine, even if they sometimes need a bit more persuasion than the "first" quality versions. Thorne often has time-limited sales of these, but C Wynne Jones (and others) have them in stock at other times.
Pen Pusher

Wowbagger

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Re: Beekeeping?
« Reply #58 on: 22 May, 2024, 10:18:07 am »
The replacement arrived yesterday - but was the wrong size! They sent me a National brood body rather than a 14*12! Second replacement due today.
Quote from: Dez
It doesn’t matter where you start. Just start.

Wowbagger

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    • Stuff mostly about weather
Re: Beekeeping?
« Reply #59 on: 22 May, 2024, 06:34:26 pm »
It has arrived and I have assembled it. Not much swearing, and it looks pretty good to me. I'll put some frames in it tonight and give it to the colony that was the swarm I collected a few weeks back.
Quote from: Dez
It doesn’t matter where you start. Just start.

Woofage

  • Tofu-eating Wokerati
  • Ain't no hooves on my bike.
Re: Beekeeping?
« Reply #60 on: 16 June, 2024, 07:17:30 pm »
Just spun out the first of this year's honey - a bit later than usual as the weather's been grim. I've done 3 supers from my most productive hive and I've got 2 more from another.

In other news, the colony that went into winter hopelessly queenless somehow seemed to sort themselves out, only to become hopelessly queenless again. I've done a split from my best hive so I may just unite them and have done with it.
Pen Pusher