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'Making Increase' without Splits.

Post new topic   Reply to topic    beekeeping forum -> Bright ideas, experiments and projects
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Scout Bee

Joined: 11 Jul 2012
Posts: 407
Location: Bicker, Lincolnshire, UK

PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 1:00 pm    Post subject: 'Making Increase' without Splits. Reply with quote

Just the quickest of posts. As some of you may may know, I'm now running multi-queen hives in which increase can be made without any need to make splits; which eliminate the need to have mating nucs; and - if you check out the photographs below - also eliminates any need for the artificial queen-rearing which only becomes necessary when small queenless colonies are formed.

The sequence starts by making (what I call) 'mini-combs' and placing these into a nuc box which contains a selected breeder queen.

The worker bees there first fasten the 'mini-comb' more securely and then begin drawing it out.
As soon as the first eggs have hatched, the frame is then transfered to one queenless section of an otherwise queenright multi-queen hive, where the bees begin to draw emergency cells. Exactly twenty-four hours later that section reverts to a queenright condition when the developing queen larvae continue to be fed within the nutritional environment of a full-sized colony, thusly:

I've just set-up a five-queen hive and had intended for each colony to create and raise it's own supercedure cell(s) - but there are obviously enough q/cells in the above photograph to skip that step, and so now I'll just cut 'em out and donate them.

More info at:

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Quality Top Bar Hives by Andrew Vidler

Conserving wild bees

Research suggests that bumble bee boxes have a very low success rate in actually attracting bees into them. We find that if you create an environment where first of all you can attract mice inside, such as a pile of stones, a drystone wall, paving slabs with intentionally made cavities underneath, this will increase the success rate.

Most bumble bee species need a dry space about the size a football, with a narrow entrance tunnel approximately 2cm in diameter and 20 cm long. Most species nest underground along the base of a linear feature such as a hedge or wall. Sites need to be sheltered and out of direct sunlight.

There is a spectacular display of wild bee hotels here

More about bumblebees and solitary bees here

Information about the Tree Bumblebee (Bombus hypnorum)

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