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Video: First spring inspection in 1st colony in France (hive with Flow Frames)

 
C. La Chassagne
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Hello everyone,

We recently acquired our first bee colony which we have transferred into our home-made hive in France (video on that in an earlier topic). We did our first spring inspection and made a video of it.

Voice-over is in Dutch, but I've added English subtitles to it in youtube (just use the "cc"-button if necessary):



Enjoy!
 
David Livingston
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Nice video .
I noticed that the bees dont appear to be that interested in using the Flow hive supers and seem to be preparing to swarm instead. Why do you think this is ?

David
 
C. La Chassagne
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Hello David,

I think they have not started working on the flow frames because when we got the colony (about a week before we did this first spring inspection), it came on 6 frames. At least one of them still had room for them to work on. And we added two new frames with only wax foundation. As you can see in the video, they started to work on those as well, but they are not finished, yet.

In other words, they've still got plenty of room in the brood box to work, before (hopefully) expanding to the super.

I'm not sure that they are indeed preparing to swarm. The couple of queen cups that we saw might very well be so called "play cups". I did not have the chance to check the hive anew, given that the weather has been a bit on the cold side, this last week. So, I do not know if the queen/play cups have been expanding into queen cells. I'm looking forward do do another inspection, though!
 
David Livingston
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I must admit I was a bit surprised that you put the super or hous on straight away as it costs the bees effort to keep warm even if they don't use it . I would have waited until it got warmer and for my girls here in Anjou it's this Wednesday
Is this a dadant you are using?
 
C. La Chassagne
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I put the super on top on advice of the beekeeper who sold me the colony. To give them room to prevent swarming. Being new at beekeeping, we took the advice, but I see your point as well.

We indeed made the hive from Dadant plans. The brood box is exactly as a Dadant, but we had to modify the plans for the super to be able to accommodate the flow frames.

We went with Dadant because in our region, that seems to be the hive that is used by most beekeepers and at our local bee cooperation, we can get supplies for only Dadant.

Which design is most used in your region?
 
David Livingston
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Dadant is common through out France so I am told
I have a couple of dadant/ warre crosses a couple of warre and a couple of tree hives similar to traditional hives froom the south of France and a Perone . Only one of the dadants and the perone have bees at the moment the others are spread though out the property I live at and I hope to attract some swarms this year.
made the Warre my self it's not difficult and the information is available free . If you fancy I can give you a link . The most of the French beekeepers I have met are quite conservative even the organic ones so don't be surprised by some of there methods . Mind you most of the ones I talk to think I am nuts

David
 
C. La Chassagne
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David Livingston wrote:Dadant is common through out France so I am told


That's what I thought.

Thanks for the offer of sending me the link! I've got an extra dadant ready (this one we bought), but it can't hurt to look at other designs.
We bought the other dadant to be prepared should swarming of our current hive take place.

I'm wondering, though, if it would be worth a try to -like you- just put our second one out there and see if it would attract any other swarms. I've got all the frames with wax foundation to fit out both the brood box and the super with frames. Or is there a risk of the wax going bad or being eaten (or otherwise used) by other small animals or organisms? (Also, I've got to say, I've never seen a swarm here, even though [or maybe because?] there are several other beekeepers in the area).
 
David Livingston
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I dont see what you would have to loose by putting the dadant out as a bait hive, just the brood box would do. About 150m from your hive and at least 2m high if you can plus a bit of old comb inside would help. Other wise its just in your shed collecting dust .Most French beekeepers I know seem to me at any rate stuck in the honey equals money equals new equipment equals more hives equals more honey mode . Where swarms are to be avoided as it is thought they reduce the amount of honey . Oh and regular inspections to prevent swarming and treatment for verroa every fortnight . and complaining about Asian hornets while spending hours at the market trying to sell your honey
Me? I have only been having bees for three years .I was given one dadant and bought one the others I made from scrap wood . I only have two occupied hives but I have never lost a hive nor have I spent more than 100€ over these three years .This year my target is to collect two swarms and maybe a little honey in August . Lets see how the girls do . I dont inspect as there is no point as I do not treat . I am sure they have had swarms I have missed . I check on the bees regularly watching their behaviour at the entrance - the bees are on Colza at the moment unfortunately I would prefer they were on my apples but being mostly adolescent girls you cannot tell them anything . They seem clean and hygienic not much sign of deformed wing virus , no sign of robbers , no asian hornets only a couple of european ones in ther garden and as busy as well .... bees . no Drones yet which I take to mean they are not ready to swarm yet .......
Here is the link to the Warré beekeeping site http://warre.biobees.com/ . I actually run my dadants like Warre with bars and a quilt on top for extra insulation. I dont nadir them though as they are too heavy .
David
 
David Livingston
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http://www.smartbeeing.com/?page_id=1949&lang=en http://www.naturalbeekeepingtrust.org/

Two links talking about a different way of keeping bees . The first is dutch

David
 
David Livingston
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Might be best if you place your queen excluder on the bait hive if you set one up as it will be more difficult to put it on after the bees move in

David
 
David Livingston
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Checked my Dadant/warre hybrid today and whoops loads of drones . All of a sudden I saw none on Tuesday when I looked last . Plus lots of what I assume are scout bees looking and in the two bait hives 30m from the hive .
Looks like they are organizing a party and it would be tomorrow when I am going on a trip to town . ;-(
My invite must have got lost in the post ....again .

David
 
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