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Discussion Starter #21
Good thing about holistic beekeeping, you don't rely on one product only, but you do make use of a many bee products. Example: pollen. I trap pollen and it is the second valuable bee product that you can make - plus it is much more reliable than nectar. There always is pollen, but nectar is different.

Anyway, right now the blackberries are in full bloom and thus the pollen in the traps turn grey:







In the same apiary some hives do not forage on the blackberries. Instead there is a more colourful picture in the traps.




Interesting enough, that there are always some hives in the aipiary, who forage on different sources of nectar and pollen.
 

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Great video, they are also on centaurea jacea a similar plant.

Did you do your gatineau pollen trap by yourself ?
If so, can you tell us what is your supplier for mesh and what kind of mesh models do you use ?

Thanks Bernhard, it's always a pleasure to read your posts full of pictures and video.
:)
 

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Discussion Starter #25




Trapping pollen:




You can feed back the pollen in times of scarcity (summer, autumn, early spring) and when there is a lot of spraying going on outside the hives. And you can sell it for profit. One kilogramm sells for 25 €. (1 lbs for 14 US$)
 

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I recommend to buy from apimiel.fr, they are far cheaper, delivery is free for 150 euros w/o vat in France, I don't know about Germany, they may speak german also,
and Bijenhof from Belgium near Lille is also cheaper from icko.

Which machine do you use to clean pollen and which one to make this plastic blister ?
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Harvesting honey with a bee escape and a leaf/bee blower.

Early in the morning, right after sunrise, set the lid on the ground, set the supers on the lid, ...


... install the bee escape and put back on the honey supers.


At noon you remove the supers, blow out the few bees that are left in the supers with a leaf blower. Carefully.


Most of the bees that were in the honey super cluster right below the bee escape.


Pull home the honey supers.
 

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Bernhard, another great post and the photos are awesome.

Do you only use that type of hive? I remember seeing curved frames but the ones now are all straight. The Warre method puts new boxes on the bottom. Do you do that and also do you use excluders; I thought you did?

How many kilos did each hive average from the Black Locust flow?
 

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Discussion Starter #29
Do you only use that type of hive?
Yes. (The curved frames came from a fish-eye camera/widescreen.)

How many kilos did each hive average from the Black Locust flow?
Enough. :)



Preparation:




Some hives are bearding because they've got lots of bees.


Set the bee escape to the side, on a lid or so, put the honey supers on, and put back the bee escape. This way the bees, which cling to the underside of the bee escape, are drawn down to the honey and thus leave the bee escape on it's own. One could shake them down, if you are in a hurry, but it is more gentle if you let them go down by themself.


Next day...


... you find this:


Or this:






Worst case is, all bees are still there. In this case you give the bee escape a sharp knock or shake, until all bees dropped down on the topbars and with a bit of a smoke they go down quickly.
 

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Thanks Bernhard. I found the starkly different pollen gathered by hives in the same yard (I presume) to be quite interesting. Did these hives share similarities in lineage, size and honey gathering capabilities?
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Did these hives share similarities in lineage, size and honey gathering capabilities?
Same size and honey gathering in that yard. Have three different lineages and although it remains a wild guess, I reckon it is due to lineage. Some friends of mine do find the same to be true when it comes to dew honey, some lines use that forage while others won't.
 

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Discussion Starter #33
Bees in the sweet chestnut. Hopefully this gonna be a good chestnut year 2015.

Female blossoms.




Male blossoms.


Good old handtruck saving me back pain.


Just need some sun next days and it can begin.
 

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Wow Bernhard, spectacular photos and gorgeous bees! Well done.

My grandparents came from Germany. Sadly, I can barely remember more than 2 words 'aus Deutsch". But, dang!, the food was great. Homemade beer, sauerkraut, sauerbraten, and those little cookies my aunts made!

Anyway, those are beautiful bees.
 

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I have thought about converting my Langstroth hives to Warre with a Gatineau approach but I do not think the frames would fit my Italian made radial arm extractor without some serious modification.
 

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There is no need of mod for your extractor if it is a basket type of extractor,
size of warre is about 20cm by 30, langstroth is 22cm by 38
You have more manipulation work but the frames are OK with a frame basket.

For Dadant, if you have a basket extractor that can extract body frame then you can put 2 warre frame for 1 dadant body frame in the same basket.
 

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Discussion Starter #38
I like the corn flowers.

Bees like it, too, and do profit from the rich food provision.


Tons of brood.


And a lot of delicious cornflower honey.






 

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Discussion Starter #40
Catching a swarm with the help of my "bee tractor"


Pluck the swarm bit by bit and dump it into a hive with some drawn comb.




Having fun while working bees. That's the way.
 
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