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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've always liked bees, even though I got stung 30+ times when I was a child and stood in a wild beehive :p, and have just got my first beehive. It's in my back garden as I don't have the energy to use an apiary away from home, I have M.E. (chronic fatigue) which means I have very little stamina. Since it is so close to my family, and neighbors, I'm going to make sure I keep it a friendly hive using Buckfast bees and re-queening with bought queens rather then let them rear their own.

Anyway this is my first, ever, hive inspection and I wasn't entirely sure how it would go but the bees were very obliging. :D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfrG_09toFs
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Just did an inspection to find that the Queen has been very busy. It's been 19 days since the Queen was released from her cage and there is already a load of sealed brood. Fingers crossed for a honey harvest this year!

Unfortunately the camera had a little trouble with the light this time, next video will be much better though as I'm getting a camcorder rather then using phones. :D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-aghG71Mdmc
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
The sun popped out briefly today so I did a quick inspection using my new camcorder. The hive is doing great, a lot of bees have emerged from their cells and new eggs have been laid in many of them. We managed to get some nice close ups of the eggs and larvae. I made a couple of butterfinged bangs which upset the bees a bit, I blame the fact that I forgot to take my gloves off after lighting my smoker. :p

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIS5P2pZSc0

EDIT: I forgot to publish the vid, should work now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The bees were their usual laid back selves, so much so I didn't need to use any smoke at all. We saw the bees building up comb and doing wiggle dances but we didn't manage to spot the Queen. I'm not too worried because I saw eggs and young larvae and I didn't spot any queen cells so I think we just missed here. I'll take another look in a few days.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xFf9svjsec
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
We inspected the hive during the day when there were a lot of bees flying around. That wasn't an issue though as they are very well behaved, so well behaved that my nephew felt comfortable standing in the middle of them without a veil. :p

The hive is still expanding fast with more and more bees filling it each week. I added a super to it to make sure they have enough room and don't feel cramped to help prevent against swarming.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKHJVfxEGTc
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The first super I put on the hive is heavy enough that it must be almost full of honey. I stuck another on a couple of days ago and that already has lots of bees in it drawing out the comb.

The brood box is still pretty messy with some frames solid with brood and others a mix of honey, pollen and brood. One possible reason for this is that I didn't put supers on early enough and so the bees didn't have room for the honey and it got put where ever there was space. There was still lots of brood so the queen hasn't slowed down laying yet.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=coowyiZv-2A
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Great video Falesh.

What subspecies do you own?
I went with Buckfast and they are proving to be really gentle and very productive!

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My new hobby is starting to test my energy reserves thanks to the heavy supers full of honey. I have M.E. (Chronic Fatigue) and while I still have a surprising amount of strength in my muscles I have very little endurance. Since I am only going to be inspecting the hive every few weeks now I can probably handle doing all the work by saving up my energy in between inspections. Next year when I get another couple of hives I will have to get someone else to take the full supers off though as I would never be able to handle 3 hives as prolific as this one!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvUbsaO33OA
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The honey in the first super is almost fully capped now. The second is filling up well and the third is already in use.

The queen still seems to be laying at full speed. I had read that she should be slowing down by now so that the hive doesn't have too many bees going into winter but she seems to have other ideas.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iad1MQ0BUew
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I recruited my dad to help lift the supers off so I could save my energy for the brood inspection. While he was doing that he weighed the supers. Right now we have, very roughly, 5 stone (31kg) of honey. The bees are still very active and we have a lot of flowering plants nearby.

I did a sticky tray test for varroa which indicated that my bees could use treatment before winter so the winter bees are as healthy as possible. Upon getting advice I plan to take the supers off in a week or two and then apply Apiguard to the hive.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPYRs7PwxlI
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
We have just finished our first honey harvest. In total we got 76 jars with an average weight of 355g. Not bad for a first year that started with a package of bees at the end of April!

I know I can't be objective but this honey tastes so good! This first batch is for gifts and personal use, I use a lot since my drink of choice is a loaded teaspoon of honey in a cup of hot water. Next year when I get 3 hives up and running I might try my hand selling some. :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQeKaeHNzcM

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I put in one tray of Apiguard when I took the supers off for honey extraction. This time I put the second one in as well as doing a full inspection, I didn't have the energy to do one at the same time as extracting the honey.

The queen has really slowed down on the brood with roughly half as much as she has been producing during the main season. They are still pulling in lots of honey though. The brood box is very full with it and they also have some in newly drawn super frames. Next year I am definitely extracting a week later to catch this too! :D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCo1dsZBr0E
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
There is a lot of honey in the brood box now so the winter preparation is going well. The number of bees is well down now, few enough that I was able to take the last super off.

I took out the second, and final, tray of Apiguard today which concludes the varroa treatment. The brood being reared now should be healthier due to the lower amount of varroa in the hive. This is important as the bees that overwinter have to survive for a long time compared to the summer bees.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ak_hpEFc5vo
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
We split our hive in two. The original was very strong with lots of bees, brood and honey. Everything went well with the bees being as calm as normal even though we were wrecking their old home. :p

It took quite a while to do and was very tiring, I've got Chronic Fatigue, but I had saved up enough energy to finish the job. I'm really looking forward to seeing how both hives do this year!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Y_ggKaLT0s
 
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