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Author Topic: Looking to restock 2 bee hives in Brittany  (Read 2711 times)

Hagrid61

  • Joined Feb 2012
Looking to restock 2 bee hives in Brittany
« on: March 13, 2012, 07:23:29 pm »
Good evening everyone
Just wondered if there is anyone on this forum in my neck of the woods Brittany/Bretagne France I found 2 hives had died completely over the winter, both had been attacked by wasps before winter but were still surviving :( . Looking for replacements asap

OhLaLa

  • Joined Sep 2010
Re: Looking to restock 2 bee hives in Brittany
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2012, 12:43:40 pm »
It's a bit early in the year, but try looking on Leboncoin. A nuc will cost you about 80e for 4 or 5 frames (depending on the seller). Also depends what type of hive you have, as you will most likely be offered Dadent frames.

If you keep bees in France you should have registered to do so. Contact your assoc and see what advice they can offer as to another local beekeeper who might be able to sell you a nuc later on in the season. You could also ask your mairie if he knows of any beekeepers in the commune.

Meanwhile, do you have any other colonies you could make a nuc from in due course?

Why did both colonies die? Remember to reduce the size of the entry of the hives over winter, put your mouse guards on, and make sure they have enough stores going into the winter. Next year also give a sugar syrup feed at this time of year, as they are starting to fly but not much forage out there yet, so they are in danger of running out of stores having made it through the winter.

 :bee:

Hagrid61

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Looking to restock 2 bee hives in Brittany
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2012, 04:16:35 pm »
Thanks for the advice, I am looking on Leboncoin regularly. Only had two hives both of which were attacked by wasps whilst we were away last autumn. Thought we had managed to save them with stores enough for winter, but opened both to find the remaining bees clustered together dead and mouldy. I am on waiting list with local keeper if he has any later in the year

Plantoid

  • Joined May 2011
  • Yorkshireman on a hill in wet South Wales
Re: Looking to restock 2 bee hives in Brittany
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2012, 08:45:30 pm »
In the mean time have you cleaned the hives , put in net foundation and smeared the frames with honey and swarm attractant.
 Early April will soon be on you and the new prime swarms will be going to pre surveyed places that the workers have sussed out during their  flights on warmer days ... you just might be lucky and end up with two full prime swarms .. treat them for varroa if you do get them .

 RE:-
What was said about mouse guards..
I always used to leave them on all year round as it also helped to keep hornets out of the hive . Come early August I also put in entrance blocks that took the entrance down to about six inches wide and one bee height in clearance , then once I'd done the end of season feed around the last week of August took it down to an even smaller size of a mere three inche wide by one bees height to alow the bees easier defence of their hive .
 The two entrance spaces can be made on a single blocking bar , just rotate the bar to make the second sized cutout

 I also used the smaller spaced block when I was decanting a new swarm or full nuc box into a hive just to give the bees a better chance to set up and defend themselves for robber bees etc. till they were established over at leat eight frames of brood .
 Nuc boxes also had their mini blocking bars that had four or five 5 /16 holes drilled in them and were used till things were established.
All the blocking bars were made of planed oak & slightly wedge shaped cut so they would slide into any entrance and stay there when jammed in tight any gaps at the ends were usually a single bee gap so didn't matter but for one one or two of my older  purchased hives I had to make the blocks bigger by stuffing in carefully cut & shaped a lump of blue polystyrene
International playboy & liar .
Man of the world not a country

Hagrid61

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Looking to restock 2 bee hives in Brittany
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2012, 07:57:38 am »
Hives are cleaned and prepared, hopefully enticing enough for a passing swarm or two. Local bees are extreme active at present trying to replenish their stores used over winter I hope that bodes well for me.
When I do get replacements it will be mouse guards all year especially with the Asian hornets heading our way as well as the blasted yellow jackets.

 

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