Beekeeping Podcast #13: Big Gold Stars

 

In this episode of the beehive jive, Tracey and Paul visit each others hives and chat about what they achieved this season.

00:00 – 08:30: We visited Paul’s bees to see what was up
08:30 – 11:30: We dared to visit Tracey’s bees as well
11:30 – 53:00: Did we achieve our goals for this season?
53:00 – 01:00: Varroa treatment ramble

Beekeeping Podcast #12: Sugar Rollin’ Rollin’ Rollin’

 

Tracey and Paul discuss poly hives, forget the name of varroa treatments and Tracey has discovered sugar rolling.

00:00 – 04:00: The most random of beekeeping updates

04:00 – 07:00: Superseder problems

07:00 – 16:00: Managing lots of poly nucs

16:00 – 18:00: Tracey’s honey shack

18:00 – 23:00: Over wintering on poly hives

23:00 – 34:00: Poly hive vs. woodern hives

34:00 – 47:00: Sugar rolling

47:00 – 01:05: Tracey’s bee safaris

 

 

Review: BS Honey 2in1 Polystyrene Nuc

If you listen to the Beehive Jive podcast (and you should), you’ll know that Tracey and I are big fans of polystyrene nucleus boxes, by fans I mean borderline obsessed.

These cheap, lightweight and flexible little hives are the swiss army knives of beekeeping. Every year I put mine hard to work: catching and controlling swarms, splitting hives and queen rearing. April I move six poly nucs to my apiaries where they are invaluable throughout the season. I’m own four types of poly-hive: Paynes, Maisemore, Lyson mating nucs and this year the BS Honey 2in1 nuc.

BS Honey are the new kids on the poly block and late last season launched an innovative 2 in 1 hive; allowing beekeepers to run two, three frame, colonies in the same box – or use it as a simple six frame box. Sharing the same dimensions as the popular Maisemore nuc, you can use additional brood boxes and supers purchases for the Masie hive with the BS Honey boxes. I grabbed eight of them at last years National Honey Show and used them in queen rearing this year.

The nuc includes an integrated hive top feeder, dividing board and has an entrance at each end. The corex dividing board separates the two halves of the nuc box preventing bees, or more importantly, queens crossing between the two colonies. I’ve raised about twenty queens in these boxes and never experienced leakage between the two sides. As the bees start to build the frames out, the separating corex board often bends, and the frames become quite tight in the box; requiring finesse when removing the frames. In day to day use, I transfer the colonies to larger six frame nucs once I’ve established a mated and laying queen is present.

The corex board has two positions, either in the centre position for a two colony configuration or stored at the side if you are using the box as a traditional six frame nuc. I would strongly recommend using the stored position, or like me, you can simply lose a board by putting is ‘somewhere safe’ in the apiary and then forgetting where that is.

The bees do fill the board runners with propolis, I’ve had to scrape them out regularly to use the stored position – I’m only going to be using them for mating nucs next season and leaving the board in the centre position means no more runner scraping for me.

The hive top feeder is very clever; it separates each of the sides of the hive with a shared syrup reservoir; if you over-winter them as six frames nucs a silicon stopper can be removed allowing you to lay fondant in the feeder.

All season I’ve used these hives in my queen rearing program (it’s not a program, just me swearing a lot a being amazed I’ve got new queens – but program sounds like I have a plan) and in a small-scale queen rearing workflow three frame mating nucs are a joy. A frame of brood, food and an empty frame for the bees to work means that the nuc requires little care during the three to four-week mating process. After a year using the BS Honey 2in1, I wouldn’t be without them now.

BS Honey have raised the bar for poly-nuc innovation; I look forward to seeing how the other manufacturers in the industry react further feeding my poly nuc addiction.

You can find BS Honey at https://www.bshoneybees.co.uk/

Beekeeping Podcast #11: Tracey legs it!

 

Tracey and Paul discuss what they are going to get up to in the season.

00:00 – 07:40 : Tracey’s leg and her honey bound hives

07:40 – 11:00  Winter mishaps

11:00 – 20:30 : Would you let weak colonies die

20:30 – 25:00 : Asian Hornets like cauliflower cheese (not really)

25:00 – 32:00 : Tracey’s bee safaris

32:00 – 39:00 : New apiary

39:00 – 41:00 : Queen rearing goals

41:00 – 53:00 : Things we want to do this season

Links to things in the poddy:

Tracey Bee Safaris: https://www.mayfieldlavender.com/product-category/experiences-vouchers/bee-safari/

Cool beekeeping log book: https://www.baithive.com/shop

 

Beekeeping Podcast #10: A cup of tea with Liz

In this episode, we sit in front of an open log fire and discuss beekeeping with our friend Liz; the education officer of Epsom beekeepers association. Liz has delivered talks to thousands of beekeeper across the country on a range of topics.

The hygienic bees discussed are from the University of Sussex’s Laboratory of Apiculture and Social Insects (LSAI) – you can find them here: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/lasi/index

 

The sound is a little variable in this, mainly because we were lodging around on sofas, it was super comfy.

00:00 – 02:00 : Introducing Liz

02:00 – 07:00 : How our are bees over wintering?

07:00 – 22:00 : University of Sussex’s hygienic bees

22:00 – 28:00 : What type of bees do you select for?

28:00 – 00:41 : Oxalic sublimation research

41:00 – 47:00 : Foundationless & keeping bees on supers

47:00 – 00:00 : Cell sizes

50:00 – 58:00 : Top bar hives

58:00 – 1:04: Tracey versus the vegans