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  • General Q&A, Bee chat and only Bee chat please
General Q&A, Bee chat and only Bee chat please
 #3533  by Patrick
 12 Jun 2019, 23:02
Another warning from the NBU.

This rainy spell has certainly affected the bees ability to forage.

One of issues this time of year are that recently hived swarms may not have many stores, Nucs may be expanding and big colonies may have stored all their reserves in the supers (which may have all been removed fro extraction). So either look out for what they have in the brood chamber or heft and if they are light feed to tide over until weather and forage improves.
 #3534  by NigelP
 12 Jun 2019, 23:09
Of course if you keep locally adapted bees non of this applies...
Puts tin hat on and ducks...
 #3537  by NigelP
 13 Jun 2019, 00:46
Is it time to put his myth to bed?
Define "Locally adapted bee".
:cry: :oops: :P :? :shock: :o :mrgreen: :| :)
 #3543  by AdamD
 13 Jun 2019, 12:35
Although early bramble has started to flower, I am aware there isn't much forage about by the behaviour of bees - the June Gap is upon us. And with a few days of bad weather colonies will be munching through their stores. In preparation for the gap, I fed some nucs and mini-nucs a few days ago; Unfortunately I spilled some syrup under one mini-nuc; the resultant interest by colonies nearby meant that yesterday it had been robbed out. :(
 #3557  by mikemadf
 13 Jun 2019, 15:23
I only feed mini nucs fondant to avoid robbing - which seems to work.

Did not help when - during a short respite from the rain on Monday - a cast landed on the stand of a mini nuc (Rainbow) and took the nuc, killing queen +inhabitants. It was far too small so I rehoused them in a nuc three time larger.
 #3558  by AdamD
 13 Jun 2019, 21:25
I only had syrup at the time - my mistake. :(
 #3561  by Jim Norfolk
 14 Jun 2019, 09:03
How to avoid starvation: Don't harvest all the early honey. Last year's experience here taught me that.

Nigel, locally adapted bees are those which have survived through generations in the same area. Those colonies more tolerant of disease, parasites and beekeepers and those able to forage in poor conditions are more likely to survive, the rest join the 15% or so winter losses plus an undisclosed number of summer losses and culling. I believe it is also known as survival of the fittest (see works by Wallace and Darwin).
 #3566  by NigelP
 14 Jun 2019, 13:11
And where do we find bees that have survived in one area for generations without any interference from man?
Because nowadays Darwinian evolution has no application or effect on our cossetted charges that are fed, groomed, watered and treated for diseases in their nice dry warm insulated hives that allows even the weak to overwinter well.
Seeley is promoting catch and swarm and Darwinian evolution as one answer to varroa....he is right.... but look at the colonies he has studied in his local area that have survived...small and frequent swarmers. Not the sort of bees I want in my Apiary thank you very much.

The best definition I came across and again it is quite an old example... before bee movement and imports where prevalent was I think near Nantes(?) in France. Or some such place, on the coast with mainly heath-land and forest as the predominant vegetation. The local bees had a slow life cycle, numbers only increased slowly during the spring and early summer and reached a maximum number at a time that coincided with the flowering of the heather, the predominant late nectar source....
Their life cycle was attuned to the nectar sources.....or more likely the availability of nectar determined the rate that colonies could expand at.
You don't see this today as most have bees that are bursting out their hives in spring regardless of weather and nectar sources.
So locally adapted bees for me these days is just a much hackneyed catch phrase.
 #3568  by Jim Norfolk
 14 Jun 2019, 14:26
Nigel If you re-read my post you will see I included beekeepers in the factors that local bees have to adapt to. I agree there must be very few long standing isolated populations of honey bees left. I am thinking on a shorter time scale. The colony which succumbs to CBPV may not be adapted to the local strain of that virus while those that are unaffected may well have resistance. There are numerous claims of local Varroa tolerant bees and of course we cull any colonies which are unable to adapt to our requirements as beekeepers particularly poor behaviour among others. It is almost a truism to say that colonies surviving for several generations must be locally adapetd or they would have died out from any one of a number of causes. Some of this will be inherited, some chance and some by beekeeping..