Episode 109: Creating Multiple splits and The Virus Strikes Back


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Hi I’m Stewart Spinks and welcome to Episode 109 of my podcast Beekeeping Short and sweet. Multiple splits from one hive can help with quick increases in colony numbers, I have just the method to help. Also, viruses it seems are not just the domain of us humans. Chronic Bee Paralysis Virus has struck again and this time I’m taking decisive action, listen in to hear my thoughts and course of action.

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Hi Everyone and welcome back to the podcast, it’s been a fairly standard weather week, some nice warm sunshine combined with a day of rain and chilly nights.

The effect of this on the bees can be quite dramatic and is a catalyst for swarming. Colonies building up strongly fid themselves suddenly trapped indoors getting in each others way, just leads to the need to break out and get some fresh air, sounds somewhat familiar to be honest.
I hope that last week’s explanation of the Artificial Swarm without finding the queen was easy enough to understand, remember, if you can’t find the queen you put a sealed queen cell in the new hive with all the flying bees and destroy all the queen cells in the old hive where the queen still hides. It’s really that simple.

This week I wanted to talk about a couple of topics, firstly, creating multiple nucs from one parent colony and secondly the bad news that I have Chronic Bee Paralysis Virus in a colony again and it’s pretty terminal. I discovered this during my regular inspections this last week and it got me thinking about why we inspect our bees. I suspect for the vast majority of beekeepers out there, running a couple of hive or maybe even a dozen colonies, inspecting your bees is the highlight of the beekeeping week so you want to take your time and enjoy the experience. The problem can then become one of looking at your bees in such a way as to not always see what’s right in front of you. What I mean by that is sometimes we can get so worked up about looking for eggs, queens and queen cells that other important issues such as disease can get missed and lead to more challenges further down the road. When you inspect your bees, no matter what time frame or how many colonies always make a point of looking for healthy brood and adult bees. It doesn’t take more than a few seconds and it’s something you can tick off the list of things that need your attention. I’ll come back to the CBPV later in the podcast but first something altogether more enjoyable, creating a multiple increase from one colony to end up with an apiary full of hives by the end of the season.

I can’t stress how much this is a last resort for me, I hate killing colonies of bees but I need to protect the rest of my livestock, it hurts to see them killed but as a responsible beekeeper it’s something I feel I have to do.

The good news is that the vast majority of my colonies are healthy and doing fine, this step hopefully will keep them that way for the rest of the season.

Well, that’s it for this week, have a great beekeeping week Stay safe and Please do remember to check out my Patreon page where you can access lots more content, that’s www.patreon.com/norfolkhoney

I’m Stewart Spinks and that was Beekeeping Short and Sweet.

156 episodes