Module 1 – past exam question

From 22nd March 2014 There are 10 starter questions at the beginning of each exam to get your into thinking about bees.
They require very short answers.

Hive that uses BS frames with short lugs


One type of clearer board

rhombus board

Queen found in a cast

Virgin queen

HIves are wrapped in netting because .. it’s to stop woodpeckers in winter

Large capacity feeder – miller feeder

one reason for using unwired comb – cut comb

one essential bit of equipment to collect a swarm – something to put the bees in – cardboard box or skep

best time of day to feed bees is evening

bees need pollen for protein for brood rearing

Bee space in mm. 8mm.
Colony going into winter – what steps after the honey crop has been removed to sustain colony until first inspect in late March.

15 possible marks

  1. Remove queen exclude if leaving on brood and half
  2. check for varroa and treat for varroa
  3. feed to ensure 35lb of honey
  4. Apply mouseguards
  5. shorten entrance to make it easier for them to guard
  6. ensure entrance is clear of dead bees through winter
  7. apply wire netting if woodpeckers in area
  8. heft to ensure enough food
  9. remove feeder and apply insulation if wanted in roof space
  10. ensure varroa check board is not in place
  11. strap hives down
  12. Treat midwinter with oxalic acid dribbling or vaporisation
  13. visit after storms to ensure hive is secure
  14. check entrance is clear of snow, although may need board to cover to stop sun tricking them into thinking it’s very sunny with all snow reflecting light
  15. heft monthly and feed again if needed with fondant
  16. Check regularly to ensure no damage comes to hives
  17. observe bees at entrance on sunny days for signs of disease

Strong colony of bees in brood and one super over QE – remote rural apiary – becomes vicious
List actions to be taken by the beekeep to overcome this situation

Two schools of thought – if they are truly remote and no risk to livestock or other humans, well away from paths, roads and access, then leave as is. But this is a risk that could result in someone being injured or killed.
Double suit up to ensure not stung, wear double gloves.

But sensible option is to requeen as you do not know when someone will accidentally discover the apiary.

First check they are queen-right – aggressive bees can be aggressive because they have lost the queen. Can explain sudden change in mood of bees.
Ensure they are not being robbed, that the hive is secure and they are not on extra guard alert due to robbing.

Check queen-right by placing frame of eggs in.
Ensure precautions are taken to avoid lots of stings, double suit, hat under hood, two layers of gloves, assistance on hand, phone charged with postcode and access details for location in case of bad attack.
See how they react to different smoke.
Check after 5-7 days – if QC made on the sheet then they are queenless and should either be left to requeen with the frame of eggs knocked QC back to one uncapped, or all QC knocked back and a bought in queen introduced.
Introduce queen using cage with fondant. Ensure queen has cover over part of cage to ensure she can hide from the bees and slowly be accepted.

Some people leave queen in cage for a few days and then release her into the hive. ??

If they dio not make queen cells then the old queen needs to be found and removed and a new queen added or made from good stock.

Vicious bees not due to queenlessneess should have drone brood culled to remove nasty genes from the area.

To find queen in vicious hive:
Place new brood box on old location and add super on top. Move old brood away a short distance. All flying bees return to old location, reducing number of bees in original hive. Go through original hive. There should be less bees and this should make it easier to find the queen.
If this queen is still not found then spliot the box into two again and leave for a couple of days. the box with eggs in has the queen in. This should again reduce the number of frames and bees to look through. Merge all bees back together once queen removed.

Ensure good smoke is used, that gloves and equipment are clean and that you have not eaten bananas or banana products before going to hive.

Agression may take until there is new brood in the box to be resolved. Ensure no one goes near without suitable protective equipment.

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