Adventures in Japanese Bee (Apis Cerana) Keeping

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Inakappe
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Adventures in Japanese Bee (Apis Cerana) Keeping

Post by Inakappe »

Getting to that time of the year again.
Interesting to hear about the propolis.
I jumped online to try and find some and all there are are basically supplements. I'm wondering if using one of these extracts would work. I suppose it would depend on whats put in with it. Ones I'm looking at a reasonable price have ethanol or alcohol in them...
On another note I've found that I always get Japanese hony bees on my rosemary plant so am going to propogate that and put some around the hive as well.
Has been a pretty warm winter so I'm guessing swarming season will be earlier again this year.

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Zasso Nouka
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Post by Zasso Nouka »

Yes, it's time to start getting ready. When using propolis or beeswax to lure bee it's probably worth getting the one from the species of bee you want to attract, ie A. Cerana's propolis and beeswax to attract A. Cerana and A. Mellifera's wax and propolis for A. Mellifera. Having said that I'm not sure how many wild A. Mellifera hives there are out there.

If anyone is going to buy the lures don't get the brand I bought, instead go with the original Bee Lure. his one apparently does have the same pheromone as the orchid that Japanese honeybees are attracted to.

According to Swarm Map bee swarms have already been sighted in Kagoshima :dance:

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Post by Inakappe »

Yeah, I was wondering about whether you'd need the same propolis or not. If so, pretty hard to find a natural hive to get some from. I might end up getting lures again (same as your link) but as I mentioned before I had little success with them last year. I would just use the orchids but theres no guarantee they will flower at the right time which is why I'll probably try a lure one more time.
Will this year bee our year??

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Post by gonbechan »

someone did a comparison video last year.
Also good tip to cut the lure in half to get double the worth.


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Post by gonbechan »



Very interesting video of a dude using fake flowhive frames (bought on Amazon) on the top of his Japanese honeybee hive...

and the real deal flowhive for comparison (same dude)


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Post by Sound556 »

Bees have a very destinctive time for 'splitting' colonies as a way of reproducing . its quite early in the season to hope for a swarm. go out and hunt for them when its either in the beginning or the last part of the current pollen season ( bees like to take a safe approuch not to terminate their old hive when spittling up and the leaving party wants enough food/protein to survive its first 3 weeks for new workerbee production).

Any bee wax works even old candles , bees dont really have a concept of spiecies ( they intermix ALLOT to my frustraitions in keeping hives pure) its mostly the males that jump ship ( fun fact before winter they all get massacred)

How i'd use to do it is using an propane torch for liquifing an old hive ( i did hive box switches cleaning every 2 years and honey boxes every year) give the internals a good blast wipe up some of the liquid the wood is gonna discreade and rub it in a new box ( news paper or an old clean cloth can be put in the hive aswell , when the bees move in they will start cleaning any foreign object anyway).

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Zasso Nouka
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Post by Zasso Nouka »

Sound556 wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2024 3:50 pm
Bees have a very destinctive time for 'splitting' colonies as a way of reproducing . its quite early in the season to hope for a swarm. go out and hunt for them when its either in the beginning or the last part of the current pollen season ( bees like to take a safe approuch not to terminate their old hive when spittling up and the leaving party wants enough food/protein to survive its first 3 weeks for new workerbee production).

Any bee wax works even old candles , bees dont really have a concept of spiecies ( they intermix ALLOT to my frustraitions in keeping hives pure) its mostly the males that jump ship ( fun fact before winter they all get massacred)

How i'd use to do it is using an propane torch for liquifing an old hive ( i did hive box switches cleaning every 2 years and honey boxes every year) give the internals a good blast wipe up some of the liquid the wood is gonna discreade and rub it in a new box ( news paper or an old clean cloth can be put in the hive aswell , when the bees move in they will start cleaning any foreign object anyway).
Sorry man but some of that advice is just plain wrong in relation to native Japanese honeybees (Apis Cerana). Any old beeswax will almost certainly not work for them as it smells wrong and quite likely deter them from moving into a hive. Native honeybee hives also sometimes get raided by western honeybees (Apis Mellifera), it's not common but I've been told by a local beekeeper it can happen. Apis Cerana and Apis Mellifera are two completely different species of bee and they absolutely do not mix

Native Japanese honeybees also split right as the beginning of spring, they do this because their season for collecting nectar in the forests is much shorter than with western honeybees so they need to collect as much as possible to build up stores for the winter. If there is a lot of flowers or they do particularly well then they can split a second time later in the year but this is uncommon.

Sound556 wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2023 2:27 pm
Hi there!
I might shed some light on 'luring' bees.
Ive been playing with bees for around 9 years through my life. And what i found is : the 'hive lures' are utter money wasters. They dont attract what a bee scout is looking for.
Once again man totally and completely wrong. The lures we are talking absolutely do work with native Japanese bees because they mimic the pheromones produce by the kinryohen orchid which has been used for generations to attract Apis Cerana. Sorry if this sounds a bit harsh and I'm not trying to put you off giving advice but some of the things you've said here are wrong in relation to Apis Cerana. During your 9 years how many of those were spent with native Japanese honeybees as opposed to European bees ?
Inakappe wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2024 9:06 am
Yeah, I was wondering about whether you'd need the same propolis or not. If so, pretty hard to find a natural hive to get some from. I might end up getting lures again (same as your link) but as I mentioned before I had little success with them last year. I would just use the orchids but theres no guarantee they will flower at the right time which is why I'll probably try a lure one more time.
Will this year bee our year??
I still haven't cracked the timing for the orchids but had enough plants to be able to try different timings and different locations so hopefully will have at least one flowering at the right time and a better idea of timings and best locations for next year.

@gonbechan interesting videos and what a great idea splitting the lure in half, that's quite a money saver. Also interesting to see the differences in action. We certainly won't be buying the non original one again, it was a complete waste of money. Haven't watched the flow hive videos yet but will give it a butcher's tomorrow.

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Zasso Nouka
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Post by Zasso Nouka »

@gonbechan looks like Amazon might have clamped down on the fakes but Yahoo seems to still have them and they are significantly cheaper but that then brings up the moral dilemma of whether to buy fakes or not. The flow hive developers put a lot of effort into designing their product but it's quite expensive (32,000円 vs 7,000円), I know I'd be none too happy if someone started selling cheap non organic vegetables under our name. Something similar did happen to us on several occasions and it's not a pleasant experience but then again paying over 4 times the price is a bit of a sting.

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Post by gonbechan »

Zasso Nouka wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2024 9:21 am
@gonbechan looks like Amazon might have clamped down on the fakes but Yahoo seems to still have them and they are significantly cheaper but that then brings up the moral dilemma of whether to buy fakes or not. The flow hive developers put a lot of effort into designing their product but it's quite expensive (32,000円 vs 7,000円), I know I'd be none too happy if someone started selling cheap non organic vegetables under our name. Something similar did happen to us on several occasions and it's not a pleasant experience but then again paying over 4 times the price is a bit of a sting.
yeah but if you watch the videos, even the guy says the real deal one is way better quality and design.. and will probably last a long time, whereas the fakes one probably IMO has BPA plastic and will break down sooner ....
he deliberately bought both to compare so I really respect the dude.

Me I wouldnt want to eat honey that came out of mystery plastic hive to be honest.

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Post by gonbechan »

They have the fakes on Amazon too but they are the full size ones for European honeybees.