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Author Topic: Sunny's Beekeeping Log  (Read 11472 times)

Sunshine

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Sunny's Beekeeping Log
« on: March 12, 2016, 01:59:27 am »

So I finally got some extra money to start beekeeping. I'm almost finished building a top-bar hive with my dad. I've spent around 30-40$ on the wood so far. I chose this style of hive due to it's simplicity. It is far easier to build a top bar hive as opposed to a langstroth, which was my original choice. In Africa they build top bar style hives out of anything; old refrigerators, oil drums, etc. Its basically a long box with bars that sit across the top for the bees to build their combs along. The one my dad and I built is 4 ft long, with 3 1in entrance holes in the center of the box lengthwise. We still have to build legs and a roof, which I hope to get done within the next few days. I glued 2-3inch tall pieces of brood foundation to the top bars using melted bees wax.

I've purchased some pollen and some natural sugar to feed to them so that they can get a head start when I put them in. Today I finalized a deal with a local beekeeper to get a 3lb Italian bee package w/laying queen at a decent price(135$).

Umm...that's sbout it for now. Pics coming soon.

Oh...I also bought a smoker, some queen hormone, lemongrass oil, and a feeder which accepts mason jars which I plan on filling with sugar water/spearmint oil/lemongrass oil.

-Sunny
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Sunshine

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Re: Sunny's Beekeeping Log
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2016, 10:03:22 pm »

We finally finished the hive!!!  ;D 8)

To be honest, it was more hassle to build it than it's worth. So unless you're a carpenter or someone who is really good with wood I recommend you just buy one. I probably spent 70-90$ on the wood for it. Plus an extra 40-50$ for other stuff which I would have had to buy anyway like the smoker and wax frame foundation, etc. Professionally made ones go for around 200$. I guess it's cool since it's something I built myself from start to finish though, so there's that.

Here's the pictures of it;

crap...attachments not working?
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nobody

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Re: Sunny's Beekeeping Log
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2016, 05:40:51 am »

Upload to imgur and post the link here :)

nobody
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BotanyBay

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Re: Sunny's Beekeeping Log
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2016, 10:53:53 pm »

I have not been able to attach images either. For now, imgur or another external hosting site would work.

So this might seem like a dumb question, but how do you actually start the hive? Do you get a queen and then just put her in the box? Or do you wait for it to naturally get populated? I'm asking because I'd like to get into caring for bees in the distant future, but I'm not sure how a colony is started.

Thanks!
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Sunshine

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Re: Sunny's Beekeeping Log
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2016, 02:41:34 am »

No such thing as a dumb question. Feel free to ask anything bud.  :)

You need to either buy a package(3lbs of bees and a queen, costs around 130$), a nuc (a small hive with already built comb, brood, bees, and a laying queen, costs around 175$), or you can try to trap a swarm. If you build a 'swarm trap' bees will naturally take it over come swarm time in your area if you're lucky. To increase your odds you can use swarm lure which is made from queen hormone and other stuff like lemongrass oil. I've heard this is hit and miss for people. Some get bees on the first year they try, others don't have as good of luck. Since I put so much effort into building the hive I just figured I'd go with the sure thing;packaged bees. I've been contemplating whether or not to build a swarm trap to test out as well since I already have lemongrass oil and queen hormone.

I could be wrong, but I think if you just had a single fertile queen and put her in a hive she would die due to either being killed by something, starvation, or getting too cold. Queens don't build comb or go out to forage. It might work if you fed her sugar syrup and gave her already built comb, but keep in mind any eggs she lays will take 14 days to hatch(iirc) so she'll be essentially defenseless until they do.




« Last Edit: March 26, 2016, 02:43:48 am by Sunshine »
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Sunshine

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Re: Sunny's Beekeeping Log
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2016, 01:32:38 am »

I tried to make a GIF...........HEY IT WORKS! WOO!

« Last Edit: April 15, 2016, 01:33:02 am by Sunshine »
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SoulGrower

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Re: Sunny's Beekeeping Log
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2016, 04:50:26 am »

Nice work Sunshine!  Love it!  :)
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Mr. seeds

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Re: Sunny's Beekeeping Log
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2016, 05:40:32 am »

<3 bees!
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Sunshine

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Re: Sunny's Beekeeping Log
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2016, 05:39:01 am »

So they REALLY seem to like lemongrass laced sugar water. Apparently it mimics there queens pheromone. I haven't had to use my smoker yet.

Sometimes when they get a little buzzy and start flying around I'll spray them with either plain water or sugar water to calm them down. I put some oil on my gloves so that when I open the hive and they smell me they get a good wiff and know I'm cool.  8)

It'll be day 3 tomorrow and the queen still hasn't made her way out of her cage. I'm hoping they eat through her sugar cork and set her free by then. They're about 2/3rds the way through now. She must be dying to get out and lay some eggs. I'll leave her be tomorrow and only open the hive to put in their feeder jar. I feel as if taking her out stresses out the hive.

I've been reading up on essential oils and what not. There is stuff that a lot of beekeepers use as a food additive called honey-b-healthy. From what I've read it contains mostly sugar water, along with spearmint, lemongrass, and thyme(?) oil. I also read they LOVE anise oil. Tomorrow I plan on going to pick up some spearmint, anise, and thyme oil.  Perhaps I can make a nice mix of all 4 of those to use in my sugar water.

Something that's disconcerting to me is that since they're so docile, which may or may not be because they're a new/small colony, they may not be as defensive as they should be. Bees and other insects such as wasps 'rob' other weaker colonies. I noticed a couple of hornets buzzing around when I went out today. I'll have to keep an eye out for robbers. People say that lemongrass oil can greatly increase chances of robbing.
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Sunshine

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Re: Sunny's Beekeeping Log
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2016, 05:26:54 pm »

I just went out and checked out the queen cage(hey, I couldn't resist!), half thinking she would still be in it. But she's NOT!!!! She must have escaped sometime last night/this morning. I also checked out the frame I had her hanging on and they have already started to build up the comb off of the foundation. :D

My guess is now that she's out of her cage and ready to lay eggs they'll go into overdrive building comb. Time will tell. :)
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Mr. seeds

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Re: Sunny's Beekeeping Log
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2016, 08:35:27 pm »

I'm so jealous... whelp... someone's gotta new hobby on the bucket list!
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mj

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Re: Sunny's Beekeeping Log
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2016, 10:41:49 pm »

there is some very interesting and beneficial information in this video of Paul Stamets on Bees and how they stay healthy. something that you could easily do to help them thrive.



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mj

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Re: Sunny's Beekeeping Log
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2016, 01:24:57 am »

I know this video is long but very much worth the time to watch. Bee Man.

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Sunshine

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Re: Sunny's Beekeeping Log
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2016, 02:39:14 am »

I'm so jealous... whelp... someone's gotta new hobby on the bucket list!

"clandestine stil" and "meat/cheese smoker", as well as making the latter are on my bucket list as well.  ;D

On another note, the bees were noticeably more agitated upon opening the 'queen end' of the hive today. (ver heavy buzzing, loud, still not agressive though) It could be because I ingested bananas shortly before opening it (smells like their alarm pheremone), or that they're viewing the hive as their new home now since their queen is laying eggs. It could also be that I didn't give them feed all morning, or that it was late in the day...any number of things, really. At any rate, I think it may be a good idea to keep a smoker handy if I open that end of the hive again.

Regarding feeding bees mushrooms(I presume that's what the video is about? Too tired to watch it atm but will later!) I've looked into it. I guess red rieshi is what I want. A friend of mine will be sending me some in the future to test it out.
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mj

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Re: Sunny's Beekeeping Log
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2016, 07:53:20 am »

The Bee's drink a sweet nectar produced by the mycelium there is some very interesting. Somewhere recently (but I cannot remember where) was an that I read about Bee's have facial recognition. Perhaps they have learned you are the good guy. Great job on the Bee condo that you have built. I suppose you have seen the system where the honey drains directly into external jars? thanks for supporting the Bee's.
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