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Author Topic: new beekeeper with good report  (Read 610 times)

geezer

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new beekeeper with good report
« on: June 30, 2018, 02:33:26 am »

lotsa good news

 

first mite check today by way of sugar shake - no mites!

 

original hive is bangin'       started with a 5 frame medium nuc which I grew out to a ten frame medium

put a ten frame deep on top of that and it's full of bees and honey Damn it's heavy!
lots of hatched out cells in top and bottom box so I don't think I'll put another brood chamber on but seriously considering a honey super with excluder.
   note to self - convert to 8 frame boxes

 

I made a queen!   did a walk-away split and sure as shootin' I have a queen in the split today. Visually verified her in the split and also visually verified the queen in the original hive.

 

So far, so good :rockon:
« Last Edit: June 30, 2018, 02:35:27 am by geezer »
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JayWise

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Re: new beekeeper with good report
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2018, 09:08:15 am »

Would love to keep bees at some point. Glad to hear it is good news
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MadPlanter

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Re: new beekeeper with good report
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2018, 02:06:49 pm »

Congrats! I recently just got bees myself! So awesome to watch them do their thing.
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geezer

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Re: new beekeeper with good report
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2018, 06:16:58 pm »

looking for advice

Here's my status as of today - looking toward late fall winterizing up here in the Great Lakes Icebox

"main hive"  one ten frame deep with a laying queen. Some honey on each frame and lately a shitload of pollen, the box is not honeybound. Above that a medium ten frame with  more honey and pollen, the box is not honeybound. Above that an excluder and a ten frame deep with 8 heavy frames of honey.

I've heard it's best to consolidate brood boxes into a single unit for wintering. This doesn't sound quite right for a couple reasons.
1. WTF happens to the excess frames of brood if separated from the hive? Certain doom I'd guess.

2. Given the ample brood in both the deep and the medium how do I return the frames of honey to the overwintering hive? One assumes more honey in the hive is better than minimally adequate which as of today I'd estimate at less than fifty pounds on the frames of the medium and the deep below the excluder.

Next problem - I did a split, they developed a laying queen and the hive is not particularly strong. Recently she's started laying like a champ but the hive is putting away very little honey but lots of pollen. I put one frame of honey in the (5 frame) nuc at the time of the split and it's not been tapped by the hive.

Similar problem as with the main hive. She's laying on all the frames except the honey frame and the pollen frame so it looks like it will go into winter strong.

Looking for any and all input.

Maybe related - I'd expect to open the hive mid-winter on a mild day to inspect. Is that time right for adding a frame of honey back to the hives?

Anyone?
« Last Edit: August 29, 2018, 07:41:00 pm by geezer »
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geezer

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Re: new beekeeper with good report
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2018, 07:31:24 pm »

new brainstorm

rather than try to combine the freestanding medium nuc with the main hive

move the five frames from the temporary nuc box into a ten frame medium box then fill the voids with insulation panel foam so they don't start building crazy comb in the void - and add insulation for the nasty Great Lakes winter.

Even better - I think I can overwinter the main hive and the new 5 frame hive side by side, raising the 5 frame enough that the brood ball of each are side by side to use each others' warmth. Moving the frames of the 5 frame to the main hive side should make this possible.

then in the spring add 5 frames of foundation to the nuc and let them build it out.

as of this moment I'm inclined to split the main hive (what remains of the existing deep plus medium boxes) in the spring into to 5 frame nucs and leave the queen in the original main hive boxes. 

all of these steps mentioned here could, absent a loss this winter, leave me with three good sized hives by next fall - which I'm told is the optimum minimum number up here in the Great Lakes Icebox.
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Sunshine

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Re: new beekeeper with good report
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2018, 02:54:32 am »

I only have a couple years of experience under my belt but I'll try to help you. You're going to want to insulate the hive as much as possible, whilst still leaving an entrance open so they can 'do their business' during the winter. If you don't they can get nosmea(sp?) from 'holding' it. Panel foam would be perfect. A large wind break would be good as well.

Supplemental feeding via sugar patties is recommended during fall when they don't have much to eat especially if it's a first year hive.

DO NOT COMBINE A NUC WITH THE MAIN HIVE. Presumably they both have queens yes? The bees of each hive will attack the other hive's queen. They'll ball up and suffocate/heat her to death. You can however, use a divider and keep 2 hives in 1 box to keep them warm. (I've only seen this done with top bar hives.)They cannot have physical access to each other though or they'll go to war.

Pollen is baby food. I'd take those frames out. Knock them off empty/pollen frames into a tighter area where all the honey is.

DO NOT SPLIT THE HIVE. This will weaken is substantially. Mine swarmed during the fall and it basically crippled the main hive. Do your split in spring.

Alternatively, you can build an indoor hive if you have a spare bedroom that is in a significantly cooler part of the house like I did. (If it weren't for the wasps they would have lived I tell ya'! haha) That is, if you're handy and have some wood working skills.

EDIT- if this is their first year try to resist the urge to take some honey. They need all they can get!

Take everything I've said with a grain of salt. The first year I tried to overwinter mine and they died. The second year I put them in my indoor hive and the wasps invaded and killed them all.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2018, 02:55:51 am by Sunshine »
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Shamichael

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Re: new beekeeper with good report
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2018, 07:13:32 am »

The thing is you still have time.... obviously every season is different, but you can still get 6 good weeks or more for them to put on weight and you can supplement them.
I have had small hives survive brutal winter's while huge hives perished many times.  One thing I have learned is I try not to mess with their hive structure too much right before winter...again you still have time so whatever your decisions I would do it soon and then trust the bees.
Another thing I have really come to believe is that the cold won't kill the bees...having bad internal structure will because they can starve with honey two frames over....that's why I say not to mess with what they have going on....the other thing that will kill them is moisture...so you don't wanna feed them too close to winter, and you do need ventilation.
I have to move some bees around in my hives this weekend and I will put boxes/nucs side by side, but after that I'll be leaving them alone....nature is far wiser than we can even understand.
Great job on your success thus far, and Cheers to more!
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geezer

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Re: new beekeeper with good report
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2018, 11:44:52 pm »

Thank you both.

What you've said comports with what I think I know and what the majority of the youtube beekeepers have to say. There aren't many youtubers in the northern U.S. or southern Canada but they do seem to know their stuff and have ample evidence of success in their yards.

I also really like the vids put out by the University of Guelph. Very no nonsense, no frills info that has been tested over time.

And for grins and giggles you can't beat the Fat Bee Man  :)

I'll get the foam board in the small hive and get it moved fairly soon. I really like the idea of giving them the max time to readjust to changes in the hive before going into winter.  They've been getting syrup mixed with essential oils for a week now and the mite treatments have been done twice.

Going to feel real good if they get through their first winter.

The real trick is going to be fitting the Bridgesii and the Bees under the same shed roof. It'll be a crowd  :)

come to think of it - The Bridgesii and the Bees would have been a good name for a Cat Stevens tune  :)

To clarify something said ^^^^^^   My bees are kept in what I guess is an optimal spot. Behind my garage, on the south side, I've built a clear shed roof which buys me about 7 feet of dry area the width of the garage under the polycarbonate roof. The bees live under the clear roof protected from rain and the garage is an excellent windbreak as are a bunch of tall cedars on one side. So the bee environment is good, good sun, good wind protection, good snow and rain protection.

I also move my cactus under this shed roof usually on the first of October to let the soil dry out before humping them down in my basement for the cold cold Great Lakes winter.

Between bees and spiny cactus it could get crowded under the roof this fall :)
« Last Edit: September 14, 2018, 03:00:39 am by geezer »
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geezer

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Re: new beekeeper with good report
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2019, 01:58:55 pm »

Mainly bad news for this report.

The two hives survived the first cold blast of a month ago. I saw them out flying during a warm interlude. There were many many bees in the air doing their cleansing flights

Then a second cold snap came and a second day of above 50 degree days which should have had them out and about pooping. No movement.

So I opened the hive and no warmth came up and there was no sign of life. I may be wrong about this but the fact that the boxes are cool is a very bad indicator.

If there's any good news in this it's that when I buy a couple packages to install there'll already be comb for them to live on - they wont have to spend a bunch of their energies making comb during the time of year they should be spending their energies making babies.

A side note: some reading of a couple "up-north" beekeeper experts suggests that buying bees from down south - let's say Georgia - results in an approximately 80 percent failure rate in the first winter. This suggests the bees at large are less winter hardy and that the queens specifically are less winter hardy.

So I'm seriously considering getting some Up North grown queens and replacing the ones that come with the package with the presumably hardier queens.  Her genetics then should come to dominate the hive and every one of her offspring should have better winter hardiness.

It's almost Bee Conference time around here. I'll get a chance to ask at the conferences.
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