Gilbey

The Beekeeping Thread

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Nice looking apiary HellRay! Looks like a southern clime. Where are you located?

I was in my hives last weekend. It looks like I might get some honey to harvest from my hive #1. Hive #2, my split hive is plugging along, lots of brood, but there will be no honey from that hive this year. Hive #3 is my new colony I started from a package this Spring. It's booming, and added a honey super which they have already started to build out. It's amazing what a healthy queen in a strong colony can accomplish! 

 

Alan 

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Did a full inspection of both hives on Saturday. Hive A (started from a local nuc in April) is going gangbusters: they've filled two medium supers with brood and honey. I did the inspection just in time: there was very little room in either box, so I added a third super. I never got this far last year: my hive last year never was as robust as this one. I'm hoping to be able to get some honey from this one.

The second hive, the one that I started from a package, is doing less well. I don't know if it's because it was installed later (I got the package about a month after the nuc), or for some other reason, but they're behind the other hive. I'll keep an eye on them, but they're starting to remind me of the hive I kept last year, which didn't end well.


I can see the merits of keeping two hives, especially for noobs: it is nice to be able to compare the two. With one last year, I had no idea what the hell was going on (I still don't know much, but I'm way ahead of where I was last year). I'm hoping to be able to get the more robust hive to be able to overwinter this year.

I also have noticed that the more active hive has bees that are way more aggressive than the other hive this year, or the hive from last year. I have no idea why, but those little buggers are nasty. One tried to come after me when I was inside the car. I hope this translates into more honey, but we'll see.

 

The one thing I have to work on is understanding what I see during inspections: I still have basically no clue what I'm looking at. Yes, I look for eggs, and I can tell the difference between brood comb and honey comb (and the difference between worker brood and drone brood), but I have no idea, when I'm pulling the frames out and looking at stuff, whether what's in front of me is a sign that the hive is doing well, or whether it's a sign that the hive has problems. I guess I'll figure that out in time. It's a good thing I didn't know how steep the learning curve is with this bee nonsense, because if I'd known, I'd never have started.


I'm also planning on doing my first mite treatment. After taking a bee class, I'm going to pass on inspecting for mites: the little things are red, and I'm colorblind, so I'm just going to screw it, and do a treatment. I'm going to do the acid that you turn into a gas with a little burner: the guy at my last class said it takes two minutes for each hive, and while you have to do it every five days for like a month, that seems a lot simpler to me than doing the sugar shake thing. I'll treat them in July, and then do another treatment in winter, if they haven't all died by then. There's a lot to learn about this beekeeping stuff.

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Nice post Belmo! Glad to hear things are going well :th: .


Yep, there is a lot to learn, and I do know what you mean when you describe looking at frames and not being completely sure if things are good or bad or indifferent :o . But like you I am getting better, and like you I can clearly see the differences between my colonies. 

 

Mites are no joke. I am going to test for mites after the 4th of July and then treat as needed. I did test back in early Spring and all was well. Look up Varroa Mite EZ Check for easy alcohol wash tests.

Good luck!! Keep the reports coming. 

Alan

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The bees in my hot hive stung the dog walker today. :dismay: She was 100 feet away, at least, and one of those little pinheads came up and zapped her. 

 

I'm going to give them a week or so to calm down, and if that doesn't work, then I'm going to have to requeen the hive, and/or do something more drastic. It's close to houses and people and stuff, and I can't tolerate a hive this aggressive. The very second it becomes a pain in the ass, the bees are gone: I don't mind getting stung, but I ain't going to deal with the fallout of other people getting stung. Screw that. 

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Just now, Gilbey said:

Wow, that's crazy! 100 feet away? 

Yep. But after yesterday, they calmed down. I've barely even noticed they were there.

Maybe they could read my mind about killing the queen and putting a new one in. :shrug:

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Hmmm.....potential issue brewing. Hive #3 is a new colony from a package this Spring. They are booming. They have just about filled a second deep box with brood and stores. In early June I added a honey super to hopefully get some honey to harvest. Well, yesterday a hive inspection revealed they have done nothing with the honey super, and there are 4-5 swarm cells on the bottom of frames from the upper deep box. Uncharted waters for me, so not sure what to do. I'll be doing some reading tonight. 

IMG_0874.jpg.23243ce9fc9390d8ab8ca5f227c9ce90.jpg

 

 

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1 min ago, jamesdart said:

Is it too late in the year to start from scratch?

Yes. The nectar flow just stopped. You'll have to wait until next spring.

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11 hours ago, Gilbey said:

Hmmm.....potential issue brewing. Hive #3 is a new colony from a package this Spring. They are booming. They have just about filled a second deep box with brood and stores. In early June I added a honey super to hopefully get some honey to harvest. Well, yesterday a hive inspection revealed they have done nothing with the honey super, and there are 4-5 swarm cells on the bottom of frames from the upper deep box. Uncharted waters for me, so not sure what to do. I'll be doing some reading tonight. 

IMG_0874.jpg.23243ce9fc9390d8ab8ca5f227c9ce90.jpg

 

 

that's empty, i cant see anything an egg inside from the pic. practice cups.

add extra wax to ur supers or spray with sugar water and feed 1:1 to draw comb.

check to see if there's eggs or wait 3.5-4 days and check again to see if it is capped. 

8 hours ago, jamesdart said:

Is it too late in the year to start from scratch?

depends where you are.

if i were from the cold areas, canada, minnesota, and i want to start right now, i will get a full 10frame instead of a nuc.

wait a week, add a super and feed 1:1 then when 80% is drawn feed 2:1 for wintering.

 

edit: the super is not for honey for personal consumption, it is for their winter stores so they dont starve.

Edited by HellRaY

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On 6/12/2019 at 10:31 AM, Gilbey said:

Nice looking apiary HellRay! Looks like a southern clime. Where are you located?

I was in my hives last weekend. It looks like I might get some honey to harvest from my hive #1. Hive #2, my split hive is plugging along, lots of brood, but there will be no honey from that hive this year. Hive #3 is my new colony I started from a package this Spring. It's booming, and added a honey super which they have already started to build out. It's amazing what a healthy queen in a strong colony can accomplish! 

 

Alan 

florida

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You can’t tell from the pic but the cells have larva. 

 

I am perplexed. They had room to grow. A friend suggested I go thru the bottom deep to see what’s happening down there. The queen is still

laying. There is a solid worker brood pattern. There are stores. 

 

He suggested culling the queen cells and checking back in a week to see if they reformed. If they do he says the only other option is to split. I don’t have any boxes left. 

 

It’s a mystery. But I am learning. 

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2 hours ago, Gilbey said:

You can’t tell from the pic but the cells have larva. 

 

I am perplexed. They had room to grow. A friend suggested I go thru the bottom deep to see what’s happening down there. The queen is still

laying. There is a solid worker brood pattern. There are stores. 

 

He suggested culling the queen cells and checking back in a week to see if they reformed. If they do he says the only other option is to split. I don’t have any boxes left. 

 

It’s a mystery. But I am learning. 

if you cull it and the queen is sick or swarms then you are left queenless.

check in 3 days if it is capped, split. do a walkaway. leave the queenless hive in the old location and move the queenright to a new location, put a branch infront of the entrance so the bees reorients and dont go back to the old location. if you're on a dearth, feed both.

 

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