Gilbey

The Beekeeping Thread

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The part I don’t get is that I think the queen is fine. I found another pic from the inspection from the weekend. There was plenty of larva and eggs. Here’s a frame of brood from the top deep box. It seems to be a good pattern and solid. 0E37452F-5250-4789-BD12-15CCDD994034.jpeg.6577cb945aa4e6f5ed46e0136a58f79b.jpeg

 

If I did a walk away split would you suggest I leave the bottom box and the current queen in the current location and take the top box with the queen cells to a new location? 

 

I don’t think we are in full dearth but I do think the main flow is over. 

 

Crud. Now I have to buy more equipment. 

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2 hours ago, Gilbey said:

The part I don’t get is that I think the queen is fine. I found another pic from the inspection from the weekend. There was plenty of larva and eggs. Here’s a frame of brood from the top deep box. It seems to be a good pattern and solid. 0E37452F-5250-4789-BD12-15CCDD994034.jpeg.6577cb945aa4e6f5ed46e0136a58f79b.jpeg

 

If I did a walk away split would you suggest I leave the bottom box and the current queen in the current location and take the top box with the queen cells to a new location? 

 

I don’t think we are in full dearth but I do think the main flow is over. 

 

Crud. Now I have to buy more equipment. 

if that frame is from the top box, and 70% is like that i would split.

do you know which box the queen is at?

if not, put a queen excluder, check in 3 days and whichever box has eggs that's where the queen is at.

take the box with the queen and move it to a new location, put a branch in front of the entrance so the new bees reorients themselves and doesnt return to the old location.

the queenless box stays at the old location so when the foragers return you'll have a good amount of bees left on the queenless box.

 

if it was me, i'd buy a mated queen rather than wait 28days(if she makes it back from mating flight) for a new queen to start laying eggs, by then half the population is dead/ dying. i'll buy a vsh mated queen and introduce it to the queenless box 24hrs after, use a 4x5 screen mesh so the pheromones dissipates faster rather than leaving them in the queen cage.

and i'd feed both boxes with 1:1 syrup and a few drops of hbh.

Edited by HellRaY

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inspected 2 hives today, my weakest hive is doing a little bit better.

feeding both hives with 1:1 for brood production.

hopefully max population in time for fall nectar flow.

 

 

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Nice :th:

I am going to start feeding heavily this weekend to try to build out my honey supers for next season. I've been away on business for a bit. I'm hoping to get into my problem hive one evening this coming week to see what's going on. I'll post my findings with pics!

Alan

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Big inspection weekend for me. 

Hives 1 & 2 looking solid. I'm running two deeps with a honey super on each. The honey supers are barely built out at all with only .5/1 frame of honey in the middle. The good news is the upper deep on both hives is nearly full of honey. I left that for them to winter over although I did think about harvesting some. I added frame feeders to both hives with the hopes that they would build out the honey supers and I would be ahead of the game for last year. 

I did have a spacer on #2 from winter feeding that I had left on the hive. In the two to three weeks since I last checked the bees were on clover and built their own comb hanging from the top cover. There was three sections about 12" x 2". I scraped them off and manually extracted them. The outcome was my first ever honey harvest, all 3 pounds of it, but I am still really happy;

IMG_0983.jpg.029c1001273b5e69232edbc286b527ff.jpg

 

Hive #3 is a problem. I had supersedure cells a month back. Best advice I got was to let the bees figure it out. Well, on inspection the hive is queenless. There are no eggs, no larva, no brood. However, the population still seems good, and like #1 and #2 they have nearly filled a deep box full of honey. I made some calls and I am going to pick up a new mated queen this evening to install and hope she can get things in order. My goal is to get three strong colonies thru Winter and be set up for a good honey harvest in 2020.  Only the bees know for sure though! 


Alan

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I have to go in there tonight and look, but I think one of my hives absconded.

 

About two weeks ago, I tried something new for me, which was vaporized oxalic acid as a mite treatment. It's supposedly very effective as a mite treatment. It takes two minutes, and you do it every five days to zap the mites. It was sold to me as much, much easier, and more effective, than a wash. I got through the first two treatments, and during both the hive was extraordinarily robust -- so robust, in fact, that I thought they were going to take my head off.

 

I got sidetracked with other stuff after treatment 2, and just the other day, I noticed that the hive was looking very quiet. I poked my head in this morning -- didn't do a full inspection, just popped open the top and peeked inside -- and it looks like the hive is empty. There are a few straggler bees coming and going, presumably larva that just hatched, but it seems to me like all the bees just picked up and left. At first I thought it might have been a swarm, but A) there are no bees left, and a swarm is supposed to leave half; and B) they had plenty of room in there -- I'd just added another super before they all disappeared, and I saw this morning that the frames in it are basically totally empty. I have no idea what may have made them all fly the coop. :shrug:

 

This was my good hive, and the other hive, while still alive, is very, very small -- I just added a second brood box like two weeks ago (it took them until then to fill one medium box). I doubt I'll be able to get them to survive the winter -- I doubt they'll be robust enough by the fall to do that.

 

If both hives end up giving up the ghost, I'm definitely taking a break from beekeeping for a year, and I might say the hell with it forever. It's not that much work, but it is kind of a pain in the ass, and having these hives all die sucks. It could be that I suck at this, it could be that there's something nearby that I don't know about (neighbors using nasty chemicals) that is causing the colonies to fail, but to put the amount of effort I've put into it the last two years, with nothing to show for it, blows chunks.

We'll see.

Edited by Belmo

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Lousy news Belmo. I hope your remaining colony surprises you and builds up. Probably a good idea to feed them to stimulate population growth. 

I did a mite check on just one of my colonies yesterday and the counts were still low.....2 mites noted in my sample. As much as I hate to kill 300 bees, I do use an alcohol wash. I know I should have tested all three, but I didn't. Like I was told to do last year I will treat with Formic Pro in early September and then with Apivar at the end of September.

 

But, yeah, I can hear what you are saying. This can be a frustrating hobby when you come up against obstacle after obstacle. :o 


Alan 

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I took a class this year, and one of the instructors told me he doesn't bother even testing for mites any more: he just assumes that he has them, so he does five vaporized acid treatments in July, and then five in December. That's it -- that seemed a whole lot better than having to do the sugar shake test, and all that.

 

The one thing that may save the existing colony is that if the bigger hive absconded, there should be a lot of honey in there -- there was during the last inspection. I can use that to try to get the still-living hive through the winter.

I was going to do an inspection tonight, but we're supposed to get nasty thunderstorms. If I can't do it after work today, I'll do it tomorrow.

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6 hours ago, Belmo said:

 

This was my good hive, and the other hive, while still alive, is very, very small -- I just added a second brood box like two weeks ago (it took them until then to fill one medium box). I doubt I'll be able to get them to survive the winter -- I doubt they'll be robust enough by the fall to do that.

 

if it is small hive dont add another broodbox. let them build all the way to 80% before you add a broodbox. you're not helping the bees by adding a broodbox when they are small.

 

for them to be robust you need to feed. 

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9 hours ago, HellRaY said:

if it is small hive dont add another broodbox. let them build all the way to 80% before you add a broodbox. you're not helping the bees by adding a broodbox when they are small.

 

for them to be robust you need to feed. 

I added the second box because the first ine was full.

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I picked up my new queen last evening after work. I mentioned my local bee guru was out of town, so I found this new fellow on Craigslist. Turns out he's been keeping bees for 50 years and was full of information and happy to share. We chatted for 20 minutes and I picked up some great info. What a great guy! I made it home just in time to insert my new queen and close up before the rain. I'll check back in a few days to make sure she got out of her cage, and hopefully #3 will be back in business. 

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