Gilbey

The Beekeeping Thread

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havent done splits due to constant rain.

 

On 8/5/2019 at 11:16 AM, Gilbey said:

Nice :th:

What method of splitting do you prefer?

just a regular 50/50 split. i move the box with the queen to a different spot and put a branch infront of the entrance.

the queenless box i leave in the same location so the foragers comes back to it and makes it stronger. I wait 24hrs then put a mated queen inside a queen cage with candy. i dont let my bees raise their own queen due to the following:

1. florida has africanized bees, if a virgin queen goes on a mating flight and gets mated with an africanized drone (even a drone with small percentage africanized) the bees will carry the genetics and the hive becomes hot.

 

2. i dont want to wait 28 days for a queen to lay eggs especially this late in the year, by then half of the bee population in the hive dead/dying and with the bad SHB this year i want a strong hive.

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Nice :th: !

Just an update from my apiary, the new mated queen I installed in #3 two weeks ago is kicking butt. I went in today hoping to find some queen activity. The top deep was bursting with brood, lots of eggs and larva. I am back to 3 queenright colonies!! Woo Hoo! 

 

 

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Gilbey

Just found this thread based on your post in the Tavern.

Nice work with your hives so far.

Bees do not always see an empty super of foundation above them as empty space.  Especially if over a queen excluder.  So they can become crowded and respond to the swarm impulse even with an empty box above.  I know - crazy right?  So I always bait them up.  Put  a frame or two of brood (or even honey) up there and put a frame or two of foundation below.  Then they will go up and occupy the space.

 

Belmo

Yeah it sucks to put in effort and have them die off or move out.  I have been there.  After many years of bees I quit for a while when Varro first showed up and nobody really knew what the heck was going on.  But started again with an interested nephew and am back in the swing again. There are about 100 reasons for a hive to abscond.  You mentioned some.  Luckily it is not too common.  Did you have small hive beetles or did they get overrun with wax worms?  If so and the frames are full of webs that might be it.

 

So that is why you need two or more hives.  When one craps out - you have another - and well you can keep going.  Also when one has a major problem you can take resources from one and put it into the other to help fix stuff like - "drat I just squashed my queen" or some other bonehead things that I have done by accident.

 

Suggest that you pamper the remaining hive.  Take what food and pollen there is from the absconded hive and give it to the alive hive.  Take empty hive and hide it away from moths.  (I freeze the frames for 2 days and then put them away - kills the moth eggs and larva.)  Go ahead and steal a frame or two of honey for your and your family's own pleasure.  It is OK and may get you re-encouraged.

 

Keep after the mites.  Now is a good time to treat.  You treat for mites once the harvest comes off never with harvestable honey supers on the hive.  If there is brood you need to treat several times in a row (you only kill the mites on the bees and miss the ones in the brood.)  Once it is broodless (December) you treat one time and it kills all the free mites and you are good to go.  By treating in late summer you kill off many of the mites at the peak of their population.  Then the baby bees they lay and grow in Sept/Oct that become your winter bees will be strong and fat and not have been stressed by the mites.  Otherwise those winter bees are already weak and you can loose your hive in late fall or early winter.  I suspect that was your issue last year.

 

And this year I got into mead making for the first time.  I am on batch #3.  Photos later.

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Thanks Skeeter! Your advice is appreciated. :th:

 

I am away this coming week. We may or may not have a goldenrod flow starting soon. When I need to do a mite test and/or treat for mites in all three hives. My local beer guru has me treat with Formic Pro first for 10 days then a week later treat with Apivar strips. Just as you explain, he says the duel treatments is the way to go for best results. I just need to decide if I just just treat now or wait to see about a flow. I have not tested for mites since May when the counts were very low. 

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I'm not the mite guru - but I think several principles apply.  Just need to know the life cycle of the various bee pests and your bees and work between them.  This applies to small hive beetle and wax moths too.

 

Varroa hang on mature bees and also go into the brood before it is capped.  So most mite treatments like say Oxalic acid - get the mites on the bees but not the mites in the capped brood cells.  There they are feeding on stuff that should be going to the larva (and on the larva fat bodies itself)  and thereby weakening the larva..    So you need to treat several times in a row spaced by say 5 days to get at the mites that come out with the newly hatching brood.  Do this late summer.   Once the hive is broodless - treat again to get it down to almost no Varroa in the hive.

 

I used to treat just in a broodless period (early winter) but that was not enough as the winter bees were already weak.   The bee population ramps up into July and then the queen starts to taper down the egg laying.  So max bee population is in like late July or so (depending on location).  But the mite population is still ramping up - so they peak when the bee population is starting to decline and that is when you can get into trouble.  So bottom line - treat in late summer and again later in early winter.

 

I like to use oxalic acid - naturally produced acid that is in stuff like spinach and rhubarb.  can be applied by fog or dribble method.  But the best idea is to switch it up between the mite methods so that we do not get treatment resistant mites.

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12 hours ago, HellRaY said:

i would like to make meade one day

Christmas is coming.  Ask for a basic mead making kit.  That is what I did and it got me going.  it really is not very hard and not too expensive to start messing with.

 

Mixed results so far.  First batch was a simple straight mead and is OK. 

Second batch I tried to do it with some cranraisins - and that is not so good.  But it is getting better with age.  But it still may end up getting pitched.  Folks think it tastes like cough syrup.

Third batch is being made with fresh raspberries.  Basic mead made first then put over raspberries for secondary fermentation.  That is about done so I need to go work on that some more.  This is a double batch.

 

So far YouTube has been my teacher.......

 

Takes about 3 lbs of honey to make a one gallon batch.

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A couple shots of my hives and some honey harvest shots.

This year I worked more on learning how to raise double nucs (look up videos by Michael Palmer).  So many of these are new hives from this year.  I had three come through the winter last year.  This year I sold my first nuc to a co-worker which was really cool for me and for them.

 

 

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Just had to move all my hives!.  Were at my sisters place in the back orchard.  On a nice southern exposure hillside.  My brother-in-law became allergic to the stings.  Had a super bad reaction this past week.

 

So now they are at my house.  But now are on a north facing hillside and in the woods.  I think they just moved about 2 climate zones further north even though they only moved about 5 air miles away.

So bummer for the bees but at least they are all moved and away from a potentially deadly situation at their home.

 

Anyone else ever have to move their hives?

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