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Honey Bees, a new adventure


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#1 coldone OFFLINE  

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Posted May 03, 2015 - 06:34 AM

The last few years in the garden I noticed that I had a lot of blooms but not as much fruit. I started watching and paying attention last year and I noticed that there just wasnt many pollinators. So I got the idea that I would get a beehive for 2015. Well January 2015 rolled around and my trucks engine decided to grenade so there went the extra money we had stashed back.

 

The first week of May my wife calls me at work and tells me she has a surprise for me for when we get home. When I get home she has an old beehive and honey super for me. Turns out she had been asking around a work and one of the old guys she works with has a brother that has gotten out of the bee business. He brought her the stuff and told us to put it to good use.

 

Me and the kids got it cleaned up and sterilized. All I needed was the foundation wax so i found a local bee supply place. I went there after work one day and picked up all he stuff I needed including a bee suit and put a package of bees on order. When I got home, both the boys got extremely mad at me for not getting them a bee suit. A few weeks later we took the kids there and got them each a suit.

 

The bee package arrived on 4/17/15. I took some time off from work and went to pick them up. I did not have time to install them because I had to help with a fund raiser at the Fire Department. So saturday the littlest one had a soccer game and when we got home we suited up and installed the package. The kids had a blast!

 

Thats been two weeks ago and I have checked the hive a few times since then. The Queen is doing her job and laying alot of eggs. The bees are busy gathering pollen and necter. They have filled out 3 frames so far. I did mess up and let them build almost a full frame of wild comb. I removed that he other day. Its pretty amazing what they have accomplished considering that in a 3# package there are only 3000-4000 bees and a healthy hive contains 50K-60K of bees. The baby bees should start hatching this week and the colonies population should start increasing soon. That should start giving them enough workers to forage and defend the hive. I am starting to ween them off of the sugar syrup so I wont have welfare bees.

 

I have plans to get another hive and another package (Nucleus) of bees soon. They are fascinating to watch.

 

Here is a vid of the kids and me installing the package.

 


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#2 UncleWillie OFFLINE  

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Posted May 03, 2015 - 04:09 PM

Pretty cool.


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#3 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted May 03, 2015 - 04:14 PM

Bees do so much, but do not get the accolade. Glad you are getting them into your world.


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#4 trowel OFFLINE  

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Posted May 03, 2015 - 05:38 PM

Thanks for joining and doing your part.


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#5 toomanytoys84 OFFLINE  

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Posted May 03, 2015 - 08:16 PM

The saying busy as bees is true

Really neat. I'd like to try that one day.

Edited by toomanytoys84, May 03, 2015 - 08:16 PM.

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#6 rust addict OFFLINE  

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Posted May 04, 2015 - 03:40 PM

Dogs don't need a suit, they can outrun all of you. He ain't scared.


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#7 alleyyooper OFFLINE  

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Posted May 14, 2015 - 01:51 PM

Been keeping bees for a long time. Thank the lord for new beekeepers or the suit makers would go out of business.

 

06-01-06ChristmasTreeFarmyardsetup.jpg

 

 

Just went and got the first swarm out of a pine tree Saturday last the 10th. Earliest of the year by 10 days.

 

DCP_3795.jpg

 

How many bees in a 3# package depends on how many are flying while the box is on the scales. A good health hive should have 90,000 bees in it at mid summer and care should be taken to give them room so they don't swarm.

 

As long as the bees are drawing out new comb you should keep feeding them 1:1 sugar syrup as they will use it at night to make new bees wax for the comb when they can't go out in the dark, high winds and rain days. They will stop emptying the feeder when they are finished wanting syrup.

 

splits.jpg

 

:D   Al

 

 


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#8 alleyyooper OFFLINE  

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Posted May 14, 2015 - 01:57 PM

I also keep a capping fork handy when doing inspections to look for these little critters in drone cells. If you find a lot it is time to do some thing about it or they will kill a hive off.

You don't need the drones unless you are raising queens either.

 

09-26-06MiteonLarva.jpg

 

:D  


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#9 coldone OFFLINE  

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Posted May 14, 2015 - 05:01 PM

I just took the entrance feeder off, it took them a week to empty it. I figured they had enough from nature if it took them that long to eat it all. They were emptying it once a day before. Week 3 inspection showed that they had drawn and filled with caps 5 frames, 3 frames were being drawn with a few caps, and 2 had a little comb on it. I plan on putting a medium super in a week or two (dont know if thats too early)

 

How do you tell if its a drone cell?

 

I recognize the mite. I have not seen any when I do my inspections, I am just looking at the bees for now. My new hive has a screen bottom board with the mite grid. When I get my Nuc I will be watching for the mite count on it. 

 

My bee suit is like Linuses Blanket (peanuts) for me. It makes me feel better :D



#10 LilysDad ONLINE  

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Posted May 14, 2015 - 06:28 PM

What's "wild comb" and why is it bad?



#11 coldone OFFLINE  

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Posted May 14, 2015 - 07:22 PM

Wild comb is comb that the bees build that is not on the frame foundation. The frame holds a wax sheet called foundation. You want the bees to "draw" comb out from the foundation on both sides.

 

 

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#12 alleyyooper OFFLINE  

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Posted May 15, 2015 - 05:33 AM

Drone sells are capped but the cap looks like the nose of a round nose bullet not flat like a workers cell.

this is a start note how it sticks up and the size of the larva.

 

cappedcellsandlarva.jpg

 

A medium is what they do for a second box in your area, Here it is a second deep.

 

Like I said thank the lord for new bee keepers.  One of my students wore one till it got hot in July, never seen her in it again. 

 

:D   Al


Edited by alleyyooper, May 15, 2015 - 05:38 AM.

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#13 coldone OFFLINE  

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Posted June 10, 2015 - 05:30 PM

I got my NUC yesterday and got them installed too. I wasnt sure I got the queen in, she was on the box top and not the frames. I got her on my glove and then tried getting her of the installed frames. I forgot to put on my reading glasses before I started, so one minute she was on my glove and the next she was gone. William and me pulled the frames back out and checked to see if we could see her but we did not find her. William told me to beileve that she was in there and hope for the best. Today after work I checked and found her so I am happy and I told William that his idea worked.

 

This was my first NUC and I am sure I could have done it better. Glad we had suits cause they were not happy girls yesterday. The dog learned to stay away.


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#14 coldone OFFLINE  

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Posted August 02, 2015 - 09:02 AM

I uncapped some drone cells yesterday, 8 out of 10 had mites in them. I think its time to treat the hives. In reading some of the reviews on the different treatments, I saw alot of people saying that the treatment killed the hive off. So whats the best treatment to use and the best method.

 

I also saw a few small hive beetles too.



#15 alleyyooper OFFLINE  

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Posted August 02, 2015 - 11:32 AM

I my self like Mite Away quick strips. The USDA has ruled them an Organic treatment and we our selves have found them to kill off  98% of th mites when we do our sticky board testand sugar roll test.

 

http://www.mannlakel...ory/page78.html

 

Down side is They and I recommend a resperrator when useing them. I also use rubber gloves and plastic tongs.

 

 

 

I also use this treatment in the spring as soon as the temps warm So as to not allow the mites to get resistant. This one is also a hive beattle control.

 

http://www.mannlakel...ory/page79.html

 

 

:D   Al


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