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Mike Ohio
03-08-2002, 03:16 PM
Hi, I began keeping bees last spring and bought into the idea of using a durable, pest resistant, bee resistant, easy to install foundation. I began with intent of finding a good standard of equipment and conforming to it so as to concentrate on the bees and not on equipment. I started with two hives, one a local nuc., and one a 3lb package. The package hated the plastic, drew comb sporadically, and they were mad every time I opened them. The split took off and I got 35lbs+ of honey, strong brood, etccc... Both colonies have overwintered and I began feeding today as it is nice(60 degrees and flying).
Question- should I requeen the overwintered bad hive(With a queen from strong nuc supplier) because of my equipment policy or let em have a second chance?

Dee A. Lusby
03-16-2002, 07:06 PM
Hi,

You wrote:
I began keeping bees last spring and bought into the idea of using a durable, pest resistant, bee resistant, easy to install foundation.

Reply:
How do you mean pest resistant for detering pests? How do you mean bee resistant?

You say the foundation is easy to install. Is it a plastic type of foundation and if so what size are the cells?

You further wrote:
I began with intent of finding a good standard of equipment and conforming to it so as to concentrate on the bees and not on equipment.

Reply:
What kind of standard equipment did you purchase? Sounds like a good plan to use standard equipment.

You further wrote:
I started with two hives, one a local nuc., and one a 3lb package. The package hated the plastic, drew comb sporadically, and they were mad every time I opened them.

Reply:
What type of bees did you purchase for the local nuc and the 3 lb package? Were they both the same type of bees? Did they come from different suppliers?

You say the package hated the plastic, so now we know you have one of the many various sizes of plastic. How did they draw the comb sporadically? Did they just mess it up drawing it or did they draw comb out over the plastic foundation trying to avoid it?

How were they mad every time you opened them up? Was someting being done to cause them to sting? Were there any days you opened them up that they did not want to sting?

You further wrote:
The split took off and I got 35lbs+ of honey, strong brood, etccc... Both colonies have overwintered and I began feeding today as it is nice(60 degrees and flying).

Reply:
YOu say the split took off and the package didn't. Did it have to draw out it's own foundation? Am I right in assuming that the nuc already had drawnout foundation to work with?

It is nice to know that both colonies have overwintered. Congradulations on this.

You ended asking:
Question- should I requeen the overwintered bad hive(With a queen from strong nuc supplier) because of my equipment policy or let em have a second chance?

Reply:
This is up to you. Without all the combs to redraw they might not be so bad. Also they might just shift queen on their own and then fit your local area better with bees adjusted to your local needs.

If they keep being mad bees when you work them, and you don't want that, then by getting another queen, perhaps you can get one with gentler traits. But again this is your judgement call. What some beekeepers call mad others don't and vice versa.

See how things progress and then if it makes you feel better, get another queen, as you want the working of the bees to be a happy experience and not a maddening one.Ater all, this purchasing another queen,wouldnot be without reason (not wanting to repeat another year knowing ahead of time what to expect.)

Regards,

Dee

Mike Ohio
03-21-2002, 03:34 PM
How do you mean pest resistant for detering pests? How do you mean bee resistant?
-You say the foundation is easy to install. Is it a plastic type of foundation and if so what size are the cells?

Reply: I am using Pierco plastic foundation with 5.3 size(by my rule). I reasoned that it would withstand bees chewing through it, mouse damage, and be resistant to breakage or physical failure better than other alternatives and that I can clean them off for reuse several times before purchasing new. The easy -no wire- installation also appeals to me as a beginner. I am using black plastic for brood boxes(2 deeps) and white for supers(shallows 5 11/16").

Q?-What type of bees did you purchase for the local nuc and the 3 lb package? Were they both the same type of bees? Did they come from different suppliers?
A-In mid to late april I picked up the local nuc which was 5 frames(fully drawn) of brood, honey and laying queen + 5 of my fresh plastic frames all in one deep. I do not know the kind of bee but it is small and dark; note that supplier is geared to bee products and not a "bee supply". The package I picked up in late may and was Italians I think from California. They are big and bright(orange). I put them on all fresh foundation(plenty of feed). This package came from a bigger Bee Supplier in Ohio.
Q?-How were they mad every time you opened them up? Was someting being done to cause them to sting? Were there any days you opened them up that they did not want to sting?

The only difference is that the nuc was is direct sun most of the day, 100 yards away
the package was sheltered by woods and at the corner of a fence row. Both boxes were worked at the same times, one after the other. The extra agression in this hive would not have made note if other habits hadn't concerned me.

Q?-You say the package hated the plastic, so now we know you have one of the many various sizes of plastic. How did they draw the comb sporadically? Did they just mess it up drawing it or did they draw comb out over the plastic foundation trying to avoid it?

A- They didnt fill frames or even work from the center out. They did follow the grid from the cells but one frame would be
drawn on the outside and a blank frame next to it, and a center drawn comb next to the blank. Some frames had the center drawn, a half drawn ring or semidrawn-ring next and more full drawn at the outer edges. I gave these guys all the wet extracted combs I recieved from the split and they stored it like champs. I will not feed this house forever. They have survived and I now feel obligated to them; they recieve detention and I will give them some full drawn to help em succeed.

Dee A. Lusby
03-23-2002, 10:12 PM
Sounds reasonable and good what you are explaining and doing. Keep going, you are becoming a fine beekeeper.

Nice to see you hanging in there with the bees from Calif.

Regards,

Dee

wjw777
03-24-2002, 10:13 PM
Mike,
Just hang in there. We learn from observation and making mistakes. I know. I had bees before but my dad use to work with them , He said i was the keeper of bees not a beekeeper , well this spring I will become a "Beekeeper" God willing. Hey i have friends in New Washington , and North Auburn. Never thought id meet anyone so near. Great!!