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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Lamoille County, Vermont, USA
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    101

    Post

    I'm wondering how (or if) this combination would work:

    Beemax medium supers with a Langstroth hive modification kit

    any ideas? Has anyone tried this? Would they fit together?
    GreenMountainRose

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    46,316

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    >a Langstroth hive modification kit

    Are you refering to the vent kit from Beeworks?

    If so, yes they would fit together, sort of. The inner cover and vent cover will be a bit smaller than the beemax box, but if you center them on the beemax box they should work fine.

    But to be honest, David Eyre is raising bees in Quebec and having very good luck with just the vent kit and warpping with 15# felt.

    I tried four of the beemax boxes as nucs and wasn't terribly impressed. The bees didn't seem to do any better or worse than in a wood box. But then I didn't try them on a regular hive either.

    I've been going to eight frame hives a lot because of the weight, but another beekeeper here has suggested, and I can see the rationale, that the bees tend to stay in the middle and work straight up and winter better in the eight frame hives. Personally I don't think there is a lot of difference either way. At least here. Where are you located?

    I did try some foam on top, for the first time this year, and I think it was useful. I think it helped with condensation on the top some. But I also have several of the DE Vent kits and they work well too.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Lamoille County, Vermont, USA
    Posts
    101

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    I'm on the southern edge of the northeast kingdom of Vermont, where it is not unusual to get -25 or lower temps on some winter nights. While I know that it's ventilation that's most important, I have to believe that the insulation provided by the polystyrene would offer some benefit to the bees on those coldest nights.
    GreenMountainRose

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Lamoille County, Vermont, USA
    Posts
    101

    Post

    If I were to use 8-frame medium supers for brood boxes, would I need to use 4 to get through a winter?
    GreenMountainRose

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    46,316

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    Bjerm likes the polystyrene ones a lot.

    Mt. Camp is up that way (NY) and likes to wrap in tar paper, if I remember right.

    I've never had trouble with a healthy, strong hive getting through -25 degree F temps in the winter in ordinary hives with no wrapping. I've had them in Western Nebraska and In Laramie where it always got that cold in the winter. One winter it was that cold for a month.

    I can't say how much the foam would help, since I haven't tried a regular hive in the Styrofoam yet. I will probably try one next year out of curiosity since I have three beemax boxes (and three foam lids).

    The DE vent kit is nice. But there are lots of ways to provide upper ventilation. His is probably the most well thought out and controled, but many things work. I have a variety of setups right now that are all working well. One is a variation on his except this year I added some foam inside the upper vent box. Some are just a notch in the inner cover. Some are just migratory covers with top entrances (shims to tip the side up). The important thing, IMO, is that you have some kind of upper entrance and vent to let out the hot wet air.

    The other payoff for good ventilation (including a top vent system) during the rest of the year, is increased production because the nectar evaporates faster, and less swarming because they don't get so hot.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Lamoille County, Vermont, USA
    Posts
    101

    Post

    Thanks for all your help. This site is such a welcoming place for newbies to learn!

    I decided on woodenware mediums with the Beeworks vent kit and all 4.9 mm foundation.

    So, with that hurdle being done, I do have a couple follow-up questions:

    1.) How do I prepare the bees for accepting the second medium brood box? Do I need to do anything to encourage them to build brood in the second layer, or will they want to start storing honey there if I don't offer them partially-filled comb?

    2.) I have some neighbors about a half a mile away with bees, and I'd like to (hee, hee) set up a couple of boxes as swarm traps about 1000 to 1500 feet from where they are located. I'd like to use a couple of my old deeps to do this. How would I set up the inside to best make a colony want to take up residence inside? I will use swarm lure, but what do I need to use for frames? I was thinking that old comb might be suitable, but then I figured that wax moths might have other ideas for how to make use of the comb. How do other people configure their swarm traps?
    GreenMountainRose

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devils Lake, North Dakota
    Posts
    9,123

    Post

    I take it you are joking (by your hee, hee) about stealing your neighbors bees.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Langley, B.C. Canada
    Posts
    413

    Post

    I wonder what people think of a beekeeper not getting first dibs on his swarms because they are being lured away.

    Terry

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Lamoille County, Vermont, USA
    Posts
    101

    Post

    ---> (hanging my head in shame
    GreenMountainRose

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,316

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    >If I were to use 8-frame medium supers for brood boxes, would I need to use 4 to get through a winter?

    Three or four depending on how many bees there are.

    >1.) How do I prepare the bees for accepting the second medium brood box? Do I need to do anything to encourage them to build brood in the second layer, or will they want to start storing honey there if I don't offer them partially-filled comb?

    I wouldn't add it until a month or more after you install the package. You don't want them to have to humidify and heat a large area. When you DO add it they should be pretty strong. You can take two frames of brood and move them up to the new box and put two frames of foundation in the brood nest. I'd interleave these so its not one big gap. This will bait them up, but you probably don't have to. They will move up anyway.

    >2.) I have some neighbors about a half a mile away with bees, and I'd like to (hee, hee) set up a couple of boxes as swarm traps about 1000 to 1500 feet from where they are located. I'd like to use a couple of my old deeps to do this. How would I set up the inside to best make a colony want to take up residence inside? I will use swarm lure, but what do I need to use for frames? I was thinking that old comb might be suitable, but then I figured that wax moths might have other ideas for how to make use of the comb. How do other people configure their swarm traps?

    Old comb is good. Some Certan will keep the moths out or you can just take your chances with the moths. Bees that are swarming are usually looking to move a ways from the original location. I'd just set the swarm traps in your bee yard. I like a few drops of lemongrass essential oil on the top bars, but if you buy the swarm lure it's the same thing. When I get rid of queens I drop them in a jar of alcohol and a few drops of that is nice too. I like to have some frames with starter strips in the middle so the swarm has somewhere to cluster, but they will build on the frames when they build comb.

    >I wonder what people think of a beekeeper not getting first dibs on his swarms because they are being lured away.

    You can't lure bees away from a hive. They leave because they have a reason to leave. They move into your box if it's more inviting than the hollow tree down the road.

    They should catch their own swarms when they are still on the branch near the hive getting organized. Otherwise they are gone anyway.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Kiel WI, USA
    Posts
    2,368

    Post

    <<I wonder what people think of a beekeeper not getting first dibs on his swarms because they are being lured away. >>

    Probably the same way I would feel seeing a commercial beekeeper drop their hives(and all the things they picked up in California) just over the property line from my hives.

    I wouldn't like it, but they call it "private" property for a reason.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Round Top, New York - Northern Catskill Mtns.
    Posts
    1,895

    Post

    I would like to ask what is ment by first dibbs on a swarm?

    When the hive swarms, it sets up within a short distance of the hive it left. Usually, within a few hundred feet.

    At this point the swarm is deciding where it will set-up it's new home.

    This is what I would call first dibbs. Get them or forget them, because after they leave this stagging location they are setting shop in a new home.

    So, if you have a swarm box set out, and they take to it, they were already lost by the "other" beekeeper.

    There was a guy who kept bees about 3/4 mile from me. When he had bees there I caught swarms every spring like clock work. They set up in my yard by the end of the day. I just started leaving an empty hive in the yard. Did I feel guilty for catching his swarms? Absolutely not. No more than I would have expected him to, if one of my hives swarmed to his yard.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,316

    Post

    >Did I feel guilty for catching his swarms? Absolutely not. No more than I would have expected him to, if one of my hives swarmed to his yard.

    Exactly.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Lamoille County, Vermont, USA
    Posts
    101

    Post

    Phew! Thanks for the support. I hadn't felt so guilty since the skunk mysteriously disappeared. (blink.) My thinking is that a beekeeper is responsible for keeping his/her bees happy and healthy while they in his/her service. If the beekeeper doesn't manage the bees properly and they die or swarm as a result, then I figure he/she has no one to blame but himself/herself. Those are the standards I hold for myself. I think you can manage bees, but you can't own them. I've yet to see a bee with an identifying ear tag.

    BTW, I decided to keep the 10-frame hives for now, as I really wanted to be able to reuse some of the old equipment.

    Another question:

    Can I still use equipment such as a screened bottom board, slatted rack, and hivetop feeder when I am using the Beeworks modified vent kit? Will the system still work the way it was intended with those items added on?
    GreenMountainRose

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Lamoille County, Vermont, USA
    Posts
    101

    Post

    p.s.

    I think you can manage bees, but you can't own them... unless, of course, if they have still are still in residence in the hive.
    GreenMountainRose

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Hookstown PA USA
    Posts
    581

    Post

    You got it. A swarm is whoevers that can get it. Meaning you can't trot onto someone else's land to get a swarm unless they let you but if they fly to your place then they are yours. Be carful though, you may not like what you get. Personally I don't want any of my neighbors bees, too many mites to deal with. But of course that is why we have OA.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Bridgewater VT. USA
    Posts
    238

    Post

    welcome greenmountainrose
    I'm also a Vermonter, south central. The Vermont bee keepers assn. has most of its meetings and classes in your neck of the woods around burlington. their site should have the spring and summer schedule up soon they are at www.vtbeekeeepers.org/
    good luck and have fun
    Stuart

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,316

    Post

    >Can I still use equipment such as a screened bottom board, slatted rack, and hivetop feeder when I am using the Beeworks modified vent kit? Will the system still work the way it was intended with those items added on?

    David Eyre has planned and executed a very nice system with his vent kit. It is adjustable for the correct amount of ventilation (at least in his cold humid climate) for both winter and summer (by flipping over the vent box). If you use a screened bottom board with the tray in, it will be approximately the same amount of bottom ventilation as a solid bottom. The Slatted rack does more to control ventilation than to cause it. It distributes the draft in such a way as to not creat cold drafty spots. I don't think either will interfere with it in the winter. As far as the summer if you open the botom board, it will totally change the bottom ventilation. But you can see how the bees react and see if you want to leave the top vent box in "winter" position to counter the larger bottom opening, or if they respond better to having it in "summer" position. Generally a strong hive in the hot summer in full sun, really can't have too much ventilation. But if the bees all go inside when you open the bottom then you're doing ok.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Round Top, New York - Northern Catskill Mtns.
    Posts
    1,895

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    GreenMountainRose, I am located in the Northern Catskills Mtns. of New York. I would think that depending on your elevation, our winters are fairly close. We got down to around -20F this year so far. Today we got up to about 19F, with nice sun.

    I currently winter most of my hives with (3) deeps, and an empty box, then the inner and outer covers. I wrap all of my hives in the fall with 30# felt paper. I have 10 out of 21 hives on SBB open.

    I wrap for wind protection and solar gain. I put the box on for ventilation / moisture / feeding. The boxes are just rough cut pine with butt joints.

    Right now all of my hives have granulated sugar on the top bars over paper. The paper and sugar absorb moisture. The sugar is extra feed.

    Today at 19F I popped some hive tops and looked in, 4 of 9 hives I looked at had bees freely crawling in the feeder box.

    The black felt paper allows for additional solar gain by the hive during sunny days. As the days get longer and the sun stronger, it makes a big difference.

    Next week I will start feeding lite syrup and pollen substitute. They will be able to use the internal jar feeders and patties because of the felt paper and sun.

    I do have some Styrofoam nucs that seems to make a difference in making up early nucs.

    I can't comment on using insulation as I have never tried it.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Lamoille County, Vermont, USA
    Posts
    101

    Post

    >The Vermont bee keepers assn. has most of its meetings and classes in your neck of the woods around burlington.

    Thanks... that should come in handy.

    MB: It sounds like that will be ideal then. What about hivetop feeders? Any problem there? And do people close off the opening below the SBB somehow?

    MountainCamp: >I have 10 out of 21 hives on SBB open.

    How do they compare in results? Is there a difference in survival rates?

    Could you describe the empty box? What height is it? Is it like a super? That explains how people manage to put sugar in for the winter. I had wondered about that. That's where you put the internal jar feeders too? That will be helpful. I tried open feeding last year, but the yellowjackets became a nightmare.


    BTW, when people put styrofoam over the inner cover, do they leave the ventilation hole uncovered?


    Can anyone refer me to (or create) a current discussion of the uses of FGMO vs OA alone or in combination, as well as the methodology and equiment currently being used. Some of the discussions I found were pretty old, and some of the links were no longer active.
    GreenMountainRose

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