HiYas! I am starting to get things togeather to launch a couple of hives this spring and I was wanting some input as to my plans, if you guys don't mind.
I've never kept bees before, but have been researching it for the past couple of years and have the wife and kids agreeing to a trail run of two hives here in Central Oklahoma. We don't want to use chems, so we are leaning towards the small cell methods and are currently looking for some suppliers of small cell bees. We plan on two hives with three broodboxes, plus three supers (should we get lucky and get honey the first year). I was thinking about using deeps for all the supers with was 4.9 foundation (if I can find it). Other than a veil and smoker, is there anything else that I am missing here?
Any advice would be helpful!
Here's my advice.
On the subject of deeps for supers, you'll only have to lift one full of honey once to talk you out of that. It's a very awkard 90 pounds or so.
Thanks for the link, that's what I was looking for!
General Question: Anybody know if there are any small cell bee producers in the Oklahoma area? I want to start with them to avoid having to regress them right off the bat.
The only small cell bees I know of for sale right now, and anyone feel free to add to the list, is Bolling Bees and me. I was going to sell nucs to be picked up in the spring. I'm looking into shipping nucs.
BOLLING BEE CO.
1121 Mobile Rd.
Greenville, AL 36037
bush at inebraska dot com
(hiding from the spam crawlers)
[This message has been edited by Michael Bush (edited April 27, 2004).]
I used to live in OKC and in Guthrie. My Dad grew up in Fairview (near Enid) and my uncle and some of my cousins live in Midwest City. Two of my sons were born in OK.
You might read up on what BWRANGLER has been posting lately. Check out his web site too. His link is posted in the Bee Forum under the OXALIC ACID thread on the last page.
He is coming to the conclusion that regression can be accomplished in as short as one year by following certain procedures he has been developing. He has a great web site and makes a good reading.
I tried regressing using wax foundation. It's doable, but very stressful on the bees. Certainly starting a package out on them is an easy first step.
My current method is to take PermaComb and coat it with beeswax to get the inside cell diameter equivalent of a 4.95mm cell size (I'd love to get 4.9mm, but it didn't work out that way). I can regress to 4.95mm in one shot. I have had a couple of the common sized queens (raised by 5.5mm bees) such as you would buy commercially, that would not lay in this, but most of the queens I have had seemed to prefer it. The wax coating is a bit touchy and time consuming, but not as much as regressing. (Let me know if you want details on that.) Just putting together frames and foundation and wiring is time consuming too, not to mention doing shakdowns etc.
Of course one method would be to simply use 4.9mm foundation all the time and cull the brood nest a lot. Move frames of just honey out and push the capped brood to the outside and put empty frames of 4.9mm foundation in. Keep track of what regression you are on. Eventually you'll get it all swapped out.
I assume you understand regression, but if not, study the POV articles by the Lusby's you'll see what regression is about and how it take several regressions to accomplish it. So the object is to go through replacing all the artificialy large foundation (5.5mm) with natural sized foundation (4.9mm) which the large bees will draw a bit smaller and raise smaller bees in. Then the smaller bees will draw smaller foundation etc. Untill you get to natural sized bees.
Of course if you start with natural sized bees it's not a problem. Just give them natural sized (4.9mm) foundation and everything is good.
"Of course if you start with natural sized bees it's not a problem. Just give them natural sized (4.9mm) foundation and everything is good."
This is the plan! I have (I think) a good grasp of regression, which is why I want to start out with natural sized bees. One point that you might be able to help me with is Housel positiioning. I have read Dee's papers on it, and chatted with her via her board, but something's not clicking. I find her writing style confusing to my old brain! She has ton's of great information, just haven't been able to get my head around it yet.
I live just outside of Sapulpa. I don't know of anybody in our area that sells small bees. Most of the members of the NEOBA (NorthEastern OK Beekeepers Association) stick with traditional beekeeping ideas and practices. Of Course I'm not that good of a member and have not been to the meetings in a while. I do talk with the clubs president from time to time. If you don't have a group around your area I would suggest that you take the NEOBA beginner classes. Carl and Evoune Harrison would welcome you with open arms and you will learn a lot. You might find some individuals that use "non-traditional" methods to beekeeping. I have used th FGMO method following Dr. P instructions and have not had any problems with the mites this year. Very seldom have I found mites and those found where very small numbers.
I have 2 lang hives. I did not have a honey crop this year8-( You know what our weather has been like. I'm interested in TBH but I have not started a TBH yet. I have wintered successfully wit 1 deep and 1 medium. From know on if I purchase any more lang equipment it will be all medium sized just for the easy of managment as MB says deeps with honey are heavy. I don't know why anyone would want to deal with different sizes - it is just a hassle. Sorry for the long post just want to help a brother OKIE out. That is why MB is so helpful he has a lot of time to God's Country.
>One point that you might be able to help me with is Housel positiioning. I have read Dee's papers on it, and chatted with her via her board, but something's not clicking. I find her writing style confusing to my old brain! She has ton's of great information, just haven't been able to get my head around it yet.
It is a bit complex and, I hate to make it worse, but reality is even more complex.
Her explaination in the "news" section of this is on this link:
And in summary is stated that natural combs are oriented in this way:
(where "Y" is a rigth side up letter "Y" and ^I is an upside down letter "Y") Apparently, first you want to understand what she is saying. Part of the confusion here is from what side you're looking at it and WHAT it is you're looking at. You are looking at the figure in the bottom of the cell outline. This figure is formed by the walls on the oppisite side of the comb.
So if you are standing on one side of the hive looking at the first frame (closest to you) the bototm of the cells (as you hold it to the light) have a right side up "Y" in them. If you walked around to the other side of the hive and looked from that side it would have an inverted "Y" in the bottom of the cell.
The point being that there is a right and left side to foundation and, therefore, to the combs built on them.
My confusion, when first exposed to the idea, was on the center comb. If we are dealing with "Y" and inverted "Y" then there is ALWAYS a right and left and Dee's description of the center comb is that it is the same from both directions. She finally explained that if you turned the foundation 90 degrees it would be the same as the center comb. After several observations of natural comb I agree with this. But I would not describe it as a "Y" or an inverted "Y" but rather a sideways "Y". The bar goes to the right and is the same viewed from either direction.
My observations of natural comb would not support that all of the rest of the combs are "Y" or inverted "Y" but rather various orientations that vary from comb to comb and even from one place on a comb to a different place on the same comb. But all of the rest of the combs are NOT oriented the same as the center comb.
However, for the purposes of using manufactured foundation, I have adopted the housel positioning as the best I can do with foundation, with one exception. I have made a center comb by turning the foundation 90 degrees. It takes two sheets to go the whole width and leaves a seam in the middle but it makes the correct orientation for a center comb. With the Dadant plastic 4.9mm foundation this works very well. I'm using it in Dadant Deep frames in an experimental horizontal hive right now.
PermaComb actually had the inverted "Y" from both sides, I believe because the walls on one side line up with the walls on the oppisite side and the bottom of the cell is not based on the walls on the oppisite side. It has no orientation because it's the same from both sides.
I mark my top bars with a "Y" so that if I were to stand looking at the frame and then tip it so I'm looking at the top from that side the "Y" is in that orientaion. In other words, if I turned it around and looked at the top it would be inverted and so would the bottom of the cell from that side.
So did I help? Or add to the confusion? Did I cover the part you were confused about?
thanks! That actually helped me get a grip on it...now to go back and read her papers again...glad I started working on this prior to getting bees.
Got the email and will return same soonest.
OkieBeeKeeper! I've been in touch the NEOBA and am on the mailing list...been pretty quiet lately. There are a couple of bee groups out my way, but none that have meetings that I have been able to attend yet. Good to see another Okie out here in Cyberia!
I was just sitting here thinking about Lang hives and was wondering about the placement of the enterance...it seems to me that it is paralell to the frames, whereas (IMVHO) it would make more sense being perpendicular to the frames, to act as wind break from chilling the brood. Am I correct in this observation, or have I missed something very basic?
>I was just sitting here thinking about Lang hives and was wondering about the placement of the enterance...it seems to me that it is paralell to the frames, whereas (IMVHO) it would make more sense being perpendicular to the frames, to act as wind break from chilling the brood. Am I correct in this observation, or have I missed something very basic?
You are correct. I build all my bottom boards this way and you can buy them from www.beeworks.com this way. It has several advantages including that the draft is on the first frame (which is always full of honey anyway). The ventilation is better because the entrance is wider. And the big payoff is that you can stand BEHIND the hive to work it and attract less attention from the gaurd bees. I wish someone made a SBB that was this way, but I don't know of one. I will be converting the DE (from www.beeworks.com) to SBB later, but haven't gotten around to it yet.
Hmmmm, very stupid questions following:
1) What is FGMO?
2) What is DE?
3) What is SBB?
>1) What is FGMO?
Food Grade Mineral Oil. When I first started using this I was painting it on the top bars. Now I fog it with a Burgess propane insect fogger. Dr. Rodriguez, the man who has come up with and researched this, recommends using cords with a FGMO emoulsion also. http://www.beesource.com/pov/rodriguez/index.htm
I am not doing the cords, I am doing small cell instead, but am fogging to help with the mites, especially until I get all of my bees regressed to small cell.
>2) What is DE?
DE Hives and DE ventilation kits for Lanstroth hives are available from www.beeworks.com. I assume that DE stands for David Eyre, the inventor of the concepts involved.
>3) What is SBB?
Screened Bottom Board. Usually has a hole quite large in the bottom board covered with #8 hardware cloth to allow the mites to fall through but not the bees to get through. Usually has some kind of closure for the bottom. A piece of cardboard would do. If you put a "Z" formation of cord stapled to the bottom it can hold up this closure. The board is also often covered with vegatable oil, mineral oil or Vaseline to do mite drop counts. Also allows for more ventilation. I would recommend a SBB. I would close it off while the package gets established, but would open it as you start adding boxes to the hive.