I am located in middle georgia, temperatures are cool in the evening but still above 60 degrees during most of the day. Can I open the hive during the day? what is the lowest temperature I should open the hive? should I feed them 2/1 sugar syrup even if the tempereature drops below 32 degrees at night?
Any day when the bees are flying in force is ok to open the hive. If they are not flying then they are clustered and should be left alone.
If they take the feed that's fine, but when it starts getting really cold at night they won't take much of it. Even if it warms up in the daytime, the syrup will be so cold they won't take it.
2:1 surip usually doesnt induce brood rearing, but works well for bulking up your hives quickly.
how about e-mailing me. Like to talk to ya. Are you gong to the fall ga beekeepers *** . meeting on the 17 and 18?
Hey Billy Bob & GABEES,
I'm going to the Fall beekeepers association meeting in Athens. Have you seen the agenda yet? I wonder if Keith Deleplane will share his research on Bumble Bees? I want to find out what the competition is going to be like in the future for crop pollination. GaBees, if you are in Atlanta you are not technically in Middle Georgia, you are from the North, ask Michael Bush how to winter hives, he is way up there from New England. Just Kidding, I lived in Atlanta for several years will attending school(Go Tech). What part of Atlanta are you from. I lived in East Cobb. Hopefully it will warm back up and feeding bees wont be a problem until late November. Best of Luck.
Hey Mark and GAbees,
Yes I will be at the fall meeting, I have read through the agenda and although I don't have it in front of me I don't think Dr. Deleplane will be speaking about the Bumble Bee.
GaBees There will be lots of people from the Atl. area that can help you with your bees. I would say that you could find several members that live in your county. If you need info just e-mail me and I'll let you know.
Downtown ATL. I probably will not be able to go to Athens, but I did hear about the GA Beekeepers Meeting the 17-18 through my local beekeepers association. I just have two hives, this is my first "winter" with bees. One hive local russians, is fairly strong, the cordovans from ohio are getting their little butts kicked by shbs and no honey stores, I am feeding them 2/1 in a frame fedder and treated with checkmite yesterday. This morning there must have been about 50-60 dead shbs in the front of the hive.
GAbee, we're neighbors I guess, I live in Virginia Highlands...Anyways, I think the 17-18th meeting is the one in Athens that we're talking about. I should be there, just have to check my work schedule. GAbee, let me know if you need some supplies since Dadant will bring the equipment up with no shipping costs and I'll bring it back for you.
50-60 dead SHB's. That's alot. Where do you have the hives. You shouldn't have that much problem with SHB in your area. Better queation is what type of soil is under the hive? Good old Ga red clay is the best thing. Even after you let grass grow back on it. Stuff is hard as a rock and doesn't go well with the SHB.
If the hive is very weak it doesn't matter what kind of dirt is under the hive. You may want to add some bees or brood from your other hive or combine the two. You can resplit them next spring. I'm going to be in the chat room tonight around 9 or so, if you want to talk.
Also frame feeders are not the best. You may want to try feeding from the top of the hive with jars and adding a super, or you can make a top hive feeder from the plans on this site.
Winters here are mild, for the bees. Like is posted above you can open a hive on any day when the bees are flying. You can also feed all winter, with little worry of hirting the bees. Even if the temps are low if you have a top hive feeder or feeding with jars from the top of the hive you can open them up and add feed. Just don't remove the frames and disturb the cluster.
I have cement under my hives and those evil shbs still thrive. I have beautifully hard red georgia clay around the cement slab and prior to using checkmite, I tried guardstar to no avail. I event moved my compost, because I heard shbs reproduce like crazy there. I also stoped using grease patties because I heard these attracted shbs(started using menthol against tracheal mites instead). I am using the frame feeder as an emergency feeder while I get a top feeder. I know... I hate to use frame feeders but if I use the available alternatives (boardman or ziplock method) I will end up causing the neighboring russians to rob or attract more shbs with the ziplock bags. Maybe Brandon can get me a couple of top hive feeders if he sees some at the meeting I live pretty close to VH.
[This message has been edited by GAbee (edited October 06, 2003).]
Hey GAbee, I hadn't heard about SHB reproducing in compost - I'd like to hear more about that. I do have SHB here on the Alabama gulf coast, and so far it seems that the only way to deal with them is to have strong hives. I am reluctant to use the checkmite as I am trying to manage without pesticides. I have seen and am seeing good looking colonies carry a pretty significant Adult SHB load with no apparent negative effects. I have only seen problems with colonies that were weak already (such as my summer splits - I will have to make them much stronger than I have been able to get away with in years past), and then it seems to be a race between the wax moth and SHB larvae to see which can do the most damage.
I do plan to try Dr. R's idea for trapping SHB's. BB - I will try to get to the chat room tonight, I'd like to hear more about these SHB's. Things I want to learn more about are nematodes and fire ants and their effects on SHB in the soil.
I am going to be on the road for the most part of tonight, so I guess I'll be missing a good chat... too bad, please let me know about your findings.
Aside from beehives, I have heard that SHBs like to eat/reproduce in rotting fruit and the moist rich soil in the compost is also an added bonus as it is loose, and allows them to pupate there. A friend of mine had a couple of hives behind a farmers market and they had a huge compost full of rotting fruit, his hives had the worst infestation of SHBs I have ever seen. He told me he thought the compost was the major cause of the infestation and upon moving his hives he noticed a significant decrease. I have heard that hives in the gulf and other coastal regions are also bad infestation spots because of the loose sandy soil reminiscent of that where the shb originated in Africa. My dirt is pretty hard and primarily composed of clay, but there is a part of an old alley behind my home that use to be the community's compost. I think this is why I have such and active population. I am not familiar with Dr. R's shbs tretment, what does it entail?
I have heard that fire ants eat shb larva, in my experience they are more interested in dead bees and discarded pollen/wax that shbs or their larva. Further, if you use a ground drench against pupating shbs you will kill most ants and disuade any fire ants from getting close enough to your hives to help fight shbs.
I have not heard about nematodes, but a garden store close to my home sells them. I would be interesting in any study that shows the contribution of nematodes against shbs.
I have also seen hives whose entrances are small inclined pvc tubes that supposedly "prevent" the beetles from entering as they slide off the pvc. I have not used this system, so I am not sure if it works.
I have also heard that plastic perma comb foundation is effective against shbs. The theory behind why permacomb would work seems convincing enough to try, though I haven't heard anyone in shb country tell me it takes care of the problem completely. At around $32 per 10, I am simply not able to afford a complete change to perma comb at this point, but would love to hear from anyone who has.
As an end note, I would like to point out that I don't love to use check mite, in fact, I am in favor of more "cultural" solutions to all the problems our little friends face, but I am not going to stand idly by while my bees are being pushed around.
[This message has been edited by GAbee (edited October 06, 2003).]
I have never used nematodes, so I can't tell you a thing about it.
GAbee sounds like you have done you homework with the SHB. I don't think they pupate in fruit, as much as they can live off the fruit. Fruit doesn't meet the nutritional needs of the SHB, but it can and will keep them alive. I have had good success with leaving the fire ants alone, letting them carry of the SHB larva.
The theory behind the pvc pipe is the SHB will have to fly straight into the middle of the tube. Bypassing the guard bees. It does cut down on the # of SHB but there are drawbacks from using PVC.....Anyway the topic for tonight at the chat room can be SHB. We can finish there.
>The theory behind the pvc pipe is the SHB will have to fly straight into the middle of the tube. Bypassing the guard bees.
I don't quite understand what you are saying here. If the SHB bypass the guard bees how is that good?
>It does cut down on the # of SHB but there are drawbacks from using PVC
I won't make the chat either and I'd love to hear the pros and cons of this.
>I am not familiar with Dr. R's shbs tretment, what does it entail?
It is harder for the SHB to fly into the hive when the PVC tube is in place. with guard bees around the tube, the SHB will have to fly straight into the tube. Bypassing the guard bees.
By using the PVC you can't use a screened bottom board. SHB can fit through the standard 1/8 in. hardware. I don't have it with me, but you can use the plastic grid that is used in cross stitch, size #7. The squares are too small for the SHB to pass through, but still works for v.mites. The plastic grid is not 100% effective at stopping the SHB from getting in. Some will still get through.
You must close the hive up tight. The heat has a negitive effect on the hive. lowers honey production, brood production, over crouding, swarming ect.
Bottom line the only pro in closeing the hive up, is that it may save it fron SHB, but it doesn't help with anything else. It has only been used in areas that the SHB is severly infested. The cost to the hives and production is quite high.
Ok for anyone who missed it PVC is ONLY used in areas where the SHB is heavaly infested! You don't want to use it unless you have No other choice, and you are lossing you hives to them.
In most parts of the country the SHB is very over rated. Most of us will only see some from time to time in our hives. Things to keep in mind are:
They don't do well in colder parts of the country.
They don't do well in areas that have hard dry dirt.
Fire ants love to eat the larva. Hey we finnaly found a use for the stupid ants!
They will find and crash you weak hives.
They need/love small areas to hide in your hives...so if you feel the need you can not use a inner cover, only use 9 frames in all you hives, brood boxes too, and don't use the frame spacers in your hives.
Bees that use/make alot of propolis have a better chance of keeping SHB in check, they seal them up in it.
You can also put your hives on tar paper, this will keep the larva from reaching the ground. (they fry in the sun)
If anyone has anything to add please feel free. I'm always learning too.