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  1. #1

    Question

    I'm looking for the right bee for my Local. Southeast Virginia/ Norteast North Carolina. We get about 4 months of hot weather (high 70's to high 90's) with or Cold winter only being over 2 months long. ( we see little snow 1 to 6 inches) The Italians i have seem to be doing well right now. So far they've been very gentle, little need for smoke. But I have little to compare them to as it's my first and only hive. Would like to here Pro's and Con's from you all. Thanx - Tim

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Bluff City, TN USA
    Posts
    80

    Post

    I started with Italians about 7 years ago. I tried2 hives of theNWC about 4 years ago and have since changed them all. The carnies are much less agressive and much nicer to work. They build up very fast in the spring and are good producers. They start early and work late. I went to 3 hive bodies to reduce swarming. Only had one swarm this year and that was my fault. I got behind and didn't give them enough room. you must give them enough room and the 3 hive bodies do that. You can't believe how fast thy expand in the spring. Check out Sue Colby's web site. Happy beeing, Jim

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Galloway Oh
    Posts
    44

    Post

    I have seen NWC working in 50 degree weather. This alone has proven their worth. My Italians require much warmer temps and dont have the quick build up that the NWC's have demonstrated.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,671

    Post

    djuniorfan8,

    We're in the same basic area. This is my third year beekeeping, so take my advice lightly. My first year I started with Starlines from York. They were very productive, but the next spring they turned very aggressive and I had to requeen. I chose the Cordovan line due to its reported gentleness. Overall, a very gentle bee, but it was my experience this spring that they didn't build up fast enough for our local conditions.

    I believe that our nectar flows come on very quickly and don't last as long as those in other parts of the country. As a result, I feel that our area needs queens that are known to build up rapidly. For this reason, I chose the NWC for my splits this year. Next spring I'll be able to more objectively judge the relative merits of the two.

    Good luck.


  5. #5

    Post

    Thank you Astro,
    I keep my bees on my Fathers farm in Va Beach. Do you all thaink it would be to late to split my one strong hive and requeen with a NWC. I'd like to keep one hive of Italians, they draw out the frames with comb so quickly.
    Astro, are you a member of the Tidewater Beekeeper Association?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Bluff City, TN USA
    Posts
    80

    Post

    You can split your hives now, but you may have to feed them, especially if you don't have any honey flo. Hopefully you have some drawn comb to start them on. Happy beeing, Jim

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,671

    Post

    djuniorfan8,

    Wow, VA Beach - we are close!! Personally, I tend to believe that now is the best time to split, but again, I'm somewhat new to the beekeeping game and the experts may disagree. I can elaborate if you want. I split about this time last year and it worked perfectly well. In fact, I over wintered that split in only one hive body! Perhaps I just got lucky, but I know another beekeeper that over winters in one deep plus a shallow. I split two of my strongest hives two weekends ago and so far things are looking good. The main nectar flow is definitely over (at least in my area of Suffolk), so as the previous poster suggested, you'll probably have to feed them. What's growing on your farm? If its cotton, then you'll be in good shape, because it produces a pretty good late summer flow and should give a split ample surplus for the winter.

    Yes, I am a member of TBA (past two years), but I've missed the past few meetings. TBA has some really knowledgeable members who are very generous with providing guidance.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,384

    Post

    The "Best time" to do splits depends on what your hoped outcome is. I tend to think the best time is just before swarm season to head off the swarms or a cut-down split just before the honey flow to maximize honey production, minimize swarming and requeen without having to buy a queen. But if you have a booming hive going into July it's also a good time to split.

    Anytime you have a hive that is exploding in population and likely to swarm seems like the natural time to split. This could happen here (in Nebraska) as early as April and as late as July depending on how strong the clusters came through the winter and how the weather and the nectar have been.

  9. #9

    Post

    Astrobee,
    We a currently growing corn,(68 acres) as are the surronding farms. My hive is located in about an 8th of an acre of blackberries, we have blackberries everywhere. I know since they will be burning lots of honey to make comb, I'm not expecting a large honey crop this year. So to answer Bush's post i'm just trying to establish a healthy colony. I suppose i could just split them next spring. I'd rather have one strong colony to winter well. I have been feeding them with the 1 to 1 sugar syrup through a hive top feeder. I took it off last week because they built comb all in the entrance of the feeder, no bees could get in.
    I met some of the guys from the TBA at the Strawberry festival, they seemed very cool. I'm gonna try to make the next meeting. I couldn't make this months, My work schedule at the fire department is weird. Thanx man. - Tim

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,671

    Post

    djuniorfan8,

    Corn...pollen but not much else for the bees. However, the blackberries should really help them along. Its a tough call, but if its your only hive then I wouldn't risk splitting it now, but if you have several and you're trying to increase then I think its probably a good bet to split now. I've had success with summer splits so that's all that I'm comfortable with right now. I feel that a spring split is much more dependent on proper timing to avoid depleting the hive at a critical time. I'm sure the experts here can give you plenty of advice on how to properly time events next spring.

    Monitor your mite drops frequently and keep an eye out for SHB. We've had bad SHB problems the past few years.

    Good luck and hope to meet you at the next TBA meeting.


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Central Square, NY, Oswego County
    Posts
    814

    Post

    Hi folks. I've been reading about your NWC. I have been using them for about 3 years here in Central New York. We just came out of -30F and 7 feet of snow. These little girls came out with no problems. I recomend them to everyone. I make my splits here in July - August. Put the splits above the parent hive and winter them over in this possition. I have them for spring for combining and making a supper hive or for just requeening. I have had great success doing this. My bees were out at 45-50 degrees. They do work in cold weather. Seem to be resistance to desease. Has anyone out there tried this with nucs on top of the parent hive. The warmth from the parent hive helps the nucs.
    Dan

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,384

    Post

    I tried overwintering nucs on top of a standard notched inner cover with screen on both sides of the hole. The notch served as a bottom entrance for the nuc on top. They did not do well. I don't know how much is my climate or what else affected them, but there was a lot of condensation in the nucs.

    Maybe there are variations that would have worked better.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Central Square, NY, Oswego County
    Posts
    814

    Post

    I did the same but I also use Beemax hives. This might make the diffrence, made the notch bigger 1 inch wide and place another innercover over the nuc. Might be I lucked out but I have been doing that for a while so who knows.
    Dan

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,384

    Post

    Or the beemax hives had less condensation in them.

    I was considering trying them, but I really don't like plastic hives much.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Central Square, NY, Oswego County
    Posts
    814

    Post

    I admite they take some getting use to. I like them since the wood pekers do not bother these hives. The wooden ones the would drill holes and by the time spring came around half the wood would be gone and so would the bees. This is my 4th year with using them and I like them so far. The boxes are nice but I use wooden bottom boards and tops, seems the plastic can't support the wieght of the hives and start cracking.
    Dan

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