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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Williston, NC, USA
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    1,779

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    All seven of my hives never "get going" until at least 10:30 am. It's been that way since day one four years ago, so I'd gotten pretty used to it and figured maybe I was wrong--that they don't get to work at "first light" like I always thought "busy bees" did.

    Then I captured this swarm. By the time I get outside to open the chicken coop at 6:30 am, these girls are busily flying, orienting, beelining--just a flurry of activity.

    Do you this this colony can teach my other colonies to start their day a little earlier? Might mean more honey at harvest, no?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Wausau Wi
    Posts
    311

    Post

    I think its the breed of bees
    Everything happens for a reason. Time heals all wounds - time and a half heals them even faster

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Worthington, Pennsylvania USA
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    1,848

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    You probably just spoiled the girls Tia!
    "Younz" have a great day, I will.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,212

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    I think the dark bees have solar collectors. [img]smile.gif[/img] They get out when it's earlier and colder.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Batesburg-Leesville, South Carolina
    Posts
    1,443

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    Tia, i may have missed some background discussion from another post of yours, but what I do to get them going is to place them on a hill, facing East. My hive location catches the sun's first light, and it bounces up into the hive from the landing board (well, that's the plan anyways.)

    Also, I have planted buckwheat which the bees work from sunup till about 1030 or 1100. Try those things.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    New Brunswick
    Posts
    103

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    I have four different kinds of bees and they all seem to use different time schedules. The New Zealand girls are out at first light but the rest of the hives wait for more sunlight or more heat. How to figure them out ? I don't know. The only thing I am certain that goes through a bug's mind is a windshield when they hit it.
    sterlingc

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Williston, NC, USA
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    1,779

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    I have no idea what kind of bees my girls are. My two original hives (4 years ago) were buckfasts. I've requeened only a couple of hives and only a couple of times in emergencies with Italians (I like them to requeen themselves). Then, of course, the 4 hives I bought last year were originally buckfasts some of which my predecessor had requeened with Russians. Since I've stolen frames of eggs from one to give to the other over the years, I guess I have mutt bees!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    New Brunswick
    Posts
    103

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    Fordguy is on the right track. Face the hives east for the first light and how high off the ground makes a difference. The air closest to the ground is cooler and holds moisture longer than the higher air. I place my hives on three wood pallets high, gets them above the cool moist zone.
    sterlingc

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Williston, NC, USA
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    1,779

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    My girls face southeast and do get first light. They're on 20" stands--have to be--high water table here. Even on the stands they got 6" of water during Hurricane Isabel! It was 67 degrees at 6:30 am today; we're pretty warm and keep pretty warm sitting here on the marsh. Once the water warms, our temps stay pretty consistent because the warm marsh water keeps us warmer overnight and cooler during the day. Now's about the time (10:30 am) my girls get into action. They're really hyper around 2:30. Fordguy, buckwheat's a good idea, but to tell you the truth, I just don't want to plant it. The girls have lots of flowers around. They've been working the Indian Hawthorne, dandelions, clover, and a whole bunch of wildflowers. Now the galberry's coming into bloom (that's some good honey)and pretty soon the magnolias will open.
    Guess I'll just let them do their thing. Last year they did good by me so far as a honey crop goes. Let's see how they compare to this new, early starting swarm!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Jamesport Long Island NY
    Posts
    150

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    Tia,
    I have three hives, two are of Italian decent and the other is a swarm of dark bees I picked up. My dark bees are up and out earlier and later than the Italian girls. They also produce more, but they do have sort an attitude problem. Ticks my Sicilian wife off when I tell her the Italians are lazy, but I call em like I see em.
    Bill S
    "Keeping bees for over 50 years and starting to get the hang of it"

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Williston, NC, USA
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    1,779

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    I'm one-quarter Sicilian so I know where you're coming from. Of course, my dear, sweet Sicilian grandma herself used to tell me to never marry an Italian. . .

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Central KS
    Posts
    24

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    My 2 cents....

    Bees will fly earlier if they are warmed up. I have been experimenting with double walled hives and find much earlier activity in those hives as compared with the single walled hives.

    I would take cardboard and some simple insulation and make a "mock" double walled hive and see if that helps. If it does, you may want to build a good double walled hive for a permanent home for your bees.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
    Posts
    1,949

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    My theory is that it depends on how desperate they are and how good a flow is going. In early spring a few bees will be out at 40 degrees but in summer it will need to be 65. If the swarm is low on stores, I think that they will be more likely to fly earlier.

    A few years ago in the fall I started open feeding. The hives normally didn't get active until 8:00 or later. The morning after I put the feeder out I got up at first light and as I was looking out of the window, I could see bees zipping across the lawn to the feeder. It was no where close to sunrise. Just twilight.

    When I went down to the hives, there was only one hive flying (that had found the feeder), but they weren't wasting any time. It was in the upper 50's, but they were flying like crazy.

    I also think that breed has something to do with it, but I have had Carni's and Italians in the same yard, and didn't see all that much difference.

    Is your swarm lower on stores that the others? Is the queen laying at a much faster rate?
    Bruce

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Whidbey Island, WA, USA
    Posts
    182

    Cool

    Maybe they're not lazy but just exhausted. You should take away their I.D. cards so they have to stop cruising the singles bars at night time.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Williston, NC, USA
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    1,779

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    beedeetee, yes, the swarm needs the food; the others have good stores--as a matter of fact I was thinking of taking one of the supers off one of the hives. Heavy with capped honey! So your theory may be the right one.

    Old Scout, your theory conjures up some great pictures in my mind's eye. Thanks for the giggle.

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