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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Rathdrum, Idaho
    Posts
    62

    Default Please check my setup...am I ready?

    First, I put a consumer review for Mann Lake in the consumer reports section. Short story, I am happy with them and would order from them again. Specifics in the other post.

    How does this look for preparation for my first year.

    2 hives that contain the following...top to bottom.

    Outer cover
    deep with no frames
    1 gallon bucket with syrup and holes punched to match the inner cover hole
    inner cover with the hole screened with 1/8 hardware cloth
    medium with 10 plastic frames on metal rails
    medium with 10 plastic frames on metal rails
    deep with 10 plastic frames on metal rails
    queen excluder
    base with 1/8 wire hardware cloth
    concrete blocks

    The hives will be under a large tree, facing south and slightly east. They will get early morning sun in the summer and begin to shade around 3-4 pm. This tree will also keep the snow off them, even when the rest of the area is 3-4 feet deep. The north will be protected from wind by the tree and there is a barn around 30 feet to the west. It is well away from foot traffic.

    For clothing and tools...
    bee jacket with veil
    spray bottle
    25lbs of sugar
    hive tool
    bee brush
    smoker
    roll of burlap


    How does it look? Am I missing anything that I should have?

    Thank you so much for all your help on the forum!

    Marcus

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devils Lake, North Dakota
    Posts
    9,123

    Default

    Marcus.......... Your enthusiasm will make up for
    anything that might be missing. And from the
    looks of it there isn't anything I can see.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Circleville, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    38

    Default

    Well you have all the right equipment to start. However you don't want to leave it all an at once if you have no bees yet. Take off all those mediums. Start with just one deep. You don't want to add supers or other brood chambers until the bees have filled out about 80% of the first hive body. Extra brood chambers so soon make it harder to keep the hive warm, or invite wax worms or other critters. You have to let the bees build up first. And take out the queen excluder. You don't want to use one unless you are trying to keep the queen from laying in a honey super, or for other reasons you haven't got to yet. If you had it there to keep the package from absconding, there are better ways. Spray your foundation with sugar syrup with just one or two drops of lemongrass oil or Honey-bee-Healthy. Especially if it's plastic foundation. With that and feeding syrup, they won't leave. Good luck and bee happy!
    Help your own self, the Government is to busy savin' their self.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    collbran, co
    Posts
    563

    Default

    hello mark im a new beekepper as well but in my studies i have found out that sugar water has now nutrional value for the bees and it also causes nosema so i read also keep some lavender around it helps with varroa/mites also mint as well still studing also when using plastic foundation in sted of natural comb the bees build.plastic takes longer to cap 1 day to be exact and bees get infected by other bacteria all for a bigger bee dont seem to work many disfigured workers no wings but still alive half of my 1 hive which i have wintered has half plastic and half of it let them build thermselves noticed several sizes of worker bees some way smaller im hoping this works
    also bought pollen and honey patties for mann. lake only sugar water i gave them was when i received my 3# package last year also i had drilled 3/8 hole in the top spacer for ventalition and reduced bottom entrance to about 2" on warm days when bees start to cluster on outside of hive on warm days means too hot open reducer enough to make bees reenter hive so do trigger them to swarm early but dont open enough to make all go in they must collect water also i keep my hive in the winter in sun all day this allows them to move around on cold days to get food from other part of hive also i placed a small board over bottom entrance to keep blowing snow from entering hive also provides wind break on warm days like 38 degrees remove snow board so bees can fly around i also cleared a area of snow so it melts early enough not too many bees landing in snow and die...sorry about buying all the extra stuff. also in winters were u live make i also dont use queen excluder dont need 1 if you use two deep brood boxes or equilivate she wont go that high to get food unless they need to by placing an excluder limits her in the bottom and could kill her in winter if cluster moves past excluder im also at 6000 ft i wintered in two deep brood boxes with 3# WITH HONEY AND POLLEN PATTIES FROM MANN. LAKE

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Rathdrum, Idaho
    Posts
    62

    Default

    From your recommendations I will initially set them up like this...

    outer cover
    deep with no frames surrounding the feeder bucket
    inner cover
    deep with 10 frames (going to try the sugar water and honey b healthy)
    base
    concrete blocks

    When the deep frames reach ~80%, I put on a medium with 10 frames, but continue to leave the excluder off.

    Saltcreek - you were correct about the absconding.

    Frank - good point on the vent in the top spacer. Mine don't have them, but I will add them. Also, thanks for the reminder of the entrance reducer. I will put one in that starts them at about 1", then flip it to a 4" in 6 weeks, then remove it when they appear to have a traffic jam going.

    The pollen patties I need to read up on, this is the first I heard of them.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
    Posts
    1,398

    Default

    Read up on MegaBee Patties. There was a lot of research done on this pollen substitue with the Dept of Ag assisting. That's my choice.

    I haven't read anything that states that sugar water is bad for bees. In fact most things I have read state that sugar water is as close to nectar as you can get. Fructose and corn syrup were mentioned as foods that would make the bees sick.
    De Colores,
    Ken

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Circleville, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    38

    Default

    You won't need pollen patties yet. They induce brood rearing but before that they have to build comb. Without filled out comb they won't have anyplace to store the pollen anyway. Feed sugar syrup to a new package. They don't have a large force to forage yet and are putting their energy into comb building. It will save lots of energy for them to stay in the hive and work on comb. A package will get smaller before it can get bigger. The sooner the comb is built, the sooner the brood is layed. The colony can't increase without comb and brood. It takes on average 8 pounds of honey to make one pound of beeswax. FEED FEED FEED. Once the brood is hatching and colony growing you can stop this. Likely you won't see surplus honey for yourself on a new package in spring. Build them up first.
    With a screened bottom board you will see less bearding in hot weather. The reduced entrance mainly in this case is for the purpose of needing fewer guard bees to defend a smaller entrance to the hive and help reduce any robbing that might happen.
    Help your own self, the Government is to busy savin' their self.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    centerville,tn. usa
    Posts
    15

    Default recommendation for startup hive

    Think about this, you are get older each day, the 10 frame deeps weight when full of bees and honey runs from 90# to over 110# depending on the type of honey they have stored in the brood chamber. We use 3- 8 frame mediums for the brood boxes and also use the mediums for the honey super,they weight about 65#. Also you only have to one box and set of frames, this save you $ in the long.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    North Bend, WA
    Posts
    504

    Default

    Unless I missed it, I didn't see an entrance reducer.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,658

    Default

    I'm not clear on your hive setup. Are you using 1 deep and 2 mediums all as brood chambers? If not, what will be the brood chambers that you will over winter? That is what you want to have the bees work first. In your climate, I'd suggest 2 deeps for brood chambers. Only after these two deeps have fully drawn comb would I put a medium on.
    Regards, Barry

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Cloud County, Kansas, USA
    Posts
    204

    Default

    Didn't see gloves in your list. I use nitrile and have yet to be stung through them. I also have a pair of leather gloves that come up past my elbow, but I don't like them as much. I think they are probably more sting resistant, but really cut down on my ability to feel and they make it clumsy to handle tools and such. I get my gloves at the local auto supply store and get the heavy duty ones. The only thing I don't like is they make your hands sweat a lot. I've only got two hives though and it's managable.

    BB

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
    Posts
    1,961

    Default

    I see you list an inner cover with screened hole. I have never had one like that and am not sure why I would. I also notice that you are feeding with a bucket over the hole.

    Can the bees get to the bucket? I put shims under my buckets to let moisture escape. If the hole was screened the bees couldn't get to the bucket.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    berkshire county MA
    Posts
    1,472

    Default

    gloves are handy to have nearby if you need them, but a few stings now and then are worth it to be able to work bare handed. no sweating and you'll be more careful working the hive, plus have a better feel.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Land O Lakes, FL
    Posts
    264

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by berkshire bee View Post
    gloves are handy to have nearby if you need them, but a few stings now and then are worth it to be able to work bare handed. no sweating and you'll be more careful working the hive, plus have a better feel.
    I recently started using nitrile gloves and am happy. Yes, I do sweat in them but I don't notice it until I take the gloves off. They are so much better than the leather gloves.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devils Lake, North Dakota
    Posts
    9,123

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mgmoore7 View Post
    I recently started using nitrile gloves and am happy. Yes, I do sweat in them but I don't notice it until I take the gloves off. They are so much better than the leather gloves.
    That is my recommendation as well. But if you go to
    Walmart you can get a bulk pack of thin cotton knit
    gloves for like $8 a dozen. I use these under the
    nitrile gloves and it reduces sweating a bunch.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Bristol,MA,USA
    Posts
    733

    Default

    FWIW Gloves that fill with sweat tend to become eventually filled with body odor = anger - stinging. This is why the long sleeved goatskin gloves which tend to "breath" IMHO are better than nitrile which I have also used. Of course, no gloves at all, is better.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Rathdrum, Idaho
    Posts
    62

    Default

    iwombat - you're right, I missed the entrance reducer. I will make one with spacing at 1 inch (weeks 0-6) and 4 inch (weeks 6-8).

    Barry - I ordered my frames before I really knew what I was doing. My current idea was one deep for brood, one medium for their stores and one medium for my honey. If I could do it over I would have done all mediums for interchangability. With your recommendation of two deeps for the Idaho winters I think I will ultimately use a deep and two medium for their stores and build some more supers for my honey later. According to many posts, it is unlikely that I would get honey my first year anyway.

    I really want to go bare-handed, but I am still very nervous about being stung by 10,000 bees. I am also a beginner to both package installs and smoking. I will likely wear a pair of leather work gloves during the first install and take them off for the second install if all goes well on the first.

    I'll pick up a box of nitriles today to have on hand. Even if I choose not to use them with bees, they are handy to have around the farm.

    Beedeetee - I had read that putting a screen on the inner cover hole would stop the bees from rushing you when you change feed buckets. If this is unlikely, I would rather leave the screen off. Advice? I hadn't thought of shims. I will slip some popsicle sticks under there to give them a vent.

    beehunter - I totally agree. I would have gone all mediums if I had known more when I ordered the stuff. In the future, I plan on going with all mediums for brood and supers. For now, my first two hives will get deep broods, and a stack of mediums on top of that for both brood and honey.

    Saltcreek - Thanks for the clarification on the patties and the reinforcement on the FEED, FEED, FEED =] I will make sure to check the buckets every couple days to see that they are taking it in.

    Question on the 2 gallon buckets? how many holes do I punch in the lid and how large are the holes?

    Thanks everyone!

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Land O Lakes, FL
    Posts
    264

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cedar Hill View Post
    FWIW Gloves that fill with sweat tend to become eventually filled with body odor = anger - stinging. This is why the long sleeved goatskin gloves which tend to "breath" IMHO are better than nitrile which I have also used. Of course, no gloves at all, is better.
    That may be true, but I just throw the nitrile gloves away. $11 for a qty of 100.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devils Lake, North Dakota
    Posts
    9,123

    Default

    Nitrile gloves will give you feel, and dexterity that
    rivals bare hands. Plus the confidence of sting
    protection. It's all about confidence.

    I can't recommend a new beekeeper going gloveless
    for the first few times.

    As far as sweat = scent.......... It's not relevent, they
    are tossed (as MG said) and the scent won't escape
    through the glove. It will with leather. My hands sweat
    in leather as well.........

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Circleville, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    38

    Default

    If you are just putting the feeder bucket over the hole in the inner cover, you only need a small area with holes. Small holes as made with a small nail used to fasten bottom bars. You don't want it to run out on it's own. When you turn the bucket over, a bit will run out at first BEFORE you place it over the hive. Then it creates a suction and the bees will suck it out. It only needs to be big enough for them to get that tongue into. Betterbee actually sells a feeder screen plug for $1.45 that does what you want. I used to use a widemouth half gallon jar with tiny holes punched in the lid like a Boardman feeder. The large jar is clear so you can see how much is left. I use large hivetop 3 gallon pour-in feeders now because more bees can get to it at one time than a pail or bottle.
    Help your own self, the Government is to busy savin' their self.

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