newbee in colorado needs some help!
caught two wild swarms last summer and now have two pretty good looking hives. I just checked the hives the other day, It's been in the high 60's all week here in boulder, they looked pretty good i left all the honey stores they built up last summer to be sure they made it through the winter. they have been out gathering pollen during the day. I have a couple ? for the the spring
Should i think about feeding?
should i do any
Also when i first caught the swarms i put them in home made hives that i built. I built the frames myself as well and didn't realize how much the bees glued down the frames, so now they are all falling apart in the bottom hive body, the cluster in one hive is in the 2nd body and the other is in the bottom body. i purchased the upper bodies on both hives, so the only problem i have are that the top of the frames in the home made body are very wide and restrict movement and ventilation, my thought was to go in there and pull out all the comb which is sort off a mess and wire it into the new frames i got, and let the bees patch it up. any thoughts on this. the other reason i want to get rid of the home made body is because i have the bottom board nailed on, never saw a hive before and couldn't find a local bee store and had a swarm ready to start building so i did my best only to find out it was all wrong, Thanks in advance for the advice, i am very excited about this upcoming summer with my bees.
Welcome to beesource. Regarding parts(box's and frames) you can go to the i-net and get some from Walter Kelly, Dadant or Mann Lake. There are also some beeks on the "east" slope. "Brewcat" is over there and I know I saw some beek in Ft Collins. I also know there is a beek in Lakewood off Alemeda and Garrison area.(I Found him off craigslist). Maybe the locals have a club or extra woodenware you can get from them. The deeps and frames are pretty cheap. Sounds like you are good making things so stick w/ making the bottoms and probably tops too. There are plans on here to make them just do a search.
Good luck w/ the rocky mtn girls!!!!
Looks like you are going to send some of that warm weather here to Pa. We are expecting 65 degrees temps here this weekend. Hope to check out my colonies this weekend. Hopefully I can answer a few of your questions.
First, if your colonies are light in stores, I would feed. Either dry sugar on top or 1:1 sugar water. Once you start feeding with 1:1 sugar you should continue feeding until they stop taking it. Do not use an entrance feeder. This time of year I feed using a feeder jar over the hole in the inner cover. We still can have a lot of winter left. Many colonies will perish in the next 4-6 weeks from lack of stores.
Since you have only two colonies, I would not try to cut and wire the comb into new frames. Use the bees natural tendency of moving the winter cluster up into the upper brood chamber to your advantage. When the bees are in the top brood chamber, remove and place it on top of the standard bottom board. During the spring flow, put a new brood chamber with frames and foundation on top and the bees will draw it out. Remove and melt the wax from the old frames. If your home made brood chamber is standard size buy new frames and use it later as you expand.
Hope this helps you. Good luck this year.
Here's a link for The Boulder County Beekeepers Association, http://www.bouldercountybeekeepers.org/
And The Northern Colorado Beekeepers Association, http://www.fortnet.org/NCBA/
Have fun, and good luck.
I agree with one of the last posts. Once the bees move out of the bottom deeps, i would pull them out. As to the comb in those deeps, it probably has a large concentration of drone cells. Not always, but in my experience, a lot of the comb that is built in hives that do not have proper bee space is filled with drone cells.
thanks for the replys
thanks all for the help, well i did have proper foundation in the bottom deep, its just my home made frames aren't holding up so i figured instead of having them draw out all new comb this summer i would use the comb from the frames that are falling apart, once i start digging completely through it i will look to see the size of the cells, but if they look good, do you think that would be a good idea.
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