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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    boulder, co, usa
    Posts
    6

    Default newbee in colorado needs some help!

    hi all,
    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.
    Chris

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Cameron, MO
    Posts
    586

    Default Wooodenware needed

    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!!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Monongahela, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    78

    Default

    Welcome Chris
    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.
    Alf57

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Ft. Collins, Colorado
    Posts
    550

    Default

    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.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Wetzel Co. West Virginia, USA
    Posts
    18

    Default

    Hi Chris,

    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.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    boulder, co, usa
    Posts
    6

    Default 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.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,035

    Default

    Hey Ski,
    I'm up in Lyons, welcome! They'll draw new comb pretty readily once a flow is on or you're feeding. You don't have to wire; if the comb is reasonably straight or can be bent into place the bees will reattach it. Just tie it in place with a couple rubber bands or string. The bees'll chew through it after it's attached and you can discard it next colony visit.

    Feed if they're low on stores, but it's a little early to start feeding aggressively unless you want to make splits and can monitor for swarm prevention. How are their stores?
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    boulder, co, usa
    Posts
    6

    Default

    thanks ben
    yeah i just talked to one of my dads friends and he suggested the rubber band technique.
    the honey stores in one hive are looking pretty good the cluster is in the top body and i would say there are about three frames off double fist size brood surrounded by the pollen they have recently collecting and then honey outside of that then at least five full frames of honey still, so i think this hive is good.
    the other hive with the cluster on the bottom body i have not really been able to get into (the bottom body) because of my homemade frames are falling apart down there. but the hive feels pretty heavy and there is a couple full frames in the top body just worried about the top bars on my homemade frames restricting there movement up to that honey store.

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