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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Flora,IL
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    Default when and how to kill off the hive

    Okay posted here in commercial to avoid upsetting some...

    Recently Honey housholder mentioned he does away with his hives each year and takes all the honey....

    This year the honey flow is so bad, my hives on scales are LOSING weight.....

    that said. I am wondering how you clean out the hive, and when you decide its time??
    my first thought was to off the queen and allow all the brood to hatch and the bees die off, but that seems to me to open the window to SHB and wax moths???

    Dumping them seems to leave brood in the frames so???

    I belive I will have to destroy at least half my hives to allow me to save any at all.....

    And no feeding this long would not make sense from a monetary viewpoint.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Faulkner Manitoba, Canada
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    Default Re: when and how to kill of the hive

    Feeding bees in a bad dearth or feeding cows in a drought/flood amounts to the same thing.
    When it comes to cows and a flood/drought i have experience. We had flodding last year and it took it's tole. In 2003 we had a drought, and vowed to not make the same mistakes we made in 2003. Thus our choice for last year. We had to decide to sell the herd or parts of it or buy hay. In the end we sold the cows for slaughter, took a serious beating.
    I think honey bees, if you are in it to pay the bills, must be valued in the same way. Cost out the cost to feed your bees and the cost to purchase new ones next year, and the damage done by bugs when the hives sit empty for a year.
    the pencil, paper, easure and calculator are an ag producers best management tools.

    That said, I think I would let them hatch out in the hives and eat what is there. This would lessen the damage done by the wax moths since the bees will clean out the comb. Next, as the hives get smaller, down size from a double to a single, switch out comb, empty for frames of feed that are still in the yard.
    As to the queen, in a dearth, she shuts down. The bees might decide to supercede her, let that happen, just knock down all but one cell. I picked this route because if the weather changes, there might be flowers later in the season, and you might kick yourself in the butt for destroying all. Wintering a single box might be to your benifit, if you get a fall flow.
    When we sold half the herd we did it in stages. First to save on pasture we sold any animals that were crazy or did not have a calf. Then we sold the old cows that would be iffy to make it through a hard winter. Then later on, after pulling the bull 2 months, we got the vet into to preg check the rest (november after the final hay numbers were in). Any open, any the vet thought were not genetically sound, we sold.
    I guess what i am trying to say is we did it in stages. This lessened the blow, allowed us to make a clear choice based on the hay we made. Depending on the # of hives you have, you might think it better to keep half or a third so you have some stock to build from in the spring.

    If you do plan to keep some, get pollen patties. With the plants under stress, the pollen will not have the protien and will be near the value of straw. The bees will eat it, and gain no energy from it...got that T-shirt. PM or post if you want more info on what we did to get through the flooding here.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Ohio
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    854

    Default Re: when and how to kill of the hive

    I don't get rid of my bees until the first of Oct, here in NW Ohio. I have some yards I was still feeding two weeks ago. Just check one of them today and they had a super or two alreadly full. That is just how beekeeping is. One day nothing and the next everything is full. Somethings you have to wonder how they get it so fast. Beekeeping is farming, you plant the seed and leave the rest up to the BIG guy.
    Best of luck,
    Ron

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Faulkner Manitoba, Canada
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    1,699

    Default Re: when and how to kill of the hive

    If farming was only that simple...
    Last edited by Bizzybee; 06-30-2009 at 09:27 PM. Reason: Unnecessary quoting

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
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    4,163

    Default Re: when and how to kill of the hive

    If you're planning on keeping 1/2 the hives anyway, why not combine the weak with the strong. You might get more honey this year.
    Dan

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    mineral county,Montana USA
    Posts
    812

    Default Re: when and how to kill of the hive

    how many hives? you could probably find someone to trade empty equipment for the hives you have. i have empty equiupment that i would love to fill with bees.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
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    2,644

    Default Re: when and how to kill of the hive

    At the moment there are around 50 hives, about 25 have great numbers but no stores and queens shut down. the smaller ones are okay with a frame or two of stores, and small numbers of bees...(this years splits)

    I am looking at it from farming perspective.. the cost benifit of feeding till next spring is not there. If I crash roughly half of them the small amount of stores will let me feed teh other half thru the winter. Even pondering splitting them into 3 frame nucs ( a deep devided into 3)

    Its not hopeless this year yet, We are going to stagger planting of beans to prolong the flow there, just trying to get my plan togther before its time....

    Honey housholder, you commented on when, but how???

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Hillsboro, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    1,672

    Default Re: when and how to kill of the hive

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post

    Its not hopeless this year yet, We are going to stagger planting of beans to prolong the flow there, just trying to get my plan togther before its time....
    Hang in there - hopefully there will be a great late summer/fall flow for your operation.

    It is rather amazing to see disparity of flows within regions, and even within small areas. I was talking to my immediate neighbor last evening, and when asked about his colonies, he said that they were built up, but not packing in the honey.

    I just got in from dropping on the third supers on most of mine (from packages, too!), and in doing so, it could have been earlier - many have capped the second. But, I recall he has Carnies, and I have Italians. I know that doesn't help your situation, but if the numbers are up, you just need some good weather for them to pack up the supers...

    MM

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
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    1,860

    Default Re: when and how to kill of the hive

    I cant tell you how to run your operation. However back a few years ago I lived in KC Mo and run bees. That year we had a bad drought. Hardly any rain, and all the queens shut down by first week of July. I didnt know how to handle it either, but it wiped my 30 colony opertion to 3. I would shake them out in a field and place the brood over a few remaining live colonies to let the brood hatch out. Then stack up your stuff and start over.. However it sure is expensive these days buying bees...

    Maybe selling off to someone that wants to run them is best so you dont waste money....

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Flora,IL
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    Default Re: when and how to kill of the hive

    a few carniolian, some itialians, and some hybryids..... (from glenns) the carnii/s bult up fast this spring, but with no pollen or nectar they shut down quick.... the itialians although I have good bee numbers, have no food surpluses.....

    new hives I started this year are doing the best at food/bee ratios....

    I am going to put 2lbs of dry sugar in each tonight..... that should stop any decline, in hope of a better bloom...

    What is interesting is 20 hives are literaly In the woods at a farm I own, they are doing the worst... the ones at the house were doing okay on wild weeds until crop burndawn kicked in 2 weeks ago..

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Southern Oregon
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    1,162

    Default Re: when and how to kill of the hive

    A light syrup and some protein could take some of the stress off. A light syrup would also be relatively cheap.

    I understand the economics that some use to exterminate their bees, but I could never do it and we are in a different situation where the same thinking does not apply being a bee suppler and a pollinator. Fat bees on Feb 1 are very valuable. Can you move them to greener pastures? No honey crop will also allow you to jump on your mite situation early.
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Montgomery county, Illinois
    Posts
    423

    Default Re: when and how to kill of the hive

    You aren't that far from the St. Clair Beekeepers Club. If you let them know, some of them might be interested in buying some bees.

    http://www.stclairbees.com/

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Lauderdale County TN USA
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    387

    Default Re: when and how to kill of the hive

    If you have 50 hive wouldn't it be more economical to simply move the bees to a different region? If you spent 500 moving them, that would be much less cost than replacing them.

    I would find a bee keeper or farmer that would allow you to move them.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    2,496

    Default Re: when and how to kill of the hive

    We were feeding here up to three weeks ago. Once the rain stopped and the sun came out we are having trouble staying ahead of the bees placing supers but that is agriculture.

    I don't understand why you wouldn't feed patties. They cost next to nothing if you make them yourself. Sugar runs about .45 cents a lb at the store. For the price of one package of bees you could buy 250 lbs of sugar. That would feed your 50 colonies for about four or five weeks, enough to get them through the this spell.
    Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid. John Wayne

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Flora,IL
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    Default Re: when and how to kill of the hive

    I am feeding a bit, for a short time to see if they snap out of it, but you have to be realistic. at some point the cost to feed thru the winter far exceeds the value to replace them.... I can raise queens from strong hives. I can use the feed the weak ones have to keep teh strong alive. even packages at 60.00 with honey a 4.00 a lb thats only 15lbs of honey and its a wash.
    30 lbs if your a pesimist...

    Patties would be fine, but feeding summer patties is a problem, SHB and roaches and ants to name a few. not to mention that they almost never touch the stuff.... they seem to prefer foraging for fresh. there is some fresh out there, enough to barely keep them going.... as I mentioned some of the hives are losing weight (not from pest)... a cpl are gaining very slowly..

    Again, I didn't want this to turn into a save the bees discussion, but a discussion on the best time to make the desision and how to carry it out.

    There are several out there who do this on an annual basis. value of the honey left in the hive vs value of the ebees....
    Last year I had a hive of itilians go into winter very strong with 200lbs of honey...... They ATE it all and almost starved... I am not going to do that again.... wasted 500.00 worth og honey on 50.00 worth of bees...
    so that said, what methods???

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Knox County, Ohio
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    2,694

    Default Re: when and how to kill off the hive

    My advice is to get rid of your bees. You are just looking for excuses of why beekeeping is not for you. Being pessimistic and fatalistic doesn't promote good management decisions.

    Worried about small hive beetles with summertime feeding? How about moving to somewhere without established populations of small hive beetles - like Illinois?

    No SHB in IL - http://pest.ceris.purdue.edu/searchm...ctName=INBJQEA

    I hate to state the obvious, but dead bees don't make any honey, and overwintered hives are worth more than a $60 package of bees. Look at the replacement cost of an overwintered hive, rather than the replacement cost of a $60 package.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
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    2,644

    Default Re: when and how to kill off the hive

    Possibly, but here in central Il, pollination is no pratical value.

    Weeding out weaker hives and saving stronger ones is not fatalistic... its called reality... and selling a summer fall hive is not realisatic... nobody in this part of the country would pay the value of the honey let alone the hive and the hiney in the fall




    Your wrong, I live in central Il, and we have SHB... I could send you some if you like.

    I am a farmer/ and an engineer. I plan ahead.... feel sorry for the bees if you like, but they are actually all going to die anyway... I am trying to make whats refered to as managment decesions...

    I would suggest you relax a minute and start doing some math.

    PETA is for people eating tasty animials.
    Last edited by Barry; 07-02-2009 at 08:53 AM. Reason: remove quotes

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Faulkner Manitoba, Canada
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    1,699

    Default Re: when and how to kill off the hive

    From an ag producer who has that T shirt do what the pencil and paper tell you to do. That is the best advice especially if this is you livleyhood.

    No disrespect to beekeepers but they are a different breed than any livestock producer.
    If you let the weak die, and save the strong ones you will be in a better position. 10-15 strong hives fed pollen and sugar could net you 30 to 45 hives next year with good genetics and vigor. Will write more later but off to the bright lights and hubby is ready

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
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    Default Re: when and how to kill off the hive

    let me re-itereate, I posted this in teh commercail beeks forum in the hopes of getting some input as to the methodology. unfortunatly it quickly degrades into a bash the beekeeper line.

    If anybody out there has some real experince in this area of how to drawn down the hive and get rid of all larve without starting laying workers, I would appreciate a PM..

    Charlie

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Central Ontario,Canada
    Posts
    141

    Default Re: when and how to kill off the hive

    Kill the queen, 10 days later break any queen cells, let the brood hatch, shake the bees out and remove equipment. If I read correctly you're only depopulating 25 hives or is it 2500?

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