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  1. #1
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    Question I need to make decisions fast.

    OK, I do not want pests or pesticides. Picked up a conventional langstrom hive with bees and queen (who I have not seen) top super has almost no comb, no honey, bottom super has good comb development, plenty of bees, calm, so I think they are queenright.

    Bottom board, telescoping lid, no inner covers. I have placed it where it has shade from maybe one or 2 pm on. The lid is red, this baby is going to soak up heat. So last night I stuck a couple of twigs under the north edge so it could vent heat.

    My thinking: I need to add:
    1. Screen - aka window screen - inner cover on top, and maybe build one of these (buying would mean shipping and take too much time, 108 here today) http://www.honeyrunapiaries.com/stor...ver-p-232.html

    That would take the hive to upper entrance exit.
    I can build a screened bottom board out of 1/8 inch hardware cloth and plywood with a 1x2 frame, that will vent the bottom, and allow shb's to fall out onto my beautiful cinder block over pallet over rubber pondliner, where they aren't going to get to ground quick or easy. Because I have my hive up on anttrap legs of 1 1/2" pvc couplings topped with a cd, I've got to have something strong enough to support the weight over the legs. Which is where the plywood edges come in. Will this build enough ventilation?

    Should I skip the window screening on top and just take the hive to top entrance/exit?
    Since I have propped the front of the hive's telescoping cover open, will bees adapt to the top entrance idea ok?

    Should I leave enough access to the SBB to be able to put in a sheet of paper and get a mite or shb count regularly?

    Got to go to work, for now they are vented, I am feeding them, and they are happy, but I don't want all the bad critters moving in. And I need an organic beetle trap. have plenty of CD cases btw....

    I owe, I owe, it's off to work I go.
    Gypsi

  2. #2
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    Default Re: I need to make decisions fast.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gypsi View Post
    OK, I do not want pests or pesticides.
    Wouldn't that be nice?! I believe you will have to make for significant choices/changes than entrance type, bottom board type, etc. if you want to be treatment free. Time will tell. I would be more concerned with the existing comb (is it clean), cell size (was foundation used) and bee genetics (will they manage pests on their own).
    Regards, Barry

  3. #3
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    Default Re: I need to make decisions fast.

    Gypsi, The bee is the key to treatment free. (I've been 6 years treatment free) Living in Fort Worth, you have access to several breeders in the southern part of Texas who raise and sell treatment free bees and queens. You might want to plan now to requeen early next spring.

    Regarding ventilation, you've done a good job, but remember, the bees will air-condition their colony as needed, as long as water is available. So that will be the key to ventilation. Also, is the hive strong enough to guard any openings, top, bottom, or whereever, you give them?

    Re: shb traps...I never had any luck with the cd traps, only the oil traps, such as AJ Beetle eaters. Trying the newer and cheaper ones from Kelley, but not sure about those yet. Get at least two into your colony.
    Welcome and good luck to you!
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  4. #4
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    Default Re: I need to make decisions fast.

    Bee genetics: these bees are feral local survivors. I got them from a gal who picks up wild bees for a living.

    Guarding both openings concerns me. I really want to paint the hive telescoping top white. I am considering replacing it with a sheet of plywood in a few minutes, and doing a quick latex paint job tonight.

    I did not see any pests, but tons of bees, when I opened the hive when I set it up. I just want to keep it that way.

    Water: the hive is about 10 feet away from a 1000 gal filtered fish pond, no chemicals used on pond except chlorine remover. THAT is not an issue. Still want a screened bottom board I think. Waiting for the heat to drop off, it's 106 right now. Which is why I vented the lid with twigs last night.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: I need to make decisions fast.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gypsi View Post
    Bee genetics: these bees are feral local survivors. I got them from a gal who picks up wild bees for a living.
    "Wild bees" especially down here in Texas are many times just swarmed from a commercial operation. Everyone winters down here. Requeen with Bweaver in the spring. Most pests and diseases are taken out by the extreme heat and light around here -- 110 degrees today... Go with Clean comb and full sun. Prop open the box with a twig and put a screened top on if you are worried. If you have a decent queen you will not have to worry about mites. Sounds like your top box is going to act as a heat dump for the rising air. They wont be building any comb for another month -- we are in a dearth, and who knows about the fall flow with this drought?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: I need to make decisions fast.

    Thank you thank you thank you. I put a white board over the red top the Saturday, to reflect some heat, when I took out my twigs. I put in a shb trap that probably isn't much good last night, but my gut says yes to screen and yes to venting the top. I had the hive open yesterday about 8 pm to check it out and add the beetle trap. going to build my own vented screen top out of 1x2, this morning if I can do it fast enough, or after I get in from work, around 2 pm. So far they are all alive and look good.

    I am feeding btw. Sugar water. I have no honey
    Last edited by Gypsi; 08-08-2011 at 09:03 AM. Reason: feeding info

  7. #7
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    Default Re: I need to make decisions fast.

    You should only check out your hive sporadically. Do not open it everyday. If SHB is really a problem (and I do not even think about it anymore around here) know that every time you open your hives and shuffle things around that you are making the problem worse, as you are freeing the beetles from the "jail" the guard bees build. Forget the traps and put the hive in full sun.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: I need to make decisions fast.

    That sounds good, I hate opening it. All I will have to do to add a vented top tier is pull the telescoping lid and set it on. Mounting screen to 1x4 frame, with holes drilled in the 1x4 to allow ventilation. Putting telescoping lid back on. Lid is red, hive in sun, should I put the white board back over top of red lid.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: I need to make decisions fast.

    So much for home from work by 2 pm, got the vented top on this morning, pulled the white wood off after thinking how much those wax moths loved the inside of the telescoping cover on the old hive.

    Speaking of covers and wax moths. I had a simple design. 1x4 cut to length and nailed together, screening attached to bottom edge with staple gun, no inner cover. Figure I'll buy some 3/4 inch corks, cork the holes and put insulation in this for winter. BUT. There is propylis (sp) still inside the telescoping lid, and nothing to keep wax moths or other critters from robbing it out. 3/4 inch drilled openings on all 4 sides. Have I blocked one problem (heating - with the screen so I can vent without losing bees) only to create another. Do I need to scrape off the telescoping cover?
    Attached Images Attached Images

  10. #10
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    Default Re: I need to make decisions fast.

    >OK, I do not want pests or pesticides. Picked up a conventional langstrom hive

    Not to change the subject, but is Langstrom in some spelling dictionaries? It seems to be a common malpropism for Langstroth and I don't know where it comes from. Just so you know, there is not now nor never has been a hive called Langstrom.

    >Bottom board, telescoping lid, no inner covers.

    How do you get the telescopic off with no inner cover? There is no where to pry...

    > I have placed it where it has shade from maybe one or 2 pm on. The lid is red, this baby is going to soak up heat.

    Red is actually a fairly cool color compared to green or black.

    > So last night I stuck a couple of twigs under the north edge so it could vent heat.

    Good plan.

    >My thinking: I need to add:
    >1. Screen - aka window screen - inner cover on top, and maybe build one of these (buying would mean shipping and take too much time, 108 here today) http://www.honeyrunapiaries.com/stor...ver-p-232.html

    >That would take the hive to upper entrance exit.

    Which will help create a chimney effect.

    >I can build a screened bottom board out of 1/8 inch hardware cloth and plywood with a 1x2 frame, that will vent the bottom, and allow shb's to fall out onto my beautiful cinder block over pallet over rubber pondliner, where they aren't going to get to ground quick or easy. Because I have my hive up on anttrap legs of 1 1/2" pvc couplings topped with a cd, I've got to have something strong enough to support the weight over the legs. Which is where the plywood edges come in. Will this build enough ventilation?

    You don't want too much ventilation. You just want the right amount. The bees are COOLING the hive and you're planning to leave the door wide open...

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopbarh...tm#ventilation
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  11. #11
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    Default Re: I need to make decisions fast.

    beehive_vented_top.jpg[QUOTE=Michael Bush;696265]
    >Which will help create a chimney effect.<

    Is a Chimney effect a good thing in this heat? (over 100 for the last 38 or 39 days) I thought it would be. not wide open, but the top "story" is vented, with screening to allow heat to escape, but keep bugs out of the hive.

    Presently I have plywood bottom board, bottom entrance, that is letting air into the hive. I built a top vent panel yesterday morning, With screen down toward the hive, but 3/4 inch holes drilled in it, one or 2 on each side. Will try to insert a pic.

    >Just so you know, there is not now nor never has been a hive called Langstrom.<
    Please excuse the langstroth misspelling, my ex worked in electronics for many years and that's where I picked up the other name I'm sure. Something to do with Nokia.

    MY screened bottom board will be here in a couple of days. Both the SBB and the top can be covered for cooler weather. I think corks in the side of my top story, and some kind of insulation, whether bubble wrap or styrofoam, or is owens corning pink bee-safe? will make an insulated winter roof.

    I have also ordered an inner cover. The telescoping lid goes over top of the super, haven't had to pry it open (so far). when I see what an inner cover looks like and how it should fit, I can doubtless build one.

    For now I've left the upper entrance idea alone. The bees have only been her a couple of days, they are used to a lower entrance and I'd like them to get used to me.

    Got a sting to the face removing their feeder jar today. (could have been worse, I was in shorts, a tank top and sandals). Benadryl is wonderful stuff, and I don't react to stings as much as I did the first time this year. I also said excuse me while removing her ladyship from my face before the full load of venom was injected.

    >You don't want too much ventilation. You just want the right amount. The bees are COOLING the hive and you're planning to leave the door wide open...<

    Mainly I never want to see another moth or hive beetle in my hive, I want my bees to be happy and healthy. It is brutally hot out here.

    Thanks for your reply.
    Gypsi
    Beekeeping since March 2011.
    Last edited by Gypsi; 08-10-2011 at 03:14 PM. Reason: forgot picture

  12. #12
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    Default Re: I need to make decisions fast.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gypsi View Post
    The bees have only been her a couple of days, they are used to a lower entrance and I'd like them to get used to me.
    I don't want to dampen your enthusiasm, but bees are not like dogs or cats. They don't get used to you. In fact, if all goes well, each time you open a hive, you should be meeting all new bees as each of the bees present the last time will have died. They only live six weeks. Their reactions are almost purely genetically predetermined.

    Try to avoid excessive anthropomorphization. It only serves to get in the way of understanding what bees are and what they really need to be successful. They are insects and they should be fully understood as such.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  13. #13
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    Default Re: I need to make decisions fast.

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    I don't want to dampen your enthusiasm, but bees are not like dogs or cats. They don't get used to you. In fact, if all goes well, each time you open a hive, you should be meeting all new bees as each of the bees present the last time will have died. They only live six weeks. Their reactions are almost purely genetically predetermined.

    Try to avoid excessive anthropomorphization. It only serves to get in the way of understanding what bees are and what they really need to be successful. They are insects and they should be fully understood as such.

    Well the first hive got unused to people being around, maybe the nurse bees whisper to the larvae. My helper and I were chased off the lot half a dozen times just trying to air up the trailer tires and pull it out. And the bees at the pond don't usually mess with me, I'm out there often enough. Leave a hive in an unattended area never visited by humans and they do not get more aggressive?

    And I was told by my pest control guy that once the hive was set up, if I moved it ten feet, they would get lost and be unable to find the hive? Without fancy terminology, can you tell me whether this is true?

  14. #14
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    Default Re: I need to make decisions fast.

    >Is a Chimney effect a good thing in this heat? (over 100 for the last 38 or 39 days) I thought it would be. not wide open, but the top "story" is vented, with screening to allow heat to escape, but keep bugs out of the hive.

    A little of it means the bees don't have to fan so hard to ventilate the amount they want. Too much means they have to fight it to keep it from ventilating too much. So in proper amounts, yes it's good. In excess, no it's bad.

    >Please excuse the langstroth misspelling, my ex worked in electronics for many years and that's where I picked up the other name I'm sure. Something to do with Nokia.

    No need to apologize. I am intrigued that many people seem to come up with this same identical misspelling and was trying to figure out where it comes from. Maybe a spell checker?

    >Mainly I never want to see another moth or hive beetle in my hive

    Then you'll have to get rid of all the bees, all the comb and seal it up airtight... seriously as long as you have bees you'll have moths and beetles...

    > I want my bees to be happy and healthy.

    Of course.

    >And I was told by my pest control guy that once the hive was set up, if I moved it ten feet, they would get lost and be unable to find the hive? Without fancy terminology, can you tell me whether this is true?

    No. It's not true. they will go back to the old location and circle a spiral out until they find it. At 10 feet it won't take long. I've moved them 100 yards and they eventually find the hive.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesmoving.htm#between
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  15. #15
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    Default Re: I need to make decisions fast.

    From an engineering perspective, if you are worried and want to do something to help keep the hive cool, I suggest cutting a 3' by 3' piece of plywood. Place two bricks on top of your current red hive top cover. Then place the white 3'x3' plywood on top of the bricks and then more bricks on top of the white plywood.
    You will have just given the bees shade and the plywood will be over 2" off the top hive cover and that will allow air to circulate. This will keep the sun from making the hive an oven. I have screened bottom boards on almost all my hives and really like them. 1/2 of my hives are in full sun a majority of the day and the ones that have more sun are doing better (so far).
    I'm just not sure what 110 degree heat will do to a hive...

    Phil
    Grandchildren are the best.... Bees a close second....

  16. #16
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    Default Re: I need to make decisions fast.

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    I don't want to dampen your enthusiasm, but bees are not like dogs or cats. They don't get used to you. In fact, if all goes well, each time you open a hive, you should be meeting all new bees as each of the bees present the last time will have died. They only live six weeks. Their reactions are almost purely genetically predetermined.

    Dunno' what this is worth, but here goes: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0129092010.htm

    I have limited experience compared to you, of course, but my bees seems to recognize my poor fellow beekeeper, who has severe eye degeneration. She almost always smashes bees, not out of malice, but out of not being able to see them well. The bees gun for her and leave me be, even before she has a chance to accidentally catch one between her fingers.
    I'm also the one that feeds them. And suffice it to say I feed them almost every night just a bit of syrup in their feeders and usually inspect every week or two. They see me much more than they would probably like, being a new beek and all.
    Take it for what it's worth.
    4.5 hives of Italians. 2 seasons of experience. And you-- yes, you! You're my mentor!

  17. #17
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    Default Re: I need to make decisions fast.

    Your friend has been marked with alarm pheromone. It will last quite a while.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  18. #18
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    Default Re: I need to make decisions fast.

    Interesting. I wonder how long alarm pheromone can last on the skin? We always wash our suits, gloves, etc., if we get any kind of aggressive response. And we use the smoker on ourselves and our clothes before we go out. You'd think between that any the usual hygiene, that it would pretty much be taken care of between inspections.

    Of course, she likes to eat bananas, too. XD

    Sorry to go off-topic. Looks like the OP has gotten good advice, however.
    4.5 hives of Italians. 2 seasons of experience. And you-- yes, you! You're my mentor!

  19. #19
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    Default Re: I need to make decisions fast.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gypsi View Post
    My helper and I were chased off the lot half a dozen times just trying to air up the trailer tires and pull it out. And the bees at the pond don't usually mess with me, I'm out there often enough. Leave a hive in an unattended area never visited by humans and they do not get more aggressive?
    Visitation, or lack thereof, has nothing to do w/ aggression. If it did, I would find all of my colonies so aggressive in behavior as to be unworkable. During certain times of the year I will go a cpl months w/out seeing my hives, or more to your point, them seeing me.

    As to Kazzandra and her bees being used to her because she feeds them regularly, when you feed your bees, they don't see you, do they? Are some bees coming out and observing you applying their feed? I thought you fed at night.

    Also, if one is feeding enuf so that their bees do recognize them, I would suggest that you are overfeeding. But that is another Topic.

    A colony can be trained to do certain things. I don't believe that a colony can be trained to be nice to one person and not to another. There is something about the way your friend is mishandling the bees which make her such a target.
    Mark Berninghausen To combat Ebola, please consider supporting http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org


  20. #20
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    Default Re: I need to make decisions fast.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kazzandra View Post
    And we use the smoker on ourselves and our clothes before we go out.
    But, do you use the smoker on the colony and yourself while working the hives?
    Mark Berninghausen To combat Ebola, please consider supporting http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org


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