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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,778

    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
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,462

    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
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,306

    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
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,778

    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
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    dallas, tx, usa
    Posts
    517

    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
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,778

    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

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