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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    North Pole, Alaska
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    145

    Default new beeks TBH journal

    I guess I should introduce myself. I'm Dan from North Pole Alaska. I have no clue what got me here, but here I am non the less. Spent last summer reading and such on the topic, obviously not enough I have a lot of greener than green questions, so far its been fun.

    I built 2 golden mean hives this last winter, kind of pushed the completion date to the abosolute last day due to two jobs and over guessing my wood working experience . The lines on the windows is packaging tape after having had an issue with breaking glass during the build. other than that they are nothing special. I have some idears on a different hive I worked out with a fellow from here on the chat for over wintering. I'm hoping to start them up in the next couple of weeks.

    Originally the plans were to feed with a internal boardman feeder, but got talked out of it due to the temps and build a follower board feeder with insulation on both sides instead. I do like it, the bees seem to like it also. You'll see one of the faces of one in the pics....like I said they were pretty crude, I was a bit rushed trying to finishing things up. They work ok. I did cover the top with screen.....the syrup likes to walk to the edge of the feeder and down the side if you dont push the screen down over the feeder to allow the syrup to fall into it. Made a mess in both hives the first couple of times. I originally thought the feeders were leaking ! I was bringing the food to the bees..thats it LOL.

    Install went great I think. They went in on the 8th of May so today is day 19. The first week was pretty cool. mid 50's for a high and barely above or at freezing for a low. week 2 really was nice with highs in the 70's....nights were mid 40's. This week started nice, but cooled off and rainy now the past few days...that brings us to today....more cool and rainy weather.

    I inspected one hive while we had the nicer evenings after work. They both are drawing comb about even now....but so far I saw no brood/queen in hive 1. Other than fixing a bar in hive 2 (more to follow here).....I havent inspected it...was hoping for better weather, looks like it's a couple days away.

    Every couple days they are taking an average of 2 quarts of sugar syrup....other than that here's some pics.

    Oh if you notice my hives are seriously shimmed....its because they are lol, my cinder blocks sank *thank you permafrost* and I needed to do some major shimming to keep things right and regular.

    I'm sure I left some stuff out...I'll post as the summer progress's and I get more photo's. Laughing is allowed and highly encouraged. All opinions are welcomed and any modifcations I could or need to make are greatly welcomed!

    Thanks again for all the help!!!

    Santa's "not so lil' helper .

    Dan

    beehive2.jpg

    hive 2.jpg

    bp5.jpg
    Last edited by AkDan; 05-28-2012 at 12:33 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    North Pole, Alaska
    Posts
    145

    Default Re: new beeks TBH journal

    here's my original feeder idea...the design isnt mine and I didnt stay with it. The plan for the next hive is longer to allow whatever feeder I use to be accomadated space wise. Right now I'm going to start running out of room. I dont have pics of the follow board feeder but I thought I'd post the internal boardman style I originally made
    bp4.jpg

    beehive1.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by AkDan; 05-28-2012 at 12:26 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    North Pole, Alaska
    Posts
    145

    Default Re: new beeks TBH journal

    Here's both hives...I ran insulation board on one long side both ends and under my cover...the other long side is my window. Really wish I would have put one here...they seem to like the insulated side more, go figure.

    I also added the sleeping blankets for now to help with teh cooler nights. I think it really helped with teh cooler nights and the warmer days, they really went to town. now with this rain I'm concerned about the blankets holding moisture.

    bee pics2.jpg

    bp3.jpg

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    North Pole, Alaska
    Posts
    145

    Default Re: new beeks TBH journal

    a view of the girls in hive one....and hive 1's feeder. Its a shot looking up through the window later in the 'evening'. The gap concerned me orginally hence the spacer....I pulled it when I realized the comb problem in the other hive. This hive they situated at the very front of the hive...hive 2 they were right next to the feeder and overflowing into it.

    bp7.jpg

    bp9.jpg

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    North Pole, Alaska
    Posts
    145

    Default Re: new beeks TBH journal

    here's look at hive 2...again not so great. They're about done with that pollen patti and I plan on removing it when I get in to inspect this hive. They've really did a number on the baggie..its stapled to the edge of one of the bars. bp10.jpg

    2nd pic is the grounded boys. They are always huddled at the bottom of the hive. These girls are fiesty, !

    bp11.jpg

    and a couple girls chilln on the sleeping bag trying to figure out what I'm doing.... This is all the pics for now...I'll get more as I can, kind of tough with no help around.

    securedownload.jpg
    Last edited by AkDan; 05-28-2012 at 12:40 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    North Pole, Alaska
    Posts
    145

    Default Re: new beeks TBH journal

    here's the repair I mentioned.

    This bar was originally a spacer in front of my feeders. I had the screens stapled to this bar. Naturally my fiesty hived girls built comb on this bar.

    When I realized what happened, the bar was plugged with what I imagine is syrup....and it was extremely fragil so instead of trying to fight it, I let them continue building and made a running repair. I took the spacer from hive 1 and with some titebond II glued it on. Ran some wire through the comb and twist tied it together. It worked well I think so far. There was no guide on this bar, or anything for that matter and they still so far have built a really nice straight comb. Lucky so far!

    If I did this again, the twist tie idea is good..the heavy 11 wire, not so much! I supported the ends with blocks and managed to nock one off....to say the girls were a little upset wouldnt be too far off. I think a special support frame that is on the ends and both sides wouldnt be a bad idea. Another thing I'd like to make is a hanger for each hive....something I can hang a bar on to continue working. An upside down bar on top of my hive is a disaster waiting to happen in my hands!

    bp12.jpg

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    North Pole, Alaska
    Posts
    145

    Default Re: new beeks TBH journal

    Just got done checking Both hives. Hive 1 is doing good loooots of brood. Saw my queen.

    Hive two the mean hives queen less. I found a bar of drone comb. Some spotty worker capped larvae. Droned were capped also. And what I thinks supercedure cells on a bunch of bars already open. Some larvae uncapped 5-7 day olds no fresh eggs I could find doesn't mean they weren't there.

    Will post pics when I get home going to requeen.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    North Pole, Alaska
    Posts
    145

    Default Re: new beeks TBH journal

    ok here's some hive 2 pics......

    bh13.jpg

    bh14.jpg

    bh19.jpg

    bh20.jpg

    bh21.jpg

    I called and purchased a new queen on the recommendation of where I got my packages. Since returning home and talking to others I'm starting to question the thought and plan on making a nuc before I go any further. I did go into the hive and cut all the supercedure cells out...hung the new queen and walked away. I'm hoping if nothing else they'll atleast take care of her until I can get a nuc up and going.

    All the supercedure cells minus one were uncapped. Most had brood ready to be capped. You'll notice more brood in some of the photo's uncapped. I didnt find any eggs...though I'm not sure if I had one on the end of my nose I'd know it yet .
    Last edited by AkDan; 05-29-2012 at 01:48 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    North Pole, Alaska
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    145

    Default Re: new beeks TBH journal

    a pic of one of the bars in hive one.....lots of capped brood, found the queen things seem to be good here imho? I didnt see any uncapped anything or eggs..but stopped when I found her. (queen not shown)

    bh17.jpg

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    North Pole, Alaska
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    145

    Default Re: new beeks TBH journal

    well today is day 26. I'm at work taking a break thinking about whats to come and where things have gone.

    The weathers cool again....and raining like crazy.

    I noticed when it cools off I have dead bees...and I also noticed my drones are getting kicked out. Watch a few workers drag some dead bees out and plummet to the ground.

    I stopped feeding hive 1, but did put another 2 1/2 quarts in hive 2. I also took the cap off my queen cage 2 days ago and dug some of the candy out. After watching the video Mike Palmer has on whether or not they are being aggressive or accepting of your queen in its cage..it appeared they were wanting her there. I took the cage out, laid it on top to see their reaction and rapidly had a hive top full of bees. My original plan was to build nucs and looking for more supercedure cells. I did find 3 more, compared to the many I found the day before so I cut them off also.

    I'm starting to question my idea of moving the frame feeders back too soon...they've slowed production of comb way down, I may move them up closer to the bees if nothing more than to help reduce the area needed to be heated.

    The decision to requeen without doing a split didnt come lightly either. I think I'd be better off letting them requeen but with our short season started wondering if just requeening all together wsant a smarter idea to get them back on track. The hive numbers have dropped quite a bit. The other thought was even my good comb has the same amount of bars though they are full of capped brood to the point I saw the queen and had seen enough to close the hive up. None of the bars are fully drawn...the best is 2 or 3 in each hive at 2/3rds drawn or so. With my numbers dropping like they are I didnt want to hurt my good hive and jeapordize them both with the requeening effort. Hence the new queens release. I may once I start seeing brood hatching and numbers coming back up pull a frame of capped brood with workers and put a bar into it to help get things going again in a few weeks if they dont take off on their own.

    The real question is should I keep feeding? With our cooler temps, they are drawing slow. Dandilions are in full bloom. I've also opened up my hive area a little...nocked down a spruce tree and some limbs from another to try and gain more sun light. I have them in a groove of poplar, when I think I should have stuck them in the wide open to gain as much light as possible. If I didnt have a wild neighbor hood 5 year old I would have done just this....He walks right past me and into my house and has a thing for killing bees till he saw my hives thankfully.

    so Keep feeding? move the false back feeders closer to my bees again till things warm up and/or they start drawing more comb out? I plan on leaving the requeened hive alone for a few more days before going in to check on her release.

    I've also got the plans on starting building the hives and just in case a nuc box or two, along with more bars finally tomorrow. Its the short day job (8 hours lol), never ceases to amaze me how fast 8 hours go when you work rotating 12s on a regular basis lol. Now if I only could figure out how to get more done.....time management...ugh

  11. #11
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    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
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    Default Re: new beeks TBH journal

    It sounds like you're pretty well on-track, Dan. As long as the brood doesn't start getting chilled, I'd leave them a few empty bars in front of the feeders, so they have plenty of room to build new comb when they feel the need (hopefully soon ).

    Have fun, and good luck with building the new hives

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    North Pole, Alaska
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    145

    Default Re: new beeks TBH journal

    Thanks Rob....They havent done much, just got in from feeding and peeking in my windows. Figured until they start going at it hard again I'llk eep feeding for now and see how it goes, guess I'd rather have to start removing bars and go for the nucs/new hive than not have enough.

    I did get wood today....not sure if I want to go a full 40 or 38, gotta do some math and figure out bars....stay with 1 3/8 or give the 1 1/4 brood and 1 5/8 a go. make a super and a feeder.....so many options !

    Thanks for the help btw....

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    626

    Default Re: new beeks TBH journal

    Quote Originally Posted by AkDan View Post
    Thanks Rob....They havent done much, just got in from feeding and peeking in my windows. Figured until they start going at it hard again I'llk eep feeding for now and see how it goes, guess I'd rather have to start removing bars and go for the nucs/new hive than not have enough.

    I did get wood today....not sure if I want to go a full 40 or 38, gotta do some math and figure out bars....stay with 1 3/8 or give the 1 1/4 brood and 1 5/8 a go. make a super and a feeder.....so many options !

    Thanks for the help btw....
    Hi Dan, I'm new to beekeeping this year too. The hive that I bought came with 1 3/8" wide top bars. For the temporary hive that I made (because the observation window on the purchased hive was busted and needed to be repaired but I had bees waiting for a hive), I made the bars 1 1/4" for brood and 1 1/2" for honey like Mike Bush suggests in his book and on this forum. The bees seem really happy making the brood nest on the 1 1/4" bars. When I got the observation hive set up those bees seemed to be okay with the 1 3/8" wide bars, but when that hive died and I tried putting the bigger bars in the hive with the 1 1/4" brood bars the bees started tearing away at the comb where it was thicker. Seemed like they didn't like how thick the 1 3/8" made the comb for brood compared to the 1 1/4". I'm actually thinking of shaving down half the 1 3/8" bars to 1 1/4" and using 1/8 spacers with the rest to make them 1 1/2" in the honey area.

    I'm glad you are enjoying your bees as much as I am. Good Luck and I hope this adventure turns out well for us both!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    North Pole, Alaska
    Posts
    145

    Default Re: new beeks TBH journal

    Thanks for the tips Colleen! I'm in the process of making covers and another hive and a nuc. I'll have to remember not to swap bars if I do try the 1 1/4" broods. So far the hives look like they are doing ok. I havent gone in since my last inspection more than lifting the lid and feeding and peering through the windows. The one hive looks to be doing really well...hoping the requeened hive gets going, winter is weeks away !

    Good luck with your bees, post pics if ya got them!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Dunlap, TN, USA
    Posts
    146

    Default Re: new beeks TBH journal

    Quote Originally Posted by AkDan View Post
    hoping the requeened hive gets going, winter is weeks away !
    wow, sounds like Alaska is going to be a hard place to keep bees. Sounds like you dont have much of a summer. Good luck!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
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    626

    Default Re: new beeks TBH journal

    Sure! Happy to share pics! The hive that I bought is the bigger one, the place I bought it from based their design off P. Chandler's, available free from his Biobees site, with some modifications/improvements. The smaller one I made using the one I bought as a template but used the design of the legs off their old photos on the website because it fit what scraps I had on hand. Like I mentioned, the bees in the bigger hive didn't make it but the ones in the temporary hive are doing well and should really take off after the new bees start coming out later this week. The brood comb looks rather spotty but I was happy with it because all those cells in the center were either capped, had an egg, or had various stages of larva. Three of the other four combs looked pretty much the same, the fourth smaller comb just had eggs in the center and one or two hatched larva.

    brood larva and eggs.jpghives.jpginside temp hive.jpg

    I agree with JYawn, you must have a really short season up there! We are just approaching summer here! It must be really important to have acclimated bees.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Canada BC Delta
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    441

    Default Re: new beeks TBH journal

    Hey Colleen I notice in your pics that the comb is offset in the direction your bees are working. The mid rib of the comb needs to follow the ridge of the wedge guides . If you put a spacer between the newest comb they are building and next empty bar beside it you can get them building on track again.
    Last edited by Delta Bay; 06-05-2012 at 09:53 AM.

  18. #18
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    Jun 2012
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    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
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    Default Re: new beeks TBH journal

    Quote Originally Posted by Delta Bay View Post
    Hey Colleen I notice in your pics that the comb is offset in the direction your bees are working. The mid rib of the comb needs to follow the ridge of the wedge guides . If you put a spacer between the newest comb they are building and next empty bar beside it you can get them building on track again.
    Thanks Delta Bay, for the suggestion! I hadn't noticed, was just so happy the combs were straight and full of brood, larva, eggs, and honey that it slipped my notice. I'll pay attention next time I go into the hive and make some adjustments if they aren't centered.

    (Sorry Dan, I didn't mean to hijack your thread!)
    Last edited by Colleen O.; 06-05-2012 at 03:53 PM.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    North Pole, Alaska
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    145

    Default Re: new beeks TBH journal

    no worries Colleen, I'm learning as much as you are, post away!

    finished one of two roofs...kinda looks like something you'd see on the vegas strip minus the lights and flashy colors .

    Here's hive two with the new roof, needing something to cover it. I have some of the black waterproof contractor paper for now. It just sits on the flat lid with some inner rails, nothing fancy. Plan is to build a fatbeeman feeder I think or miller style and make a mini last bar for the gap to come up to feed.

    bh22.jpg
    Last edited by AkDan; 06-06-2012 at 02:42 AM.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
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    1,310

    Default Re: new beeks TBH journal

    That's a bit higher a peak than I anticipated, but it looks like it'll work pretty well for you
    With all that room up in there, and considering your climate, I might be tempted to flip it over, fill it with pine shavings, then staple some burlap to the rails that sit on top of the flat lid...that'd give you probably about an R20-R30 rating for your attic insulation I'd guess

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