Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    21

    Angry First year in Edmonton Alberta Canada looking for locals to hook up with

    After a whole year of reading, videos and research we have decided to have our first year to observe and learn and let the bees do what they do. My only practical experience was as a volunteer helper for an old beekeeper for 3 summers as a teen. (30 years ago)

    We started with two 5 frame nucs early June newly transferred into full deeps. These were from local overwintered stock from a local breeder. As they progressed to over 80 percent full frames,we added another full deep brood box. Then added another full deep (my son is young and strong and we will be making mediums this winter for future honey use.) for further growth as the bees decided for themselves. As the starter frames provied were mixed we decided to try different ones for ourselves and see what the bees did best on. Full plastic, wood frames with plastic insert, wired wood and empty unwired wood frames. The bees did the best comb on the empty wood frames only when they were between other already drawn comb, not empty frames side by side, and they chose the empty wood ones to use first, full plastic the last.

    We fed sugar syrup for the first two weeks but they only took down about a quart a week so we decided there was enough forage for them not to need it. We have them on 110 acres of heritage pasture that has been left alone for years. It has a good variety of wildflowers, shrubs and trees. And a whole whack of Canada thistle and other weeds. We are surrounded by different farm crops consisting of various grains and canola. Some I saw spraying god knows what. Weather has been about average with no periods of extended rain or drought. Pollen observed coming in weekly throughout the season with no signs of pests or diseases. But with an untrained eye and little practical experience the opposite might be true

    Our intent is to raise and breed our own bees with only minimal intervention with and chemical treatments only as a last resort. Will will try a split and some grafting in the spring if the ladies survive our Canadian winter.

    We are using langstroth style to start and have decided to set them out in the skep style of facing south, with roof and north west wind protection. For solar gain and winter weather patterns. We have seen hives in the area overwinter one deep, unwrapped, set out on low stands/pallets but dont know the percent of losses that happened due to not knowing who bees they are (and yes we asked around).

    Looking for local area

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Peace River, AB Canada
    Posts
    454

    Default Re: First year in Edmonton Alberta Canada looking for locals to hook up with

    Welcome to the site!
    Have you checked out the Edmonton and District Beekeepers Association? I think that would help with any local issues.
    Also the Beekeepers Commission of Alberta is having their AGM Nov. 5-7 at the Fantasyland Hotel.
    Sounds as though you are off to a great start.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: First year in Edmonton Alberta Canada looking for locals to hook up with

    Since I cant seem to edit what my son posted when I was afk ill add a little. How do I get that angry thing off the title? lol

    Looking for local area beeks for advice, questions and answers, and moral support. But of course we will listen to all who take the time to offer advice.

    Our main concern is estimating stores and winter protection/feeding.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: First year in Edmonton Alberta Canada looking for locals to hook up with

    Made some unsatisfactory calls last year, but I'll try again now that we actually have some bees. Thanks for the info on the AGM. I hope to attend if I can.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Peace River, AB Canada
    Posts
    454

    Default Re: First year in Edmonton Alberta Canada looking for locals to hook up with

    How will your hives be set up? Singles, doubles, triples.
    The amount of feed will depend on how many boxes but you will need a minimum of 60-70 pounds.
    I winter singles wrapped in 4 packs on pallets with entrances facing east/west. You will want them sheltered from the wind with southern exposure. Most hives are wintered as 4 packs to allow hives to share warmth and to save on wrapping material (each hive only needs wrap for two sides). With your set up you may want to wrap 2 hives side by side facing south.
    Any feeding should be finished no later than the end of September to make sure all syrup has been dried down before winter arrives.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: First year in Edmonton Alberta Canada looking for locals to hook up with

    Thanks JD for the reply. Right now they are two full deep brood boxes with one full deep on top. There is still uncapped brood and eggs in the nest, pollen and honey too. Seems like more store and less brood than during the summer. But the cells are being repurposed with stores. So that seems on track. I plan to consolidate bees and honey down to the two deeps, or more if I can fit it all it. not sure about if I should remove some brood frames still in use to replace with honey stored up top. Think I will try to wait until the weather shows real signs of turning into real winter.
    I had planned on moving the two hives next to each other and wrapping them with tar paper and topping with insulation and wood chips like I was taught years ago. Changing the bottom entrance to the smallest single opening and leaving the small top entrance open as well. They don't use this one since I brought them home, but for ventilation I think I should leave it open.
    We don't live on site And I am worried about stores but husband can check on them almost weekly if needed. I had also considered hauling them home into the city as our house doesnt look like it will get finished out there this year. If I bring them in I have the choice of inside and unheated garage or inside an unheated shed. if I leave them out where my psycho neighbor can see them there will be blood and bees everywhere! Planned on at least providing some dry sugar on top of paper just in case.
    I know that some of the honey already stored has to be from neighbors canola fields and I have read that it is not good honey for the bees to overwinter on. We have taken no honey off this year other than a small tase for the littlest beeks in the family 4 and 6 via burr comb removal.
    Think I am on the right track. Will try to weigh the hives this weekend for a better estimate of stores.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,431

    Default Re: First year in Edmonton Alberta Canada looking for locals to hook up with

    Welcome Monica!
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Peace River, AB Canada
    Posts
    454

    Default Re: First year in Edmonton Alberta Canada looking for locals to hook up with

    Leave the brood frames to hatch out, these are going to be the winter bees that the hive needs to make it until spring. The queen should be slowing down and as the brood hatches they will pack the brood nest with feed. It is better to get all the feed into the hive now instead of relying on dry sugar above. A properly prepared double should be fine until the end of March before you need to check.
    The two entrances and the method of wrapping you describe should work if you have a well sheltered area. Most people use insulated wraps but tar paper has been used in the past with good results.
    Total hive weight for a double should be in the 130 pound range or more.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads