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  1. #41
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    Jan 2012
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    Albuquerque, New Mexico
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    I'd say have several more than you need. For nucs, have more available than you plan to use. Make more than you plan to keep because you'll have a certain proportion of failures and dinks
    It is the plan that I am asking about. I am making my own equipment so I am wondering how many I should plan for. Is there a rule of thumb or ratio you use? Like one nuc for every hive or is it one nuc for every two hives to mate and house queens? Maybe it doesn't matter, and it is just what I am willing to play with or pay for.

    So I am thinking that an average of 7 mediums per hive (two 8 frame mediums equal one deep) would be an adequate number of boxes for the main hives, plus some number of nuc boxes for splits and queen rearing, etc. The failures and dinks are what I am concerned about. Whats a dink? Is that a technical term?

    Ted

  2. #42
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    Dec 2002
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    Denver, Colorado
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Quote Originally Posted by taydeko View Post
    It is the plan that I am asking about. I am making my own equipment so I am wondering how many I should plan for. Is there a rule of thumb or ratio you use? Like one nuc for every hive or is it one nuc for every two hives to mate and house queens? Maybe it doesn't matter, and it is just what I am willing to play with or pay for.
    That's a good rule of thumb. I like to build mine nowadays. Just for numbers, I have enough boxes for 20 hives of four deeps a piece, approximately. To go with that, I have made about a dozen plywood nucs, and ten queen castles, each housing three nucs of three frames a piece. I figure that about covers what I need, though I could use some more lids.


    So I am thinking that an average of 7 mediums per hive (two 8 frame mediums equal one deep) would be an adequate number of boxes for the main hives, plus some number of nuc boxes for splits and queen rearing, etc. The failures and dinks are what I am concerned about. Whats a dink? Is that a technical term?
    "Dink" is a term I use for a hive that won't grow but also won't die. It's used by some other beekeepers too. An I idea I have adapted from Michael Palmer was to divide them up in the spring for mating nucs and/or keep them in five frame nucs where they can draw comb until they die of something. Sometimes, just pinch the queen and merge with another hive or requeen with a nuc.

    I think your math is good. I like to plan for more than I need that way if I catch more swarms than I'm expecting or need to split up a hive preparing to swarm, I have what I need. It's a great way to expand the amount of drawn comb you have, splitting and merging.
    Last edited by Barry; 11-15-2012 at 06:49 AM.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Spicewood, Texas, USA
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    232

    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Dear Ted:

    Oh, D-U-H. Good point. Why do I always feel I have to DO something?

    Thanks...

    Sondra

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
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    874

    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Ted I read somewhere, I forgot if it was from Mike Bush or a book, it wasnt from the forum. To have one nuc for every two hives. I keep six hives and eight nucs, because thats all I can fit in my backyard. I really like the nucs I wish I had more, they are fun to play and experiment with. I have all eight frame mediums, six boxes per hive. If I run out of boxes I can pull a couple off harvest the honey, and throw them back on, that hasent happened yet. The nucs are all five frame medium, two boxes each.

    Wikipedia/dink = A woman in the James Bond movie Goldfinger.

    Steve
    https://www.facebook.com/stevesbees99
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  5. #45
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
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    2,918

    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Sondra, I will take a shot at an answer to your question. You are keeping bees not having them. pat yourself on the back.

    On the issue of a "Dink" I don't know if comments about this are just starting to stand out to me or if there is suddenly the appearance of them. But I ran into one of this this past summer. it was a swarm I caught and put in a top bar hive back at the beginning of June.

    My question is. Do they ever get going or will they remain a lethargic colony? I chose to leave them alone and see what happens next spring but if their is no hope I could have used the bee population to boost two nucs I started. I may still get weather warm enough to combine before winter sets in. Only 41 degrees this morning. today may look like a good one to attempt it.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  6. #46
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    Dec 2002
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    Denver, Colorado
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    Do they ever get going or will they remain a lethargic colony?
    I may have mentioned this before, or may not have been clear about it. I have found that even if they are not the sort to build up and bring in honey, they still seem to do well in five frame nucs drawing out a frame of foundation at a time. Perhaps it has something to do with the natural size of a colony of bees. Give me twenty years and maybe I'll have a better answer and a bigger sample size.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  7. #47
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    Jan 2012
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    Albuquerque, New Mexico
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Quote Originally Posted by sfisher View Post
    The nucs are all five frame medium, two boxes each.
    OK, that leads to some more questions:

    If an 8 frame medium is 1/2 a 10 frame deep and a regular nuc is a 5 frame deep, why not just use one 8 frame medium for a nuc? Is it because of the vertical brood nest? Your 5 frame nucs with two boxes are only a little bigger than an 8 frame medium also.

    Do you have to feed your nucs to get them through the winter? Of course your winters are pretty mild, but how much honey can they have going into winter? Certainly not as much as they recommend for a full hive. The fact that they are nucs keeps the population small, therefore the winter cluster is small and they don't need as much food?

    I was thinking about just putting the nucs on a shelf unit of some sort, with them stacked on the shelf. Is there any reason why that would not work? They might be a little hard to manage if there wasn't room behind them, but that shouldn't bee too bad.

    I was thinking about making 8 frame boxes that have a slot in the ends where I can put a piece of 1/4 plywood or hardboard to make a 4 frame nuc to use as queen castles or stacked nucs. Would that work, do you think? Can you overwinter queen castles if they only have 4 frames or do you have to put them in a larger hive for overwintering?

    Ted

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
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    2,761

    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    'Tis the season for planning next year, and one of the things I'm considering is working at getting small cell or foundationless frames drawn. Do you have a preference and any techniques to pass along? I currently use Permadent plastic foundation in wooden frames, the Parmadent gets painted with my own (melted) cappings.
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  9. #49
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    Dec 2002
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    Denver, Colorado
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Ted, I wish I had more info for you about overwintering nucs, but I haven't gotten there yet. I will tell you that experimentation is a lot of fun, sometimes even if it fails.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Dewey View Post
    'Tis the season for planning next year, and one of the things I'm considering is working at getting small cell or foundationless frames drawn. Do you have a preference and any techniques to pass along?
    Foundationless will be easy as long as you are not concerned about what sort of comb you get. The bees will like it just fine, but you may not. If you want to get brood comb, it needs to be right in the middle of the broodnest, early in the season. As far as getting small cell done quickly, I'd say your best option is Mann Lake PF-1xx frames. They are drawn out acceptably more than 90% of the time. However, they still have all the downfalls of plastic foundation. Some beekeepers have cut out the foundation and used wooden frames. Barry posted in a thread about that, you can find it somewhere in TFB.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  10. #50
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    Sep 2009
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    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Taydeko you pretty much answered all of your own questions Ted. I just asked Mike Palmer about the 8 frame medium as opposed to the nuc for overwintering, and the answer was "the bees like to work up, not across. And yes the nucs dont need as much food as a hive, theres not as many bees. I dont know how your winters are, but mine are pretty mild. It didnt even get in the 20s last year. I would say the avg for dec-jan is 40. I just saw in a post on beesource that bees use the least amount of stores at 40 degrees. I dont see why the shelf wouldnt work for overwintering because you wont be doing any inspections. I dont think that you would want them that way permmanently. 4 frames for overwintering? I wouldnt try it, but if they were stacked to 8 frames, is a differnt story. Steve
    https://www.facebook.com/stevesbees99
    Please visit my page, Thanks

  11. #51
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    Sep 2009
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    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Andrew I am getting ready to put all of my bees on small cell. I asked Mike Bush what I should do, and he told me to wait for the flow this spring, and start putting them in the middle of the brood nest a couple at a time. I plan on moving my capped brood above an excluder and replacing the brood with small cell foundation. And then letting them use old brood combs for honey. I am cutting out PF foundation like Barry did, and putting it in wood frames. I also plan to use all of my nucs for comb factories, to help draw out all of the small cell. Steve
    https://www.facebook.com/stevesbees99
    Please visit my page, Thanks

  12. #52
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    Sep 2009
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    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Sol can you tell me what your drone managment practices's are?
    https://www.facebook.com/stevesbees99
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  13. #53
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    Jun 2012
    Location
    Spicewood, Texas, USA
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Solomon:

    I went up to my TBH the other day and saw no activity at the entrance. I put a Boardman feeder of honey inside the hive, and closed it up immediately. Within less than a minute, the entries looked like O'Hare airport. The bees were coming in so quickly that they were hitting up against the observation window on the other side of the hive. Serious robbing, I assume. My question is, how the heck did other bees know so quickly that it was time to rob? Can bees smell a food source that quickly? It was as if they had scouts hanging around my hive, just waiting.

    Thanks for your time and input.

    Sondra

  14. #54
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    Dec 2002
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    Denver, Colorado
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Quote Originally Posted by sfisher View Post
    Sol can you tell me what your drone managment practices's are?
    My only drone management practices are to move frames with excessive amounts of drone (more than 10-20%) to the outside of the broodnest and eventually up to the supers. I will occasionally scratch open some drone brood to check mite levels, but that's about it. Even so, some hives will produce more drones than others, filling up every bit of that 10% while others may ignore it or only fill what's inside the sphere of the broodnest.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  15. #55
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    Dec 2002
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Quote Originally Posted by SRBrooks View Post
    I went up to my TBH the other day and saw no activity at the entrance. I put a Boardman feeder of honey inside the hive, and closed it up immediately. Within less than a minute, the entries looked like O'Hare airport. The bees were coming in so quickly that they were hitting up against the observation window on the other side of the hive. Serious robbing, I assume. My question is, how the heck did other bees know so quickly that it was time to rob? Can bees smell a food source that quickly? It was as if they had scouts hanging around my hive, just waiting.
    I believe the interpretation of what you are seeing may be a little off. I would submit that the bees smacking into the hive are the ones that belong in the hive and you've blocked their access. It is impossible for robbers to get the scent that quickly, unless the hive is dead and they were already coming and going as they please, in which case the whole story is over.

    Hives always need access to the outside in flying weather. They need to eliminate waste, collect water or pollen or nectar if it is available and new foragers need to orient.

    Bees that belong in a hive will usually fly right in, maybe landing within just an inch or so from the entrance and crawling the rest of the way. Robbers will fly around, following the scent looking for an opening. Don't confuse them for new foragers, they will fly back and forth, keeping the entrance in sight as they get further and further from the hive. Every few minutes they will come back and land, later to take off again. Some times during the day, I have found, new foragers will be out in force orienting, usually in the evening, but it may be different among different populations. Robbers will try to get in screened entrances, the home bees will know where the real entrances are.

    In summary: Don't feed unless it is necessary, unless you know feed is needed, otherwise you're just inviting problems. I don't recommend ever using a Boardman feeder. If feeding is necessary, this time of year calls for the thickest syrup you can make or granulated sugar. When the weather gets cold enough, they will quit taking the syrup.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  16. #56
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    Dec 2002
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    Denver, Colorado
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Quote Originally Posted by sfisher View Post
    4 frames for overwintering?
    Michael Palmer is known for overwintering four frame nucs with a feeder in Vermont. Videos available on my website and blog.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  17. #57
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    Sep 2009
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    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    What kind of a feeder can you use in Vermont in the middle of winter?
    https://www.facebook.com/stevesbees99
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  18. #58
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    Dec 2002
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    Denver, Colorado
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    He uses division board feeders. Like the one on the right in this picture: http://parkerfarms.biz/feeding.html#...n_Board_Feeder

    These are both from Kirk Webster's operation, but they're both in Vermont and they both use the same feeders as far as I'm aware.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  19. #59
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
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    4,310

    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Bees will take feed from an inverted can or bottle placed directly over a cluster at far lower temps than they will from a division board feeder.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  20. #60
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM
    Posts
    640

    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    The question was " what kind of a feeder can you use to feed bees in the middle of the winter in Vermont" I'm sure that Webster and Palmer use division board feeders in their operations, but I doubt very much that your going to find them filled with syrup in the middle of a Vermont winter. I also agree with Jim.
    "Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay".....Krishnamurti

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