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  1. #141
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Bledsoe County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    When I started my hives last year I went treatment free and foundationless, mainly to save money but anyway I have a hive that overwintered in a double deep. I just did a spring inspection which was the first inspection in quite a while. My question is how would be the best way to fix a comb of honey that is built accross two outside frames? And also I was wondering if shb would winterkill, I found probably around 100 dead in the bottom of the hive but the hive seemed to be doing fine and I only saw one live beetle? I appreciate any help you can give on this.

    Isaac

  2. #142
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,079

    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Isaac, you might want to cut out that frame of honey and let the bees start over, I don't know, I can't see it. If you want to keep it, cut it out and tie it in either with string or rubber bands.

    SHBs will often overwinter in the cluster with the bees. I don't know exactly what temperature kills them, but I have also seen dead ones on the bottom board.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  3. #143
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Bledsoe County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Anything that you recomend doing about the hive beetles?

  4. #144
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,079

    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    If the beetles are not causing destruction, don't worry about them. All the bees really need to do to keep them from damaging the comb is prevent larvae. It's the larvae that are the problem, not the adults.

    I regularly see beetles in my hives, but no larvae, and therefore no problem.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  5. #145
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    eolia, lincoln county, mo.
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Solomon; Just installed my first 2 packages on Sat. . They are Minn hygenics from Ca.. My question: if both hives do well is it best to stay with the same type of queen in the future or switch to another type from a local beekeeper? Also is it really best to requeen yearly? I ask that because it seems if a queen is laying well and the hive is doing well you'd be messing with what's working. Thanks in advance for the help. Jeff

  6. #146
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,079

    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Jeff, I personally dislike requeening unless there is something wrong with the hive that needs fixed. I don't do any sort of preemptive requeening or scheduled requeening or anything like that. I requeen when hives are mean or unproductive. I absolutely do not believe requeening yearly is the best practice.

    I personally don't consider it the same hive if it has been requeened other than naturally. There is no reason why the two should be considered related.

    In my view, if you want to be successful at keeping bees treatment free, either get local bees or keep them long enough so they become locally adapted. Packages and queens from California or Alabama are not going to get you where you want to go.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  7. #147
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    eolia, lincoln county, mo.
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Thanks Solomon that will keep my head on straight. Jeff

  8. #148
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Spicewood, Texas, USA
    Posts
    232

    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Dear Solomon:
    I just read that bees abscond more often from TBHs than from Langs. Have you found this to be true? I had never heard that before.

    I'm installing two new packages this weekend, and it was suggested that I close the bees in the TBHs for 24 hours after the install to discourage absconding. I've never closed them in previously.

    Your thoughts?

    Sondra

  9. #149
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,079

    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    I have not experienced many absconding problems, and I do not yet have a TBH, so I cannot comment on that with authority.

    If you install packages and don't immediately release the queen, the chances of absconding will be low. Shutting bees in is fraught with difficulties, dehydration, suffocation, and problems related to not being able to eliminate waste are among them. I'd say don't immediately release the queen, and that should be a good start.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  10. #150
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Athens, OH
    Posts
    2,673

    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    In our bee club, we've heard many reports of newly hived bees absconding from TBHs with open screen bottoms. As soon as there is comb and some brood, it seems to resolve.
    Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. -Frank Zappa

  11. #151
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,079

    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    I'd say too much ventilation in that case. I haven't used screened bottoms in years. Bees desire to control their internal climate. They don't always succeed, but they also don't always do anything specifically, always.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  12. #152
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Athens, OH
    Posts
    2,673

    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    That, and too much light.
    Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. -Frank Zappa

  13. #153
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,991

    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    I too get people I sell bees to, with top bar hives, telling me the bees absconded, often. So much so, that were at all possible I'll go there and do the install myself.

    Very often, the problem is caused by overheating. The new bees do not have their ventilation system sorted out till after some days. Mean time, if the sun shines on the hive, it gets warm, the bees leave. Simple fix, put something such as cardboard over the lid, with an air gap underneath, to shield from the sun.

    Do this, leave the queen in the cage for the bees to release slowly, and get all the bees in the hive properly, not hanging under the screen if there is one, and success will be close to 100%.

    PS. Blocking bees in is totally disruptive to them and should be avoided where at all possible.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  14. #154
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Posts
    192

    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Quote Originally Posted by SRBrooks View Post
    Why do bees make holes in some of their combs? They look to be intentional, as in rather uniform in size, clean edges, no leaking honey, etc.
    I read a study where they were looking at making holes in comb to provide access to other combs during the winter. The cluster was more mobile and had fewer problems moving from comb to comb. I have doubts that the bees know that, but it helps. I have seen holes in comb after a comb was damaged. They smooth out the damage nicely.

    Ted

  15. #155
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Posts
    192

    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Quote Originally Posted by cg3 View Post
    many reports of newly hived bees absconding from TBHs with open screen bottoms. As soon as there is comb and some brood, it seems to resolve.
    I have hived packages and swarms without blocking the entrance in my TBHs without problem. I try to include some brood comb when I put them in the hive. When I first started I though they were absconding but it was hot and they were just bearding. They didn't have hardly any comb in the hive yet, so there was no place for them to hang out.

    When I first started, I was using screened bottom boards and they all absconded. Now I use solid bottom boards and brood and I have had no problems at tall with my TBHs.

    Ted

  16. #156
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,079

    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Quote Originally Posted by taydeko View Post
    I read a study where they were looking at making holes in comb to provide access to other combs during the winter.
    Somebody once told me about how they took a bunch of plastic foundations and drilled holes in them (they had probably read that study) so that the bees could get through and move around. But the bees filled all the holes in with comb.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  17. #157
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Spicewood, Texas, USA
    Posts
    232

    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Thanks so much for all the advice, guys! This is the first hive I've purchased that had a screened bottom board, so it's good to learn that I need to keep it closed up, especially for the install.

    This brand-new hive also has a white, metal roof. Since I'm in Texas, my hives are always positioned to get morning sun and either dappled or full shade in the afternoons. We get temps up to 105 on some days. Is there EVER a time when I want to vent the hive by removing the bottom board?

    Thanks so much for all the advice.

    Sondra

  18. #158
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,079

    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    You might get better and more informed answers on TBH questions in the TBH forum.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  19. #159
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Spicewood, Texas, USA
    Posts
    232

    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Nah. You RULE, Solomon. And the other members' comments have been really informative.

    Sondra

  20. #160
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,079

    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    I appreciate your kind words. I wish I was more help on TBHs, but I'm not there yet.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

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