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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Chilhowee, MO
    Posts
    94

    Default Day before Thanksgiving hive check..

    this might ramble a bit.. but.. .
    I have 2 hives.. hive A and hive B... now the setup this year i moved to under the large fishing shelter.. its a roof about 20 x 12 and about 8 ft up. next to the pond. the year before i had the bees in the garden and it got so hot it cooked the hives and i had honey pouring out the bottom. so to the shelter it went. it protects it from the worst of the sun. is close to water. protects from any hail damage as well as a bonus. gets sun in the morning.. and in the evening.
    (not to mention the super hot weather we had this year and the bad bad drought the shelter really protected the bees this year..)
    now hive A (2 deeps) is closer to the house than hive B (a deep and a medium) by .. well a hives length lol.but its the easiest way for me to make notes on them. about 2 months ago. hive B had a smell coming from it.. so I suited up and checked both hives out. Hive B had either chilled brood.(we did have a cold snap a few days before). or European foul brood.. no American foul brood thank god.. bee larva on the edges mostly were dead. hive A had the beginnings. so i made some medicated powder sugar and gave them each a couple tablespoons sprinkled over.I also put in some new hive beetle traps i bought..
    Disposable Beetle Blasters just add the oil and put in between the frames they sit near the top..got mine from mann lake.. during this time. i also put sugar syrup in the hive top feeders. A. went gang busters on theirs. B. didn't.. theirs went moldy after a couple of weeks since they never even ate any so i cleaned theirs out.. and added a little fresh syrup to the cleaned feeder thinking maybe i made a bad batch or that them having sick and dead brood meant less bees needing food.. well fast forward to day before thanksgiving.. its warm. probably last warm day we will have till next year. its near 70 it was running only to the 50's last few days before... perfect day for checking the hives with a light breeze coming in. i get my gear together. i made some hivetop feeders for bee fondant.. (shallows with excluders tacked to the bottoms to hold the food.)..and brought those with.. to prepare for the winter. i get down there.. hive A.. the beetle traps.. 3 traps. had at least 9 per. if not more. and i saw a couple beetles running around the frames. one frame i pulled out they were going into each cell and then back out like they were searching for stuff.. not a whole lot of pollen tho there were some .. sort of light on honey. tho not too worrisome they had a fair store. saw one larva. not sure if was a beetle.. or wax moth that was in a area bees could not get to.. i killed it. all the frames looked clean had lots of eggs and bee babies.. no beetle or wax moth damage.gave them a couple spoons medicated powder as preventative because of last checkups problems.(possible European foul brood last check that was in hive B) they had cleaned the hive top feeder of all syrup.. took that one off.. put the new feeder for the fondant on.. and gave them a good chunk to nibble on. replaced the cover. and went to hive B. hive B's honey stores were considerably heavier. even being a medium compared to hive A's deep. they had more pollen it seemed too. checked the beetle traps B also had 3 traps in it.. they had less beetles in them. also saw maybe one. or 2 beetles running around. lot less than hive A. found one larvae under some gunk the bees tried to glue the traps down with lol.killed that.. checked the frames. the deeps had nice brood pattern lots of bee babies and eggs. no signs of the earlier possible foul brood. also plenty it seemed of pollen stores around the babies.. the medium was chock full of honey.. i added the 2 tbs of medicated powder as a preventative... added the new feeder and gave them a chunk of fondant. (will see in a couple weeks if they will eat theirs..) but from my observations of the 2.. what i thought was the stronger hive hive A.. is not. and what i thought was a weak hive hive B is..it almost seemed that hive B had less activity.. and since they never took syrup.. well was not sure what to think. one thing i didn't mention.. Hive a is a 10 frame.. no divider to spread them out.. . hive B is also a 10 frame. but has the metal dividers. and only 9 frames in each box. so 2 less frames in it. im curious.. is the Divided frames allowing more room what made them do better? less beetles. as they can get around things. verses hive A where the frames are all close and not as much it seems.. room. well i guess i will see in the spring.. it is a interesting experiment. i might just go to all metal dividers.. sure made taking the frames out easier..lol.
    Smart man knows that the road is a one way street..
    Wise man looks both ways anyhow.......

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,492

    Default Re: Day before Thanksgiving hive check..

    Hives are variable, so it's hard to tell if the nine frames did much. Some hives pack in the honey and some don't, in spite of what appears to be normal activity for each.

    I've found that spacing frames out causes more trouble than benefit, in fact I'm switching to all narrows in the future in the brood nest.

    A few hive beetles as you have is not much of a concern -- the very warm winter last year caused the population to boom, but if we get a "normal" winter with some good cold weather there won't be any next spring.

    I've also found that adding some apple cider vinegar to the syrup greatly increases the bee's interest in it, even if they are hauling in adequate amounts of nectar. Must be the smell, I think.

    Next year, I suggest you start feeding in September if they are light, using 2:1 syrup after mid month to get them filled up for winter. It's far better to have them heavy with honey than to put candy boards on, as they won't need to travel to get to their food that way. Candy boards are great for emergency feed, but not better than a properly filled super.

    I'm curious as to why you had melting comb in one hive though -- did you give them plenty of ventilation? Usually they don't have any trouble at all keeping the hive cool enough even in full sun this far north. Full sun also helps keep the SHB at bay, since the bees drive them into the crack between the frame ends and the back of the frame rest rabbet, where it's too hot for them and they croak.

    Peter

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Chilhowee, MO
    Posts
    94

    Default Re: Day before Thanksgiving hive check..

    they were fed .. matter of fact.. i was feeding from end july beginning of august. summer on.. we had a horrific drought this year.. im in missouri.that is why i was surprised the other hive was not taking any.tho we did have rain late summer and the goldenrod bloomed like crazy so that might have helped89i.
    6. yes syrup had apple cider in it including a couple drops of lemongrass oil.. the year when the hive combs melted.. we had a unseasonably hot weather stretch. yes hive was well ventilated.. i even tried putting a frame with shade cloth over them. to shade.. but it got to close to 112 that year these are not hives that used plastic foundation.. that might have helped then.. but it was natural made comb.no metal supports..etc.
    and yes i heard about the heat thing about heat and small hive beetles. but with previous experience.. i really don't want to chance loosing another hive to the heat.i cant afford to keep buying bees. the traps are cheap enough.. and this year was a doozy for summer heat.. more so than normal. the spacing was pure accidental since i had 3 boxes with spacers and others without.. i decided to used the spacer boxes all on one hive for ease of working them. what does not work for you in your area.. might work for me.. it all depends on the bees i think and what they prefer. one thing i forgot to mention.. were surrounded by hardwood forests.
    Smart man knows that the road is a one way street..
    Wise man looks both ways anyhow.......

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,492

    Default Re: Day before Thanksgiving hive check..

    Yeah, if you are over by Kansas you had it worse than we did, it rained here in August and September, plus my bees were VERY happy with all the Dutch clover in the yards around here. Only got to 107 here, and that was quite hot enough for me!

    Hardwood forest isn't prime beekeeping territory, alas. Much better if you have some fields of clover, alfalfa, or soybeans around within foraging distance.

    If you have not been feeding protein supplement patties, you can try that next year too, especially in the fall if they are not hauling in large amounts of pollen. They need lots of protein to make good winter bees. Good winter bees give you fast buildup in the spring, hence a good honey crop for things like tulip poplar, black locust, and basswood if you have it.

    You may find that you need to pull your honey in early summer, you may not have much summer or fall flow, and if you leave the spring crop they eat it, leaving you nothing in the fall.

    You did the right things. Spacing out brood frames is one of those things some people really like and others don't, if it works for you go right ahead.

    And, next year will be different, it always is!

    Peter

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Chilhowee, MO
    Posts
    94

    Default Re: Day before Thanksgiving hive check..

    we have soybean fields and corn fields nearby.. but the drought sort of nixed that.. tho they were bringing in pollen thanksgiving day.. i believe most of it was from gardens and such.. we have a type of jasmine called pink lemonade.. even with he freeze it still has blooms on it.. and god only knows they might have gone commando and robed out a wild hive or someone else hives.. lol. who knows.there were plenty of weed flowers after that rain almost as if they were trying to make up for lost time.... i do know a couple years ago.. after the corn fields were sprayed.. we lost bees.. and im also worried about these new type of plants that make their own insecticide.. they make pollen.. bees need pollen eat pollen. will they die too ? or is it just the greenery that produces the toxins. im still pretty new to bees.
    which reminds me my first hives were package bees.. unfortunately i could not get to the mail office in time so a friend said her mom woudl go get them for me.. apparently she thought i meant.. beads.. lol not bees.. lets just say she got a surprise. i got a neighbor kid that like to help me when i process the chickens..turkey.etc for eating.. im thinking of getting him a suit.. and teaching him the bee basics.. as much as i know of them. hes 15 now. going to be teaching him how to tap black walnuts for the sap in the spring if the weather cooperates.. last winter.. was not even cold enough for a good flow.... (they among hickory .. maples birch.. can be taped for a sap that makes wonderful syrup.)
    Smart man knows that the road is a one way street..
    Wise man looks both ways anyhow.......

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