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  1. #1

    Default TF Che Guebee Apiary

    I started two KTBHs this summer which were part of my self-sufficient homesteading studies in Sweden. I looked after those hives until October, now they belong to the school. I will get updates though. Those colonies are ment to be treatment free and were not treated with anything else but kindness

    I am building new top bar hives now and will start my very first apiary in May next year which is to be treatment free. I am not sure if I can afford to dirve far north of Sweden to buy the bees from Erik Österlund (I might get his Queens though) so there is a chance I will buy local treated bees. I am building a few bait hives too in hope to catch at least one swarm.

    My hives have solid bottom so no way to monitor for Varroa except to open the hive and scrape out the bottom dirt and count. But I dont feel like doing this rather I will observe the colonies and breed only those showing good fitness.

    My hive management will be as Les Crowder discribes in his book. I hope to get The Complete Idiot's Guide To Beekeeping for christmas.

    I will focus on Live and Let Die approach and for that reason will try to breed new Queens and make splits.

    I will buy two colonies to start with which I intend to split as soon they show signs of swarming. Or should I split them immediatelly when I get them home? This means 4 colonies but there will be more Queen Cells in the two origianl hives to make a few more nucs. I dont want to weaken those 4 hives much and dont know how many nucs should I go with.

    Thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,920

    Default Re: TF Che Guebee Apiary

    Best of luck. I looks like you are working hard to make sure you enjoy keeping your bees. I took a glance at your blog as well. I hope you manage to get the Österlund queens you woudl prefer to have.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    5,858

    Default Re: TF Che Guebee Apiary

    If you want a top bar book that really does tick all the boxes, get the one by Dr. Wyatt Mangum. For top bar info from someone who knows what he's doing you won't get better.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
    Posts
    142

    Default Re: TF Che Guebee Apiary

    For your mite "problem" why don't you put a screen base on your hive and then a hinged solid bottom so you can open it. A bit of greasy white paper on your base and you could do as many mite counts as you wish.
    Cheers
    Rob

  5. #5

    Default Re: TF Che Guebee Apiary

    I would love to buy that book but he sells it only in America. To ship it to Europe I will need to pay around 70 dollars !!! That is way over my budget!
    I dont like screen bottoms and prefer to have a sealed hive with only one entrance so bees can control the internal atmosphere (temperature, humidity, air circulation, scent)
    Counting Mites doesnt suit my life style.

    Can anyone answer this question please;
    I will buy two colonies to start with which I intend to split as soon they show signs of swarming. Or should I split them immediatelly when I get them home? This means 4 colonies but there will be more Queen Cells in the two origianl hives to make a few more nucs. I dont want to weaken those 4 hives much and dont know how many nucs should I go with.
    Thank you
    Last edited by Che Guebuddha; 12-11-2012 at 04:52 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    5,858

    Default Re: TF Che Guebee Apiary

    The question is not possible to answer because we don't know how strong the colonies will be when you buy them, ie, if they could be split, or not.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  7. #7

    Default Re: TF Che Guebee Apiary

    Im buying two colonies 10 frame each

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,858

    Default Re: TF Che Guebee Apiary

    OK well 10 good frames of bees can be split into two 5 frame hives, provoded the weather is not too cold, how cold does it get at night at the time you will do this?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Coolidge, Ga. USA
    Posts
    38

    Default Re: TF Che Guebee Apiary

    Very nicely done blog. Best wishes on your endeavor.
    If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.
    http://photobucket.com/MCBees

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,920

    Default Re: TF Che Guebee Apiary

    Che, Maybe this will help. It is more of a general beginners thing on making splits.
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beessplits.htm

    When you actually have your hives people will be able to give you specific advice on how to manage them. These are animals not hives. you are keeping bees not frames. I have 100 fraems and not a single bee on them. My point is you could buy two 10 frame hives. that still does not tell anyone about the bees that are on them. If you don't have enough bees it woudl not be advisable to make a split. if the box if flowing over with bees it may be critical you make a split. I hope that makes since.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    626

    Default Re: TF Che Guebee Apiary

    Che, your barrel hives look very nice!

    I bought a mid-summer 5 frame nuc this past August and did a chop and crop to fit it into a top bar hive. Make sure to ask if they are foundationless, wired wax foundation, or plastic foundation because it will make a big difference to your chop and crop and you will want to be prepared. The frames I got in my nuc were mostly wired foundation but one was either foundationless or just wax foundation with no wires. That comb was weakened by the chop and crop and ended up collapsing but luckily without causing too much damage. The wired foundation that remains, I have to keep trimming the wires because the bees keep excavating around them.

    Two of the combs I cut off the frame bars and wired onto my bars (well, the one fell off which prompted me to wire what I could salvage on to my bar) and the one main brood bar is still in the hive (hopefully I can remove it in the spring) with spacers on both sides for beespace. For the last two bars I stole two empty drawn combs from my other hive and put them in this one then moved the frame bars to the feeder area and scored the honey cappings with a fork so they would transfer it to the empty comb and when they had cleaned them out I removed those frame bars from the hive.

  12. #12

    Default Re: TF Che Guebee Apiary

    Oldtimer the weather depends but generaly its warm enough for bees to fly in May unless its a rainy period which sucks. I will feed them with sugar syrup to give em a start.

    Michael thanks.

    Daniel I know the hive is an animal, super animal. I also know people cant tell based on facts because I will get the bees next year. What Im asking is that we assume different situations and give advice based on your experience, which you did anyway at the end of your reply Thanks

    I guess I will just do it the natural way and let the bees backfill the brood nest, whats for Queen Cells and make splits then according to how strong the colonies are. If strong I might make a few smaller nuces with Queen Cells and see how they do, feeding them with extra sugar syrup and hope the summer doesnt turn rainy (as it did last year).

    Colleen thanks. I will keep that in mind. To be honest I will try to get the 30x30cm frames since they can be screwed perfectly under my top bars without croping and choping anything. All I need to do is remove the sides and the bottom from the frame.

    It is not easy getting small cell bees in Sweden since most beeks use 5.4mm foundation. The closest samll cell beek is 300km up north.
    I will make a few bait hives in hope to get some ferral swarm(s). At least they can build various cell size from the start resulting in some small cells.

    Thanks all

  13. #13

    Default Re: TF Che Guebee Apiary

    I just got an idea

    I have seen in Les Crowder's book how he places cut out comb at the back of the hive away from the entrance. Like this the bees can still rare the brood in the combs until the workers start building new comb at the entrance. Once the entrance combs are made and the combs at the back salvaged one can remove the cut out combs from the hive.

    I can do the same with the 5.4mm foundation frames and wait until they move to the front of the hive then keep them as honey storage combs and remove with honey or remove them at once in case they are too dark.

    What say you to this?
    or

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Reno, NV
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    2,920

    Default Re: TF Che Guebee Apiary

    Che, What I have seen from bees with no comb is that they remain in a cluster around the queen. and it is in the middle of that cluster that they build comb.

    To me it seems as if the bees decide what area is their nest or home regardless of how much space is around them. they will do it by making comb and that determines the boundaries of their nest. or they will do it with their bodies if they do not have enough comb yet. They did not spread out all over the space I gave them. For several days I could not even see comb. then slowly I could see bits of white wax between bees. They had started three combs on three bars next to each other. as the comb grew they spread out to try and completely cover it.

    Eventually they slowed down how much comb they where making even though the population of the colony was rising. I had the impression all along that they would only make enough comb to keep it covered. Maybe it got to late in the year and they could not build more comb I am not sure. but they never did completely fill the space they had. They got just so big and quite. and nothing I did would get them to start building again.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

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