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  1. #101
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Dublin, CA
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    I use a sheet of hard, white plastic with vegetable oil on it underneath the screen.

  2. #102
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,079

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    I posted a picture on my blog that I took today of a hive being fed sugar. Looks pretty cool.

    Still no losses to report. I don't think queen rearing will be as early this year. The weather hasn't been nearly as warm as it was last year. Last year I grafted during Spring Break. I seriously doubt it will happen before April this year. Time to bust out the old queen rearing spreadsheet and figure out timing.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  3. #103
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    191

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    Winter here in North Carolina's piedmont has been steady. In January to early February we were extremely warm for many consecutive days. I figured the bees would be more active and run out of stores more quickly so I fed candy, which they gobbled up. I had 6 treatment-free colonies, 3 of then nucs, going in. All are well except for one former nuc that had grown to be my heaviest hive for a deep and a half going in. I watched it dwindle and did nothing, hoping for the best. Last time I went in there were a handful of dead bees at the top, and tons of food available. No eggs or brood to be seen. I realized I most likely killed the queen on my last fall inspection, probably rolling her between frames or squishing her underneath. No queen body was found, and only a very few bees on the bottom board. Do you think I'm correct in my diagnosis of a mishap? I now realize the importance of acting when you must, for a box of bees is a box of bees, not a box of hope nor a box of failure.

    Then the weather turned steadily cold, actually being the winter it's supposed to be here (which was a surprise to many who'd gotten used to the warmer springs of recent years). I emergency fed one colony that had gotten weak, after discovering my previous mishap. I contacted a master beekeeper on thin vs. heavy syrup, and he said it was a gamble either way. I went with thin, thinking it'd stimulate brood. It worked! It's been gaining strength and almost is up to snuff now. I'm impressed with it's stubborness to hang on. It's one of my Russian hives, so I'll split that to keep those good genetics this spring, if it's strong enough. My feral hive which went into winter with 3 frames of bees, on double-stacked 5-frame nucs, is amazing and one of my most active hives. I'm a believer now in the smaller, taller boxes.

    I hoped for 75% survival rate out of my 6, and have gotten an 83% survival rate (so far, unless I do something bone-headed). I've also gotten an order for 1 nuc and inquiries on 3 more, which will be my first nucs ever sold. All in all a fabulous winter!

  4. #104
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Winthrop, WA
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    Great idea...recycling is a good thing Couldn't you leave the plastic insert in?
    QUOTE=rkereid;904807]I just slip a piece of political sign in the slot for the mite count board (under screen). It is not tight, lets some air in , but keeps the wind out.[/QUOTE]

  5. #105
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Blacksburg, VA
    Posts
    440

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    Quote Originally Posted by Halley L. Hart View Post
    Great idea...recycling is a good thing Couldn't you leave the plastic insert in?
    QUOTE=rkereid;904807]I just slip a piece of political sign in the slot for the mite count board (under screen).
    None of my screened bottom boards come with plastic inserts. I either make mine, or buy bulk unassembled. I'm a cheapskate.

  6. #106
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,079

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    Are you sure you're not just frugal or efficient? I like to eat regularly, it doesn't make me a glutton.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  7. #107
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Elizabeth, WV, USA
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    I have 9 hives, all overwintered very well. We are treatment free and have not fed any supplemental feed since 2011.

  8. #108
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,992

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    Well I'm kinda opposite to you guys, it's fall here, going into winter.

    Just checked all the treatment free hives today, not looking good some of them have a lot of mites, and even dead brood. So I'm thinking it's likely I'll lose some or all of them this winter. But I won't know till I try so will have to leave them to their fate & see what happens. The TF nucs are a mixed bag, there is at least one with a major mite problem but some of them are as good as gold.

    So I'll leave them too it, hopefully enough will survive that I can re-stock the dead ones. We'll see.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  9. #109
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,881

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    >Just checked all the treatment free hives today, not looking good some of them have a lot of mites,

    But your small cell hives are mite free, right?

  10. #110
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,992

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    The treatment free hives are small cell. All the large cell hives get treated.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  11. #111
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Augusta County, VA, USA
    Posts
    73

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    7 hives going in and as of yesterday, 7 coming out of winter. It's not over yet, but I'm cautiously optimistic!

  12. #112
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,079

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    Latest check, all hives still alive. More and more flying days, though still fewer and later than last year. Later for queen rearing, but good sign for summer rains keeping clover alive.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  13. #113
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Chesapeake, VA
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    So far my winter here in Zone 8a went well. I started the winter with one full size hive and one nuc and both survived. I am planning on putting them in medium and not deeps soon but they are building up well and bringing in lots of pollen.

  14. #114
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Baker Oregon
    Posts
    2,373

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    But your small cell hives are mite free, right?
    Dan Hayden 4 Years. 9 hives. Tx Free. USDA Zone 5b.

  15. #115
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,992

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    Yes I realised my answer to that was not actually clear. The small cell hives are the ones with worrying mite loads, and are also the treatment free ones.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  16. #116
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, MO
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    I started beekeeping a bit late last year with 2 packages, all into 8 frame mediums on PF-125 frames. A record drought made it rough going so I fed heavily from mason jars through the top. At the end of the year one hive had only filled out 1 medium and 6 frames of a second, while the other hive had filled out 2 mediums and over half another. In early Jan we had an unusually warm streak so I made 20# candy boards and put them on both hives. Last Friday i checked them and found first hive exploding with bees so i added another medium. My girls are very dark mutts so I'm scared of heavy Russian swarm traits. The second hive still had a lot of uncapped/undrawn frames and not as explosive of a population so I left it alone for now. Since both hives are still going I guess I didn't screw anything major up. 2/2 so far....

  17. #117
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,079

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    I must amend my report to include one loss this season as winter is not over for a few days.

    Over the last two days I inspected my home yard and my south yard and I found one dead out in the south yard. If I had to wager a guess, I'd guess that they starved out this spring which is only their fault because I did not harvest from them last year. They were not good performers and they produced excessive propolis, so I won't miss them. An inspection of the bottom board yielded the largest number of beetles that I have ever seen in my hives, half a dozen living and two dozen dead. No larvae or signs of beetle damage.

    This brings my loss total to 4.3 % this winter, continuing on my years long downward trend.

    As for the rest of them, they all have capped brood, and most are doing quite well. Some have been set back by not having enough stores, most of which were due to being yearling hives. I am making mental notes as to which will become queen mothers and cell builders.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  18. #118
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Athens, OH
    Posts
    2,690

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    wrong thread
    Last edited by cg3; 03-17-2013 at 04:52 PM.
    Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. -Frank Zappa

  19. #119
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Arma, Kansas USA
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    Checked both Yards and i am 6 for 6. 4 where nucs last year, 1 cut out and 1 trap out.
    My first winter as a beekeeper and glad to see they made it.

  20. #120
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Stillwell, KS
    Posts
    645

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    I'm down 8 out of 41.

    7 of the losses are from one yard. Won't be wintering bees in that yard ever again (poor fall forage).


    Pollen and nectar should start coming in, here in KC in about 2 weeks.


    Don

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