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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
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    1,824

    Default Going to the Orange Blossom

    I decided to start a thread about my first experience going to Orange Groves.
    I'll try to share photos thoughout the process and share what I think I've learned.
    It should be interesting to read in a couple of years when I have a better idea what I'm doing.
    image.jpg

    I've been waiting on the grove manager to let me know when he was done spraying. I called him Thursday and we set up a time to meet Friday he told me he would let me know the spray schedule then. No hurry right! I met with him and he told me I could drop hives this weekend. Time to hurry! The bloom is starting but in this grove looks like much of is a week or so away. I called around and confirmed nearby groves have all finished spraying and in one nearby grove the bees just started to make honey!

    I "learned"
    I thought that growers where concerned with getting greening disease in a grove is seems that most if not all groves have it they are worried about it spreading not only grove to grove but tree to tree.
    Part of reason it's spreading and has such an effect is abandoned groves that aren't treated.
    Growers have lots of stuff they spray that is labeled bee safe.
    Trees with greening bloom early.

    This is a tree they haven't picked yet.
    The grove of 35 acres I'm in is mostly Hamlin which are grown for juice but there are a couple more varieties close
    image.jpg

    I had a few more hives to bring to my staging yard ( everyone else calls it my backyard).
    I had a couple bottom boards to change and lids needed to be opened.
    Things I "learned"
    I need a new bottom board system. They are hard to screen in and it's too warm to plug a strong hive up. I may need to look at moving screens, screened bottoms or maybe a couple 3 inch hole saw cuts in the bottom with screen.
    A better plan... Get my hives ready and leave them alone. I thought I'd have four or five days to let them set and propolis lids etc down, I need to move them Sunday or Monday.
    I need to make a dolly! Strong arm is getting old with my hard to screen in bottoms and shifting lids.
    I need beekeeping pants. I don't mind the couple off stings I get though jeans but I need about 11 more pockets.
    Red filtered light headlamps don't work so well inside of the veil.
    I need to learn some knots! A pallet set on top of hives will not keep lids from shifting.
    image.jpg


    image.jpg

    I'll try to post some better photos tomorrow.

    I think I'll load about 30 hives and take them Sunday or Monday night so if your behind a gray truck and trailer in central Florida one of those nights don't follow to closely !

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    syracuse n.y.
    Posts
    1,655

    Default Re: Going to Orange Bloosom Thread

    When I saw the incline in picture #1 I was a little worried about you, but when I saw your feet in Picture #3 I figured you had no problem walking on the incline
    mike syracuse ny
    I went to bed mean, and woke up meaner. Marshal Dillon

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Athens, OH
    Posts
    2,539

    Default Re: Going to Orange Bloosom Thread

    Yeah, I didn't think there was anywhere that steep in FLA.
    Is it solipsistic in here, or is it just me?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,526

    Default Re: Going to Orange Bloosom Thread

    Wouldn't putting on screened covers for the move be an easier way to go than bottom ventilation. It doesn't sound like you are moving them thru cold conditions. Are you doing forklifted by Arm Strong? If not, why are the screens on the bottom a problem?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,051

    Default Re: Going to Orange Bloosom Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by wildbranch2007 View Post
    When I saw the incline in picture #1 I was a little worried about you, but when I saw your feet in Picture #3 I figured you had no problem walking on the incline
    '

    God I almost lost control of my bladder!!!
    Last edited by shannonswyatt; 02-10-2013 at 12:36 PM. Reason: typo

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
    Posts
    1,824

    Default Re: Going to Orange Bloosom Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by shannonswyatt View Post
    '

    God I almost lost control of my bladder!!!
    I don't get it are my feet big?

    That road is almost flat it must be the photo.
    The area is rolling hills and reminds me of where I grew up near the foothills of the allegheny mountains. There are quite a few places here that surprise people when they visit. Nothing like Ohio, anyplace you go in Ohio looks like Ohio!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,051

    Default Re: Going to Orange Bloosom Thread

    The photo of the road and you feet are both sideways!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
    Posts
    1,824

    Default Re: Going to Orange Bloosom Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Vance G View Post
    Wouldn't putting on screened covers for the move be an easier way to go than bottom ventilation. It doesn't sound like you are moving them thru cold conditions. Are you doing forklifted by Arm Strong? If not, why are the screens on the bottom a problem?
    Do you mean screened lids?
    Or screened inserts for bottom board?
    I'm picking each one up.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
    Posts
    1,824

    Default Re: Going to Orange Bloosom Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by shannonswyatt View Post
    The photo of the road and you feet are both sideways!
    Oh! That's funny!!
    Go slow with me I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,051

    Default Re: Going to Orange Bloosom Thread

    That's ok. My wife didn't get the joke either. wildbranch2007, cg3 and myself must all share the same sense of humor.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Posts
    1,486

    Default Re: Going to Orange Bloosom Thread

    Good luck Mbeck! I was down checking on my bees Friday and noticed the same thing as you. The trees are starting to bloom but, looks like most of the bloom is about a week away. There were lots of flowers that where white but, had not popped open yet. This is my first year too. Hoping for a good flow.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
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    1,824

    Default Re: Going to Orange Bloosom Thread

    Eventful night.

    Started load
    image.jpg
    I learned:
    Stick to the plan
    I added a couple hive to even the load out and then loaded them wrong.
    A small difference in bottom board height make a big difference.
    Hive that are queen less will be easy to spot if you move them twice in a week.
    Last minute slap together hives drift
    image.jpg
    A few miles down the road I stopped to do a load check and give the straps an extra crank.
    Load was tight and the bees settled in well.
    image.jpg

    Just a few miles after that on I-75 only a few miles from the grove my truck engine stopped running going 55. I made it to the side of the road and sat there for two hour waiting for AAA and a friend's wife to bring his truck. Looks like so far it's just one expensive fuel pump.
    Unloading was smooth and ill go back to super and equalize if needed as soon as I get my truck back. I'll bring a couple boxes to see if I can catch a swarm (hopefully mine won't) Some nucs to do a couple cut down splits and some cages to add queens to a couple I suspect are with out. Some one forgot to order excluders so I'm short three so I'll have to come up with a plan for that. I think I'll just wait until the hives have their fourth or fifth super full and pull some to put on the hives that didnt have one after I shake them down!!!
    I'm still absorbing it all.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
    Posts
    1,824

    Default Re: Going to Orange Bloosom Thread

    I'm headed back to super hives tomorrow.
    I'm finishing up branding some equipment.
    image.jpg

    I put together some frames/foundation for cut comb. I left two hives on a single pallet to give me the option to combine and super for cut comb.

    Can anyone share some tips ?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Davie, Florida, USA
    Posts
    526

    Default Re: Going to Orange Bloosom Thread

    Mbeck...Where did you get the brand, and if you don't mind me asking, about how much? I have just been hand carving my numbers with a Dremel, then back filling with darker paint. Works fine, but a pita. Thanks! Nice haul to the groves. Thanks for doing your part with our citrus!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
    Posts
    1,824

    Default Re: Going to Orange Bloosom Thread

    http://tampa.craigslist.org/hil/grd/3550918358.html

    It works well.
    I heat it up directly on gas grill burner and can do three plus brands before it needs re-heating.
    A turkey fryer burner would work better if I had one.
    image.jpg

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
    Posts
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    Default Re: Going to Orange Bloosom Thread

    I final got back to the grove to get supers on everything. It's a windy, overcast, cold and rainy but I got lucky and it mostly only drizzled while I worked. I kept the heater on in the truck to warm up between pallets it was so cold I don't think it got above 62!
    Hives overall looked good and didnt drift nearly as bad as I thought. I think I only had one queenless which I straightened out hopefully and this one.....
    image.jpg
    It was one of the stronger ones and one of the last off the trailer to be opened up.

    The bloom in the grove I'm in is barely starting but less than 1/4 mile away it well under way.
    image.jpg

    It took a little longer to get everything done with the cold and rain the bees where a little snotty but they were flying,collecting nectar and building new comb.
    image.jpg

    Hopefully my photos aren't to boring. I'll take request!

    I "learned"
    Six hives pushed close onto a pallet expose a design flaw in my lids. The cleats on the ends make opening from the side the only option which is harder to do when they are pushed together.
    With a six hive pallet, work the ones in the middle first. Especially with the nasty weather it's best to stand in front of the middle one before you get the whole pallet worked up.
    Always bring duct tape and bungy cords (that really applies to everything) bees where crawly today and the elastic on my jacket isn't great.
    The expensive part of beekeeping is going to be the extra just in case stuff. I really should have an extra smoker, a few more supers etc.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
    Posts
    1,824

    Default Re: Going to Orange Bloosom Thread

    There is a cold front moving through tonight with freeze warnings issued! If it doesn't get cold enough to damage the bloom how will a cold snap effect the flow? Its a short time event and the weather should be back to normal in a couple days.
    Does anyone have experience with this?

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
    Posts
    1,824

    Default Re: Going to Orange Bloosom Thread

    Checked the hives today.
    Wow! The smell is overwhelming when you crack open the hives.
    Most of the hives have moved up into the supers and are putting away nectar.
    It's clear which hives where built up correctly and where I was too conservative.(unless they swarm which might happen).

    There is still plenty of bloom so I'm not sure what effect the cold had.
    image.jpg
    image.jpg
    image.jpg

    I'm glad the cold weather is gone!

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Posts
    1,486

    Default Re: Going to Orange Bloosom Thread

    I checked mine today too. Everything looked ideal. The trees had no signs of being burnt from the cold, lots of blooms open, more blooms almost ready to pop open and the bees were working them hard. But, I have not saw much nectar in the supers yet. Ya got any suggestions? I figure its just gonna take a little more time. I'm gonna go back next Friday to check on them. Sounds like yours are doing good.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
    Posts
    1,824

    Default Re: Going to Orange Bloosom Thread

    Maybe your flow is a week behind the flow where I'm at?
    Where are your hives? Groveland? That's north of mine.

    The very strong ones are starting on the supers the others less so but all of them are bringing in nectar you can smell it as soon as you open them. I don't have nearly enough drawn comb so many of them are drawing as they go.
    image.jpg

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