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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    Posts
    226

    Default New, a few questions

    1: "Avoid using a Boardman entrance feeder. Being so close to the entrance, these feeders can incite robbing behavior"

    So what is the best way? And when do I use this (All year or winter/spring?)

    2: What are some common mistakes new bee keepers make and how to avoid those mistakes?

    3: Florida, what are some common problems I will run into and what can I do to avoid them (Disease or whatever)

    4: What should I be proactive with, I don't want to find out after the fact that I should have done this or gave them that.

    Just trying to get a better handle on it
    Last edited by trance; 03-30-2013 at 05:37 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,583

    Default Re: New, a few questions

    1. The best way is to use an inside feeder.
    There is a discussion here awhile ago. Some will put an empty super box on top with a
    bucket feeder inside. I have only use the baggie inside feeder. When to use depends on your weather condition. But usually in warmer season at early spring before the flow.
    2. There are many common mistakes too much to list. Each individual made it in ones own beekeeping endeavor. Like feeding too much, not feed enough, and feed at the wrong time. Not ants proof their hives. Not knowing at what time of year to protect their bees. It is location specific for
    beekeeping. Pests and diseases control.
    3. No matter where beekeeping is location specific. So will probably run into the same situation like the rest of us. Going thru 1 or 2 seasons will let you know if you keep good notes (paper or mental.)
    4. Monitor bee health should be proactive I think of the 4 seasons. Each season has its own things to monitor and do to keep them healthy.
    So no matter what, we all have differert issues/problems that come up during our season with the bees. Ask questions here and learn from others good or bad. Try not to take things too personally here when others responded in a nagative way. Take the good ones while ignore the one that do not apply to your current situation. After all, we are all new and still learning and growing---beeess.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    1,889

    Default Re: New, a few questions

    Quote Originally Posted by trance View Post
    1: "Avoid using a Boardman entrance feeder. Being so close to the entrance, these feeders can incite robbing behavior"

    So what is the best way? And when do I use this (All year or winter/spring?)
    I use mason jars sitting on the inner cover over the escape/feed holes with an extra super surrounding it and the telescoping cover on top. so I guess that's the best for me. Other folks use baggies, hive-top feeders, etc.,. Some people use migratory covers and feed through a hole in the cover with a jar or pail.

    2: What are some common mistakes new bee keepers make and how to avoid those mistakes?
    My biggest mistake starting out was FEEDING TOO MUCH....they backfilled the broodnest big time and SWARMED and SWARMED some more!

    3: Florida, what are some common problems I will run into and what can I do to avoid them (Disease or whatever)
    The biggest obstacle in your way will probably be small hive beetle.

    4: What should I be proactive with, I don't want to find out after the fact that I should have done this or gave them that.
    Keep traps out for beetles, kill beetles, smash beetles, did I say to kill the beetles?
    I know... Read and I am. Just trying to get a better handle on it
    Best wishes,
    Ed

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    Posts
    226

    Default Re: New, a few questions

    Thanks. The Mason jar and feeding, is this a huge issue in Florida or do Bees do pretty well without extra feeding here?

    Also. What months (North Florida) do bees have trouble finding food? We have a lot of red maples around and pine trees. I also live next to wetlands. I know the Pines and Maples seem to release pollen around February (give or take). I think for the majority of the year something is in bloom. Many neighbors have palms and other trees (Fruits etc...) growing. This year was colder than say the past 2 years or so but normal IMO to winters we had when I was a kid or at least maybe I am thrown of by the 30 F temps we just had at the end of March???

    I am in the Spring mode, working in the yard now. I want to plant some stuff so I thought, why not plant things the Bee will like during the time of the year it might be harder for them to find food. So I'm also asking, as above what months is food scarce in Florida and what would be a good plant to have around to feed them? Even in the middle of winter Temps reach 70's easy every other week or so or close to it.

    I have noticed maybe 1 mile or so away someone is keeping bees as they also grow grapes. Not sure if that helps or not lol.

    My other question is, I am getting mixed thoughts when reading. I am told to keep the hive in the sun all day. I have the perfect spot. However another reading tells me Florida heat is an issue and to shade them as well. Florida is a steam bath and in the middle of July/August I don't leave the house if I can help it so I can only imagine what a Hive in full sun must be like? Any thoughts on my best course of action here?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,583

    Default Re: New, a few questions

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...438#post915438

    I just made a post for your question. It does not matter in what month when going thru a dearth. As long as you do succession planting for your bees there should be plenty for all. As a backyard gardener, I focus on the plants and vegetables that both benefit us and the bees. #1 on your list is the golden rods. You should have them everywhere in Florida. The tall and the short one that bloom in the late Fall. Then there are other veggies for them too like artichokes, asters, etc. Also, I don't think the grapes will benefit the bees if they have other more pollen varieties there. So plant something good for the bees too in your garden.
    Ohh, in case you are not sure, put your bee hives in the shade at noon time to avoid the hot heat. Preferable in the early morning that they get the direct sun to heat up their hives faster. So morning sun and afternoon shade. A partial shade area should be best for you.
    Look at the pic of my hives in the partial shade under an apricot fruit tree. Very often in summer is 100F here. They should be good to go. I find it too
    hot even now that my bees would fan their hives instead of going to gather pollen and nectar. Bearding not good that they should be getting some honey for me now.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Posts
    1,620

    Default Re: New, a few questions

    Our summer dearth starts around the first part of June and will run all the way through Sept. Unless you live close to the river or out towards the beach where you will get some flow from the Cabbage Palms in late July and August. We will be starting into the main flow anytime now and will be very strong until the first part of June.

    Grapes provide nothing for the bees. They are wind pollinated.

    Any kind of internal feeder is better than an entrance feeder. They sell new gallon paint cans at Home Depot drill some 1/16th in holes in the lid and turn upside down on the top bars and use an empty hive body to cover it up. That makes a cheap easy feeder or you can do the samething with a mason jar.

    We have a very active bee club that meets the third Monday of the month. They also have a mentoring class the first Saturday of the Month. You can PM me if you want any more info on this.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    Posts
    226

    Default Re: New, a few questions

    Quote Originally Posted by beepro View Post
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...438#post915438


    Ohh, in case you are not sure, put your bee hives in the shade at noon time to avoid the hot heat. Preferable in the early morning that they get the direct sun to heat up their hives faster. So morning sun and afternoon shade. A partial shade area should be best for you.
    This seems to be the most confusing. I was told today to keep them in the sun all day. This keeps the beetle out... But as you noted and as others have said, part shade. I'm not doubting you or the other bee keeper but it does make my head spin lol

    I guess I'm not the only one.

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/arch.../t-233971.html

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    Posts
    226

    Default Re: New, a few questions

    I'm new so I know very little but I have found that imitating what an animal lives in often works. Having said that I have seen a few bee hives in my life and all have been in shaded areas, inside a tree or in an old building, in the ground under cement etc... However I couldn't tell you what the health of the colony was or if it had pests so... I tend to agree with the partial shade.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,583

    Default Re: New, a few questions

    trance, I am new too. But I have been thru many issues and problems within my 8 months of beekeeping. I'm still experimenting right now with them. Because with either luck or good fortune, our beekeeping experiences are very different from one another. We can only share our experiences that we had learned from and went thru with beekeeping. Still, you have to go thru yourself just for the fun of it as well for the experiences. Then the next time when others asked you this question you will be equips with an answer. But this answer is all 100% based on your own experiences despite what others had said. They all had different experiences with answers because beekeeping is location specific as well what pests are in your area. I'll bet if you put your hives next to mine under the partial shade tree with the morning sun, they will do quite well. Now to test this theory, I have 3 hives in the partial shade and 2 hives in the full sun area. The full sun ones tend to fan more while the hives in the shade tend to collect more. The full sun not as active because they are too busy fanning to keep the hive cool. Every afternoon I have to open the top cover to cool them down. Afraid they might get too hot inside to kill the broods. However, the shade hives are more active to forage. This is 70s in the spring time now. Imagine all summer at 100 plus here. I had put 2 hives under a shade tree 100% all summer long last year. Everyday was 100 plus. They produce very well with lots of bees and honey harvest. I had lots of videos to show this set up as well. But the ants got to them all my fault.
    If you have 2 hives then you can experiment for yourself as well. That will convince you which way is better. But if it is a 50/50 chance to gamble, I would put them in the partial shade. IF anything not good for you then at later in the summer you can always put them in full sun. Or the other way around put them in partial shade later on. Nobody said you cannot change the location of your bee hives, right. I even change the location out of the shade and into partial shade that I like better. No matter what anyone else had said, we are the one who's looking after our bees. And nothing can beat our own experiences. This is a fact that nobody can argue about. Go ahead and try then let us know how it goes.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    St. Johns, Florida
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: New, a few questions

    The best response to your questions was the invite to the local bee club. I am a member of the St. Johns county club and it really helped starting out. The answer on diseases is tricky but it seams alot of problems can be traced to mites. Keep the mite numbers down and bee count goes up when the bee count goes up they seem to take care of most other problems on there own. Thats my 2 cents.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    Posts
    226

    Default Re: New, a few questions

    You all make very good points and I enjoy reading them. Thank you.

    @ Richieii Yes, I plan on spending time at the club here in Jax and at some local Hives were they offer classes etc...

    I find myself consumed to gather as much info as I can lol. I wake up and go to bed researching... Notice the time I replied to this post lol. I woke up and went straight to the forums and now off to read more lol.

    Edited: Need to change my time zone... it's really 6:45am

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    1,889

    Default Re: New, a few questions

    Ditto on what richieii said...find some local beeks/clubs to help you get started. If nothing else, to let you see that you really can stick your hands down into a hive of bees and not get stung (most of the time ). But really, having some experienced people to help you will go a long way in smoothing out your learning curve. Also, you will find that the common expressed thought that "beekeeping is local" really does mean something. You can take info and tips from someone across the country from you and many times it will work just fine BUT their seasons are different, their forage are different, climate, pests, etc.,. It's good to know people in your area.

    Apple, peach, pear trees. Blueberries, blackberries... Plants that produce simple flowers rather than complex flowers. Some of the herbs are good...borage, bee balms, cone flowers, etc.,. You can probably find a big list somewhere here on beesource. Just remember that what you plant will be helpful but your bees won't make a honey crop on it...they need a square mile or three...ride around your area and survey what and where they will be foraging on...checking out your stock's grazing area can be fun.

    Personally, I think that an arid "scorched earth" micro-climate around the hive is what tends to discourage shb. A moist, fertile area is attractive to them. I opted for the full sun approach here in south Alabama. I have some deep topsoil where the hives are situated but even being situated between two terraces the soils readily drains. This will be my second summer and I've been blessed so far with what I'm seeing (compared to other people) as very low beetle numbers. Last summer I did cut some cardboard "awnings" and placed on top of the hives to shade the hive sides from the mid/late summer sun....this was after the honey harvest. The biggest problem that I've had has been those little black ants...but my boric acid traps seem to taking care of them...either by distracting them or wiping them out.

    But, you are down in Florida and I'm up hear in Alabama....your needs and experience will most likely be different from mine.

    Ed

    ETA: Yes it *is* addictive...you're a goner.

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