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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Livingston County, NY
    Posts
    525

    Default What's your plan to rebuild your hive #'s from winter losses?

    Here in NY lost close to 40 hives this winter.

    The only treatment that I practised this year was to mineral oil vaporize. Not sure if I'll do that again, though I am sure that I will not treat w/chems.

    I have plenty of equipment for a cpl hundred 10 frame & a cpl hundred 5 frame colonies.
    I can't say what caused the losses. Some starved (my fault), then many w/plenty of stores.
    Overwintered 5 frame nucs seemed to do better than 10 frame colonies....???

    With a balance of selling bees & honey the goal.

    What's your plan to rebuild your hive #'s from winter losses?

    What precautions to take using equipment from losses?

    What's your advice for treating drawn frames to redeploy?
    Rmns 1:16/Prv.3:5,6/ Beegan BK May 09/ Zone 5b
    I have NOT failed. I have only found many many ways that do not work!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,321

    Default Re: What's your plan to rebuild your hive #'s from winter losses?

    You already know my answer. Raise enough nucs to replace whatever losses you have.

    Sell them?? Why would you sell them. They're worth more in your apiary than in your bank account.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Livingston County, NY
    Posts
    525

    Default Re: What's your plan to rebuild your hive #'s from winter losses?

    Michael, what do you think of spraying a 50/50 bleach solution on drawn frames from dead colonies.
    I don't expect to sell any now....hope to in future.

    What do you think about leaving colonies in 5 frame?

    With the resources I have I hope to raise queens this year.
    Rmns 1:16/Prv.3:5,6/ Beegan BK May 09/ Zone 5b
    I have NOT failed. I have only found many many ways that do not work!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: What's your plan to rebuild your hive #'s from winter losses?

    yes, nuc your hives out, adopt the two queen single hive arrangement and make some honey to boot.

    but more so on your point of losses, you should also adopt a disease monitoring program so that you know whats up in your hives. Lots of mite control options other than chem if you choose, especially if your nucing
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Livingston County, NY
    Posts
    525

    Default Re: What's your plan to rebuild your hive #'s from winter losses?

    Ian,

    If there is ONE (amoungst many) place I need to educate myself @ it would be pest monitoring. I did the vaporizing on all my 10 frames because "can't hurt". maybe I over did it. Having read alot of the posts I would say that I am in the average for losses. I only worked w/a master beekeeper for 2 years till he died, haven't found anyone to take his place. I could use a mentor to help w/post mordem evaluations.

    Would like to hear your mite options.

    "two queen" tell me more! many details please (links). have read some not well versed about it.
    Rmns 1:16/Prv.3:5,6/ Beegan BK May 09/ Zone 5b
    I have NOT failed. I have only found many many ways that do not work!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,701

    Default Re: What's your plan to rebuild your hive #'s from winter losses?

    I was just reading on Bee-l about this FGMO fogging and how it doesnt work. Personally I have never used it, but I think I will stick with traditional tried and true methods.

    Make sure you dont have any foul brood in your used equipment. Other than that split away and get back your Apiary. Feed them light syrup once you start splitting.

    Good luck. Maybe this year isnt the year for selling NUCs. It happens.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: What's your plan to rebuild your hive #'s from winter losses?

    Nucs

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Stillwell, KS
    Posts
    645

    Default Re: What's your plan to rebuild your hive #'s from winter losses?

    Well if you went from 80 to 40 and want to build back up to 80.

    Assuming you can split 1 to 4, you are going to have to sacrifice 15 to 16 production hives out of your 40 survivors to make up nucs.

    I'd do that this year, but I would be making an all out effort to adapt my management so as not to have to incur those type of losses regularly.


    Good luck.

    Don

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    San Mateo, Ca, USA
    Posts
    408

    Default Re: What's your plan to rebuild your hive #'s from winter losses?

    does anyone use the 'bartenders helper' to clean contaminated frames?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,323

    Default Re: What's your plan to rebuild your hive #'s from winter losses?

    I'm with a little bit of O.C.D., so I've been wondering what exactly is being defined as "contaminated frames". Were they sneezed on, coughed on, dropped in the dirt, or what?

    For me frames/honeycombs are already quite fully inoculated with living organisms (parasitic, symbiotic, or probiotic) and many different types, also with chemical contaminants, both natural and artificial, from everywhere the forager bees travel. So, "contaminated" would be an entirely subjective, and not generically easily defined concept.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,636

    Default Re: What's your plan to rebuild your hive #'s from winter losses?

    Overwintered 5 frame nucs seemed to do better than 10 frame colonies....?
    No, the stronger the bee population the better for them to grow and cover their
    broods. The concentration of bees is better than the amount of frame space in a colony.
    Too much empty space will have other issue like pests, etc. But if you have 10 frame all covered with bees then it is fine too. Five frame is better to concentrate the bees to keep warm and better to defend the hive.

    What's your plan to rebuild your hive #'s from winter losses? My plan is to raise my own queen using the OTS notching method. I have gentle queen so want to keep those gentle genetic here. And then make splits in proportion to the number of queens that hatched. They will be in nucs because of number of reasons for better management.

    What precautions to take using equipment from losses? Diseases are a major concern because you never know what cause the losses in the first place. Only safe after testing had been done to make sure. So proceed with caution here!

    What's your advice for treating drawn frames to redeploy? This depends on what is the issue/problem at hand. If no issue then can reuse as is. If problem found then rather not use them if the problem is unknown. Make sense to not recontaminate the existing new hive. At least, I think the wooden ware can be recycle if disinfected first. Plastic wooden ware I am not sure.

    I have not use bleach on the combs yet. But thinking it is too much chemical use inside the hive already. And not sure if
    bleach in whatever concentration can kill off any diseases that your hive equipment have.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Benton, KY
    Posts
    110

    Default Re: What's your plan to rebuild your hive #'s from winter losses?

    Slight variation of the topic. What would be the fewest number of frames you would use to make nucs to rebuild from winter losses? Or variation would be fewest number of bees to make a nuc?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,833

    Default Re: What's your plan to rebuild your hive #'s from winter losses?

    lakebilly, I think you probably know you need to get better at figuring out what caused your winter losses before you put hundreds of colonies back in operation. Sounds to me like mite infestation is what led to the demise of your colonies, a few may have actually starved out from no food, but I'll bet the majority of them took a hit from the mites late in the fall/early winter when brood rearing stopped and the mites all jumped on the adult bees and the rest is history. I had mite losses too as I don't treat, I plan on making lots of splits this year and doing some kind of treatments for the first time. John

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,636

    Default Re: What's your plan to rebuild your hive #'s from winter losses?

    When the flow is on, at least 3 frames with the bees attached. Though I have tried one frame but have to baby sit all winter into early spring. One brood, one pollen/honey, one frame full of bees. Put the brood frame in the middle. Make the air space small so they can be close together. Again, the strength and the concentration of bees is critical to make a successful nuc. Then supplement feed syrup/honey and patty until the population is self sufficient. So far so good with a good queen I can make
    4 nucs from one strong hive.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    San Mateo, Ca, USA
    Posts
    408

    Default Re: What's your plan to rebuild your hive #'s from winter losses?

    my definition of Contaminated frames = vermin getting into them (rodents/ raccoons / etc) possibly leaving fecal matter in the frames or a hive w/ dead brood killed by virus / bacteria / fungal infestation

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Clemens View Post
    I'm with a little bit of O.C.D., so I've been wondering what exactly is being defined as "contaminated frames". Were they sneezed on, coughed on, dropped in the dirt, or what?

    For me frames/honeycombs are already quite fully inoculated with living organisms (parasitic, symbiotic, or probiotic) and many different types, also with chemical contaminants, both natural and artificial, from everywhere the forager bees travel. So, "contaminated" would be an entirely subjective, and not generically easily defined concept.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    barry co., Michigan
    Posts
    311

    Default Re: What's your plan to rebuild your hive #'s from winter losses?

    I am getting many packages early but will have requeened every package with northern adapted or my survivor stock by july 15. I dont plan on taking any of the package queens into the winter. I may try them in nucs but we'll see how the year goes

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,833

    Default Re: What's your plan to rebuild your hive #'s from winter losses?

    Southern raised queens are not as bad at northern wintering as many people want to think, I have used southern packages and queens for years and have had some very hardy queens and their offspring that have gone through many nasty northern winters just fine. There are some good and bad queens no matter where they are raised, and honestly I don't understand how northern raised queens can be superior at wintering over a southern queen, doesn't that trait have to be genetically inherited. Sorry for going off track a bit here. John

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,887

    Default Re: What's your plan to rebuild your hive #'s from winter losses?

    I would just reuse the equipment. I would do cut down splits just before the flow, so I still have a good shot at a honey crop.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beessplits.htm#cutdown
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Livingston County, NY
    Posts
    525

    Default Re: What's your plan to rebuild your hive #'s from winter losses?

    Having lots of stores left made me thinking that it was probably mites. I don't see any & I mineral oil misted them in Aug. I found 3-4...looking starved. I had a very short window to inspect. I was more interested in finding live colonies & making sure they had stores. It was about 40+degrees & late in the afternoon.
    Catching swarms, some splits, raising queens (1st yr) will be my approach.

    Two queen colony is what I am researching. I am seeing folks saying you get twice as much this or that from a 2 qn....uh, not sure how that is better. I would think that 51%+ would make it 'better'. I have lots of eq; supers, mating nucs, etc. & 3/55gallon drums of sugar....no $.
    so 17-20 10 frame colonies & 10 overwintered nucs will(hopefully) be my starting point.
    I will scorch woodenware & redeploy drawn frames. I appreciate all your input thanx.
    Rmns 1:16/Prv.3:5,6/ Beegan BK May 09/ Zone 5b
    I have NOT failed. I have only found many many ways that do not work!

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,701

    Default Re: What's your plan to rebuild your hive #'s from winter losses?

    Why would you scorch the woodware and reuse the drawn frames?

    If the drawn frames are free from foulbrood are the boxes contaminated with it?

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