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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Indianapolis IN 46227
    Posts
    285

    Default 100 hives in transition

    I'm going through some pretty severe growing pains. Thought I'd post my plan here and see what feedback I get.

    I brought up a load of bees from Florida a few weeks ago. My first mistake was underestimating how much time it takes to deal with the public buying 100 singles from me one or two at a time, even though deposits were taken beforehand.
    I kept 48 doubles packed with bees. I did walk away splits to get them to outyards quickly and allow me to get the singles sold. My second mistake was underestimating the time it takes to get them to the outyards (which I was still looking for and selecting the best places.
    So the singles are sold, and this incessant rain has let up for a few days, so I finally have a chance to start getting the second hive bodies on. I am seeing a lot of these hives have swarmed. My fault for being old and slow. I am also seeing a lot of queen cells, and a whole lot of hives in transition with no laying queen. Most have evidence of a virgin via newly opened queen cells, and others have lots of queen cells newly capped.
    I am using some of the queen cells to give to hives that I can't confirm a newly hatched queen cell, and others to make nucs since my primary goal this year is to grow my bees.
    I am dipping pierco frames in thick sugar syrup and checkerboarding with drawn comb to make up the double deeps. I am also putting a mann lake frame feeder with cap and ladders in each hive to feed until the combs are mostly drawn out.
    Hind sight is 20/20, so I'm not looking for "should have...." replies, but am very open to "where to go from here" remarks based on personal experience.
    Thanks,
    Don

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,620

    Default Re: 100 hives in transition

    Don: Scatter some hive traps and give them room as quickly as possible. You are really trying to "swim against the current" right now. If it makes you feel any better you have laid out a scenario that happens to even the best migratory beekeeper. It is a very real threat when you, in effect, expose hives to multiple early spring buildup seasons. It's one of the main reasons that we choose to requeen all our hives as soon as they get out of the almonds. Hives are much more reluctant to build swarm cells when there is a newly mated queen in the hive. But your choices, if you dont want to fill any more equipment , at the moment are to just let nature take its course and lose some bees and old queens, or try to wade through them and remove the old queens (difficult to find a shrinking queen in an oversized hive). Best of luck to you. My guess is that many who read of your experiences are envious.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: 100 hives in transition

    For what its worth, if I have to deal with the public like that, I plan a day for all of them. That way each gets a few minutes, but they can see i don't have all day to teach bee secrets....

    Other than that it sounds like you have a reasonable plan.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,859

    Default Re: 100 hives in transition

    Many, many moons ago when I was a waitress they'd call that 'On the Ropes'
    I'm not a drinking woman, but just READING your post makes even me want a snort of something
    Hopefully a few experienced folks near you will offer to give you a hand.
    Sounds like a video longer than three minutes will be in order once you recover and get out of the loony bin...errr...bee yard.

    I feel for you!
    Good luck!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Elkton, Giles, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    1,355

    Default Re: 100 hives in transition

    Checkerboarding foundation and drawn comb for growth will most likely give you more grief than benefit. Colonies typically extend the drawn too fat and the foundation too thin. Makes a mess of things. If you must use foundation, put the drawn together in the middle and the F at the outside.

    Walt

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Indianapolis IN 46227
    Posts
    285

    Default Re: 100 hives in transition

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    If it makes you feel any better you have laid out a scenario that happens to even the best migratory beekeeper.
    Thanks for the reply Jim. I'm over half way through them now and just focusing on spreading resources around. It is ulcer producing to see only 25% of the hives with laying queens, and will be a long few weeks to see brood again. These hives did come out of the almonds via Florida.

    The public delivery issue was partly my fault Charlie. When Bob Harvey told me the bees had reached Florida I jumped in the truck and headed down. Worked out pickup details when I got back, and that was on Easter weekend so lots of folks were busy.

    Lauri, it's what I call Cowboy Beekeeping ;-)

    Walt, the reason I went to checkerboarding was I've noticed bees crosscomb plastic frames more than wax, and am trying to minimize that. I did quit dipping the frames and checkerboarding after the first yard. Just too messy and time consuming. I'll feed and see what they do.

    I did come up with some great yards away from people. That's another goal of mine this year is to get all my bees completely away from people. I'd rather drive an hour than deal with that. Code Enforcement forced me to drop everything and move a yard last week because one neighbor complained. I spoke with the DNR guy who came out, and he said Code Enforcement had called him, and he told them there were no laws or restrictions on where bees could be set. It seems our local government is overstepping bounds, but I'm not up to fighting city hall.

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