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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cambridge, MD, USA
    Posts
    110

    Default Best course of action?

    Okay, all 4 of my hives, 2 in double deeps and 2 in single deeps survived the winter and they all seem pretty hardy. I put honey supers on the 2 with double deeps and put the second deeps on the singles about 2 weeks ago. Since the temps were a bit better, I went into the hives yesterday and see they are doing VERY well. They started drawing out comb and filling with honey in the supers; one hive has 2 frames nearly full and about 40% capped. I also put in some Pierco drone frames to help with varroa.

    My questions:

    Varroa frames, once drawn out and capped, I'm assuming I pull them, shake off the bees, put in a zip lock bag and into the freezer when I get home for 2 days+ (will be more like a week as I usually check them on the weekends).

    One of my hives looks like it has several queen cups and a fully capped queen cell, should I get ahead of them and split that hive, taking that frame with the queen cell and checker boarding a fresh deep or will they still swarm at that point no matter what?

    My friend had 2 hives but they absconded, presumably because he left feeders on that fermented and molded. Would it be a good idea to clean out his hives and checker board those? There were no bees at all in those hives, so I don't believe it was disease that got them.

    Thanks,
    Dale

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    Default Re: Best course of action?

    On the hive with one capped queen cell:
    Queen cups mean nothing; I don't have a single hive that doesn't have those. And a single queen cell pretty much NEVER means a swarm is coming. It's almost 100% likely to be either an emergency queen (their queen got hurt/killed) or a supercedure queen; so I'd leave it alone, if it were in my hive.

    Your idea with the varroa frames sounds fine to me.

    On your friend's hives:
    Yes, cleaning them sounds like a good idea.
    I'm not sure what you mean by "checkerboard them" as checkerboarding is a technique used to keep a strong hive from swarming; thus has no application in an empty hive

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cambridge, MD, USA
    Posts
    110

    Default Re: Best course of action?

    ahhh, I re-read some and see that I was indeed incorrect with my terminology using checkerboarding... Wow, can you tell I'm a newibe. LOL

    I think I'll split one of the hives. It's got a LOT of burr comb so I guess I'll pull those frames, clean them up and make another hive.

    Thanks.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Southeast Virginia
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: Best course of action?

    "Varroa frames, once drawn out and capped, I'm assuming I pull them, shake off the bees, put in a zip lock bag and into the freezer when I get home for 2 days+ (will be more like a week as I usually check them on the weekends). "

    What do you do with these frames when they come out of the freezer??? In other words, how do you clean them up? My thought is put them back and let the girls clean them, and the cycle restarts. All I've seen mentioned about cleaning these frames so far is to let your chickens peck at them. I don't have chickens. Folks already think the wife and I are nuts, can't imagine telling my neighbors that were getting chickens to clean the bee equipment. Jar of honey and a tub of fried chicken for all the neighbors at Xmas

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