Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 35
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,677

    Default I'm exausted, sticky & dirty. I have a question about large hives and upcoming dearth

    As I progress from a new beekeeper to more experienced one, my hives have also become more established. After two years of feeding young hives heavily, I didn't have to feed at all this spring. I fully expected to have to buy sugar and was pleasantly surprised to see they were almost totally self sufficient. We had mild spring temps and good rain fall all spring. Large hives grew quickly and put up a large amount of honey. Smaller colonies and overwintered nucs wouldn't take up syrup, but didn't grow much early on or store much feed but maintained colony strength and size until the main flow. They are now also almost too big to handle.

    I am now at the tail end of my main flow and wonder how these hives will respond to the upcoming dearth.
    Nucs and mating nucs will need to be supplemented somewhat to keep them growing to overwintering strength.

    Large 10 frame hives, many are four or five high deeps, are simply dripping with honey. Some backfilling quite substantially, but no swarm cells. Seems like they are already suppressing the queen's laying to reduce the numbers in the hive for the upcoming dearth. They have all been managed aggressively with checkerboarding and have shown no swarming behavior. They have drawn out hundreds of new frames and foundation perfectly. And that's part of my question.

    Although I just put together 300 more new deep frames, I am running low again already. Most hives have plenty of room, but will these big hives continue to bring in and draw out frames much after the main flow? I know there is no way anyone could know that, but compared to smaller hives with fewer foragers, what can I expect from these established hives?
    One thing I do know. I love Apivar. These huge hives have no mite load to cause them to crash after the flow. They are clean as a whistle.




    Half sized deep frame for mating nucs







    These two hives were 2012 overwintered July virgin mating nucs in a five frame over five.
    All the large hives have had frames taken from them to make spring nucs and are still robust.



    Mated queens, virgins and queen cells available for local pick up only-no shipping yet. By next year I should have the resources to make my mating nucs early enough to be able to ship queens. My Northern season is short though. Don't count on me for early splits or queenless emergency's before mid June.

    I am not a business and do not have any help or employees. I raise a few extra queens to help with expenses at this point. Seems like it it working good for me though I am already looking forward to next year to put in place things I have learned this season.


    More photos and info if you are interested.
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mille...56954971040510
    Last edited by Lauri; 07-14-2013 at 07:01 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Ash Grove MO. USA.
    Posts
    535

    Default Re: I'm exausted, sticky & dirty. I have a question about large hives and upcoming de

    Once in a dearth my Russian / feral mutts really cut back on the brood. Since I do crush and strain I can't get much comb built either no matter how strong the hive is.
    Looks like your operation is doing good.
    I'm an avid Elk hunter so I really enjoyed your Facebook pics, thanks.
    Woody

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,677

    Default Re: I'm exausted, sticky & dirty. I have a question about large hives and upcoming de

    Thanks Woody. Fall is coming fast! That reminds me I'd better get going around the block and get my hunting legs tuned up. I'm on my feet all day, but working around the yard is not like hiking at 8000 feet carrying all your hunting gear.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,660

    Default Re: I'm exausted, sticky & dirty. I have a question about large hives and upcoming de

    Large 10 frame hives, many are four or five high deeps, are simply dripping with honey.
    Wow! The thought of that makes me feel exhausted and sticky...

    Do you have some honey that can/will be harvested, or is it all for the bees?
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,645

    Default Re: I'm exausted, sticky & dirty. I have a question about large hives and upcoming de

    awesome lauri!

    without supplemental feeding comb drawing stops here with the end of main flow and doesn't start back until almost swarm season next spring.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    New York City, NY
    Posts
    4,317

    Default Re: I'm exausted, sticky & dirty. I have a question about large hives and upcoming de

    Lauri:

    How much honey have you extracted overall?

    That might help with paying for new frames.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,677

    Default Re: I'm exausted, sticky & dirty. I have a question about large hives and upcoming de

    Yes, I the honey is still all for the bees. I'll be taking some off and storing it just so I can get into the hives regularly. I'll replace frames of honey in hives that need it in the fall and spring.

    I bought a pallet of sugar from Costco last year. Not having to buy sugar is a big achievement and one I did not expect to achieve this year. My focus has been increasing my numbers and raising queens. Honey harvest is last on my list. I'll have a surplus at some point, probably next year.
    I'll have to figure out what to do with it then.
    It's kind of funny, I've been so busy building equipment, keeping bees alive and thriving and raising queens, big fat heavy frames of capped honey almost surprise me. LOL, what a bonus!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    764

    Default Re: I'm exausted, sticky & dirty. I have a question about large hives and upcoming de

    If I had the freezer space, I would store honey frames for later on. I did that through the season and have now put whatever I had on the 2nd story of my overwintered nucs. Here the main flow is long over although with all of the rain one can hope we don't have a terrible dearth later on but who knows. With the nucs, I start out feeding them, but then stop for a few weeks/ month or more as I don't want the overwintered nucs to overbuild. So just something to consider with the nucs if you are raising them.

    Not knowing your flow or conditions- but it seems like in most areas, once the nectar flow stops, colonies will start to eat a lot of honey raising bees, and raising the winter bees so feeding becomes necessary again in August or September. I run 2D and 1 M full size colonies and I find that it helps me give them the honey they need for winter. This Spring, so cold as it was, that extra M saved a few from starvation in fact.

    Personally, I think 3 deeps is the absolute most you would want to put through winter. Not sure why- and too late for me to remember why, but too large can be problematic. Also I have seen colonies build comb in the dearths, but it is a much much slower process, even if you feed, feed, feed.

    Here, mites are just now building up. I have seen incredibly low mite counts in July and even August skyrocket in September, so be careful there. I assume you treated in early Spring, if you used Apivar with 6 week window before super?
    karla

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    New York City, NY
    Posts
    4,317

    Default Re: I'm exausted, sticky & dirty. I have a question about large hives and upcoming de

    Right.

    But it does mean that you not only have to store that honey somewhere, but you also need new woodenware and frames to replace them.

    Honeystores, and drawn frames, are a valuable resource. However, it does sound like you have a logistical problem.

    For example, instead of 2 deeps, and 3 supers, you'll need alot more supers.

    Then, of course, as you make increases, you'll need more hive bodies.

    My feeling is this: you'll have to get the 'sales' timing right to fund your growth.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,099

    Thumbs Up Re: I'm exausted, sticky & dirty. I have a question about large hives and upcoming de

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfer View Post
    I'm an avid Elk hunter so I really enjoyed your Facebook pics, thanks.
    Woody
    Funny how a beekeeper tends toward certain activities...... I have a brother in Wyoming who works with his son as an Outfitter near Jackson Hole. He guides for just about everything, even buffalo. I haven't shot an elk for forty years -got two spike bulls on my last elk hunt, each dressed about 260 at the meat packer. I'd need help getting the carcass out to civilization today at my age.

    Always read and enjoy your posts Lauri, thanks for keeping us in the loop!
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,677

    Default Re: I'm exausted, sticky & dirty. I have a question about large hives and upcoming de

    We just happened to get a 12' x 20' walk in freezer installed, up and running recently. The shell was salvaged from a job site, but the freezer unit had to be replaced and we also bought a floor for it. It is done though and will come in handy for freezing honey on the frame for later use.

    I've been running only deep frames so I can make nucs and exchange frames anywhere.

    I am getting too old for much packing meat out on my back anymore..I have critters that do it for me now.


  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,099

    Default Re: I'm exausted, sticky & dirty. I have a question about large hives and upcoming de

    The only way to fly! Good going Lauri!
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Posts
    303

    Default Re: I'm exausted, sticky & dirty. I have a question about large hives and upcoming de

    Gotta +1 this. Nice.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,925

    Default Re: I'm exausted, sticky & dirty. I have a question about large hives and upcoming de

    I went to harvest honey from one of my strongest today, I got two frames, they had 11 last time I checked but I guess the flow was coming to an end and it seems to be feast or famine up there.... I left them a few frames but will probably have to feed but I can't complain, the hive was full of bees in 3 deeps and a medium.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,677

    Default Re: I'm exausted, sticky & dirty. I have a question about large hives and upcoming de

    It's that Feast or Famine that worries me. I haven't had bees long enough to know if this nectar flow, which started lightly in early March is normal for my area or it is just a good year. 17 days with no rain, Dry weather is forecast. Will it shut off quickly or trickle down?
    I'd break these large hives apart somewhat and manage them that way into fall as medium sized colonies, but I am well over 100 hives already.
    I don't think anyone is going to want to buy nucs this late in the summer and truthfully, I really don't want to sell any bees yet after working long hours to get to this point.
    I am just trying to anticipate what I will need and be prepared for the next few weeks.

    I've been assembling a lot of 8 frame deeps..I love them. Not too big, not too small. My nucs started in June as three deep frames and a one gallon interior feeder have already grown to about five over five with enough capped brood to make them a priority to get them in two 8 frame deeps pretty soon.



    That frees up my five frame nuc equipment if I am bold enough to make more. I will make them five frames with a mated queen now, instead of three frames and a virgin.

    I really found a cool way to split up a big hive and really make it perform. I move the entire hive to my work bench, leaving the original queen in the old location. I give her three frames of open brood and eggs..all other frames are brand spankin' new. All the foragers fly back to this location and man, do they grab a gear getting the new frames drawn out in just a few days. I also give them a feeder with syrup, even though the flow is still going. Protein patty too.
    The remaining hive is left queenless for two or three days. All eggs are ether hatched or gone by then, queen cells they make are easy to spot and remove. By then, They are very receptive to a new queen. I remove the wild cells, make up the nuc and insert the virgin or mated queen all at once. I don't have to move them to another location miles away or confine them, they are done flying back to the old hive and will remain where I put them. It works like a charm. Even the old queens grab a gear and lays up the newly drawn frames quickly. I am making the older foragers that brought in all the recourses during the flow do one last chore. Before they die, they rear one last new fresh batch of brood to carry on into fall. The hive essentially goes through a brood break and mites are impacted in a negative way. Normally this hive would reduce the broodnest after the flow. This way, a new broodnest is formed, but the hive numbers are still reduced by the older foragers eventually perishing. I can feed them or just give them frames back from the hive after they are done drawing out the new frames. If I was smart, I would put in a capped queen cell after the old queen had laid up most of the frames and let them supercede her. Most of my queens are 2012 overwintered models.

    I started doing this when I had a hard time breaking up large hives that were on the mini frames. The were doing so well I hated to break them up into mating nucs. I kept telling myself that was what they were for ! So I left the original queen and a full bottom box of brood and stores-took the rest. But I noticed how the foragers grabbed a gear and I started leaving less and less drawn frames-more and more new frames every time I broke one up. They drew out new frames like a swarm.

    So this leaves me a bunch of nucs with young bees and brood without many foragers. But if the flow is over and there is nothing to bring in, who needs them, really?
    I will obviously have to feed to keep them from consuming all their stores. It is another experiment I am having good results with so far. I've not done this to many hives though. We'll see how it goes with a few that needed to be broken up.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    764

    Default Re: I'm exausted, sticky & dirty. I have a question about large hives and upcoming de

    I can't process your whole equation right now, but one thing I have learned in my brief beekeeping career (6 or 7 years) is that if you are successful growing bees, which it sounds like you are- then if you don't sell or give away bees, you will continue to exponentially expand the number of colonies you have. That is one option. Another is to sell bees. I often don't want to sell the bees (well really the queens...) I have nursed and brought to life- but I do. And I make lots of folks happy when I do that. This year I sold a few late season nucs. not to brand newbees, but to existing beekeepers with comb. In other years, known queen producers in this area have sold late season nucs to folks- as they were in perfect shape to be overwintered. So just a consideration. Another is to make all of your nucs 2 stories for winter. I like that method well- gives them more food for winter and more room in Spring.

    Most of us in my area are backyard beeks... this is the first year ever I actually did move a nuc more than 3 miles away. might not be the best practice but we have been making nucs in the same yard for years. It works if you think it through right.
    karla

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Jacksonville, NC
    Posts
    218

    Default Re: I'm exausted, sticky & dirty. I have a question about large hives and upcoming de

    Quote Originally Posted by Lauri View Post

    I really found a cool way to split up a big hive and really make it perform. I move the entire hive to my work bench, leaving the original queen in the old location. I give her three frames of open brood and eggs..all other frames are brand spankin' new. All the foragers fly back to this location and man, do they grab a gear getting the new frames drawn out in just a few days. I also give them a feeder with syrup, even though the flow is still going. Protein patty too.
    The remaining hive is left queenless for two or three days. All eggs are ether hatched or gone by then, queen cells they make are easy to spot and remove. By then, They are very receptive to a new queen. I remove the wild cells, make up the nuc and insert the virgin or mated queen all at once. I don't have to move them to another location miles away or confine them, they are done flying back to the old hive and will remain where I put them. It works like a charm. Even the old queens grab a gear and lays up the newly drawn frames quickly. I am making the older foragers that brought in all the recourses during the flow do one last chore. Before they die, they rear one last new fresh batch of brood to carry on into fall. The hive essentially goes through a brood break and mites are impacted in a negative way. Normally this hive would reduce the broodnest after the flow. This way, a new broodnest is formed, but the hive numbers are still reduced by the older foragers eventually perishing. I can feed them or just give them frames back from the hive after they are done drawing out the new frames. If I was smart, I would put in a capped queen cell after the old queen had laid up most of the frames and let them supercede her. Most of my queens are 2012 overwintered models.
    Great post and great pictures! Lauri, the hunter goddess, warrior...

    He, he...I am doing the same thing. Started with about 10 hives, that just like yours are just monsters full of honey and bees. The only difference, some have 2013 spring queens. Still about 60-70 hives to go before the end of July, beginning of August, to nuc out and requeen. Also, I sold some of these nucs. Some I will take through the winter.
    Been grafting with really pleasing results, and I have a bunch of cells that will help me do what you just described in the last paragraph, trying to initiate supersedure. I will do that on some...see if it goes consistently. I did it in May, and it worked just fine. A few nucs though, have kept the new and the old queen laying side by side. Those I split again, and both mom and daughter are leading very thriving nucs.
    I did take some honey off, so all those frames are back in use...
    But just like you mention...I am running out of time...space...and equipment. I have only been selecting my breeders based on the last year performance/wintering ability. Narrowed those to about 4 lines which I have been grafting from. My next step is to run a liquid nitrogen kill brood test on those daughters hives and see how they clean up. My AI/II set up is ready...got enough virgins that I've been practicing on...it works. That will help me shortcut the process of getting my drone mothers selected for next year...I just wish there were 48 hours in a day...

    On your question in the first post...if stronger hive will continue drawing...I am also at the tail end of the flow. Some of my cell builders/finishers that I gave them a break, are still drawing on wax foundation like crazy. I forgot to plug the space taken by the grafts with frames, and they went to town drawing brand new wax attached to the inner cover. So...I said, OK, here is some work for you ladies. Gave them frames of foundation and they still draw the beautifully. Now, these are 3 deeps, full of bees with 2103 laying machine mommas...interesting, because my production hives that I took honey from, although very populous, are not wanting to draw.
    And yes, I tried to feed both, 1:1...but only my cell builders/finishers are still drawing.

    Again, great work lady!...Keep it up!

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    New York City, NY
    Posts
    4,317

    Default Re: I'm exausted, sticky & dirty. I have a question about large hives and upcoming de

    We've had a late spring here.

    We've had enough rain to keep the flow going. This week might be the point where temperatures top the mid 90's for 4 or 5 days, and the queens shut down, and the flow dips to a trickle.

    However, I can't be sure since more rain is forecast for late this week.

    I have enough equipment to handle any overproduction issues, so I just have to keep an eyeball on things.

    If I was in your situation, with the way your operation is set up, I would seriously consider making as many nucs as possible, with my own queens, for overwintering.

    I would try to sell them ASAP. Someone who pollinates in California might be interested in them by Nov/Dec. .

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,677

    Default Re: I'm exausted, sticky & dirty. I have a question about large hives and upcoming de

    Thanks for the comments and tips!
    It is only some of the very large hives that still have 2012 queens-all others have 2013 queens. I agree that initiating a supercedure is a good idea..Now is about the time for that.

    I had great luck overwintering five over five last year. Plan to do the same this year. In fact I had planned to break up all my large hives so I could get in them more easily to treat for mites and make fall prep. But with Apiver available now, I am not being forced to do that.
    My spring treatment was May 1st. I'll do a fall treatment as well on hives that have not had a brood break.

    I'll eventually Get the word out I have some for sale or will at some point.
    I'll update what I decide to do in a few weeks.
    Thanks again,
    Lauri

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Campbell River, BC, CA
    Posts
    530

    Default Re: I'm exausted, sticky & dirty. I have a question about large hives and upcoming de

    Quote Originally Posted by Lauri View Post
    I am getting too old for much packing meat out on my back anymore..
    Doesn't look a day over 20 in that photo

    I thought your area would be a lot like it is around us. No need to go trapesing thru the bush to find critters like that, just sit out on the back deck and watch the garden. They will show up. Before we moved last month, at the old place in a residential area, deer ate my wife's garden every time we left town for a couple days, even with a 5 foot fence. We are in the process of buying a new place now that we have moved up island, 2 acres a little out of town. I've already seen the deer there, and, am quite confident that elk will show up at the garden buffet with some regularity.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads