squarepeg 2015-2018 treatment free experience - Page 74
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  1. #1461
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    8,443

    Default Re: squarepeg 2015-2018 treatment free experience

    gww is correct in that i have been keeping the empty supers on top of the hives. i do this primarily because i don't want them taking up space in my garage and i feel the bees can do a better job protecting them than i can.

    i do have concerns that i am pushing the envelope to some degree. most of my single deeps are now wintering with 4 supers, and i have 3 double deeps with 3 supers each on them.

    that's a lot of space to protect given that colony size at this time of year is typically 2 to 4 deep frames of bees. but so far no issues that i can tell.

    i have a beetle blaster trap in every box and styrofoam insulation between the inner cover and telescoping top. there is about a super and a half of honey on average in each hive, mostly in the lower supers.

    i'll likely be doing the first inspections and checkerboarding the supers in about 2 - 3 weeks.

    i'm going to give some thought on how to store supers inside going forward. i don't want to use moth crystals. a huge walk in freezer would be nice but that's not likely to happen. i've also heard about folks storing frames outside in the open underneath a lean to but have no experience with that.

    i'm going to research using some kind of mosquito netting. i'm thinking first a few nights in the freezer and then a good wrap of netting might do the trick, especially if there is netting a wax moth can't chew through.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

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  3. #1462
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Canterbry, UK
    Posts
    2,331

    Default Re: squarepeg 2015-2018 treatment free experience

    Hi Squarepeg,

    I don't have problems with bugs in my supers as long as I take most of the lined cell frames out. I'm toying with the idea of going over to queen excluders to keep the upper stories clean, and using CO2 or another gas to do the bugs in. This would involve plastic wrapping of the stacks, and an intermittent gas feed.

    Mike
    The race isn't always to the swift, nor the fight to the strong, but that's the way to bet

  4. #1463
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: squarepeg 2015-2018 treatment free experience

    Squarepeg -

    Thanks for this great thread. Iíve read it from start to current and have learned a lot. I checkerboarded my hives early this month based on what I learned here and am looking forward to seeing how that experiment helps with swarming this year.

    Iím curious to your use of of the single deep for your winter cluster and early brood. Do you see that size as integral to the way you manage or is it just economics or tradition? You mentioned pyramiding the brood nest up when needed - is that exchange only within your medium supers or do you also pull deep frames up and let them overhang into the deep box?

    Iím currently running all mediums for interchangeability but my winter cluster tends to be very small and Iím wondering if that would change with a larger frame size (other factors could be the tendencies of the bees Iím running or my mismanagement). I know hive box size can be a tedious debate, but I would like to know why you use that configuration..

    Thanks again!

    PS. If Waltís "nectar management, principles and practicesĒ manuscript surfaces, Iíd like to read it. His articles here on beesource are on my list to read as well.

  5. #1464
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    8,443

    Default Re: squarepeg 2015-2018 treatment free experience

    mike, good to hear from you. your idea has merit and i'm adding to my list of considerations. many thanks.


    sans, welcome to to the thread. it's gratifying to know that the information here is useful to others. i hope you'll keep us updated on how the checkerboarding works for you.

    the use of a bottom deep was by tradition as that's what everyone else was using around here when i started. i don't see why you shouldn't see similar results running all mediums. are you using 8 or 10 frame boxes?

    i don't pull up deep frames and let them hang into the deep.

    pyramiding typically involves moving one frame of brood up to the next super and flanking it with drawn comb on both sides, and flanking those frames of empty comb with frames containing beebread and/or open honey if available.

    i'll do this when i get 5 frames of brood in the super housing the top of the broodnest. i replace the one frame of brood i pyramid up with a frame of empty comb, (preferably one that has already had brood in it), and put that empty frame in the middle flanking it with 2 frames of brood on both sides.

    there are some variations to that manipulation that i'll do depending on what i find going on exactly. the goal is to get the brood nest to occupy the middle five frames of 4 supers, after which the queen can be moved down to the now empty deep below an excluder, (or a couple of empty mediums instead).

    with regard to walt's manuscript i am in communication with his family and we hope to have it available here on beesource on his 'point of view' page soon.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  6. #1465
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    8,443

    Default Re: squarepeg 2015-2018 treatment free experience

    we've had a few really nice days lately with the temps approaching 70 and enough break from the rain for the bees to tank up on the first tree pollens. most of what has come in is from what i believe to be winged elm, and the first red maples look like they may be opening up at the top.

    i used the remaining honey brought in from dead outs to checkerboard 8 supers and gave them the 4 overwintered nucs i acquired from a friend a couple of weeks ago. i'm seeing pollen going in to all 20 hives and there's no robbing going on. i'm optimistic that all may be queenright and brooding.

    my strongest colony (based on cluster roar and entrance activity) is a four winter survivor and it had a large orientation flight today which is the first one i've seen this year. that colony most likely started brooding several weeks ago. this one has been stubborn when it comes to swarm prevention these past 2 years making it necessary for me cull swarms cells twice both seasons in order to change its mind.

    if it weren't for the swarm tendency i would consider grafting from that one because it's been a good survivor, an upper tier honey producer, and it consistently comes out of winter strong. instead i'll split the queen out as soon as drones are flying to start a new colony and let the parent requeen itself. perhaps future queen daughters won't be as stubborn.

    i'll be doing my first inspections in another week or two along with reversals and checkerboarding as needed. i'm so glad that we are finally turning the corner here, it's been a long winter.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  7. #1466
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    North Okanagan BC Canada
    Posts
    261

    Default Re: squarepeg 2015-2018 treatment free experience

    I just cam in from plowing the driveway, We have another 8 inches arrived yesterday. About 30 inches on the level. And no warming till the first of March. Its nice to warm by the fire and read your journal and think we can not be far behind.
    Its been a long winter here too!

  8. #1467
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Germany, BW
    Posts
    1,934

    Default Re: squarepeg 2015-2018 treatment free experience

    Good wishes for a successful season for you
    Sibylle
    zone 8a, sc, dadant square, wax comb, tf, 4 years beekeeping
    www.vivabiene.de

  9. #1468
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Alabama
    Posts
    2,840

    Default Re: squarepeg 2015-2018 treatment free experience

    The bees were collecting very large amounts of pollen yesterday. I need to do a quick check to see that all have enough honey to make it through to fruit bloom in 2 or 3 weeks.
    NW Alabama, 49 years, 22 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

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