2018 journal NW Florida Gulf Coast
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  1. #1
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    Jul 2017
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    Default 2018 journal NW Florida Gulf Coast

    Many of you read that I lost my hives. I have two nucs on order locally and will be putting swarm traps in two locations, more if I can. I'm going to try to keep this post updated in hopes that my mistakes will help someone else succeed.

    My first concern is setting myself up right not this year. I would like to end the yer with 40 pounds of honey and as many hives as I can split out. My goal is 10 at the home location. I currently have drawn comb for 1.5 deep boxes and about 3 mediums. I will be running 10 frame deep with 9 frame mediums over it. I have an addition 100 new frames of ritecell mediums. The nucs are expected to be ready at the end of February, start of March.

    I think one or two of my absconded hives is still in the area. I found bees one a box of frames on my porch and some equipment in the back yard. Hopefully I will catch a swarm. I've put a nuc box with empty comb about 9-10 feet off the ground on an oak branch. The branches around it created an open space of several feet around the box. The box has some lemongrass oil dabbed on the entrance and the back wall. The opening is just a bit smaller than the hole on the disk as the original hole was too low for the disk, but I want to be able to easily close it when moving the box.

    As to bringing in queens for splits, I'm trying to get my hands on some tf queens from Florida.

    How do my more experienced beeks suggest I approach production and splitting this year?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Delhi, New York, USA
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    Default Re: 2018 journal NW Florida Gulf Coast

    First look at some utube videos that are by Jamie Ellis, and in addition to that he will be doing a talk “What is killing our Bees and What We Can do about it” see below:

    The mission of the University of Florida's Honey Bee Research and Extension Laboratory (HBREL) is to improve the health and productivity of honey bee colonies in Florida and globally by investing in research projects focusing on honey bee husbandry, ecology, behavior, biodiversity and conservation.
    Dr. Ellis is the Gahan Associate Professor of Entomology in the Department of Entomology and Nematology at the University of Florida. At the University of Florida, Dr. Ellis has responsibilities in extension, instruction and research related to honey bees. Regarding his extension work, Dr. Ellis created the UF, South Florida, and Caribbean Bee Colleges, and the UF Master Beekeeper Program. As an instructor, Dr. Ellis supervises Ph.D. and masters students in addition to offering an online course in apiculture. Dr. Ellis and his team conduct research projects in the fields of honey bee husbandry, conservation and ecology, and integrated crop pollination.
    ***Members of the Seminole County Beekeepers Association will have reserved seating in the front row.***
    https://www.seminolecountybeekeepers.org/
    https://www.facebook.com/seminolebeekeepers/

    DATE AND TIME

    Wed, February 7, 2018
    7:00 PM – 9:00 PM EST
    Add to Calendar
    LOCATION

    UF/IFAS Extension Seminole County Auditorium
    250 County Home Road
    Sanford, FL 32773
    Bee Thankful Raw Honey, Western Catskill Mountains
    Proverbs 16:24

  4. #3
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    Jul 2017
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    NW Florida
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    Default Re: 2018 journal NW Florida Gulf Coast

    Unfortunately, that is over 7 hours from me. One of the local clubs will have a meeting with speakers about an hour from me at the end of February that I plan to attend. This is my third year. Not a total newb, but obviously making mistakes.

  5. #4
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    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    9,845

    Default Re: 2018 journal NW Florida Gulf Coast

    UF Bee College is coming to you in March.
    Panhandle Bee College

    Friday & Saturday, March 23-24, 2018

    Blountstown High School
    18597 NE SR 69
    Blountstown, FL 32424

    Panhandle Bee College is a two-day event offering training for beekeepers of all experience levels, gardeners, naturalists, county agents, and anyone interested in honey bees! The Friday and Saturday courses cover practical beekeeping skills, honey bee behavior, specialty hive products, and more. There are live honey bee colonies on site for open hive demonstrations and protective gear is available for everyone. Children under 12 are welcome to participate in Jr. Bee College on Saturday and everyone is encouraged to enter honey, hive products, art and more in our Bee College Honey Show.
    http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/honey-bee/...n/bee-college/
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  6. #5
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    Jul 2017
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    NW Florida
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    Default Re: 2018 journal NW Florida Gulf Coast

    That is closer, but still 2.5 hours away. Do you know if anyone will be selling proven treatment free bees?

    My main two thoughts right now regarding the two nucs I will be getting is to either split them both immediatly, or put one in a fully drawn out hive and split the other one. Again, the goal is to get some honey and up to 10 hives by fall.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia
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    821

    Default Re: 2018 journal NW Florida Gulf Coast

    Proven TF queens, the Holy Grail of beekeeping.

    JG, I would let the nucs build for about three weeks and then split them each three ways and install 4 mated queens. Keep building for another two months and split 2 ways and install or raise the 6 queens you need. Then find these TF queens and install them late summer into your booming hives.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  8. #7
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    Jul 2017
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    NW Florida
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    Default Re: 2018 journal NW Florida Gulf Coast

    JW, Do you think I will be able to get any honey harvest doing this?
    So, you suggest putting the two nucs into 10 frames, at start of March, split three way into nuc boxes start of 4th week of March, build up, start of June, split each into two nucs, move to deeps by fall? With none of the hives being stronger than the others, do you think I need robber cages?
    This is the type of planning I'm trying to work out. ty

    Last year I tried to follow others, but ended up always being behind in my timing due to my location. I'm at the southern end of zone 8, top of zone 9.

  9. #8
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    Apr 2017
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    Richmond, Virginia
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    Default Re: 2018 journal NW Florida Gulf Coast

    Sounds about right. Don't forget to feed heavily. I will be doing the same thing but will be about three to four weeks behind you. Zone 7a. Honey production is iffy at best. If the flow is good, you might try supering the nucs. I have about 8 5-frame mediums for this purpose. Maybe get a few frames off of each. Really hard to get honey when you are trying to get new hives. You will probably need the robber screens for the June splits. Your hives may all be weak, but those local bees you saw will be full strength and looking for an opportunity to get stronger. I look forward to reading your journal.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  10. #9
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    Jul 2017
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    NW Florida
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    Default Re: 2018 journal NW Florida Gulf Coast

    Good info JW. Ty I put out a swarm trap in my back yard today and will be putting one next to the national seashore wooded area very soon. Too early to swarm, but I want them in place and worry that I will be too busy teaching at the appropriate time. I'm adding more nucs and robber cases to my building list. There are several houses being built nearby, so I may be able to get a lot of the materials for free. The guys gave me a few 4-5' 2x12 boards that I hope to use to make a book shelf for my classroom. The smaller pieces may be used as hive covers. I had originally thought they were 3/4", but when I looked closer, they are 2" thick. I'm sure there will be plenty of 2x4 to build stands with soon.

  11. #10
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    NW Florida
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    Default Re: 2018 journal NW Florida Gulf Coast

    Weather is in the 60s today. Lots of bees on the old frames. I really hope to catch a swarm from them. Seeing them keeps my spirits up that my colony is somewhere nearby. I'm told swarms should start in about four weeks, so today we worked on building horizontal hive swarm traps. Got everything cut out, but it looks like I need a different router bit before I can assemble. Maybe tomorrow...

  12. #11
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    Apr 2017
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    Richmond, Virginia
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    Default Re: 2018 journal NW Florida Gulf Coast

    JadeG you can cut the entrance with a half inch drill bit and a jig saw too. If you use the router, be sure to use a guide rail. I tried to freehand my first hole and lets just say I'm glad the bees don't care. The frame rests can be cut with the table saw but I've decided the router does a better job and is more square too. Build the cases first and then fit the tops. There is no margin for error as the tops are a tight fit. Thinner is better on the pieces that get ripped from a 2x4. Have fun with the glue and nails!

    20180121_194841.jpg
    Sorry about the sideways picture. Five of the seven I built. Two are hanging in trees now. I need to add a board on the side to hang them on a nail cause they are a PITA to carry up a ladder and ratchet strap to a tree trunk.
    Last edited by JWPalmer; 01-21-2018 at 07:20 PM.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  13. #12
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    Jul 2017
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    NW Florida
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    Default Re: 2018 journal NW Florida Gulf Coast

    Yours look great. I hope to get the frame rests cut today. Thankfully, I bought a nail gun that should hold big enough nails for this job. LOL, I'm sure gluing and nailing will be the highlight of the day. I plan to do it indoors while watching T.V.

    Side note: I noticed yesterday that the blueberries are starting to get ready to bud. This is usually my first sign of spring.

  14. #13
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    Jun 2013
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    Baker, FL
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    Default Re: 2018 journal NW Florida Gulf Coast

    Jadeguppy, what county are you in? I'm in Okaloosa. Tri-County Beekeepers are good source. Last few years, I've had drones in the hives by 2d 3d week in February, so definitely good idea to have the traps out by March. Good luck and good hunting...

  15. #14
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    Default Re: 2018 journal NW Florida Gulf Coast

    [QUOTE=Jadeguppy;1597162]That is closer, but still 2.5 hours away. Do you know if anyone will be selling proven treatment free bees?

    Jade, 2 is well worth the drive to attend this. My husband and I drive 2+ hours to attend SABA conference which Michael Palmer will speak at this year amongst other bee professionals; we learn someth8ng new every time. This year we will drive 3+ hrs to attend the Geneva Bee Conference. I have only been keeping bees 7 years.
    Bee Thankful Raw Honey, Western Catskill Mountains
    Proverbs 16:24

  16. #15
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    NW Florida
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    Default Re: 2018 journal NW Florida Gulf Coast

    Quote Originally Posted by B52EW View Post
    Jadeguppy, what county are you in? I'm in Okaloosa. Tri-County Beekeepers are good source. Last few years, I've had drones in the hives by 2d 3d week in February, so definitely good idea to have the traps out by March. Good luck and good hunting...
    Thanks for the info. I'm south Santa Rosa, Navarre. I bet you have a lot of good forage in Baker.

  17. #16
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    Default Re: 2018 journal NW Florida Gulf Coast

    We put up another swarm trap this weekend. *fingers crossed* a swarm takes a liking to it.

  18. #17
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    Apr 2017
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    Richmond, Virginia
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    Default Re: 2018 journal NW Florida Gulf Coast

    Jade, I'll keep my fingers crossed for you too. I will be setting my traps out first of March although I do not expect any activity until April, but who knows?
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  19. #18
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    Jul 2017
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    NW Florida
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    Default Re: 2018 journal NW Florida Gulf Coast

    I'm so glad I shouldn't have to wait that long. Too impatient.

  20. #19
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    Jun 2015
    Location
    Dothan, Alabama
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    21

    Default Re: 2018 journal NW Florida Gulf Coast

    I plan to put out a couple traps this weekend. I'm not expecting anything until the end of March and into April but it's going to be in the 80's a few days next week. Who knows, maybe I'll get lucky.

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Baker, FL
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    Default

    Boxed my first swarm this afternoon. One of my off property hives that I had left extra honey over winter decided to split...luckily it was spotted and I was able to box it.

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