Today in the Apiary - Page 101
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  1. #2001
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    Nov 2017
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    Nashua, NH, USA
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    31

    Default Re: Today in the Apiary

    Gave my bees fondant to eat since it has been so cold here. Instead of eating it they glued it to the top of the frames with wax and propolis.

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  3. #2002
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    Apr 2017
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    Aylett, Virginia
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    Default Re: Today in the Apiary

    It has been 3 days since I made my two walk away splits from my #2 hive so I wanted to see if they were making replacement queens. The good news is that both queenless hives have multiple qc's started and for the first time ever I saw this hive's queen. The bad news that she was in one of the nucs. Oops. Went ahead and gave everyone syrup. This weekend I will take one of the frames with qc's from the main hive and make a third split.
    Last edited by JWPalmer; 04-03-2018 at 05:41 PM.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  4. #2003
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    Mar 2015
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    Decorah, Iowa USA
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    189

    Default Re: Today in the Apiary

    Two foot drifts outside my door. High today of 25 F . Bees are eating 50/50 pollen - sugar patties. Better warm up soon. They're going to have trouble covering brood shortly. Supposed to be in the 50's mid week. Hope so.

  5. #2004
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
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    St. Stephen, N.B. Canada
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    266

    Default Re: Today in the Apiary

    And I though the drama was over.
    Frost was heaving one of my stands so I jacked it up yesterday and blocked and leveled. There are 5 hives on this particular stand and the floor jack made short work of it. Loaded everything in the cart and heard a crash behind me. In one spot the stand had spread and a hive fell in between supports.
    It was at about a 30 degree angle towards the back. The bottom board had separated but some how 2 brood and one honey super remained together. Roofing felt wrapping???? The top, vent box, insulation box and feed box all flew off. I ran around behind the stand and saw a few hundred eyes giving me an uncomfortable look. One went on the attack and I was able to support the hive and reached for the insulation box(2 inch Styrofoam) I covered the top and the bees voiced their opinion through the feed jar opening. I placed the plug back in that hole and looked around. Sun was out and there was a cold wind. Couldn't move without losing the one thing that was keeping them in, the insulation box. Wife was out so I slid my phone out and requested her presence. She arrived with a few choice words for me...... but then with a few screws and my drill we were able to lock the boxes together.
    However, the bottom board was off the cold wind was blowing right up inside the boxes. Got a second bottom board from the greenhouse and found a 2 ft sq piece of plywood. Screwed the plywood to the stand so it could not spread any more. It also provided a flat space to place the boxes. After a few try's was able to get the stack of boxes level and lifted one corner up on the plywood. I walked it sideways onto the plywood just as a small wave came from under bottom deep. I let then calm down for a few min but did manage to get one bee up a sleeve. In the end he didn't make it but left me a small reminder of her visit. After a short time I tilted the hive ahead and walked it onto a new bottom board. Will they make it...not sure. There was at least a one inch thick stack of dead winter bees on the old bottom board. They now have no mountain camp, pollen patty nor an upper entrance. No entrance should have helped them recover their warmth fairly quickly. They had plenty of honey so will wait a few days to remove the screws and restructure the upper component's along with adding some feed.
    This was last years nasty hive and I was going to requeen. Now it's a waiting game for a warm day to assess to see if there will be something to requeen.
    That is the second hive that has fallen over because of frost heaves. That one died within a few days. Straps didn't help.
    No 60's forecasted here until May.
    On the border near 04619
    Zone 5B @ 29m

  6. #2005
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    Apr 2017
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    Aylett, Virginia
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    3,718

    Default Re: Today in the Apiary

    Feeling for ya. So this summer's project is to get the hive stand supports down below the frost line? My supports are 4x4s on stacked cinder blocks. They moved this winter also and I ended up shiming the front of the two hives on this stand. My summer project is building several more permanent stands, but my frost line is only 18", not 4'-6'!
    Last edited by JWPalmer; 04-07-2018 at 04:01 PM. Reason: Accuracy of frost line info.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  7. #2006
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    Aug 2016
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    St. Stephen, N.B. Canada
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    266

    Default Re: Today in the Apiary

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    Feeling for ya. So this summer's project is to get the hive stand supports down below the frost line? My supports are 4x4s on stacked cinder blocks. They moved this winter also and I ended up shiming the front of the two hives on this stand. My summer project is building several more permanent stands, but my frost line is only 18", not 4'-6'!

    I've got 2*4 frames on stacked cinder blocks. They heaved. I shimmed and all was well. Then the one on the end wasn't. That was the first hive I lost. This one was on a 2*4 frame sitting in dodo's in 4*4 legs. The legs are sitting on cement pads with insulation under them. Suppose to stop ground from having a mind of it's own. Didn't use lags/just 4 inch screws. after 3 winters they pulled right out of the wood. So maybe lags and salt may be my new friends.
    Had planned on doing an entire rework this spring. Well still plan. I had 16 hives along the fence line on my back lawn so didn't want pallets. To easy for the skunks. These stands are a bit over 12 inches high so only once have the skunks tried for a smoothie.
    I wish 3-4 feet. I may be in zone 5b but have decks on 6 foot bigfoot sauna tubes that move. The old timers had it right. Drive a piece of pipe down 6-8 feet. shove a rod down the center with a threaded nut on one end. Set a metal plate on top and build what you will with zero movement.
    So next year will be more of the same. I can shim. Last few years it has worked...no problem. This year it's weather, screws and wood. I plan on fixing that problem but the frost....6 feet deep might work 1 year but not the next. Lot of work and no assurances.
    My hives face south with a north side fence. When the sun warms up it thaws the ground out in front of the hives. They lean forward. However, the backside is in their shade so the ground stays hard. So I know the mechanics of the situation just need stronger frames for when I make the correction.
    There are other hives around on the same stands I have. most of theirs never move. Our house is on Spring St. and it is aptly named. There are several underground streams on my back lawn. There are a number of springs on properties nearby. My hives are located right between these two streams. Soil here is all clay. So it moves, rolls, heaves and invites you to dinner. A sponge in the spring and pan baked with cracks in Aug. Winter damage is usually bad around here now it have added a couple of hives to it's toll. Time to roll up my sleeves.
    Good luck.
    R2
    On the border near 04619
    Zone 5B @ 29m

  8. #2007
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    May 2016
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    Monticello, Arkansas, USA
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    120

    Default Re: Today in the Apiary

    This is one of the first times it hasnt gone the way I wanted it to and it feels bad ;-;

    I spent ~8-10 hours making 10 2f mating nucs. I had pulled capped QC out of my queenless established hive and donated one to every box. Somehow managed to get everyone population, a frame of food and/or brood, and one with mostly comb. Warm weather was the norm. After good friday we're usually free from frost. Had a cold snap in the 40's early this month. I go to check and a couple have no signs of the QC. Had one emerge on me during the creation of these nucs and I've never been able to spot a virgin so I hoped I just couldnt see them and most had queens running around. One had the cell wide open from the side. One looked emerged but the cell was on the nuc floor. The last 2 days we've been sitting in the 30s. Really worried that the 50% kill might be accurate and my hives do not have the resources to fully fix that. Worst part is I KNEW this whould happen and waited weeks into the warm weather to start. "Good friday = no more frost!" So I start on March 31st. April fools! Unusual late spring freezes all around! FML it'd of been done by now if I'd hopped on it the moment it seemed we'd be warm for a while. I havent checked them since ~April 2nd. Hoping that it'll warm up soon and the additional wait time will give me more conclusive answers

    The customer has already called me once and seemed to be asking whats the hold up. "Well I've got a couple hives who are busting at the seams that I might just need to go ahead and split so they dont swarm on me" Luckily he wants genetic diversity and still very much wants to buy my queens. I just dont want to tell him this at the meeting next week. This is unexpectedly stressful but I am stubborn. One way or another he'll get those 10 queens & then I can move on to my money makers, the nucs! Then use the remaining nuc boxes to farm resources for everyone else. Worried about our main flow too. The blackberries were budding last I seen them. Hopefully the flowers are ok to bloom and have a lot of nectar to fuel my hives. Might of taken on too many orders. Did I learn a lesson? Hell naw, this is the way to do it but that F'in freeze that shouldnt be here done mucked up my buisness
    5 lang hives with Italian X queens
    Pre-Veterinary student at Uni of Arkansas

  9. #2008
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    Mar 2015
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    Decorah, Iowa USA
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    189

    Default Re: Today in the Apiary

    Going to get a closer look at everything next two days. 55-60 . Snow should finish melting. Would like to start marking Queens while the bee numbers are still low. We'll see how warm it gets. Maybe next warm stretch. Don't want to risk stirring them up to early.

  10. #2009
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    Apr 2017
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    Aylett, Virginia
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    3,718

    Default Re: Today in the Apiary

    Going to be warm this weekend so I am going to do my first ever grafts. I put 24 cups in a cell bar frame, sprayed it with a little 1:1 syrup, and put it in the starter colony for the bees to polish. Expect to do the actual grafts this Saturday. Would have done it Friday but need to pick up and install a package that was supposed to be here weeks ago. Saturday will also be day 14 on the queen cells the bees made when I transfered the queen out of the hive and into a nuc on March 31st. I saw at least two cells last week so they will go into mating nucs along with any others I find before the grafts go in. The donor hive has a real nice all black queen that has a very solid laying pattern. Hoping her daughters look and lay the same. I am a little concerned with the emergency queens I will get from the cell builder as this hive got hot when I took their queen away. Hopefully they will calm down when they get one of the grafts in a few weeks and all will be well.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  11. #2010
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    Jun 2015
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    Rib Lake WI
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    1,705

    Default Re: Today in the Apiary

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    Going to be warm this weekend so I am going to do my first ever grafts.
    That's great I'm going to do my first grafts this year also as soon as we get the dandelions.

  12. #2011
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    Apr 2017
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    Aylett, Virginia
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    3,718

    Default Re: Today in the Apiary

    That is cool. I won't consider myself a real beekeeper until I can graft my own queens. In walk away splits, the bees do all the work and that doesn't count in my book anymore. Funny how our perspective changes as we become more experienced. Good luck with your grafts. I imagine your season starts in late May. I've seen it hard freeze in WI as late as early July. Brrrrr. That was the year we decided to sell our retirement hobby farm in Crivitz and stay in Virginia.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  13. #2012
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Panama City, FL
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    106

    Default Re: Today in the Apiary

    Wednesday I took 6 + mediums of honey. I was in bees the whole day Wednesday. 2 difficult swarms in a tree in the apiary, only one caught after hours of work. I caught a third swarm at a different location, easy. The honey, well I brushed bees off frames and had excluders on too, so I didn't have many bees left on the honey. Yesterday while extracting I thought of 4 more frames of honey I had left in the truck back seat in a box. When I opened the box. There on one of the frames was a QUEEN. Oh my. I wonder where she came from. In trying to catch the swarms I saw a queen in one of the after I dumped them on the ground. I made a grab but fumbled her she got away. I wondered if she got on me or my veil or something. I changed veils I wonder If I threw her in the truck w/ my veil or something. OR if she was on the honey.
    After I found her, I caged her and put some bees from the yard hive in with her. She looked damaged a bit. maybe I'll put her in the 2 frame nuc If she lives. Its not like I need another colony of bees right now. A Mystery.

  14. #2013
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    St. Stephen, N.B. Canada
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    266

    Default Re: Today in the Apiary

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    Going to be warm this weekend so I am going to do my first ever grafts. I put 24 cups in a cell bar frame, sprayed it with a little 1:1 syrup, and put it in the starter colony for the bees to polish. Expect to do the actual grafts this Saturday. Would have done it Friday but need to pick up and install a package that was supposed to be here weeks ago. Saturday will also be day 14 on the queen cells the bees made when I transfered the queen out of the hive and into a nuc on March 31st. I saw at least two cells last week so they will go into mating nucs along with any others I find before the grafts go in. The donor hive has a real nice all black queen that has a very solid laying pattern. Hoping her daughters look and lay the same. I am a little concerned with the emergency queens I will get from the cell builder as this hive got hot when I took their queen away. Hopefully they will calm down when they get one of the grafts in a few weeks and all will be well.
    I'm officially jealous. We may get ice pellets over night.
    On the border near 04619
    Zone 5B @ 29m

  15. #2014
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    Apr 2017
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    Aylett, Virginia
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    3,718

    Default Re: Today in the Apiary

    We had snow last Sat. Today was 90 according to the thermometer in the car. Glad for the warm weather finally but would like a more gradual increase. Package bee installation went fairly well. The can of sugar syrup was a joke. Two very tiny holes in a can full of Karo (HFCS). I don't think the bees were able to feed off of it at all. They mobbed the hive top feeder as I was pouring the syrup in and several (20-30) plunged in before I could get the top back on. Normally I don't have any trouble adding 1:1 when the bees are flying. No doubt in my mind that they were starving.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  16. #2015
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    Mar 2015
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    Decorah, Iowa USA
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    189

    Default Re: Today in the Apiary

    Dan - Good Luck on the grafting this year. Still winter weather here. Thunderstorms last night- Snow today! Sick of it!

  17. #2016
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    Jun 2015
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    Rib Lake WI
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    Default Re: Today in the Apiary

    Quote Originally Posted by Swarmhunter View Post
    Dan - Good Luck on the grafting this year. Still winter weather here. Thunderstorms last night- Snow today! Sick of it!
    O Lordy ice hittin the window last evening howling wind this morning we are in the circle for 8 to 15 inches of snow for tonight temps are just below the freezing point so it's not as bad as it could be.

  18. #2017
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    Apr 2017
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    Aylett, Virginia
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    Default Re: Today in the Apiary

    Today was grafting day. I ran into a few unexpected issues that made it interesting. First, I went into the cell builder to pull the two frames that had qc's on them. Instead I found four frames, some with multiple cells. Break out the mating nucs. Went to brush the bees off one of the frames I was putting in an earlier split where the single qc they made was quite small. Two of the eight cells were open. Crud, I have two virgins running around in my cell builder that is packed with bees. Put the remaing cells in the nuc and offered a few to another beekeeper. When he got here an hour later, three more of the queens had emerged. I guess the bees used older eggs as today is day 14 since the split. Anyhow, populated three 2 frame nucs and gave away two cells about to pop. I am hoping that the bees still think they are queenless and get my cells started. Once capped, I can put them in the incubator to finish off. Grafting is a lot harder than it looks in the videos. Larvae are just barely bigger than the eggs and I crushed a bunch trying to pick them up. Thank God for the 5x magnifying lens on my lamp. Eventually I got the technique down and the second bar looks much better. Had a bee emerge while I was doing all this. She just hung out on the frame until I got her back into the hive.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  19. #2018
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    Jun 2015
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    Rib Lake WI
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    Default Re: Today in the Apiary

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    Today was grafting day. I ran into a few unexpected issues that made it interesting. First, I went into the cell builder to pull the two frames that had qc's on them. Instead I found four frames, some with multiple cells. Break out the mating nucs. Went to brush the bees off one of the frames I was putting in an earlier split where the single qc they made was quite small. Two of the eight cells were open. Crud, I have two virgins running around in my cell builder that is packed with bees. Put the remaing cells in the nuc and offered a few to another beekeeper. When he got here an hour later, three more of the queens had emerged. I guess the bees used older eggs as today is day 14 since the split. Anyhow, populated three 2 frame nucs and gave away two cells about to pop. I am hoping that the bees still think they are queenless and get my cells started. Once capped, I can put them in the incubator to finish off. Grafting is a lot harder than it looks in the videos. Larvae are just barely bigger than the eggs and I crushed a bunch trying to pick them up. Thank God for the 5x magnifying lens on my lamp. Eventually I got the technique down and the second bar looks much better. Had a bee emerge while I was doing all this. She just hung out on the frame until I got her back into the hive.
    Start counting days from when the egg was laid. From egg hatching to emerged queen is 13 days. MP I think does his on day 10.

  20. #2019
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    Apr 2017
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    Aylett, Virginia
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    Default Re: Today in the Apiary

    16 days from laid, 13 from just hatched larva. Move cells day 10 from grafting. I didn't allow for the bees to use older eggs. Next time I will know better. This makes five splits from a single hive so far. Will know in two weeks if all were successful. Should know Monday evining how many of the grafts take, if any. Checked the #3 hive, two deeps and a medium , all boxes have brood with no swarm cells. Lots of empty cups though. Have scouts checking out a trap in a pine tree about 50' away. My bees?
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  21. #2020
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    Apr 2017
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    Aylett, Virginia
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    Default Re: Today in the Apiary

    I was out putting a super on the #3 hive and feeding the mating nucs just now and couldn't resist taking a quick peek at the cell bar with yesterday's grafts. As expected the first four are duds. I was sure I squished the larvae and I am rarely wrong when I think I have messed up. The good news is that of the remaining eight cells on the first bar, six are being built out. And, I am 11 for 12 on the second bar. I know this does not mean they will all get capped but it is encouraging.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

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