Today in the Apiary - Page 131
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  1. #2601
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    Sep 2018
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    Northern Lower Michigan, USA
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    Default Re: Today in the Apiary

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Holcombe View Post
    GG "Keep an eye on them they could make you some cells fairly quick." Been checking a few hives at a time - nothing but I do have lots of bees.

    Guessing - searching question for anyone: DO you think early Spring feeding with 1:1 or 2:1 syrup and or feeding protein supplements like UltraBee promotes swarming in a healthy hive? I work with a couple of other beekeepers who are deep into handling swarms already. The major difference factor that I can recognize is early feeding. Both were light coming out of winter and had to Spring feed. I have not feed since Nov. 2, 2019. I watch their weights and know pollen started coming in on March 2 ( rather early this year). I have more bees in multiple hives than ever before.
    Robert you are on the right track. I had 3 hives that were 2 deep and 1 medium, in early spring, bout when the pussy willows bloom with pollen, I added a deep of honey from a dead out, and a pollen patty, second patty 3 weeks later, today all 3 are 3 deeps and 1 medium full of bees , 40 frames worth. On 1 split 7 ways last week, the next split 5 ways, , and I see cups with eggs in the third yesterday. So if you want lots of bees for splits or have new queens ordered for splits then , do the feed and the pollen patties. I would recommend, warm jars inverted over the brood nest, (not sure on 1-1 or 2-1 , give each a try.) with insulation around them in a extra deep box. starting warm the syrup will tend to stay warm with insulation. I get the 40 Lb pack of patties from Dadant, i can look the SKU up if you wish. The feed and syrup or honey stimulus caused bee brood increase, this then crowds them sooner. and I basically added a honey dome, the thing suggested to remove to stop swarming. Mine were light as well , but had enough to survive. IMO they were coasting till a confirmed flow+pollen , here that is Dandelions. Adding 3 weeks pre that flow adds the stimulis to get them going. or cancels the fear of starting brood early.

    By accident one year I had a hive I forgot to pull honey from and they had 12-16 inches over the nest in 3 deeps. I did add the supers early and got almost 2 mediums of dandelion honey. during inspection I found several large swarm cells and did a 4 way split that worked good, and now kinda force this crowded large dome early spring configuration.

    GG

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  3. #2602
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
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    Sisters, Oregon
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    Default Re: Today in the Apiary

    Finally warm weather. Popped the super open to have a peek and they are just starting to draw out the frames so no big hurry to put new boxes on. All hives are seriously devouring pollen patties. No shortage of pollen but they are hungry. Took sugar water off a few days ago, May consider putting 1:1 back on if comb is dry on inspection.
    I'm smart but at the end of the day I'm still the help.

  4. #2603
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    Oct 2019
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    Wakefield, Rhode Island, USA
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    Default Re: Today in the Apiary

    "Finally warm weather" - the same here but barely warm enough. I am about to plant my "hot " veggie plants and watch for swarming.

    GG & Lalldredge - I have not fed anything since Feb. 2, 2019. My fellow beekeeprs to my west and east fed somewhat heavily, 1:1 and patties, in the early Spring to save very hungry hives. They have been somewhat overcome by swarming events; 5 to the west, 3 to the east. I have not found a swarm cell, only some practice cups in eight large colonies. It would be interesting to hear your experiences with swarming around the end of June. As noted earlier I am surprised by "dry hives" in the midst of all this rain, fog and now high humidity.

  5. #2604
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    Sisters, Oregon
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    Default Re: Today in the Apiary

    Hey Robert- 4 hives took 2 quarts and the big hive took a gallon. I'm a fan of temporary limited feeding to avoid calamity. I thought it was a safe move. I'm hearing anecdotal reports of late starvation in May. Not much intention on swarming just yet (2 q cups, limited backfill)

    Also moved their medium below after the q started to lay in it in early spring. Trying the pollen box idea. After the medium was put under, the queen moved back up and is happy in the single deep. The medium will remain below as the repository for pollen and hanging out space.
    I'm smart but at the end of the day I'm still the help.

  6. #2605
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    Wakefield, Rhode Island, USA
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    Default Re: Today in the Apiary

    "I'm a fan of temporary limited feeding to avoid calamity." I agree but I have tried and implemented an approach for 2 yers which was initiated by M. Palmer presentation comment - feeding and weighting.

    I fed a lot up until Nov 2 this past Fall - well into frost season here. I also repeated an unintentional mistake this past Fall. Using cheap luggage scales I was getting bad values - too low. It seems the luggage scales are easily damaged or do not reach their maximum scale values - I over-fed or so it seemed. All hives were over 80lb. net per hive, mostly around 100 lb., peak 115 lb. I have bought two commercial weighting scales and now have a reliable system for weighting anytime, clumsy but reliable.

    I smiled in March as my hives had plenty of stores. April, I started to worry. Got really nervous in early May! Should I stop my experiment of no Spring feeding? Then! May 15th weights showed a turn around along with visual inspections. It also showed 8 hives with large colonies ready to forage. Starting my sixth year, I have never seen so many bees in so many hives, 8 of 9. Phew! (#9 became a drone laying queened hive after a nice startup.)

    The prior year weighing showed an unexpected Fall dearth. A hive killing dearth for the more experienced beekeepers who simply relied on the Fall flow and hefting - starved hvies by Christmas. I noticed it while learning to weigh hives - accurately. I rapidly fed early, to a weight, 60- 80 lb. net, and saved all the hives.

    No swarming last year and this year so far but a new mystery! It is warm, now past possible frosting issues by the coast, time to put my seed-grown veggie plants into warmed up rototilled soil. It's just warm enough for a single bee now, blooming well underway and and the bees do not need my help - well maybe more supers after weighting in a couple days.

    Conclusion: I do not believe I over-fed last Fall. Weighing, feeding and verified store' weights by weighing again simply seems smart, allows bees to manage their capped winter resources, and it takes less effort from me, less stress for all.

  7. #2606
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    Sisters, Oregon
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    Default Re: Today in the Apiary

    Totally get that. My comments were meant for spring and swarm season. In fall I feed like a crazy person. Even use pro grade feed ProSweet to be sure it won’t crystallize and goes right into the combs. You have a great system. Mine is getting there. Would love to weigh more accurately. I’m pretty small and moving boxes and tipping them on a scale is tricky.
    I'm smart but at the end of the day I'm still the help.

  8. #2607
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    Apr 2017
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    Aylett, Virginia
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    Default Re: Today in the Apiary

    I recently posted about how one of my hives was refusing to draw on some brand new Acorn plastic frames I was given. Well, last week I needed to add another super to one of my hives and I was out of mediums, so I added a deep with my normal foundationless frames mixed in between used Acorn frames that I had scraped and rewaxed. If you guessed that the bees were drawing the foundationless and ignoring the plastic, you'd be wrong. It is exaxtly the opposite. All five of the plastic frames have new comb started on them and the foundationless frames are bare. It is a first for me so I thought I would share.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  9. #2608
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    Default Re: Today in the Apiary

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    It is a first for me so I thought I would share.
    Extraordinary - goes to show you never can tell (apologises to Chuck Berry).

    A first for me happened yesterday. I was inspecting a colony and came across a capped brood frame with a white band running diagonally across the cell cappings. Curious, I ran the corner of a pallet knife I use as a hive tool along that line, which came away in one piece revealing a wax-moth worm in an advanced stage of development which wriggled a few times before falling to the floor of the hive - with a few bees then in hot pursuit. Seems it was burrowing undetected just underneath the brood caps. Never seen that before on a working comb.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  10. #2609
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    Default Re: Today in the Apiary

    " Never seen that before on a working comb." In New England that would be a Greater Wax Moth - tunneling. If it was like a web on the surface it is a Lesser Wax moth - so I have seen and been told the identifying difference by an entomologist.

  11. #2610
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    Default Re: Today in the Apiary

    Lalldredge " moving boxes and tipping them on a scale is tricky." I will take few photographs of a simple, quickly assembled lifting approach that requires no hive tipping on a balance scale; and can be scaled to reduce the force applied by you. It uses a "220 lb. fish" scale, two pieces of wood and a bolt. It also requires a simple "correction factor" based on the distance from the lifting point( side of the hive) to the rotating axis of the hive. I am still settling on my lifting point approach as it seems that this is the most cumbersome part of the design - hooking up the scale to the hive. This is especially true for me as I have been weighting fairly often to understand hive life cycles over the seasons. Eyeballing vertical orientation of the appears to fairly accurate as verified by use of a bottom scale and tipping method. The total cost is about $50, Brecknell 235-6M Hanging Scale, 220 lb. x 1 lb. increments.

    One winter weighting error which is difficult to evaluate - absorption of moisture by the wood work or Quilt boxes - even brood cells. This is a conclusion after seeing hive weights go up in the dead of winter than dropping with a significant amount of brood rearing.

  12. #2611
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    Default Re: Today in the Apiary

    Observational Question: After five straight days external recordings of relative humidity ranging from 82% to 100% with morning temperatures in the 60s', two sensored hives maintain steady, relatively low DH values of 50 to 60% but with much higher temperatues, 85 -93 F. The third hive is still increasing colony size after a pause and a late brood rearing start thus higher values like 81% @ 82 F today. THe two hives have intentionally lowered internal RH to values suitable for brood rearing but are bringing in and making honey while reducing brood production.

    The question is what range of internal RH and temperatures is useful for "curing" or drying honey versus external conditions? Anyone have an idea or reference source? Time to reach for a thermodynamics book?

  13. #2612
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    Northern Colorado, USA
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    Default Re: Today in the Apiary

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Holcombe View Post
    Observational Question: After five straight days external recordings of relative humidity ranging from 82% to 100% with morning temperatures in the 60s', two sensored hives maintain steady, relatively low DH values of 50 to 60% but with much higher temperatues, 85 -93 F. The third hive is still increasing colony size after a pause and a late brood rearing start thus higher values like 81% @ 82 F today. THe two hives have intentionally lowered internal RH to values suitable for brood rearing but are bringing in and making honey while reducing brood production.

    The question is what range of internal RH and temperatures is useful for "curing" or drying honey versus external conditions? Anyone have an idea or reference source? Time to reach for a thermodynamics book?
    I suspect you are seeing some of the effects of water saturation capacity of the air changing at temperature. At higher temperatures air can hold more water. Relative humidity is the amount of water the air is holding relative to the saturation point/capacity.

    Very rough math, at 68F air can hold 17.3sx10-3 kg/m3 of water. At 86 F air can hold 30.4x10-3 kg/m3

    If you assume 100 % RH at 68 F and increase the temperature to 86F without changing the water content you end up at 57%RH. This is not to far off from what you are seeing so I think the hives are not to far off from equilibrium with the outside air based on water content.

    Source for the above values:
    https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/m...ir-d_1403.html

    I try to keep my hives below 80% RH, to keep mold under control I do not know what range the bees like or prefer, but they seem to do fine with the quilt boxes that I run on my hives year round. I was seeing 95%+ RH and mold problems before I started running quilt boxes.

  14. #2613
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    Aylett, Virginia
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    Default Re: Today in the Apiary

    I believe that 78% RH at 93F is the sought after value for queen cells in an incubator.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  15. #2614
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    Default Re: Today in the Apiary

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    Seems it [wax-moth larva] was burrowing undetected just underneath the brood caps. Never seen that before on a working comb.
    Just realised I hadn't explained that very well. The wax moth was burrowing in the space between the caps and the larva below them, so that when the silky tube (which had created a 'white line') was removed, the line of glistening white larvae beneath it were then exposed. If I hadn't seen this with my own eyes, I'd have said that was impossible.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  16. #2615
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    Default Re: Today in the Apiary

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    I believe that 78% RH at 93F is the sought after value for queen cells in an incubator.
    Indeed - bees are used to working under conditions of high humidity. It never ceases to amaze me how arrogant we humans can be in our perception of the world around us: at one point we even believed that the whole universe (including our own sun) revolved around the Earth - 'cause that's where we live, and as we are SO important in the whole scheme of things, it MUST have been true.

    Likewise in biological matters, WE are the ones with a delicate respiratory system (when compared with insects), and so we judge other creatures by our own standards. The presence of mould in particular we see as being highly undesirable, and yet honey-bees have become conditioned to live in conditions of not just mould, but that of rotting wood and fungi. The materials they use - propolis and wax - should have given us this clue by now, but no - we keep insisting that bees should live in the same type of warm, dry, and mould-free environment that we humans have found to be necessary for our own well-being.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  17. #2616
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    Default Re: Today in the Apiary


  18. #2617
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    Default Re: Today in the Apiary

    I appreciate the rough math. It suggest the internal environment is driven by the external. But I have noticed bees keeping a much higher RH inside the hive in opposition to a "balanced internal - external environment. From 5 months of observations and coarse data and visual hive characteristics it would appear the bees have boundary conditions they like to maintain for hive for various condition - if they can. It is clear that RH of 45% to 60% RH @ 93 - 95 F are the desired limits for brood rearing. It seems to be more centered around 55% RH for brood rearing. One test report showed that adult bees migrate more often to 70% RH areas. Desiccation is a critical issue for bees, IMO, but rarely discussed. This dry-hive period is a bit fascinating and difficult to explain; lack of sensor doe snot help.

    The seasonal cycle requirements for ahive have changed now and while still brood rearing they also hav a need to "cure" honey. I was wondering what are good to ideal conditions for dring honey. I am guessing a warmer, hotter super area is desired (air sponge trick), especially after sundown. Thus my simple experiment - leave my insulating boxes on to insulate at least three supers. Now to learn ( thermodynamics book and Google Scholar should help) about rate of moisture transfer from curing honey to internal air. Venting effects for moisture removal by bees will be tough to measure or estimate - but seeing capped honey rates will be somewhat easier. My objective is to explore and identify hive design characteristics that support the honey bees' desires, conservation of bee energy and resulting lower colony stress. Insulating thin wooden boxes year round seems to be going in the right direction but I have another 7 months to go for just one complete cycle. It appears verifying Fall stores be weighing is also very important and has led to two successful winters in a row.

    My end goal is a sustainable apiary with hives able to provide honey for themselves, me, some neighbors and a food bank, year round without buying sugar / Fall feeding ( doubtful).

  19. #2618
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    Default Re: Today in the Apiary

    Interestingly higher RH of 78% @ 93F JWPALMER. Do you know of any written articles about this subject. i will also search as it would seem to a good source for clues and testing of RH issues. It is alluded to in other literature that the 45% to 60% RH value for brood areas maybe in support of higher RH levels inside a cells with cocoons holding moisture as a water buffer material - really tough to measure in real time. It would seem 78% @93 F surrounding a queen cell would prevent moisture loss from the cell.

  20. #2619
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    Default Re: Today in the Apiary

    The whole subject of humidity viz-a-viz brood and queen cells is a curious one when you consider that the cells are almost entirely made of a wax which is impermeable to water. With open cells I can see the importance of a high humidity, but capped cells ? It's only the cell caps themselves which are porous and thus of significance in considerations of humidity issues - but as they represent only a relatively small surface area, the amount of air diffusing through them must be very small.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  21. #2620
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    Default Re: Today in the Apiary

    " the amount of air diffusing through them must be very small." - Little _John.
    I would not assume that as I am sure (guessing) pore quantity and size has likely evolved to handle waste gases. Understanding water vapor diffusion, mass flow and rates is soemthing I have to work on. In my experiences I was stunned to see the mechanism that added moisture to a 40 foot environmental chamber. It was a about a 5 cm ( 2 inches) diameter glass tube with a small bulge that had a port from which water dripped onto a hot plate. They could make it rain on the equipment, control RH over the whole range of temperatures from near freezing to 50C (122 F). I do not remember any blower - just diffusion into the chamber. It is very interesting trying to follow a molecule of water through all the processes of a colony and the interaction with the environment. ( watching, hopefully, the Sapce X / NASA launch!)

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