Beginner's mistakes - Page 2
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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Johnson City, TN
    Posts
    257

    Default Re: Beginner's mistakes

    My biggest mistake this year was treating too late! "Make sure to treat in August!" is written really big on this year's calendar. I thought I could treat in September like I did with my first package but when an established hive has been booming all spring-summer and have earned themselves a high varroa load, waiting to treat until September when they wind down their brood nest is a big mistake. The hive will crash fast. Even if you treat successfully you are rolling the dice that your queen will survive and that there will be either queens available in your area to buy if she doesn't, or time enough for them to raise a virgin and mate with remaining drones.

    Fortunately I was able to recover them by treating with MAQS and then feeding heavily to try to stimulate a bit more brood production for winter bees...AND I was lucky the queen survived the treatment. This year I will treat when I pull the supers in August!
    4th Yr. 8 hives. Italian/Carniolan apiary. 3 loss over 4 yr. W.NC location.
    https://instagram.com/jacquelinehinshaw/

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  3. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Johnson City, TN
    Posts
    257

    Default Re: Beginner's mistakes

    Quote Originally Posted by Girl Next Door Honey View Post
    I teach beekeeping classes and see a lot of the same mistakes over an over again. I wrote a whole blog post on it: http://beekeepinglikeagirl.com/10-mi...ekeepers-make/

    Some additional ones people mentioned after reading my post are:

    -Adding too much space for the bees to build in. This makes it hard for the bees to control their temperature. Or alternatively not giving the bees enough space and they then become overcrowded and swarm.

    - Using the smoker too aggressively.

    - Doing a full inspection (going through every single frame) when you usually only have to pull a few frames to find out what you need to know. (Is there a queen, is she laying well, do they have honey/pollen.) Doing a full inspection is unnecessary and it stresses out your bees.
    Just thought I'd say that your queenspotting instagram game really improved my ability to spot a queen on a frame my first year LOL!
    4th Yr. 8 hives. Italian/Carniolan apiary. 3 loss over 4 yr. W.NC location.
    https://instagram.com/jacquelinehinshaw/

  4. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Mirabel, Québec, Canada
    Posts
    608

    Default Re: Beginner's mistakes

    Quote Originally Posted by jhinshaw View Post
    My biggest mistake this year was treating too late! "Make sure to treat in August!" is written really big on this year's calendar. I thought I could treat in September like I did with my first package but when an established hive has been booming all spring-summer and have earned themselves a high varroa load, waiting to treat until September when they wind down their brood nest is a big mistake. The hive will crash fast. Even if you treat successfully you are rolling the dice that your queen will survive and that there will be either queens available in your area to buy if she doesn't, or time enough for them to raise a virgin and mate with remaining drones.

    Fortunately I was able to recover them by treating with MAQS and then feeding heavily to try to stimulate a bit more brood production for winter bees...AND I was lucky the queen survived the treatment. This year I will treat when I pull the supers in August!
    Use treatments according to labels... We usually harvest our honey in September around here, treatment obviously isn't to be done before that (unless the label says otherwise, like with MAQS).
    www.apisrustica.com Bee Breeding: Canadian nuclei & queens
    www.facebook.com/Apis.rustica

  5. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Johnson City, TN
    Posts
    257

    Default Re: Beginner's mistakes

    Quote Originally Posted by Dominic View Post
    Use treatments according to labels... We usually harvest our honey in September around here, treatment obviously isn't to be done before that (unless the label says otherwise, like with MAQS).
    Right, harvesting is a very locally timed event. After my experience this year though, even if I had to harvest late I still would not wait beyond August to treat (also probably a local thing). I would either use a treatment that allows for honey supers to be on or I would remove them for the duration of treatment.
    4th Yr. 8 hives. Italian/Carniolan apiary. 3 loss over 4 yr. W.NC location.
    https://instagram.com/jacquelinehinshaw/

  6. #25

    Default Re: Beginner's mistakes

    Quote Originally Posted by Dominic View Post
    Use treatments according to labels... We usually harvest our honey in September around here, treatment obviously isn't to be done before that (unless the label says otherwise, like with MAQS).
    Yes, but it is also good advise to have supers off and treatments started by the end of August in the north where the winter is long. I am surprised that you can get away with doing it so late considering the winters you have.
    6 years-8 hives-T
    brooklyn-queen.com

  7. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Kingsport, TN
    Posts
    50

    Default Re: Beginner's mistakes

    Quote Originally Posted by Girl Next Door Honey View Post
    I teach beekeeping classes and see a lot of the same mistakes over an over again. I wrote a whole blog post on it: http://beekeepinglikeagirl.com/10-mi...ekeepers-make/

    Some additional ones people mentioned after reading my post are:

    -Adding too much space for the bees to build in. This makes it hard for the bees to control their temperature. Or alternatively not giving the bees enough space and they then become overcrowded and swarm.

    - Using the smoker too aggressively.

    - Doing a full inspection (going through every single frame) when you usually only have to pull a few frames to find out what you need to know. (Is there a queen, is she laying well, do they have honey/pollen.) Doing a full inspection is unnecessary and it stresses out your bees.
    That article was excellent, thank you for sharing.

  8. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    13,203

    Default Re: Beginner's mistakes

    Quote Originally Posted by Margot1d View Post
    Yes, but it is also good advise to have supers off and treatments started by the end of August in the north where the winter is long. I am surprised that you can get away with doing it so late considering the winters you have.
    I take mine off in October.

    Quote Originally Posted by Margot1d View Post
    -It's very hard to tell superceedure from swarming when you are new.
    Not hard at all, they do not swarm if it is supercedure.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  9. #28
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Galveston County, TX, USA
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: Beginner's mistakes

    When you do a cut out and put your queen in a cage, wait more than 2 days before releasing her. Otherwise you might find yourself shaking a bunch of bees out of a tree the following day, dumping them back in the box, and now hoping you got the queen (again). And your spouse will make fun of you for saying having bees is not much harder than having goldfish. True story.

  10. #29

    Default Re: Beginner's mistakes

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    I take mine off in October.
    And you don't treat, so I am not sure what your point is. Regardless of treating, I don't know how your bees can consolidate enough stores to over winter when you remove supers so late. find I pull mine in end of August and I still have to feed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    Not hard at all, they do not swarm if it is supercedure.
    After they have swarmed you missed your chance to do anything, hence the beginner mistake.
    Last edited by Margot1d; 03-04-2016 at 04:23 PM.
    6 years-8 hives-T
    brooklyn-queen.com

  11. #30
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    13,203

    Default Re: Beginner's mistakes

    Quote Originally Posted by Margot1d View Post
    I don't know how your bees can consolidate enough stores to over winter when you remove supers so late.
    In October you are past the point of foraging so you know exactly what you can take. In August you guess, maybe set the colony up for failure so you scramble to feed. August and September is like a new spring. They have to rebuild the colony with young bees to make it through winter. If you take their honey they have to try and rebuild from the crap carbs you give them. It is not their food. You took their good food when they needed it most.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  12. #31
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    13,203

    Default Re: Beginner's mistakes

    Quote Originally Posted by Margot1d View Post
    After they have swarmed you missed your chance to do anything, hence the beginner mistake.
    Do you remember what this hive looked like before it swarmed? You should now know what to look out for. You might also consider keeping up with supers so they have more than they need to overwinter without feed. A swarmed hive is a double whammy on the honey crop. Way, way worse than a split.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  13. #32

    Default Re: Beginner's mistakes

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    In October you are past the point of foraging so you know exactly what you can take. In August you guess, maybe set the colony up for failure so you scramble to feed. August and September is like a new spring. They have to rebuild the colony with young bees to make it through winter. If you take their honey they have to try and rebuild from the crap carbs you give them. It is not their food. You took their good food when they needed it most.
    Thats a nice theory, but I'm not really buying it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    Do you remember what this hive looked like before it swarmed? You should now know what to look out for. You might also consider keeping up with supers so they have more than they need to overwinter without feed. A swarmed hive is a double whammy on the honey crop. Way, way worse than a split.
    The whole point of my original post was to say that when you are new you don't know what to look for, so get some help. I don't really have any idea what you are talking about here.
    6 years-8 hives-T
    brooklyn-queen.com

  14. #33
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Yuba County, California, USA
    Posts
    6,528

    Default Re: Beginner's mistakes

    Learn how to remove and return frames with least amount of upset and dead bees.

    Don't assume mites won't be a problem.

    For the advancing beginner...
    Don't make splits too early,
    and don't make splits too late.
    Quality of hives over-rides quantity of hives.
    Live real time bee chat, most evenings...
    https://www.rumbletalk.com/client/chat.php?4%40HY_hmJ

  15. #34
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    7,861

    Default Re: Beginner's mistakes

    Always go with your local weather.
    I got the summer, Autumn and winter trend but not
    yet on the Spring timing. This year the El Nino
    effects messed up on my timing so have to put
    back the splits for them to build up more until April.
    Too early for making splits in February this year.
    March is still rainy. It is not my fault that they put out
    supersedure cells this early. And the weather is not ready for
    the queen's mating flight. Spring blooming is almost done. I see
    pear trees blooming but no apple yet. Will wait to see what April and
    May bring us.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  16. #35
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Oyster Bay, NY, USA
    Posts
    476

    Default Re: Beginner's mistakes

    Here are my two major things I learned as a newb. The first one I learned in time, and the other I didn't (but it's fixable)

    1) Don't assume you don't have mites just because you don't see any, and because you don't see any falling on your bottom board.

    I never saw any mites on my bees or in my hive. None on the bottom board.

    I treated anyway in early fall, and WHOA! Dead mites by the hundreds! Or thousands.

    My bees are alive and vigorous now, but I bet they wouldn't be if I had believed "I don't see mites, so everything is fine."

    2) Do not space out your undrawn frames. You will get a mass of crazy stuck-together comb if you do. Jam all your undrawn frames tight and leave the spaces on each end of the box.

    I am waiting for it to get warm enough for me to do that first spring inspection, and that empty-of-bees bottom brood box full of crazy comb is finally going to get taken off and broken up for swam traps.

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