Colorado Front Range - February, 2016 - Off to a roaring start - Page 5
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  1. #81
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    Louisville, Colorado, USA
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    1,531

    Default Re: Colorado Front Range - February, 2016 - Off to a roaring start

    Congrats on the little guy!

    I'm thinking the same thing re swarm cells.

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  3. #82
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    853

    Default Re: Colorado Front Range - February, 2016 - Off to a roaring start

    Also Congratulations! Did they let you assist with the delivery?

    Steve

  4. #83
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Castle Rock, Colorado, USA
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    1,699

    Default Re: Colorado Front Range - February, 2016 - Off to a roaring start

    Thanks. Steve - no, my daughter didn't want any "help" this time (or the first time, for that matter).
    After 40 years of beekeeping, I've come to realize that the bees can fix most of my mistakes.

  5. #84
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Castle Rock, Colorado, USA
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    Default Re: Colorado Front Range - February, 2016 - Off to a roaring start

    34*, & more snow today.
    After 40 years of beekeeping, I've come to realize that the bees can fix most of my mistakes.

  6. #85
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Louisville, Colorado, USA
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    1,531

    Default Re: Colorado Front Range - February, 2016 - Off to a roaring start

    Hey Colobee....how's the newest little beekeeper doin'? Everything OK?

    Checked the nucs and vertical split I made on the 10th. In the nucs, bees are covering all 4 frames, so I checked no further. They seem happy. The vertical, I checked and found one frame with cells capped. Broke open the small ones and left the two fat ones. It all looks good. Now to get us a week or so of good warm queen mating weather! Drones are abundant.

    Backyard bees are going crazy! On Thursday I split one with a double screen. The bees are orienting to the back entrance. I'll peek at them on Sunday.

    So far so good.

  7. #86
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Castle Rock, Colorado, USA
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    1,699

    Default Re: Colorado Front Range - February, 2016 - Off to a roaring start

    Arnie - he's fine, thanks. He came home today. He's destined to be a beekeeper - after all, his middle name is "Danger" - no kidding!

    My bees are flying. I can see them from a short distance but don't want to wade out through the sloppy wet foot of snow still left, to get a closer look. I'm just happy to see fresh Plum, Crab Apple & Apple blossoms today. The Dandelions should be going crazy by Thursday or Friday - all this wonderful moisture.

    I'll be a bit surprised if don't find a few queen cells this weekend. Who knows - it takes some doing to get Buckfast to swarm. There are only a few 3rd year queens. I should have some drones hatching soon, if not already - 'saw a few capped DC's last week. There should be some mating weather in the upcoming mix.
    After 40 years of beekeeping, I've come to realize that the bees can fix most of my mistakes.

  8. #87
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Pueblo, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    1,527

    Default Re: Colorado Front Range - February, 2016 - Off to a roaring start

    Both of my computers fried so I haven't been on for a few days. Congratulations to Colo on a new member of the family. We got snow, wind, cold, etc. but it only lasted a few days. I caught a 3 pound swarm in my backyard from the hive by my house yesterday and no kidding I went outside this afternoon and caught another 3 pound swarm out of the same bush, exact same spot lol. You guys keep that snow and send your swarms down south :P
    Zone 5 @ 4700 ft. High Desert

  9. #88
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Aurora, CO
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: Colorado Front Range - February, 2016 - Off to a roaring start

    Congrats Colobee on the new beek! Thanks for the advice last fall, all 3 of my hives survived, even my small late season walk away split. I moved that hive to Parker and it will be pollinating my friend's garden this year. My bees started early February like all of yours on this thread, and they have been going gangbusters ever since. They have been working all of the neighborhood plum trees and such, and were filling up empty supers from winter with nectar as of last week. I removed some capped honey that they didn't eat from winter - 3.5 frames worth, but left them quite a bit too. I wintered them on 1 deep on the bottom and 3 mediums mostly full of honey, and they made it fine. They had a few frames of brood in each hive except the newest one, which only had 1/3 of one side of a frame, but I saw the queen actively laying when I was in there last week. I am thinking of ordering 2 queens and splitting since both hives are FULL of bees and I stocked up on hives for this season so I have 2 ready to go. I did spot a little brood in the top medium super on one hive, and moved that frame down into the second layer where she already had some brood too. I think she got started super early before they moved back down or something.

    Do you guys have any advice for me on the splits? I am thinking of starting them in just a 10 frame deep with a frame or 2 of brood in it until she gets brood going then adding a medium on top and going from there. I want lots of honey this year!

  10. #89
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Louisville, Colorado, USA
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    1,531

    Default Re: Colorado Front Range - February, 2016 - Off to a roaring start

    Striider,
    When your queens arrive, take a couple frames with honey and pollen, a couple frames of open brood,,,,don't get the queen accidentally,,,, and a frame or two of capped brood. Arrange it this way; frames with pollen and honey on the ends, frames of capped brood next, and in the center the two frames of open brood. All that will go into the center of the hive body with the frames of foundation at the edges.

    Move those into your new hive and place the queen cage between the two frames of open brood. Follow Harry's queen introduction tips here:
    https://www.beesource.com/forums/show...roduction-tips

    Then after a couple weeks make sure they have syrup or nectar coming in and are able to protect their hive.

  11. #90
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Castle Rock, Colorado, USA
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    Default Re: Colorado Front Range - February, 2016 - Off to a roaring start

    x2

    I like to make up splits (usually in late April) and place them on top of an established hive, over a double screen board. By late April there is usual some form of early flow, & plenty of pollen available.

    The double screen board must have a separate entrance for the upper unit. We often have shots of cold weather right into late May, and this reduces the risk of brood chill in the developing splits if overnight lows plunge. I have several of these:Dbl Scrn Bd.jpg that have served me well for decades. Yeah, I know - this one looks pretty beat - it's in the repair/replace pile. A notched inner cover - notched side up & screened on BOTH sides of the middle hole - can accomplish the same thing.

    The splits can be set off, or combined, or whatever - just before supers go on in mid-June. By then they should have had ample time to build up enough to "stand alone".
    After 40 years of beekeeping, I've come to realize that the bees can fix most of my mistakes.

  12. #91
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Denver, CO, USA
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: Colorado Front Range - February, 2016 - Off to a roaring start

    Hello Coloradans!
    Happy Spring! I was wondering when Denver people were thinking of putting on the supers. Would the first of April be too early? We have tree blossoms all over the place and I've seen some dandelions blooming here and there. I was also thinking of placing two supers on at the same time (both drawn) and then checking to place the third later. Any thoughts. Last year I did one, then two weeks later another and so forth. My hives are against an eastern facing retaining wall that creates a warmer micro-climate when the sun is shinning. Please let me know what you all think! Thanks!

  13. #92
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    May 2014
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    Castle Rock, Colorado, USA
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    Default Re: Colorado Front Range - February, 2016 - Off to a roaring start

    The recent warm weather is bringing out the buds. It's probably a safe bet that a strong hive might start storing honey as soon as the dandelions come out in numbers. If that's April 1st in your area, then have at it. My hives have always been left to build up on the spring flows and are usually needing space (supers) by mid-June. I've never tried early supering but that doesn't mean it wouldn't work.

    We are looking at the potential for up to a foot of snow overnight, with a Blizzard watch thrown in, after tying a record high today. Roller coaster for sure! That moisture may kick start things. How did they do last year?
    After 40 years of beekeeping, I've come to realize that the bees can fix most of my mistakes.

  14. #93
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Wheat Ridge, CO, USA
    Posts
    77

    Default Re: Colorado Front Range - February, 2016 - Off to a roaring start

    Yep, we've got dandelions popping out all over the place, and the crocuses have already finished blooming. My neighbor's crabapple is about to burst into bloom, and my Rainier cherry buds are showing "color" (white)... and here comes the snow. Supposed to be here in a few hours. But Intellicast says we're only supposed to get 1-3" in my area.

    ...and...and.....

    ...and my one hive, that I thought was doing so well, died out last week or the week before. Doesn't seem to have been starvation - the cluster was literally sitting on capped honey/syrup, some of which they'd eaten. It looks as if maybe they went queenless (no queen found in the cluster) and dwindled out. No brood that I could find.

    Now I have to wait for the April 29 packages to arrive (unless a swarm should haply come my way). Going to try for two hives this year, and maybe then they'll have a better chance of getting all the way thru next winter...

  15. #94
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Denver, CO, USA
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: Colorado Front Range - February, 2016 - Off to a roaring start

    I know, this weather is crazy! My two hives made it through the winter okay. I put sugar cakes on them the beginning of January and added more a few weeks ago. The hives are going on their 3rd and 4th summer (with 3 requeenings due to absent queens and a swarm that never requeened itself!) I expect I'll see a swarm sometime soon from the second! I can only legally have 1 hive (Arapaho County) and I'm pushing it with two. Last year, my first hive swarmed the end of April. I just started seeing drones yesterday. If the nights are still getting down to the 30's and 40's, do you think it's foolish to place two supers on at once?

    Sorry about the hive, Wosiewose. If my hive swarms somewhere "catchable" I'll let you know!

  16. #95
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Castle Rock, Colorado, USA
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    Default Re: Colorado Front Range - February, 2016 - Off to a roaring start

    Yeah, it's never fun to lose one. As to the early supering - mine would get one at a time. What with the fickle weather, shots of cold, and average overnight lows still below freezing for a few more weeks, it might wait until mid-April down here (not a single Dandelion so far). I might just give it a try, on one of the strongest hives, around mid April if & when it warms back up. Dandelion honey is said to be nearly water white (?)

    March 24th: We got about 6" of heavy wet snow on the grass overnight - much needed moisture.
    Last edited by Colobee; 03-24-2017 at 11:46 AM.
    After 40 years of beekeeping, I've come to realize that the bees can fix most of my mistakes.

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