Colorado Front Range - February, 2016 - Off to a roaring start - Page 3
Page 3 of 5 FirstFirst 12345 LastLast
Results 41 to 60 of 95
  1. #41
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Pueblo, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    1,527

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

    I re-inspected hives and I'm hoping my hives in the county will be ready to split in a few weeks, my hive in town has gone from a well built up hive to a monster in the past week. I'll split it and use it as a cell builder which i didn't want to do until the black locust flow but I really don't want to lose bees. The cottonwoods in the county were in full bloom as of April 8th and so was the musk mustard. Almost every year the mustard is getting worked hard except for this year, they're pulling tons of pollen in from other sources which I have yet to identify.
    Zone 5 @ 4700 ft. High Desert

  2. Remove Advertisements
    BeeSource.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #42
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Louisville, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    1,531

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

    Yesterday we checked a couple of hives that are pretty strong and we found a few swarm cells. Not capped yet but full of bee milk.
    So we thought, OK you want to swarm in April, let's split you and see how you do!

    We made up 2 nucs with a Q-cell frame and a frame of honey, a couple frames of emerging brood and a bunch of young bees.

    One hive we split vertically with a double screen.

    Woke up last night thinking: It's April 10th! What are you doing? It's too cold and iffy weather to split.
    Well, today I went to check and the nucs are humming with bees, some are orienting and they seem calm and happy. Didn't open them.

    We had blocked the entrance pretty good with grass and piled a bunch of sticks in front of the entrance hoping to keep as many bees home as possible.

    I've never split this early. But the fruit trees and dandelions are going crazy so maybe it can work.

    I might take a peek Thursday to see how it's going.

    I put the 4th and final medium brood boxes on my backyard hives. They are covering all 30 frames in the three boxes they wintered in.
    In a couple weeks I want to split them also. I promised to help a neighbor out with some bees this spring and I'd like to have three backyard hives.

    Too many splits this year!

  4. #43
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Castle Rock, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    1,699

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

    Thursday looks to be a great day. Then they are talking about rain and potentially wet & heavy snow for the weekend. Iffy weather is exactly right for April (& early May)! These 75* days often get me second guessing. Then it snows, then more 70's, more snow, more 70's...
    more guessing...
    After 40 years of beekeeping, I've come to realize that the bees can fix most of my mistakes.

  5. #44
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
    Posts
    2,661

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Colobee View Post
    Iffy weather is exactly right for April (& early May)! These 75* days often get me second guessing. Then it snows, then more 70's, more snow, more 70's... more guessing...
    The meteorological roller coaster sometimes referred to as Spring along the Front Range.
    --shinbone
    (1975-1980, and now since 2011; maintain about 10 hives; Zone 5b; 15" rain; 5500')

  6. #45
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Littleton, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    5

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

    I'm a rookie beekeeper located in Littleton tending to a swarm colony we caught last May. The colony is very strong and an inspection on Sunday uncovered about 5-6 swarm cells with day old eggs. We crushed them but now I'm wondering about my next move. Like Colobee a split sounds like a good idea but it's so early...

    In your opinion what are typical "split times" along the front range? With our unpredictable weather I'm curious to know what other beekeepers along the front range do.

  7. #46
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO United States
    Posts
    1,379

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

    Quote Originally Posted by obi735 View Post
    In your opinion what are typical "split times" along the front range? With our unpredictable weather I'm curious to know what other beekeepers along the front range do.
    Sorry to hear that you crushed them;(, but there will be more. It is not SO early if they are already building swarm cells. That is the first sign. I imagine after this weekend, hives in the front range will be in full blown swarm mode. Which would be a week or so early.
    Please excuse me, I am now free to go manage & treat ;)
    my ladies the best way I know how.

  8. #47
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    853

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

    obi,

    As Colebee and fields have advise you, you need to have your equipment ready and on stand-by, because your next opportunity is coming sooner than you think. In your previous situation you could have could have crushed the two smallest queen cells (QC), put two each in two separate NUC's with a frame of food and a frame of brood each, and fed them 1:1 syrup and a pollen patty (this is all minimal) and had the starts of two additional colonies. Since it is early in the year, and if you made sure that they had feed, they would probably be strong enough to go into winter adequately prepared. In other words, be ready with your equipment.

    Steve

  9. #48
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Louisville, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    1,531

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

    Cutting the cells gives you a little time to plan how to prevent the swarm that is coming. But will not stop them.

    What do you have for equipment? Do you have a honey super to give them? That would not guarantee they won't swarm but sometimes they put the nectar and honey up top and it frees up some room below for the queen.

    If you only have the one hive and don't want more, a double screen board can help keep them from swarming. Easy as pie. Lift the top brood box; put a queen excluder on the lower box(If you like to use an excluder) a super or two above that; the screen board, entrance facing the back, on the super; the top box on that. Then cover with the inner cover and hive cover. You are finished until swarm season is ended.

    If you wanted to split them and recombine later you would need a bottom board and a cover. You could rig something up if need be, two pieces of plywood, one for the top, the other the bottom with a shim for an entrance. Just take one hive body and move it to a new stand. Give the original a super or two. Put them side by side with the new hive facing the back. Recombine with newspaper after swarm season.

    If you want increase then follow Steve's plan.

    Have fun with it.

  10. #49
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Castle Rock, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    1,699

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

    Quote Originally Posted by obi735 View Post
    In your opinion what are typical "split times" along the front range? With our unpredictable weather I'm curious to know what other beekeepers along the front range do.
    'Not an opinion - just an observation - I've had hundreds of successful splits with late April mail order queens. It's quite likely that any mid-April queen cells will have at least a day or two of decent mating flight weather in any given week after mid-April - just no guarantees. As said, your best bet is probably to make two, and hope for one.

    I've only been living here for 50 years, and keeping bees for 40, so that's just one observation and one fairly successful approach. Some respectable local queen breeders have observed that the most consistently successful local queen rearing tends to be after June 1st.

    Rwuster would likely get a jump on us all, on average - down in Pueblo. By how much - I don't know. My plan is to rear 3 queens for every one that I hope to eventually see make it. I may try a few in early May - still waiting to see the first drone for now, and not in a huge hurry. Winter was very good to me.
    After 40 years of beekeeping, I've come to realize that the bees can fix most of my mistakes.

  11. #50
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
    Posts
    2,661

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

    Colobee - I've been seeing drones for 2 weeks, and I am very close to you . . .
    --shinbone
    (1975-1980, and now since 2011; maintain about 10 hives; Zone 5b; 15" rain; 5500')

  12. #51
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Louisville, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    1,531

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

    According to my notes the first drone I saw was March 15th. Seemed way early.
    Last year in April we had a booming hive that looked to be on the verge of swarm prep, but I remember seeing no drones.
    It changes from year to year.

  13. #52
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    853

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

    The Pikes Peak Beekeepers Association is doing a class this year with the mass graft on 4 April and a projected hatch date on ~12 May.
    We'll see how it goes.

    Steve

  14. #53
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Pueblo, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    1,527

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Colobee View Post
    Rwuster would likely get a jump on us all, on average - down in Pueblo. By how much - I don't know
    I'm making some "fingers crossed for good mating weather" queens. It's still early enough to make queens several times even though it really looks like there's going to be early swarms here. Mid May - June are pretty bulletproof months for open queen mating 80 - 90% success however I've noticed once the robber flies emerge queen mating success goes down to 40 - 50%.
    Zone 5 @ 4700 ft. High Desert

  15. #54
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Castle Rock, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    1,699

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

    I removed the feeder shims yesterday, before they had a chance to make a mess of the open space. I went through the weakest two hives - the "5 over 5" medium nucs. They looked pretty good and I even saw a few capped drone cells. Our first spring flows have just begun. My hives are still in "recovery mode" - no swarm prep, yet. Mid May-June sounds pretty good for queen rearing.

    Steve - did you mean April 24th for grafting? The 29th? Something doesn't add up.
    Last edited by Colobee; 04-14-2016 at 06:32 AM.
    After 40 years of beekeeping, I've come to realize that the bees can fix most of my mistakes.

  16. #55
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    853

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

    Colobee,

    Darn cataract surgery, it just doesn't allow me to count on my fingers very well. Thanks for keeping me honest. Graft on 30 April and hatch ~ 12 May. Does that sound better?

    Acknowledge that this demo is not at the optimum time of the year. The purpose is to demo the step by step flow of the process so that hopefully the "students" can duplicate the process on their own later when the timing is more optimum.

    Also, when the timing is more appropriate, I plan to demo and explain a Taranov split to "students" that have at least two years of "keeping" under their belt. As you are aware, that is also a great way to isolate out a group of young nurse bees, for other purposes as well.

    Steve

    Keep me honest !

    Steve

  17. #56
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Pueblo, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    1,527

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

    Hey Steve, is this grafting class open to the public? I would like to attend. I taught myself but being around those that have done it never hurts, I always learn new tricks.
    Zone 5 @ 4700 ft. High Desert

  18. #57
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    853

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

    Richard,

    We are novices struggling to put this together. We would be glad to have you join us but you might have to provide some lecture time too. Do you still have my e-mail address ?, If not send me a PM (which I hate)

    Steve

  19. #58
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
    Posts
    2,661

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

    Did someone mention that Spring along the Front Range is a weather roller coaster?

    Swarm season was just ramping up, when this happens:

    --shinbone
    (1975-1980, and now since 2011; maintain about 10 hives; Zone 5b; 15" rain; 5500')

  20. #59
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Castle Rock, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    1,699

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

    Overnight: 4-16 Snow.jpeg 'Looks to be ~6 inches, by the "dog's ankle" gauge.

    Supposedly 2 more days of this...

    Steve, I'm hoping to make the meeting, and would also like to attend the class if possible. Hopefully this snow will be gone & the roads clear. (sarcasm). Actually - I'm hoping the next one isn't even bigger (truthful) - it's that time of year; the "2nd snowiest month".

    I'll send you an email.
    Last edited by Colobee; 04-16-2016 at 08:38 AM.
    After 40 years of beekeeping, I've come to realize that the bees can fix most of my mistakes.

  21. #60
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Louisville, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    1,531

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

    You guys have a lot more than I do.

    I hope this doesn't kill the apple flower buds on my tree.

Page 3 of 5 FirstFirst 12345 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •