Colony Update here in MA - Page 24
Page 24 of 62 FirstFirst ... 14222324252634 ... LastLast
Results 461 to 480 of 1238
  1. #461
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Tewksbury, MA
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    The Golden Barrel fondant comes shipped in two layers of cardboard boxes, inside is a solid 50lb block of fondant they vacuum seal into a plastic bag. It is very well packaged, but quite heavy, so not necessarily convenient if you are looking for just a few pounds!

    Our processing is quite simple. We take the inside box apart at the seams to expose the plastic bag (and protect the table top), positioning the block on a work table with the short end facing us. After opening the bag to expose the fondant, we cut slices that are roughly one inch deep (or deeper for light hives) and let it fall towards us landing on a piece of wax paper. I use a 22 inch machete which allows me to angle the knife so the fondant falls directly on the wax paper without having to move it by hand, but any longer knife would work. The key is that the fondant is solid, but very most, so almost no effort at all is required to cut from top to bottom.

    This results in roughly a 12"x12" chunk that is an inch deep, wrapped in wax paper. We just throw the pile of slices into a sealed plastic container that sits in our always cold and seldom dry New England basement, this prevents them from drying out before we need them. Anything we don't need to cut right away is re-wrapped in the original plastic and put back in the box. I had a block from last winter and it was just as moist as the day I first cut it, but I think the key is to keep it airtight, cool and dry.

    I know many of the local bee supply stores have fondant in smaller quantities, they only add on a buck or two per pound which is reasonable if I only had one hive. Perhaps you could split the 50lb block with your friends, club or even keep leftovers for the late winter hive checks? Good luck!

  2. Remove Advertisements
    BeeSource.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #462
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Keene, New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    208

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    Thank you, Mike. That information is very helpful.

    I wonder whether fondant is preferable or equivalent to Laurie's sugar brick recipe. Do the bees like one over the other? With the sugar block recipe, one can add mega bee protein powder or electrolytes which might be an advantage. Any opinions?

  4. #463
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Derry, New Hampshire
    Posts
    2,295

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    I've only used fondant(can't think of the sugar mixture that is gooey but never hardens) which I made myself when feeding pollen. otherwise I've used sugar bricks which are 50percent cheaper when made myself.
    Terrence

  5. #464
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Norfolk County, MA, USA
    Posts
    231

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    I make my own fondant but it can be a pain in the rear. I just bought a Cabelas 12 tray dehydrator on sale for $169.00 to mimick Lauri's recipe. I am doing this solely on the fact it looks much easier labor wise to cooking fondant.

    I have used Randy Olivers recipe (tweaked a bit) to make home made protein patties and found the bees like them better than commercially made ones. This is one reason I will continue with good old fashioned homemade cooked food bees seem to be just like humans in this dept.
    Think about it....Buy American

  6. #465
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Strafford County, NH
    Posts
    2,425

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    Tuesday looks like the best bet this week to do some work in the hives, forecast here to be around 60F. For the past couple weeks it's been too generally yuck to feel like going into the hives. Feeders are still on but I'm sure they haven't been touched, been too chilly. Tomorrow I'll make the sugar bricks (while no one is home because they don't like the smell of the vinegar), and Tuesday I'll remove all feeders, reduce supers if needed, and put sugar bricks in tops of hives. If I can get to the quilt boxes by then I'll add those, otherwise I'll add when I can, and I'll wrap in styrofoam sometime soon too.

    I'm wondering if the hives stored enough syrup to even make it until Tuesday. I'll peek in them and make sure they're still alive before I start preparing them for winter.

    It's going to be a long, dark wait for them until spring. Hope they don't get depressed in there. I would.

  7. #466
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Derry, New Hampshire
    Posts
    2,295

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    I did an oav at one yard and brought out the quilt boxes and sugar blocks. I put the sugar blocks in zip lock bags inside of the quilt boxes for now. I was going to just change them over but the feeders were still full. They hadn't taken anything in 2 weeks. The I realized I forgot my smoker. grrrrr. as it was cold and I couldn't smoke them down away from the feeder I didn't want to remove them and drench the bees so I waited. I'll probably bring a small hose I can siphon off some next time.
    yellow jackets all over the place. lots of dead bees on the bottom board and in the grass. I put on mouse excluders that I made with only a one bee width opening and taped up some areas that looked like the yj's were entering.
    i'm going to take some drawn comb this week and put in my sugar recipe and cook it in the comb. then next week i'll replace the empty combs with these or follower boards to condense them. they are just about on their own for the winter. i'm not able to get them anywhere near where they should be despite my efforts.
    Terrence

  8. #467
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Keene, New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    208

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    Kaisen and Newbee, I am doing just about what you are doing too. I have sugar bricks in there and they have been all over them. I have a mite counting board and I had 52 mites in a 24 hour drop two days ago, and 108 in a 48 hour drop that I counted this morning. I just got my Varrox vaporizer and gas mask this week and plan to give everyone a dose on either Tuesday if I have time (I am working at the polls), or Thursday. Wednesday looks like rain. Tomorrow I plan to make quilt boxes out of some shallows that someone gave me, although in the past I have just insulated above and added homosote underneath the cover.

  9. #468
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Strafford County, NH
    Posts
    2,425

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    I like the quilt boxes because they can suck the moisture out of the shavings if they get thirsty.

  10. #469
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Derry, New Hampshire
    Posts
    2,295

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    Quote Originally Posted by VickyLynn View Post
    Kaisen and Newbee, I am doing just about what you are doing too. I have sugar bricks in there and they have been all over them. I have a mite counting board and I had 52 mites in a 24 hour drop two days ago, and 108 in a 48 hour drop that I counted this morning. I just got my Varrox vaporizer and gas mask this week and plan to give everyone a dose on either Tuesday if I have time (I am working at the polls), or Thursday. Wednesday looks like rain. Tomorrow I plan to make quilt boxes out of some shallows that someone gave me, although in the past I have just insulated above and added homosote underneath the cover.
    I hate treating for mites. just a pain imo. you will realize a huge improvement over what you have seen. after a year I realized i'm just too lazy to count mites. now that I have more hives i'm too busy trying to build and keep up with them.
    Terrence

  11. #470
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Quincy, Mass USA
    Posts
    813

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    Weather continue to cool. Daytime highs 53-69F with the nighttime lows 34-53F. Still no hard frost near the shore. Month rain (November) is 0.16" and YTD is 21.74

    Lost another hive this week again due to the robbing two weeks ago. Same pattern as before with a large number (thousands) of dead bees basically sealing off the main entrance to the hive inside the robbing screen. Cleaned them out and when I checked there were no bees left inside the hive. No signs of honey being robbed so it looks like they were successful keeping the robbers out, even if it meant using their bodies to do it.... Second hive is basically dead as the colony has now been reduced to a small hand full of bees with the queen.... Too small to worry about combining.... Plenty of honey so will distribute to any light hives....

    Part of the problem seems to be that the hives chose to defend the main entrance inside the robber screen instead of the small upper opening in the robber screen.... Next year am thinking I need to use both a standard entrance reducer as well as the robber screen.... That way there are two layers of defense that the robbers will have to fight through... Hopefully that will prevent this from happening in the future....
    Since '12 Zone 7a 42.25N 71.00W 17H OAV Amitraz
    Seaside Apiaries

  12. #471
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Derry, New Hampshire
    Posts
    2,295

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob J View Post
    Part of the problem seems to be that the hives chose to defend the main entrance inside the robber screen instead of the small upper opening in the robber screen.... Next year am thinking I need to use both a standard entrance reducer as well as the robber screen.... That way there are two layers of defense that the robbers will have to fight through... Hopefully that will prevent this from happening in the future....
    same here. after I oav'd the bees I stuck the robber screen back on as I didn't have my smoker and thought it might calm them down a little. the entrance was 2 bees wide and I watched a bee come out and a yellow jacket go in walk right by ten bees and right into the hive. thinking I will also this week put out some yellow jacket traps at my outyards. I have them at home and have caught hundreds.
    Terrence

  13. #472
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Quincy, Mass USA
    Posts
    813

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    Quote Originally Posted by kaizen View Post
    same here. after I oav'd the bees I stuck the robber screen back on as I didn't have my smoker and thought it might calm them down a little. the entrance was 2 bees wide and I watched a bee come out and a yellow jacket go in walk right by ten bees and right into the hive. thinking I will also this week put out some yellow jacket traps at my outyards. I have them at home and have caught hundreds.
    Yellow jacket traps is a great idea.... Yellow jackets weren't nearly as much a problem as the robbing was but putting traps in all my yards will definitely help.....
    Since '12 Zone 7a 42.25N 71.00W 17H OAV Amitraz
    Seaside Apiaries

  14. #473
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Norfolk County, MA, USA
    Posts
    231

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    Bob J

    You seem to have many problems with robbing. You said you use gallon feeders what type are you using? I have been using the MP method of paint cans in the fall for a few years now and have little to no robbing. My nucs did experience some robbing using quart mason jars but nothing to decimate them.
    Think about it....Buy American

  15. #474
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    North Andover, MA
    Posts
    108

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    Spark, do you have a link to that Randy Oliver protein patty recipe ?

  16. #475
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Quincy, Mass USA
    Posts
    813

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    Quote Originally Posted by Spark View Post
    Bob J

    You seem to have many problems with robbing. You said you use gallon feeders what type are you using? I have been using the MP method of paint cans in the fall for a few years now and have little to no robbing. My nucs did experience some robbing using quart mason jars but nothing to decimate them.
    I'm also using the paint cans.... Unfortunately I don't think it was a key factor as two of the hives were decimated before I started feeding.... My thought is that it was mainly driven by the lack of nectar due to the drought driving nearby hives to desperation.... This has really been a learning experience for me..... Really thought the robber screens would do the job protecting the hives but didn't fully realize the dynamic if the robbers figured out how to use the top entrance in the screen.... The pile of dead bees shows that the hive was primarily defending the main entrance inside the screen and not the small upper entrance.... An entrance reducer inside the screen should make all the difference now that I think I understand the dynamic... Unfortunately too late for the hives that have been hit....:-(
    Since '12 Zone 7a 42.25N 71.00W 17H OAV Amitraz
    Seaside Apiaries

  17. #476
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Norfolk County, MA, USA
    Posts
    231

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    Bob

    Given how this year went I left the supers on into September to help the bees with feeding. I did not have any noticable robbing and I added the cans closer to October and all hives but 2 had their hive weight before the end of October. This may have helped since there wasn't an open sugar source to draw hungry neighbors over for a free lunch.

    When I first started I used hive top feeders in the fall big mistake. When I did use robber screens I only had the botton entrance open but reduced it and closed all other entrances with duct tape and I put Vicks vapor rub aroung the robber screen entrrance. This worked but it was a pain and I changed to paint cans. I am happy with the results and I think keeping the supers on longer because of the drought kept the smell from syrup down further reducing potential robbing from the Millenial bees .
    Think about it....Buy American

  18. #477
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Quincy, Mass USA
    Posts
    813

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    Quote Originally Posted by Spark View Post
    Bob

    Given how this year went I left the supers on into September to help the bees with feeding. I did not have any noticable robbing and I added the cans closer to October and all hives but 2 had their hive weight before the end of October. This may have helped since there wasn't an open sugar source to draw hungry neighbors over for a free lunch.

    When I first started I used hive top feeders in the fall big mistake. When I did use robber screens I only had the botton entrance open but reduced it and closed all other entrances with duct tape and I put Vicks vapor rub aroung the robber screen entrrance. This worked but it was a pain and I changed to paint cans. I am happy with the results and I think keeping the supers on longer because of the drought kept the smell from syrup down further reducing potential robbing from the Millenial bees .
    Paint cans definitely rock! Keeps the syrup clean, easy to transport and easy for the bees to access.... Tried several hive top/frame feeders with varied success but nothing was as easy to work with as the paint cans!

    I fed way too late this year... We usually get a decent fall flow and then all I have to do it a quick "top up" but this year we got nothing.... Unfortunately I kept waiting and hoping until it was literally the last possible opportunity to feed... Certainly a lesson learned for next year.....
    Since '12 Zone 7a 42.25N 71.00W 17H OAV Amitraz
    Seaside Apiaries

  19. #478
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    2,949

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    Quote Originally Posted by Spark View Post
    I make my own fondant but it can be a pain in the rear. I just bought a Cabelas 12 tray dehydrator on sale for $169.00 to mimick Lauri's recipe. I am doing this solely on the fact it looks much easier labor wise to cooking fondant.

    I have used Randy Olivers recipe (tweaked a bit) to make home made protein patties and found the bees like them better than commercially made ones. This is one reason I will continue with good old fashioned homemade cooked food bees seem to be just like humans in this dept.
    You'll love that dehydrator.
    I actually dry apples, fruit, vegies, etc along with the sugar blocks if I have extra room, and have found no transfer of flavor.

    Here's an experimental batch of lightly cooked apple sauce with nuts and seeds (Lightly sweetened with honey of course) I dried on a single shelf with all the other shelf full of sugar blocks. The dehydrator does use some electricity, so I like to have it full when in use.

    PB060700.jpg

    PB080774.jpg

    PB020653.jpg


    I can get 8-10 of these pans in one large dehydrator and do up 100#+ of sugar. (each pan holds 12.5# of sugar) That makes a lot of blocks fast. Ready in 2 days @ 130 degrees -4 days after letting them sit a day or two to 'finish' so they lift out hard and are easy to handle without being crumbly.

    PB020651.jpg

    PB040664.jpg
    Lauri Miller.
    Carniolan Hybrids. Glenn, Latshaw & Wild lines.

  20. #479
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Strafford County, NH
    Posts
    2,425

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    Finally got into my hives today to put winter sugar blocks in them. For the first time in the 5 years I've been doing this, 2 of my hives absconded. One was a 3 year old Russian queen that in August had laid brood end to end in 3 or four frames, it was beautiful. No sign of any of the bees, no dead bees, and nothing in any of the frames. I had been feeding with a top quart jar on the hive. Apparently they sucked the last of that down and left without so much as a goodbye.

    The other absconded hive was right next door. That hive I was also feeding of course, trying to build it up -- it had confounded me because only the 3rd medium up had honey stores, the 2 bottom mediums had been completely empty, this was in I think September. There were some dead bees on the bottom board, maybe 50, but everyone else was gone and all the frames were empty.

    I now have four empty small hives set up out there that I'll leave until spring, in hopes that either a wayward colony decides to move in, or hopefully transfer my overwintered nucs into the larger hives next spring.

    CROSSING FINGERS FOR A DANDELION SEASON NEXT SPRING.

    This leaves me with 4 double nucs, 3 small hives new this summer, and 2 "production" hives that had overwintered. (I use the term "production" lightly because many of us around here did not get honey this year)

    So sugar bricks are in all hives, which I will check regularly because of the dearth this summer, and stryofoam in the lids. I still have to put the quilt boxes on, and wrap the hives. Maybe next weekend. Supposed to be mild this week, temps in the 50s.

    Oh, and I saw orange pollen coming in today. I was surprised. I was also surprised when I passed a flowering goldenrod in the yard. Wow. Mid November? It was just one sprig that was flowering, didn't see any others, but they may be around.

  21. #480
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Suffolk Co, NY, USA
    Posts
    3,712

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    Quote Originally Posted by NewbeeInNH View Post
    Finally got into my hives today to put winter sugar blocks in them. For the first time in the 5 years I've been doing this, 2 of my hives absconded. One was a 3 year old Russian queen that in August had laid brood end to end in 3 or four frames, it was beautiful. No sign of any of the bees, no dead bees, and nothing in any of the frames. I had been feeding with a top quart jar on the hive. Apparently they sucked the last of that down and left without so much as a goodbye.

    The other absconded hive was right next door. That hive I was also feeding of course, trying to build it up -- it had confounded me because only the 3rd medium up had honey stores, the 2 bottom mediums had been completely empty, this was in I think September. There were some dead bees on the bottom board, maybe 50, but everyone else was gone and all the frames were empty.
    when was the last time you inspected them?
    when do you suppose this happened?

Page 24 of 62 FirstFirst ... 14222324252634 ... 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
  •