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Thread: Illinois

  1. #121
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
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    Byron, Il, USA
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    303

    Default Re: Illinois

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    When doing a fly back split with intent of making nucs, I prefer a two step process. Step one is to make the flyback as you described, moving the entire original hive to another location in your yard. You can even place it next to the flyback. Wait 10 days and THEN make your nucs with the frames containing the queen cells the still strong hive full of nurse bees has made. You get better fed queens this way. Divide up the remaining resources, bees, capped brood, frames, etc. as you see fit, but make sure each nuc gets plenty of stores.

    Oops, just realized you were leaving eggs with the queen. Give her just one frame of capped brood and one partial frame of honey. Leave all the eggs in the original hive.
    I am missing something in your advice. Here is my plan:
    1. Identify the queen and sequester her briefly in a nuc while doing the remaining manipulations.
    2. Divide the hive's resources into nucs: honey, pollen and eggs, all covered in nurse bees. Need a strong population of nurse bees in each nuc. They will make queens from the eggs.
    3. Return queen, some brood and a few frames of food to the original hive in the original location with a lot of new, clean frames. All of the field bees will automatically return to the original location, but they will have to build a lot of new comb to allow the queen to start laying again. With the whole field bee force available they should build up again very quickly.
    4. Feed the nucs and original hive to encourage rapid growth and comb production.

    My understanding is that this method allows the entire hive plus daughter nucs to get a brood break and hopefully cuts mite reproduction. It should also prevent swarming. No plan to take much honey this year.
    Have to watch the nucs carefully to make sure they re-queen.
    This sounds a little different from your advice. Any suggestions are welcome.

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  3. #122
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Byron, Il, USA
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    303

    Default Re: Illinois

    Or, put the queen into a nuc and leave the original hive queenless! Then divide into nucs 10 days later. Is that what you meant?

  4. #123
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,407

    Default Re: Illinois

    Yes, put the queen in the new hive in the old location with a little food, a frame of capped brood, and a bunch of empties. Move the original, now queenless hive to another spot. Let them make the queen cells and then do your splits just before the cells are due to emerge. About to perform this proceedure on several of mine today because grafting has not been working out so well. In my case, our dearth has started so the new hive will be getting a feeder to stimulate comb production. The nucs will get fed once they are made.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  5. #124
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Byron, Il, USA
    Posts
    303

    Default Re: Illinois

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    Yes, put the queen in the new hive in the old location with a little food, a frame of capped brood, and a bunch of empties. Move the original, now queenless hive to another spot. Let them make the queen cells and then do your splits just before the cells are due to emerge. About to perform this proceedure on several of mine today because grafting has not been working out so well. In my case, our dearth has started so the new hive will be getting a feeder to stimulate comb production. The nucs will get fed once they are made.
    I found the queen a few days ago and put her with a bunch of supplies and nurse bees into a nuc. I moved that a short distance away and left the original hive otherwise intact. I have been feeding the original hive sugar water in jars.

    Plan is to wait another week then dig into the original hive and see what I've got for queen cells, then divide the (hoped for) bounty into nucs, and replace the queen in her old home.

    Reading your post again I see this is the opposite of what you advised! We shall just see how it all turns out. My hope is that by leaving the old hive in the original position, the large workforce of bees will have no trouble raising the brood properly and creating queen cells, while the old queen is safe in a nuc with plenty of young bees and food.

    My worry about that plan is will the hive accept the old queen back or will they not recognize her and ball her? If that's a real concern I'll keep her separate and just make nucs. I hadn't thought of that when I made my plan. Perils of the undereducated keeper.

  6. #125
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Byron, Il, USA
    Posts
    303

    Default Re: Illinois

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    Yes, put the queen in the new hive in the old location with a little food, a frame of capped brood, and a bunch of empties. Move the original, now queenless hive to another spot. Let them make the queen cells and then do your splits just before the cells are due to emerge. About to perform this proceedure on several of mine today because grafting has not been working out so well. In my case, our dearth has started so the new hive will be getting a feeder to stimulate comb production. The nucs will get fed once they are made.
    I found the queen a few days ago and put her with a bunch of supplies and nurse bees into a nuc. I moved that a short distance away and left the original hive otherwise intact. I have been feeding the original hive sugar water in jars.

    Plan is to wait another week then dig into the original hive and see what I've got for queen cells, then divide the (hoped for) bounty into nucs, and replace the queen in her old home.

    Reading your post again I see this is the opposite of what you advised! We shall just see how it all turns out. My hope is that by leaving the old hive in the original position, the large workforce of bees will have no trouble raising the brood properly and creating queen cells, while the old queen is safe in a nuc with plenty of young bees and food.

    My worry about that plan is will the hive accept the old queen back or will they not recognize her and ball her? If that's a real concern I'll keep her separate and just make nucs. I hadn't thought of that when I made my plan. Perils of the undereducated keeper.

  7. #126
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Byron, Il, USA
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    303

    Default Re: Illinois

    Saw the first small hive beetle of this year today. It was on the landing board and the bees were harassing it like crazy. One would charge, bite and shake it, then another. It finally disappeared. I should have squashed it but it was so entertaining watching the bees go at it.

  8. #127
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Bunker Hill, IL
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    891

    Default Re: Illinois

    Quote Originally Posted by AR1 View Post
    Saw the first small hive beetle of this year today. It was on the landing board and the bees were harassing it like crazy. One would charge, bite and shake it, then another. It finally disappeared. I should have squashed it but it was so entertaining watching the bees go at it.
    Which is such a change from last year this when I was ordering my first ever hive beetle traps because they were so bad. But again this year ive only seen 1 or 2

  9. #128
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    Feb 2017
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    Byron, Il, USA
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    303

    Default Re: Illinois

    Quote Originally Posted by schmism View Post
    Which is such a change from last year this when I was ordering my first ever hive beetle traps because they were so bad. But again this year ive only seen 1 or 2
    Well, they are a southern bug, I believe. I suspect the really hard winter knocked them back a bit. This year I am getting almost no grapes, no peaches at all, and only a handful of raspberries. Tough year for lots of things. Even the Japanese beetles are lower in numbers this year.

  10. #129
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Byron, Il, USA
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    Default Re: Illinois

    I saw a small hive beetle at the bottom of a hive yesterday, so today I went looking for them. I pulled all the frames out and put them in another box one by one. Saw no beetles on the frames, but a bunch, maybe 6 on the lower board. It was very interesting watching the bees attack the beetles as they were exposed. They went right at them biting. There were several dead beetles lying on the floor so I think the bees are aggressive enough to actually kill some. Good to see. These bees are definitely biters. Dark color, brown to black, maybe carnies.

    So I rehived everything in a new box in case there were beetles I missed somewhere and closed everything up tight except a narrow entrance. Last year was bad, so will have to keep an eye on things. Tomorrow will check the other hives.

  11. #130
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    Feb 2017
    Location
    Byron, Il, USA
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    303

    Default Re: Illinois

    No more beetles so far!

    Yesterday I heard a queen piping for the first time. This was in a hive I took the queen out of to stimulate new queens. I had divided up all the queen cells I found and made 2 nucs plus the original hive with those cells, plus a hive with the original queen.

    I checked one nuc yesterday and found the queen cell empty. I did not see a queen in the hive so I swapped in a frame of eggs and larvae just in case they didn't succeed in making a queen. I have one more nuc to check. Maybe tomorrow.

    I like having peaceful bees! I spent the whole day stripping the shigles off of a shed and started nailing on new shingles, directly in front of two nucs and a hive. Not one bee so much as buzzed me as I walked back and forth hauling shingles and cutting them etc.

  12. #131
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Byron, Il, USA
    Posts
    303

    Default Re: Illinois

    The hive with the piping queen swarmed a few days later. Lucky, it landed in a small apple tree just a few yards away and I got them. Today found the queen and a large area of eggs and larvae.

    The hive she left behind remained queenless so I did a newspaper combine today with the original swarm queen that came May 30. I had her sequestered and was robbing frames of eggs for my splits. Poor girl, took too many and the hive was dwindling, though she was laying a lot. I gave her back to her original hive so she will have plenty of staff to support her brood.

    So from one swarm on May 30 I now have 4 hives with active queens. One is going to my niece who has had bees in the past. Her husband made most of my original equipment for me free of charge.

    Except for small hive beetles I have not seen any pests at all. Need to do an alcohol wash to verify. I spend several minutes on each hive every few days looking for mites, and not seen even one, but they must be there somewhere. In the past I have never had problems spotting mites if there were very many present. Possibly all the splitting and broodless periods is keeping them down. I even cut off drone brood and opened a few dozen and found not one mite.

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