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  1. #61
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    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    The only flaws I can think of are in me, I am having hard time keeping track of all you are doing. So, no comments at this time, I'm just reading for enjoyment your first year adventures in keeping a few bee hives. Thanks for the update and the small little update which is almost as much writing as the first update so don't know how you call it small... :} I enjoy reading your stories very much and am looking forward to more results of the rest of your adventures.

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  3. #62
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    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    Ray
    Don't feel bad about not keeping up. I can't even remember what I have done even when it just happened and then add typing and spelling and everything goes out the window. I really envy those who can actually get a point across with few words.

    First year is first year and you only know what you know and so adventure is an understatement. No matter what happens, I should know a little more next year.
    Thanks for reading.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  4. #63
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    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    Ok, an update.

    I took my home made bee excape board and put it on a bottom board and pulled all my capped frames from two hives and put them in two supers on top of it. I will pick them up tomorrow around 7 am and if there are still bees, I will brush them off at the house. I have crush and strained about a quart and a half already due to wanting some honey and also one comb being fat and on two frames.

    I am going to extract these in my home made extractor and try to save the drawn comb. I am foundationless and so it should be interesting.

    Off of the two hives and just guessing, I think I will end up with about 15 quarts when all is said and done. I thought I was going to have two full supers worth but did not end up with that. I have a few frames in the hive that were not compleetly capped yet. I was a little surprized by the hives. One hive was the one that I think had swarmed and that I then did the fly back split (to stop after swarms) where I moved it to the side and let all the bees fly back to the old location. The honey came from the young portion of this split that had all the brood and just a queen cell when I made the split. I got a full super off of this hive.

    I only got about a half super off of the hive that did not swarm. The third brood box was just packed with brood and light (probly 5/6 frames) I did not look below this super cause I was just after honey. A funny thing happened in this hive that I hope does not add up to trouble. I broke off a whole brood comb full of brood while pulling frames because it had a 2 inch portion in the middle that was attached to the top bar beside the brood comb frame. It seems that during storing honey the combs are more wonky and I cut another one also and just let the honey drop down in the hive. The reason I thought something bad might have happened is because there were some bees on top of the open hive sticking their buts up in the air putting out homeing farimone. Maby I killed the queen with dropping honey in the hive or the way I fixed the broken brood comb. Or maby robbers telling each other heres dinner. I proby just killed the whole side worth of brood because the way I fixed the comb was to just lift it back on the frame and put it against the wall of the hive so that the brood against the wall will probly not be able to hatch. I wonder how many days I should give the bees to reattach the comb and then move it enough from the wall to give a little bee space?

    I condenced the hives down to just three medium brood boxes which ment that none of the comb was put back in order and so all the bee spacing will bee off and I am sure it will take some time for the bees to get it right.

    I also wonder how good the excape board is going to work as I know you are not suposed to put brood in it and still expect the bees to leave. I had one frame that had about a 3 inch circle cleaned out for brood and it had one capped brood on one side and three capped brood on the other side and the rest was capped honey. The cells were cleaned and except for those few capped brood, it seemed that they were compleatly empty as best I could see looking hard. I guess tomorrow I will see if just a few nurse bees stay or they all stay. The night time temp is only forcast to get down to 57 degrees and so it might not be cool enough for the excape to work well and I am only giving it 12 hours to work rather then 24 or 48 hours. Time will tell.

    I have some pretty strait combs but have also found that being foundationless and trying to use honey combs for guides that just being 50% capped is not good enough to put empties in between, they just draw the uncapped parts wide. Also the closer to the walls of the hive the more the comb drifts on the end to the next frame. I still aint mad that I am too cheep to buy foundation because, though I might be setting the bees back a little/lot, It is a good learning experiance and as long as I can keep ahead of the bees equiptment wise, I sill have no money in it and though I might not be production king, I am getting what I get pretty cheaply with time being my real investment.

    Tomorrow will be my first extraction with an extractor, Should be interesting.

    As always, I know I match the bone head title of this thread and don't mind if somebody tells me so, especially if I have a hope of learning from it.
    Thanks
    gww
    Ps I also think that one or two frames is from last fall. The capps on these frames are not bright white like most of them are. If it was yours, would you try and keep those frames of honey seperate or would you just mix it all and be done with it?
    Last edited by gww; 06-23-2017 at 06:13 PM.
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  5. #64
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    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    Do let us know how the extracting goes, here's a tip...

    My extractor is a tangent, so it has a cage that the sides of the frames lean against that helps them from breaking out. Another thing I've done is to take some light weight cotton string (yarn would work also) and made a loop on one end, put that around one "ear" of the top bar, and loop it round and round the frame and tie it off at the other top bar "ear". It looks like an old fashion barber pole wrap. That helps hold the comb together during extracting.

    Also, on that broken brood comb, use the cotton string wrap idea I just mentioned above to tie the brood comb back in place so that it won't fall out of the frame. In a week the bees will have it attached well enough to remove the string. I've left the string in for a couple of months at a time in the past without any bad issues.

    Looking forward to hearing more of your bone head adventures!!!

  6. #65
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    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    Ray

    I have used the cotton string thing several times. I guess mine is closer to thick thread. I have never taken it out of the hive but have watched bees do it. I have watched them hang near the end and kick in the after burners and you can see them shift gears. It looks like they can pull pretty hard. They sometimes seem to work in teams. I did not do that today because the comb fit the frame pretty good and I was not expecting trouble. I had quite a few things that I used my putty knife on to smash and straiten. Pulling honey by the frame is harder then setting a whole super and then just returning the stuff you don't extract.

    I had the combs spread out due to pulling up frames to bait new supers and so had to go through all of them to condence the hive.

    I have also made a frame with little nails and wraped the cotton thread around them to make a spider web type thing to lay the comb on but the last time I did that I made the web with a little too big of holes and the comb did not hold that well. I have used rubber bands. I had read that michael bush sometimes uses rubber bands around new comb when extracting. I have about 15 frames and I might try a little of everything and see which ends up being easyest.

    I also had a frame at the hives that I had drilled two holes in the top bar at an angle so that shish kabob sticks could be driven into the comb but was flustered at the time and sweating and just did it the way I did. Probly should have tried harder. So far I have used the string thing the most but would have went back to my garage to get it and I had had the hive open pretty long and it was already 6pm or so.

    My extractor is a four frame radial and a sewing machine motor and so we will see tomorrow what kind of speed control I can get out of it with full honey frames. I only tried it out with empties.

    All the honey I droped in the hive could have killed some bees. I have fixed combs before using hive tops as tables and know that honey can kill bees and that they get stuck pretty easy.

    I will let you know how it goes. I am not a very organized person and even though I have been reading, studieing and thinking about how to do the extraction process, I, in the end, usually jump in the first time unprepared and then I get a little bit more prepared next time. I have been dreading the first time cause I am the way I am.

    I do thank you very much for giving me the tips.
    Thanks
    gww

    PS I have been making the wife a bit peturbed because she likes the grass cut and I have been using the bees as an excuse to not cut. If the grand kids are coming I cut it so they can play but I have seen the bees on the yard clover and so only cut half today. She told me she would rather not be embarressed with and ugly lawn than have bees and honey, Ha ha. Guess I will bite the bullet tommorrow and finnish the lawn also.
    zone 5b

  7. #66
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    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    LOL gww yes you better get the grass cut before you end up sleeping in the bee yard.

  8. #67
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    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    Ok
    I have the honey in the house. It did not go well in my opinion but is done. In the end, the bees did not leave through the excape board and most seemed to be clustered at the top of the hive and still spread out on the frames. My garage is 50/75 yards from the hive. My gas blower would not prime so I could start it. I took it to my compressor. I thought the bees would leave with a little smoke and blowing out by the super. Maby there is not as good a flow as I thought. I had to get two unused supers and blow each frame individually and put them in the new supers.

    The bees are still clustered on the boxes and not flying home. I must say that all I had on was a smock with veil and shorts and flip flops and the bees were landing on me and following the frames but did not sting me and I was abusive and some bees did die.

    More later.
    gww
    zone 5b

  9. #68
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    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    Ok, extracting done except for putting the extractor into storage.

    My wife was excited and also did 90% of the work. When we were done she wasn't excited any more.

    Here is where I blew out the bees from the combs. This is about an hour after and you can't see it but there are still hundreds of bees in the air and robbing from the surface of the old boxes.


    Here are my bee free supers before exctracting.


    Here is our uncapping. we just crush and strained on comb due to it falling out while uncapping.


    The extractor which worked well though at the end something slipped enough and the tolerances are tight enough that it sounded like somebody knocking on the door cause one frame was hitting the trash can in one place. The sewing machine motor worked great for starting slow and then speeding up. Good speed control. I could have went much faster then I did and don't know how wet I left the frames cause I have no point of referance. I just spun a little slower and longer.


    I blew out two comb with the one in the picture being the worst. I used rubber bands on some that where not attached on the bottom of the frame and I think it worked pretty good. I did lose to but could have lost more cause many of them were not very attached at the bottom.


    last picture next post.
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  10. #69
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    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    Here is my extractor taken apart for the bees to rob. I also put the cappings wax spread out on a tray and put it all in the trailer I pull with my atv.


    I put the wet supers back on the hives and parked the trailer in mid shade for the bees.

    I got right around 4 gal of honey. Extracting is hard work and I would still be at it rather then writing this if my wife had not did most of the work and clean up.

    I saved some drawn comb but think that crush and strain is easier then extracting.

    I did not fix the broken brood comb better and did not mow the grass (yet! ha,ha).

    Ray. I did bring the cotton thread in the house but it ended up that the rubber bands were just good enough. The honey was very thick and not all the same color and for better or worse is all in an almost full 5 gal bucket now. The only two good things about the whole thing is that it is done and that I did lick my fingers a lot on the way to the kitchen sink.
    Hope to make it a bit smoother some how next time.
    Cheers
    gww
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  11. #70
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    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    Well that chore is done, other than the final cleanup and storage of equipment, I bet you're glad it's over. Sorry it did not turn out as well as you'd hoped, but hey, 4+ gallons of honey is nothing to sneeze at either. I hope you enjoy it tremendously!

    Have you thought yet about next time? What will you do differently?
    I'm thinking one main problem was trying to extract foundationless frames huh? The ones that were successful, the next time will be stronger combs so won't be as tender and may extract with better success.

  12. #71
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    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    Ray
    In a way it went as I was expecting it to except the bee excape did not work at all. I do think it might have gotten rid of more bees if I would have put one on top and on bottom of the stack. I am also not sure of flows, cause I really just wanted to try and just tip the supers near dark and near the hive it came from and pick it up after dark. I am not sure that works well in a derth and bees at night sorta scare me.

    Over all with the two combs blowing out, it was not a big surprize cause some of them were not the greatest in fitting the frames square. I think I would like foundation but just can't make myself do it money wise and I go from greed to dread on having to get rid of any honey for money. I am not a salesman.

    What would I do differrent. If my wife was not helping me, I would have decapped one frame at a time while I loaded the extractor. I think that it would have took longer but that it would not have stressed the comb as much as her decapping and laying them on thier side till I got to them. I also need to make a better system with the honey gate on the extractor and the bowl that I let it drain in. The extractor walked away from the bowl and poured some honey on the floor. I need to attach a board for the bowl to sit on so it walks with the extractor. If I could do it out side. I have a stand that puts the honey gate at 5 gal bucket higth and coud go stait in the bucket but I didn't want to carry too much into the house.

    I also need to get better honey gates. I bought the absolute cheapest off of ebay to try things out cause it it didn't work, why do more. The gate is hard to close due to a washer at the wing nut and the handle kept slipping around and the handle on it would fall in the honey.

    After that it is harder to keep things clean and honey would drip to the floor from the handle even if you did get it closed good. I would also not be as rigid about the filtering. I am going to get a paint filter for next time. Except for the capping, I would like to put the honey in the bucket with no filter and just let it sit and then skim the top and see how it turned out. I used some kind of micro filter that had about an 8 inch plastic ring on it and the filter was probly two feet long. I cliped the ring to the bucket and then poured about a gallon a time into it everytime my bowl at the extractor honey gate filled it. When I was done putting honey in the bucket, I just lifted the filter out. It filtered well and did not stop up but I wonder if it is really needed. It just seemed like we dirtied a lot of bowls and trays and that if we worked slower, we might not have used so many and may not have carried drips from place to place. I don't know why I care about that since my wife did all the cleaning but she was tired because of it and that made it not as pleasent.

    I think everything worked as it should but if I could work on the flow of our work, we could do more in the same time or maby more time but less hard cleaning. If a guy could do it out side with out the bees bugging you it could be made lots easier.

    Part of it taking so long is not knowing when it is good not haveing done it before. At four gal for the amount of frames I had, I figure it probly worked like it should and so next time, I will be better able to guage the feel and look of a drained comb and be able to get my extractor speed to where it does it quick and yet good enough.

    In all, I think clearing the bees from the frames is where I need the most help.

    Mostly it went like I thought it would but maby I can do better next time on the extraction work flow so we don't make as much mess to have to clean up. I also think that this being the first honey and trying to get every drop of it in the bucket is a mistake. We used a spatula to clean the walls of the extractor. If we can convince out selves to not worry about the inch of honey that is below the honey gate are the honey that is coating everything an just let the bees have it back, that would be a help also.

    When we deer hunt at dads, I was always the one to clean all the dear and I used to save the ribs and cut as close as I can to the blood shot meat and make sure I get the little piece of meat from inside the dear at the back of the spine. As I have gotten older, I have quit gutting the meat and just take all the meat off of the four quarters and the back strap and the neck. Just not gutting and leaving the ribs has really made the cleaning a bit easier and you really are not losing much. Just like falaying fish. You don't lose that much and the pleasure of eating boneless fish makes it worth it.

    As you can see, I have never learned the talent of saying what I want to get across with just a few words.

    The bees are just tearing up the stuff I gave them to clean, expecially the pan of cappings.
    Cheers
    gww

    Ps My wife says I can't give it all away cause I only got enough for her and the kids. I doubt I will be selling any yet. I bet some other relitive get some though.
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  13. #72
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    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    Yes, I think having an escape board on both the top and bottom would have been better, but also it works much better if you can leave them that way for 24-48 hours for all the bees to get out. They don't come out real fast so it does take a little time. To speed them up, it takes a bit of that beego or beequick stuff that makes them want to exit with a quickness.

    Leaving the frames out and near sunset for the bees to fly back to hive by dark won't work out well unless you are in a good flow. If not in a good flow, they'll start trying to rob the honey out and back to the hive.

    On the uncapping and extracting, next time take an empty box or two to use to hang the frames in when uncapping or when done spinning. Set it on a flat oil drip pan from the auto parts store to catch the drippings, it makes for quick easy clean up. You can also just set them in an upturned hive lid.

    And yes, better honey gates are in order. Put one at the bottom of a five gallon bucket, and put a 5 gallon paint filter bag in it. This filters the honey great, and gives way to empty into jars or another bucket for storage. This is how I do it anyway. Sometimes I use a fry screen that is shaped like a tea cup strainer, only large enough to fit a five gallon bucket. That gives plenty enough straining for honey. Letting the bucket sit a few days, then bottling it from that bottom honey gate gives nice clear honey.

  14. #73
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    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    and Oh, my extractor is SS and is attached to a couple large truck rims on the bottom, so gives it weight at the bottom, and height off of the floor so it drains into a five gallon bucket. At the end, I tip it over some to get the honey out of bottom of extractor. Maybe this will give you some ideas on your garbage can extractor?

  15. #74
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    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    Ray
    I was probly over confident on the bee excape cause I built one based on one on Dave Cushmans site that he said he tried and the bees cleared the super in 1.5 hours.

    Good ideal on the supers though since one super was only half full, I did "this time" have a place to put the extracted frames. I had it setting on a plastic trash bag. I have some big restrant cookie sheets that would work to set a super in for the uncapped but not spun frames. I will have to bring one or two home.

    I have one of the cheap honey gates on the bottom of my $5 walmart 5 gal buckets now. I thing if I ever open it and start filling jars, I better have enough jars for all the honey. I may never get it closed again. defanate upgrade in my future.

    The extractor was "ok" even with having to move a gal at a time if the honey gate was easier to use and more secure. If I add anything to it, it might be tip wheels and a handle so that I can move it with out seperating the frame from the trash can. The sewing machine motor and frame it is on is pretty heavy and auckward. I do have the perfect size small table to get the hight but it might make it auckward putting the frames in it though I think I tried it in the garage when building it and it was do-able.

    I love getting your tips and thank you for them.
    gww
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  16. #75
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    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    I got in a few of the hives today. It looks like the bees are working pretty hard like if there is still a flow on. This might not be the case though cause they are also gethering at the water hole and carrying a lot of water. They did not do that earlier. Maby they need the water to eat what honey they have in the hive.

    Anywho, my goal was to just see what the bees might have done with the wet supers that I put back on and to see if there was any comb being drawn.

    I also wanted to see if I needed to add space to any of the swarms I had. I have three that are still in a single medium at this time. I only looked at two of them. Both were about 70% drawn out. They are a little less drawn out now due to me fixing some wonky comb.

    I had slowly given all the swarms about a 1.5/2 gal or so of 2 to 1 sugar to water mix given slowly. The bees had made the honey band around the brood pretty thick which had made the combs slowly go to a differrent frame the closer it got to the walls. I took my putty knife and sliced the comb where this drift was. Usually this was about the last 3 or 4 inches at one end of the top bar of the frame. I also took my putty knife and smashed some of the thick stuff flatter which of course drained some of the stores. One frame I just smashed the cut comb from the frame on the side into the frame it had flowed into. I just cut it out in chunks in two of them. One of those chunks just had a big bunch of brood in it. I also flipped one frame a full 180 degrees cause I find the bees will cut comb down on thier own when I do this and smash comb together. I put the broken comb in a shim above the inner cover.

    I pulled two frames up and went ahead and added the next brood box. They may not draw more comb if we are in a derth but they also don't like empty space in the brood nest. It was pure brood that I pulled up and it might be a mistake that I put an empty between then and two empties between the bottom where they were removed from. Due to bee density this will probly tax the bees ability to cover the brood well but it gives me probly till sept before I need to look at the hive again. Then I will have to decide if I want to dump some fast feed to them of 3 or so gal. The other swarm was handled the same and like I said earlier, I did not look at one. I am probly rushing the adding of space but I get nervous that life is going to take a turn and make it hard to get to and so now it is done for good or bad. There was still a small amount of comb building going on in the swarms hives.

    The ones with the wet supers seemed to have actually lost a little of their stores. I had one that had some uncapped honey in the fourth medium that has not progressed furthur towards being capped. I did go down and fix the brood comb that I had broke last time and just kept in the frame and slid against the wall. The bees had only barily attached it to the top bar in two places but it let me slide it away from the wall.

    The bees were happy and that makes me think maby the flow is not compleetly dead.
    Cheers
    gww
    Last edited by gww; 07-01-2017 at 04:11 PM.
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  17. #76

    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    I only now had the time to follow your doings, enjoying the read very much but having some problems with understanding your managements and terms, not a native speaker, myself.
    Well, I hope you forgive my misunderstandings, if there are any. I would like to comment or ask now and then if you allow.

    First, congrats to your harvest.

    To queenlyness :

    1. The bees are old and even if they have filled the medium, they should start dieing and brood is forty days away before new foragers arive.
    I had one hive loosing itīs queen two times with mating flight and it still had bees enough to start the third time with a queen cell I donated.
    After almost 3 months they had a laying queen which layed 5 frames in two days but only 3 were nursed because of the density. They had filled their combs with stores and just some went out for pollen, the other old ones cared for the brood. All bees were almost without hairs and had fringed wings, they were very old. But producing bee bread seems to use them the most and after the first brood cycle many died.
    Before winter I put in a comb of capped winter bee brood from another stronger hive, but they would have made it without help. I did not feed, we had fall flow and they bred winter bees in high number after having young bees again. No mites.


    2. They may be full enough of honey that the new queen only has a small area to lay. do I need to extract a frame and make room?
    I did that the last days because we have an extraordinary good flow, took out single frames with capped honey and put in foundations or empty frames, one at a time because this needs work.
    Bees always shift nectar though, as Ray Marler said. If they have space.

    3. Even if the comb is pretty full of honey, the brood is going to take a lot and the bees may start dieing and not be bringing in enough and might need the honey there to make brood.
    They need honey for worker energy and pollen and honey for breeding. They use more water when they have more brood and need to use the pollen stores. I thought one of mine would not breed but the had so much pollen they only went for water. Trust your bees more, gww, they shift to the jobs they need and accommodate.
    But I know how you feel, because of the honey ound brood nests I really got panicky. mentors had to calm me

    Last year I had some mating problems, because of the weather, the queens were not very prolific, some superseding took place and some superseded too late and succumbed in winter.
    This year I had to rebuild my bee yards and splitted, later I realized that I had not much queenly hives left which made me nervous.
    But as long as you have two hives with laying queen you always have some egg combs to donate.
    Why do you work so much with queen cells?
    Capped queen cells are sensitive to handling and you never know if thers a good queen inside if you are not a professional breeder.
    So, in my case, I will make a strong hive queenless, put some frames with eggs between brood frames and distribute into splits using the frames with cells. Much easier.

    I think you should use a flashlight or magnifying glas to look for eggs. Too much stress to not know what happens. To see eggs is always calming you down, you donīt have to check the whole hive.

    When I harvest I have a plastic box near me with lid, frame size and space for one box of frames. I brush off the bees and deposit the comb in the box quickly closing it each time. Iīm not blowing off the bees because I have no queen excluder or bee escape and because Iīm sometimes harvesting from old brood combs which I placed at the sides and which I want to sort out. i donīt want to blow away the queen.

    I put some balled up newspaper between the top bars so the cappings are not broken while transporting. I store the combs in this boxes until I have all I want to extract. I extract the year old honey combs with liquid capped honey from last year, which I still have in store for feeding and exchange them for new capped frames. I leave different kinds of honey, capped, in the hives throughout the year, so they have not only crystallized fall honey for winter food..

    I believe there was a post of someone ( Lauri it could be) who was strengthening the combs with wooden sticks. If you canīt wire them having only top bars, you can use vertical sticks or thin branches, peeled, from willow.
    My co workers with natural comb build wire mesh frames , like a bag, for extracting the comb. Put over the frame with comb.

    I clean my extractor with very hot water and a spraying can. The honey water runs down into a basin and we use it with lemon juice as lemonade. Fill in bottles. Nice with peppermint tea added.

  18. #77
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    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    SiW......
    First let me say that I am always surprized anyone can even get close to understanding what I try and type. Believe me, it is not because of a language differrence. I quit school at 17 and only went to school before that so I would know where the keg parties were. I make up my own termonoligy as I go. My laptop computers key board is so old and dirty that lots of times the keys don't respond even when I get lucky enough to hit the right one. I go back and try and proof read and lots of times, I don't even understand what I wrote. I have to give you a big thanks for even trying and am always thankful for any suggestions.

    I write half of the stuff I write cause I know I am a dummy and feel lost on what might be the right thing to do. So, I put down what I do do and hope if it is way out of line somebody will call me on it and also maby give suggestions of other ways of handling it better. I don't always listen to those suggestions or even remember them lots of times but I am always thankful for them.

    It is good to know you can milk along a hive long enough to get a queen if you fail in the beginning.

    I handled most of those queen cells due to other mistakes such as,
    1. I did a teranov split but the queen did not end up with the young bees with no brood. I knew there was a queen cell in a differrent hive and so figured that even if the queen was there, I would be taking less chance having a queen cell in the hive and so cut one and put it in. I also didn't want to put a brood comb in the hive cause I figured if the queen was there, there would still be a bit of a break while the bees drew comb for her to lay in that might tamp down on any mites since I was making a split anyway.

    2. My friend wanted a couple cells and so why not.

    3. I moved the whole frame with a cell on it to my flyback split because it was going to need a queen and would get one sooner with a capped cell.

    Mostly I handled the queen cells so much because the bees made them even though I was trying to keep the hives from swarming and they pretty much forced me to make the actions I did or go the other route and just keep tearing down queen cells with my fingers crossed.

    As far as extracting a frame for the queen to lay in. I came out of winter with a whole bunch of stores. I had had a 16 pound sugar block on the hive and the bees pretty much went through them but left all the combs full. I didn't know for sure what to do and still really don't. I had no drawn comb. In the end the bees built up really strong but also swarmed and tryied to swarm. Only one out of the three did not swarm and get split or both. I did take at least 3 brood frame from that hive to tether swarms and such.

    I only have one hive that I am pretty sure has one of my old queens in it. I don't know what happened the the queen that was in the hive that I did the teronov on. It might have swarmed and I just missed it. I had three swarms come from my hives which I sit by pretty much daily. They all landed in the same tree right where I sit. It is not impossible that I lost one and it went some where else to rest.

    The way I look at it is that I had 8 queens that needed mating and only have one that was not successful and it is in the warre hive that I think I caused a bunch of robbing on due to a leaky feeder. I was worried and it took longer then it should have (due to rain I think). I was worried about the queen cells I handled but they apparrently took it ok.

    In the end I do what I do cause I don't know better. I can not look at stuff and know if it is normal or not cause I have never seen it before.

    As a side note. I thought about making a late split right now with the hive that did not swarm, so the genetics had a chance to be around due to the mite break a split would give. I think I have decided to leave it and see if it lives through its second winter though. It was a swarm (actually two swarms due to a combine) that was caught 12 mile from me and so would not have been bred by the same bees that are around me.

    As far as a magnifying glass to see eggs. I don't plan that well most times. I did find it very stressfull when looking at bee math and not seeing what I thought I should. I usually try and figure about when the capping of brood should happen and then when I look and don't see capping, I figure the larva should be pretty big and easy to see. I was nervous cause I didn't see but it all worked out. So, I sorta care and sorta think that even if it goes bad, it is not the end of the world and I will learn something. If I wasn't so sloppy, knowing would be better and less stressful.

    As far as extracting goes. I did brush two frames off. I don't own a brush but using a clump of grass actally worked pretty good. It may sound stupid of me but the blowing causeing queen loss really doesn't scare me too bad as long as the bees have viable brood in the hive an the time to make another. That said, I don't want to purposly lose a queen and have the other risk that is associated with that. I did think that being away from the hives that the blowing would cause the bees to fly back home and not hang around so much. The way they did hang around, I might as well have brushed the bees off right at the hive.

    I actally looked at every frame that I extracted and made sure that I only took the ones that were capped.

    I do have lang frames and could wire them or do the bambo thing. I really love those ideals but also like the ideal of not having to do anything. It sorta comes down to adding up which is more work or if losing a comb or two due to blow out adds up to being worth the extra work. I know those guys that wire and such figure it is easier to have comb you can be rough with. Myself, I am just starting and just now seeing if the not wiring and cutting peices of comb to straiten of breaking off one once in a while is too much of a hassle. I am thinking that if I break some and throw it in the hive and the bees reprocess it, That yes, I might be setting them back a little by making them build comb twice but if it is easier on me and also something I might get better at and do fewer times, that learning this way might make bee keeping easier in the long run. If I wasn't so cheep, I might get foundation and may someday. Right now, I am just learning the cause and effect. If I break some comb, how bad is it hurting the bees? So far (Knock on wood) I don't really see it as hurting things too bad. I might smash or break some next week and it might start off a bunch of robbing cause honey made it to the bottom board. I am not saying that I am smart or right or others should do it but more that I am trying it this way and trying to learn about this way. I want to know the other ways but so far am liking this way fairly well and also hopefully learning from my mistakes.

    I do wonder about the time of year and the space I just added to the hives. If it was early spring, I would not worry cause I would know a flow will take up the room. I would not even be worried if it was sept as we usually get some good golden rod if there isn't a big lack of rain. I was a little gun shy due to the swarms earlier of not having enough space on a hive. Now I might be over reacting and putting too much on them. I don't know our flows yet. I also don't know how to handle space and winter. I put the wet supers back on. I know we can get a decent flow in fall. I know most use fall flow for wintering. I know some get some honey also. I realize the ideal is to fill the brood nest with winter stores. How to get all that done is still a mystery to me.

    So, I am leaving my honey supers on for now and near the end of september, I am going to see where the bees are, where the stores are and then worst case, I will take the supers off and feed my last 200 lbs of sugar to them so the hives can get heavy. Then next year I might know when to condence the hive and not have to feed and not make the brood nest so crowded that they can't make a winter cluster of young bees. This was not as hard last year when the bees could barily get big enough to winter and no extra honey or comb was involved.

    Maby I will know more next year.
    SiW....
    I hope I didn't wear you out or bore you too much.
    Thanks for your comments and suggestions.
    gww
    zone 5b

  19. #78
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Jospehine County, Oregon
    Posts
    261

    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    well gww you did a real good job writing this post ^ completely understandable, you don't give yourself enough credit.

  20. #79
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Rosebud Missouri
    Posts
    3,931

    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    Arbol
    Thanks, you don't know how long that post took to write.

    Typing is hard and I can not spell well and words that are in my mind don't always get to the commputer. Some people really have an art of getting real good points across with few words. I am envious of that skill.
    Thanks
    gww
    zone 5b

  21. #80
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    "Great Green Way", Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    394

    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    Okay <gww>.
    I am having a great deal of difficulty in following your description of events/reactives.
    Likely just me.
    So I offer basics, fully aware I may be "preaching to the converted".

    Any active queen is with the swarm.
    That swarm colony should be relocated at least a mile offsite, particularly where other managed colonies exist close to it's origin.
    Likewise moving a colony "10feet" is more likely to fail than be productive. Close it up at dusk and move it offsite also.
    There will be plenty of days remaining to sort a queenless colony, so for "do now" action eliminate the immediate risk of colony drift in all cases. Consequences of drift/confusion could include robbing and/or after swarms or even more full swarms.

    One single standout quality of your record of management is that which makes beekeeping all about you, what suits you, what is convienent for you, what works for you. Fine as that is, as an ethos it is a mistake, one shared by thousands if not hundreds of thousands of beekeepers.... yet those persons get on fine albeit often tripped up by the bees with resulting "woe is me" outcomes.
    Honeybees exist fine in the wild, have done since time immemorial (1189), so until the day we (managers) 'tune in' to the organism not only will we get stung a lot, lose whole viable colonies etc etc, but we sure will type a lot :-)

    Cheers.


    Bill

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