Beginning Beekeeping Treatment Free - Page 4
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  1. #61
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    Jan 2018
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    Decatur / Cullman, also. 35603
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    Default Re: Beginning Beekeeping Treatment Free

    Way to go. Sounds like you got it going on there. Glad to hear your bees are popping.
    I'll be getting mine in Monday Nick.

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  3. #62
    Join Date
    May 2016
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    Madison, AL
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    Was a pretty good weekend here. The frame I gave hive 1 last now has 5 capped queen cells and it looks like activity level has picked up. I gave this colony one more med frame of mixed age brood from hive 2. This will probably be the last bit of brood I will give them as they will hopefully have a laying queen in a couple weeks.

    I supered hive 2 with mediums with foundation and replaced the brood comb I took for 1 with some drawn comb.population is. Still growing hope they can capitalize on the flow. I did not do a varroa count due to time constraints.im wondering if I should have checkerboarded it as well.

    Hive3 has 14 full deep frames worth of comb drawn out with a couple more coming. I did have to correct the edge of one Combe that was just slight off. By far this is the most active hive and I have regularly seen the bees bearding by the entrance all week. Store and brood seem a bit out of wack but I think that has to do the cutout and the Bess haven't fully reallocatted things yet.

    Hives 4 and 5 got populated this weekend with my packages from Wolf Creek. These are my first packages and thenumber of bees seemed small but everyone seemed in good health. I will be checking these tomorrow to see if the queen has been released.

    Hive 7was the swarm I caught. They have blown past everyone else as the have 16 bars fully drawn with 3 more on the way. Saw eggs and capped brood as well as drone cells. I might end up with a little honey even. I am wondering if a split might even be reasonable with the flow just starting what's everyones take on that? Would that be a wise move with a new hive even if they have nearly filled it up.

    So it looks like I didn't completely mess up with the splits and I am quite happy with how things have turned out. Lots to learn yet.

  4. #63
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    Feb 2015
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    Rosebud Missouri
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    Default Re: Beginning Beekeeping Treatment Free

    Yea, it all sounds good.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  5. #64
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    Jan 2018
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    Decatur / Cullman, also. 35603
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    Default Re: Beginning Beekeeping Treatment Free

    Wow Nick, looks good. Seems.like my packages are doing well also. They do seem.slower than the swarm I caught. The swarm is busting at the seems. I saw lots of drawn comb, and covered in bees. I added another 5 frame box. As I started with 2 5 frame med. Boxes . I'll transfer in a week or 2 to a 2 10 frame med box . By then I may need a 3rd box if they have brood. I noticed allot of pollen coming into all 3 hives today. Lots of nectar in frames, not capped yet. Mabye it was the 1 to 1 syrup I have been feeding. I will stop feeding next week I think. Hoping to let em run on their own after that. Also, feeding pollen patties. Ultra bee. I'll keep em.on that as long as they take it. I may stop that too though, as they are bringing it in nice right now too. I really like the swarm though. Didn't use a smoker, and they were pretty calm. I'll be building some more hives soon also. I think ill do some splits soon as the privet starts to bloom well, and I get brood going .

  6. #65
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    May 2016
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    Madison, AL
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    2 of my hives are doing really well and I am tempted to try to make a couple nukes from them. My problem is a lack of queens. Does anyone know if you a nuke can raise their own emergency queen or is that too much strain on the bees?
    Took a quick peak At my recently installed packages both queens are laying as eggs were present. Ones comb was crooked due to the queen cage and needed correction.

    I also added another super of medium foundation to hive 2 as most of the frames from the super I added last week we're built out.

    I will check hive 1 for a laying queen next week.

    Hope you all are having a great season so far.

  7. #66
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    May 2016
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    Madison, AL
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    Careful with the pollen patties there Rich they attract SMH and I have started to see a few. How are your packages and swarm going?

  8. #67
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    Apr 2017
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    Aylett, Virginia
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    Default Re: Beginning Beekeeping Treatment Free

    Jovian, as I mentioned today in another thread, the nuc I put together last week now has 5 queen cells in it. One is capped and the other four are close to being capped. This started as two frames with mixed brood including eggs and a frame with stores, along with an extra shake of bees. I will be taking the older cell and making a mating nuc with it. I do feed both syrup and pollen patties to the new nucs until the bees start to forage on their own. Go for it. It is super easy because the bees already know how to do the work. All you need to do is let them have at it.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  9. #68
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    Jan 2018
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    Decatur / Cullman, also. 35603
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    Default Re: Beginning Beekeeping Treatment Free

    Hi Nick. Glad your bees are off to a great start there !!! Wow, you kick in there.
    Well I'm doing up the pollen patties, I put 2 per hive last week, and 2 this week. 1 hive from package is doing fairly well. I see lots of bees in the hive, sporadic to good at times in entrance. The 2nd package is doing well, and lots of traffic in and out. Put a second 10 frame med box on the kickin package. Both have eggs, and capped brood now, also lots of stores. Some capped honey or syrup. Last of syrup about gone in feeder boxes, I'll not refill till dearth. The swarm is doing really well. I moved the swarm colony from 3 5 frame nuc boxes to 2 , 10 frame med. Boxes. Moved stores to outside, and put a freshly drawn brood frame up top. Hoping to draw them up to the 2nd box. Hive beetles, all hives looked well, and I did see 3 beetles in one hive. After this round of patties, I'll not put any more in for a bit. The swarm is a real Jen, I didn't put syrup in, and only pollen sub patties. They be jammin...lol. I figure to add another box next week if the capped brood hatches by then. If I get lucky and have an extra frame of brood, I'll add to the slow colony. It actually looks good on inside, just traffic at entrance seems sporadic at times. I winder if that package had allotnofnold bees shipped in it? Never know, I'm at 2 weeks come Monday, and I'm excited still. I was nervous taking/transferring all the bees out of the 3 nuc boxes, into 2 meds. Though. They bumped me a few times, and one tried to sting through glove, but didn't connect. I think I bumped her wrong... no smoke used either... whew. Glad it went well, just hope I didn't mess up too bad.

  10. #69
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    Apr 2017
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    Aylett, Virginia
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    Default Re: Beginning Beekeeping Treatment Free

    Rich, I wouldn't worry too much about sporadic traffic in and out during the day, especially if you are looking in the morning or evening. Some hives are early risers and some seem to sleep in. Likewise, a hive might forage until dusk while the one next to it has no activity except for a few guard bees on patrol. My take is that a hive develops a "personality" and once you understand what it is, you can tell when something is not right.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  11. #70
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    Jan 2018
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    Default Re: Beginning Beekeeping Treatment Free

    Thanks j.w. Your absolutely right on that. I just went to hives, and slower colony was looking more active a few minutes ago. Not a bunch, but better. It was later in afternoon qhen I did full hive inspections, and major manipulations on them. Inside boxes looked great though. Thanks for advice, and inspiration on this new journey... so far, so good. I'm pleased with all at this point. Egged, brood, and stores coming in. !!!

  12. #71
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    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: Beginning Beekeeping Treatment Free

    entrance activity is influenced by several variables.

    with small or just started colonies the degree of foraging depends on what portion of the colony is tied up with taking care of brood.

    also, some pollens and nectars are only available at certain times of day, some earlier in the day and some later in the day.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  13. #72
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    May 2016
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    Madison, AL
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    Thanks JW I will be looking a researching and reviewing the different techniques to making a nuc and probably try making a couple tomorrow after work. I know the basics some open yo brood. Some closed brood and a frames worth of stores but just make sure I know and remember when I am in the hive

  14. #73
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: Beginning Beekeeping Treatment Free

    if you are going to allow the queenless part of your split(s) to make a new queen on the emergency principle...

    i would split the queen out into a small nuc and leave the parent colony as strong as possible. this will give the emergency cells a fighting chance to get nourished properly.

    the queen, three frames of bees including one of capped brood and two with honey/beebread is good, along with an empty frame or two to allow for growth.

    i would avoid making small queenless splits and letting them make a new queen.

    there should be lots of beebread and open feed in the hive making the new cells, if not consider supplementing.

    after the cells are capped you can then make up more nucs with them if desired.

    since most of your comb is new and soft i wouldn't worry too much about them fashioning emergency cells with it.

    with the colony you acquired if the comb is old and stiff you might want to notch out underneath just hatched larvae.

    here's a link with photos that shows how to notch:

    http://www.mdasplitter.com/docs/Help...tching-web.pdf

    it's getting a little late here in north alabama for this. keep in mind that it will take about a month to have a laying queen and another month for her first brood to start foraging. 2 months from now will have the new colony starting out during our summer dearth period and you will likely have to feed them.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  15. #74
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    Mar 2015
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    Tallapoosa, Georgia, USA
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    Default Re: Beginning Beekeeping Treatment Free

    Square peg gives good advice.
    Working to propagate my survivors and staying treatment free USDA Zone 7b

  16. #75
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    Madison, AL
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    Thanks for the info SP. I was worried that I would be getting in on this to late. Am I correct in thinking that the best time to start this is early to mid March about when the first drones would be hatching so they would be sexually mature when the queen goes for her mating flights?

  17. #76
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: Beginning Beekeeping Treatment Free

    more like mid to late march but that can vary from one year to the next, but yes i like to see drones flying and even more to see drones returning with evidence of having mated.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  18. #77
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    Apr 2017
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    Aylett, Virginia
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    Default Re: Beginning Beekeeping Treatment Free

    Squarepeg's advice is right on the money. Nucs I am making now I hope to get into full sized boxes by July and will probably consume about $30 worth of sugar each by year's end. The nucs I make in six weeks will stay in the nucs and be over wintered that way. Yes, still Spring and planning for next year already.

  19. #78
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    May 2016
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    Madison, AL
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    Default Re: Beginning Beekeeping Treatment Free

    First off let me thank everyone for their feedback. I spent last night looking at what was required/ should be done, and compared that to my skills, goals for this year and how I wanted to keep my bees , etc. In short I decided not to proceed with making the nucs. My reasoning is that my goals for this year were to have hives going strong into next season and over winter successfully. I already have more hives than I was expecting to enter winter with, and based on the feedback it looks like I would coming in late. It kinda sounds like I would be forcing this a bit and given my low level of experience I would prefer the first time being in more optimal conditions and to not weaken my existing colonies in trying to get it to work now. I think that I might go ahead with this in similar conditions if I had a bit more experience but as it is I have some pretty big problems finding the queens so I lots of other skills to develop so that I am ready next year at the appropriate time.

  20. #79

    Default Re: Beginning Beekeeping Treatment Free

    I do my splits like Squarepeg describes.

    This year I split again after the queen cells are drawn if possible. This worked well with the one hive which wanted to swarm, having more than one frame with cells.
    If not, I split again in late may or June if sufficient bee mass and young larvae. I have honey bound brood nests this year despite expanding with supering. Not much to raise from right now.

    The splitting depends on how much drawn comb I have. I donīt need to feed, I have food combs I would like the bees to use because they are one year old.
    The packages I will get in June need drawn comb in my climate to be strong enough before winter so I donīt have much comb left then for the others.
    The package hives will be completely filled with drawn comb and food comb, they are only 1.5kg of bees coming each.

    Because of having so much nectar in the hives I try to force drawing, giving empty frames and foundations. This could work well with the queenless, which bursts with bees having the foragers, those will give me a harvest too, they already have a medium capped on deep box. And the short rainy period we have right now will make the bees bored and draw comb hopefully.
    The mated queens I gave some frames to draw too. They donīt have foragers but are strong in bees. Not much space to lay so they are pressed to draw. Only a capped brood comb so activity might change to drawing if I took enough wax producers which I donīt know yet.

    The moment the first queen cell is capped itīs important to evaluate the strength of the queenless colony. If they have more than 3 cells they swarm on me if the numbers are too high. Time to do one more split.

    With drawn comb I see no problem with late splits done as long as drones are flying. Yes, those splits start with healthy winter bees because of the brood brake. The last brood cycle before winter bees are bred- is late july- august, mostly the winter bees in my area are bred in september. In this time I need to have summer bees left to do the work because we have a fall flow. This is the most important fact I need to consider, if late brood has to forage, dry nectar and raise brood they never made it tf in my climate. Too long a winter, too short the life. I need 25kg of stores, 15kg of this must be stored in in august.

    So the smaller the splits the more stores and drawn comb. In fall the colonies strength must be evened out to give them a chance. Too strong is not good because of too many mites bred, too small is not good because no bees left after 5 months of winter.

  21. #80
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    Feb 2015
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    Default Re: Beginning Beekeeping Treatment Free

    jovian
    In short I decided not to proceed with making the nucs. My reasoning is that my goals for this year were to have hives going strong into next season and over winter successfully.
    I am not much more experianced then you but personally, I like your plan on this.

    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

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