GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees. - Page 22
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  1. #421
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by Litsinger View Post
    So far, so good- glad this experiment is working- you may be on to something!
    Of course, this also means I just created a need for yet another full-size equipment unit for the winter I don't have.
    Suppose, there is a vacant spot in my wintering box, behind the "white triangle" (been using the spot to dry the extracted frames by the "pink" and the "blue" nucs).
    They can just go there, I guess as it gets colder.
    So they will become the "white" nuc.
    20190921_141623.jpg
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

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  3. #422
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    Of course, this also means I just created a need for yet another full-size equipment unit for the winter I don't have.
    Isn't this one of the truisms of beekeeping- adapt and improvise? Good luck with this colony.

  4. #423
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by Litsinger View Post
    Isn't this one of the truisms of beekeeping- adapt and improvise? Good luck with this colony.
    Hehe; one up - one down.
    This just never changes.

    Turned out I lost the "pink" nuc (see the pic above) - gong queen-less somehow and gradually just dissolved; was wondering of little activity lately.
    Just a couple weeks ago yet they were taking in pollen; time flies.
    The bees (I suspect) largely just crawled over into the "blue" nuc (no wonder them are "booming" as of late).
    They left behind nearly empty hive with all the stores intact.

    Of course, this also qualifies to be called an "abscond due to the mites or whatever".
    However, the sister "blue" nuc from the same source does not feel like "absconding" just yet if ever will.

    Anyway, I gladly reallocated the empty box with 4 heavy frames full of honey and bee bread to the #19, aka "white-nuc-to be" (and tossed a frame to the "blue" nuc - they deserved it too).

    The #19 became the "pink" nuc and the #18 by renumbering them down.
    Plopped them straight into their wintering slot.
    One down.

    I guess the seasonal count down has begun.
    Starting at 18 pups and only down now.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  5. #424
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post

    After the Zombee butchering event, I never made it back yet.
    No clue what is there.
    The queen-less Zombees should have raised a new queen by now and my drone-laying scheme probably fell through.
    Too bad, but I was busy building an extractor and spinning honey.
    Can not be everywhere at once.
    Finally, got to look inside the Zombee hive since I need that hive badly (this one).
    20190819_194813.jpg
    20190817_164104.jpg

    Well, that worthless pile crap:
    - did not harvest much of late crop even (a bunch of bees and queen-less - I thought they would)
    - I took away whatever little they had in the honey super (the 16-frame main body was basically bone dry)
    - they ate through most all reserves
    - did not take down any feed I placed to replace the stolen frames (I thought they would).

    As of two nights ago - there was 2 frame of bees left and evidently a laying young queen (did not have time or care to look for her).

    Basically dumped them all out (together with another struggling, dark-horse nuc).
    Letting them hash it all out in a single 12-frame Layens for the queens and such - I don't care how the "honey bee democracy" works out for them.
    Gave enough stores - if anything worthwhile in that bee pile - they will winter through.
    I hope the resulting bunch will surprise me.
    They better, else those honey frames given to them are a waste.

    Morale of the story - do NOT buy "almond bees".
    Avoid at all cost.
    Good for me - these were free.
    The flip-side - wasted a season on these fools (should have attempted to just re-queen with my ferals; oh well).

    OK, having a good unit of equipment back - housed two better-looking nucs into it (side-by-side).
    Something good got done, at least.

    Need to slap one more wintering hive for the last standing alone nuc and house those guys into more proper quarters.
    Was a surprise (1-frame spare QC-salvage project - looking rather good now, after some assistance).

    So far, 6 sites/18 units.
    This include:
    - 3 over-wintered units from back 2018 season;
    - 2 caught 2019 swarms (just some dark-horse bees; winter testing is due).
    - 1 artificial shook swarm (the log-hive experimentation unit; likely to croak - but we'll see; probably will give them some dry sugar assistance);
    - 12 nucs/splits of the 2019 splitting season, of various shapes and sizes (4 frames up to 10 frames).

    Thinking of the start of the 2019 season (just four wintered hives have created such a busy season; and sufficient bulk of extracted summer honey too).
    I don't really need more than 5-7 hives to winter through.
    It just will create so much hassle in the spring again (anti-swarming splits to start with).
    I don't really need more bees, outside of the solid best core performers.

    Those to die off in my collection, better do it quickly, as I prefer the early winter harvesting season (not empty hives after early spring die-offs).
    Last edited by GregV; 10-23-2019 at 11:53 AM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  6. #425
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    When done with my end of the 2019 season rounds, will probably put up some detailed report of the unique sites/colonies - just for the fun of it.
    So then we see how they do in the winter (and the equipment particulars too - since I have many).
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  7. #426
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    Default

    Good updates, GregV. I am keenly interested to hear what conclusions you draw relative to the different set-ups you have. All-in-all, I'd say you made a lot of increase from where you were at the beginning of the year. Good luck with your overwintering efforts.
    Ecclesiastes 11:4

  8. #427
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    I guess will be going by the yard #s and see where we are at and how is the winter prospects are looking.

    #1 - the base (backyard)
    #2 - secondary base (the bus stop acquaintance property - 1/2 mile from the base)
    #3 - private preserve/farmstead (2-3 miles away)
    #4 - private farmstead (5-6 miles away)
    #5 - private preserve (5-6 miles away)
    #6 - commercial farm (2-3 miles away)
    #6.
    Last Sunday night I checked them after ~3 months not going there.
    Took me longer to start the smoker than to check the bees.
    There was nothing to do.

    A single unit (June 2019 captured swarm);
    10 super-deep frame box;
    Colony is strong and covers up to 10 frames and should have enough stores as-is (maybe late MC addition be good just as an insurance).
    Looking optimistic.

    In late Nov/early Dec, I will wrap them from the wind (this is a cold, plywood-wall hive).

    Single-level deep frames (Layens style) with asymmetric entrance - a beauty of the low-maintenance beekeeping.

    20191027_181621.jpg
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  9. #428
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    Last Sunday night I checked them after ~3 months not going there.
    Took me longer to start the smoker than to check the bees.
    There was nothing to do.
    I imagine this was a positive evaluation- glad to hear that you have at least a few 'set-it-and-forget-it' colonies.

    Hopefully they produce you 100+ pounds of surplus honey year-over-year too... I guy can dream right?

  10. #429
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Winter of 17/18 you got 2 out of 11 threw till spring- 82% loses
    Winter of 18/19 you got 4 out of 14 threw till spring-71% loses
    your 19/20 gole of 5-7 out of 18, 61-72% losses would seem reasonable given your past years

    have you seen Honeyland? I would think its right up your ally
    Last edited by msl; 10-31-2019 at 04:50 PM.

  11. #430
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    A news report on GregV's (and my) area's current weather. Early, record early snow amounts. This has been an odd year.

    https://www.accuweather.com/en/weath...midwest/611593

    I do remember walking through knee-deep snow one Halloween when I was a little kid. Some time in the late 1960s.

  12. #431
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    I guess will be going by the yard #s and see where we are at and how is the winter prospects are looking.

    #1 - the base (backyard)
    #2 - secondary base (the bus stop acquaintance property - 1/2 mile from the base)
    #3 - private preserve/farmstead (2-3 miles away)
    #4 - private farmstead (5-6 miles away)
    #5 - private preserve (5-6 miles away)
    #6 - commercial farm (2-3 miles away)
    #5.
    Only two units left (moved a small nuc to the base #1 - the nuc wintering quarters).

    The blue unit on the left was a hybrid deep/conventional supers.
    Next year will need some tweaking - they ditched the deep bottom and settled in the honey super (had to put them back down).
    Pretty much dead (2-3 frames of bees left).
    Very heavy mite infestation. Classic.
    This is the same hive I had to do a shook swarm in summer.
    Don't know what is up with them, but whatever.
    I harvested a good amount of honey from this hive. No stores now.
    I gave them a pair of honey frames back this past weekend (but likely just wasted honey, really).
    If they freeze over the next few days - that'd be the best outcome; but they will likely hang on longer.
    20191027_174730.jpg

    The wrapped unit on the right appears a very healthy split on 7 deep frames.
    Originated from the "dead" hive.
    All settled in for the winter - zero input from me as far as manipulations and such (good to be on a single level - no stupid supers - no confusion - bees just settle as they see fit).
    Plenty of stores (some from my feeding).
    5 minute check and done.
    I really like these single-level deep hives.
    Wrapped from the precipitation (this plywood hive will need better wrapping/insulation for the winter - last winter was not adequate).

    Winter outside of the kitchen window.
    We essentially have very early winter (should soften up though - too early).
    20191031_073029.jpg
    Last edited by GregV; 10-31-2019 at 07:27 PM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  13. #432
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by Litsinger View Post
    I imagine this was a positive evaluation- glad to hear that you have at least a few 'set-it-and-forget-it' colonies.

    Hopefully they produce you 100+ pounds of surplus honey year-over-year too... I guy can dream right?
    These single-level deep hives really rule - no futsing about - set-it-and-forget-it.
    Loving it.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  14. #433
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by AR1 View Post
    A news report on GregV's (and my) area's current weather. Early, record early snow amounts. This has been an odd year.

    https://www.accuweather.com/en/weath...midwest/611593

    I do remember walking through knee-deep snow one Halloween when I was a little kid.
    Some time in the late 1960s.
    We just had one tonight.
    Wife had to go slogging with the kids.
    I had other chores... Hehehe.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  15. #434
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by msl View Post
    Winter of 17/18 you got 2 out of 11 threw till spring- 82% loses
    Winter of 18/19 you got 4 out of 14 threw till spring-71% loses
    your 19/20 gole of 5-7 out of 18, 61-72% losses would seem reasonable given your past years

    have you seen Honeyland? I would think its right up your ally
    5-7 best units in spring be good.
    Plenty.
    The others better drop off fast, IF they are to go.
    The resources best used elsewhere.

    Honeyland?
    Don't know what it is.
    This? (a movie?)
    https://www.google.com/search?sxsrf=...4dUDCAc&uact=5
    Last edited by GregV; 10-31-2019 at 07:26 PM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  16. #435
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    I have two nucs I am seeing if will make it in 5-frame deeps. They both seem healthy, no signs of mites or disease, but it's been very poor foraging weather so I wonder how well-fed their winter bees will be. They'll get plenty of sugar and a nice protected spot out of the wind, next to the house. We shall see.
    Otherwise, one in a single 10-frame deep and one with two 10-frame deeps.

  17. #436
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    We just had one tonight.
    Wife had to go slogging with the kids.
    I had other chores... Hehehe.
    -5C I see this AM.
    And the forecast is not going much up.
    Bees will be fine.

    But the potato crop still in the ground, and water in the buckets/containers I saved up to wash the potatoes - frozen solid now. What the heck???!!!
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  18. #437
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by AR1 View Post
    I have two nucs I am seeing if will make it in 5-frame deeps. ....
    AR, be sure to have dry sugar on the top for these.
    It it not so much about not having honey - it is much more about small cluster getting stuck at the top and not moving.
    Having dry sugar within reach will save them.
    The small clusters are unable to move much around and just stay at the warmest possible spot - the very top.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  19. #438
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    AR, be sure to have dry sugar on the top for these.
    It it not so much about not having honey - it is much more about small cluster getting stuck at the top and not moving.
    Having dry sugar within reach will save them.
    The small clusters are unable to move much around and just stay at the warmest possible spot - the very top.
    That's the plan. More worried about poor pollen stocks for the winter bee production over the last two months. Without Fall pollen they will be weak bees. I made sure they got sugar, but did not give them pollen sub.

  20. #439
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by AR1 View Post
    That's the plan. More worried about poor pollen stocks for the winter bee production over the last two months. Without Fall pollen they will be weak bees. I made sure they got sugar, but did not give them pollen sub.
    One important consideration also (regarding specifically small clusters, since they are energy difficient) - the dry feed needs NOT warming up before it can be consumed.
    This is a huge consideration.

    Consumption of honey/syrup requires warming it up before bees can consume it.
    So that alone means - bees must exert energy before they can eat (already a problem with small clusters).
    https://www.beesource.com/forums/sho...93#post1764593

    Dry sugar needs not warming up - energy saving food for nucleus clusters.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  21. #440
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Apimondia 2021 - Ufa/Russia.
    Stay tuned.
    I wish I knew Spanish!
    Still, a cool vid.
    https://www.facebook.com/apimondia2021/
    Last edited by GregV; 11-05-2019 at 11:18 AM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

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