Beekeeping using Square Dadant hives, treatment free since 2005 - Page 2
Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 21 to 40 of 44
  1. #21

    Default Re: Beekeeping using Square Dadant hives, treatment free since 2005

    Quote Originally Posted by Juhani Lunden View Post

    Can you link a picture of what is your average hive looking at the moment?

  2. Remove Advertisements
    BeeSource.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #22
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    5,453

    Default Re: Beekeeping using Square Dadant hives, treatment free since 2005

    Fusion, give me a ring when you get a chance.

  4. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Alabama
    Posts
    2,987

    Default Re: Beekeeping using Square Dadant hives, treatment free since 2005

    I made a split in a strong colony with a queen I want to use as a breeder. The old queen and half the brood is on a new stand. I gave the split a frame of young brood and most of the older brood and put it in the old hive location so the foragers will return to the queenless split. Tomorrow I will give them a jar of feed and a cut a few slices out of the comb so they can easily rear queens.

    Juhani, my average colony fills up a square deep box with 14 frames. I have one colony that occupies 2 square deep boxes, one colony that occupies 1 1/2 square deeps, and one colony that occupies 1/2 of a square deep. The rest of them are getting supers to prevent swarming conditions. I just split the 1 1/2 colony to raise queens so that one is no longer so large.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  5. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Alabama
    Posts
    2,987

    Default Re: Beekeeping using Square Dadant hives, treatment free since 2005

    I checked the hive and found 7 nice looking queen cells. I will make splits tomorrow and put the cells in the splits Saturday. Why wait a day? Because I've found splits with my bees will destroy a queen cell if given the same day the split is made. They usually accept a cell the day after when they have had time to recognize they are queenless.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  6. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    10,075

    Default Re: Beekeeping using Square Dadant hives, treatment free since 2005

    thanks for the update dar and from what i can see your timing is perfect on the splitting. are you dividing up one of your square dadants into two or three section in queen castle fashion to accomodate these splits?

    it may interest you to know that my first pick for breeder queen this year is a descendant from that colony i acquired from you in 2016. they have come out of winter all three years in top strongest tier of colonies, have responded well to swarm management, and have been excellent honey producers.

    mighty fine job with your selection dar.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  7. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Alabama
    Posts
    2,987

    Default Re: Beekeeping using Square Dadant hives, treatment free since 2005

    I made splits with 4 made so far and 2 more that will be done tomorrow. The first colony I opened today was on the verge of swarming. They had queen cells nearly ready to seal and the queen had stopped laying and was shrunk to about half her normal size. I put the queen into a new hive and left a cell with the parent colony. The rest of the colonies that I split were at least a few weeks away from swarming. I had one colony that was a breeze to work with very little smoke required to keep them manageable. That queen will be a candidate for breeding on the next round. The last colony I opened was extremely aggressive. I put the lid back on them after verifying they were not preparing to swarm. They were not strong enough to split. I will replace that queen as soon as possible.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  8. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Kamloops, BC, Canada
    Posts
    1,407

    Default Re: Beekeeping using Square Dadant hives, treatment free since 2005

    I'm curious about the size of splits.

    Has aggression been a big issue or just an occasional hive. My hives have tended towards more aggression and have to be more proactive about this moving forward. I just went through a set of overwintered nucs the other day checking stores and space and the difference between them is pretty big. I didn't have any super aggressive ones, but some are calm on the comb, methodical at the entrance. Another strong nuc was a bit more aggressive, responded to smoke, but full throttle at the entrance as well. Very high energy.

    I've noticed a big difference with bees given a sugar shake test as well. Some are just vibrating, probably not much need to shake and some bees are much more placid. The energy difference is big.

    On the calmness/aggression/energy scale, are there some nuanced preferences out there?

  9. #28
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Alabama
    Posts
    2,987

    Default Re: Beekeeping using Square Dadant hives, treatment free since 2005

    I make splits with 4 Dadant combs, 1 honey and 3 sealed brood plus shake nurse bees from a couple more combs.

    I've had problems with aggressive colonies since I stopped treating for mites in 2005. This was made worse when i got queens from BWeaver in 2015. This particular colony is derived from the BWeaver stock. On the positive side, I got quite a bit of hive beetle resistance from the BWeaver line that I retained. The key is to eliminate any colony that shows excessive stinging and to raise queens only from highly productive but gentle queens. Over time, I will get them back to the level of gentleness where I can work a colony without protective gear if I choose to do so. I would rate 5 of my colonies as more aggressive than I like so roughly 25% of my colonies. So long as I do due diligence to raise queens with the traits I want, the genetics will shift in the direction desired.

    The best producers in my experience are colonies that can be worked without a veil but will sting if inappropriately handled. They are defensive of the hive, but easily controlled with smoke.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  10. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Kamloops, BC, Canada
    Posts
    1,407

    Default Re: Beekeeping using Square Dadant hives, treatment free since 2005

    So strong splits. I have found a definite shift I think as well. Not near as far along as you in terms of genetics of course but I am seeing the need to requeen some aggressive colonies. That high energy for the best hives may lead to some stinginess I'm thinking, but like you I want them to respond to smoke. Some don't seem to that much.

  11. #30
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Geauga, Ohio
    Posts
    409

    Default Re: Beekeeping using Square Dadant hives, treatment free since 2005

    Three things that seem to go together for the hives that are more defensive than their neighbors - large population, preference for the top entrance (so more foragers/guard bees involved when lid is popped), and workers are shakier on the comb. The workers move around in an unsettled manner, rather than slowly meandering.

    Anyone else notice workers shaky on the comb for a highly defensive hive? be nice if this was a trait that is visible early in the life cycle of the hive, before the hive is large...

  12. #31
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    2,279

    Default Re: Beekeeping using Square Dadant hives, treatment free since 2005

    Do not know how consistent this is but wound a bee in a nuc, if they react at all ( fly out without stinging ) it will get ugly.

    Positive test, maybe not reacting will still turn mean.
    It is not true that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks.
    They can learn them, they just can't do them.

  13. #32
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    2,465

    Default Re: Beekeeping using Square Dadant hives, treatment free since 2005

    Quote Originally Posted by trishbookworm View Post
    Three things that seem to go together for the hives that are more defensive than their neighbors - large population, preference for the top entrance (so more foragers/guard bees involved when lid is popped), and workers are shakier on the comb. The workers move around in an unsettled manner, rather than slowly meandering.

    Anyone else notice workers shaky on the comb for a highly defensive hive? be nice if this was a trait that is visible early in the life cycle of the hive, before the hive is large...
    Shaky bees on the comb is a classic and well documented AMM trait.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  14. #33
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Alabama
    Posts
    2,987

    Default Re: Beekeeping using Square Dadant hives, treatment free since 2005

    Today I put 28 deep frames on splits made a few weeks ago. I need at least another 28 to finish filling up colonies. I also harvested one super of honey taken from 3 different hives each of which had a few frames of fresh sealed honey. This looks like a mediocre year so far. The main flow is well under way. How long it lasts is determined by the amount of rain we get.

    I added supers to several colonies that needed them. I will need another 12 supers within the next week.

    One colony had swarmed as shown by opened queen cells and a hive no longer full of bees. This appears to be the only swarm so far. Usually, May 1st is swarm cutoff so it is unlikely any more will swarm this year. Splitting in early spring is a very effective swarm deterrent.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  15. #34
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Alabama
    Posts
    2,987

    Default Re: Beekeeping using Square Dadant hives, treatment free since 2005

    I went through the three colonies here at my house and added several deep frames to be drawn out on the main flow. One of the three is a split with a new queen. It has made about 50 pounds of honey which will all be used as winter feed. One of the overwintered colonies has filled most of the deep frames and has a full shallow super giving it a total near 100 pounds of honey so far. The shallow super is not quite fully cured. The third colony has filled 7 deep frames with honey and badly needed room to expand. I gave them 8 deep frames to work on. They currently have a deep hive body used for honey storage. I expect to harvest about 40 pounds of honey from #3.

    I have to finish cleaning and putting foundation in another dozen deep frames to take out to my land and put on colonies that need a few more deep frames in the brood chamber. As I put them in, I am removing any seriously mucked up combs and bringing them to the house for cleanup.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  16. #35
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Alabama
    Posts
    2,987

    Default Re: Beekeeping using Square Dadant hives, treatment free since 2005

    Today was the first summer honey harvest. I waited until we had several weeks of relatively dry weather before pulling honey so it is low enough moisture to store for up to a year. The climate here is very humid so patience is required to get honey to the right moisture level. Two harvested square shallow supers weighed 97 pounds total and should yield nearly 70 pounds of honey with plenty being left on the hives for winter stores. There are more to pull over the next week or two.

    I also made 2 splits today and will use at least 2 of the queens to make more splits when cells are ready. This is unusual as I don't normally make fall splits, but this has been an abnormally wet summer so the fall flow should be heavy enough to carry the bees through winter. I have sugar available just in case backup is needed.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  17. #36
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Alabama
    Posts
    2,987

    Default Re: Beekeeping using Square Dadant hives, treatment free since 2005

    I went through the splits from last Sunday today and verified queens present in the hives that were left with old queens and queen cells being built in the queenless portion. I placed the queenless splits in the original hive locations to ensure huge populations of bees for cell building. Today consisted of moving a few frames around so there is plenty of cluster space.

    I saw fresh nectar and several bees loaded with pollen which indicates there is enough bloom to suppress robbing. There is an abundance of drones which is one reason I was willing to make splits this late.

    The number of queen cells started under these conditions is always relatively low. I saw a total of 7 cells with two of them looking too small. If I come out with 5 good virgin queens, I will count this as well worth the effort.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  18. #37
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Boaz, KY, USA
    Posts
    973

    Default Re: Beekeeping using Square Dadant hives, treatment free since 2005

    Fusion_power:

    I appreciate being able to read your narrative thought processes as you make late-season decisions. It is helpful to us who don't have near the depth of experience you have to learn what to be looking for when deciding whether to complete a particular manipulation.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on here. We appreciate it.

    Russ

  19. #38
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Alabama
    Posts
    2,987

    Default Re: Beekeeping using Square Dadant hives, treatment free since 2005

    I'm glad to give as much perspective as possible. You would think that I would have learned a bit more about what works and what doesn't over the years. Then the bees surprise me with something new. About 25 years ago, I made a split in late October. We had a warm day on the 5th of November that was just enough for the queen to find a few drones. She wound up being a mediocre queen, but was impressive because she mated so late. I tried again for 3 or 4 years after that but the weather did not cooperate again.

    I've had excellent success with queens raised in August so long as there is an abundance of drones available. This round should work out as I found large patches of sealed drone brood in 2 colonies and plenty of mature drones hanging around in the hives. Why am I emphasizing this? Drones have to be available and the weather has to cooperate to get good mated queens. I can do something about the drones but still haven't figured out how to change the weather other than to shake my rain rattle and do a rain dance.

    I have a colony here at my home that is hotter than I like. As soon as cells are sealed, I plan on dequeening and splitting the hot hive and giving each split a cell. That is still a long way from having mated queens, but at least improves the odds a bit.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  20. #39
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    10,075

    Default Re: Beekeeping using Square Dadant hives, treatment free since 2005

    excellent reporting dar, many thanks for keeping us updated.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  21. #40
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Boaz, KY, USA
    Posts
    973

    Default Re: Beekeeping using Square Dadant hives, treatment free since 2005

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    I can do something about the drones but still haven't figured out how to change the weather other than to shake my rain rattle and do a rain dance.
    Thanks again, Fusion_power. If you do figure out how to conjure up rain, do you mind to let us in on your secret?

    In all seriousness- we do appreciate you sharing your experience with us novices.

    Russ

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 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
  •