Set It and Forget It?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
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    Garden City S, NY
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    90

    Default Set It and Forget It?

    My brother has a house in central NY. His property seems like an amazing place for a hive. There are lush fields all around with dandelions, clover, buttercups, wild geraniums and dames rocket. He also has tons of honeysuckle bushes. When I was there over the Mem Day weekend all I could think about was how great a hive would do there. The issue is it’s 3.5 hours away so I can’t do regular inspections.

    Here’s my idea. Next spring a make a 3-5 frame split from my house at home. Let them create a queen and then bring the hive up there. Since I may not be able to check on in over a month, maybe 2, could I just set it up with lots of extra space for them to grow into. I was thinking a single deep with a QE, then deep super and med super above that.

    What’s the worst that can happen?

    They swarm? Ok. Then they’ll make a new queen and keep going.

    Skunk attack? I could add a board with nails on the floor so it can’t get near the entrance to swat at bees.

    What are my other risks? (No bears to worry about)

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    syracuse n.y.
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    Default Re: Set It and Forget It?

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeDuto View Post

    What’s the worst that can happen?

    )
    how about all the beeks in the neighbor hood get infected with your mites or diseases while you watch your hive in your back yard.
    mike syracuse ny
    Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: Set It and Forget It?

    i agree with '07.

    there's little risk to you, but potentially serious risk to other bees in the area.

    as a victim of others' 'set it and forget it' approach in my opinion there is nothing more irresponsible one can do with bees.

    either commit to making a reasonable effort that any bees under your care don't become an avoidable problem to neighboring bees or forget it.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Boston, MA, USA
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    Default

    Mites. But if you can get to it every 2 months I would think you can manage that.

  6. #5
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    Dec 2008
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    syracuse n.y.
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    Default Re: Set It and Forget It?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Madsen View Post
    Mites. But if you can get to it every 2 months I would think you can manage that.
    Boston area has some good forage, about equal distance to Boston as he is looking at in NY, would you like him setting it down next to your hives?
    mike syracuse ny
    Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Richmond Illinois USA
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    109

    Default Re: Set It and Forget It?

    Maybe a better solution is to get your brother interesting in beekeeping. Then he can handle the weekly maintenance, and you can come up once a month for mentoring.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
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    Garden City S, NY
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    i agree with '07.

    there's little risk to you, but potentially serious risk to other bees in the area.

    as a victim of others' 'set it and forget it' approach in my opinion there is nothing more irresponsible one can do with bees.

    either commit to making a reasonable effort that any bees under your care don't become an avoidable problem to neighboring bees or forget it.
    Judging by the remoteness of the area I doubt I’d be infringing on other beeks.

    I also may disagree with regard to the spreading of mites since I wouldn’t be treating till mid summer anyway. Moot point no?

    Also, how would my hive be different than a wild hive or a omeone else's bees could swarm, have mites, and become a wild unmanaged hive.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Gould, OK
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    119

    Default Re: Set It and Forget It?

    All good points. I would do the split and boxes as you mentioned but no queen excluder. Wont you need 2 deeps to over winter in any how? The thing to think about maybe feeding the hive in the beginning. As suggested maybe getting your brother to keep the basic checks on the hive for you.

  10. #9
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    Apr 2018
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    Garden City S, NY
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    Default

    It’s a vacation house. No one will be there. I would most likely overwinter in a single deep the way I did at home.

  11. #10
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    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: Set It and Forget It?

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeDuto View Post
    Also, how would my hive be different than a wild hive or a omeone else's bees could swarm, have mites, and become a wild unmanaged hive.
    if we follow that logic why should anyone anywhere give a crap about what impact the bees they choose to place might have on other bees in the area?

    interesting that you are concerned about your risks, but based on your comments it appears you aren't terribly concerned about potential risks beyond your own.

    that each and every colony to a greater or lesser extent impacts the local metapopulation is an inconvenient truth that gets lost on many these days it seems.

    in a conversation about this with my state apiarist last week his comment was 'the beekeeping world has pretty much become the wild wild west'. he was referring to the influx of hundreds of new beekeepers into our state over the past few years and the inability of our state's small apiary protection unit to accomplish its mission.

    he was right.

    by all means set it and forget it. might as well put a flow hive on top so your brother can tap himself a quart every now and then.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  12. #11
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    Dec 2008
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    syracuse n.y.
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    Default Re: Set It and Forget It?

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeDuto View Post
    It’s a vacation house. No one will be there. I would most likely overwinter in a single deep the way I did at home.
    so what county is it in, might make a difference.
    mike syracuse ny
    Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan

  13. #12
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    Jul 2013
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    lake hopatcong nj
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    864

    Default Re: Set It and Forget It?

    >I also may disagree with regard to the spreading of mites since I wouldn’t be treating till mid summer anyway. Moot point no?

    No not moot. In fact, this logic supports squarepeg's argument. You will be treating in late August. But if your hive swarms before then, you will be sending mite bombs up to the trees where they will be safe from your August treatments. I'm glad you are not my neighbor or anywhere near me.

    If they ever pass what you feel are unneccessary bee laws in your state, make sure you at least consider the fact that you may have contributed to them.

    Please reconsider your plan for this location. It's the responsible thing to do.
    Last edited by trottet1; 06-14-2019 at 06:17 PM.

  14. #13
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    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: Set It and Forget It?

    my apologies beeduto and to the forum for the snarky tone above.

    i spent my afternoon burning 300 frames of drawn comb that couldn't be salvaged following an efb epidemic that most likely resulted from the 'setting and forgetting' of some hives near mine.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  15. #14
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    Jan 2013
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    Lumpkin County, GA
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    853

    Default Re: Set It and Forget It?

    The hive will make a nice snack for a bear. Are you going to set up a fence?

  16. #15
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    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Set It and Forget It?

    The climate where you are in is likely much milder than most places in Central NY, so I'm not sure you can count on wintering reliably in a single deep. And if you're not likely to be there more than every month or so in the summer, what about during the winter? Winter feeding (if needed) is something that is accomplished both when you (and the bees) need to, but also when you can, taking into account the weather which is tricky and variable.

    Also, a treatment period in August is not enough mite suppression. You need to able to follow up throughout the fall, as your mite counts warrant. Bees get more mites after Labor Day. If you're not there to deal with them, then your hive could become the neighborhood "mite bomb."

    The difference between your set & forget hive and a feral colony is that if the feral colony dies off, it's dead. Thus, it is a self-correcting problem. If beekeepers lose a hive, they just bring another one in, perpetuating the problem.

    Think about what your main goal would be. Adding a colony to an area just because there appear to be "unused" forage opportunities overlooks the fact that it's likely there are already are other beekeepers in the area. Central NY is full of beekeepers, both resident and migratory operations. And even there are no other beekeepers, leaving the area to native pollinators might not be a bad thing.

    Nancy

  17. #16
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    Aug 2018
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    Boston, MA, USA
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    Default

    Most of the bee havers in my area dont treat at all for mites. I would be delighted to have neighbors that treated on a 8 week schedule.

  18. #17
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    Apr 2017
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    Aylett, Virginia
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    Default Re: Set It and Forget It?

    They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. A 3-1/2 hour drive is simply too far away to have bees that you are supposed to be caring for. Life has a funny habit of getting in the way. Please reconsider.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  19. #18
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    Feb 2015
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    Rosebud Missouri
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    Default Re: Set It and Forget It?

    Squarepeg
    following an efb epidemic that most likely resulted from the 'setting and forgetting' of some hives near mine.
    as a victim of others' 'set it and forget it' approach in my opinion there is nothing more irresponsible one can do with bees.
    I see you have convinced yourself that your problems are from another bee keeper who is not as good a bee keeper as you are. Not impossible I guess.

    If it were deer I would be wondering who moved in the black tongue that pops up every so often in some populations.

    I wonder how the big operations that keep hundreds of hives in one place can report finding three or four hives infected each year and not have it just take over their operations in the time between when they notice it and address it, if they even address it?

    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  20. #19
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    syracuse n.y.
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    Default Re: Set It and Forget It?

    Quote Originally Posted by gww View Post
    Squarepeg

    I wonder how the big operations that keep hundreds of hives in one place can report finding three or four hives infected each year and not have it just take over their operations in the time between when they notice it and address it, if they even address it?

    Cheers
    gww
    well lets evaluate that, according to the bee inspector that inspected my hives, when it was announced that you would not be able to buy antibiotics any more, he said many went out and purchased as much as they could find. Now efb and afb are treated different, no rules in NY against keeping efb hives that I am aware of, but the one commercial beek that I know, when he found some he burned the hive. Afb on the other hand again according to the inspector, if he finds one cell of afb on a load of bees, he is required to check every hive on the load, you think the commercial guy wants to be tied up with his hives for that amount of time? so he makes sure what ever load is going to be inspected doesn't have any symptoms, how does he do that, treat them b/4 being inspected. Now why is efb showing up all of a sudden, heck my buddy has had bees for as long as I have I told him it was going around, he asked what the symptoms were never seen it before, I'll let you decide.
    mike syracuse ny
    Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan

  21. #20
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: Set It and Forget It?

    Quote Originally Posted by gww View Post
    I see you have convinced yourself that your problems are from another bee keeper who is not as good a bee keeper as you are. Not impossible I guess.
    i was careful to use the term 'most likely'. efb has been virtually unheard of around these parts for decades. within the past few years literally hundreds of colonies have been imported into my county and placed into the hands of first time beekeepers.

    i have confirmed that quite a few of these were placed within flying distance of my colonies and collapsed with the cause of collapse not determined and with no effort on the part of the beginning beekeepers to prevent robbing or remove the dead out equipment.

    i have also laid out what i have determined to be weaknesses in my management and skill set that contributed to the extent of damage done, and what i plan to do going forward as a result of this.

    i know you think it's bad form to blame others for our troubles gww, and to some degree i am with you on that. but not recognizing how irresponsibility and neglect can impact neighboring colonies doesn't cut it either. i am more concerned over how this mass importation of commercially bred bees and their diseases is impacting our thriving feral wild-type population than the losses i have sustained.



    Quote Originally Posted by gww View Post
    I wonder how the big operations that keep hundreds of hives in one place can report finding three or four hives infected each year and not have it just take over their operations in the time between when they notice it and address it, if they even address it?
    many of those operations have been (and probably still do despite the ban on it) using twice yearly prophylactic antibiotic treatments to suppress the outbreak of efb and afb. now that many of them are finding it more profitable to shake out packages after almond pollination, and once those bees no longer are getting the prophylaxis, it's not surprising that we are getting a rise in outbreaks.

    my guess is that what we are hearing about is just the tip of the iceberg and that efb is vastly underreported at this time. partly because of the beginners not knowing what they have, and partly because the bigger operations are going to be hush hush about reporting it because it's bad for business.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

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