Forest bees
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Thread: Forest bees

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Lilburn, GA, USA
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    788

    Smile Forest bees

    I was very excited to move the remainder of my hives into the woods today, so now all my hives are in the woods!

    We live in the Deep South. I am learning that keeping the hives cool during the summer is a bigger problem here than keeping them warm during the winter, which is a Northern issue.

    At first I was concerned about how they would navigate the woods, by my friend Forrest has had his hives in the woods all along and they have been doing great.
    DSC_0174.jpgDSC_0175.jpgDSC_0176.jpg
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    2,837

    Default Re: Forest bees

    How many hive beetles do you see during an inspection? Bees in the shade here will have a problem with them.

    Using white paint and screened bottom boards will solve any heat problems during our summer period. If the outside of the boxes are a dark color and solid bottoms are used there will be heat stress on the colonies.
    42 + years - 24 colonies - IPM disciple - Naturally Skeptic

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Lilburn, GA, USA
    Posts
    788

    Default Re: Forest bees

    Thanks for the tip about the hive beetles. This year I am trying these sheets that supposedly the bees will chew up and the beetles will get stuck in them. Have you heard of these?
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Bedford, Massachusetts, USA
    Posts
    291

    Default Re: Forest bees

    Earwigs like to invade woodlands so watch for those.
    I would make it higher off the ground due to bugs, snakes, rodents.
    But I like the idea of Cooler in the south.
    My hive will have morning sun till about 1:00 in the summer and then shady the afternoon. Easier to keep cooler if the afternoon sun is not on them.
    -Linda

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Lilburn, GA, USA
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    788

    Question Re: Forest bees

    Oh, hey,

    I've not heard that earwigs are a problem for the bees? At any rate, when I had the hives in full sun, I had earwigs anyways.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tigger19687 View Post
    Earwigs like to invade woodlands so watch for those.
    I would make it higher off the ground due to bugs, snakes, rodents.
    But I like the idea of Cooler in the south.
    My hive will have morning sun till about 1:00 in the summer and then shady the afternoon. Easier to keep cooler if the afternoon sun is not on them.
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Bedford, Massachusetts, USA
    Posts
    291

    Default Re: Forest bees

    Quote Originally Posted by Yunzow View Post
    Oh, hey,

    I've not heard that earwigs are a problem for the bees? At any rate, when I had the hives in full sun, I had earwigs anyways.
    Lol, I hate earwigs... I doubt they are a bee issue, but I got mind under the hood and in little places where I put my fingers. grossssss
    -Linda

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Lilburn, GA, USA
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    788

    Default Re: Forest bees

    It is true they are nasty looking.

    I once went to a nature exhibit where they made everything much larger scale. Those giant earwigs were terrifying!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tigger19687 View Post
    Lol, I hate earwigs... I doubt they are a bee issue, but I got mind under the hood and in little places where I put my fingers. grossssss
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Lake County Illinois
    Posts
    314

    Default Re: Forest bees

    I have always been a favorite of sunlight.

    That being said, I might be setting some hives on the edge of a wooded property I have in central Wisconsin, about 2 miles from cranberry marsh, and 100's of acres of hay.

    Being a part time residence, the concealment along the woods gives me comfort against theft and vandalism. I also paint my hives an army green.

    Two questions....
    1. Do you have issues with excessive moisture?
    2. Do you have issues with not enough air movement/ventilation?

    Thanks!!!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Forsyth, Missouri
    Posts
    701

    Default Re: Forest bees

    If you have bears in your area you better get a GOOD electric fence around those hives>
    Zone 6b 1400'

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    2,781

    Default Re: Forest bees

    Quote Originally Posted by Yunzow View Post
    Oh, hey,

    I've not heard that earwigs are a problem for the bees? At any rate, when I had the hives in full sun, I had earwigs anyways.
    Earwigs will eat mites that fall off bees. Your mite drop count gets kind of distorted on a sticky board unless it is so sticky as to keep off the wigs.
    It is hard to design a safety net that some will not use as a hammock.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Decorah, Iowa USA
    Posts
    275

    Default Re: Forest bees

    Moved one of my outyards back home to my orchard. Placed pallets along side of individual trees so that hives get early morning and mid day sun and shade after 3 in the afternoon. Got sick of running to that outyard.
    Jerry

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Powhatan, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    403

    Default Re: Forest bees

    Ants also carry off mites from drop count boards, another reason why mite counts are not an accurate way to judge mite infestation in a colony.
    Gard star under the hives will help a lot with beetles, being in the woods gives the small hive beetle larvae an ideal situation to pupate in the moister soil.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Bourg, Louisiana
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Forest bees

    That's a pretty neat set up but here in South Louisiana where it's hot as heck we still put them in full sun if possible. I do run screened bottoms and inner covers for ventilation but have no problems wit the heat. My few hives that are more shaded definitely have more hive beetles.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Decorah, Iowa USA
    Posts
    275

    Default Re: Forest bees

    No hive beetles.
    Jerry

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Lilburn, GA, USA
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    788

    Default Re: Forest bees

    Yes, I think our relative locations make a difference, I am sure getting sunlight is more of a benefit up north.
    In the south it can be quite a detriment, especially during the long hot dry summer dearth here.

    I am experimenting with different entrances right now, so I can have more information about moisture / ventilation probably next year....
    Quote Originally Posted by NorthernIllinoisPlumber View Post
    I have always been a favorite of sunlight.

    That being said, I might be setting some hives on the edge of a wooded property I have in central Wisconsin, about 2 miles from cranberry marsh, and 100's of acres of hay.

    Being a part time residence, the concealment along the woods gives me comfort against theft and vandalism. I also paint my hives an army green.

    Two questions....
    1. Do you have issues with excessive moisture?
    2. Do you have issues with not enough air movement/ventilation?

    Thanks!!!
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Lilburn, GA, USA
    Posts
    788

    Default Re: Forest bees

    My friend who visited the other day seemed to think there were bear markings on some trees in our forest.

    However, I live in a subdivision. Our neighborhood social media everyone goes on and on about coyote sightings, never seen a post about any bears.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoot Owl Lane Bees View Post
    If you have bears in your area you better get a GOOD electric fence around those hives>
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Lilburn, GA, USA
    Posts
    788

    Default Re: Forest bees

    Fascinating!
    Quote Originally Posted by Saltybee View Post
    Earwigs will eat mites that fall off bees. Your mite drop count gets kind of distorted on a sticky board unless it is so sticky as to keep off the wigs.
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas, USA
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Forest bees

    I tried that "woods" route and my hives didn't last long as they became infested with beetles from all the decaying foliage.
    We drenched and still didn't help.
    Moved them to edge of the woods with shade for the hot afternoons and sunny in the morning.
    They are striving there!

  20. #19

    Default Re: Forest bees

    As a somewhat local beekeeper, I have to ask what sort of heating problems have you seen? Mine are in full sun. All day. They’ve managed temperatures above 100F for multiple days in a row…in the sun….without any apparent problems. No screened bottom boards or any other kind of exotic ventilation schemes.
    Twenty years ago all of my beeyards were in shady areas. Once small hive beetles arrived, I had to move them all into full sun. That or go out of business.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas, USA
    Posts
    3

    Default Sunny Bees

    Like I posted, my hives are in morning sun for hot afternoon sun they are shaded. Here in the Northern part of Texas and North Fort Worth it can get very hot even before noon in the Summer months. We have screened bottom boards and that seems to help immensely. We also continue to drench for beetles under the hives because they are still located near trees and beetles are everywhere anyway as we live in a wooded area

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