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We are starting a new year and even a new decade. So what are your plans for your bees? Are you going to expand? Try a new technique? Learn how to breed queens? Lets hear it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
For me this is going to be the year of the nucs. I am currently building 40 nuc boxes. My goal is to start with two nucs and to keep splitting them as much as possible. I will also break one of my hives down into 4 nucs. The end goal will to be to build as many double strong nucs as I can to overwinter.The goal is to over witer 20 double deep nucs.
 

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Build a gang of two frame mating nucs and start grafting and raising my own queens.
 

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I have enough colonies. I suck at grafting. I want to improve my queen grafting success rate from 20% to better than 50%. I also plan to build more mating nucs so I can handle a higher success rate. I’m currently using two frame mating nucs. Thinking about doing a mini frame quad.
 

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my goal in 2020 is to raise more queens and convince the local beekeepers that they can do it too. I took the Born 'n Bred queen rearing workshop from the NC Beekeepers and like how they have scaled it down to something that a backyard beekeeper can do. I had an expert beekeeper give a class locally in Hampton Virginia on queen rearing last January and we had a packed room. Now we just need to build on that and keep the momentum going.

Ordered this new fangled gizmo from Ebay. Will have to try and see if I can JBweld the nicot cupcaps into the tops of each cell so I can just add the queen excluder once the cells are capped and mature.
s-l1600.jpg

s-l1600 (1).jpg
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Goals here include continuing to improve my queen rearing skills and doing more selective breeding by culling underperforming queens early. Additionally, I would like to sell more nucs. I got off to a slow start last year and did not get Q+ splits done in time. Had several hives swarm as a result. Moving up the timetable to avoid last year's problems. The Simple Harmony Farms uncapper is still on my wish list.
Most embarassing beekeeping moment of 2019 was having a nuc swarm the day the customer arrived to pick it up. Bees were still on a tree when he arrived and he helped me hive them. Pulled several frames of bees and a queen from a full sized hive to sell him.
 

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I am hoping to keep mites in control come fall and get both of my existing hives thru the winter. I already lost 2 due to mite treatments failing this fall.
 

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Hey Ruthie How was Born and Bred? I had thought about ordering the manual is it worth it? (from teaching perspective)
do you have a link to the "gizmo"

as for me...
I want to wag more growl less on line, but still bark at bull
sell $1,000 in queens/cells so I can be a "big enough" to qualify for the SARE grant proposal I have been working on.
Push 48 hour cells, and teach as many beekeepers as I can to use them and/or to graft and use nano queen rearing
 

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20 gallons of honey, first time making comb honey, and 15 hives and 20 nucs going into winter 20-21 will make me a very happy boy!
 

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Goals for 2020 are:
* Increase hive count from 32 to 40.
* Buy no queens, hives or nucs. Become a self-sustaining beek.
* Split hives and try notching brood frames the last week of March to facilitate making queen cells.
* Build a garage and have a dedicated honey extraction room.
 

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For me this is going to be the year of the nucs. I am currently building 40 nuc boxes. My goal is to start with two nucs and to keep splitting them as much as possible. I will also break one of my hives down into 4 nucs. The end goal will to be to build as many double strong nucs as I can to overwinter.The goal is to over witer 20 double deep nucs.
Pretty close to exactly my hopes. 20 not 40. 40 would be too big a jump for my experience level and time constraints. I hope to overwinter 2-4 of my current 4 hives and split them early into 5-frame nucs, then split the resulting hives. I went from one caught swarm last May to 5 hives, so this should be achievable. Currently working on building the nucs.

I also hope to get my BSN (Bachelor's Degree in Nursing) completed, and of course continue working my full time job as a cardiac nurse.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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I also hope to get my BSN (Bachelor's Degree in Nursing) completed, and of course continue working my full time job as a cardiac nurse.
Good luck with the BSN. My son was an EMT for many years and got his RN this past summer. He works cardiac at a large Richmond hospital and loves it. He too hopes to continue with a BSN or even a MSN?
 

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6a 4th yr 7 colonies inc. resource hive
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Keep it simple- live bees, keep it fun, make more bee friends, continue being observant and listen to the bees. Much more detail to this, but like so many things it boils down to only doing a few things well.
 

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Cut the time/scale on the potato growing.
Improve the back yard veg production (was being neglected).

Staying the course on the bee project - the old-time peasant style.
 

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I want to put bees in the Dadant depth and Plus Dadant depth equipment to experiment with single box brood. Also want to split a few colonies to get my count back up with a couple for insurance to to sell the following spring. Maybe get a chance to try out the cell punch I made 5 years ago.
 

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I just want to keep mine alive and get them down to 3 hives probably. I get more honey with fewer mouths to feed.
 

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I want to sell off a bunch of bees with some of the equipment I have collected. I have enough equipment for about 40-50 hives but only want 10, not including the 6 top bar hives that I don't count in my calculations. I had roughly 20 full size Langstroth hives coming into winter and for me, it is too much work to be taking care of. I already have a full time job and too many other responsibilities.
 

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1. Get better at swarm control. Maybe I'll demaree or add drawn comb near the brood at appropriate times. I've tended to catch the warning signs too late. This is probably my biggest weakness as a new-ish beekeeper.

2. Find queens. I've mostly just looked for eggs to know that a colony is queenright, but that's not good enough when you need to requeen, and it's less than optimal when making a split.

3. Requeen with gentler genetics. My nucs and purchased queens have led gentle colonies. But when my colonies have requeened themselves they've been more feisty. I want to be more proactive in requeening those colonies, as they're right on top of my house in a suburban (borderline rural) area, and I miss the days of working the bees in shorts and a t-shirt.

4. Make mead. In 2019 I harvested 140 lbs of honey, which is way more than I would consume. I gave a lot away, but still have several jars. Making mead seems like a fun side-project, and I'm likely to consume more honey in the form of alcohol than sugar.

5. Avoid increase. I'm at 6 colonies (3 were production, 3 are new splits), and I think that's more than enough. This relates to swarm control. If you don't have dead-outs, you have to either avoid swarm-prevention splits or sell nucs. Plan A is the former, as getting inspected and dealing with customers just seems like a hassle.
 
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