Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

681 - 700 of 704 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,571 Posts
Discussion Starter · #681 ·
Ar1
I think your ideal might have merit but I have found that I keep bees for my selfish reasons. I have wanted to put bees at my dads 12 miles away for years but just keep thinking how much I enjoy not driving and being able to walk out my back door with any stolen minute to piddle with them.

His place is quite a bit different than mine which is probably 70 percent woods. Then I think of how easy it is not to mess with it and just play here.
Perhaps not best or right compared to the opportunity but fits my ambition level.
Cheers
gww
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,571 Posts
Discussion Starter · #683 ·
I got in both side of the split I made 11 days ago again. This time the bee were at least a bit nicer to me though I did smash one on the palm of my hand and get a sting. I don't know why I am so scared of bees as the stings don't seem to cause too much trouble to me but I am still a chicken.

I figured most of the capped brood would have been gone by now but both had quite a bit yet. On the moved side I still could not find the queen and mostly went through the twenty frames that have bees on them. I seen some older larva and they did not try and make new queens which I would think they usually try if they have anything at all to work with.

The original did try and it has all the foragers and probably half of the nurse bees in it. I did not go though all frames on this and tore two frame completely up due to cross comb that I some how missed when they were building up. It had one of the best looking queen cells though I have never in my life seen such sad attempts at queen cells in my life. It surprised me cause it looks like the bees took the scatter gun approach and built a bunch rather then concentrate on three or four good ones. Either way, their effort gives me more confidence that the moved hive does have the queen.

Should have fed them a day or two before the split to have the nurses ready to make royal jelly and might have had too much confidence on what was out there for the foragers to bring back. My thought were that this was somewhere close to swarm season and so there should be plenty. If they find some way to get a laying queen out of those dinky cells I will be surprised and pretty sure they will want to superceed this year cause no joke, the cells do not look viable. I did not go though about six of the frames just incase they had something better, I did not want to smash or tear it up.

It is probably 30 days before I have a clue. The hive is super busy at the entrance but they are not putting weight on the hive which is a little surprising since they have no way to raise new brood for now..

There are a lot of bees and lots of young and some not hatched yet and so in thirty days I should still have a chance at giving them a frame of open brood to try again if the other side really does have a queen.

I did not look at the other 4 possibly live hives but have little hope they will help much. Three of them are still working fairly hard coming and going and probably will till the end.
Cheers
gww

Ps I took the tore up frames that were cross combed and laid the comb on the top bars and then smashed the second box down on top of it. It should give them a clean up job with the honey that was in them. I write this just to show what a slob I am.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,571 Posts
Discussion Starter · #684 ·
First let me say I could take more pictures but by the time I get the phone out and finally get it off screen lock and on camera, I lose my incentive cause it has to be done for every single picture.

52321.jpg

Any how, this was below a full medium of honey and it is packed with bees. It has a ton of dry queen cups and still spotty brood but seems to be doing better then I thought and so I put a medium from one of the dead outs between the honey and this box. The honey could be mostly left from last year cause I had left this one packed and it did not start spring with a ton of bees.

The old side of the split made 37 days ago. I saw larva but nothing capped today. If it is a queen and not workers laying, I am amazed because the cells I saw before quitting to look last time were barely bigger then capped drone cells. If the larva get capped as worker drone later, I will of course be disappointed. It has only been a couple of weeks since any cell should have been capped and so the timing is good for it to be queen and I did not look for her after seeing the larva and so taking it on faith that I am reading it right.

The other side of this split is foraging well and does have some new capped brood and though the pattern may not be great, it is gaining in resources and I think doing fine.

I did not look at the one I am sure is dead and its foraging still tells the same story.

One other that could have more activity at the entrance is only one medium of the three full of bees with few resources and so way behind but not as dead as the other one is.

So my pre-assessment for the year for now is that out of six hives there is real hope for four with at least one making real excess honey and with drawn comb, it is not too late for the splits to contribute something.

Most of the brood is still spotty though one is kinda tight.
No swarms yet from me or too me.
Cheers
gww
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,440 Posts
A little surprised you don't have swarms yet. Is it a late year?

We seem to be right on track for a normal year here, according to the blooming dates, but it has been cool up until the last few days. It hit 80s yesterday. How nice, no wool socks, no long underwear.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,571 Posts
Discussion Starter · #686 ·
My particular bees seem to be slow starting and I guess I blame a bit on the weather. I sometimes wonder if even with blooms maybe plants put out more based on temp. I am not religious on checking my traps but have not seen a bee look at them yet this year. Early years past was april 13th from one of my hives for me but I say more mid may to early june in my traps most years.

I have 16 traps out and get normally 1 to 3 swarms yearly not counting what happens with my personal hives but do see action at traps that don't catch and have seen nothing yet this year.
Cheers
gww
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,650 Posts
So my pre-assessment for the year for now is that out of six hives there is real hope for four with at least one making real excess honey and with drawn comb, it is not too late for the splits to contribute something.
GWW:

Thank you for the update- it sounds like your observations were better than you anticipated?

Did your current inspections yield any more clues as to why the spotty brood?

Could your observations be something akin to Roger Patterson's observations in the video below starting at about the 33 minute point to about the 39 minute mark?

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,571 Posts
Discussion Starter · #688 · (Edited)
Russ
I have seen a bit of all that roger points out and have moved comb around though the years to open the brood nest. However, I would still not guess cause I am not good at transferring pictures to I what see in real life. Can't do it very often for mushroom or plant identification either though I have tried many times. I am going to have to find time to watch that whole video sometime cause it seems like a very interesting presentation.

You are correct on a couple of the hives seeming to do better for now then I thought they would when looking earlier. Not sure if they are doing so much better that they actually make honey but still lots of bees for the brood patterns I was seeing and comparing to what happened last year.
Course it aint over till it's over.

I did add two supers with one actually being ready for the super and the other one full of bees but the moved box not full of capped or almost capped honey. The bees seem to be working white yard clover now and so it should be the start of a fair flow.

Hope things keep going well for you and that you keep posting and I keep reading about it.
Cheers
gww
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,571 Posts
Discussion Starter · #690 ·
Russ
Currently trying to memorize the caged chord positions down the neck for all the major chords.

Takes me two weeks per song and only doing one song during that time to learn finger patterns good enough to practice the song with the computer off. Not play it but know it with fits and starts so I can keep going over it till I get smoother.

I have 41 songs in memory but still get lost playing them during the songs, even the simple ones. The ones I am best on I forget to concentrate and forget where I am in the song somewhere along the line. In the end, I am better then I was 8 months ago.
Cheers
gww
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,571 Posts
Discussion Starter · #691 ·
Ar1
I figure you make it around to here once in a while and have some what similar interest as me.
I Keep the bees and my wife keeps the garden. This is to show she is not near the slob that I am.
g.jpg


This was my bee garden but seems to slowly being taken over from just being flowers. It is also where I threw some tobacco seed.
g1.jpg

Cheers
gww
Ps strawberry and fruit trees seemed to survive our very late freeze this year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,440 Posts
Ar1
I figure you make it around to here once in a while and have some what similar interest as me.
I Keep the bees and my wife keeps the garden. This is to show she is not near the slob that I am.
View attachment 63642

This was my bee garden but seems to slowly being taken over from just being flowers. It is also where I threw some tobacco seed.
View attachment 63643
Cheers
gww
Ps strawberry and fruit trees seemed to survive our very late freeze this year.
Your wife would hate how I garden. Much of it I just throw seeds out on the surface and whatever grows, grows, wherever it ends up. For several years I didn't even till it, and that worked great too. Surprisingly this works out very well, but I end up weeding out lots of veggies that are too close together. The corn and such does go into rows. All my early veggies were from seeds thrown out on the dirt last fall. lettuce and greens are easy this way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,571 Posts
Discussion Starter · #693 ·
That's why my wife does it and not me except for the tilling. When I do it, you can not walk though the garden due to height of the weeds at harvest time. I always liked seeing things come up more then taking care of it after up or all the work in harvesting. :) I don't really spray or take care of my fruit trees or grapes either. I take what ever is given and all years are not the same with more bad then good.
Cheers
gww
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,440 Posts
That's why my wife does it and not me except for the tilling. When I do it, you can not walk though the garden due to height of the weeds at harvest time. I always liked seeing things come up more then taking care of it after up or all the work in harvesting. :) I don't really spray or take care of my fruit trees or grapes either. I take what ever is given and all years are not the same with more bad then good.
Cheers
gww
I do keep the weeds down, but that's easier with broadcast planting too. When the veggies are covering the ground they act like weeds and smother out the other stuff. So most of the weeding is in the very early weeks before the veggies are thick.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,571 Posts
Discussion Starter · #695 ·
Got in the hives today just to sorta look at space and for general knowledge. The split I made that the old bee side needed to make a queen has nice capped brood now. It seemed to be contained in the lowest box of three mediums with the top mostly honey and lots capped. The second box was not heavy but seemed to be being stored with honey. The few frames of brood were only about 70 percent full of brood but it was solid as I have ever seen. I find it unbelievable based on the few cells I had seen them making but they must have did one ok enough.

I put a box of drawn brood frames on top of the bottom box for the brood to extend into if the bees feel like it.

The side with the old queen still has yucky brood but quite a few bees.

The two hives that 10 days ago I added boxes too under their top box still looked the same on those top boxes. One heavy and one at maybe half weight. The bees had made gain on the new boxes I had put under the top. They were not full by any means but except the outside four frames had honey in all the rest of the cells. I figure based on my worst year that the bees have at least two more weeks of gaining flow. Can they fill a box and a half to two in that time? I doubt it but I probably will not have to worry more about space and will get what I get with out having to mess with them again.

I figure at this time I really have four hives. The other two? One is so bad that I made no effort to even open. The other one has quite a few bees but crappy brood and is not really getting ahead on any stores. I figure both as dead though one did seem to expand a bit on bee populace. Thought about doing some kind of experimental split with it but would have to steal resources from other hives and decided I was too lazy to mess with it.

No sign of swarms or activity in any of my swarm traps yet this year.
Cheers
gww
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,650 Posts
One is so bad that I made no effort to even open. The other one has quite a few bees but crappy brood and is not really getting ahead on any stores. I figure both as dead though one did seem to expand a bit on bee populace.
Good post, GWW. I suppose you are judging colony strength by foraging to decide they are not worth opening up?

It is interesting and curious to me that the colonies continue to gain in strength in the face of bad brood patterns. It would be interesting to see if you marked an area of the comb and checked it at regular intervals to ascertain if what you are seeing is simply a reflection of staggered ages of the cell contents.

If you have any more empty drawn brood comb, maybe you could stick one in the spotty brood hive to see if it gets laid-up solid?

Surprised you haven't had any swarm signs yet- anyone in the neighborhood reporting swarms?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,571 Posts
Discussion Starter · #697 ·
Russ
I had opened the real bad one up earlier and written it off and you are correct, the foraging is the sign now.

Even better on the bad brood would be to crowd the bees and put an empty frame for them to draw to lay in. They always lay those well though last year after hatch on one hive, they did not keep it up.

Mostly. I don't want to know bad enough to do anything about the bad brood patterns.

Swarms?
I don't really communicate with any bee keepers around here and have not been to a bee meeting in over a year and never went often. I did rely on the mo thread on this site and nobody (myself included) has posted there this year yet.
Cheers
gww
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,738 Posts
Hey there Glenn, :D
Have you noticed that the hives with the worst brood patterns are the ones with older queens?

Now I don't claim to know much, and I mess up as much as I do well, but that being said, if it was me, I'd go into the bad brood pattern hives and pinch the queens while you still are in the last of a nectar flow. As they make new queens, the brood will reduce and they'll have more nectar stored as the new queen emerges and starts to lay. And I think there'd be a good chance you'd end up with better queens with nicer brood patterns. And hey, shouldn't be too hard to find the queens since they are lower in bee population eh? or at least 1 or 2 of them are.

Always fun to read your stories, it seems like you are going to end up with a few good hives after all eh? Glad to hear of your progress.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,738 Posts
Oh, and yes, that's what I've read is that plants put out nectar more or less depending on temperature. Just because you see flowers does not mean they are putting out much nectar. And different flowers like different temps too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,571 Posts
Discussion Starter · #700 ·
Ray
I have only had what I thought was one glancing sight of what I thought was a queen this year. I have actually looked a few times in the hives when they were not very bee full.. Yes, I would say it is the older queens on all the bad ones. The one hive did not seem to be making gain in stores even with the flow which leads me to believe they are losing and making enough brood to use up stores. Your suggestion would also give a brood break that might help what is probably mite pressure which is probably what is causing the problem to begin with.

I may try this and may not get around to it either but like all your suggestions, think it is a very good ideal.

Thanks for taking the time to help. Even if I don't get around to doing it, I would not have even thought of it with out your input. I really do like the ideal.

I am still very low ambition this year.
Cheers
gww
Ps It was around 85 today and my bees were working the heck out of yard clover.
 
681 - 700 of 704 Posts
Top