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Yes Glenn,
I've the same or similar problems here, lack of motivation and failing eyesight. I just can't seem to see eggs and can't find the queens anymore. So like you, I seldom get into them other than check the top super. But it's still good therapy for me to have a few hives so I keep them going.
 

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Discussion Starter · #702 · (Edited)
Russ
My bearding does not match yours yet but I do have slatted racks which I believe helps some. Lots of extra empty space with the supers I just added also.
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and
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As you can see, I treat my wife much better then I treat my bees. I had a yard full of clover that the bees were working and I chopped it down so that our house could look as good as the joneses. I have a big yard and it was hard to do but I manned up. As you can see, my bee yard is not so big but it still has weeds.
Cheers
gww
Ps As always my pictures are bad and I don't really show they pretty nice balls of bees hanging under the landing board. I pretty much never do a very good job showing what I am trying to take a picture of.
 

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I do have slatted racks which I believe helps some.
GWW:

Good update, and how I identify with the struggle to keep the yard presentable when there is clover in bloom.

I also run slatted racks on my 8-frame Langs and I am always impressed by how many bees will hang-out in the vestibule below the rack and the entrance. While anecdotal, I think there is something to them.

Still no swarms in your neighborhood?
 

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Discussion Starter · #704 ·
Russ
I have seen no sigh of swarming or even interest in my traps that might fool me.
Cheers
gww
 

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Discussion Starter · #705 ·
I guess I got jealous of ar1 and so pulled a frame of honey like he just did. I was too lazy to get into more hives but was curious of the surplus that the hives might have. I of course just looked at one and am guessing more on the rest. I have not extracted yet.

The other motivating factor to pull the honey was the person who bought my brother in laws house in indiana, when we moved back to Mo at retirement, now come out a couple of times a year and his wife kept saying how she liked comb honey. He is also a guitar player and maybe why it was on my mind when in pandemic mode.

Needless to say, the comb I pulled was not good new comb but just old capped honey comb, maybe even from last year. However, it did not look too dirty and I am hoping it still taste fine. I don't think it has ever had brood raised in it.

The other interesting thing was that both supers above the brood nest were full and heavy and the second one down was being capped and the honey did not seem runny. I almost took an outside frame cause it was a little cleaner looking but since not but about 30 percent capped, decided on the older frame from the top box. I guess the whole point that makes it interesting is that maybe I did not put enough drawn comb on it. I don't know how to read this as the second is not completely capped but both weigh as much as they can. I still have clover in my yard and it is a little cooler and it just rained and the bees might make more or might hit the derth that eventually comes just right. I will probably not do anything but am interested in thoughts on whether that might be right or wrong.

Cheers
gww
 

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I will probably not do anything but am interested in thoughts on whether that might be right or wrong.
As Walt Wright would say, "super optimistically". That said, with the arrival of SHB one has to be mindful of adding too much room.

Good report- I hope the gift of comb honey will bring back good memories for your friend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #707 ·
Russ
Good report- I hope the gift of comb honey will bring back good memories for your friend.
She said it did while invoking her father numerous times. 😊
You gave a nice report on your thread also.
Thanks
gww
 

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Discussion Starter · #708 ·
Pulled four supers but one had five frames of mostly brood. I can't remember for sure which hive it came from but believe it was from the split that made the queen. It has a surprisingly good looking brood pattern.

One of the hives still had crappy brood but an amazing amount of bees but no excess stores. So at this time of year and the fact it is still the three box brood set up with no supers, I should have listened to ray. Too lazy though.

My set up for extracting.
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Still getting amazing use out of my home made extractor which amazes me.
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I do realize that my pictures still are bad.

If I did not take the queen with the brood, I have five hives. I got about 7+ gal and got around two from dead outs in spring and so made about the same as last year even with fewer bees and no swarms and so will have to see in spring where I set. The 10 gal I have been getting is close to holding even in bad cases and I will put the supers and box of brood back on the hives very soon. The brood was not covered well with bees but is in my green house type building and may survive the hiatus from the mother hive cause I was to busy/lazy to put them back immediately.

Got my extracting stuff out under roof of my pole barn due to a sprinkle of rain and it may have the bees at each others throat's when I put the stuff back on the hives. Guess I will light my smoker and keep my fingers crossed.

The bees are hitting my peaches pretty hard.
Cheers
gww
 

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Still getting amazing use out of my home made extractor...
Nice report, GWW. Your extractor looks like a good piece of workmanship. When you have time, I'd be interested to see what the inside of the set-up looks like.

Have a great day-

Russ
 

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Discussion Starter · #710 ·
Russ
A stand to keep the shaft centered and above the honey.
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And believe it or not, an old back massager that I am sure I salvaged for the pullies but then removed most of the wood dowels and squared a few of them and cut up for this.
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Set it all in the can and can do 4 medium frames at a time. Sewing machine motor goes as fast or slow as I want. I did not blow out one frame of foundationless comb. I did use some rubber bands. The comb is pretty tough as it ages.
Cheers
gww
 

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Quite ingenious, GWW. I'm sensing between this and your previous sawmill posts that you've got some real skills at figuring out how to make do with what you have.

Thank you for the reply, and have a great weekend.

Russ
 

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Discussion Starter · #712 ·
Russ
I am pretty sure the back massager was gathered for the sawmill project but it came in handy later. Kind of a little stroke of luck there. You know the old saying, I would rather be lucky then good.
Cheers
gww
 

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Discussion Starter · #713 · (Edited)
A swarm in july ain't worth a fly and so we will see how august does.
Looks like they have moved in to me.
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They look to be guarding the entrance and I did see a couple carrying pollen. It was an empty medium that has drawn comb in it though it might have one or two empty frames cause I had robbed the top boxes to use for supers. Probably moved in over the last few days cause I thought it was funny that the bees had decided to rob the 5 or so empty hives I had still setting there. The were looking through all of them a few days ago but not my traps. I was thinking dirth when I seen the action at the empties.

I have not decided if I will try and help them or just see what happens.
Cheers
gww
 

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well bright blessings on your new arrivals. We don't know when winter will come, hopefully they know
 
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I have not decided if I will try and help them or just see what happens.
Nice, GWW. You must be livin' right.

As Jeff Horchoff points out, "if you've got a soft heart and a hard head" you might do what you can to help them along.
 

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Discussion Starter · #716 ·
My august swarm.
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I gave them a little more then a half gal of sugar water before I took it off today. This seems to be what they did with it.
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I made the picture bigger and can see larva surrounding the capped but did not look good enough to really see what was possibly there. I also did not look for the queen. I did look at stores and they have very little. However, we did get rain and I am probably going to let them hang unless I change my mind. I may try and put together a box of partially filled frames of honey to put on top of them when I extract early sept. Then they might not swarm right off in spring due to lack of space if they make it that far.

I took one other hive apart cause it was setting wonky on the bottom board. It was five boxes high. It had bees in all five boxes though the bottom two really seem to be mostly empty frames though I did not pull any to look for brood. The top has a couple of capped frames and I did not pull frames to look for runny honey. It was not so heavy I really struggled though. The second down seems to be capped and full and heavy. I did not pull it to see if any of the frames had brood but will pull it to extract. The medium good news is that he third box that will be part of the brood nest for winter is heavy and though it might be where the brood is also, it is a good start for winter stores with honey in the right place.

And so, even though I did not check, this gives me small confidence that the other supers on the other hives might have had some refilling also and may have something worth extracting in about a half of a month. Of course they may still eat it and I am wrong very often on what I think I am going to find before I look and find the truth.

The bees are not coming and going like crazy from the hives and it is cooler (though not cool) and none of the bees are hanging outside in a beard. I would say even with the rain, foraging is hard and mostly for water. I did see a bee butt shaking a couple of times and so maybe they are finding something but not a race of coming and going.
Cheers
gww

Ps Taking five boxes apart with a couple that non- manly I could hardly lift that high had me breathing hard and happy to quit looking at more.
 

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I would say even with the rain, foraging is hard and mostly for water.
Same here, GWW. They were working Devil's walking stick hard for a few days while it was in bloom but now nothing appreciable that I observe. The Eupatoriums are all moving toward bloom however and most of the early Goldenrods are blooming here now, so hopefully we'll see a bit of a fall flow in the next month.

Best of luck to you with that late swarm- sounds like they are making good progress!
 

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They look pretty good. My biggest hive came in as a swarm, probably a May one, back in 2017 or 2018. (I really ought to keep better records)....
 
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Discussion Starter · #719 ·
Most likely messed with my bees for the last time till spring except to eventually to weed eat or mow. I took the supers all off and took all the hives down to three mediums. Most were empty with small areas of uncapped and I assume new honey. Another observation is that some of the wet was where brood had been previously when I extracted and so the bees have moved down and were gathering a little bit. However they did chase the boxes I put out to be robbed like crazy.

I got three gal of honey and so for the year not counting the two gal I got from dead outs in spring, I did exactly reach my 10 gal for the year. I might have got a little more then normal for the same amount of frames cause I crushed and strained 20 or so frame and not all of them full. I had like six supers but only two had any capped stuff to speak of.

I took a bunch of the best uncapped frames and combined them all in one box and put on top of my aug. swarm. So they have about 70 percent full super to go into winter with. I put the rest out side tipped on their sides for the bees to rob back into their hives.

I tried to take a few pictures to show the bees either missing their space or on a robbing spree on the out side of a few of the reduced hives but had a brand new phone and got a bunch of selfies trying to figure out how to use it for the first time. I am a little later getting the supers pulled then I wanted by about a week but seeing the weather going to 94 tomorrow got me off my buns.

I am not confident on how much is left in the hives but did notice the last few days that there was more traffic at the entrances and so figure the bees are on a little more then just water as it has been about ten degrees cooler then what it will be like again tomorrow. They are still at the water hole hard though and using about a gal a day of just one place and I know they go to several.

I think crush and strain may be harder then spinning. None of it is easy.
Don't really know how to put the year into perspective. We had good rain here this year but I did let the bees rob about eight gal from dead out early on and so they did not really go gang busters but I did end up with normal honey but have fewer bees going into winter then past years.

The crushed comb was not much of a loss as I am finally fat in that regard.
Good luck to all over winter.
Cheers
gww
 
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