Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

21 - 40 of 88 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,625 Posts
Yup.
And we'll get one in May too. Usually the day after I make up nucs with queen cells. Every year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
I’m on the north side of Denver in Brighton. 60s during the day and lower to mid 30s at night. I have one hive that’s filled up 2 mediums with brood and bees. Do you think it’s too early to do a split? Walk away split so the new queen has the same genetics. Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,625 Posts
I usually wait until the last half of April.
But if you have drones flying you could give it a try.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,665 Posts
look for purple-eyed drone brood, most of us are close
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
903 Posts
I'm @ 6,800 feet and during yesterday's inspection only found one colony with drone brood so far. I always use an uncapping fork to rip open drone pupa in search of varroa mites. Found zero mites. It's a good feeling!

Cheers,
Steve
====
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,100 Posts
I also wait until I see drones. I split a hive to early one year and ended up spending several months getting the hive straitened back out after ending up with a drone only laying queen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,625 Posts
Here in Louisville drones are just starting to hatch. Not flying yet but there are a few in the hives.
Dandelions will be blooming soon, drones will be orienting and it will be time to get the double screens out.
Almost there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,676 Posts
Discussion Starter #28
A little bit of good news. A couple days ago, I was walking by one of the hives that I had declared dead a few weeks ago, only to see a few bees entering with pollen. Knowing robbers don't carry pollen into a victim hive, I was hoping the hive was alive, afterall. Yesterday I opened it up, and not only is it alive, but it is absolutely massive for this time of year - 1 deep and 2 mediums packed wall-to-wall with bees. If it was closer to the end of April, I'd be worried the hive would be swarming soon. I ripped open a couple dozen drone cells, and did not see any mites. All-in-all, a very pleasant surprise. Not sure how I originally missed the hive being alive, but that is the kind of mistake I'll take.
 

·
Registered
5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
Joined
·
2,043 Posts
And so begins a new Front Range roller coaster thread. So named because of the wide weather swings us beekeepers along the Front Range of the Rockies experience during Spring.

Unfortunately, my first report of the new year is unusually large losses in my apiary - 7 out of 10 hives have died in the last two weeks, during a cold snap. The cold snap went down to 6F, and so wasn't all that bad. The hives sure suffered, though. A brief post mortem showed that all the hives still had honey reserves. Some hives had dead clusters on the combs, and some hives were simply empty of bees. The hives got a later-than-usual mite treatment in the Fall, though, so that may have been the cause of the high mortality rate. I'll probably be feeding them hard and doing some splits this Spring to make up the losses.
shinbone, I had some similar winters. with wide ranging temp swings, what do you do for insulation? I have been trying different things, it is perhaps ancidonal but the better insulated hives do the best. I have 1 I build with 3.5x1.75 stud walls insulated, they are going gang busters. Some I have strapped 1.5 foam around and they are doing fine as well. Most of the ones I have with Screen bottom board have died , over and over, too much draft or something, so I likely will retire those except for splits and emergency hives. IMO anything you can do to slow the temp swings, will help, when the cluster expands , contracts , etc it is hard on the bees. If Mites are in the area then some plan there is a must. Also look for some "northern" bees. I have been doing bees since "79" time frame . Some places in the South, if you get bees there, you will have heavy losses. Sometime they take the Saz or the russians down there to get an early start then "open mate" well most of the drones are local. the F1s and F2s really struggle. If you can, I would split from what survives, swarm trap, look for a northern queen source or NUC source and get some stock that winters are not a problem with. then you just have the Range weather and the Mites lets to deal with. :)

Good luck
GG
 

·
Registered
5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
Joined
·
2,043 Posts
A little bit of good news. A couple days ago, I was walking by one of the hives that I had declared dead a few weeks ago, only to see a few bees entering with pollen. Knowing robbers don't carry pollen into a victim hive, I was hoping the hive was alive, afterall. Yesterday I opened it up, and not only is it alive, but it is absolutely massive for this time of year - 1 deep and 2 mediums packed wall-to-wall with bees. If it was closer to the end of April, I'd be worried the hive would be swarming soon. I ripped open a couple dozen drone cells, and did not see any mites. All-in-all, a very pleasant surprise. Not sure how I originally missed the hive being alive, but that is the kind of mistake I'll take.
cool one more to be able to split
GG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,676 Posts
Discussion Starter #31
cool one more to be able to split
GG
Good point! My usual goal with my hives is honey production, but considering how well this queen is doing, I might just forgo plans to harvest honey from this particular hive and dedicate it to making splits. Especially since it is already off to such a great start for doing so. I wouldn't mind spreading those genetics around as much as possible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
903 Posts
Goose & Shin,

I too insulate with rigid foam on four sides and top. It is still inplace and will be for some time at 6,800 feet. I believe like Goos, it mitigates the temperature swings and has go to be helpful when starting brood rearing earlier. I had a couple of D.O.'s but I've also got a few real boomers that I'll have to keep a close eye on or they'l be in the trees.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
248 Posts
Still Winter on the Northern Tier. Had 2 days of flight this year. Snowing again today.
Not sure if I’ll get them through this. Toughest Winter since I started 4 years ago.
On top of that, no packages coming in - no flights from Oz or New Zealand.
Gonna be grim in Alberta beekeeping this year. Will split like crazy if I have a viable hive.
Stay healthy.
Brian
53 N, 115 W, El. 850M
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,625 Posts
Sorry to hear that, BDT. I hope you can get them through to spring.

Checked 10 hives today. Most are doing well. One was a little weak so I gave them a couple frames of capped brood. Should be fine.
Another has a failed queen. I'll make a double screen split sometime this week.
Reversed hive bodies on a few. The rest have brood top and bottom.
No mite losses.
I'll check the other 12 tomorrow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,987 Posts
Still Winter on the Northern Tier. Had 2 days of flight this year. Snowing again today.
Not sure if I’ll get them through this. Toughest Winter since I started 4 years ago.
On top of that, no packages coming in - no flights from Oz or New Zealand.
Gonna be grim in Alberta beekeeping this year. Will split like crazy if I have a viable hive.
Stay healthy.
Brian
53 N, 115 W, El. 850M
Just talked to a friend in Unity SK and he says they have two feet of fresh snow on the ground! We are sending warm air north looking at the weather map and we have mid sixties forecast this next week so hopefully you will benefit from it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,665 Posts
Swarm today in Westminister, when we come of this next cold snap its going to be game on
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,676 Posts
Discussion Starter #37
Swarm today in Westminister, when we come of this next cold snap its going to be game on
Thanks for the head's-up on the swarm.

I agree - once this cold snap passes, swarm season will start with a bang.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,665 Posts
Looks like about 6" of accumulation for me.. Had nucs that were(on paper) starting mating flights today:eek: :lpf::lpf:
happy to have a batch of cells tucked in safe and warm on a night like this, and ready to place in the nicer weather on Monday incubator.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,713 Posts
My week : Sat -Summer, Sun/Mon-Winter , T-Wed-Spring/Summer, Th-Winter, today-Spring/Summer... 3-4" Sunday/Monday, ~2-3" yesterday,
 
21 - 40 of 88 Posts
Top