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I have just started this year with two new hives with Italian bees. It has been going well so far. It is a little bit akward since I can only visit them on the weekend; I work in Savannah, Ga and the bees are in Columbia, SC. The bees have drawn out most of the deep and I have just added a super and foundation to each. Locals don't use double deeps here. After doing some reading I am going to add grease patties this weekend and am going to put the hive top feeder back on. This is to possibly keep the mites down and help them build out the comb faster. I had taken the feeder off several weeks ago because they stopped using it, but I am not sure of the hnoey flows here and want to make sure everything is at maximum production. Also, my dad has told me that the bees were hanging on the front of the hive all week, it has been about 95 here all week and the hive is in pretty good sun. I am going to completely remove the entrance reducer and stager the super to help with ventalation. (If I don't would they be hurt?)

The hives are in the middle of a tree farm in Columbia, SC. Earlier, there were blackberries blooming, now it seems there are honeysuckle and misc. yellow, and blue weeds blooming. Can any one give me some guidance as to the nectar flows in this area? I don't have any of the plants that most bee books mention, but the honey is coming in, or at least they have capped honey right now.

I am glad I have found this board. I don't have any local bee keeper friends and this will be a great place to learn.

James Cook

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I have 2 hives that are located on a 400 acre pine tree far with sparse houses surronding. This is my first year keeping.
 

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Hi James, Welcome

I'm the lazy beekeeper around here.

I spent two seasons intently researching my bees. I sat by the hives day in and day out practically. I learned alot.

I intervened alot while they were getting established. I think it's neccessary to intervene while they are getting established...

Anyway, now that they are, all I do is reverse the boxes a couple times a year, make sure they're queenrite, combine or split when needed. Add supers. Open the lids for ventilation when it's humid and warm, and that's about it....

All is good.
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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You could just prop open the inner cover with a stick and that will create a lot of ventilation. Do you have a screened botom board (SBB)? It will help with mites and with ventilation. In really SERIOUS heat you can stagger the boxes, but a real driving rain will surely run a lot of water through the hive. Any hole in the top will add ventilation. Popsicle sticks on the corners of the inner cover will help. You can put them both below and above the inner cover to make more airflow in that area. Some people drill a hole in the top super (I don't like drilling holes in my eqiupment) Some use an Imirie shim.

I just went to all screened bottom boards and only top entrances, but thats a lot of airflow.
 

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Hi James welcome to this board
I use a 1x1 inch stick and prop the outer cover up for venalation,but only on the strong hives as they might be robbed out.If you have honey supers on take off the feeder or you will get syurp in the combs and not honey.When it is very hot i think the bees will hang outside the hive no matter what to keep cool,wouldnt you?Removeing the entrance reducer will help alot.Souds like you are off to a good start.
Bob
 

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James,
First off I want to say, that's amazing. I have never heard of such a large pine tree before. 400 acres? How'd you pull that off?

Ok enough joking.

Yes you should remove the entrance reducer. The entrance reducer should generally only be used for the 1st week of installation while the bees are getting organized and assigning tasks OR if the bees seem to be getting robbed regularly. Otherwise leave it off.

YOu don't want to over ventilate. You want to bees to be able to ventilate their hives, but nor do you want to force the ventilation on them either. If the hive has one entrance the bees have complete control of ventilation. If the bees have more than 1 entrance, than draft conditions occur and sometimes the bees are getting vented when they don't want it.

1 entrance is good, with a ventilation hole on the other side of the hive, maybe 1" or 1 1/4 inches. But beyong that, let them do the venting. The bees are good at it and know what to do. Bees having to fight the wind outside though are at a disadvantage.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
So I forgot one "M"! It is a tree farM!

I am getting ready to go check the hives right now, but it sure is hot!
 

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SweetPeaApiary...congrats on becoming a beekeeper! i too am very new to beekeeping and i'm loving it. i'm doing it with my girls and we are having a great time. just last week we went to their school to do a demonstration and show them our observation hive. if you can manage to get an observation hive i would HIGHLY recommend it. it's very helpful in understanding what bees do but mostly it's just really COOL! you can check out ours on my website at http://www.honeybeesonly.com/index.php?name=PNphpBB2&file=album_cat&cat_id=4&sid=52a6a8d8d641cafdb1d4f513a8894d37

Well enjoy the new hobby!

Ken

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Check me out at: http://honeybeesonly.com
 
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