Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 20 of 31 Posts

·
Registered
USDA Hardiness Zone 8a
Joined
·
155 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is for any beekeepers that are also drone enthusiasts (the quad-copter kind).

I'm wondering if a drone fitted with a Forward-looking infrared (FLIR) camera could be used to search for feral honey bee colonies. Would a drone be usable in the woods? Would the heat from a cluster of bees show through a hollow tree enough for the camera to pick up? How close to the bee tree would the drone have to fly? Would the drone be able to detect and avoid flight hazards such as trees and undergrowth?

I don't have a drone, but have been trying to talk myself into buying one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,869 Posts
I say ditch these drone ideas as you describe - do realize this will be alike looking for a needle in a haystack (maybe worse).

Instead, read Tom Seeley about bee hunting if in a mood to find some ferals (IF they even exist in your location).

Once having the bee hunting figured out, better yet will be if you figure out how to follow individual bees to their home with a drone - now that could be a worthwhile and a revolutionary improvement to the conventional bee hunting techniques.
 

·
Registered
5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
Joined
·
2,451 Posts
Agree
bee hunting, the old way is better.

A side business showing Ariel pics of homes for sale,, contracted out to realtor's, would be a better angle if you really need to talk your self into a nice drone. I have looked at several farms, an Ariel tour would be sweet.

google "drone views of farms" for some examples,, just monetize that.....

GG
 

·
Registered
USDA Hardiness Zone 8a
Joined
·
155 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Instead, read Tom Seeley about bee hunting if in a mood to find some ferals
I just ordered the book. Thanks.

A side business showing Ariel pics of homes for sale,, contracted out to realtor's,
Definitely not my cup of tea. But thanks for trying.

I guess I could use a drone to check on my swarm traps without having to unload my Kubota Sidekick at each farm or camp. Really though, I probably won't spend the money on one until they make one that can get the leaves off my roof and clean out my rain gutters.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,237 Posts
I guess I could use a drone to check on my swarm traps without having to unload my Kubota Sidekick at each farm or camp. Really though, I probably won't spend the money on one until they make one that can get the leaves off my roof and clean out my rain gutters.
here you go
 

·
Registered
USDA Hardiness Zone 8a
Joined
·
155 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Finishing up my last night of six 12 hour shifts in a row.
Now I'm looking forward to my Eight days off.
Looks like I will have great weather at least through Sunday.

IMG_6474.jpg


When I get off work in 3 more hours I'm planning on loading up the Kubota Sidekick and visiting the bait hives that I put out two weeks ago.
Then I'll start assembling and painting new woodenware until I crash and have to fall into bed.

I hope everybody else has a great day today also!

PS: For any central Mississippi folks here, I just found out that Heartwood Bee Supply in Star, MS is now an authorized dealer for Mann Lake.
 

·
Registered
USDA Hardiness Zone 8a
Joined
·
155 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Finishing up my work week again tonight and looking ahead at the weather forecast for my eight days off. I'm seeing a lot of rain, so I guess I'll be in the workshop assembling some of the eight frame medium boxes that have been stacked up in the corner for 5 years. I was hoping to do some site prep at a couple of locations that I will have hives at this year, but I'm afraid it will be too wet.

62660


Speaking of out yards, anybody want to share what factors are considered when trying to decide whether or not to place hives in a particular location or not? I'm looking at 9 different locations that my family owns land at. I know the closest to home will get top priority, but of the sites that are most distant, I've got hardwood timberland to the southwest, pasture land to the northeast, and cropland to the southeast. Those furthest sites are each about an hour from home. I am considering putting two hives at each location to evaluate the honey crops. Any suggestions?

62661
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,576 Posts
Speaking of out yards, anybody want to share what factors are considered when trying to decide whether or not to place hives in a particular location or not? Any suggestions?
Flat and good vehicle access. Not too windy and good shelter and aspect to sun. Decent food sources in the surrounding areas.
 

·
Registered
5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
Joined
·
2,451 Posts
Sure Major, I'll give it a try.

As old timer sugested, getting there with a truck or car is a big plus.
also consider:
out of sight to prevent someone from messing with them or stealing them.
face SE if possible
have west shade for the 1:00 to 5:00 hot afternoon.
I like a creek bottom within a mile, if offers Maples in spring for first pollen and nectar, and water for the bees to drink, and some bloom during dry times.
I like to be in a bottom or hollow to allow flying down hill loaded and up hill empty. Where the hill top has more wind and the bees fly up hill loaded.
Untended areas where sweetclover, golden rod and various other weeds are going to add blooms all year.
Hayfields of smallish size like 40-80 acres owned by several persons, always one blooming and 1 being cut, with 2-4 cuttings you get some bloom in almost every week.

Things I do NOT like:
large mono cultures, corn beans wheat etc, it is feast or famine with added chem sprays.
golf course nearby, lots of chems in the top water for the bees to drink.
some other keeper who has 40+ hive in the location, (3 mile circle) IMO the first 20 get a good amount of food, after 40 it is somewhat hit or miss.
Small towns very near, (2 miles or less) Walmart sells tons of chems that home owners dump on plants with out the training and with out the ability to understand the ramifications of what they are killing.

your plan to try several places is what I do I have bees at 6 places today with a 7th on the agenda for this june.
Each are different in some way, sometimes I can predict what will happen sometime not,, so an actual try is a good idea.
the distance seems fine you mentioned, I have 2 places 4 hours away so for me the distance is not as important as say Isolation may be.

keep notes so you can make good decisions on which to expand or discontinue.

be sure when traveling the hour for a check up to take the necessary stuff for supering and for splitting, I have several times went thru a hive and found Queen cells and not had the means to do some NUC creation. even got out of the car once at the 4 hour drive and had a swarm hanging from an apple tree 5 feet off the ground, was an easy catch, and I had the empty hive. I had left a single deep swarm trap across the field so I fetched it and hived the swarm. expect the unexpected. :)

GG
 

·
Registered
USDA Hardiness Zone 8a
Joined
·
155 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the replies!

Flat and good vehicle access.
Yep, that's a forehead slapping requirement that I hadn't fully thought of. One of my prospective locations would have me parked half in a ditch along the side of a two lane country road. I'll have to wait on that location until I can install a culvert and driveway.

some other keeper who has 40+ hive in the location
So, one of my locations, my mom's 60 acre farm that has been fallow for the past 6 years since my grandfather passed, is about 1 mile from a Russian Honey Bee queen producer. So, this would be a great place to set bait hives, but may not be a good site for a production yard?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,869 Posts
I know the closest to home will get top priority,
Not necessarily.

For me my backyard is best swarm trapping location.
It is also the most convenient location.
But it is the worst beekeeping location.
Guess why.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,869 Posts
Large commercial beek nearby?
Look at it more generally.
High bee density is bad in general.
In fact, high concentration of backyard beeks is actually even worse mess than a commercial yard - avoid.

Having access to multiple locations (a dream situation, actually) - I would setup traps on each location and assess how many swarms you score at each location..
The best trapping location will likely be the worst beekeeping location.
Catch swarms at your best trapping spot and move them to the worst trapping locations for the safest keeping.

Looking at the foraging situation is a fine second step (after the survivability assessment and confirmation).
The foraging situation is hard to assess anyway until you have the live bees at the site.
Only the bees will tell you if the site has bad or good foraging - you don't really know until you tried the site in practice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,869 Posts
.........1 mile from a Russian Honey Bee queen producer. So, this would be a great place to set bait hives, but may not be a good site for a production yard?
Great trapping site.
It may be also a good queen mating site if you want to acquire the genetics for nothing - this is pretty much under the Russian producer drone patrolling umbrella.

For production - you need to assess and see for yourself.
 

·
Registered
5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
Joined
·
2,451 Posts
Thanks for the replies!



Yep, that's a forehead slapping requirement that I hadn't fully thought of. One of my prospective locations would have me parked half in a ditch along the side of a two lane country road. I'll have to wait on that location until I can install a culvert and driveway.



So, one of my locations, my mom's 60 acre farm that has been fallow for the past 6 years since my grandfather passed, is about 1 mile from a Russian Honey Bee queen producer. So, this would be a great place to set bait hives, but may not be a good site for a production yard?
be a great place to mate queens if you "like" the Russians, I have envy now.

so how many hive does he have there if 15-20 still a good place if 50 or more then a bait hive location (like 5 or so) and a queen mating yard.

hence "each" yard has good and bad. I would definitely mate there and trap there. in an isolated place it would be hard to mate Queens but lots of forage.

Again give it a try and see, the 1 to 2.5 mile arc away from his place past yours would come into play as the place your bees would find forage.

GG
 

·
Registered
USDA Hardiness Zone 8a
Joined
·
155 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
so how many hive does he have there if 15-20 still a good place if 50 or more then a bait hive location (like 5 or so) and a queen mating yard.
Here is the google satellite view of his place. Looks like about 41 4-way pallets.

62669
 

·
Registered
5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
Joined
·
2,451 Posts
sweet for google earth, nice tool.
some look to only have 3 but then there are 100 hives or so.

Are you planning to run with Russians or were you going to just catch swarms?
IMO the Russians do better staying pure, f1s are ok many f2s are ok by f3 they either get hot or seem to peter out.
your moms farm would still be a great place to set 4-6 traps And take your Mateing NUCs for breading, if the Russian drones are what you seek.

I would still keep there, the honey production is the only ?? to be answered.

BTW I presume he is doing good there or he would move, so I would still use the spot. you now have "data" on what to expect, so turn the crank and try, you had mentioned 4 hives to start, 4 more is not going to be the straw that breaks the camels back. If you could catch 4 swarms there and mate off 8 queens a year, it still could be the jewel of a place.

BTW I may be biased I do have some Russians and I feel they are a good bee.
to be a good bee neighbor, I would not put Italians or some such thing there. He has a Russian DCA, he has spent the $$ to set up, so if you just use his stock, you would be an "Assist" rather than a thorn. Maybe even see if he will sell you a couple NUCs, to start with there. I would not openly mention I am just 1 mile over. Be an Anonymous customer. IE take your boat down river, rather than up river, go with the flow. Again If I had a place a mile from 100 Russian hives I would do the above.
Have to play the hand you are dealt. to me a great place for a Russian Apiary 4-10 hives. Can move the "pure" splits off to the next place.

GG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,869 Posts
I would not put Italians or some such thing there.
+1
Absolutely not - no need for such disservice (it will be akin to biting the feeding hand).

In fact, I would only use the closest place for trapping and mating.
Possible keeping the caught swarm(s) - presuming they are the Russian.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,869 Posts
IMO the Russians do better staying pure, f1s are ok many f2s are ok by f3 they either get hot or seem to peter out.
Granted the Russians are themselves mongrels - there is nothing different to expect but a huge array of variability with open mating (even if with the Russian drones).
This picture is a good representation of what the "Russians" are.
 

Attachments

1 - 20 of 31 Posts
Top