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Discussion Starter #341
I hope that they do well for you. It sounds like you will be keeping a close eye on their progress. Great meeting you.
 

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Discussion Starter #343
Caught a swarm and made a couple of splits. Blackberry blooming. Had a frost on Saturday...
 

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Mutts.
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Congratulations on the swarm! Have four bait hives out in various places, two
here and one each at my sons and a coworkers home.

Resisted the temptation of doing a one week inspection. Yesterday was two
weeks so I just had to take a look. Doing great! They have drawn out almost
3 1/2 of the 5 new frames. Mix of foundation, both wax and waxed
plastic and two foundation-less frames. Capped brood on at least one of the
new ones and stores on three more. No sign of drones or queen cells yet. Had
my daughter take pictures of each frame as I pulled them. Very quick
inspection and spotted the queen as I went through the pics. Great method
that will not scale to multiple hives.

Need to start a thread of my own and quit hi-jacking yours. Not sure if the
TF sub forum is the correct place? While technically I am at the moment, if
moving bees 65 miles causes them to loose resistance. Or I catch a swarm or
three... Like your subject line says, it is a Journey and if I stumble along
the way have an expensive chemical free 'crutch' still in its box.
 

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Need to start a thread of my own and quit hi-jacking yours. Not sure if the
TF sub forum is the correct place? While technically I am at the moment, if
moving bees 65 miles causes them to loose resistance. Or I catch a swarm or
three... Like your subject line says, it is a Journey and if I stumble along
the way have an expensive chemical free 'crutch' still in its box.
Sounds like a successful start. Treatment free is tricky. I am TF, mostly, but I also killed a bunch of hives that might have survived if I'd known what I was doing. If you only have a handful of hives there is a strong chance of losing all of them. My current opinion is that you need sufficient hives that you can make several splits every year to replace losses. TF will have higher winter losses so you need a few extras.

Some bees just won't survive at all treatment free. I got a swarm in the spring and later split it in summer. TF gospel is that swarms and splitting knock back the mites enough to keep hives alive. By mid fall both those hives were completely packed with mites and died before winter. Nothing but constant treatments would have saved them. Wrong kind of bees.
 

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Discussion Starter #346
Congratulations on the swarm! Have four bait hives out in various places, two
here and one each at my sons and a coworkers home.

Resisted the temptation of doing a one week inspection. Yesterday was two
weeks so I just had to take a look. Doing great! They have drawn out almost
3 1/2 of the 5 new frames. Mix of foundation, both wax and waxed
plastic and two foundation-less frames. Capped brood on at least one of the
new ones and stores on three more. No sign of drones or queen cells yet. Had
my daughter take pictures of each frame as I pulled them. Very quick
inspection and spotted the queen as I went through the pics. Great method
that will not scale to multiple hives.

Need to start a thread of my own and quit hi-jacking yours. Not sure if the
TF sub forum is the correct place? While technically I am at the moment, if
moving bees 65 miles causes them to loose resistance. Or I catch a swarm or
three... Like your subject line says, it is a Journey and if I stumble along
the way have an expensive chemical free 'crutch' still in its box.
I worry about what your neighbors bring into the equation. Their operations are out of your control. If their hive succumbs to mites or foul brood, you may get a problem that treatment free can not control. Got the tshirt...

No worries about posting to my thread. It is all relevant.
 

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Discussion Starter #347
Sounds like a successful start. Treatment free is tricky. I am TF, mostly, but I also killed a bunch of hives that might have survived if I'd known what I was doing. If you only have a handful of hives there is a strong chance of losing all of them. My current opinion is that you need sufficient hives that you can make several splits every year to replace losses. TF will have higher winter losses so you need a few extras.

Some bees just won't survive at all treatment free. I got a swarm in the spring and later split it in summer. TF gospel is that swarms and splitting knock back the mites enough to keep hives alive. By mid fall both those hives were completely packed with mites and died before winter. Nothing but constant treatments would have saved them. Wrong kind of bees.
Great insights. I agree about the higher winter losses and the need for a beekeeper to make more splits. I am finding that there is a maximum of splits an area will support on an average year. Losses will be higher if one chooses to not feed the bees through a dearth. And then there are the neighbors that choose to buy bees from who knows where that bring who knows what in...
Makes for a hard to toe line...
 

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William, you are free to start a thread of your own journey. If you will be treating in the future, maybe the TF forum is not the place to put it. Although, we could always move it later. I think developing TF bees is more important than TF that also do not need to be fed. IIRC, Randy O posted that he got two hives out of 1000. One step at a time.
 

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Discussion Starter #349
Made a couple of cut down splits this afternoon.
I tried to get a good picture of one of the queens but I didn't get what I hoped for.
I assure you that she is in the picture. How are your queen spotting skills? 10775FDD-22DC-458A-8BCA-46F36BAB4DF0_1586989990638.jpg
 

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How are your queen spotting skills? View attachment 54615
Apparently poor, tpope. I am going to speculate that she is is on the upper third of the frame right in the middle along the length?

Glad to hear that things are off to a good start for you. Sounds like we're about a week / 10 days behind you all as I see blackberry blooms swelling but not open yet.

Best of success to you this year.

Russ
 

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Discussion Starter #351
Thanks for playing along Russ. The queen hid underneath a worker in the picture, One can see her dark abdomen and wings sticking out. The picture is rotated 90 degrees counter clock wise...
Got locust blooming.
 

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Mutts.
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Late reply - Coworker was on vacation all week. Additional lack of sleep on
top of that from the storm last Sunday night and its 21 hour power outage...

@AR1 Yes, learning to make splits is on my short list. Hoping to catch a
swarm or two to practice on. If not will do the least risky single split
possible with the one hive.

@tpope Both neighbors bees may have died over the winter. Last fall we were
seeing many bright yellow striped bees (likely Italians) Not seeing any of
them this year. If they completely died months ago I'm probably safe. A few
stragglers hanging on then may be in for a wild ride soon as my bees find
them.

Also, any suggestions for when I get ready to add a second box? Like almost
everything in beekeeping there are too many ideas. Some of which are
contradictory. Over or under? What to move if over since the only drawn frames I have are in the hive.

Oh, failed on the queen spotting until Russ gave it away.

@JWPalmer Being totally TF is most certainly a goal. (Should be everyone's!)
Lack the resources to go 'bond', so a contingency plan is needed. Perhaps
should reopen the thread where we were discussing this back in January? "New to bees" over in "Equipment & Supplies to Obtain".
 

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Also, any suggestions for when I get ready to add a second box? Like almost
everything in beekeeping there are too many ideas. Some of which are
contradictory. Over or under? What to move if over since the only drawn frames I have are in the hive.
William:

Given that you are South of me (and remind me if you are supplementally feeding?) you would probably be best served to add a new box to the top of your existing broodnest once you see the colony drawing out comb on frames 1 and 10 and they will likely go right on expanding upward with little trouble.

If they show reluctance you could consider 'pyramiding-up' a couple brood frames from the existing box, but use this approach judiciously- particularly if you are still (like me) having occasional nighttime temperatures in the 30's and low 40's.
 

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Mutts.
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Litsinger:

Got it. Try just adding a box and only move a few frames up if they ignore it. Yes, I have been feeding them. Four 4 LB bags mixed approximately 1 to 1 in just over three weeks. Actually was considering discontinuing feed for a while since I think the flow is on.

Stupid newbie question of the day. Standing behind the hive, is frame #1 on the left or right?
 

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left.

i think you made a great choice to start out with some of tpope's bees.

waddya say we start a new thread as to better chronicle your journey william?
 

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Right... I mean exactly. ;)

An adage that an old beekeeper told me is that it is, "2 and 8 and don't be late".

Meaning, if the bees have frames 2 and 8 80% drawn-out, they are ready for another box.

I do hope you'll consider squarepeg's suggestion to start your own thread.

Russ
 

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Mutts.
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Thanks squarepeg and Russ! And will do...

Based on your 2 & 8 at 80% I was getting close over a week ago. Off this week (revenge on my coworkers) so will try to pick up a deep locally. Had four spares but they are all tied up as swarm traps at the moment. If not can use a medium and hope pyramiding is not needed. Or knock together a deep with butt joints. Ain't got no time for finger joints.
 

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William, I make my boxes with rabbeted joints. I cut the long sides 19-1/8" long and cut the ends 16-1/4". Cut a 3/8" deep x 3/4" wide rabbet on the sides of both end pieces (don't forget the 3/8" x 5/8" frame rest) glue and nail and presto, hive body.
 

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Discussion Starter #360
Caught a swarm on 5 May from a large hive that I had removed the queen earlier in an effort to keep them at home and making honey. I put the colony in the bottom deep and added the medium above it that had the most brood in it. The bees back filled that box and the couple of mediums above that had brood. Didn't draw anything new but extended the existing comb. Wound up with a honey cap forcing the laying queen into too small an area for them to like... Swarm!
Checked this week and have a nicely laying queen. Moved frames around to allow them some room.
 
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