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New hive of Russians - help a newbie out

2628 Views 18 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  iddee
Just set my 1st hive of Russians yesterday here in WNC. It went without incident - not sure if it was the trip or the smoke but they were certainly well behaved. I've been reading on the forum - and thanks to all the members for insight and advice - but being a "newbie" I might need to be spoon fed at times...

It'll be a week before I make my first inspection of the hive but based on what I saw yesterday there was almost 50% comb. My question is - depending on the amount of comb when I check should I add another brood chamber? Help a "newbie" and walk me through the first couple of weeks...
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Hi sneeky...are you feeding the bees? If not I'd start feeding them a 1:1 sugar syrup to help them draw comb.

I think most people add supers when the comb is drawn 80 to 90 percent. That's how I have done mine anyway.

Hi Sneaky,

I agree with LaRae. Thin sugar syrup will help. I usally try not to add supers until the last one is 80% drawn. I also switch the center combs for the outside ones to make sure that they all get drawn evenly. The natural inclination of bees is to build comb up, or sometimes down, but not usually sideways. Some people call this a "chimney" effect.

Thanks for the response LaRae - not yet... My Cuz' from up in the hills help me set the hive... I started to place a bag on the top board and he nearly had a calf... After about ten meinutes of I would'nt - I didn't... I know - you dummie... Anyway I've got a top feeder that is suppose to be in a day or two and my plan is to place it whenI do my 1st inspection. That's what happens when you don't follow good advice - like you find on this site...

Good advice is always appreciated considering I'm flying by the seat of my pants...
sneeky there's a group that can be found in the chat room most every night starting around 8 central time....there are some NC beekeepers who post in there also....the chat room can be found looking down the list on the main forum.

I have the top hive feeders from Rossman and I love them. I started adding HoneyBeeHealthy to the sugar syrup this year and the bees seem to really like it...some people don't add it because they feel it leads to robbing so you'll just have to decide on that.

I'm doing once a month sticky board checks and powder sugar treatments when necessary for mites....if you haven't thought about mites you might want to do a search on the forums (varroa mites) and see all the various methods you can pick from.

I just got my fogger in the mail and plan to do a thyme/mineral oil treatment, if needed. You can read up on this on the FGMO forum.

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All fine suggestions. May mention that your hive should be facing the southeast and elevated from ten to twelve inches above gound with a slight tilt toward the front. Full shade is not a good idea and likewise in a valley should be avoided. I assume you started with foundation so feed-feed-feed. Remember that young bees are the comb builders and comb must be drawn before brood activity can progress. Nector is the raw material for comb building. The early flow here is on the downhill what with the dry weather, but your flow there should be about in full swing. Also suggest you contact the local county extension agent about a local beekeepers club. They can add a lot to your understanding of your new hobby. Good luck and keep us posted.
I don't know where you are in WNC, but here is a place you can get a nice hive top feeder and other supplies at a reasonable price if you are near Marion.

Reel’s Bee Supply
200 Bee Gum Dr.
Marion, N.C. 28752
828-738-3017 Harlan
828-738-4636 Anthony

Do yourself a favor and ride down and meet Mr.Iddee, you can learn a lot in just a few hours time. :cool:
Thanks, CFF, and BTW, your nuc capped their q-cell today. Should be emerging in about 6 days.
Iddee - Believe it or not... the bees came from Reels - I'm just a few miles down he orad and my Cuz' has gotten to know him over the years... I haven't met him yet but hope to in the next week or so... What i need to do is meet up with you according towhat I'm reading here... If you available that is ... But be prepared to feed a thirsty newling...
has the newbie tried any mead yet??? come on over
Reels bee supply has good prices on everything i really love his frames there reel nice.
Bee Stinger you're right about the frames - absolutely perfecto - my Cuz said they were the best he has seen and he's been keeping bees for 12 years or so. Said he stopped building them and buys them from Reels because of the quality. Its a small world, eh?
Mr. Iddee I just sent you a PM...
I answered it.

I just bought 30 boxes and 400 frames from Reels last weekend.
They are good people.
Not hard to make--hard to keep. The wait is dificult too.
Mitch wishes he was in NC would love to try out iddee's mead and BS a bit
Fordguy, add one pack yeast to 4 gallon water and one gallon honey, and don't cap tightly. Taste in thirty days. Bottle any that might be left when fermentation is complete. Probably won't need to buy bottles for the first few batches...They need tasting too often. Especially over ice. ;) :D

Mitch, 5 1/2 hours south of Charleston, WV.
Hit the road.
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