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Discussion Starter #1
So I’m happy to announce that in a little under 2 weeks, I’ll finally have my first beehive. I can’t describe how excited I am to finally achieve this milestone after almost 6 years of interest in the hobby.

That being said, what do I need to do to keep them happy once I get them? They’re coming from about 8 miles away, and are a well-established hive that usually produces 2 harvests/year.

How long will they need to rest to acclimate to their new home? When should I inspect them? And should I throw some syrup on them to help them out after the move?

Any recommendations and feedback would be great

Meph
 

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The bees will be agitated after the move. That will be completely forgotten in three days. If you can wait that long, I would. Then smoke the bees and start pulling frames from the outside carefully. Set an outside frame aside to give yourself room and pull the next frame out before pulling up. With the sun over your shoulder hold the frame up and check for eggs and larvae. When you have found eggs, your job is about done inside. Put frames back in in the same configuration you found them. Flipping frames end for end can result in a whole side of a frame of brood not being able to emerge! That is killing 3500 bees! Twice that if both sides of the gap are brood.

As far as when to feed, when to super and when to harvest, that is a local situation. Get your advice from a knowledgeable beekeeper in your zip code. My definition of knowledgeable is one who has honey to sell you any time of the year and does not have to buy replacement bees, but raises his own. Have a lot of fun! Every time you open a hive is a new chance to learn new things. Just take it slow!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks! I’m in ZIP code 95991, in case anyone local stumbles upon this. It’s been heating up here; 90s most of next week.
 

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Do not let varroa infestation get very high. Do not let them run out of stores.

We have a long summer dearth in the area, starting in about a month. Your specific location will be a determining factor of course. They'll do better if in, or close to a residential housing area. In the summer, starting soon, the fields in the country will be dead grass and that's not good for forage. Residential areas have lawns with flowerbeds that get water so hives tend to do better near them.

Blackberries are in bloom now, so is Dutch Clover and Dandelions if there is irrigation for them. Privet is blooming or starting soon. Mimosa will be in a month or so. It's too bad that in our state, everyone seems to want perfect golf course lawns with no Dandelions or Dutch clover in them. Privet is rare to find, so is Mimosa. Same with Locust trees which would be blooming soon, Basswood too. Our area tends to not have much of any of what bees need in the summer months. But once again, it really is going to depend on your specific 4-5 square mile location.

Another consideration is if there is any large commercial or sideliner bee yards close by. Our area seems to have a lot of those. A lot of hives in one location tends to not have enough forage and feeding becomes necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I’m about a mile south of Shanghai Bend park, so mostly walnuts over where I’m at. Not too many bee yards over on this south end of things; the closest one I know of is about 5 miles away (still close-ish I know). There are a lot of residential areas within flight distance of where I’m at, so hopefully there will be some local nectar and pollen for them.
 

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Ha, walnuts. Like me here, it's mostly rice. Neither one is good for beehives. Hopefully you have other things close enough to keep the hives well fed.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I’ve got a top feeder so hopefully that can help get them through.

Separate note, I can face my hive either north or west...where in that spectrum should I point the ladies? I’ve seen a lot of people saying East, but that’s not really an option due to human traffic paths
 

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Warm bees are happy bees. Normally they say east so that they get the morning sun and wake up early and get out there and do their thing! South is the second choice or anywhere from east through southeast through south. That's optimal. But funny thing, they tell you to face your swarm boxes North.

When bees leave the hive they tend to do so at a pretty steep angle up. There has been advice to put a small fence in front of them forcing them to do so. I am not certain what your foot traffic problem is, but try to orient them so they get some sun, the most that they can on or near their entrance. Otherwise, if they would go into a Northern hole on a swarm trap. presumably they would live in a tree hollow facing North as well. So ultimately, all you can do is all you can do.
 

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I do better facing them towards the most nectar flow. In your case, away from the Walnut Orchards and towards residential or other good nectar flow foraging directions. I also do not like facing them towards big trees or buildings that are to close. I like them to have good flight path in and out. My hives facing West do well, they fly north and west as they exit for the most part. My hives facing North will fly North East and West. My hives facing East fly East and North for the most part. Not many bees fly south out of my yard, there is a very large commercial beeyard in that direction so I think that direction is already over populated with hives per nectar availability.

I feel nectar flow direction is the most important consideration, along with free flight path from the entrances. Sun and Wind don't seem to make near as much differences in my yard as direction of nectar flow does.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Got the girls today (Thanks Emili!!). Had to move them about 20’ after they got dropped off (grouchy landlord) which I was not planning for...so hopefully everyone survived being transported and then moved lol.

Life-lesson#1– always buy a smoker In the first batch of things.
Somehow this is the second time I’ve ever opened a hive, and both times I’ve had to had to open and work them with no smoker....go figure.

On the plus side, they now face East, so maybe that’ll help them out some. Payday is Monday, so I’ll be getting a smoker presently and will do my first inspection this week
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I think my hive may be getting robbed....there is a bit of a “bee tornado” and a lot of bees that are hovering our front and flying side to side before landing. I put the reducer on the smallest size...Will the robbers get discouraged and eventually leave my bees alone, or is the reducer going to become a permanent fixture?
 

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There is no reason for the reduced not to be on the smallest until it is very hot out. If your colony is weak and can't defend itself and it has lots of feed or honey available it will get robbed. If there are bees trying to get in at every seam and crack that is usually the sign I recognize. You can also get an anti-robbing screen
 

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Discussion Starter #14
It’s a well established hive that I just bought, but with the move and such I think it’s a little stressed. I’ll leave the entrance reducer in it and see how it works, and if I need to will see about making a screen. That one didn’t look too hard to make
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Got my first sting today...a week of new experiences here at the bee house

Today’s questions...just how bee tight should this be? The boxes aren’t exactly level where they’re at, so there are a couple spots where there is a slight gap in the hive bodies (see picture). There’s always a gaggle of bees trying to get in there...I’m guessing that’s part of the robbing behavior?

There are only a couple angles where a bee can creep in, so it’s not a big stream of bees sneaking in through these holes...should I be worried?

2- there seems to be a family of mockingbirds that has decided that my bees are a quick snack...they seem to be taking turns walking up to the hive and eating bees right off the front step. Again, should I worry?

Thanks all, appreciate the help

Meph
 

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