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Hi to everyone. I loved discovering this resource.

Okay, I have kept bees before. Been 12 yrs. since I moved to the Adirondacks in NY. My old equipment I bought used and it had comb on all the frames/foundation when I acquired it.
My questions are: I have melted and put bee wax on all of my brood box foundations. I was told by Better Bee that there was not enough wax from the manufacturer on the foundation. (1.) Is there anything else that would be helpful to me to encourage my bees (that will be here in a week or two) to make good comb? I have done considerable reading in The Beekeepers Handbook and Hive Management but don't see any mention for someone who has No comb on any foundation. I am starting out with 3 colonies. Did not want to take a chance with inheriting CCD and Foulbrood.

To say the least, at lot has happened to our bees in 12 years and I moved from Fairbanks, Alaska to Plattsburgh, NY and things are different here than they were there. I feel like a kid lost in the woods but am 60+ years old. Any information on what to do with brand new equipment would be greatly appreciated. I am going to hive with boxed bees not nucs. I know I am behind the curve for harvesting much honey. This will be a building year and I plan to add 3 more New Hives next year but will be able to intermix Frames/Foundation with comb into the new stuff next year.

Have not bought my meds for treatment of Varroa mites,Tracheal mites or Nosema disease. (2.) What recommendations would you recommend to me for these pests and problems? I realize opinions will vary but I might be influenced by the same recommendation 20 times.

I have taken several courses this last month on beekeeping and our new problems and cutting edge studies from Cornell University on CCD etc. but was not able to voice my questions, too many others who asked questions that I knew (think I do) the answers to.

I know some local beekeepers and will pick their brains this week or next after they have their hives under control. I intentionally got my bees late because there was nothing for them to forage on and Spring is very late this year. I did not want to feed them syrup and pollen patties for a month. I know that most of my bees will be gone by the time the new ones hatch out so I am expecting some fluctuations in numbers until they get a handle on things in their new homes. I do plan on feeding them syrup for about 4 weeks from the top board. I have boardman feeders too but will wait a while for them to start.

Any beekeepers from my area reading this, please drop me an email at [email protected]. I won't be a pest but sure would appreciate your knowledge and friendship. Maybe I can take a look/see of your equipment (apiary) and habits inspecting and handling of bees. Knowledge is power and seeing something is worth a lot more than a thousand words.

That having been said, This is already too long. Good luck to all and have a sweet Summer.
 

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Well I'm not Local but Welcome to the Forum to begin with. I hope you find all the information you need here or through local beeks.

Lets see if i can maybe help you out a bit here.
Recap - Got new equipment, No drawn comb, plastic type foundation, added extra wax to them, starting with 3 colonies, ALL packaged bees, No plans for honey this year, treatment options not set in stone.

Ok, where to begin. I myself used the RiteCell from ManLake in all my hives. The bees have drawn wonderfully on it. It is plastic embossed and beeswax coated. I started with 10 packages of bees as well. Feeding the bees for a while to get them started is KEY to getting good reliable comb in the beginning. Make sure all your frames are pushed together propperly and when you intall your bees make sure to put the queen cage in the center of the hive. That way they start there first. Don't be afraid to checkerboard the brood nest. It helps the queen realize they have space, but don't do it too quickly. Give them time to draw comb for a while and set brood.

Depending on the course that you choose, to treat, not to treat, using essential oils or not, etc can change your total management strategy. I use essential oils myself and my bees love it. Using HBH can stimulate brood rearing, comb building, and all around good health of the bees. I also use wintergreen oil for grease patties to ward off the varroa mites, and tea tree oil to kill off nosema. But this is just me, others will say they do things their way. When others had only 4 frames drawn that installed their packages 5 days prior to mine, I had 6 in my hives drawn out. So it does help in my opinion.
 

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Well I'm not Local but Welcome to the Forum to begin with. I hope you find all the information you need here or through local beeks.

Lets see if i can maybe help you out a bit here.
Recap - Got new equipment, No drawn comb, plastic type foundation, added extra wax to them, starting with 3 colonies, ALL packaged bees, No plans for honey this year, treatment options not set in stone.

Ok, where to begin. I myself used the RiteCell from ManLake in all my hives. The bees have drawn wonderfully on it. It is plastic embossed and beeswax coated. I started with 10 packages of bees as well. Feeding the bees for a while to get them started is KEY to getting good reliable comb in the beginning. Make sure all your frames are pushed together propperly and when you intall your bees make sure to put the queen cage in the center of the hive. That way they start there first. Don't be afraid to checkerboard the brood nest. It helps the queen realize they have space, but don't do it too quickly. Give them time to draw comb for a while and set brood.

Depending on the course that you choose, to treat, not to treat, using essential oils or not, etc can change your total management strategy. I use essential oils myself and my bees love it. Using HBH can stimulate brood rearing, comb building, and all around good health of the bees. I also use wintergreen oil for grease patties to ward off the varroa mites, and tea tree oil to kill off nosema. But this is just me, others will say they do things their way. When others had only 4 frames drawn that installed their packages 5 days prior to mine, I had 6 in my hives drawn out. So it does help in my opinion.
Okay drlonzo. I have had a successful season with my new hives, bees etc. I will actually get honey this year but next year will certainly be better. We are in the last few weeks of goldenrod blooming and the bees are loving it. Putting up lots of nectar and evaporating it. I did not use HBH this year but did use lemongrass oil and teatree oil in my boardman feeder. No varroa mites were observed all Summer (numbers have been low in this area of upstate NY). All of the colonies did well, small issues like one hive was queenless for a period but has recovered well.

I plan to use some treatments for overwintering to take care of nosema and varroa mites. I will be feeding them in about three weeks some 2/1 syrup with teatree oil and lemongrass. I was also thinking of spearmint oil and lecithin. It is like HBH. Do you have any comments about this? The comb they made was just perfect and I am very pleased.
Thanks for your help.

...brent
 

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Welcome from one Brent to another! I'm new this year, with three hives. I got 3 gallons of honey from one of them, so it' been a fantastic start.
 

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Okay drlonzo. I have had a successful season with my new hives, bees etc. I will actually get honey this year but next year will certainly be better. We are in the last few weeks of goldenrod blooming and the bees are loving it. Putting up lots of nectar and evaporating it. I did not use HBH this year but did use lemongrass oil and teatree oil in my boardman feeder. No varroa mites were observed all Summer (numbers have been low in this area of upstate NY). All of the colonies did well, small issues like one hive was queenless for a period but has recovered well.

I plan to use some treatments for overwintering to take care of nosema and varroa mites. I will be feeding them in about three weeks some 2/1 syrup with teatree oil and lemongrass. I was also thinking of spearmint oil and lecithin. It is like HBH. Do you have any comments about this? The comb they made was just perfect and I am very pleased.
Thanks for your help.

...brent
Brent - Happy that your hives have done well this year. I've had a few struggles with queenlessness myself here but all have as you say recovered nicely.

As for your thoughts of using EO and making up a modified HBH. I DO! lol.. Varroa here are quite low, or the girls are just great at keeping them at bay. However, I do use a modified version of HBH. I use the Spearmint, Wintergreen, Lemongrass, and Teatree oils in it. I've had extremely strong hives all season I think in part to using them. I mix 2 teaspoons full of all but Lemongrass and use 1 teaspoonful of it into a cup of hot tap water, then blend on med for about 10 min in the blender. This emulsifies the oils with air, and it will stay mixed for about 3 months that way. I add 1 more cup of water to the mix, then pour into a jar big enough to handle it. I add to my syrup about 2 teaspoons full of the mix to each gallon.

When I feed I do so just before dark to keep robbing down and I use hive top feeders.

I tend to think, again just my opinion on things, that in the wild the bees normally would be able to get these oils to use for their own needs, giving them the oils just takes the foraging for them out of the equation leaving them to do other things like build brood and pack in the nectar. Now the one thing that I've started doing since the last post was actually giving my bees some salt. I know most folk may think but why they like sweet honey.. lol.. But I've done lots of observing lately, and know where natural areas for salt is around here, the one thing I was seeing lots of there was bees. So now when I make up my syrup to feed with, I add about 1 teaspoon per gallon to the syrup. I now see very few bees gathering the salts, but plenty on the flowers. I use plain iodized salt and again, these bee hives are just full to the brim with bees even today.

So take that with a grain of salt as it is just my opinion on things and the way I manage my bees. So far for me, they like what I do for them.
 

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Brent - Happy that your hives have done well this year. I've had a few struggles with queenlessness myself here but all have as you say recovered nicely.

As for your thoughts of using EO and making up a modified HBH. I DO! lol.. Varroa here are quite low, or the girls are just great at keeping them at bay. However, I do use a modified version of HBH. I use the Spearmint, Wintergreen, Lemongrass, and Teatree oils in it. I've had extremely strong hives all season I think in part to using them. I mix 2 teaspoons full of all but Lemongrass and use 1 teaspoonful of it into a cup of hot tap water, then blend on med for about 10 min in the blender. This emulsifies the oils with air, and it will stay mixed for about 3 months that way. I add 1 more cup of water to the mix, then pour into a jar big enough to handle it. I add to my syrup about 2 teaspoons full of the mix to each gallon.

When I feed I do so just before dark to keep robbing down and I use hive top feeders.

I tend to think, again just my opinion on things, that in the wild the bees normally would be able to get these oils to use for their own needs, giving them the oils just takes the foraging for them out of the equation leaving them to do other things like build brood and pack in the nectar. Now the one thing that I've started doing since the last post was actually giving my bees some salt. I know most folk may think but why they like sweet honey.. lol.. But I've done lots of observing lately, and know where natural areas for salt is around here, the one thing I was seeing lots of there was bees. So now when I make up my syrup to feed with, I add about 1 teaspoon per gallon to the syrup. I now see very few bees gathering the salts, but plenty on the flowers. I use plain iodized salt and again, these bee hives are just full to the brim with bees even today.

So take that with a grain of salt as it is just my opinion on things and the way I manage my bees. So far for me, they like what I do for them.
Thank You very much. Knowledge is power. It is my first year back keeping. Remembering the old days and mixing in the challenges of today and reading all I can get and guessing where to go is judging someone else's wisdom and applying it for my bee's needs. It sounds like I am on a good path. Thanks again! Ask 5 bee keepers a question and sometimes you get 10 answers. And none of them are wrong. LOL


...brent
 

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Sounds as if you've got a good direction picked out. This is my second season with my bees, but I've been around beekeepers all my life. Learning is power when it comes to the bees. Figuring out a good path takes time, patience, and lots of reading. lol.. I spent the bigger part of 6 months reading, watching youtube videos, and talking to beekeepers about diff things. Most beekeepers have at some point come to a conclusion of what is best for his/her bees and will defend that position to some degree. Myself, I tend to think that there is more knowledge out there, that there is always more than one correct answer, and that I want to find it. So I continue to look to others to find information from those with more experience than I, and at the same time take the time to listen, and experiment a little.

Brent, I hope you have great success with your bees, and life in general. Keep looking for those answers and don't settle with just a single thought. :)
 

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Sounds as if you've got a good direction picked out. This is my second season with my bees, but I've been around beekeepers all my life. Learning is power when it comes to the bees. Figuring out a good path takes time, patience, and lots of reading. lol.. I spent the bigger part of 6 months reading, watching youtube videos, and talking to beekeepers about diff things. Most beekeepers have at some point come to a conclusion of what is best for his/her bees and will defend that position to some degree. Myself, I tend to think that there is more knowledge out there, that there is always more than one correct answer, and that I want to find it. So I continue to look to others to find information from those with more experience than I, and at the same time take the time to listen, and experiment a little.

Brent, I hope you have great success with your bees, and life in general. Keep looking for those answers and don't settle with just a single thought. :)
Thank you. You have more colonies than I desire. I am teaching a couple newbie keepers. I want a total of 6 colonies but am going to help others to have their own hives. I feed salt to my bees with salt licks I have cut into 3/4" slices and just put it on the top of the outer cover. That seems to work well. I did raise bees it Fairbanks, Alaska for about 7 years but, could not overwinter due to some -40F weather. I just bought new ones every year. This will be my first year overwintering and I have read all Summer of different ways to do it. All the objectives are the same: Each double brood box should weigh 130 # combined, put mouse guard in place, crack top cover to let hive vent moisture, use top box with straw in it, not hay, for absorption and evaporation, treat for nosema, treat for varroa mites, have a healthy queen, wrap them in roofing paper and allow holes for cleansing flights. I will add some landing boards to bottom board and front holes. My inner covers will have slots on all 4 sides and I have a barn to put them in to shelter them from winds. If they don't make it, I will be disappointed. I will feed them in Feb pollen patties and check them every couple of weeks to make sure moisture is not a problem and no mold is forming.

Got to get back to work...thanks for the encouragement.

...brent
 
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