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New Hives

1958 Views 7 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Hallatauer
So me and the wife took the plunge... and we're both very excited! We set up six hives in two different locations. 4 are on a friends little farm.. they have goats and chickens and an area for organic vegetables. The other two hives we put on an empty lot we own about 2 1/2 miles away in a more residential area. The hives are presently one large brood box, a medium super and a queen excluder. We installed our queen packages on Friday and it went well. The first one was just figuring out how the box opened and stuff... Figured it out easily and the other five hives went quickly. I put a pollen patty in each hive... each about 3x6 inch patty. Also set up a sugar water entrance feeder and an entrance reducer. The box they came in still had bees in them so I laid them down at the entrance to let them go on their own.

We went back on Saturday just to look and see. The entrance feeder bottles (1 pint mason jars) were empty. Thirsty/hungry buggers. So we refilled them. One hive had about 30 dead bees on the ground in front of the hive. All else looked normal from the outside. Sunday afternoon went by again... sugar feeders were 1/2 to 2/3rds full so they've slowed down some.

Monday afternoon we'll go back and open up the hives to confirm the queens have been released. <crossing fingers>
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Not too sure about the pollen patty. I believe it is the wrong time of year for them. They promote small hive beetles. they should be finding pollen on their own with no prob. I believe pollen patties are a pre spring thing, to promote brood production. I am only at this for a year. Perhaps someone with more experience will chime in.

cut the pollen pattie down to what they will eat in a couple of days so the SHB doesent get at them. I cut the full pattie down to about a 2 inch strip (make 4 per pattie)
The patties came in a long strip and I cut them into thirds. If the sun comes out and the temps rise this afternoon I was going to check the hives to see if the queens have been released, or if I need to. If they haven't touched the patties, I'll cut them and leave a smaller strip for them to eat and see what happens in a few weeks.
Out of the six hives, four seem to be going strong. Lots of activity during the day as forages go out and back. The 5th hive seems fine, just not as active as the other. The 6th one has me a little concerned. They are there... seems quiet and low activity. They are eating the sugar solution about the same rate as the moderate hive.

I'm heading out today to refresh the sugar jars. Just resisting the urge to open it up and look. Trying to just let the bees be bees. <crossing fingers>

This is our first year so if we lose one hive I won't be surprised. Part of the learning process.
You are going to get tired of refilling those pint jars. Look into getting atleast some quart jars or preferably those 5pound honey jars. The 5pound honey jars are my favorite, they have the same size lid as the pints and quarts but hold more feed. A decent hive can take down a quart jar in one day pretty easy once they get going. JMHO
Our bee supplier is pushing pollen patties, recommending three per hive for new hives. Sounds like a good business plan to me, for him. With all our trees popping out right now it is hard to believe they couldn't find plenty of pollen. But if all the trees are oaks, I'm told that's poor pollen. With our mix I'm not worried.
I switched over to quart jars and they are sucking them down pretty quickly. I do see them pulling in pollen so they have a source of food. How long should I sugar solution feed them for?
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