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Discussion Starter #81
Russ-Modified OTS- these were pkgs- Only strong enough to do walk away splits in May. My after soltice splits will be be done according to Mels Methods. Will be making Nucs for overwintering at that time. All Queens will be dispatched or sold for Nucs.Busy time getting strawberry acre ready for U-pick. Asparagus has been selling exceptionally well. Next bee checks 5-6-7 June. Hope your your bees are doing well
Jerry
 

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Busy time getting strawberry acre ready for U-pick. Asparagus has been selling exceptionally well.
Jerry:

Sounds like you have quite a diversified operation. Good for you. It has been a long and mild spring here this year which is not been common for us in recent years. The bees seem to be doing well thus far though we lost out on a couple local forage sources (tulip poplar and locust in particular) due to a late April freeze event.

Glad to hear that business and beekeeping are going well, and I'll look forward to reading about your early June evaluations.

Russ
 

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Discussion Starter #83
Just started picking strawberries- Going to be a light crop this year. I knew the freeze in May had hurt them- didn't know how bad until now. Looks like half a crop. Better news with the bees though. 9 of the 11 splits I did May 15th have laying queens and hard at work. The queen right halves are doing about like the splits. A couple a little slow but most are pushing strong. Now in about 2 weeks will be decision time - whether to let make honey or split and build up for next year. How much rain and feed availability will determine my choices there. Basswood flow in July usually good.
Hope your swarms are staying in the boxes! Haven't caught any here. Have a good day
Jerry
 

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I knew the freeze in May had hurt them- didn't know how bad until now. Looks like half a crop. Better news with the bees though.
Jerry:

Glad to hear that you had good success with your splits- way to go. We have had a similar problem down here with fruit production, albeit a month earlier. It has proven to be a better 'bee year' than a 'tree year'.

Most disappointing is I planted five tart cherry trees in late March that leafed out beautifully only to get zapped and never recover. Sometimes you can't win for losing- I lost trees last year by planting too late and it got too hot.

I'm surprised you haven't had any swarms- are local reports suggesting that swarms are being caught in your region?
 

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Discussion Starter #85
Yes - there's swarms being reported around right now in the area. Next couple weeks here should be the best. Have to check again end of next week. All yours growing?
Jerry
 

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Just started picking strawberries- Going to be a light crop this year. I knew the freeze in May had hurt them- didn't know how bad until now. Looks like half a crop. Better news with the bees though. 9 of the 11 splits I did May 15th have laying queens and hard at work. The queen right halves are doing about like the splits. A couple a little slow but most are pushing strong. Now in about 2 weeks will be decision time - whether to let make honey or split and build up for next year. How much rain and feed availability will determine my choices there. Basswood flow in July usually good.
Hope your swarms are staying in the boxes! Haven't caught any here. Have a good day
Jerry

I noticed wild strawberries turning red within the last few days. The farm down road from me that grows them started picking on Sunday afternoon. They anticipated zero crop from the severe frosts but I talked to them this looks like they have more like 80% crop.
Picking is still really slow as the weather here has turned cooler in the last few days. But we are suppose to heat up in day or so that might push them to ripen

Little swarm activity here this year in grand scheme of things compared to last couple decades.
 

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Discussion Starter #88
Started watering strawberries yesterday. Hopefully helps them fill out for next week. Bees are in heaven here multifloral rose, honeysuckel and wild flowers through out the woods. Going to let them work and get stronger through the strawberry season.
Way more strawberry customers than strawberries, I hope the late strawberries come in good shape next week.My name list of people that want to pick is getting long. Tomorro afternoon- one last pass with the rototiller through pumpkins and the squash before they explode. They look good. They washed a little with 4 inches of rain a week and a half ago. Don't need anymore of that.
Keep the bees a buzzn!
Jerry
 

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So far, so good, Jerry- that said, our flow wound down weeks ago and we have drone evictions in process.

Now comes the long, hot summer before (maybe) a little fall flow.
Have not seen drone evictions here prior to late fall. I think even our dearth is pretty mild most years. This is a nice season. Strawberries good to eat, mulberries just starting today, raspberries probably next week. Could use a rain, but that's forecast for later this week too.
 

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Have not seen drone evictions here prior to late fall.
AR1:

I apologize for my delay in reply. To clarify, I should have chosen my verb more carefully as the word 'eviction' does carry with it a rather specific meaning in beekeeping. Maybe I should have said that some colonies around here are no longer allowing 'free lunches' to random drones who are flying around the neighborhood. There are still plenty of drones coming back in en masse every afternoon but some colonies are forcefully turning away drones who I presume weren't raised in the colony- I assume (possibly incorrectly) this is in response to the dearth.
 

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Question what is the point of this OTS method? If you remove the queen won't the bee's just make queen cells on there own? Maybe a stupid question take it easy on me please. lol
 

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Question what is the point of this OTS method? If you remove the queen won't the bee's just make queen cells on there own? Maybe a stupid question take it easy on me please. lol
Sickdog, I commented on the OTS before.
Two parts to it.

#1 is about creating QCs; this is required for the OTS queen management.

It IMO boils down to the OTS "inventor" is using plastic foundation and, hence, is doing the so-called notches where the bees will likely make the EQCs (Emergency Queen Cells). The evil plastic foundation prevents the bees from modifying the comb the way they normally would for QC construction.

Whereas, if you are foundation-less, none of this matters - the bees will modify the comb wherever and however they want to construct the cells.
Moreover, you can then cut out the QCs and move them around as needed (into mating nucs, for example).

With plastic foundation in place, one can not safely cut out the QCs and so they stay OTS (On The Site) exactly where you create them. It boils down to an entire frame dedicated to a single QC - really inefficient way to do the QCs.

If you think of it, the OTS is really a poor way to handle the entire issue and is nothing but a way to mitigate plastic foundation problem (IF you choose not to graft, I don't graft for example).

#2 is about creating brood breaks and nucs and running your entire operation like so:
https://www.mdasplitter.com/docs/OTS.pdf
https://www.mdasplitter.com/docs/NucManagement.pdf
 

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Sickdog, I commented on the OTS before.
IMO, it boils down to the OTS "inventor" is using plastic foundation and, hence, is doing the so-called notches where the bees will likely make the EQCs (Emergency Queen Cells). The evil plastic foundation prevents the bees from modifying the comb the way they normally would for QC construction.

Whereas, if you are foundation-less, none of this matters - the bees will modify the comb wherever and however they want to construct the cells.
Moreover, you can then cut out the QCs and move them around as needed (into mating nucs, for example).

With plastic foundation in place, one can not safely cut out the QCs and so they stay OTS (On The Site).
If you think of it, the OTS is really a poor way to handle the entire issue and is nothing but a way to mitigate plastic foundation problem (IF you choose not to graft, I don't for example).
Thanks Greg didn't see your post befor
 

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I did not comment under this topic, technically.
See my additional mods above.
 
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