Thanks chicago_ks . It's been all good, hoping for many more.
Hi everyone, it's been a while since I've posted to my log here. Buy, I read all daily post.
So here goes my summer of beekeeping summary... Lost 3 hives due to swarming. I'll blame that on the large amounts of rain we've had this year. Lost 3 to robbing. also, I can blame some of the loss to virgin queens not returning, or made the fatal error of returning to the wrong hive. So out of 12 hives, including nucs made early spring, I have 6 left. 4 strong, and 2 that were nucs, and I'm feeding them internally now, along with pollen patties at 1/2 Pattie per week. We are on a flow here in northern Alabama right now. How long it last, not sure. Lots of pollen coming in, and seems to be nectar for the big hives. They are jamming right now. I'd love to get the weaker hives onto 10 frame med boxes, but the 5 frame med. Nucs do winter very well here. I can always add a 3 rd box if they react well to pollen sub, and sugar syrup. I'm trying to fill all weak hives up with winter stores, and hope they will increase brood, and population overall well before cold sets in. I'll get to pull a few boxes of honey from the 3 strong hives in next week or so, as they are very heavy hives right now. Then I'll open feed all of them as the flow ends. Hoping to fill all hives with stores for winter, and early spring. Next year will be a heavy year for spring splits. I didn't get tondo them this year. Only 4 splits, and bad lack of queens returning or failed queen attempts. Please leave feedback if you like, as good advice is always appreciated. Hope your fall is a good one.b
Thanks chicago_ks . It's been all good, hoping for many more.
Hi j.w., ar1,Hey Rich, good to hear that things are going well in the apiary, considering all the back issues you have had to contend with. Hard to believe that it was right at 70 degrees here today, with less than a week to Thanksgiving. Bees are still tearing up the dry pollen sub I have out and I know that a few hives still have brood. Did not want to open more than a couple to see how thing were going. One of the easiest ways to get few queens is to split out the queen from your best hive and let the bees make the queen cells from her eggs. Then a week later you split that hive into as many additional nucs as you have two cells each for and let them have at it. Does not work if you are using plastic foundation though, since those cells are almost impossible to harvest and most of the cells will probably be on the same one or two frames.
Merry Christmas to all me beek friends out there. J.w., Heather, ar1, and many others. 😁Hi j.w., ar1,
Glad to hear from you, and your feedback. What you guys recommended is basically what I've been doing in past. I didn't do anything aggressive with the bees this year. Honestly, just wasn't able to do as much as I wanted. Back issues really are a drag. Went into a few of the weak hives today, they were on the light side. I put out 5 gal. Of 2-1. Also, a small amount of in hive feeding. Running all med. , so didn't have enough pint jars for the nucs. So I'll feed em daily, and just rotate out from hive to hive. Any boost is good at this point. Bees weren't flying much today. Was very overcast, and real windy. Lots of rain coming this week, Wednesday foward. Also, snow forecasted on the Nov. 30th. 20s and 30s at night, 50-60-and a few 70s during day. Boy, this year sure has flown by..
Wishing you both a very happy and safe Thanksgiving. Rich..
Hi j.w. hope your Christmas and New Year were great. I know you and I as others are looking forward to spring, and beekeeping !!! I'm going to reset all my hive stands and hives very soon. I lost several hives recently, and hope to make them up in the spring. I'm going to set out some swarm traps around my property. About 10, on perimeter of the 60 acres. Also, some on my 11 acres, located on some nice bottom land, with creek, and woods, with lots of overgrown fields surrounding. Curious question for you or anyone with swarm trapping knowledge... can i set up hives, as normal. Or, would it be best to hang them? As my back might not stand the torments of hanging. Can do it, but Will be a major task overall. Just a thought. How is your bee yard looking at this point in winter? Spring forecast? Hope it's looking up !!! Hope all is well, RichBack at you Rich. Christmas is a turning point in the bee calendar as I know that brood rearing is about to begin in earnest here in the South. Best wishes to you and yours
Thanks j.w. I'll set up closer to ground then. My suspicions confirmed. Will make life easier than trying to hang em all from ladder. Hopefully ill trap a few this season. Just can't seem to want to pay for packages as in past. (1st year). Now in 4th season, and losses this year combined with all the rain last year. Rain is good just not every day as we experienced here. Seemed to hurt my production last season. Things grew well, just too wet for the bees to capitalize on it with all that rain, is my suspicion as to poor hive performance. ??? They were all healthy, and strong. Just didn't seem to produce the honey like years past. Also, queens getting made seemed to be a big factor for me. Once summer hit, things don't work as well as in past .Rich, I have caught several swarms with the trap either sitting on the ground or hung waist high. I can't do ladders anymore and this seems to work pretty well. Seen enough removal videos of bees actually underground in a hollow stump to believe that they just do not care all that much.
Amen, to that. Father time has a way of catching up on us. Thanks for visiting, and commenting !!! Where ya from ar1?Highest I have hung traps is 5 feet. Most were on low stands. Maybe catch more high up, but too much work for me. Not 18 years old any more!
Hi grey goose, say I do thank you for your input. Its always welcome this. I do take all the blame for losses. Swarms, not really, as I had back surgery, and just couldn't do the work at that time. Yes, since you mentioned painting something on outside of hive. I honestly didn't think of that. !!! 😊 glad you mentioned this, as I have tons of paint, littorly. As I do paint professionally. Also, I'm in the process of or will be in next week or so resetting my hive stands, and placing all hives further apart. Also, I need to do a better for of mouse guard on all my hives, and do them earlier. As nice, field rats always a problem in colder and wetter months.Hi Rich,
Good time of the year for pondering.
I have read your posts and I want to try to help, hopefully you take this as constructive.
"summary... Lost 3 hives due to swarming. I'll blame that on the large amounts of rain we've had this year. Lost 3 to robbing. also, I can blame some of the loss to virgin queens not returning, or made the fatal error of returning to the wrong hive "
Seems from your statement your "Blaming external things" We all have excuses some of them are even really good.
Consider better swarm watching, Maybe look at the time they swarmed last year and do some inspections 20 days prior and every 8 days, If when you find the Q cell do some splits.
Returning to the wrong hive, balderdash,, try to paint different colors, place objects near some , move them farther apart, face them different ways.
These "6 losses" could have been 6 more hives, your goal would be then easier to reach.
In many scenarios look in the mirror, for the reason, and you will be getting warm.
I take "full" responsibility / Blame for every loss in my operation, and brain storm to a solution for a different outcome.
Do not let 3 swarms go each year and have Queens return to the wrong hives, take action....
You will gain some momentum on your Quest.
Dude you are not a beginner any longer.
Good luck have a great year.
Above is your challenge for the year.
Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results.
Leverage the learning into gain.
Rural Illinois, straight west of Chicago.Amen, to that. Father time has a way of catching up on us. Thanks for visiting, and commenting !!! Where ya from ar1?
I'll try yours and j.W. Suggestions. I do like the idea of low stands around the property, as id like to have several outyards around the place. Of course ive got cows and horses, and will electeic fence around them. Also, if I catch a swarm in the area I place the traps, maybe I can keep in place and do splits ect from some of them. Would be great for resources also.
there you go thinking already.Hi grey goose, say I do thank you for your input. Its always welcome this. I do take all the blame for losses. Swarms, not really, as I had back surgery, and just couldn't do the work at that time. Yes, since you mentioned painting something on outside of hive. I honestly didn't think of that. !!! 😊 glad you mentioned this, as I have tons of paint, littorly. As I do paint professionally. Also, I'm in the process of or will be in next week or so resetting my hive stands, and placing all hives further apart. Also, I need to do a better for of mouse guard on all my hives, and do them earlier. As nice, field rats always a problem in colder and wetter months.
See, I am taking good constructive criticism, and making a positive out of it. I do this in my work, and business as well. Also, on my farm, which the bees reside. I do make mistakes, and will make more. I try to learn from them also. So a big thank you is going out to you. And as always, you are very welcome to mention any notions that I may improve on. As well as anyone else. Again, thanks and come back more. I do respect anyone with more knowledge, and experience helping me out , anytime. Rich