Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

61 - 80 of 85 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,771 Posts
Like I said in my "blog" if I recall - I realized what I have been doing is a "reality game" - that is really the fun factor.
We, in the family, enjoy playing strategy games (a good example - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carcassonne_(board_game))

I do the same, only on an area of several square miles and with the time scope going in years.
Lots of variables; many of these are outside of my control (weather, landscape, people, beekeepers with their own bees and methods, regulations, etc, etc).
My goal is to survive the environment and get the high quality returns with the least possible effort.
I have hard time explaining to my kids the concept of my game.

Outsmart, outplay, survive - "The Survivor. CBS". :)
Greg, I would agree at some point it is like a game. Anticipate the next move, have a Strategy, make your play and learn. Also +1 to Mike P if it ain't fun why do it? My old challenge was to "be ready" Now I have a dry erase board on the wall. looking at supering next summer backwards to today. And box count , hive count etc. So I see my job for this week is to make 5 NUC bottoms and lids and order 5 more NUC boxes. then in Feb is making some supers.
It is way more fun if you are ready when you pop the lid to whatever the bee gods have in store for your day. I would think the pros know what is under the lid, I still get a surprise once and a while.
Well happy Holidays , Merry Christmas to all and to all a good season.
I have visions of fat queen cells going thu my head.
Matilda is that you.......

GG
 

·
Registered
6a 3rd yr 5 production hives 1/ 2 q resource hive
Joined
·
476 Posts
Discussion Starter #63
Refreshing my post from last year since folks liked this one and to see if answers are still the same. 2020- Started with 5 and ended with 7. 5 production and 2 in a resource hive. Really like this number since I have other hobbies, a job, fuss so much and have limited space to store. Fun factor better this year with a first harvest and knowing more what to expect.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
653 Posts
Yup, still the same. I started this season with 3 over-wintered colonies (2 full-sized hives & one nuc), raised 3 queens, got rid of the old ones, and currently have 3 colonies (2 full-size & one nuc) going into winter. I’m a backyard beekeeper since 2015, and 2 (or 3) is always the right number for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
244 Posts
Started with 4 this year and ended with 5. I’d love to hear from backyard beekeepers about the fun threshold and the right number of hives for them and why. My 5th colony was a swarm and its presently overwintering in 1/2 of a resource hive snuggled up to a big colony. Right now the best number seems to be 5 regular sized colonies and 2 nucs within a resource hive. Anything more would seem like work. I love the bug. I also like having a population threshold to share resources. Not even interested in honey if I’m being honest about it. Have you started with larger numbers then scaled back? Or the opposite?
4 plus a couple of nucs for queen replacement. I also love catching swarms so i may give away some.
 

·
Registered
Two 8-frame Langstroth hives
Joined
·
216 Posts
Two is a good number for me and inspecting them is fun not a chore. I can’t legally keep more here in my backyard anyway.

My journey into beekeeping had a rocky start but now I’m settled and at least I can recognise my own mistakes. Also, never start with just one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,874 Posts
On some days none. It really all depends on the amount of free time you have, your age/physical limitations, amount of money you want to spend. I wouldn't recommend a limit because each will find it as they go along. I do recommend a minimum of two hives and three is ideal for those just starting out. J
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
I now have 5 plus 1 NUC I am trying to get through the winter for the first time. It is a medium stacked 5x5 and so far it looks like it is doing well. I had a VSH queen that I ended up not needing for a strong hive and started the NUC. I am keeping my fingers crossed and a close eye on it. I prefer 2 hives but ended up getting called to pick up 3 different swarms around the area and they took off. I hope to get them through the winter and donate to new bee keepers in the spring. Hope it works out...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
I am new at this so I can't say how successful I will be, but I can't see myself having more than 5 colonies. My family goes through about a quart of honey a year so that is not a big motivator that would make me want more bees. With 5, there should be a good chance I get through each winter with at least one colony. Since getting honey is not a big deal for me, building even a single survivor colony in spring into 4 or 5 by fall doesn't seem overly ambitious so there should be a good chance of being sustainable without constantly buying bees and queens. Of course it is easy for someone just now facing his first winter as a beekeeper to say that, and time will tell. For me I just can't see the fun in dealing with a hundred boxes and thousands of frames, let alone trying to manage so many colonies. I want beekeeping to be an enjoyable experience and not to have to spend hours every week managing bees and equipment.
 

·
Registered
6a 3rd yr 5 production hives 1/ 2 q resource hive
Joined
·
476 Posts
Discussion Starter #72
I am new at this so I can't say how successful I will be, but I can't see myself having more than 5 colonies.
If you have good queens 5 in my opinion is totally sustainable. And yes the research says that when you get to 5 the odds dramatically improve having at least one winter over. What I didn't plan on was 100% survival. I'm trying to stay away from being overly enthusiastic about a skill like splitting and then resent the hobby. Fun to me is about building confidence over time. Right now I'm enjoying feeding them snack food.
 

·
Registered
6a 3rd yr 5 production hives 1/ 2 q resource hive
Joined
·
476 Posts
Discussion Starter #73
I now have 5 plus 1 NUC I am trying to get through the winter for the first time. It is a medium stacked 5x5 and so far it looks like it is doing well. I had a VSH queen that I ended up not needing for a strong hive and started the NUC. I am keeping my fingers crossed and a close eye on it. I prefer 2 hives but ended up getting called to pick up 3 different swarms around the area and they took off. I hope to get them through the winter and donate to new bee keepers in the spring. Hope it works out...
If you treated aggressively for mites, have a good queen and good nutrition chances are they will make it. First year is a nail biter though. That's why I use vivaldi boards. Something about opening them up and seeing them through the screen is a lift.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Lalldredge, mites have been slain and will do a one time OA shot between Thanksgiving and Christmas to get that NUC through the winter. I was in the top box of it a week ago and it has a solid dome of honey across the top and sides of that box. still had plenty of capped brood on the center frames as well.
Vivaldi board? I have never used one. you have good luck with them? Do you make your own or do you order from somewhere? Something I may consider going forward if they increase winter survival, especially for NUCs. Do you have a picture of one? Thanks...
 

·
Registered
6a 3rd yr 5 production hives 1/ 2 q resource hive
Joined
·
476 Posts
Discussion Starter #75
[QUOTE="Ranger N, post: 1845835, member:
Vivaldi board? I have never used one. you have good luck with them? Do you make your own or do you order from somewhere? Something I may consider going forward if they increase winter survival, especially for NUCs. Do you have a picture of one? Thanks...
[/QUOTE]
51254EF6-7592-4221-8F15-348DDE0524DC.jpeg This is what they look like. Mine is a hybrid of the Mannlake winter cover with some extra height and holes drilled in the sides covered with hardware cloth. The idea is to remove excess moisture from the hive. A simple screen filled with wood chips would do too. It doesn’t have to be expensive but these boost over winter success by another 10-20%.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
[QUOTE="Ranger N, post: 1845835, member:
Vivaldi board? I have never used one. you have good luck with them? Do you make your own or do you order from somewhere? Something I may consider going forward if they increase winter survival, especially for NUCs. Do you have a picture of one? Thanks...
View attachment 61203 This is what they look like. Mine is a hybrid of the Mannlake winter cover with some extra height and holes drilled in the sides covered with hardware cloth. The idea is to remove excess moisture from the hive. A simple screen filled with wood chips would do too. It doesn’t have to be expensive but these boost over winter success by another 10-20%.
[/QUOTE]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
OK. I have seen those but Have never used one like that. I use a 1”x3” shim with 2 1” holes drilled on either side with window screen covering the holes. The bees tend to Propolis the screen pretty much closed but I think leave what they are comfortable with letting air pass thru. Never thought of placing #8 hardware screen on the bottom for observation. I reckon I could try that and place sugar cakes right on top of the wire for them if they need it in late winter? Hmmm...
I see you are from Sisters, OR. I grew up west of you across the Cascades just S of Roseburg on a small farm. My folks had bees back then and so grew up around bees. Joined the Military and finally settled down in SC due to family and weather. I definitely enjoy the mild temps. We used to hunt mule deer out of Chemult I think, every year for 2 weeks at a time when we were younger as a family. I also enjoy fly fishing that area of the state when I get back that way. Good luck going into and through the winter over there. Thanks..
 

·
Registered
6a 3rd yr 5 production hives 1/ 2 q resource hive
Joined
·
476 Posts
Discussion Starter #78
OK. I have seen those but Have never used one like that. I use a 1”x3” shim with 2 1” holes drilled on either side with window screen covering the holes. The bees tend to Propolis the screen pretty much closed but I think leave what they are comfortable with letting air pass thru. Never thought of placing #8 hardware screen on the bottom for observation. I reckon I could try that and place sugar cakes right on top of the wire for them if they need it in late winter? Hmmm...
I see you are from Sisters, OR. I grew up west of you across the Cascades just S of Roseburg on a small farm. My folks had bees back then and so grew up around bees. Joined the Military and finally settled down in SC due to family and weather. I definitely enjoy the mild temps. We used to hunt mule deer out of Chemult I think, every year for 2 weeks at a time when we were younger as a family. I also enjoy fly fishing that area of the state when I get back that way. Good luck going into and through the winter over there. Thanks..
I'm familiar with Roseburg. Farm life must have been serene. I have an acre but I'm surrounded by Deschutes National Forest so I can ride my horse out my driveway into the forest on an endless trail system. As far as feeding with the vivaldi board; I feed under the screen and within that square in the middle so they have a food court basically around that hole in the middle. When I want to replenish I take a jar of loose sugar and my water spritzer and pour sugar through the screen then spritz it to make a slurry.

I also like that they can't fly out at me when I open it but I can see down into the cluster. Super popular spot unless it's super cold and they are down in cluster. Since they over wintered beautifully last year that way I'm not inclined to change much.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Well, I envy you having a whole national forest out your back door. I will definitely give the vivaldi thing a go this next year and see how it goes. In the mean time, like i said earlier, i may just attach some hardware #8 to the shim and see how that works out. thanks and good luck...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
I have killed off just about every bee every 2 years. Never had over 4 hives until this year. Figured this year I would up my odds of bringing a few through winter.

Had 1 (of 4) coming out of last winter (3 dead-outs with some drawn comb). Bought 3 packages and put back in the drawn boxes, and later 3 Russian queens from Coy's. Gave away 2 colonies, 2 queens, sold 1 nuc, and 1 queen. I have 7 10-frame deep hives in the backyard (most with at least a medium of stores), and 6-7 more 6-frame nucs in polystyrene. I went at it obsessively and enjoyed it more than anything I've done in years. However, once it got to 10ish, it became work. I think it's just how much time or money you have to spend on equipment. We shall see what Feb brings.
 
61 - 80 of 85 Posts
Top