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I made 10 gallons of syrup and set up a community feeder at one of my yards today. Darn handle snapped off one of the five gallon buckets in the middle of the pour. So I’m guessing I got a total of 7-8 gallons in the feeder. The rest is on the ground.
Bummer.
 

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Yup bummer for sure. I’ll be setting up a feeder in two more yards tomorrow. I’ll take 25 gallons of syrup and top that yard off enroute to the other yards.
 

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Treated my two hives with OA today. Around 39F. I was afraid both hives were dead as I saw no flight activity the other day when it was over 50F. I've seen them flying in the 40's previously, so I have no idea why they weren't flying with relatively warm weather. I couldn't hear any activity when I banged on the hives, either.

Anyway, the bees didn't like my barging in and greeted me at the entrance on one hive, and a few bees came out after the OA in the other hive, so I at least I know they're not dead.
 

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Got a late start today. I did get 1 more yard set up with a feeder. Handle pulled out of another bucket. I was ready this time. Picked up the bucket and part of the lip of the bucket snapped off. Well that tells me it’s bucket culling time.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Got a late start today. I did get 1 more yard set up with a feeder. Handle pulled out of another bucket. I was ready this time. Picked up the bucket and part of the lip of the bucket snapped off. Well that tells me it’s bucket culling time.
Hmm. Sugar is expensive, 5 gal buckets, even food grade ones at Lowe's, are cheap. I think new buckets are a good idea.
 

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Got my fourth yard setup with a feeder today. Bees were out foraging for pollen. Checked the weight on a colony with little activity. Nice and heavy and very active all the sudden like. Lol
 

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Hmm. Sugar is expensive, 5 gal buckets, even food grade ones at Lowe's, are cheap. I think new buckets are a good idea.

This is probably a good one for the "You know you're a beekeeper..." thread. You know your a beekeeper when you know the prices of 5 gallon food grade buckets at Lowes!

Today we hit a round 50 degrees F so I went out to check the hive, stick in some protein patties and to just check the general population. I had been worried since the big die-off after that snow store a few weeks ago that perhaps my hives were having some issues. the girls were out with the warm sun doing their happy dance around the entrance. When I popped open the first one (bad term) which and the top frames we're packed with bees. The patties that I had put in last month were just about gone (lucky timing) and there were some many bees that I had to recover the hive briefly and get a brush and smoker out so I could lay the patty on the frame tops. i did notice a couple of SHB on that top frame, not sure how to deal with them in early January-any thoughts? The next week looks like highs around 40 degrees F with night lows in the lower 20 degrees F. I was hoping to let them "bee" for the next few weeks until another warm spell. At least the colonies are strong going into the cold part of winter-60 days or so until the early pollen starts and I'm hoping to split all of the hives as early as possible with some new queens and nuc's ordered. Happy New Year All and thank you for all of the help and advice. Best regards.
 

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Well got the FLIR going again and a big surprise! We have a small apiary at a friends where strange stuff happens with the bees often, usually 2 hives. First a small swarm, maybe 2 frames, moved into a swarm box sitting forgotten and grew, yielded some honey and is doing well.
B9338EBC-E850-483B-926C-401416F28328.jpeg
Thenthis past year a hive requeen and swarmed again and had the NASTIEST bees ever when trying to capture, stung all over, so left them and hopefully the swarm died. The mother colony dwindled (didn’t want those bees) and finally had no bees but honey. Kept the hive up to split the swarm hive in the Spring. Now, here is an image of the “empty” hive!
0EF8AC79-F6C1-4E83-A154-B6FDCFE4BD42.jpeg
Looks like bees right?
 

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Well got the FLIR going again and a big surprise! We have a small apiary at a friends where strange stuff happens with the bees often, usually 2 hives. First a small swarm, maybe 2 frames, moved into a swarm box sitting forgotten and grew, yielded some honey and is doing well. View attachment 61624 Thenthis past year a hive requeen and swarmed again and had the NASTIEST bees ever when trying to capture, stung all over, so left them and hopefully the swarm died. The mother colony dwindled (didn’t want those bees) and finally had no bees but honey. Kept the hive up to split the swarm hive in the Spring. Now, here is an image of the “empty” hive! View attachment 61625 Looks like bees right?
That is so cool-where did you get that and how much did it cost?
 

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That is so cool-where did you get that and how much did it cost?
Thank you, I am grateful to have this, it’s a big help and others use it for questionable hives. A gift about 4 yrs ago; it attaches to an older Samsung phone I believe my husband paid $250? I think. Back to bees, I wonder if a swarm moved into that empty hive, late October. I’ve had swarms survive late but it that late. We’ll see. I’m going to take a peek tomorrow, before the snow.
 

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Thank you, looks like a great tool.

i forgo to add that when i did my quick inspection today and opened the hive (removed quilt box) i noticed that the girls were still building some burr come between the top brood and the quilt box. Not a lot oif room in there and I had purposely scrapped most of he previous comb off last month when I first put in the winter patties. So much for the idea they don't build comb after July or only when it's warm. I'm also thinking that my queens are sill laying and I'm having a non-broodless winter-the frames were packed-in January. I'm going to continue with OAV as we go, it's still along way until Spring.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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That is so cool-where did you get that and how much did it cost?
The swarm came in on it's own and didn't cost a dime. Oh, I bet you were asking about the FLIR, not the bees. I thought the bees was the cool part.
 

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Pulled burlap back, refreshed sugar slurry around the colonies and spritzed water on their sponge. Really sold on water feeding. No losses. Saves them foraging time. Just ordered a two tier LED light stand for seedling starting. $$$ Will use that combined with winter sowing and direct sow. Just like a beekeeper to overthink everything. Ordered the rest of my seeds (yeah right) from Swallowtail Nursery. Glad 2020 is in the rear view.

My biggest lesson for 2020- remain flexible and listen to what the bees are telling you to do.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Not actually in the apiary but, I was successful this year in ordering two queens from New River Honey Bees. Last year the online ordering started at 12:01 on 1/1/20 and I did not try until about 6 am, only to find him sold out already. I am getting the New River Caucasian Rep. of Georgia line and hope to mate their daughters with the Caucasian/Carnica hybrids I currently have. Hybrids sound so much better than mutts, no? Wife and I will plan a (long) day trip and drive to Calvin, WV from Richmond, about 290 miles each way, to fetch them when they are ready.

Just went back to the website 40 minutes later and all production queens appear to be sold out already. They went fast! Breeder queens are all still available at this time.
 

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My wife got me an endoscope camera so I used it to check my hives today. 1 was flying, I found moving bees in 2 with the camera, I heard noise from one when I opened the top, and the last one is inside and still alive.

hmm, I can't attach a 5 second video to this post, oh well

61656
 

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Just went out to check on the ives this morning, it 29 degrees F outside, clear and sun's rising. A few dead's on the landing board, they're pushing them out through the mouse guards. Did you know that on one of the hive, one of the girl, peaked out and flew off. Where's she going? To a sure and certain death? I fed winter patties a week ago when we had a day in the upper 40's F and the hives were packed. Not sure what she was thinking.
 

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Just went out to check on the ives this morning, it 29 degrees F outside, clear and sun's rising. A few dead's on the landing board, they're pushing them out through the mouse guards. Did you know that on one of the hive, one of the girl, peaked out and flew off. Where's she going? To a sure and certain death? I fed winter patties a week ago when we had a day in the upper 40's F and the hives were packed. Not sure what she was thinking.
Same thing here. 27 degrees.Everytime it gets up around freezing there's a few dead bees around on the snow. One flew onto my boot today. Hives had a ton of bees in them yet in Nov. I think there is still a lot of Summer bees being pushed out yet. 31 of 33 still making noise though. Supposed to be a real cold spell by next weekend. I'm already thinking about Spring. Got more Nuc boxes painted.:unsure:
 

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Went out around noon-38 degrees F and the girls in both hives were out if force. Looks like the older foragers-which would be(?) late November brood, were all around the yard flying, buzzing loudly, landing on the ground and house, dancing in front of the hives. Not what I'd expect, could see my breath. Both hives were doing house cleaning, some debris and dead bees-not a lot but some. Just checked and the boards are clean and the bees are back inside. I'm gonna guess the more experienced Beeks are laughing say yep, that's what happens.
 

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Well got the FLIR going again and a big surprise! We have a small apiary at a friends where strange stuff happens with the bees often, usually 2 hives. First a small swarm, maybe 2 frames, moved into a swarm box sitting forgotten and grew, yielded some honey and is doing well. View attachment 61624 Thenthis past year a hive requeen and swarmed again and had the NASTIEST bees ever when trying to capture, stung all over, so left them and hopefully the swarm died. The mother colony dwindled (didn’t want those bees) and finally had no bees but honey. Kept the hive up to split the swarm hive in the Spring. Now, here is an image of the “empty” hive! View attachment 61625 Looks like bees right?
Well the empty hive,image above, is definitely empty. I was quite surprised. Curious that it showed the same image yesterday; the bottom box and top box are lighter pink, middle box is dark dusty purple. I guess it holds more warmth (darker color) contrary to what was discussed on Bee-l. I thought the image would appear but it didn’t. I’ll try again. 48BFC030-5F3D-4969-B226-A18DD556054D.jpeg
 
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