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The mite import in the location with other beekeepers is still high.

I suspect one of the local farms may have brought a load of treatment free hives again - last time they tried this, they had 100% losses over the winter.

I wonder if they'll have better luck this year.......
 

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The mite import in the location with other beekeepers is still high.

I suspect one of the local farms may have brought a load of treatment free hives again - last time they tried this, they had 100% losses over the winter.

I wonder if they'll have better luck this year.......
If that's true they will be failing in fall if not already. I'm just finishing my August OAV series and always do another in fall (mid Sept - Oct) after I feed because the flying kids will be robbing the infested hives out. You can go from 0 to major infestation when they bring mites back home. So in other words all counts are meaningless in fall when colonies are collapsing around you.
 

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It's been hot here (90's) so I've held off on Formic and due to an on going dearth, which may be ending with the passing of hurricane remnants getting some water in the ground, we haven't harvested yet. We have had some rain from Fred and Henri along with what appears a return to normal afternoon thunderstorms, looks like there's a better late summer flow. The goldenrod, aster and other fall plants are coming up but only the very earliest are in bloom. I just look at the home hives and a nearby yard and it appears the front that came through along with cloudy weather have the hive cooled down, bearding is reduced to a more normal amount on the landing boards. I'm also seeing a strong fight with 20% returning with big baskets of white pollen (early aster?) I'm not seeing anything of concern on the board and hopefully we'll get this harvest done next week. Plan is to do yard by yard, replace the wet frames for a hopeful fall flow and then a double pad formic pro treatment. I'm hoping to get a few washes done during the harvest with the hive open and formic going in. I'll start a fall OAV in late September or early October after the Fall harvest (if any). Populations look good on all of the hives. First Frost here is usually mid-November and killing frost in late November-early September but I need to watch the hives up at the Farms due to elevation.
 

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I think I confused/upset one of my nucs. They need to build up stores for the winter so I scraped about a quart of (very solid) crystalized honey onto the sides of a box of empty frames on top of the hive yesterday. I think the honey warmed up and started running down because it was all in the bottom today when I checked this hive to figure out what is was doing. This hive has been bearding for the last 36ish hours since I added the honey, when none of the other have are bearding much. I think it is time to switch to a frame feeder in this nuc. Live and learn.

65266


(I need to go build an oversized lid that will span both nucs, but for now the insulation of top of one nuc, and the blocked inner cover on top of the other works)
 

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I made some over size lids. they work well.

consider what you wrap with and add some extra for it.
me I add 1.5 inch foam so I added 4 inches to not allow rain on the top of the foam.

GG
 

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Well we finally did our first round of harvesting yesterday or rather a partial harvest involving 10 of our now 33 hives (lost one split earlier this summer) and the results so far were less than impressive. I had made a decision in August to hold off for a couple of weeks because my inspections indicated the hives were not showing much capped comb so we were two weeks later than last year. With 5 overwintered hives (split 1 for 3 in May), 9 spring splits, 15 new (spring nucs) and 4 swarms we got the first 10 from 3 different yards done. There was an unusual (for here) long summer dearth, most of July and August and while our total rainfall was slightly above normal, it was primarily from larger storms/hurricane reminates that dropped several inches of rain in single storm events separated by 10 days to 2 weeks of dry hot weather. The clover flow ended a month earlier than normal and the even the irrigated ornamental summer flowers just didn't have much in the way of nectar with spotty blooms and inconsistencies. Now I realize others here had a tough year too and my heart goes out to them, a least we have something so far and if the late summer rains keep coming, well maybe we'll get some recovery.
From the 11, 10 frame boxes we pull from, it looks like were around 300 to 350 pounds of recoverable honey-we'll spin those today. We pulled this first group two weeks later that we did last year and last year we averaged over 30 frames per hive then. These hives all had strong populations with 2 or 3 supers over double broods and I probably left 6-8 frames of comb and nectar that wasn't capped (less than 70%) figuring I'll get through the rest of the hives and circle back to them later in the month and maybe pick up some more honey. We're starting to see the asters and knapweed starting and a lot of strong looking goldenrod just starting to bud up and now that the rain is returning, maybe we'll see a good fall flow.
Kind of interesting thing between two of my mini yards (2 established hives 3 supers plus a building double nuc swarm -no super and 3 Spring nucs in double brood with 2 supers) a 100 yards apart was the difference of the honey colors. The established hives had almost a white honey and the other hive had a dark amber. A positive is also that the hive had plenty of capped honey, pollen and populations. Once the harvest is in I'll hit all the hives with full doses of formic pro, see what happen in September and start planning winter prep.
 

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Kind of interesting thing between two of my mini yards (2 established hives 3 supers plus a building double nuc swarm -no super and 3 Spring nucs in double brood with 2 supers) a 100 yards apart was the difference of the honey colors. The established hives had almost a white honey and the other hive had a dark amber. A positive is also that the hive had plenty of capped honey, pollen and populations. Once the harvest is in I'll hit all the hives with full doses of formic pro, see what happen in September and start planning winter prep.
I have seen the honey color differnt in hives that were 3 feet apart. I think it was largely seasonal variations (one collected more all season, one was more collecting later in the season) but it was still interesting
 

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Reduced my hives down to winter config (slatted rack, med, deep, med) and put ProSweet on. Stored emergency frames of feed for spring or to use for late fall prep. One resource hive colony on watch. Ordered a mated queen to arrive on the 15th. Will keep it going with borrowed brood until then. Just don't want to combine yet. Hive creep added an additional resource hive (2) for a total of 9 colonies. Not an enjoyable summer. The bees seemed to have a good year but I was largely absent in July because of the heat and being distracted by all the geo political nonsense. Bouncing out of it into a very nice fall and my love and confidence in my small town. I haven't let them down on mite treatments (Aug 8x OAV) or feeding. Really glad my list is short. They compensate well. Totally botched swarm prevention and harvesting properly. September is feed feed feed.
 

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Well we finally did our first round of harvesting yesterday or rather a partial harvest involving 10 of our now 33 hives (lost one split earlier this summer) and the results so far were less than impressive. I had made a decision in August to hold off for a couple of weeks because my inspections indicated the hives were not showing much capped comb so we were two weeks later than last year. With 5 overwintered hives (split 1 for 3 in May), 9 spring splits, 15 new (spring nucs) and 4 swarms we got the first 10 from 3 different yards done. There was an unusual (for here) long summer dearth, most of July and August and while our total rainfall was slightly above normal, it was primarily from larger storms/hurricane reminates that dropped several inches of rain in single storm events separated by 10 days to 2 weeks of dry hot weather. The clover flow ended a month earlier than normal and the even the irrigated ornamental summer flowers just didn't have much in the way of nectar with spotty blooms and inconsistencies. Now I realize others here had a tough year too and my heart goes out to them, a least we have something so far and if the late summer rains keep coming, well maybe we'll get some recovery.
From the 11, 10 frame boxes we pull from, it looks like were around 300 to 350 pounds of recoverable honey-we'll spin those today. We pulled this first group two weeks later that we did last year and last year we averaged over 30 frames per hive then. These hives all had strong populations with 2 or 3 supers over double broods and I probably left 6-8 frames of comb and nectar that wasn't capped (less than 70%) figuring I'll get through the rest of the hives and circle back to them later in the month and maybe pick up some more honey. We're starting to see the asters and knapweed starting and a lot of strong looking goldenrod just starting to bud up and now that the rain is returning, maybe we'll see a good fall flow.
Kind of interesting thing between two of my mini yards (2 established hives 3 supers plus a building double nuc swarm -no super and 3 Spring nucs in double brood with 2 supers) a 100 yards apart was the difference of the honey colors. The established hives had almost a white honey and the other hive had a dark amber. A positive is also that the hive had plenty of capped honey, pollen and populations. Once the harvest is in I'll hit all the hives with full doses of formic pro, see what happen in September and start planning winter prep.
Were the colonies strong enough to make a honey crop? Only strong colonies make a crop.
 

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Were the colonies strong enough to make a honey crop? Only strong colonies make a crop.
The populations were/are very strong, good laying patterns, lots of capped brood, eggs and stores, just very little up top. I'm hearing from other locals the same kind of numbers. I think if theirs no nectar, there's no honey, even for strong colonies. We'll see in a few weeks if the fall flow fills the comb I left behind.
 

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The populations were/are very strong, good laying patterns, lots of capped brood, eggs and stores, just very little up top. I'm hearing from other locals the same kind of numbers. I think if theirs no nectar, there's no honey, even for strong colonies. We'll see in a few weeks if the fall flow fills the comb I left behind.
"With 5 overwintered hives (split 1 for 3 in May), 9 spring splits, 15 new (spring nucs) and 4 swarms"

Sounds like a lot of splitting and startup colonies from reading your description.
When do the colonies need to be at peak population to collect your flow?
 

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I'm doing this from memory-the 5 over wintered hives had a third deep box added in late February and by the end of April, were 30 solid frames of stores, brood and comb. All 5 hives had brood all winter. On May1st, I used 7 or 8 frames on each split into 10 frame boxes, all had developed queen cell and the "mother" hives still had 14-16 frames. The "mother" hive recovered quickly, full 20 frames during the dandelion flow, by the third week in May, supered by June. Gray Goose had given me advice and I should have listened, could have gone further with the splits on 4 or 5 frame nucs but I work with what I had on hand and a stubborn Irish mindset-hopefully lesson learned. The 5 "Mother" colonies produced 2 mediums each with the exception of one which swarmed, then recovered and produced 1 super so far. About 6 of the splits, all now double deeps, produced 1 super and 3 have a 6 or 7 frames 60% capped and was left in place to see if the fall flow would round them off, #10 died off, my first loss. The nucs were from a friend, very strong 5 frames, loaded with overwintered queens, lots of nurse bees, eggs and larvae-hived late March, double deeps by early May, supered late May. The swarms, double deeps, have single supers and a few frames of comb/nectar 25% capped. Usually, our flow is strong Springs, trees, fruits, dandelions into a strong summer clover, ornamental gardens through mid August-this year it died off mid July into my first real dearth. Rain fall on the gauged was normal but really two or three heavy storms separated by 10 days of dry rather than 2 or 3 light night rain every week. I'm see asters but the goldenrod is everywhere but just budding up-see if that goes anywhere. Finishing the summer harvest this weekend with odds and ends-fall harvest is mid-October.
 

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I also made spring splits. (18)
none got more than 1 super of honey. they are 3 box now D+D+M so they drew comb and made them selves winter ready.
however the 3 early swarms did make 2 or 3 each.

GG
 

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Reduced my hives down to winter config (slatted rack, med, deep, med) and put ProSweet on. Stored emergency frames of feed for spring or to use for late fall prep. One resource hive colony on watch. Ordered a mated queen to arrive on the 15th. Will keep it going with borrowed brood until then. Just don't want to combine yet. Hive creep added an additional resource hive (2) for a total of 9 colonies. Not an enjoyable summer. The bees seemed to have a good year but I was largely absent in July because of the heat and being distracted by all the geo political nonsense. Bouncing out of it into a very nice fall and my love and confidence in my small town. I haven't let them down on mite treatments (Aug 8x OAV) or feeding. Really glad my list is short. They compensate well. Totally botched swarm prevention and harvesting properly. September is feed feed feed.
Been awhile but to update I have standardized the med+deep+med as a brood chamber all year. Supers on top of QE. I also heavily insulate all year - different behavior but like it. It has been a tough year here - constant rain, fog, overcast - very wet and humid. But internal hive conditions have been well managed by the bees, capped honey provided. OAV Dead Drop COunts should be interesting - bit behind due to Henri + Ida = falling trees + building a High Tunnel. Got nine colonies and a double nuc for winter. Euthanized by best Varroa resistant colony this Spring - full of DWV. VSH bees eating pupa may not be such a good idea.
 

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Get on those mite washes. I washed a 30/300, and a 20/300

Been treating for a week now, vertical mite spikes.
 

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Been awhile but to update I have standardized the med+deep+med as a brood chamber all year. Supers on top of QE. I also heavily insulate all year - different behavior but like it. It has been a tough year here - constant rain, fog, overcast - very wet and humid. But internal hive conditions have been well managed by the bees, capped honey provided. OAV Dead Drop COunts should be interesting - bit behind due to Henri + Ida = falling trees + building a High Tunnel. Got nine colonies and a double nuc for winter. Euthanized by best Varroa resistant colony this Spring - full of DWV. VSH bees eating pupa may not be such a good idea.
Welcome back Robert. Just in time to start our over wintering humidity/water/insulation discussion. Interesting that you're running med,deep,med config. Last I heard that's what Gray Goose uses too. I removed QE's 2 years ago because we had back to back drought and I didn't want to make their job any harder. Would love to see pics of the high tunnel. What a treat.
 

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Get on those mite washes. I washed a 30/300, and a 20/300

Been treating for a week now, vertical mite spikes.
one of my hives was that way about 2 weeks ago, I am starting to suspect OAV may not disperse as well in tall dense hives since the 31 count I had was after several rounds. I had done OAV 3 times 7 days apart at that point and I think it was to far apart, but I was busy with work and could not get out on a weekday.

I have formic pro to put in my hives now that the temperature has finally cooled down.
 

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Another issue I'm seeing are unusually light colonies this time of season.

Plenty of pollen but where the heck is the nectar?

Plenty of bees, healthy brood, but I'll be feeding all October it looks like.
 

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Another issue I'm seeing are unusually light colonies this time of season.

Plenty of pollen but where the heck is the nectar?

Plenty of bees, healthy brood, but I'll be feeding all October it looks like.
Similar here; most I have ever fed. Just about finished, frost last night. Had to put insulation foam over hive top feeders as some quit taking it. Too cold I guess. Probably turn really warm and the bees will fly around all over and burn a lot of it up! Darn bugs!
 
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