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Winter Work, Things to Do

1688 Views 15 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Jim Braun
So it's snowing here in NJ today-actually light flurries melting on contact but it beats the heck out of the 120 inches of snow we used to get when I lived in Maine year round, years ago. But it does bring me to start to think about things to get dome while I'm on "Covid Banishment," as I'm still working from home managing a phantom work force who also is working from home.

Wanted to clean up my supers and other boxes-what's the best way to clean up propolis? Just the obvious, scrape and scrape?

Also looking at my screened bottom boards and thinking I'll build some for next spring. The ML ones I have, have the coroplast (election sign stuff) and everyone talks about repurposing them for various use in the bee yards. What I saw this year was hive beetles and wax moth larvae hide in the corrugations between the surfaces sheet and the only way I found to kill them off is with boiling water (tea kettle). I am thinking that I'm going to change that out (and use in the future) to either 3/16" HDPE sheet or plexiglass. I normally keep my examination boards I'm also looking at some stainless steel No. 8 hardware cloth which I think would hold up better. I am thinking I have way too much time on my hands...
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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Scrape and scrape. You do not need or want to get it all off, just the big chunks on the bodies and make sure the frame rests are clean.
 

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Actually I like the temps to be in the 70 to 80 degree range rather than the cold 50s. When the propolis is heavy, as it is here, it come off easier when it is warm. I use the J hook end of the hive tool with good results, and I like it to be sharp.
 

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Re screened bottom board inserts.
I made about a dozen SBB using lunch trays for the insert and they work well.
They used to be available from Betterbee.

 

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6a 5th yr 8 colonies inc. 2 resource hives
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Winter chores- inventory of equipment, cleaning, painting and building stuff. I’m in pretty good shape so I‘m just playing with the bees, pouring sugar, spritzing water and saying hi through the screen. I use SBB over a solid with a varroa sticky board insert. Left in all year. Also installed slatted racks first time and no QE’s. Barely any rain over the summer so giving them less to struggle with made sense. Love how they move freely about.
 

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... The ML ones I have, have the coroplast (election sign stuff) and everyone talks about repurposing them for various use in the bee yards. What I saw this year was hive beetles and wax moth larvae hide in the corrugations between the surfaces sheet ...
Larry, I had a similar issue with small ants setting up shop in the corrugations. I filled the open edges with cheap caulking and the coroplast panels are back in service.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I gave both the J hook and flat hive tool a shot and the propolis seems pretty dried out, maybe from the freeze-thaw over the last few days-comes off well with some light scraping. Is there any use in saving the propolis dust and wax that this is generating, maybe for the floor of swarm traps, might give it a homey smell?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

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Mutts and Carniolans in Langs.
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Bumping rather than starting a new thread.

The 14" x 18" trays are back in stock. At least in dozens, the alert from Amazon was for singles which were not a few days ago.

@LarryBud that is exactly what I hope to do with them. When I find the time:(
 

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5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
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I gave both the J hook and flat hive tool a shot and the propolis seems pretty dried out, maybe from the freeze-thaw over the last few days-comes off well with some light scraping. Is there any use in saving the propolis dust and wax that this is generating, maybe for the floor of swarm traps, might give it a homey smell?
yes makes great smell in the trap
the dust mix with 150 proof and make a tincture either use for health issues or paint the inside of traps with it.
the wax can be melted to the side walls or inside lid for more smells, try not to burn it.

together warmed makes a good hole fixer for boxes.

GG
 

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Jack Grimshaw,
I have used diatomaceous earth in the past. I wouldn't say with good results though. As soon as it gets wet it clumps up and isn't effective any more. So the first rain, it's pretty much useless. I use oil now and have for the last 2 years. I get good results with oil for small hive beetle control. I usually remove the oil in the spring as all of the cappings the bees drop over the winter fill in the 1/4" of oil I use. In my 10 frame boxes I have a system that I've built for my bottom boards. These are plans that I got from Rusty in Florida off of his web site maybe 8 years ago. He no longer keeps his web site so he's probably out of business now. He used to be a regular on Beescource at that time. I don't use the plastic trays but I do use cheap turkey roasting pans, I can often pick them up for $1. The area that holds the pans is made with 1 x 4's and has 1/8" screen. It has a back door that closes that area to keep the bees out. I do find that ants like to live there in the rainy spring too. This back door is also helpful for when I OAV my colonies.
 
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