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 on: November 26, 2014, 08:58:28 PM 
Started by colbees - Last post by hjon71
Everything you need to know-
Click the Home tab
Type mountaincamp into the search bar.

 on: November 26, 2014, 08:06:01 PM 
Started by charliesnike - Last post by AR Beekeeper
Buy queens from breeders that have VSH bees, they usually do well.  Split each year and let them raise their queen and any queen line that lasts 3 years or over will be the line to raise more queens from.  Don't let the colonies die, learn how to tell when they are close to a crash, and when you have one in that condition use a mite treatment.  Requeen the colony and continue.  Keep the colonies well fed, monitor the varroa populations, and practice good beekeeping.

Bees survive varroa if they have VSH hygienic traits and tolerance for the viruses the mites carry.  Cell size has nothing to do with how well they do.  If you ever see varroa mites on the adult bees, usually you will have a colony that is close to a crash because the varroa population will be huge. 

Original poster, put what state you are in.  If we know what part of the country you keep bees our answers to your post will be more accurate.  What may work in Florida may not work in Michigan or the Pacific Northwest.

 on: November 26, 2014, 07:50:01 PM 
Started by colbees - Last post by colbees
Hi everyone, wondering whether or not to feed the bees. The temperatures have ranged from the 60's to the 20's and now today a foot of snow. Are the bees going to run out of food faster than usual with temperatures like this. Im also wondering the best system for feeding. I currently have boardman feeders. Thanks

 on: November 26, 2014, 07:18:31 PM 
Started by Jow4040 - Last post by AR Beekeeper
Here in the U.S. the natural size range for worker size cells of Italian bees goes from 5.1 mm on the small side up to 5.4 on the large side.  The average worker cell is 5.2 or 5.3 mm.  Your bees will naturally build comb with worker cells in these ranges. Cell size is not the only thing that determines the size of the bee, genetics and food supply during the larva stage will make a bee larger or smaller than the average.  Bees from warped comb have been reported as being as small as house flies, this I read in old issues of ABCs & XYZs of Beekeeping.

Most of what you read about bees being enlarged because of foundation cell size and then regressing would only pertain to your bees if you used the 5.7, 5.8 mm cell foundation like Baudoux did in Europe.  Any beekeeper would consider that size outside of worker cell's natural range.  Your bees, if well fed, will probably stay in the 5.1 to 5.4 size when they build comb for the brood nest.

According to those that practice small cell beekeeping, regression will start in the second or third season of comb building.  Put your foundationless frame between two brood frames in the center of the brood nest.  When the bees have drawn the comb measure 10 cells in the center of the comb to get an average cell size.  What is the average size of the cells in the foundation that you use?  I use plastic with 5.25 cells and my bees naturally draw foundationless no smaller than 5.1. 

 on: November 26, 2014, 06:56:07 PM 
Started by rue - Last post by GSF
Welcome, may I suggest updating your profile to add your location? A couple of reasons, a lot of beekeeping questions can be location specific, and, there's also several folks on here from the land down under who may be passing through your neck of the woods one day.

 on: November 26, 2014, 06:45:34 PM 
Started by rue - Last post by rue
When I first became a beekeeper I naively left my foundation frames in a plastic box in the shed and was dismayed to discover that the moth had got in.  I spoke to an experienced bee keeper and he uses a chemical to keep out the moth (cant spell it but think its foxtroxin).  Im organic so this just wouldnt do.  At the same time I had acquired a 2nd fridge freezer to keep non edibles in and I learnt to freeze the frames/stickies.  I then wrap them in plastic and put in a plastic box with lid and cover with sheets and keep in the house.  This has worked for 18 months.  I do worry that I might attract bugs (ants cockroaches) into the house but havent so far.  They also have to go under the grandies bunk beds (we have a tiny house) which makes me nervous due to bug worries lol.  This works OK but I imagined would be more difficult with more hives.  I only have one hive currently.  How do you manage storing frmase/wax organically and keep the wax moth out?  Oh we are in Perth Australia and have perfect temperature for moths.

 on: November 26, 2014, 06:05:45 PM 
Started by AyeBee - Last post by kalium
I use the felt backed stuff with the felt facing up so i wouldn't put anything on it.

When about in the south east are you? You shouldn't need to be feeding anytime of the year!

Most of my bees are in the Lockyer Valley. It's the driest part of SE QLD (average 780 mm of rain).
On top of that, the specific place that they are is in the driest part of the Lockyer Valley! I lived there for about 10 years,
and even when everyone else in the valley was getting rain we often were not. In fact, in the Ipswich
bee club newsletter back a few months ago, they were suggesting that people may have to start feeding.

The only saving grace is that urbanisation is creeping in (I should say, galloping in!) and hopefully with
it a whole bunch of backyard gardens...

 on: November 26, 2014, 05:36:30 PM 
Started by charliesnike - Last post by Culley
we are going to buy bees every year,not medicate. and see who(if anyone) survives....if they do survive it will be because they are smaller.

If you want better genetics, why not collect local swarms and do cutouts? If you are going to buy them, at least maybe buy from as local and as diverse sources as possible. Or buy from someone who does local cutouts.

 on: November 26, 2014, 05:26:30 PM 
Started by Jow4040 - Last post by Culley
I've been using foundationless for about four years. I haven't done any deliberate regression, just put foundationless combs in. Quite a few of the original foundation combs have been destroyed through SHB and extracting. But a lot of the original foundation frames are still in some of the hives.

I have split the hives quite a bit too though. Some hives would be almost all foundationless.

With this kind of ad hoc transition to foundationless, how long before an observable change in cell size and worker size? How many cycles of completely changing all the brood combs?

There seems to be a bit of variation among the worker sizes - one hive in particular has smaller workers and a couple of hives have noticably larger workers.

 on: November 26, 2014, 05:14:26 PM 
Started by JackM - Last post by Culley
What about combining the splits back together after the swarm season has passed?

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