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Author Topic: Question from a beginner who lost his teacher.  (Read 2738 times)
romduck
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« on: August 13, 2004, 08:43:54 AM »

I'm a novice beekeper just one year in with three hives at home in rural Western Connecticut.

My three hives are of varying strengths and all seem to be doing well in the honey flow. Each hive currently has the bottom super filled with brood and the upper super filled to CRAMMED with all honey. Above that I am placing half supers that each hive is filling with varying success.

Is there additional management that I should be doing or checking for at this time? The moderate hive seems to have enough room and is barely filling the half super. Is one box on the bottom enough room for the very strong hive? There are ALOT of bees in there and they are working on filling their 3rd half super full of honey.

I apologize for what it probably an stupid question, but the gentleman with our local apiary supply store was an excellent teacher, but is no longer avaiable due to personal illness.
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Rommie L. Duckworth
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« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2004, 09:20:57 AM »

Rommie,

Welcome to the forums.

Sounds like things are going well for you.  I would suggest you start monitoring varroa mites, as this is the time of year I start seeing a surge in the numbers.

I personally like to have 2 deeps for brood, but since the season is starting to wind down,  if you haven't had any swarming or signs of swarming, they must have enough room.  

As long as you have kept empty supers on top,  they could move the honey up if they wanted more brood room.

Next year I would recommend putting your supers on earlier so that they don't store in the second deep.  As long as the supers have drawn comb,  I add two to start, and keep adding additional when they start working the last empty one.  Basically always have one completely empty super.  This assures they always have room if a heavy flow hits, and also gives them more room to dry nectar.  There is really no reason not to give them extra room if you have the drawn comb.  It is perhaps the easiest swarm prevention there is.

There are many debates about swarming here in the forums,  but if your intention is maximize your honey take,  you want as many bees in the hive as possible.

Where abouts in Connecticut are you?   I'm in Ulster County, NY and work in Dutchess County.

BTW, you might want to check out the beeking course on this site
http://www.beemaster.com/honeybee/beehome.htm
There is a lot of good information there.  But don't hesitate to use the forums if you have any questions.  We're really just a nice bunch of hobbyist like yourself Cheesy
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romduck
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« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2004, 11:37:47 AM »

Thanks all. That clears up alot.

In Spring i was advised that giving the bees extra room would cause them to build up in a "chimney" through the center of the Deeps that I put on. Thus, I restricted it two two deeps total. At this time the hives have (from bottom to top) Bottom Board, Deep w/ brood, Deep w/honey, queen excluder, (1-3) shallows with capped honey.

Since it appears that it shouldn't hurt and may help, I'll look to add an additional deep to the stronger two hives. Where should it be placed in that stack?

Below the current Deep w/ brood? Between the Deep w/brood and the Deep with Honey?

Any thoughts?
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golfpsycho
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« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2004, 02:14:08 PM »

I'm guessing your season is winding down, but I don't know for sure.  Alot would depend on how much more honey they can make.  I would probably pull the shallows if they are capped, and harvest them.  I'd give the second deep a good look too.  It there is no brood, I would probably put the new deep between the other 2 boxes.  Make sure the queen is in the bottom box, and put the exluder in a drawer somewhere that you will never look again. (personal preference)  This late in the year, you probably don't need to expand the brood nest, but they'll have the room if they want it, and you can get more wax drawn.  If the flow continues, they may very well fill out the new deep, allowing you to either harvest, or give some of the honey back to the other colonies that aren't doing quite as well.  Keep an eye on that colony.  Sounds like a very good queen to crowd up that many bees and not swarm from a restricted brood nest.  I would probably try to raise a few more queens from her.
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golfpsycho
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« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2004, 02:33:19 PM »

Just to expand the thought a bit.  Wax becomes a huge asset when your making honey.  Even if they get the wax drawn, and don't get much honey put away in it, you can reverse the boxes in the fall and place an inner cover between them.  They'll take the honey back down into the main hive bodies and store it, allowing you to remove the deep and give you a head start next spring with either a split, or working the early flow.  Drawn wax in many locales is the difference between a new colony just surviving, or producing honey for you.
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« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2004, 02:42:00 PM »

Once again, golf is right on the money.

Quote from: golfpsycho
Drawn wax in many locales is the difference between a new colony just surviving, or producing honey for you.


Very well put.  I don't think a lot of folks here understand that.  Especially those that remove dark combs in an effort to prevent disease.
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golfpsycho
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« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2004, 02:55:09 PM »

Queens seem to prefer laying in older darker comb.  The plastic foundations they sell are available in a brood comb option.  What does that mean?  It means they make it with black plastic in the hopes the queens will more readily accept laying in it.

I agree Robo.  Most of the beekeepers here are fairly new to the "sport"  They kind of give their "girls" human qualities and think of them more as pets.  I don't have a problem with that... in fact... I wish all my pets could make some money back for me to help pay the freight.  I'm as guilty as the next person of sitting and watching them come and go, getting into them when I really don't need to, delay mowing the lawn when the burr clover is blooming.. all that.  And these aren't my first colonys... got my first colony back in the 60's  But when I do something I shouldn't, they sting me and get our relationship straightened back out!! bahahahahaha
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« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2004, 09:52:52 PM »

And here I thought mine was the only lawn that had clover 6 - 7 inches tall and still growing.

About a month ago fully drawn deep frames were going for $5.00 a piece around here if you could find them, which you couldn't. Goes to show you how much experienced beekeepers think of it.
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Lesli
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« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2004, 10:47:37 PM »

" They kind of give their "girls" human qualities and think of them more as pets. I don't have a problem with that... in fact... I wish all my pets could make some money back for me to help pay the freight."

Heh. I say that all my resident animals pay their own way: Max, the giant doggie, keeps away anyone, animal or human, who doesn't belong. The kitties keep out the mice. I bring home the bacon. And now the bees have their job to do, too.
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Lesli
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