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Author Topic: My head hurts  (Read 9770 times)
NCSteve
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« on: January 19, 2005, 03:44:43 PM »

Ok Ive read read and read posts from a bunch of message boards for over a month now, watched videos, read a few books on beekeeping and Im about to explode.

 Is there anything, I mean anything that beekeepers agree on?

 All the info is rollin around in my poor lil head and the power drill didnt help....this time.  rolleyes


 This message was brought on trying to correlate info on how to do splits.
 Geebus.
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buzz
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« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2005, 04:18:29 PM »

I know what your saying. I think for most of it, there isn't just one right way to do it. You just have to pick one that sounds good and give it a try.
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Jay
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« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2005, 05:18:48 PM »

I think the one thing we can all agree on is, no matter how you do it, it's fun!! cheesy

Are you planning to do a split in the spring Steve?
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NCSteve
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« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2005, 05:50:04 PM »

No, this is my first year, so no splits. Im just taking notes on all the different chores I may have to do and getting realted information. Splitting isnt a chore Ill likely have to worry about but I have a bad habit of learning all I can on any new hobby I take up. Especially if its getting into my wallet. huh

 But lets get into a question I do have. Optimal brood setup.

 Now, Im leaning towards a 2 deep for brood. Why? Because it was on the first video I saw and was parroted in Beekeeping for dummies. But upon comparison it seems the video (Ed Weiss) is a direct takeoff of everything in the book. So I start looking to see if theres other methods. Oh boy.

 So let me just ask a direct question on that first. What configuration do you people run for brood? And why?

 Edit: Im buiding hives this winter ( I may have up to Cool, along with remodeling the house and making my poor computer room into a nursery. So every little thing may get blown out of proportion at any time.  Cheesy
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Beth Kirkley
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« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2005, 06:05:33 PM »

I have an idea Steve..... why not do a poll here in the forum, and that way you can see the percentages of who's doing what?

But for myself, I have my hives facing the same way as a DE hive, and when I turned it that way I also moved all the brood towards the front of the hive. I also use 2 brood boxes for each hive. But I do have a very unusual hive - one of them. (One hive is 2 brood boxes stacked - normal, and the other is an extra long "double" brood box - my experiment.) Both hives had more than usual brood, but the "double" brood box had too much ventilation. So I had to fix that.

Beth
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NCSteve
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« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2005, 06:14:44 PM »

I saw your experimental hive. That one looks good. But I wasnt going that way yet. Smiley

 What I did do was start making screened bottom boards. Some of which are turned 90 degrees. Im looking at more info on how it works. I thought the reasoning behind it sounded good so I made some.
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asleitch
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« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2005, 03:36:55 AM »

Quote from: NCSteve
Is there anything, I mean anything that beekeepers agree on?


Most beekeepers agree its fun.

Most beekeepers agree if you ask 5 beekeepers for an opinion you'll get (a minimum) of 6 back.

Most beekeepers agree that its interesting and you never stop learning

Most beekeepers agree you are never too old to start

And most importantly!!!!!!!!!!

Most beekeepers agree to disagree on most beekeeping topics!

 wink  rolleyes

aDAM
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Finman
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« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2005, 05:05:40 AM »

Quote from: asleitch

Most beekeepers agree to disagree on most beekeeping topics!

 wink  rolleyes

aDAM


asleitch is 120% right! I have never met so stubborn peoples like beekeepers.  To them it is not enough that they are right. They must convince that others are wrong.

You can nurse your bees in 20 diffrerent ways, but you got same yield. - Why. Because your methods have nothing to with  collecting honey and with the measure of nectar in flowers.


I am a little bit tired to argue with  novice level about freemated queens and small combs and "simsalabim" on the way 50 years backwards.   That is not my idea to be here. That is why I am going to stay away here a while.


Keep on beekeeping boys and girls!

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NCSteve
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« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2005, 06:43:05 AM »

Dont go far Finman. Your head butting no nonsense approach is needed here.
 Dissenting opinions are always needed on a board. Without it it turns into a fan club.
 
 This is what I think Im getting from your posts:

 1) Get your brood levels up as fast as possible before the nectar flow.
 2) Have your bees harvesting the best nectar producing plants you can put them on.
 3) Make sure they live through the winter.

 Simplified I know, but thats how I need to keep it. Heres what Im planning.

 I know Im starting with 4 packages. Maybe as much as 8 if things pan out.

 SSBs on all hives. Not so much because I think it kills mites, but for ventilation and an easy way to check on mites. I do have them made to run both the standard way and the long way, so Ill give that a shot straight off.

 Im running deeps for brood. I have an abundance of 1x12 so thats that.

 The 4 ordered packages arrive Apr 2. Now from what I can see the main flow starts around April 10 and on so I need to get them up and running quickly. Im not trying to get a crop this year, just the most out of the bees. So feeding on syrup with hive top feeders, and maybe something else.
 I dont know if pollen or pollen substitute would be effective because theres already some blooming going on. On the other hand they wont have to fly to get it. I need them making comb and laying, not flying at this time. So Im undecided.
 Adding Honey B Healthy is an option but I hear it works and it doesnt make a difference, so dunno. I probably will because I can if that makes sense.

 Add the second deep when they draw around 70% of the first. Ive read that some people just put the 2 boxes on straight off but that didnt make sense to me. I want my fledgling forces concentrating on one area at a time.

 Now heres a question if you can find it in this mess. Do I feed throughout the combbuilding process until they have the second deep drawn? Or will they tell me when its time to stop by not feeding on the syrup?

 Ill stop here. I have a feeling it could get to be too long of a post.
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indypartridge
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« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2005, 06:44:56 AM »

If it's any consolation, you're not alone.  I'm in the exact same situation and feel the same way. I'll be starting my first hive this spring and have been reading books, watching videos and monitoring various bee boards all winter.  Obviously there's many ways of doing things, and what works for one may not work for another.
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Lesli
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« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2005, 06:53:54 AM »

Quote from: NCSteve
Dont go far Finman. Your head butting no nonsense approach is needed here.
 Dissenting opinions are always needed on a board. Without it it turns into a fan club.


Exactly. I don't want to argue, either, though.  The fact is that I don't know which approach is best. That's why I'm trying something different.

I'm reading the 1862 edition of Langstroth's The Hive and Honey Bee, and on the very first page of the very first chapter, he says, "Practical beekeeping in this country is in a very depressed condition...the ravages of the bee-moth have increased, the success is becoming more and more precarious.. While multitudes have abandoned the pursuit in disgust..."

So beekeeping has been here before, just about 150 years ago.  Then it was the wax moth, which today is pretty much a non-problem in strong colonies.
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Finman
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« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2005, 07:21:50 AM »

Quote from: NCSteve
I know Im starting with 4 packages. Maybe as much as 8 if things pan out.

easy way to check on mites. .


You see the mite level when you open drone combs. Make them 1/3 spaces in foundation that they can draw drone comps. You can take them of and you will catch about 50% from mites.

 The 4 ordered packages arrive Apr 2. Now from what I can see the main flow starts around April 10 and on so I need to get them up and running quickly.
[/quote]

Because bees get food from field, it is not necessary to feed them. If you have 1-2 weeks bad weather that they cannot go out, feeding accelarate larva nursing.

But at spring the temperature of hive is most important. Are your nucs 5 frames or what? - You can give them terrarium hearter 15 W and nuc will develope 3 times faster than naturally.  (cold nights)

You can get normally honey during this summer.  If you have 5 frames nuc, it takes  2 month that hive is able to catch honey.  Dont give up  that vision.

When you enlarge hives, put new deep under the brood box.  If you have warmer, bees like to go to the lower box to make larvas. When hive has 1,5 boxes brood, it has good possibility to keep hive warm.

DONT FEED SYRUP it they get food from field. It only takes space from eggs and accelerate swarming.


In my case, we have none flowers in April when I start to give pollen and pollen substitute. Willow starts  1. of May. In my cottage area farmers have destroyed most of willows. I have just lack of food. I have too many hives in one place at spring.

Quote
Add the second deep when they draw around 70% of the first. Ive read that some people just put the 2 boxes on straight off but that didnt make sense to me. I want my fledgling forces concentrating on one area at a time. .


Add the second box when all frame gaps are full of bees. Put it down.

How much you get honey this summer? - It depends how much you have flowers at the distance of one mile and how much you have competitors or other bees to share your "honey mine".
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NCSteve
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« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2005, 07:32:35 AM »

Heres what Ive gotten from the small cell discussion. I wont call it an arguement because no one called anyone a poopiehead or anything Shocked

 The Lusbys have been successful so far with regressing their bees to be smaller along with a couple other things. The reasoning behind the success seems to make sense. So people want to try it. Sounds good.

 On the other hand, it was tried before and found lacking and is in fact a ressurected approach. Smaller bees I mean.  If in fact just smaller bees was the answer to varroa, and feral bees are naturally smaller, wouldnt it stand to reason that they wouldnt have been decimated like they have been?

 Now, some people say that the Lusbys dont get the credit they deserve because the chem companies dont want us to change to a more natural approach. But lets face it. Most of our respective states and countries dont house the chem companies and really dont care about them.

 For instance, NC beekeepers account for about 10 million dollars annually
just in bee products. Not including the crop growth that active pollination accounts for which could go as high as 20% on some crops.
 If they can find an easy way to keep the bees up and running, I believe theyd use it. After all, more bees = more money. More money= more taxes to them.

 So Im on the fence. People have had success going the small cell way, but until its tested and accepted by the majority I dont see things being changed. But the more that try it to see if it can work worldwide help the process along.

 Edit: Saw Finmans post. Ill have questions after work.  wink
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Finman
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« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2005, 08:07:32 AM »

Quote from: NCSteve
Smaller bees I mean.  If in fact just smaller bees was the answer to varroa, and feral bees are naturally smaller


As far I have had bees, big ones are the best honey collectors. I have no mite problem, however I have had mites in my hives 17 years. This not religion. I just handle them.

 Is a big human better worker than the tiny one: "While the big one turns at the same time the tiny acts"  ....hehe hehh
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golfpsycho
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« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2005, 08:54:42 AM »

I believe the small cell idea was spawned when people began noticing the mites prefered drone cells.  Drone comb can be used as a "trap" to remove mites, but I don't think they can be removed or maintained at levels low enough to prevent the colony from infection with the virii they carry.  In addition, raising drones beyond the level the bees naturally want is expensive.  That's alot of brother in laws lined up at the dinner table, and they don't help with the rent or mowing the lawn...not to mention all the energy it takes the bees to raise them.
I'm fooling around with some small cell, and I keep reading some different bulliten boards to see how they are managing the mites, but when it comes down to it, I have oxalic at the ready to knock them down.  I don't plan on losing my bees
No finman for a while?  What fun is that??  Guess he's got that proto thing going on for the superman gig.   hehehehehe
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Jay
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« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2005, 02:49:59 PM »

Quote from: Finman
You can give them terrarium hearter 15 W and nuc will develope 3 times faster than naturally.  (cold nights)


Finman, I have heard you mention the terrarium heaters now several times, but am not sure which one, what kind or where to put them in the hive exactly. I like the idea of "develop 3 times faster than natrually."

Maybe you could post a picture of one of your heaters and a description of where in the hive you place them so I could get a better understanding of what you mean. Please!?! Cheesy
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Finman
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« Reply #16 on: January 20, 2005, 03:05:37 PM »

Quote from: Jay

Maybe you could post a picture of one of your heaters and a description of where in the hive you place them so I could get a better understanding of what you mean. Please!?! Cheesy


http://www.reptilica.de/shop/product_info.php/cPath/22_25_38/products_id/35/lang/english/index.htm

Here is picture. It is 3,5 m long cable and just put on the floor of hive.  The temperature is at surface about 40C.

I have those in my every hive at spring.  Marvellous development together with pollen feeding.

If you want give extra warm during winter, it must be only 6W to small hive (2 -3 frames) . Normal hive does not need warming.
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Jay
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« Reply #17 on: January 20, 2005, 03:39:39 PM »

Thanks Finman!  Do you put the whole cable on the floor of the hive or just a part of it?  If it's the whole 3.5 meters, do you just coil it back and forth on the bottom? Thanks again for the info! Cheesy
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Finman
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« Reply #18 on: January 20, 2005, 04:36:05 PM »

Quote from: Jay
 Do you put the whole cable on the floor of the hive or just a part of it? D


Just round the floor. 50 cm of it is cold.  Cabel is waterproof.

Queen lays eggs in  frames from corner to corner.
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NCSteve
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« Reply #19 on: January 21, 2005, 09:09:51 AM »

I went to my first beeclub meeting and Ill have to say I feel much better.
The reading Ive been doing let me contribute right away, I just had to make sure I prefaced what I said with, "I dont  KNOW anything but..." Smiley

 Back to pondering.

 So on a new hive the temp is important. Using a SBB, the temp plays a more important role. So Im thinking Ill just slide in the sheet if the nights are cool, so the hive can maintain the proper temperature easier. Yes?

 On the feeding. So youre saying I dont need to feed if I have a flow, even on a new hive?
 Is feeding in the spring only done before the flow to get the bees producing earlier so their numbers are up for the season?
 Then again in the fall after the flow to get ready for winter?

 Adding the second brood box. Ok thats the first time I heard to put it under the first. I dont see the need for a warmer in April so will the bees still go down? Im confused, because the talks that go on about brood box reversals state that bees dont like to go down. Im gonna need help on that part methinks.

 Onto Drone brood. Ok I get that varroa like the drone larva. Should I run a frame with drone foundation in the hives?
 If I do which frame number is best?
 I understand that as soon as its capped, remove it and freeze it.
 Do I then check all the capped larva or just some to get an idea of mite count?
 Do I have to clean it out or will the bees do it if I put it back?
 While Im freezing/checking the capped comb, do I replace the frame with another empty drone comb?
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asleitch
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« Reply #20 on: January 21, 2005, 09:29:25 AM »

Quote from: NCSteve
So on a new hive the temp is important. Using a SBB, the temp plays a more important role. So Im thinking Ill just slide in the sheet if the nights are cool, so the hive can maintain the proper temperature easier. Yes?


Dunno, but my open mesh floors don't have tray. I've never slid anything in summer or winter.
Quote from: NCSteve

 On the feeding. So youre saying I dont need to feed if I have a flow, even on a new hive?
 Is feeding in the spring only done before the flow to get the bees producing earlier so their numbers are up for the season?
 Then again in the fall after the flow to get ready for winter?


I'd feed to get them to draw foundation quicker in the spring. Sure, you don't have to, but you'll recoup the effort in honey later on.

Quote from: NCSteve

Onto Drone brood. Ok I get that varroa like the drone larva. Should I run a frame with drone foundation in the hives?
 If I do which frame number is best?
 I understand that as soon as its capped, remove it and freeze it.


I use about the 4th frame in from the end, so it's on the edge of the brood, but not right in it. I simply put a honey super frame in, which is shorter, and allows the to draw drone underneath. This means on the bottom 1/3 of one frame is drone. A whole frame is too much and will split the colony.

this being the case, I just cut the drone cells off - leaving the worker brood above undisturbed.


Quote from: NCSteve


 Do I then check all the capped larva or just some to get an idea of mite count?
 Do I have to clean it out or will the bees do it if I put it back?
 While Im freezing/checking the capped comb, do I replace the frame with another empty drone comb?


Me, I just have a quick look with the uncapping fork then chuck it in the solar extractor or feed it to the birds. Don't do this near your hive though - take it home or somewhere a long way from the hives.

Heres infected brood on a uncapping fork.



A little mite up close.



Even with this level of varroa, after regular brood uncapping, and a swarm this colony went on to produce a honey surplus.

It's not mine by the way. It's in our teaching apiary.

Adam
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Finman
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« Reply #21 on: January 21, 2005, 09:36:07 AM »

Quote from: NCSteve

 I understand that as soon as its capped, remove it and freeze it.
 Do I then check all the capped larva or just some to get an idea of mite count?


You can catch half of mites away with drones.

There is no need for freezing. Just cut drone combs off with knife and put the frame back. They do new drone combs.

No need to count mites. Just look, are they many or few. So you know that they are present.  If you see tens of mites in palm size area, it means that it is good to handle them soon after you have taken honey off.

If mites are just few or a couple, it is enough when you give oxalic acid to winter ball.

KEEP COOL
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NCSteve
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« Reply #22 on: January 21, 2005, 10:01:20 AM »

Ahh, so just by adding a smaller frame theyll automatically put drone brood under it? Thats good to know.

 That way seems easy.
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Finman
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« Reply #23 on: January 21, 2005, 10:33:35 AM »

Quote from: NCSteve
Ahh, so just by adding a smaller frame theyll automatically put drone brood under it? Thats good to know.

 That way seems easy.


Or you cut lower 1/3 part  from langstroth foundations away, and bees build soon the gap, or you put farrar (low) foundation into langstroth
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Jay
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« Reply #24 on: January 21, 2005, 11:18:44 AM »

Quote from: NCSteve
Is feeding in the spring only done before the flow to get the bees producing earlier so their numbers are up for the season?
 Then again in the fall after the flow to get ready for winter?


Spring and fall feedings are also a good time to medicate. Cheesy

Here is a quote from Beekeeping A Practical Guide by Richard E Bonney:
Nosema disease is caused by a protozoa. It is an infection of the gut of adult bees-workers, drones, and the queen. The disease is widespread and serious. Its effects on workers are a less productive life and premature death. Its effects on the queen are first, reduced egg laying, and ultimately perhaps, her death. The effect on the colony, of course, is a weakened and dwindling population.
Nosema disease has its most devastating effects on a colony in the late winter, a period when colonies are otherwise already stressed and population is normally at its lowest point for the year.
There are no positive outward symptoms of nosema. Infected adult bees show no signs of the disease and a symptom sometimes attributed to nosema-spotting of the hive with feces-can have other causes. The only positive diagnosis comes from dissection and microscopic examination of adult bees or of their fecal matter. Because nosema is widespread in North America and is serious, it is probably best to assume that all colonies have it and treat them accordingly.
Treatment Nosema disease may be treated with fumagillin,which is availabee under the trade name Fumidil B. This medication is administered twice a year, spring and fall, in sugar syrup. Fumagillin does not eliminate the infection, but brings it under control so that the colony can thrive. The twice yearly treatment should be routine.

Hope this helps! Cheesy
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golfpsycho
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« Reply #25 on: January 21, 2005, 11:42:14 AM »

When you get your bees, they should be relatively free of mites.  I wouldn't have the bees waste any energy building drone comb until the colony is growing like a house on fire. They will build the drone comb they feel they need without any encouragement from you.  All their energy initially needs to be spent drawing comb and raising worker brood.  I'm sure you've seen it mentioned in the forum, but I'm going to say it again.  Comb is your most valuable asset, and more so when starting out.  Feeding is a good idea, because they need to produce wax and build comb.  If there is a flow going on, they will usually ignore the feeder and chase the food source they prefer.  IF everything goes well, you have a good queen, the nectar flows happen when the hive population is high, you can get some surplus honey.  If your putting them on drawn comb, it's a different story, but I'm assuming your starting from scratch.  It is the difference between racing to build up a viable colony and placing the colony to make honey.  You can buy drone sized foundation and move to 9 frame spacing later in the year.  Again, the drone foundation in the supers saves energy, less wax, wider comb, equal honey.
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pardee
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« Reply #26 on: January 21, 2005, 04:54:24 PM »

The Bees agree that if you don’t smoke them before you open the Hive they will sting you. You will find that what works for someone else won’t seem like a good idea to you. Certain thing you will have to do. Treat for pests, extract honey, re-queen and make splits etc. I usually look for the things that everyone talks about these are the basics. And if you don’t do them you will fail. I heard someone say once that Beekeeping is farming for intellectual’s. So I’m sure you will find what works best for you.
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NCSteve
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« Reply #27 on: January 21, 2005, 05:57:29 PM »

Thanx for the tips.

 And yes Ill be starting from scratch so cellbuilding will be my priority. Honey production the first year isnt an issue, but Id like to try to do everything I can to get a taste.  Smiley

 And youre right, the new packeges should be relatively free of mites.  Ill keep in mind the smaller frame or cutting the foundation tricks for later. I appreciate all the tips.

 Oh we've started building hive parts, and I recieved a wooden hive top feeder and escape board (triangular maze) that I ordered for prototypes.
 Two fast questions.

 The hive top feeder has silicone in the corners. And its sealed with what looks like poly. Now when I build the others, does it matter what I seal it with? For example, does it need to be oil based poly, and am I just looking at a clear caulk, not silicone? Just wondering.

 Im hearing that escape boards dont work well. What do you guys use?
 Hate to build a bunch THEN find out theres a better way.
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golfpsycho
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« Reply #28 on: January 21, 2005, 10:33:28 PM »

I used to use fume boards and escapes.  I only have a few colonys now and I tried pulling the supers and taking them across the yard, thinking all the bees would go back to the main hive bodys before dark.  It worked in 2 of 3 tries.  The 3rd one had a small bit of brood in it that I didn't see.. so they wouldn't leave.  I ended up just shaking them out.  Wear a veil and some elastics on your pant legs for this excersize.. bahahahahahahah
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« Reply #29 on: January 23, 2005, 04:28:01 PM »

Quote
Is there anything, I mean anything that beekeepers agree on?


Yes, we all keep bees... other than that... no.  Some of us have very strong opinions as to the right way to do things, and those that don't agree are wrong.  As you see even in this thread...

I'm sure I will ruffle some feathers, but I need to bring up some points to ponder.  And I will do so without attacking others just because they don't agree with me...

Quote
Most beekeepers agree to disagree on most beekeeping topics!

I disagree! cheesy
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Do I feed throughout the combbuilding process until they have the second deep drawn? Or will they tell me when its time to stop by not feeding on the syrup?

Most keepers will agree that any time you are trying to get your colony to draw comb it is best to feed.  Mainly because they will draw it faster and much more efficiently.  I personally stop feeding when I put on my honey supers.  Sugar is cheaper than Honey, therefore the less honey they have to consume in order to draw comb, the more honey you will harvest at the end of the season.
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You can give them terrarium heater 15 W and nuc will develope 3 times faster than naturally. (cold nights)

Hmmm... He doesn't believe in Small Cell Beekeeping, but he is the only one that I know of that uses a terrarium heater.  Not that I disagree with his method, just his one track mind, and unwillingness to see benefit in other opinions and theories.
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People have had success going the small cell way, but until its tested and accepted by the majority I dont see things being changed. But the more that try it to see if it can work worldwide help the process along.

I do not see any negative points to Small Cell Beekeeping, but one area that needs to be addressed and I have yet to see touched on in this thread is the fact that smaller cells get capped in a shorter amount of time, and also hatch sooner.  Think about the benefits that be achieved in the interruption of the mite cycle with the shorter cycle of smaller bees.

I don't understand why some keepers fight this Small Cell theory.  If there were some negative points to consider I might see their point in resisting the change.  If bees were suppose to be this big, why are feral combs found to be much smaller than the size of our "standard" foundation?
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As far I have had bees, big ones are the best honey collectors.

If larger bees are more efficient, why are they not the size of cows? cheesy  I believe the colony works as one common body.  Smaller cells means more bees per frame, and I believe that bees are like vehicles.  Smaller vehicles are much more fuel efficient.
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I'm fooling around with some small cell, and I keep reading some different bulliten boards to see how they are managing the mites, but when it comes down to it, I have oxalic at the ready to knock them down.

I agree with having a backup plan, I would not recommend that anyone jump in blindly and assume that Small Cell is going to be the end of mites.  Again, I feel that Small Cell keeping is just an added benefit to the natural pest management program, with no negative points that I can see.  If someone does not believe Small Cell to be a benefit, why not add it to an existing program and see what benefits you see.  I believe you will only see benefits.
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So on a new hive the temp is important. Using a SBB, the temp plays a more important role. So Im thinking Ill just slide in the sheet if the nights are cool, so the hive can maintain the proper temperature easier. Yes?

Temperature is not only important on a new hive, it important to every hive.  In colder weather the colony will not be able to maintain the brood rearing temperature near the bottom of an open bottom or SBB.  And don't be fooled into believing that a SBB is the answer to better ventilation in a hive.  Remember that a hive is just like a chimney and only operates efficiently with proper convection, you must have an exhaust in the top in order to see the most benefit from an open bottom hive.  As you will see in previous threads Finman does not agree.  Test this for yourself by smoking the bottom of a hive with a SBB installed and no exhaust in the top.  Observe how much smoke remains in the hive and for how long(This is best observed with a sheet of plexiglass on top of the hive instead of your top cover).  Now install an exhaust in the top of the hive and smoke in the same manner.  Compare your observations and decide for yourself as to which method would work more efficiently in the middle of the summer.  Would you rather have your bees fanning the entrance and bearding or would you rather have them out bringing in more nectar?
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The Bees agree that if you don’t smoke them before you open the Hive they will sting you. You will find that what works for someone else won’t seem like a good idea to you.

One more point for us to disagree...  I work most of my hives with no veil, no suit and without smoke.  I will use it if I have to, but it only sets them back further because they are gorging on the honey, then once the smoke has cleared they will put the honey back, they are two steps further ahead if they don't need to be smoked.  Some hives can be just as aggressive even after being smoked.  Every colony has a diffirent temperment, get to know your hives.

I hope I brought up some good points to ponder and more fuel for discussion...
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NCSteve
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« Reply #30 on: January 23, 2005, 08:13:20 PM »

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I do not see any negative points to Small Cell Beekeeping, but one area that needs to be addressed and I have yet to see touched on in this thread is the fact that smaller cells get capped in a shorter amount of time, and also hatch sooner. Think about the benefits that be achieved in the interruption of the mite cycle with the shorter cycle of smaller bees.



 I did read that. Something like 2 days saved for the complete cycle. And I agree, it does sound good. And logical that a shorter time to capping and hatching would upset mite reproduction.
 Then I read what it takes to regress bees. Without drawn smallcell, theyll have a habit of drawing bigger comb at first which has to be culled. Even with smallcell foundation, theyll draw the size they want at first.
 Now if you run say mediums for both brood and supers, its no biggie. Just use the drawn bigger cells for honey. But if you run deeps for brood, mediums for supers, then what?
 The discussion on small cell quite frankly was too much. I totally agree that the shorter time taken before capping would be helpful, but the information given on how to go about it seems too much for a beginner. Then you see the guy who posts that he lost 5 hives to varroa. He was running small cell and using FGMO.  
 So Ill hold off on it till I get some bee hours under my belt. Thats all Im saying really.

 
 
 
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Remember that a hive is just like a chimney and only operates efficiently with proper convection, you must have an exhaust in the top in order to see the most benefit from an open bottom hive.



 Got that part already. Im just thinking on options. Just a raise of the top 1/16 with shims or an actual 4" box attached to the top with screened holes with the option of turning one into a top entrance. Kinda like the DE hive. Dunno yet. But I have a few weeks before I start making tops. Kinda wondering how much is too much. Doubt the bees will put on sweaters to let me know theyre cold. Smiley
 People at the beeclub lost hives to damp conditions this year. Id hate to have that happen if I could do something to avoid the same problem.
 Im thinking that I can close off the SBB when the bees are new. And open the hive to more flow as the hive grows and the weather gets warmer. Dunno yet.
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golfpsycho
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« Reply #31 on: January 23, 2005, 09:22:10 PM »

I have a question for phoenix.  I'm trying small cell, among other things.  I read M Bush's postings, along with all the other small cell advocates.  I don't like chemicals in my garage, let alone my few hives.  I guess I should get to the point.
From my readings, it appears most of the feral bees were destroyed.  It would be normal to assume most feral bees, especially swarms cast from feral hives, would be drawing small cell.  Why didn't they survive?  I'm trying it, but it's just a question that keeps popping up in my mind.  If this works, where are all the feral bees?  Haven't seen one around here in years.
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Finman
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« Reply #32 on: January 24, 2005, 01:07:48 PM »

I have had bees 42 years.  I was 15 year I started. I have seen many kind of bees and many kind of beekeepers.  

Very few understand how to get plenty of honey. They do all kind of odd tricks, they find them more, and try more and more? What they learn and why.  What is the goal?

You are talking very old issues. Nothing new to me.  That small cell is 10 years old issue. Why Canadians and Californians have so huge losses in their hives 2years ago?

You have bee university in every state. What is wrong? Why they cannot see solution under their nose, even if beginners know it?

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I have so much experience, that I can see from one sentence, who is beekeper and who is not. Be carefull Cool  

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Phoenix
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« Reply #33 on: January 24, 2005, 09:35:33 PM »

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From my readings, it appears most of the feral bees were destroyed.

I have asked myself the same question GP, I think the key word is "most".  As with everything else in beekeeping, every keeper has their opinion as to whether or not there are actually any feral survivors or not.  If their are any surviving feral colonies, it is due to the fact of natural selection and hygenic behaviour.  When the mites first became epidemic it was a shock to everyone, including feral colonies.  Since they never had to deal with them in such quantities if at all, those colonies that did not have hygenic traits or were of larger descent, could not cope.  Those that did, survived, and passed down the better genetic traits.  That is as close as I can figure.
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Very few understand how to get plenty of honey. They do all kind of odd tricks, they find them more, and try more and more? What they learn and why. What is the goal?

I'm not sure that it is all about getting more honey.  Personally, my goal is to overwinter more hives, without the use of chemicals, and to take advantage of the hives that show signs of positive genetics.
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