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Author Topic: Package installed today.  (Read 2147 times)
fermentedhiker
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« on: April 25, 2009, 05:09:04 PM »

A friend and I drove down to Warm Colors Apiary and picked up our packages of Russians today.  A 5 hour drive each way makes for one long day.  My install went ok.  The girls didn't all fall out on the first shake(I used the technique in the beemaster youtube video) but when I pulled back to give it another shake the fell out on the ground.  What fun Smiley.  I installed they on HSC that I sprayed with sugar water and used a queen excluder underneath the hive body.  I ended up direct releasing the queen because they were obviously in love with her already and I couldn't get the cage to fit in the way I wanted.  They got a little cranky with me messing with them after awhile.  Never got a sting but did get some serious facial harassment.

http://img412.imageshack.us/gal.php?g=dscn0001.jpg

As a side note my buddy got 5 packages and his fourth went ballistic, gave him 7 stings I think a couple on the face, ouch.  I wasn't there to witness it but when I talked to his wife she said that they not only stung him but chased her and a neighbor who was watching away.    I guess I should be happy all I got was a face battering  grin
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2009, 05:25:10 PM »

7 stings is not ballistic.  Ballistic is hundreds...  that's just a little wound up.
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Michael Bush
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fermentedhiker
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« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2009, 05:36:07 PM »

True enough MB.  Any thoughts on why this one package was so much more defensive than the others. ?  I always thought a package wouldn't be very defensive since they don't have any resources to protect.
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TimLa
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« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2009, 04:14:43 AM »

I'm with Michael - 7 stings is just a message:  "We're not amused, and you'd best just wrap this up."  smiley.  I wonder if maybe they were dropped?  Queen acceptance issues?  It would be interesting to see how aggressive they are in a couple of months with new bees raised from the new queen.

I've only done two installs, no aggression, they just moved right in.  A couple of days later, replaced the inner cover poultry feeder with no gear/veil/gloves/smoke, they just stared at me through the inner cover hole, waiting for Dad to give them some more food.

It was very Zen.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2009, 05:55:51 AM »

I would guess the can ran out of syrup.
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Michael Bush
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contactme_11
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« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2009, 10:45:24 AM »

Please see this thread, I bought these from the same apiary the day before http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php/topic,21644.0.html
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contactme_11
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« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2009, 03:17:15 PM »

As a side note my buddy got 5 packages and his fourth went ballistic, gave him 7 stings I think a couple on the face, ouch.  I wasn't there to witness it but when I talked to his wife she said that they not only stung him but chased her and a neighbor who was watching away. 

Did he get italian or russian packages?
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fermentedhiker
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« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2009, 07:28:35 PM »

Both his and mine were all russians.  I was talking to him today and he took about twelve stings total.  Which I know isn't a lot but it did seem unusual for a package with nothing to defend.  He said the minute he started dumping them out they went after him getting up under his veil and going to town on him.  It was the only one he had trouble with.  The only thing he noticed is that when the package was assembled the supplier crushed about twenty bees on top of the syrup can, could that amount of alarm pheromone be the cause of their aggression?    contactme_11 if yours are russians they definitely aren't related to the queen.  My package is total mutts.  From looking like pure italian to pure russian and everything in between.  I don't know who Warm Colors actually gets the packages from.  I'm pretty sure he just drives down and picks them up himself.

On a positive note mine are still hanging around.  Don't seem to be bringing in a lot of pollen though.  They've ignored the boardman feeders I set out on a rock in a flower bed about 100 yards away so they must have found something in bloom.
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contactme_11
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« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2009, 08:25:06 PM »

I bought 3 of the ""italian" packages he was selling and a russian queen for a nuc. I agree they do look like mutts but I'm hoping the queens that came with the packages are better. They seem to have calmed down for now but who knows. The guy at warm colors does drive down and pick them up himself. I've known him for a while and he seems like a pretty good guy, I don't think he would knowingly sell something he didn't think was pure.
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Hethen57
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« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2009, 08:39:24 PM »

I observed a wide variety of bees, mostly Italian, in my packages of Carnolians from a supplier out here.  The guy said the packages are just a mix of whatever they shake out of the hives, it is the queens that are a Carnolian.  It has worked out fine for me, as they seem to have a decent temperment, but it will be interesting to see if your hive temperment mellows as the new brood gradually replaces all of those package filler bees.
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fermentedhiker
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« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2009, 08:49:07 PM »

Indeed.  I'm really looking forward to seeing what they are like by the end of June.
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fermentedhiker
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« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2009, 10:14:21 AM »

Finally got a break in the weather so I could take the queen excluder out from under the hive body.  Went fairly smoothly.  They have also started taking syrup from the open boardman feeders.  Doesn't look like they have expanded very far yet.  Hopefully this month will be a good one and they will get built up nicely.





I should've done a more thorough inspection but I have to admit I wimped out.  The black flies were eating me alive.  Funny thing I'd forgotten from last year, they can fly right through the veil and you can't get at them.  Very distracting to being trying to look for signs of brood in the hive while you feel something gnawing at your flesh.

better pics next time I promise.

FH
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annette
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« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2009, 12:35:30 PM »

I like your hive stands by the way and was wondering where you got them?

Annette
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fermentedhiker
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« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2009, 02:57:49 PM »

I like your hive stands by the way and was wondering where you got them?

Annette

Thanks.  I built them.  I used a typical cedar/cypress hive stand as a top and them built a box frame(kind of like a kitchen chair) to support it.  I used pressure treated 1/3's for the frames supports and pt decking uprights for legs.  The design has since evolved to save material and money.  The first step was to omit the cedar hive stand part.  The bees hardly ever use it anyways and it's just something else to build/buy.  My latest version is sized to fit a slatted rack instead of a bottom board.  This saves another item to build/buy(the bottom board).  I was going to just staple #8 screen on the bottom of it to make a screened bottom, but I've decided to make a separate frame with screening so that I can separate it from the slatted rack for cleaning.  I built the stand so that the bottom boards have a gap under them so that I can slide a piece of 1/4" plywood under to block off the screen.  I also tacked on a couple of scrap 1x3 pieces on the bottom frame supports that lets me rest a plastic observation tray on it for trying to do mite counts.  Mostly I intended to just leave it open so debris just falls to the ground and the ants clean it up.  This is my first year trying them so we'll see what flaws real world use uncovers  grin
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annette
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« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2009, 10:50:33 PM »

I am always interested to know other ways of doing things.  I have  some really good hive stands, but they have been very expensive also to have made up. I am not handy at all and hired someone to make them for me.

Are your stands really strong???
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fermentedhiker
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« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2009, 08:52:16 AM »

quite strong really.  I've done handstands on them with out so much as a flex or creek out of them.  I know that they look much lighter built than some other hive stands I've seen on here(common lumber seems to be 4x4's and/or 2x6's etc) which is perfectly fine, but if you examine the strength of the lumber they are wayyyy overbuilt.  Not that I'm knocking them, overbuilding is something I'm fond of  Wink.  The only issue these stands could have is being tippier because of narrower contact surface.  My hope is that as the hives gain weight the leg will actually sink into the ground a bit at which point a fully loaded hive will be very hard to tip over.  I plan on checking them periodically with a level to make sure they stay balanced.   They didn't cost much to make( 2 8' 1x3's and 2 railing uprights and some gorilla glue and galvanized sheetrock style screws) and they don't really require much for tools or skill.  A saw of some type and a screw gun is all it takes.
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annette
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« Reply #16 on: May 11, 2009, 12:10:27 AM »

Thanks for the info

Annette
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fermentedhiker
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« Reply #17 on: June 06, 2009, 07:42:10 PM »

Second package finally showed up today.  This one has a Caucasian queen.  It'll be interesting to see the difference as the hives build up.  They were a bit excitable but nothing to right home about.  There was a good bit of drifting to my other hives after the initial dump.  I may end up stealing a frame of capped brood minus the bees from the Russian package to help the Caucasians catch up.  About 1 hour after I hived them I started getting attention from an occasional guard bee while I did yard work approximately 60 ft from the hives.  Kind of annoying but again nothing to make me worried.  Hopefully they'll settle down once they get used to the new digs and as emerging brood replaces the random package bees.

http://img268.imageshack.us/gal.php?g=dscn0001w.jpg
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RickeyENC
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« Reply #18 on: June 06, 2009, 08:00:05 PM »

I had a package of Russians that were also a bit ornery, come to find out though they had started building comb in the package and must have already considered it home. 6 stings on the install, but they are going gangbusters now and have not shown any signs of being a hot hive since that day.
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fermentedhiker
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« Reply #19 on: June 06, 2009, 08:10:31 PM »

I can see how that might get them a bit defensive.  Wink

There wasn't any comb in this package and I really can't complain.  I only got one sting and that was because I forgot to put something around the ankles of my carharts and one of the girls crawled up my leg.  She tagged me on the side of the knee while I was trying to shake her down.  In fact I'm not even sure the guards that were showing interest in me were from the new package.  I never saw one come at me all the way from the hive.  They would just appear near my head and start cussing me out.  It's possible that all the "drifters" entering the Russian hive and overwhelming the guards made them more agitated than usual.  I'll have a better idea what they'll be like in a month.
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Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.
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