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Author Topic: new packages & new beekeeper  (Read 833 times)
sagesounds
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Location: Cocolalla, Idaho

new beek, testing "biodynamic & natural" methods


« on: May 20, 2009, 01:02:36 PM »

As new beekeepers be are starting with 2 hives and installed 3#pkgs with Carnolian Queens on May 3rd, for Northern Idaho that is plenty early.  We have been giving them Syrup (as Per Dr Steiner's recipie) and added essential oils as per the honey-B-healthy recomendations.  We used wax coated starter sticks, (no foundation) to the tops of frames.  The weather has been mostly cold & cloudy with some rain & wind on many days.  They have been busy drawing comb and bringing in pollen on the rare sunny days.  We have not checked the hives because of the cold temperatures.  Yesterday we added another box because they were trying to build comb in the top feeder of one hive  The boxes seem light and I wonder if they have drawn very much.  We will go into the hives as soon as we get good weather to check more on them. 

Are we giving them too much room with 2 boxes?  How soon should we need to add the second brood box?  Do we force them to finish drawing all the frames before adding the next box?

So far we have a problem with ANTS getting into the hives.  One hive especially has lots of small and large black ants.  The big ants have even been seen killing a bee- it had bitten off her hind leg & wing on one side and she was helpless as it killed her and then hauled her off, she was trying to sting it, but the ant was too smart for her....I tried Cinnamon around the hive and even painted it on the hive sides - no effect  Then I tried Coffee grounds all around the hive - no effect, then I put borax & boric acid around the hive - fewer ants but they are still there, I have also tried bait for the ants but they are not interested in the baits.  ANY more suggestions?? I may need to construct a barrior if all else fails but I would appreciate any other suggestions.


ANOTHER PROBLEM is that our top feeders (we made them ourself out of plans)  leak.  We tried to seal them with varnish, paint, beeswax, parafin, and glue... not all together but in various layers as we constructed them.  What is the best way to seal up these feeders?  They are the kind that are a wooden tray, with a center slot for the bees to enter, and wire to keep the out of the syrup tray parts.  They really use them very well and I like the feeders but would appreciate knowing how to seal them up.  (this is also part of the ant problem when they leak)

Thanks for any suggestions...
sagesounds in Idaho
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danno
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Location: Ludington, Michigan


« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2009, 01:12:52 PM »

I add 2nd boxes when 7 frames are drawn. 

If its warm enough for the bee's to collect pollen than its plenty warm enough for a complete inspection.

I use alot of the same feeders and found the only way to seal them is with silicone on all joints
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Hethen57
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Location: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho


« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2009, 01:35:03 PM »

I agree with you...this "Spring" weather has really been lousy Sad 

You really need to get in the boxes and see what they are doing.  With foundationless frames they could be cross combing the whole thing, but you need to check it out and correct the problems (if any) before it gets bad.  I live in North Idaho as well and have checked the hives weekly since about April 18 (at times when the weather has been nice).  Are you using medium or full deeps?  My full deeps just filled out to 8 or 9 frames within the past week, so it has taken about a month for my Carnies to draw out the foundation in full deeps under the same conditions.  Maybe yours are working quicker, but adding an empty box when it isn't needed could be a recipe for disaster.  Also, our temps have really been dropping at night, and you don't want the brood to get chilled by leaving too big of an open space for them to maintain 90 degree temps.
-Mike
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-Mike
sagesounds
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Location: Cocolalla, Idaho

new beek, testing "biodynamic & natural" methods


« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2009, 01:40:14 PM »



We are in Cocolalla, so we are a bit colder than CdA, about 10 deg cooler on average.  I am very worried about the very things you mentioned, and will check it out asap.  Do you have a club or meetings in CdA we could attend?  can we stop in and see your hives some time? 

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Natalie
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« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2009, 02:13:27 PM »

Welcome to the forum, please add your location to your profile so in the future when you ask questions members will be able to answer them according to your location.
Information depends on where you are.
You should definitely get in there and do an inspection. If you are doing foundationless frames I would (and I do) check the hives weekly.
If they get one comb that is out of whack they will copy that one throughout the hive and you will lose all of that when you have to cut it out.
I would never add a second box without doing an inspection first to see if the actually need it.
Bees will build burr comb in the feeder or any other open space for but it does not always mean they are out of room.
If you can't get the feeders sealed up good I would switch to a pail feeder or even a baggie feeder for now.
You say its still fairly cold where you are and having a feeder leaking into a hive is not good.
I hope you can find a club near you for support, its good to be able to talk with and get guidance from local beekeepers that know your area.
If you need anything just ask away, there are many knowledgeable members here that are always willing to help.
Good luck!
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Bee Happy
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« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2009, 02:55:52 PM »


[...]So far we have a problem with ANTS getting into the hives.  One hive especially has lots of small and large black ants.  The big ants have even been seen killing a bee- it had bitten off her hind leg & wing on one side and she was helpless as it killed her and then hauled her off, she was trying to sting it, but the ant was too smart for her....I tried Cinnamon around the hive and even painted it on the hive sides - no effect  Then I tried Coffee grounds all around the hive - no effect, then I put borax & boric acid around the hive - fewer ants but they are still there, I have also tried bait for the ants but they are not interested in the baits.  ANY more suggestions?? I may need to construct a barrior if all else fails but I would appreciate any other suggestions.[...]

place the hive stand "legs" in coffee cans (or bulk food cans) - I imagine a restaurant would be happy to give you a bunch of them.
put veggie oil in the can about 1" deep. If you're using cinder blocks I suppose you could to the same thing with an aluminum sheet cake pan - like the cheapies from the grocery store.

some of the other answers go beyond my experience.
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Hethen57
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Location: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho


« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2009, 03:38:33 PM »

I don't belong to any clubs, but the Inland Beekeepers Association is in Spokane and meets the first or second Friday of every month.  It has members from E. WA and N. ID and is a good club with lots of resources.

I'd be glad to let you check out my hives sometime or help you guys inspect yours, just PM me.  I will be gone until Sunday afternoon.
-Mike
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-Mike
Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2009, 12:41:04 AM »

As new beekeepers be are starting with 2 hives and installed 3#pkgs with Carnolian Queens on May 3rd, for Northern Idaho that is plenty early.  We have been giving them Syrup (as Per Dr Steiner's recipie) and added essential oils as per the honey-B-healthy recomendations.

I assume Dr. Steiner's recipe is for 1:1 syrup.  I'm not familiar with the name.

 
Quote
We used wax coated starter sticks, (no foundation) to the tops of frames. 

Wax coated is extra unnecessary work, just use plain wood slats.  If using wedge type top bars just remove the wedge and mount it sideways so you have a ridge running the full length of the frame.

Quote
The weather has been mostly cold & cloudy with some rain & wind on many days.  They have been busy drawing comb and bringing in pollen on the rare sunny days.  We have not checked the hives because of the cold temperatures.  Yesterday we added another box because they were trying to build comb in the top feeder of one hive  The boxes seem light and I wonder if they have drawn very much.  We will go into the hives as soon as we get good weather to check more on them.

The building of burr comb in a hive top feeder is one of the many reasons I no longer use that type of feeder.  Comb in the feeder has nothing to do with how the development in the hive is going.  Cold, cloud, rain, snow, winds....this is the PNW, normal type of weather this time of year.  Peak at them when you get the chance. 

[qute]Are we giving them too much room with 2 boxes?  How soon should we need to add the second brood box?  Do we force them to finish drawing all the frames before adding the next box?[/quote]

If the initial box isn't 70-80% full of comb and bees then yes you added the super too soon.  As the previous sentence indicates you super using the 70/30 or 80/20 rule, depending on which school of beekeeping you're from.  In a 10 frame hive supering should take place sometime between when the bees move over and begin working the 7th frame or the 8th frame in any box.  The increasing population can force the bees beyond that in a day or 2 lof newly hatched brood.  Forcing the bees to do anything, especially to drawcomb instead of supering can cause the to swarm, even if it is a new package.

Quote
So far we have a problem with ANTS getting into the hives.  One hive especially has lots of small and large black ants.  The big ants have even been seen killing a bee- it had bitten off her hind leg & wing on one side and she was helpless as it killed her and then hauled her off, she was trying to sting it, but the ant was too smart for her....I tried Cinnamon around the hive and even painted it on the hive sides - no effect  Then I tried Coffee grounds all around the hive - no effect, then I put borax & boric acid around the hive - fewer ants but they are still there, I have also tried bait for the ants but they are not interested in the baits.  ANY more suggestions?? I may need to construct a barrior if all else fails but I would appreciate any other suggestions.

At this point the ants are after the same sugar syrup you're feeding your bees.  Later they will be after the wax, dead bees, discarded brood, and other things.  a good way to keep the ants out of the hive is use bottomless or SBB hives with a solid material, like plywood, under the hive so the ants can get what they want without having to crawl into the hive for it.  Since going to bottomless hives I rarely find an ant or earwig in my hives anymore.


Quote
ANOTHER PROBLEM is that our top feeders (we made them ourself out of plans)  leak.  We tried to seal them with varnish, paint, beeswax, parafin, and glue... not all together but in various layers as we constructed them.  What is the best way to seal up these feeders?  They are the kind that are a wooden tray, with a center slot for the bees to enter, and wire to keep the out of the syrup tray parts.  They really use them very well and I like the feeders but would appreciate knowing how to seal them up.  (this is also part of the ant problem when they leak)

Thanks for any suggestions...
sagesounds in Idaho

Best way to seal the joints in home made feeders is with glue and caulking.  Caulk before painting, varnishing, or treating the wood with any curative.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2009, 01:04:22 AM by Brian D. Bray » Logged

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