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Author Topic: help for the newbie  (Read 3720 times)
sas_marine@hotmail.com
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« on: October 27, 2009, 05:39:40 AM »

hi, im new to beekeeping and have just aquired my passed grandfathers hives, and i dont want to let him down, i do know a fair bit already about the subject but need some professional advice that i cannot find in books, a few questions i need help with and they are>

The hives i aquired have been badly kept due to the old mans health, he didnt have much time to look after them, i have noticed already that the frames are in terrible condition, some frames have holes for the shb to hide, others are cracked, also the laying brood pattern is very irregular. i do however have brand new frames and foundation all ready to go, the problem is, how do i replace those bad frames (which have brood) with new foundation without affecting brood rearing etc? i have a shb trapped iserted also? i know the queens need redoing too. and another thing, i only just got these hives to my house and i noticed one of my hives is throwing out alot of dead bee mummies, any ideas would be so very very helpful, thank you Tongue

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mathispollenators
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« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2009, 07:21:36 AM »

I don't know where you are so I'll answer you as best I can if you are in my area.  I understand about the old frames and wanting to change them out but you need to wait until spring when they are building up.  What I would do with these frams is to move them to the outside frames of the hives.  And let the brood hatch out then remove the frames completely in a week.  Usally the outside frames are the ones the bees don't use and can be taken no problems.  When bees are getting ready for winter they do clean up the hives and kick out the drones.  Also you could be seeing a more serious problem there too so I would treat them for foul brood, mites, and such now.  You are out of the honey making season so the treatments will not affect any honey you would be eating.  I say treat them because there isn't any telling when Grandpa was last able to do it.  I also feel treating for these is like a immunization shot  for kids in school a preventive mantenace type deal.  But at the time I would treat them and wait until spring to start moving frames around to let them survive the winter.

I hope this was a help and good luck with your bees.
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kathyp
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« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2009, 09:58:49 AM »

i have to disagree about the shotgun treating.

  first, you don't know that you have a problem although it sounds like you may  have some chalkbrood.  treatment will not  help that.  second, at this time of the year it's to late to treat with much of anything anyway.    we need to know where you are.  for most of us, we just have to leave the hives closed until spring this late in the season.  hopefully, since they have made it this long without care, they will make it until spring smiley

spotty brood at this time of the year means little.

we can walk you thought the frame changes and whatever else you find in the spring....unless you live in a warm place....in which case, we can help you do it now.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
Joelel
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« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2009, 11:41:52 AM »

hi, im new to beekeeping and have just aquired my passed grandfathers hives, and i dont want to let him down, i do know a fair bit already about the subject but need some professional advice that i cannot find in books, a few questions i need help with and they are>

The hives i aquired have been badly kept due to the old mans health, he didnt have much time to look after them, i have noticed already that the frames are in terrible condition, some frames have holes for the shb to hide, others are cracked, also the laying brood pattern is very irregular. i do however have brand new frames and foundation all ready to go, the problem is, how do i replace those bad frames (which have brood) with new foundation without affecting brood rearing etc? i have a shb trapped iserted also? i know the queens need redoing too. and another thing, i only just got these hives to my house and i noticed one of my hives is throwing out alot of dead bee mummies, any ideas would be so very very helpful, thank you Tongue



Don't do anything till spring.If you need new boxes,bottoms,covers,replace them first by removing all frames and replace them in new ones ,all frames in same order, In the spring,rotate the frames out. The empty ones,take out. The ones that have honey, brood and pollen ,leave all in the same order and move to one side.Replace the empty ones with new ones. As they stop using the old outer ones,take them out and replace with new on otherside with others you replaced, keep moving them over in order to the same side until all are rotated out. This may take you all summer. Don't treat for any pests you don't need to.
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Acts2:37: Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
38: Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
39: For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
40: And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation
Joelel
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« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2009, 05:38:03 PM »

PS. You can take all the honey frames out except one to start with in the spring.
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Acts2:37: Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
38: Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
39: For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
40: And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation
Joelel
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« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2009, 05:46:13 PM »

What I would do is,In the spring ,I would just put the bees in a new hive box with everything new if everything was in bad shape. I would shake them into the new brood box and disguard brood and take the honey and feed them for two months or cut out the honey and feed it to them.
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Acts2:37: Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
38: Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
39: For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
40: And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation
Sparky
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« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2009, 07:19:23 PM »

Welcome to the forum sas_marine@hotmail.com
Like the others have indicated it is best to update your profile to show your location so you can get accurate information that will fit the timing to the task for your climate.
Also I agree that if your hives are "heavy" and healthy enough to make it to spring it will be good stock to re-queen and address the rotations of frames and possible splits to put into better shape equipment.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2009, 08:28:56 PM »

If they are surviving fine without treating, then treating is counterproductive.  Treating will contaminate the wax, kill off the balance of microbes needed to displace diseases and to digest pollen, and otherwise unbalance the natural order of the hive.

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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
sas_marine@hotmail.com
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« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2009, 02:33:06 AM »

ok, so im in australia and in mid spring as we speak, the wheather is warm and i have moved all of these old frames out of old boxes into a new box each!, so these boxes are 8 frame full depth boxes fitted with hive beetle traps. its been 3 days and they are still pushing dead mummies out the door, altho i have done some research on chalkbrood and maybe if maybe these bees possibly could have been affected by the move because the road was very bumpy on the way back with the hives in the utility. so as it stands, i have new boxes, old bees on old combs, (very bad condition combs) i dont think afb is present because it all smells fine and i did pick up a handfull of these mummies and smelt them carefully and they do smell like fresh honey. the other hive has moderate > bad frames and combs but is not pushing out mummies, it seems to be foraging quite well so i think i can leave that hive for a while just for now!

one thing i have never done is spot the queen in any of these hives, yet i do see eggs present so i do beleive she survived the move.. does anyone have any good tips in queen spotting. my grandad said these queens are very old, but i did find queen cells in the brood chamber so im guessing she aint the original, this hive has swarmed in the past.

let me know if im wrong, but this is what im doing now, im going to remove the dead mummies from the ground and add some lime to keep the ants away, im then going to remove 3 or 4 frames of brood and bees and clean the bottom board out, ill rope test a few cells to look for afb. and then ill put it all back together and try not to disturb them for too long, any other help is muchly appreciated Tongue

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SlickMick
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« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2009, 03:01:52 AM »

Welcome to the forum sas_marine.

I am another Aussie on the forum living in Brisbane.. what part of the country are you in? Luckily we are in the middle of spring so the girls will be flying and bringing in nectar and pollen.

I would be interested in keeping your genetics in both your hives as they appear to be survivors and so I would let the hives requeen themselves. What ever else you need to do to clean up the hives you can do now as you have a long season to get both the hives into shape. Sounds like you are in shb territory so you will need to monitor their presence closely as they have the ability to explode their numbers quickly. Just make sure that you have all your frames heavily covered with bees and that there is no space for the beetle to hide out

If you want to get rid of your old brood frames you could treat things like a cutout. Get your new boxes and frames ready. Cut around the brood in the old frames and fix it into the new frames with rubber bands. You could cut the wire holding the comb in the old frames and lie it down on a table cut around the old frame, remove it and place the new frame over it. Fix it with rubber bands.

As regards your mummies and chalkbrood, I have never seen it so I cant really offer any advice on that however I am sure that there will be others on here who can. AFB is relatively easy to spot if you know what to look for.. check for depressed and/or pierced cells in addition to the rope test.  Other pests such as mites that the US has we dont, so frankly I would not do any treatment in your hives other than the shb traps.

I am sure your grand dad has his hives in good hands

Mick
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On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
   And men of religion are scanty,
On a road never cross'd 'cept by folk that are lost,
   One Michael Magee had a shanty.

Now this Mike was the dad of a ten-year-old lad,
   Plump, healthy, and stoutly conditioned;
He was strong as the best, but poor Mike had no rest
   For the youngster had never been christened,
A BUSH CHRISTENING - A.B. "Banjo" Paterson http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/patersonab/poetry/christen.html
sas_marine@hotmail.com
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« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2009, 04:28:47 AM »

not good guys, ive failed on 1 of my hives, i went to inspect and check for all diesease etc etc, after reaching the brood chamber i temporarily stored 3 frames of brood into a spare nuc box, looked down, and there were thousands and thousands of grubs, shb grubs, after looking closer at the frames of brood, i noticed grubs crawling out of nearly every cell! i grabbed my other spare nuc box with 5 premade frames with foundation and shook as many bees as quikly as i could into this box, i had left 2 full frames of honey on the super so i took out 2 of those frames of foundation and put the full frames of honey in there, so my nuc box goes like this, 5 frames, 1, foundation, 2, foundation, 3, honey, 4, foundation, 5, honey...... i stole asmuch untouched pollen from some of the other frames of brood and put it in between the tops of the centre 2 frames. the amount of pollen is approx the size of a kids fist... wat do i do Huh?
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Lone
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« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2009, 09:11:17 AM »

Hello Sas,

I'm pretty new to beekeeping too, so I might not be much help to you, but I am in Australia, Nth QLD, where it is hot also.  It sounds like you have done the right thing in reducing the hive into a nuc box.  If it is 3 frames of plain foundation, that will probably be too much for the hive to handle, even with good spring conditions.  And if there is no brood comb the numbers will dwindle quickly and compound the problem.  You probably won't have too many spare supplies yet, but if you have a strong hive you could "borrow" a brood frame with no bees on it.  You urgently need a shb trap in the nuc box too, but you've probably seen to that.  It might be the case that you cannot help to save that hive, and combining those bees with another hive will strengthen that one.  Consider too that if you had a shb trap, and then got overrun with shb, was the trap set up properly, or maybe you need to try a different kind of trap? 

My advice would be to find someone locally who can help you sort everything out in person.  Maybe your grandfather had contact with other beekeepers, or there is sure to be a club in your area with a list of contacts.

As for your original question about replacing the brood comb without losing the brood, I'm not really sure if this is correct, but I'd try putting the frame on the outside of a single deep because the queen usually lays in the middle of the hive.  When the brood has emerged, get rid of this frame if you want to and move the other frames so you can put a plain foundation nearer to the centre.  If you have honey supers above the brood super, then you can move the brood frame to the top honey super so the brood will hatch there, then replace it as needed.  This is a good time to be doing this.  Try not to put in too many frames of plain foundation anywhere. 

You have the bees, and the genes...so you can only look forward to many exciting times!  Let us know how things are going.

Lone
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Joelel
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« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2009, 12:42:55 PM »

not good guys, ive failed on 1 of my hives, i went to inspect and check for all diesease etc etc, after reaching the brood chamber i temporarily stored 3 frames of brood into a spare nuc box, looked down, and there were thousands and thousands of grubs, shb grubs, after looking closer at the frames of brood, i noticed grubs crawling out of nearly every cell! i grabbed my other spare nuc box with 5 premade frames with foundation and shook as many bees as quikly as i could into this box, i had left 2 full frames of honey on the super so i took out 2 of those frames of foundation and put the full frames of honey in there, so my nuc box goes like this, 5 frames, 1, foundation, 2, foundation, 3, honey, 4, foundation, 5, honey...... i stole asmuch untouched pollen from some of the other frames of brood and put it in between the tops of the centre 2 frames. the amount of pollen is approx the size of a kids fist... wat do i do Huh?

You did good, I just hope you got the queen shook into the nuc. You need to shake all the bees out of the old hive into the nuc to try and be sure to get the queen. They can't build a new queen with out brood eggs. Then take your old hive and burn it so the bees won't go back to it.Put your nuc where the old hive was. Feed them for two months or longer,maybe though the winter. Close your entrance to about 1 inch,that way the guards can keep the SHB out. You most likely will have to move them to a 8 or 10 frame hive soon if your in mid summer with honey flow.They will brood up and get crowded real fast if you got the queen and are feeding them and if any honey flow is on.
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Acts2:37: Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
38: Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
39: For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
40: And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation
kathyp
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« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2009, 12:56:27 PM »

sas_

if you would go into your profile and put your location,  at least your state, you would be able to get more area specific info.  what we in the north might do to solve a problem can be very different from what those in the warmer south might do.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
sas_marine@hotmail.com
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« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2009, 08:20:41 PM »

yer, i cant fully be sure if i got the queen, but im going to leave this hive for 2 days just so they can settle down abit.. ill first try and find the queen,, if i succeed in finding her, ill then steal a frame of comb and put it right into the centre of the hive inbetween my 2 frames of honey and then pray to god haha:P can i possibly take a frame of brood from another hive and put it straight in??? and if so, will it badly weaken my strong hive?? also, i have italian hives, but my queen (i think) has a really big black bumb on her?? im guessing she is really old or i just cant spot her??
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kathyp
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« Reply #15 on: October 28, 2009, 09:03:08 PM »

now you see?  knowing where you are makes all the difference!

yes, you can take a frame of brood and it will not hurt your strong hive.  in fact, i recommend that you do this.  you can take a frame of fully capped brood to immediately boost numbers.  just make sure the queen is not on it.  it's ok to move workers that are on the frame, but you can give it a quick shake to drop most of them off before moving the frame.  thats up to you.  if you find that you do not have a queen in the weaker hive, take a frame of eggs from the strong hive and add it too.

you will briefly reduce numbers in the strong hive, but it will catch up quickly.  it's also fine to take from more than one hive if you have more than the two.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
sas_marine@hotmail.com
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« Reply #16 on: October 28, 2009, 09:12:46 PM »

ok biggest prob is that there aint too many workers in the weak hive, now i would like to add a frame of brood and eggs is necesary, but i will need to add the bees on the combs aswell otherwise there wont be enough bees to look after these hatched brood! so is it ok if i just add them in?? will they fight?? this is all in the same yard aswell so will those bees on the brood combs just fly to their origianl home Huh and one more question,, the 2 frames of honey in my weak hive, will that be a big target for the hive beetle??
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kathyp
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« Reply #17 on: October 28, 2009, 09:39:59 PM »

you can put the frame in with the workers on it. i don't have a problem with SHB here so i'll leave that one for someone else.

you might also want to consider doing a combination of the two hives if you have no queen in the weak one.  you can always split it again later when it is built up.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
Joelel
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« Reply #18 on: October 28, 2009, 10:17:58 PM »

yer, i cant fully be sure if i got the queen, but im going to leave this hive for 2 days just so they can settle down abit.. ill first try and find the queen,, if i succeed in finding her, ill then steal a frame of comb and put it right into the centre of the hive inbetween my 2 frames of honey and then pray to god haha:P can i possibly take a frame of brood from another hive and put it straight in??? and if so, will it badly weaken my strong hive?? also, i have italian hives, but my queen (i think) has a really big black bumb on her?? im guessing she is really old or i just cant spot her??

If you have a 5 frame nuc full of bees,you have enough.I would put one frame of capped brood and one eggs,put them in the middle of the nuc.The one with eggs they can make a queen if they don't have one. I wouldn't look for the queen if you add the the capped brood and eggs. If your new into bees, it might be hard for you to find her.
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Acts2:37: Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
38: Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
39: For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
40: And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation
sas_marine@hotmail.com
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« Reply #19 on: October 29, 2009, 12:13:54 AM »

ok great advise, so before i get into this whole scenario this afternoon, can someone please double check my strategie, (ps, all of this is taking place within the same yard), im going to get my little 5 frame nuc and from my strongest hive im going to extract 1 frame full of bees and brood, and 1 frame full of bees and eggs/brood, and combine it with 2 frames of honey and one foundation frame. with my strong hive, i will then replace those taken frames with drawn comb frames from the super above it.

2 worrying questions for me:

a) will the bees from the frames of my strong hive return to their original hive or will they stay and protect the brood??? these hives are only 10 meteres apart
b) the 2 frames of honey in this nuc are old old frames wich may from the outside look ok but is it possible that these frames of honey are already full of shb larvae/eggs??? (because they have orginially come from the badly infected hive!!

thank you for your help everyone Tongue
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