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Author Topic: second story extension. now or later?  (Read 5172 times)
philinacoma
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« on: December 04, 2009, 09:20:10 AM »

Now that I've offloaded the feral hive and swarm I'm down to 2 hives.  The 1st hive was a feral collected about 2 months ago. The second was a nuc brought over from Kangaroo Island.

Both are in single boxes of eight frames. (standard box size for Vic) When I opened them up 2 weekends ago, they had not fully drawn the comb on the outer frames. Should I stick a second box on now or wait a little while longer? I think the big spring nectar rushes may have slowed down. I've only seen bees on some paperbark malalukas, verburnums and a couple of eucalypts in the area. Mind you they probably know a few plants I dont know about!

You're probably the closest to me, Mick. What do you have flowering out your way that your bees are visiting?
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Lone
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« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2009, 05:46:16 PM »

Hello Phil,

I'm only guessing, but I'd say there'd be plenty in Melbourne until they slow down for Winter.  I wonder if your melaleuca is the same as we have here on the creeks.  They gave us our best honey flow this year.

My advice is just not to rush the extra room.  Unless there are quite a few bees on the lid and pouring out the front, there might not be enough to support and protect the frames in the top level.  You won't necessarily get honey in your first season.  Things can build up slowly, but one day you'll see the hive is booming.  Try putting the undrawn foundation into the centre of the super.  Don't put two undrawn frames together, but you can alternate them or put one in at a time, and they'll draw it out when ready.

These Kangaroo Island bees must really be amazing.

Lone
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2009, 02:20:53 PM »

The general rule during a build up is to add room when they have drawn and occupied 80% of the room they have.  Then you can double the room they have.  In other words if you have ten frame boxes and they have 8 of 10 frames of one box drawn you can add another box.  If they have two boxes and 16 of 20 are drawn you can add two more boxes.  The extra room is harder for them when they are small.  Once you have three or four boxes full of bees, you can add all the boxes you like and they should have no problems handling them.
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Michael Bush
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philinacoma
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« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2009, 05:48:57 PM »

Thanks, that sounds like a good rule of thumb.
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Koala John
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« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2009, 07:38:04 AM »

Hi Philinacoma,
I'm in inner Melbourne, and there is a fair bit of pollen and nectar coming in, so I'd add on a super, just to be sure. Even if there is not a large group of gums flowering locally, there will always be something happening in people's gardens, so better to play it safe. If you had booming hives I'd say it's urgent to get them on, but is sounds like yours are still building up, so it's unlikely they will run out of space in a hurry, so take your time. A good check it to gently lift the back of the hive on a regular basis. Over time you will get to know what is heavy and what is light, and if you check every few days you will be able to tell when it's time to super.

Good luck,
John.
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philinacoma
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« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2010, 07:35:49 AM »

Well I finally got around to putting the second box on the feral on xmas day and when I looked at it today, it was just about full. All the comb was drawn and the top half of the frames were capped. In three weeks darn it. I was not expecting that! They must have been busy while I was off with the family on holiday.

I popped the super I had started putting together before xmas on the Italians today too. I had alot of things to get sorted before the trip away, otherwise they would have had it sooner. I did it as soon as I got home from work as when I looked at them on Monday night (after the 44 deg C day) when I got home I could only see white at the very back of the hive. The rest was golden brown with bees. I wanted the super on before the rain hit tonight otherwise I expected to loose of a lot of bees.

When I lifted the lid there was a bit of resistence. The underside of the lid was thick with bees and plenty of comb and honey. As it was cooling down pretty quick, I didn't spend a lot of time examining the brood box, I just heaved the new box on and closed them up. Boy they were the crankiest I have seen them to date but it was the ferals who found a way into my boot to give me a sting when I looked at them.

I had seriously not expected to be in a position this season where I could rob the girls of a little of their honey. I have not tooled up for that at all... I guess I could add a third storey on the feral, but that could lead to other problems. Where I have the feral sitting isn't as good a location as I thought it was going to be and I would like to put them down next to the Italians. Moving them is going to be a problem as I don't know anyone who could foster them for me for a few weeks before I move them back into their permanent location. So if I lump third storey onto the old villa the ability for me to pick them up later and relocate them almost totally disappears. Undecided

So what do I do? I could take the bulk of the honey out of the super and hope there is still plenty of the season for them to replenish their stores for winter, or chuck another super on? Remembering that I don't have an extractor, uncapper, seive, containers to place the honey in, etc. and I don't have the ability at this time to get any of the above. (that holiday really cleaned me out  Cry )

What a position for me to be in. Too much honey! Although I'm sure there would be a lot of people willing to take jars of honey off my hands!

Phil
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philinacoma
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« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2010, 05:31:10 AM »

What no suggestions? That's unlike you guys. Moggy got ya tongues?
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Lone
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« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2010, 07:02:50 AM »

You're right, Phil!  Where have all the Opined People gone to?

All I can say is, I am happy for you and for your bees, that they do not have to eat rocks and mullock heaps like they do here, but I'd be robbing them before they can blink, even if it means borrowing an extractor or going to Spotlight there for a bit of cheesecloth, because the alternative is to BUY honey (hehe...Homebrand...now have I pursuaded you?) 

The bloke in town here who actually manages to get honey from his bees, suggested to me that two storey hives are always easier to manage, that is, apart from his Mick-type hive that he just adds supers to because he needs full military regalia and a bushfire of smoke before he goes within 20 metres of it.  Your alternative may be to pull honey frames and freeze them for later extraction, or even cut out a few chunks of comb to bride the kids into obedience, but I feel that a honey in the hand is worth two in the freezer.

Lone
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Lone
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« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2010, 07:12:05 AM »

Addit: I'd be getting advice on how much you need to rob, Phil, because taking the bulk of the honey might be too much.  I'd take about half in the honey super, but I'm no expert, with a shiny new extraction shed and nothing to extract.  Remember (I do, from 28 years in Melbourne), that winter is just as liable to start when it ought to be summer according to the calendar, and honey flows can end abruptly.  You can always repeat the process if it "Phils" up again.

Lone
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David LaFerney
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« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2010, 08:19:31 AM »

You could just put a few frames of honey in the freezer, and decide later what you should do with it.  If you have freezer space.
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"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." Samuel Clemens

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philinacoma
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« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2010, 08:23:29 AM »

Finally, someone who cares enough to respond! Thank you Lone.  Cry

Oh, I see David just popped a reply in too while I was reading. Ta mate.
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David LaFerney
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« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2010, 09:58:39 AM »

You gotta understand - here on the other end of the world we're kinda in hibernation mode this time of year.  Anyway, I just answered so you would know there was somebody home.  I don't really know what I'm talking about that much.
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"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." Samuel Clemens

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Scadsobees
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« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2010, 12:51:04 PM »

Why not just take 3 of 4 frames of honey out of the middle, replace with foundation, and then take that honey for yourself?

Not all set up yet, but all you need is one or two - 2 or 3 gallon container and a pantyhose (or other more suitable cheesecloth type material). 
Just:
scrape that comb off into the container,
mash it up good,
let it set for a while (ya got the heat!)
scrape as much of the wax off the top as possible
strain the remainder
strain the wax scraped off.

3 or 4 frames will give you 2 or so gallons.   At least you can keep to 2 boxes and still enjoy the harvest.

Or just stick 'em in the freezer.

Rick
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Rick
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« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2010, 08:21:40 PM »

Phil, are you saying the girls dont fly and you dont get nectar in Melbourne during your winters?

Slicko
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philinacoma
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« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2010, 06:05:10 PM »

Dunno yet...
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westmar
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« Reply #15 on: January 15, 2010, 08:27:32 PM »

hi
   i was going to suggest the crush and strain be the cheapest for you.but you bugger your drawn foundation.are you with a bee club down there as some time they have gear for there members you can hire.like old mate said about storing it in freeze er.my first lot i did was 20Lt bucket knocked of the cooks certain.put it on bucket with clothes pegs around top. crushed it in big pot then tipped it in my home made strainer.make sh oar the strainer cloth you got on can sink in to bucket a bit. did a good job for me,only down fall was the cook spotted the certain.
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philinacoma
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« Reply #16 on: January 17, 2010, 09:14:19 PM »

 grin LOL. You crack me up mate.

I have a club meeting coming up this week. I might see what I can sus out there. Only problem with this club, is the size of it. There are 80+ people there each month. It gets hard to find the right person.

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westmar
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« Reply #17 on: January 24, 2010, 10:17:46 PM »

so how did you go mate did you do any good at meeting.at times you get a bit gear come up on ebay often see stuff down that way.
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philinacoma
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« Reply #18 on: January 25, 2010, 02:04:53 AM »

It looks like I am going to freeze it for a bit. I did meet a keep that don't live too far from me. I think he has an extractor  Wink As soon as I get talking to him again I'm going to see if I could just borrow it for a day or two...
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westmar
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« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2010, 12:57:21 AM »

hi
    i don't have that problem went over to hives had plenty rain over there.might get a Autumn flow .took off excess suppers,gave pollan Patty's as molly box don't produce pollan.9one thing about living in a town or a city their be always something flowering.i could brought hives home for a month as sandal wood flowering i can be funny some time it can produce nectar and pollan other time very little.take my hat of to the migration bee keepers.you could soon go broke if you made wrong decisions on a flow or two.price diesel $1.38Lt at the moment old mate said it going up again.it 480km round trip so when you go over you got think ahead a bit.next year hoping to get a few spots closer.
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