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Author Topic: Opening my hive for the first time tomorrow, some questions  (Read 2196 times)
LEAD PIPE
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« on: May 16, 2005, 12:48:14 AM »

If the smoke causes the bees to gorge themselves on honey in preparation to move, thereby calming them, what the heck happens if they don' have the honey to make them calm  cry
I'm hoping that my queen will be released and I will be able to see some eggs. If I have comb in the center frames and none in the outer frames should I move the outer frames to the center? I heard that you should but I also heard that you shouldn't move frames with eggs. What do I do?

Lastly I am taking predictions on the # of stings I get. The winner may get a free, week old, hive with slightly aggressive bees.
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Lechwe
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« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2005, 06:31:46 AM »

You don't want to start moving frames around on them this early. Let them continue to work at getting a healthy strong colony established. Just make sure it is warm with little to no wind and move slowly and you won't get any stings.


Good luck
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Lesli
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« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2005, 06:48:24 AM »

And use your smoker.  cheesy
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Lesli
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Miss Chick-a-BEE
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« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2005, 08:03:29 AM »

Yes, use the smoker anyway. I believe it helps to cover up some warning smells so the whole hive doesn't freak. Smiley You'll do fine. Just take your time and enjoy the learning.

Beth
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LEAD PIPE
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« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2005, 09:53:37 AM »

It was raining so I didn't open the hive, maybe later today. But I did pull out the bottom board; it had about 25 big black ants on it. I put cinnamon around the hive and sprinkled a lot on the bottom board, is this okay?

Also when I went to feed the bees, sugar water was almost gone, it had about 50 bees inside the feeder. How do I fill it without drowning the bees? Here is the feeder I have

http://www.bee-commerce.com/detail.asp?Product_ID=206

Thanks! you guys are a great help!!
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fuzzybeekeeper
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« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2005, 09:59:24 AM »

Lead Pipe;

I have not had to use a smoker, yet.  I use an old non-aresol, finger-push hair spray bottle that has been cleaned out real good and spray them with my regular sugar-water mixture.  I have used a smoker in the past and I don't see any difference in the behaviour of my hives and I feel like the sugar-water disrupts the hive a lot less.  As soon as I spray the syrup on them they settle down and start cleaning themselves.  Just don't spray them too much because, as someone mentioned here about a month ago, if you spray them with SOAPY water, it kills them.  

I tried to use a bottle sprayer like you can spray plants with but the mist was pretty course.  The hair-spray bottle is a much finer mist that penetrates down between the frames better when you seperate the frames. I guess I spray them a bit more than I would smoke them because the mist doesn't penetrate like smoke does.

And, FOR ME, the joy of working my bees and not getting stung is worth suiting up every time.  And I'm about to hit the hot Texas summer.  I'll suit up and be warm to avoid getting stung.  My choice.

Fuzzybeekeeper
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2005, 10:16:23 AM »

Three tricks to using a smoker.

1)  Use it sparingly.  Assuming the smoker is well lit and bellowing smoke, one or, at most two puffs in the door and one or two puffs in the hole on the inner cover are plenty.

2)  Give the bees some time after you use it before you open the hive.  At least two minutes.

3)  Give them one puff where you've opened the inner cover a crack just before you remove the inner cover.

Opening the hive will disturb them with or without the smoke.  The smoke will disturb them less than a defensive mobilization will.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
Bee Boy
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« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2005, 11:43:23 AM »

Don't take predictions on how many stings you'll get!!! Think positive or you will get them!!
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Bee Boy
gsferg
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« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2005, 06:26:41 AM »

I concur with Fuzzybeekeeper- keep a spray bottle of sugar water handy and minimize your use of the smoker. Current thinking is that the smoker causes bees to fill up with honey and thereby become less aggressive, but clearly they don't *like* smoke- it stresses them out so why not just skip the smoke and give them a treat?

I was reading L. L. Langstroth's book the other day, and he talked at length about using sugar water to calm the bees and make them more manageable- he suggested that the bees will come to look forward to your visits in anticipation of getting fed. Now, I'm really new to bee keeping, but this approach just makes sense :)

George-
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George Fergusson <gsferg@gwi.net>
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Robo
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« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2005, 08:22:54 AM »

The sugar water is good in theory, but not in practice.  From my experience it is not worth the effort.  

Different hives have different "personalities" just like people.  I have found that the hive that sugar syrup spray "works" on, are the same hives that are gentle enough to work without any calming agent.  On the more aggressive hives, the sugar syrup seems to work initially, but after a short period (even if there is still spray on them) when you approach another frame,  you get a cetain amount that "beeline" at you.

Weather make the biggest difference to their attitude, so keep that im mind when you decide to open them up.  I also find that keeping the open supers covered with cloth also helps.

So try and keep gentle hive if you can, but keep the smoker handy and use sparingly when needed.
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"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison


LEAD PIPE
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« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2005, 10:53:18 AM »

Maybe I will try it both ways and see what my hive responds better to, or a combo of a little smoke and some sugar water.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2005, 12:40:24 PM »

I like the sugar water for spraying bees I'm about to shake off.  It keeps them from flying so much.
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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
BigRog
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« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2005, 06:11:54 PM »

Be calm and have your moves thought about.
I swear this makes the bees calmer.

Look at John's post about this
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"Lurch my good man,…what did you mean when you said just now that 'You've got better things to do than run my petty little errands'…….?"
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