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Author Topic: Experienced Beek advice appreciated  (Read 1499 times)
OzBuzz
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« on: December 25, 2010, 04:46:16 PM »

Hi Everybody... so, year 1 of my beekeeping career is progressing nicely - i started the year with 1 hive and so far have 20! But i'm at the point where i need to ask some genuine questions of those with experience...any advice you could give me is appreciated:

1) I have one hive, my favourite, a prolific producer of both brood and their nectar and pollen gathering capacity is amazing. She is currently four boxes high (I think i might have gotten a little excited and put another box on too soon although they had drawn out and mostly filled the third box when i added it). The problem i have with this hive is she is slowing down her laying and they seem to be back filling with honey. Now she is not making any moves to swarm - so far - one beek i spoke to said it's like us - if we had 2 million in our bank account would we get out of bed of a morning to go to work? All of my hives are on a flow at the moment! this hive has drawn and filled two supers of nectar in two weeks. I am guessing to get her laying again i need to reduce the amount of nectar on the hive - but none of it is capped yet. So what do i do to encourage her to lay but also cap this honey without backfilling the brood nest with honey and swarming or shutting down laying?

2) Going excluderless for honey production - this is my first time setting my hives up for honey production. I'm going excluderless with them all. In your experience have you found that bees will only lay down pure honey (no honey/brood mix) in the 3rd box i.e. they use the two lower boxes as brood chambers? I have some of my hives as only two boxes high at the moment and i want to get some honey from them. Will i have to wait until i put the third box on?

3) Combining swarms - I've gotten a lot of swarms and i am at the point where i want to focus on making stronger hives rather than increasing numbers. So i want to combine these swarms with some of my hives that could do with a boost. I want to use the newspaper combine method - but should i have an entrance on the top box and frames in there or should i just put a sheet of newspaper down with slits in it and dump the bees on top of that and then put a lid on? Also, it would obviously be recommended to find the queen first correct?

4) Supersedure - i have three hives that, i think, have superseded their queen. Numbers are still high and the cells were located high on the frames - i'm hoping i've been a good beekepeere and discouraged swarming to date. In any case queens have hatched in two of them - i haven't seen them yet but i have seen an open cell, some of the others have been torn down, and there is some eggs in some of those three hives. There are also other queen cells still not torn down. Should i remove those to discourage swarming?

5) When is honey ripe enough to extract? does it have to be fully capped?

I think that's it for now Smiley

I appreciate all of your thoughts and advice - thanks for your time
« Last Edit: December 25, 2010, 05:24:35 PM by OzBuzz » Logged
Finski
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« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2010, 05:55:14 AM »



3) Combining swarms - I've gotten a lot of swarms and i am at the point where i want to focus on making stronger hives rather than increasing numbers. So i want to combine these swarms with some of my hives that could do with a boost. I want to use the newspaper combine method - but should i have an entrance on the top box and frames in there or should i just put a sheet of newspaper down with slits in it and dump the bees on top of that and then put a lid on? Also, it would obviously be recommended to find the queen first correct?


When you get a swarm, you should give a box of foundations to be drawn. That polish the swarming fever.

Then the swarmed hive has lost foraging bees but it has soon extra nursing bees.
YOu should get foragers and nurser bees into balance. So joint that kind of hives.

l
You need not paper. Just put them together if the relation is 1:2 or even 1:3
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Finski
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« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2010, 05:59:19 AM »

.
If you want to build productive swarms, you need 4 kg bees. It is 2 full langtroth boxes. Soon
bees die during working and then add  brood with emerged bees to the hive.

The hives should be in different location that they do not return their home.
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Finski
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« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2010, 06:06:48 AM »

Hi Everybody... so, year 1 of my beekeeping career is progressing nicely - i started the year with 1 hive and so far have 20! But i'm at the point where i need to ask some genuine questions of those with experience...any advice you could give me is appreciated:

1) I have one hive, my favourite, a prolific producer of both brood and their nectar and pollen gathering capacity is amazing. She is currently four boxes high (I think i might have gotten a little excited and put another box on too soon although they had drawn out and mostly filled the third box when i added it). The problem i have with this hive is she is slowing down her laying and they seem to be back filling with honey. Now she is not making any moves to swarm - so far - one beek i spoke to said it's like us - if we had 2 million in our bank account would we get out of bed of a morning to go to work? All of my hives are on a flow at the moment! this hive has drawn and filled two supers of nectar in two weeks. I am guessing to get her laying again i need to reduce the amount of nectar on the hive - but none of it is capped yet. So what do i do to encourage her to lay but also cap this honey without backfilling the brood nest with honey and swarming or shutting down laying?

Hmm, 4 box is not a big hive...yet

Take care that the hive has all the time space to expand.
When nectar flow is heavy, they store nectar into brood area. Lift those honey framnes upp and give foundations into brood box.

Arrange the frames so that the most filled frames are in the topmost box.

When one box is full of nectar, you need 2 more box where bees fry upp nectar. Allways give a new box between honey frames and

Keep brood frames in tight cluster. Don't put foundations between brood frames during the flow.

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Finski
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« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2010, 06:16:32 AM »

.
Why that 4 box hive is profilic?

4 box is minimum size to be a real forager. Smaller hives will be full soon and they swarms in good flow.

Smaller hives rear more brood and their nurser bees and foragers are not in balance. Later they are ready to forage better.
They may have much bees but bees are not so old that they forage as big masses.

When the queen lay during one month, the bees start to emerge after 3 weeks. After winter the brood area is not big. When the hive get new nurser bees, it is ready to rear 3-4 times more brood. So a month has went from start.

So the second gegeration of brood takes again 3 weeks and after emerging bees must be over 2 weeks old that they are foragers.

When the hive has wintered in 2 boxes, it take s 2 month to be a forager. wintered bees die and new bees must be reared to be foragers.

If the hive has wintered in 5 frames, it takes 3 moths to be a forager.

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JP
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« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2010, 11:45:49 AM »

Heck!!!!!!!! I was just about finished with a post to this thread when poof!!!! my response vanished into thin air!!!!


Heck man, I'll check back in later.


...JP

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JP
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« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2010, 12:02:24 PM »

Ok, gonna try one more time!

I think the first hive you mention just needs more time, and as Finski mentioned, pull some frames after they are capped from above the center of the brood nest.

You say they are in a good flow so they should be working on capping those frames in no time.

I don't use excluders and my particular bees usually lay in two to three boxes, no more. If you wind up with pollen in a few frames above the brood boxes just give these back to the hive or another hive that needs them or freeze them for future use.

I prefer to combine queenright with queenless colonies and use newspaper method. Swarms can be extremely good producers so don't forget to give them a chance to show their true colors, you could always combine later.

Usually combines happen within 36 hours, you will have to check on them if no top entrance is given.

When a colony supersedes successfully, they will either close the remaining cells or tear them down. Don't worry about them.

General rule of thumb is when 7 of 10 frames of honey are capped you can likely pull that box, but if you just pull capped frames its a no brainer or use a refractometer if you want to be certain.


Best of luck!


...JP
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Finski
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« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2010, 01:30:01 PM »



. Swarms can be extremely good producers so don't forget to give them a chance to show their true colors, you could always combine later.



...JP

A Swarm can produce some but its ability collapses after a week. - What about the rest of hive where the swarm left. It brings nothing.

Swarming use to destroy your yield...It mixes bees head for long time.

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JP
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« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2010, 06:13:47 PM »

I don't know if I'm following you correctly Finski in regards to your comment referring to swarms collapsing after a week. This makes no sense at all to me.

I'm not referring to swarms from the same bee yard, the swarms I catch are not my bees, they are likely feral or from someone else's bees.

I have had many, many swarms that were absolutely incredible producers, in fact two such swarms that were set up this season are over wintering in my Dad's backyard in four boxes each.

Perhaps swarms in your area don't amount to much, not so down here.


...JP
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OzBuzz
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« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2010, 07:56:13 PM »

Thanks guys for your advice, it's much appreciated... I consolidated the four box hive I mentioned. WOW! amazing! There were a few frames full of nectar in the brood nest and a few drawn frames in the honey supers. So what I did is took the nectar frames out of the brood nest and put them up in the honey supers. I replaced the frames I took from the brood nest with the drawn frames from the honey super. There is ample pollen in there - I took one frame of pollen and another of nectar and put them in a nucleus that I just moved across to a full size box – I replaced those frames with undrawn foundation down in the brood nest (but on the outside of the brood cluster – frames 3 & 6 in the bottom brood box). There was also a frame in the very top box completely full of fresh eggs so I moved that down in to the brood nest and reconsolidated the brood. I left it with brood in the centre and frames 1 & 8 full of pollen and frames 2 & 7 half pollen/half nectar and then brood nest from frames 3 – 6 (except in the very bottom box where frames 3 & 6 are undrawn foundation). I also moved two frames of emerging brood to the top box for them to back fill with honey once the brood emerges. At the end of the consolidation I had 16 frames of nectar in the top two boxes ready to be capped. I also have a bit of room in the brood nest for the queen to lay in.

In regard the Queen cells in the three hives - I’ve noticed in one of them that there is still a laying queen in there without any of the cells having been opened. I'm guessing that they might want to swarm – I’m guessing though since she is still laying I might have a few days before they swarm. I've been told that if I shake all of the bees out the front entrance of the hive and then put an excluder between the landing board and the brood nest the queen will make her way back in but not be able to get through the excluder so the next day when I go back the queen will be under the excluder with a few bees clustered around her. I can then put a divider board on top of the brood nest with another entrance on it, move the queen cells to the top box with some frames of bees and stores and then leave the queen in the bottom box with the field bees returning there. Does that sound like a good idea – or should I just let nature take its course and hope that I can catch any swarms if they happen? Then when a queen hatches in the top box and is laying I can remove the other queen cells, assess her, and then combine the two boxes again taking away the other queen and maybe starting a nuc with her.

Is it true that if the queen is shaken out the front she will make her way back in to the hive? Does it have to be sitting on the ground for that to happen or is it ok if it’s sitting up on blocks? Surely she would have to walk in rather than fly… 

I'll have a shot at doing some combines using the newspaper method - I want to strengthen a few hives and focus on honey production now. Is it possible to combine hives that have been in the yard for some time (obviously after making the hive that I will be adding to the top queenless)? Would the time taken for the hives to combine be sufficient for the bees in the top box to not go back to their original location?

In regard swarms being productive. My second most productive hive is a swarm! Capped honey four days after adding undrawn foundation! But she is also the hottest hive I have…

Thanks again for your assistance
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Finski
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« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2010, 02:39:10 PM »

I don't know if I'm following you correctly Finski in regards to your comment referring to swarms collapsing after a week. This makes no sense at all to me.

If you have 2 kg swarm, it draws foundations in a weeks and durin that time it lays the box full of brood.  It is not able any more to get surplus honey because its force goes to rear new bees.

It takes allmost 4 weeks that it get new bees. During that time its foraging power has been collapsed because half of swarm bees have died.

Now it takes over 2 weeks that new bees start to forage.


Lets look time table:

virgin bee   10 days to first lay  .... 3 weeks to emerge =5 weeks. Then 2 week old bees a lot means 3 weeks =  5+3=8 weeks.

If you a laying queen, it start laysin after 3 days when some of foundations has been drawn. Its shedule is almost same as with virgin queen.

But if the hive gets all the time new bees, its capacity to forage becomes better.
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rdy-b
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« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2010, 05:46:50 PM »

I don't know if I'm following you correctly Finski in regards to your comment referring to swarms collapsing after a week. This makes no sense at all to me.

If you have 2 kg swarm, it draws foundations in a weeks and durin that time it lays the box full of brood.  It is not able any more to get surplus honey because its force goes to rear new bees.

It takes allmost 4 weeks that it get new bees. During that time its foraging power has been collapsed because half of swarm bees have died.

Now it takes over 2 weeks that new bees start to forage.


Lets look time table:

virgin bee   10 days to first lay  .... 3 weeks to emerge =5 weeks. Then 2 week old bees a lot means 3 weeks =  5+3=8 weeks.

If you a laying queen, it start laysin after 3 days when some of foundations has been drawn. Its shedule is almost same as with virgin queen.

But if the hive gets all the time new bees, its capacity to forage becomes better.
  YES what hes speaking of is the same as the old debate over nucs vs packages-only thing is the time tabel actualy gets pushed up and nures bees begin to forage earler -they will take full advantage of a flow-a flow would cghange that time tabel--RDY-B
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Finski
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« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2010, 03:34:28 AM »

.Every spring I have weak colonies. I may strengthen them in late spring when I am able to take emerging brood from big hives. The hive goes well when it has a box full of larvae.

Then becomes swarming time. I split with flying false swarm technique hives and I have brood part and bee part. If I join them too earlier, they will swarm again.

When main yield season begins, it is rape or raspberry. Because flow is huge, the hive need a good hive to handle nectar and carry it. It needs lots of different age bees and emerging bees.

When I carry hives to main pastures I join larva hives with non larva hives to get the colony into balance. Yield season continues about a month and the hive needs never power to hit on pastures when weather is favourable.


If the yield ceases earlier in some place, I may take mere foragers to the place where they are useful.
I put an extracted box of frames over the hive, and when the box is full of sucking bees, I move them to aid another hive in foraging.

Last summer I had a one box nuc lonely on raspberry yields. The hive gathered 40 kg honey in 10 days. It was as much as 5 box hives gathered.

Problem was that the colony worked itself to death. Only small amount of forages and 5 frames sealed brood.
I added a swarmed colony to the hive and it started work again.



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