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pens4cup68
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« on: June 04, 2005, 03:36:18 PM »

Hello.  I have a new hive that I started a few weeks ago.  I've been keeping up with them as recommended by people with much more experience than I have with bees.  From what I understand, bees are supposed to start at the bottom and work their way up, however my top box is the box the bees are working on and the bottom, even though there are bees down there, there aren't too many and no comb is being drawn out.  I was wondering if this is ok and I should do nothing, or next time I work on the bees, should I swap the boxes around so they start filling out the other box.  I was in the hive today, I got to see the queen, that was pretty cool.  She's marked.  Does that blue dot stay on for a good while or will it eventually wear off?  It sure helps in locating her.  Thanks for any help.
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2005, 03:53:11 PM »

So you have very few bees and three boxes?

The bees will do what they want to do with all that room. I think you need to reduce the space until bees build up foundation in one box about 70%, then put on next box.

I believe the dot is permanant.
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rainbow sunflower  Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.   rainbow sunflower

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Barny
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« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2005, 03:59:42 PM »

You took the works out of my er.. keyboard Jerry.  What he ^^^ said.
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pens4cup68
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« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2005, 04:13:31 PM »

No, to be clear, there are only two boxes right now.  A large body (the bottom) and a medium on top.  The top is about 85% - 90% drawn with comb.
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2005, 04:16:54 PM »

Yeah I thought I miss read.

If the top is drawn that much then I would leave it. They will start working their way down as they fill the top one with honey and squeeze the queen down.

But not all will agree with me.
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rainbow sunflower  Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.   rainbow sunflower

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pens4cup68
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« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2005, 04:25:39 PM »

Will do...thanks for the help.  I have a couple more questions for you if you don't mind.  Like I said.  I am new to this, been talking to people who do this, and have read as much as I could get my hands on, so here are some other questions to clarify what I've been reading.  Excuse me if some of these seem obvious, but I would rather ask than have my hive die because of something I did or didn't do properly.

Now this is for later in the season...

I am from the NY (near the PA/NY boarder).  So winters can tend to be long.  When it comes time to extract honey, I am guessing that about 40 pounds of honey should be ample for the bees to live off of during that time.  How's that sound?

Next, the boxes that are used to extract honey, I take it there's no sense to put those back on in the fall since the bees will have their surplus for the winter and there won't be much time for the bees to fill those back up.  Just doing some general maintenance on those boxes and storing them for the upcoming season should do the trick?
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Barny
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« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2005, 04:29:50 PM »

I will not answer any questions concerning geography, but as to the robbing, I would allow the bees to "clean" or recycle your robbed frames of honey.
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SherryL
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« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2005, 05:15:15 PM »

My bees are in a cold/long winter area too - far N. Wisconsin.  I would suggest that 40lbs. is nowhere near enough for them.   I went into winter with 3 hives, 2 of them 2 deeps, 1 with 3 deeps.  Only one of the 2 deep colonies survived.  The other 2 colonies on inspection were clustered, head-first into cells - not an ounce of pollen or drop of honey left in any of the frames.

If it were me, I would not take any honey from them this season.
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2005, 05:18:04 PM »

There are a few around here from those parts up north. I'm sure they could tell you. But I will agree with Barny. If you are just extracting the honey and leaving the comb in the frames then let the bees clean it out for you. That way you don't have a sticky mess you're trying to store.
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Miss Chick-a-BEE
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« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2005, 08:17:01 PM »

I don't know about putting those frames back. What about wax moth? I know they mostly (or always?) like brood comb. But couldn't unfilled comb be a problem with drawing in wax moth?

If it were me, I'd let them clean the frames and then take them away for storage during the winter.

Beth
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2005, 10:48:55 PM »

That's what I meant Beth.  cheesy
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rainbow sunflower  Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.   rainbow sunflower

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thegolfpsycho
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« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2005, 10:58:26 PM »

I recently began keeping bees in Utah  I was advised that I needed to leave on 70lbs of stores for them to overwinter.  I took all the honey from the top boxes and squeezed them back down to 2 deeps, then fed like crazy.  They overwintered easily.

I placed my extracted combs back on the hives over inner covers and the bees clean them right up and take the honey back inside the brood nest. I left them there for the bees to guard until snowfall, then moved them into storage.   Then just pile them on to catch honey when the blooms start
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pens4cup68
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« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2005, 06:55:02 PM »

Thanks...been a help.  I was in the hive today.  Bees seem to be doing great in that top box.  I saw everything I need to see, but still not much going on in that lower box.  There seems to be more bees down there this time though (not much more).  It seems as if the bees are robbing the frames of the wax foundations.  I was wondering if this is something that happens or maybe I'm halucinating.  :shock:  I can't remember exactly what they looked like when I put the bees in their hive so maybe they aren't. :?   Just curious if anyone has ever seen this take place.  I suppose if it comes down to a point where the foundation gets to be junk, I can replace it fairly easily.  I just hope they start doing something constructive down there.  Come to think of it...maybe if I get them off the syrup.   :idea: It's been three weeks.  That could force them to start producing more stores I would guess.  Besides...they don't have any comb drawn at all down in the bottom...they need to get their pointy little butts moving.   :D How about some thoughts.  Thanks!!!!!
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Miss Chick-a-BEE
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« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2005, 07:33:50 PM »

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...they need to get their pointy little butts moving. Cheesy


That's cute. LOL
You can switch the boxes. That might get them going. And yes, you can stop feeding them. If you find they don't have much for stores come fall, you can go ahead and start feeding again. Even if they don't have enough wax (which I'm sure they will by then), you could feed during the winter too some.

Beth
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pens4cup68
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« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2005, 07:48:16 PM »

Sounds good.  I figured it would be about time to knock off the feedings.  Thanks for the help.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #15 on: June 08, 2005, 10:19:29 AM »

>From what I understand, bees are supposed to start at the bottom and work their way up, however my top box is the box the bees are working on and the bottom, even though there are bees down there, there aren't too many and no comb is being drawn out. I was wondering if this is ok and I should do nothing, or next time I work on the bees, should I swap the boxes around so they start filling out the other box.

I have NEVER put bees in multiple boxes and seen them start at the bottom and work up.  They have ALWAYS started at the top and worked down.  Apparently bees don't read beekeeping books.  But I've also determined that they do much better in less space, so I install all of my packages in 5 frame mediums or 8 frame mediums.  I never install them in one full ten frame box, let alone two.

> I was in the hive today, I got to see the queen, that was pretty cool. She's marked. Does that blue dot stay on for a good while or will it eventually wear off?

Rarely I've seen them wear off, but usually they last longer then her.

>I am from the NY (near the PA/NY boarder). So winters can tend to be long. When it comes time to extract honey, I am guessing that about 40 pounds of honey should be ample for the bees to live off of during that time. How's that sound?

Way too little.  I try to get at LEAST 120 pounds of honey for a strong hive going into winter and we have similar winters to yours.  More wouldn't hurt.  More than 180 pounds is probably a waste.  If they have less than that I'd feed them like crazy in the fall to try to get them up to that.

>Next, the boxes that are used to extract honey, I take it there's no sense to put those back on in the fall since the bees will have their surplus for the winter and there won't be much time for the bees to fill those back up.

Don't underestimate the fall flow.  You could miss a lot of honey AND end up with a late swarm if you don't give them somewhere to put it.  Also, they need to clean up the wet supers or you'll have wax moths running out your ears.

>Just doing some general maintenance on those boxes and storing them for the upcoming season should do the trick?

After the first hard freeze I would.  You need the bees to keep the moths out AND you need a place for them to put a late flow.  And I'd store them where they CAN and DO freeze to keep the moths out.  Whatever you do, don't store them wet somewhere it doesn't get a hard freeze.
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Michael Bush
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bassman1977
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« Reply #16 on: June 08, 2005, 12:44:07 PM »

Thanks...that's a good deal of info.  I am going to leave them alone for awhile.  I'm probably an impatient keeper not realizing that we've had a lot more rain and cool weather since the bees came.  That's good to know about them working down.  Considering the upper box is filled I would imagine they should start going down sooner than later.  We have alfalfa in our fields that should be ready for bees in the next week (not to mention clover all over creation).  I was just concerned that if they didn't have anything built up in that lower deep, they'd be missing out (and maybe they would be doing better if they didn't do fly-bys around my head while I'm washing my truck...I guess everyone and everything has their jokers  cheesy ).  Oh...by the way, what do you know of collecting propolis?  Is this something that could be worth my while?  We have an apiary that buys it or trades equipment for it.
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Apis629
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« Reply #17 on: June 08, 2005, 01:01:34 PM »

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Oh...by the way, what do you know of collecting propolis? Is this something that could be worth my while?


Propolis is brough in mostly durring the late summer to early fall.  To collect it you can either buy one of those fancy contraptions or get a small towl.  For either of them the bees will cover it in propolis then to hearvest it with relative ease one should freeze the propolis so it becomes brittle and shattars.

As for it being worth while I have had no intentions of collecting it but you can make allot of stuff out of it. ( From Beekeeping for Dummies-tincture, ointment and varnish for wood.) (PM me for the recipies)
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Finsky
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« Reply #18 on: June 08, 2005, 05:58:51 PM »

My system is, that I let bees gather honey at summer (no syrup).  When combs are capped, I take all honey away. I give 40 lbs sugar to hive for winter at the beginning of September. Hive can be with one or two box.  They manage well with sugar. Our beewinter is from September to April.  At the beginning of May hey start to get pollen outside.

My winter losses are about 0,5 hive per 15 hive. I put 20% extra hives for winter that  I  need not cry for dead, sick or other reasons.

I feel no pain when I rob almost all honey away. Bees have never claimed on my method. They are satisfied, I think.  - Me master - they slaves  Cool
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bill
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« Reply #19 on: June 08, 2005, 10:32:37 PM »

hey finsky off topic a bit but how do you feed the sugar above the inner cover or something simple I hope
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billiet
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