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Author Topic: Newbee, second season questions  (Read 1219 times)
saritacoleman
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« on: February 16, 2011, 06:08:25 PM »

So...it was near 70 today (we get a random reprieve here in the 'Ville in the winter.smiley and I decided to go in.
We've been seeing bees fly around on warmer days and every day this week.
I was planning to do it on Friday but saw about 200 dead bees on the ground just outside of the entrance and I figured I'd better go in to know if I needed to add more sugar to the top or order a package now.

The top deep was almost still completely full of capped honey. Most of the bees were towards the center of the hive and there were a lot of them. They didn't seem too bothered by me. I removed the remaining small block of sugar and closed it up. We are planning to rotate boxes this weekend however I'm wondering if this is a good idea because there is so much honey in the upper deep. We definitely need to get in the bottom deep because we have some damaged frames that need to go once they are empty.

So my question is...is rotating the boxes ideal in our situation or should we just go in and clean house in the lower deep on the next warm day and leave the configuration intact?

Also...curious I saw two bees bringing in pollen when there is NOTHING blooming here. Weird.
Another strange thing...I saw a bee carry off another bee away just emerging from the hive...um...why?

The 200 or so dead bees just outside of my hive are a recent development...within the last week or so.

Hope everyone is warming up and well.

Best,
Sarita
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FRAMEshift
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« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2011, 06:39:21 PM »

It's warm enough for your bees to start tidying up.  They are playing that most famous of Life of Brian games, "Bring out your dead."   grin  We had pollen coming in from some ornamental plants at a local nursery.  The bees apparently don't know they are supposed to wait for the red maple to bloom.
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hardwood
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« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2011, 06:50:58 PM »

I think you meant "The Holy Grail" Frame grin

Scott
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kathyp
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« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2011, 08:31:05 PM »

Quote
We are planning to rotate boxes this weekend however I'm wondering if this is a good idea because there is so much honey in the upper deep. We definitely need to get in the bottom deep because we have some damaged frames that need to go once they are empty.

So my question is...is rotating the boxes ideal in our situation or should we just go in and clean house in the lower deep on the next warm day and leave the configuration intact?

by rotating boxes you  mean swapping top for bottom, or turning the boxes around?  either way...i would not do it at all.
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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
saritacoleman
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« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2011, 08:59:16 PM »

"by rotating boxes you  mean swapping top for bottom, or turning the boxes around?  either way...i would not do it at all."

Yup Kathy...that's right. Our only point of reference is this forum and Beekeeping for Dummies.

We've been wanting to pitch the broken frames from the nuc box since we got them...they are on the lower deep most outer part but last year they were always covered in honey or brood so we left it alone.

So...you are suggesting to clean up and leave it be in it's current locations?

Thanks for the other posts...quite comforting. For a first timer my heart just about jumped out of my body when I saw that many dead bees on the ground...and the odd one flying off with another one.

There is nothing blooming here...not even Spring bulbs. The only way a bee would have gathered it was in the trash with someone's discarded Valentine flowers.

Best (and thanks!),
Sarita
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FRAMEshift
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« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2011, 09:23:25 PM »

I think you meant "The Holy Grail" Frame grin
Scott

Arrg!  You are correct sir.   I can never keep the various memorable scenes sorted out.
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indypartridge
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« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2011, 06:56:19 AM »

So...you are suggesting to clean up and leave it be in it's current locations?
For now. I know you're a bit south of me, but I consider mid-Feb too early to be doing much manipulation. This is a winter break, not the end of winter.

Quote
There is nothing blooming here...not even Spring bulbs.
Some trees (e.g. silver maple) start producing pollen very early - long before you'll see crocuses begin to bloom.
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Shep1478
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« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2011, 08:34:02 AM »

I've noticed the Pollen being brought in too. I decided to look up and see what it might be for my area:

http://www.pollen.com/allergy-forecast.asp

It'll tell you the predominate pollen producers in your area. Just type in your Zip Code and go from there! Hope it helps!

Jim
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Jim Sheppard
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www.appalachian-weather.com
saritacoleman
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« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2011, 10:04:15 AM »

"It'll tell you the predominate pollen producers in your area. Just type in your Zip Code and go from there! Hope it helps!
"

That's pretty cool. Thanks Jim. At least now I'll know what is making my husband so miserable in March.smiley
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kathyp
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« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2011, 03:47:29 PM »

Quote
So...you are suggesting to clean up and leave it be in it's current locations?

i wouldn't be doing clean up at this time of the year.  wait until it is much warmer and they are consistently flying.  pull the frames you want to replace.  if there is stuff on them you can either freeze it for later or leave it out for clean up.  they probably won't clean up the pollen, but they'll rob out honey/syrup.

there are no good reason i can think of to turn boxes, any only very rarely would i consider swapping boxes.  all it does is mess up what the bees have done.  if you have issues with bees not moving from one box to another later on, we can give you some ideas.  the first one would be to add any hive body boxes (2nd brood box) under the first.  it usually works better than popping it on top.
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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
saritacoleman
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« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2011, 11:45:41 PM »

"there are no good reason i can think of to turn boxes, any only very rarely would i consider swapping boxes.  all it does is mess up what the bees have done.  if you have issues with bees not moving from one box to another later on, we can give you some ideas.  the first one would be to add any hive body boxes (2nd brood box) under the first.  it usually works better than popping it on top."

Kathy,

Thank you very much for your advice. Doug and I are going in tomorrow if it's still warm to check things out. (supposed to be around 65 and has been very warm this week and quite unusual). We have some crappy frames that came with the nuc that are broken and we have only moved to the outer most part of the hive on the bottom deep. (brood or honey was in there every time we checked after we moved the crappy frames to the outer part) We want to get in to replace them before the season starts and while they are empty. Or maybe they wont be empty...who knows.

As far as the crappy nuc frames...so be it. We have been so far blessed with very good bees that came off of the crappy nuc frames. So much that we are considering a split if everything goes well this Spring.

I'm guessing our success is that it's more the bees than us. For we are a bungle at this.
Thankfully...these bees are forgiving.

Hope all is well with everyone. It's warming up and that is a great thing.

Best,
Sarita





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Bee Happy
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« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2011, 06:59:47 PM »


Also...curious I saw two bees bringing in pollen when there is NOTHING blooming here. Weird.



The pollen color could tell you too - We have cedars here that begin blooming weeks ahead of everything else - a very yellow pollen.
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saritacoleman
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« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2011, 07:59:46 PM »

"The pollen color could tell you too - We have cedars here that begin blooming weeks ahead of everything else - a very yellow pollen."

It was too cold to go in today. It warmed up but not enough where we wanted to bother them. Those gals are working the juniper pollen...bright yellow on most of the returning bees legs.

Resourceful little buggers aren't they?

Best,
Sarita

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