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Author Topic: It seems simple...unless you're a newbie.  (Read 2135 times)
Intheswamp
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« on: June 27, 2011, 05:10:13 PM »

Supers, brood chambers, frames, foundations, no foundations, covers, bottom boards, 8-frame or 10-frame, smokers, feeders, etc., etc.,.  All simple things to the experienced, but to a newbie, something as seemingly simple as a 90-cent frame can be downright intimidating!!!! Undecided

Ok, this is gonna be kinda long and part of it is a paraphrase from my original introduction (so it might at first sound familiar to a few of you). Smiley

We finally decided this past weekend after I attended a meeting at OJ and Lucy Blount's honey farm to commit to starting a couple of hives.  I had a fantastic time meeting with them and experiencing their operation and walked away with a bit more understanding of things.  I had been reading and researching extensively prior to the meeting and I'm now confident that I know just enough to be dangerous.  I'm still trying to get a grip on the general needs and concepts of beekeeping.  Wink  We have no previous background with bees.  I will say that it has been a *long* time since I've seen a honeybee around here...bumblebees, carpenter bees, yes, honeybees...no.  Sad

We're located in a rural area in Crenshaw County, Alabama...lot's of pine forest with some oak thrown in, 2-3 small ponds/lakes within a mile or so of our house, english privet (maybe finally get a use out of it!), a yard full of crape myrtle trees, bahia hayfields, honeysuckle vines, mimosa trees, wild blackberries, miscellaneous flowers around the yard, etc.,.  Mr. Blount gave me some vitex plants and I've got them planted in four hills.  There is probably 50 acres of overgrown fields with dog fennel, golden rod, you name it in it across the road from us.  I will being planting some other bee friendly plants.

Our plans are to start out with two hives of Italian bees (or ferals if we can get a swarm or two) but right now I'm trying to get all of my ducks, er, bees in a row in regards to equipment and structures.  I tend to over-research things when I get interested in them and this appears to be no different.  

My plan (unless I opt to purchase some existing hives that are available) is to go with all medium sized boxes.  I like the idea of being able to easily swap out same sized equipment and also of the lighter weight (I aint' gettin' any younger!).  I haven't decided yet whether to go with an 8 or 10 frame system, though...the lighter weight of the 8-frame system is appealing but so is the extra two frames of HONEY (hopefully).   I'll have to read more on Michael Bush's website.   Wink   Even if I purchase the established hives that I mentioned (they are 10-frame) I can always drop back down to an 8-frame by using the follower boards.

It seems like a lot of stuff to assimilate....housing, feeding, health issues, sourcing bees, learning the bees, honey harvesting,  Going into this I know two hives isn't a giant endeavor (but it is to us!) but we want to do it right and be responsible beekeepers with healthy hives.  I've got enough property here to expand from the two hives and some property over along a river/swamp bottom that I could even further expand to in the future if things get out of hand.  grin  But for now, having two hives is our goal.

I'm not sure there's still time to get a couple of colonies going this summer or not...it would be nice to get them going this year so we could harvest some honey next spring.  But either way, we'll be patient.

I'm planning on odering 10 cypress medium supers from Rossman, along with 2 cypress 9-5/8" hive bodies.  I will use up to three of the mediums for the brood chambers which will leave me enough mediums to go up two honey supers on each hive.  The 9-5/6" hive bodies will be used as a top cover for bottle feeders.

I'm hoping to build my bottom boards and ventilated top feeder designed after OJ Blount's....the designs can be see here:  (I'll post the link later when my post count is hgher and allows it. Smiley )   Additionally a standard telescoping cover will go on top.

Having the above somewhat figured out I still am struggling with the frames.  I know I won't be purchasing a ready-made extractor for my two hives, but I may try to rig something up using a drill and some wire mesh framing.  I like the idea of foundationless frames for the brood chamber...small cell sizes that the bees prefer and good for mite suppression.  

But, what about the honey supers?  Seems it would be a bit tricky in regards to using an extractor and foundationless frames.  If I build a small DIY tangential extractor where one large surface of each frame faces outward toward the vat/bucket (I will have to turn the frames around for each side to be extracted) will the foundationless combs hold together in this position if well supported by a mesh screen?  I've see where Michael Bush stated that he uses a radial extractor on foundationless frames and it works fine.  Huh

I've pretty much decided to go with the grooved top bar frames with popsicle sticks for the brood chamber but would love to hear some thoughts on what to use in the honey supers.

Queen excluders...  It seems that these are frowned upon by some folks...I've even seen them called "honey excluders".  It seems it would be good to exclude the queen from those supers but apparently there is a large negative impact to the hive from the use of the excluders.  What is so bad about using the queen excluders and how is the hive managed to keep the queen from laying eggs in the honey supers without using an excluder?

Sorry for all the questions.  I should be able to figure all this simple stuff out being how simple-minded I am.  tongue   Anyhow, I'm trying to work up an order and I would like to get all that I can in a single order to help on shipping costs...figuring out the frame and foundation issues would help a bunch!!

Thanks for your help and thanks for taking the time to read through this long, rambling newbie message!!!!

Ed
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American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev
Riggs
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« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2011, 06:39:56 PM »

Whew, now that was a post  Smiley...good luck in your venture, I don't feel like I've been doing this long enough to offer anything to you but my best wishes. having said that, you are in the right place to learn. Good luck
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AllenF
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« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2011, 08:38:39 PM »

First thing to learn, there are few totally all right and all wrong ways to do anything with beekeeping.   But a few, don't use excluders until you have fully drawn comb in your frames of your supers first.    Then (2nd or 3rd year) you can use them if you will.   I was extracting Sunday afternoon and ran across a frame full of brood in a super.   Why would she do this was my second thought.   You don't need to hear the first thought.   It happens.   

Time and experience are your best teachers.  (School of hard knocks)   But it is much easier to ask someone.   And there are normally 2 ways of doing any one thing.  Ask 2 beekeepers and you will get 3 answers.  But I think you have a good idea on what's going on.
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annette
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« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2011, 11:08:37 PM »

I started beekeeping in 2006 with one hive. Now I have 5.  I went through many transitions, but now use only all mediums for everything. I never use the queen excluder and don't worry about where the brood goes. When they start to make honey they usually put the honey up above the brood and most frames will be pure honey that you can extract. If I find a frame that is mixed honey and brood, I just leave it for the bees.

I do all foundationless frames now and let the bees draw out the comb as they want. I sold my extractor because it wasn't worth the trouble for just a few frames of honey. Now I do all crush and strain and let the bees draw out new wax every year.

I use the honeyrunapiary ventilated cover on top which gives them an upper entrance as well as the bottom entrance.

I use a screened bottom board all year round (leave it open)

Things have gotten better and better each year with the bees and I am finding it much easier than the first few years. My biggest problem right now is they have hardly made any honey this year due to so much raining. I will probably have to start feeding them soon.

It does sound like you have all the information you need and have done a great job researching. I think you are on the right track.

Good Luck in your decision making

Annette
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L Daxon
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« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2011, 12:51:31 AM »

Ed,

Welcome to the addictive world of beekeeping.  A few thoughts on your comments:

Yes you still have time to get a couple of hives established, but your time is running out.  You just need to feed them and get them strong enough to make it through the winter, which shouldn't be too harsh where you are.

I use all medium 8 frame boxes but in most of my 8 frame boxes I can squeeze in 9 frames if I push hard enough.  I start with the 9 frames and then when they are all drawn out, drop back to 8, keeping the extra frame on hand for expansion or as back up if I catch swarm, etc.  Or removing the 9th frame if I think they need the ventilation, etc.

I second what Allen said about no totally right answers.  You will get a lot of different points of view here, and sometimes advice is specific to where you are located and conditions there.

But some of the things there seems to be a concensus on at this site are:

-Avoid queen excluders (they just slow up the girls getting from brood box to the supers).  They really aren't needed.
-Don't routinely destroy queen/swarm cells--it can lead to making your hive queenless.
-Don't over feed.  And certainly don't feed when you have honey supers on--they just story the sugar syrup and you think it is honey.
-Don't be in a hurry to medicate your colonies, unless you think you need to to keep the hive from dying.  There are lots of good IPM (Integrated Pest Management) techniques you can use to help with varroa, shb, etc.
-Use the search feature on this site to look up a lot of the issues you have questions about.  Chances are the info you are looking for has been discussed on here multiple times before, but that doesn't mean you can't ask a question again.

Hope you end up enjoying being a beekeeper as much as I do.

Linda D
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Intheswamp
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« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2011, 09:43:45 AM »

Thanks for the welcomes and words of encouragement....I definitely need the encouragement and it's nice to be welcomed, too! Smiley

Riggs, my plans are definitely haphazard right now kinda like a dust devil with every thing spinning around but mostly headed in one direction.

AllenF, what I'm reading here is that I need to start the bees out letting them more or less do their own thing and get their brood chamber organized the way they want it. I guess bees know what they're doing after all these years, eh?....regardless of what obstacles man has thrown at them they have survived.  I'll not worry with the excluders for now and let the bees sort it for me...they know more about bees than I do so I'll let them teach me...hopefully. Wink   I'm thinking of going with something like top grooved frames with popsicle sticks glued in...do you think that would be a good way to go or would a simple top bar stick (as used in a top bar beehive) with the popsicle sticks be good?  I kind of like the idea of them eventually building to all four sides of a traditional frame structure. 

One other thing, Allen...what type of bottom board are you using?

Annette, thanks for sharing your experience...up to five hives, eh?, that's great!  We're shooting for two hives but I'm already hoping to expand!   Wink   I've leaned towards extraction with thoughts of saving the drawn combs for the girls to re-use thus cutting down "down time" for them and letting them get to the job of storing honey quicker.  I understand that my few hives are not going to justify purchasing an extractor but I've toyed with the idea of building a small 2 to 4 frame unit.  But, I also like the idea of the new wax each year.  I recall the old soft drink bottling companies that use to refill the glass drink bottles...they'd wash them, "sanitize" them, etc., but you'd still find a cigarette butt, piece of chewing gum, or Huh in the bottles all along.  Seems that letting the bees replace the combs each year would be a good cleansing action.  Thanks for your experience with the excluders.  So the queen naturally prefers to lay her eggs in the lower section of the hive while the workers naturally tend to store the surplus honey up high???   I checked and you have a very nice range of temperatures to deal with. Down here in south Alabama we've had several days at 100F and many, many 95F+ days so far this year...winters aren't as harsh, though it can easily dip below freezing and this past year did that and stayed there for several days straight.  Normally staying cool is a bigger thing than staying warm down here.  I'm definitely looking at ventilation...just not sure how much and how often.

Howdy Linda.  Yelp, I'm already addicted...a magazine, a couple of books, hours on the internet surfing, etc.,.   Smiley   So, I have time to get some hives going...hmmm.  You are right that I'll have to get going if I'm going to get that done.  It would be nice to start next spring with a couple of hives waking up already in their new home.  Aw, you done went and got my mind doing 90mph again!!!!!   How many medium supers do you start with for the brood chamber?...do you start with just one and add to it as you deem in necessary or do you stack 2-3 of them up to start with?  Are you use foundations or are you foundationless.  If the former, what type of frames and foundations do you use?   

Thank you, Linda, for the consensus list.  I'm opted out on the queen excluders.  I hadn't thought about what to do with queen/swarm cells...I guess I've got some time to study up on that.  Thanks for giving the basic info to not feed while honey supers are on...logical but something I hadn't thought about.  I'm shooting for chemical free colonies though I know I will be using poisons for fireants...they're terrible in south Alabama.  I brought a bucket full of small vitex plant shome from OJ Blount's house the other day.  He gave me the bucket and had previously used it to hold extracted honeycomb.  I washed the bucket out before putting the plants in it and again after planting them.  The next morning the inside of the bucket was covered with ants.  I know I'll be battling ants.<sigh>

The only problem with searching the site is that I'll find a gem of something that I'm *not* looking for and it's off on another rabbit trail!!! grin  Great information here and what seems like great people!!!

Thanks everyone for your time and patience with me.
Ed





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American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev
L Daxon
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« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2011, 11:02:44 AM »

Ed,

You only want to start with/put on one box at a time.  You don't want to give the bees any more space than they can work, otherwise you might get pests taking up space in the unused boxes.  You start with the first brood box and when it is about 70% filled out, you add the next one, and so on.  The girls will only fill out the frames they need and can cover/work. But the flip is if you don't give them enough space they will swarm.

I've read that two 8 frame mediums = one deep. So I build up to at least 3 mediums for brood, maybe 4. Sometimes take it back down to 2-3 in winter as the population dwindles through the fall.

You probably should experiment with several types of frames and foundation.  I know this is anal but I started with full plastic frames in my brood chambers so I could tell they were brood frames. (though I definitely think the bees prefer wood to plastic). Switched to wood w/foundation in honey supers. This  helps me know what frames where on when I used chemicals (most treatments tell you not to use with honey supers on--so I know my wood frames/honey frames have not been exposed to chemicals).

I use the thin cut comb foundation for my honey supers as I like a lot of cut comb. But this year I did  some foundationless supers.  Not sure how that is going to work as I unexpectedly have the use of a powered extractor.  Don't know if the thin or foundationless frames will hold up in the extractor.

I have screened bottom board on all 3 of my hives, and the slatted bottom racks to cut down on bearding.

Another anal thing I do is color code all my equipment.  I paint all the brood boxes & bottom boards white.  My slatted racks are each painted a different color like blue, green, yellow and that is how I name the hives, i.e. the blue hive, yellow hive, etc.  Sometimes my husband will yell at me, "Linda, you had better come here and look at your blue hive," if he thinks there is something unusual going on.  Now the honey supers, shims, feeders, etc. I leave natural with a wood preservative.  Those things aren't on the hive more than a couple of months at a time. This way I can look at a hive and tell exactly what is on it based on the color of the item.  You'd be surprised at how often you put something like a feeder or even a honey super and forget it is on (especially when you are using all medium boxes and have multiple hives).

Linda D
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annette
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« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2011, 12:03:22 PM »

Yes Ed

The bees like to store their honey up above the brood chamber, so eventually they either force the queen down below or she goes there herself (I really don't know), but the honey is always above the brood chamber.  There is also honey down below in the brood chamber, but not as much as they store up above.

Yes I have to deal with very cold temps here in the winter. Down to 20's and 30's at night for many months. Then up to the 90 and 100's for many weeks in the summer.

Good luck and keep asking questions if you need to

Annette
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mikecva
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« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2011, 01:26:55 PM »

I guess I am out of the consensus but I use Queen excluders and plastic foundation. My girls are doing great this year (well ahead of my neighbors, but try not to compare colones they are all different). I also use all mediums. As for feeding, only feed when they need it but never during the time your bees are making honey as you will end up with watered-down honey.

-Don't be in a hurry to medicate your colonies, unless you think you need to to keep the hive from dying.  There are lots of good IPM (Integrated Pest Management) techniques you can use to help with varroa, shb, etc.         
Here I try to use natural medications but most of all follow the label, it is better (IMHO) to under medicate then over.
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sterling
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« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2011, 04:21:54 PM »

Thoughts on the extractor part of you questions: I just got a radial extractor and used it to extract frames with foundation and foundationless at the same time, even some deep frames that were foundationless and it worked good. I didn't spin real fast and let it spin for a while and check them, if they weren't clean I would spin them some more.
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Intheswamp
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« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2011, 08:11:01 PM »

Thanks for the help everybody.

Linda, thanks for expounding on the adding of supers to the hive.  I had read that, forgot the importance of letting them begin to get a little crowded before giving them more room, thanks for the reinforcement.  I guess giving them too much rooms spreads the workers and queen out too much.

I had read somewhere that 3 mediums equal 2 deep.  6"x3=18 vs. 9"x2=18.  Roughly speaking, of course.  My plans are similar to what you mentioned regarding the number of brood supers...I'm planning on purchasing (for now) 5 mediums per hive...three to dedicate to the brood chamber and the other two to hopefully start me out for honey supers.

I'm planning on trying foundationless.  I am I'm thinking of getting a few of one kind of another of foundation to use in the centers of the hives as "guides".  Not sure if they're needed or not though.  I'm hoping to build a small diy extractor so we'll see how the foundationless works out for me. Smiley

I had seen slatted bottoms listed on some vendors websites and was curious about them.  It gets hot down here and I'm interested.  So they work good for you?

As for marking the hives, I'm thinking of using "designs"...maybe a big black dot on a white brood chamber for hive #1 and two big black dots on hive #2.  Or a dot for one and a "X" for the other...things like that.  This would identify them for me and might give the bees an identifying mark to avoid any drifting if I set them side-by-side.  Or, I could put signs like "Don't Tread on Me" or "Dead Drones Walking"....that way the bees might learn to read!!!   grin

Annette, thanks for the thoughts on the bees wanting the honey above the brood.  It makes sense...if the honey is below the brood the heat of the bees and brood will simply lift to the top of the hive and escape outside.  With the honey stored above the bees heat will warm it as it rises with the honey possibly acting like a giant heat sink to the bees that helps retain some of the heat.  Pretty smart bees.   Smiley  So leaving the screened bottom board open during the cold season doesn't seem to bother the bees?  Interesting.  The heat issue is one that concerns me, but there are local bee keepers around that I don't think are concerned with it so it must not be that big of an issue here.  My hive location will get early morning sun, but around noon or shortly afterwards it will be going into shade...that should help things.  Thanks for the help...and you can bet your bottom dollar I'll be asking questions!!! Wink

Mike, thanks for the feedback on the queen excluders.  I think for the first couple of years I'm going to go without the excluders and see how it goes...after that we'll see how things are going. Smiley   I'm hoping to go chemical free if at all possible.  Your mention of integrated pest management reminds me...is there a thread or article somewhere that hits on the different things we can do in regards to hive structure and mechanics that help with the pests?  Oh yeah, with your mediums are you using 8 or 10 frame?

Thanks again!!!
Ed









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American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev
Intheswamp
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« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2011, 08:13:27 PM »

Thoughts on the extractor part of you questions: I just got a radial extractor and used it to extract frames with foundation and foundationless at the same time, even some deep frames that were foundationless and it worked good. I didn't spin real fast and let it spin for a while and check them, if they weren't clean I would spin them some more.
I've seen where MB mentioned that he uses a radial extractor with foundationless frames, too.  I'm thinking that might diy extractor will be a primitive tangential one so the basket will have to be firm to keep the comb from bowing (blowing) out too much.  Thanks for the feedback!!!  It's encouraging!!

Ed
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www.beeweather.com 
American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev
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« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2011, 10:34:02 PM »

Ed,

Yes, I have sb racks on all my hives and it has made a world of difference when it comes to bearding. I was just outside looking at my hives and marveling at the fact that there was no bearding going on.

We have had 10 days of triple digit heat so far in June, and will be over 100 again tomorrow, setting a new record for number of days of 100 or more for the month.  Girls seem to be taking it OK but it is he## on the plants/flowers.  I think the heat has stopped the nectar flow dead in its tracks.  We ended 2010 12 inches below normal for year  in rainfall and are down another 4 so far this year.  Not good for honey production.

ld
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linda d
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« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2011, 10:45:46 PM »

""My hive location will get early morning sun, but around noon or shortly afterwards it will be going into shade...that should help things.""

That should be great for the SHB. They love shade. In Alabama, I suggest you find at least 10 hours of sun for the bees, more if possible.
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« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2011, 07:26:41 AM »

Fantastic discussion here for new and not so new Beeks.  Thanks for the well thought out questions "Intheswamp"

I've made most of the common mistakes in beekeeping over the last six years and learned from them all, and now run with all mediums, with followers allowing for expansion and contraction of my hives as the bees needs dictate.  Much of the success I've had was initially due to plain 'dumb luck' and bee resilience.  I've never treated (other than a sugar dusting a few years ago with a troubled colony given to me).  I use Langs and a couple Long Hives, which also use all medium frames, all "foundationless."  

Honeybees are a tropical insect, cold is more problematic than heat in most cases.  Beekeeping is mostly 'regional' when it comes to 'advise' so when asking questions its important to keep that in mind upon receiving answers.  My hives all receive full sun, summer and winter.  I use SBB but have learned to open them 'just a bit' only when temps reach into the 90's.  That said, I have kept them with the bottoms wide open year round with success, in Northern Wisconsin where we can get temps of 25-35 below zero.  I use ventilated mediums (which also serve as feeding boxes) above my inner covers which have  notches on their 'bottoms' for a top entrance (I also use the 'smallest' bottom entrance, both on the same sides).

As for honey, we just chunk it right from the frame, wax and all.  Some we crush and strain, some we just chew and spit (out the wax).

The largest threat to date has been BEARS, if you have them around electric fence works for most encounters, but not all.

Welcome to this wonderful world of beekeeping, whether you stick with it or not, it'll be an experience you'll never forget.  You seem to have a handle on things and are asking great questions.  The archives on this site are amazing.

Always remember, bees are the only experts, with time they will teach you more than just how to keep bees Smiley

thomas
« Last Edit: July 01, 2011, 07:27:12 AM by T Beek » Logged

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Intheswamp
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« Reply #15 on: June 30, 2011, 09:03:34 AM »

""My hive location will get early morning sun, but around noon or shortly afterwards it will be going into shade...that should help things.""

That should be great for the SHB. They love shade. In Alabama, I suggest you find at least 10 hours of sun for the bees, more if possible.

I want to go ahead and say "THANK YOU!", iddee.  Although I had read about the SHB as being one of the major pests to beware of but that knowledge hadn't imbedded enough in my mind.  I thank you for the reinforcement!  I had been worried about the heat factor down here (and it gets hot and humid here!) but had forgotten what I had read down about the SHB.  Is it the overall higher moisture content of shaded areas that promote the SHB?  Is it the ground moisture, inside hive moisture, or both that promote SHB population growth?

The larva I understand crawl out the hive and drop to the ground to pupate.  I've seen suggestions to have the hives sitting on concrete pads...prevents the larvae from burying themselves in the the ground.  Do the larvae crawl out the front and simply fall to the ground or will they crawl off the sides...I'm trying to figure out if a container of lime or some type of fine sand set on the ground in front of the hive entrance would trap the larvae and basically desiccate it.  From the looks of the larvae they oughta be called small hive maggots!!

Here is a pdf article that I found that seems pretty good to me regarding the SHB...I'm not sure about the trap but there's seems to be some good information and some great pictures in it...   Things We Need To Know About SMALL HIVE BEETLES

Thanks again for the "head's up" on the shade and the small hive beetle situation!
Ed
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American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev
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« Reply #16 on: June 30, 2011, 09:23:53 AM »

Ed,

Yes, I have sb racks on all my hives and it has made a world of difference when it comes to bearding. I was just outside looking at my hives and marveling at the fact that there was no bearding going on.

We have had 10 days of triple digit heat so far in June, and will be over 100 again tomorrow, setting a new record for number of days of 100 or more for the month.  Girls seem to be taking it OK but it is he## on the plants/flowers.  I think the heat has stopped the nectar flow dead in its tracks.  We ended 2010 12 inches below normal for year  in rainfall and are down another 4 so far this year.  Not good for honey production.

ld
Linda, I've been figuring on going with a SBB and my hive stand will probably be some 2x6's between some 4x4 posts so the bottom will basically be open underneath.  I thought of laying some short pieces of decking material across the 2x6's for more bottom support for the hives but I guess I could rip them narrower and space them out for somewhat of a slat bottom effect...Huh  For my stand I'm envisioning a long table where I can set several hives rather than individual stands...good or bad idea.  Not being able to work around the sides of the hives makes me wonder if it's a good idea.

Extended days of 100 degrees isn't good for much of anything.  Steamed vegetables are supposed to be on the plate not still in the garden!  We had been in a drought situation down here, lots of gardens suffered, then about 3 weeks ago we started getting some rain.  But, I went out yesterday for a small project and stabbed a sharpshooter into the ground...hard and dry!!!  Those rains were good and I think they saved some corn crops, but we still need lots more.  For the last few years areas southeast of a line from Mobile, AL to Montgomery, AL (basically I-65) have experienced drought.  Seldom do the officials mention the amount of rain that was short for the year before, or the year before that...the groundwater is hurting.

I'll definitely be looking to bottom vent.  I also want to incorporate some type of beetle/mite trap in my bottom board.

Ed
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American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev
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« Reply #17 on: June 30, 2011, 09:27:43 AM »

I guess I am out of the consensus but I use Queen excluders and plastic foundation. My girls are doing great this year (well ahead of my neighbors, but try not to compare colones they are all different). I also use all mediums. As for feeding, only feed when they need it but never during the time your bees are making honey as you will end up with watered-down honey.

-Don't be in a hurry to medicate your colonies, unless you think you need to to keep the hive from dying.  There are lots of good IPM (Integrated Pest Management) techniques you can use to help with varroa, shb, etc.         
Here I try to use natural medications but most of all follow the label, it is better (IMHO) to under medicate then over.
Mike, I forgot to ask...what brand of foundation are you using?  It sounds like you're happy with it.
Thanks, Ed
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www.beeweather.com 
American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev
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« Reply #18 on: June 30, 2011, 09:30:52 AM »

""My hive location will get early morning sun, but around noon or shortly afterwards it will be going into shade...that should help things.""

That should be great for the SHB. They love shade. In Alabama, I suggest you find at least 10 hours of sun for the bees, more if possible.
One other thing... Smiley
This will actually work better for me being as I have much more open areas of sun than I do shade.  Where This will work better for where I really want to place the hives!  Thanks again!  Ed
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www.beeweather.com 
American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev
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« Reply #19 on: June 30, 2011, 09:56:25 AM »

Thanks for the welcome Thomas.  I'm not sure about my questions being well thought out, but I definitely have a good supply of them...if you ever need some extra ones just holler and I'll get some out of the vault for you!  grin

Temperature-wise down here, last winter was a long cold one for us (as it was for lots of areas) but for us the night time extremes were in the mid to upper teens...actually dipping below freezing at night is not the norm for us down here...average winter temps are in the mid-30's.   Consistent 95-100 degree days in the summer is more common, though the average max temp is in the lower-90's.

Smallest bottom entrance = easiest for the bees to defend.  With a SBB it seems the entrance will not be as important in regards to ventilation.

Thanks for the description of your ventilation setup.  There's a guy that builds inner covers that have round cut-outs with screens on the inside facing downward towards the hive.  The perimeter has about an inch and a half high trim around it in which some holes are cut (these are left open).  The screened holes allow a good air flow through the hive but also can be blocked by the pieces that were cut out.  The standard telescoping cover can sit on top of this.  Jars of sugar syrup can be stood up in the holes to use as feeders and a deep hive box placed on top to shield the jars from the elements/sun/what have you.  With the holes in the sides of the ventilated feeder top an air flow is still attained even with the deep hive box on top with the outer cover on.  (Now, was I clear as mud on that or what!?? <grin>)

Honey, something tells me that the first honey we get will be comb honey but who knows...by then I may have my whiz-bang d-i-y super-duper extractor online and slinging honey!!!   grin

As for learning from the bees....I always wanted some higher education!!
Ed

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www.beeweather.com 
American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev
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« Reply #20 on: June 30, 2011, 02:44:23 PM »

I use 10 frame mediums. The frames I purchased from Mann Lake (WAXED RITE-CELL FOUNDATION-NATURAL)

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« Reply #21 on: June 30, 2011, 02:47:33 PM »

Ed,
It really is simple.  The complexity comes in when you get on a forum and get 5000 people each with different ideas that may or may work for you.

My first couple of years I spent in a internet information haze.  Everything was so complicated, I tried to think everything out before I did it.  I read and read and read.
Then when I'd get out by the hives and a situation arose, I couldn't quite remember what to do or how to do it or if it was even the right thing to do. 

Now I just keep a bunch of bees in some boxes and they will put up with whatever I seem to throw at them.  Anything not necessary has fallen by the wayside and I just worry about boxes, frames, and something to cover the top and bottom (and that is often a chunk of plywood or the cover of the hive below it!).

Most of the stuff is nice and helpful for the beek, but the bees could care less.

Rick
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Rick
Intheswamp
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« Reply #22 on: June 30, 2011, 06:53:38 PM »

I use 10 frame mediums. The frames I purchased from Mann Lake (WAXED RITE-CELL FOUNDATION-NATURAL)
Thanks for the info Mike.  Ed
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www.beeweather.com 
American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev
Intheswamp
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« Reply #23 on: June 30, 2011, 07:01:31 PM »

You've got a good point about there being so many opinions to get confused about.  I guess I just want to give the bees the best odds of surviving my newbie caretaking.  I'm probably over-researching this and the "internet information haze" is a very appropriate term.  I guess if they can live in a tree knot or the wall in somebody's garage then they'll be in pretty good shape in a box designed for them.  Thanks for throwing the KISS principle at me, I needed that! Wink

Ed 

Ed,
It really is simple.  The complexity comes in when you get on a forum and get 5000 people each with different ideas that may or may work for you.

My first couple of years I spent in a internet information haze.  Everything was so complicated, I tried to think everything out before I did it.  I read and read and read.
Then when I'd get out by the hives and a situation arose, I couldn't quite remember what to do or how to do it or if it was even the right thing to do. 

Now I just keep a bunch of bees in some boxes and they will put up with whatever I seem to throw at them.  Anything not necessary has fallen by the wayside and I just worry about boxes, frames, and something to cover the top and bottom (and that is often a chunk of plywood or the cover of the hive below it!).

Most of the stuff is nice and helpful for the beek, but the bees could care less.

Rick
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www.beeweather.com 
American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev
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« Reply #24 on: June 30, 2011, 09:49:07 PM »

What I used to do, and still do is take an average. If most beeks say to do something a particular way, I go with that, plus I always follow my gut feeling. My intuition!!

It has worked so far.

Good Luck

Annette
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