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Author Topic: Mek's Start in Bee Keeping  (Read 3300 times)
Mek
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« on: October 31, 2012, 08:22:20 AM »

Here are some photos of the starting of my bee keeping hobby.







I got my equipment sometime near end of July (I think) or was it August. And it has taken me this long to get this far.

I am gonna go one ten frame full deep for the brood chamber and the rest Half deeps.
I am up to the stage where I need to finish the small hive beetle trap for the bottom board
I cant help but comment that my lid is so shiny.

Please make comment if you would do anything any different.
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iddee
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« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2012, 08:52:49 AM »

First suggestion... Start with 2 hives.

Second suggestion... Wear shoes when working the bees.   shocked
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"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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Lone
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« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2012, 09:50:18 AM »

Goodonya Mekky  grin

To start with, I'd probably get bees to put into the equipment.

Congratulations on the shiny lid.  Mine is as dull as a maths class compared with that.

Great idea going for the stumpy supers.  Blokes don't usually know what it feels like to be a weak female until they are about 98 with bad arthritis and a big hernia.  I'd probably suggest going all half depths though, because there is nothing worse than wanting to rotate a different sized brood frame through a honey super, and there will be many reasons you might need to do this.  You could put the excluder if you have one over two of the half depths.

Lone
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rawfind
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« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2012, 06:37:45 AM »

First suggestion... Start with 2 hives.

Second suggestion... Wear shoes when working the bees.   shocked

I was looking for a picture of bare feet, im confused!

You might find 8 frame supers a bit lighter and easier to move around, just my suggestion, re Neil
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ShaneJ
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« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2012, 07:06:27 AM »

Second suggestion... Wear shoes when working the bees.   shocked

You got that right. I often inspect my hives wearing thongs without thinking. Big mistake at the end of the day huh
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Shane
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« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2012, 07:25:27 AM »

Looking good.   I would second the 2 hives, but shoes are just optional.  Good underwear is the requirement. 
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Mek
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« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2012, 08:25:44 AM »

Lol the photos are taken in my house and I don't have the bees yet and they are definitely not in the house. 
@ Iddee I've already bought another deep super and extra lid for the hive. Seeing how slow I am at doing the woodwork.
@Rawfind - the second photo has my foot in it.

I would also like help with the small hive beetle trap I am making. I asked another question about bee thickness in a separate link http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php/topic,39369.0.html .
It was mentioned that 8inch wire is the desired size... I assumed that that's
25mm/8 = 3.125mm is the ideal size? I had some chicken wire left over from making Quail cages. And it has a 6mm holes.
* Michael Bush mentioned
"#7 hardware cloth is the largest but a bent wire will let them through.  #6 they have to wiggle their way through.  #5 they can get through fairly easy but lose half their pollen in the process.  #5 will not let a queen or drones through.  #4 will let all bees through including drones and queens."
So just for my own personal understanding
25/7 = 3.57mm
25/6 = 4.16mm
25/5 = 5.00mm
25/4 = 6.25mm
Sorry Lone for the Maths


*I am just gonna go buy some gutter guard from Bunnings instead... If I go with overlapping the wires I think I will create a beetle nether world. - Thankyou Anybrew

Once again if you have any comments on the base please let me know.





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Lone
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« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2012, 06:26:32 AM »

Quote
Sorry Lone for the Maths


That's ok.  Just wake me up for dinner.

Lone
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Mek
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« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2013, 12:39:50 AM »

I just got my bees... hoorray and have had them for almost two weeks.
I noticed that they are booting out the drones yesterday and digging out all the "boy babies".

I have a uestion on the hive. They haven't drawn out the frames and would like to know if I should feed them. The weather could go for weeks on end with constant rain. And my spider sense tells me that winter will come early this season (winter meaning 0 or -1 degrees for like a few days and maybe some frost as I live on the hinterland of South East ueensland).  Any advise on what I should do would be appreciated. 

The oil trap I used came out with about 50 beetle larvae in about a weeks time. And so far its caught 2 or 3 beetles and a few grub.

I have realised that I need more practice to get the smoker to light up. Any handy hints?

And moisture condenses under the lid of the hive.
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kanga
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« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2013, 01:05:47 AM »

Mek

I live about 30mins away, but not quiet as high up, and my hives are currently bringing in pollen & nectar. In the last two years I have not had to feed my hives although it has got down to -1degrees c. Did you get a 4 or 5 frame nuc to start with from a recognised breeder, and how have you got them set up now?

Kevin
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prestonpaul
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« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2013, 01:49:32 AM »

Feed them, if they don't want it they won't take it. Throwing out drones is a sign that times could be hard and they don't have the resources to keep them.
 I use snap lock bags on top of the frames to feed. Fill them about 1/3 full and poke a few holes in them. Check back in a few days and see what they have taken.
It takes a lot of energy to produce wax so feeding will help that along, however they won't draw it out unless they need the space.
It took me a good 12 months to get my head around the smoker, the key I found was taking it slowly, don't be in a rush to pack it down with lots of fuel as that can put it out if you don't have a good bed of embers to work with.
I start off with a quarter sheet of news paper, then once that is going sprinkle in fuel a little bit at a time. Wait until it is fully burning to before adding any more. Start off with a little pinch then add a bit more each time. Once you have done that three or 4 times and you have built up a good lot of burning fuel, then fill the smoker with your fuel and pack it down moderately well. Keep long full puffs going with the bellows throughout all of that.
That's what works for me, of course someone will come along soon and tell us how it's really done soon and we'll both learn something  grin
Paul.
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squidink
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« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2013, 05:13:19 AM »

That's great advice Paul!

I'm an impatient bugger ! those butane burners like what they use to caramelise the sugar on Creme Brulees speed up the burning of the fuel super quick! I use dried pine needles.

Ben
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Mek
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« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2013, 07:55:33 AM »

Mek

I live about 30mins away, but not quiet as high up, and my hives are currently bringing in pollen & nectar. In the last two years I have not had to feed my hives although it has got down to -1degrees c. Did you get a 4 or 5 frame nuc to start with from a recognised breeder, and how have you got them set up now?

Kevin

Its from a hive cut out. Poor guy couldn't cut out the wall due to some building issues .. so he had troubles smoking them out.  Two frames were from another beekeeper.
Saw them bringing in lots of pollen the other day but because I am not home during the weekdays I cannot observe them as much as I would like. I feel like have caused them to pull out bees cos they only seemed to start pulling out the bees after I look at them (but I made sure I open the hive on a warm day) . They were throwing out normal bees as well too... I think cos it went from very hot weather to cold  weather.  I will have to take a photo tomorrow.

Should I make a strong syrup 4 parts sugar 1 part water  or should I make a weak syrup 1 part sugar 1 part water?
 


 
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rbinhood
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« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2013, 10:51:24 AM »

Mek good luck in your new adventure it can become very addictive.
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Lone
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« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2013, 06:57:36 PM »

You haven't let us know how all your little bees are going, Mek.  Are you still keeping them or are they keeping you yet?

Lone
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Mek
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« Reply #15 on: May 23, 2013, 09:10:16 AM »

I got some bees from swarm from a wall but they died due to number of factors that I have narrowed down to:

the constant wet weather  for like two hours during midday for a rainy period of 7 or eight weeks.
Too much bee space
hive beetle

I will have to get some foam cut so i can put them in a smaller box.
If i ever have a nuc box size of bees I will have a 6 frame box on standby as I learned from a recent bee meeting that the space where they like to lay eggs is a round foot ball and would give more warmth and area to lay..
To feed them regardless.
make a better roof space designed for unobtrusive feeding.
to accost the real estate agents for sign boards so can make a preventative hive beetle trap and to paint it black (gonna use that glass power stuff starts with D )
I will shave my frames to 33mm so they fit with more ease.

So basically I am gonna wait til spring and go for a full set of frames to ensure there is no issue. Or if am lucky I will try lemon grass oil to attract a swarm.


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Just5398
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« Reply #16 on: May 23, 2013, 12:24:03 PM »

...

Second suggestion... Wear shoes when working the bees.   shocked
AND SOCKS!  I speak from experience.  Lol
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Sally
Oak
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« Reply #17 on: July 10, 2013, 12:41:26 AM »

Hi Mek,

Thanks for the idea of using gutter guard to make a bottom screen. I'm trying to make my hives out of whatever is lying around to cut down on costs.

Cheers
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dermot
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« Reply #18 on: July 10, 2013, 08:17:18 AM »

This mob is well worth a look. I spent a few weeks getting samples from as many gutter guard companies and mesh suppliers as I could find, both locally and on line, and then spent time with a jar of bees and then a jar of beetles and found the expanded metal mesh was the only product that kept bees in but allowed beetles through. I cant remember whether it was the 250 or 375, but if you mention the purpose, they should be able to help out. Being aluminium, its easy to work, cut and shape as needed. Pretty inexpensive too- from memory around 8 metres of 400mm wide delivered for under $50

http://www.expandedmetal.com.au/patterns.htm
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Oak
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« Reply #19 on: July 10, 2013, 09:12:41 AM »

Thanks dermot
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