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Author Topic: Counting Bees???  (Read 2259 times)
tefer2
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« Reply #20 on: January 31, 2013, 09:57:40 AM »

Guess I should have added that I only winter in three boxes. The five are for use during the flow.
I have some in only two boxes this winter. Already have placed more candy bricks on those.
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T Beek
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« Reply #21 on: January 31, 2013, 10:47:13 AM »

Amazingly (first time) all of my bees built up pretty well before winter w/ a late flow.  Only one of 7 Langs was in less than 4 mediums (a secondary swarm) before winter wrap up.  I've fed them all some Honeysugar.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2013, 01:14:46 PM by T Beek » Logged

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Moots
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« Reply #22 on: January 31, 2013, 11:06:50 AM »

T Beek and tefer2, Thanks for the feedback and input...

My original thoughts were 4 boxes for brood and up to 3 supers per hive...hence 21 boxes.  I've got a suspicion that in my area they may only take 3 boxes for brood, but I am running 8 frame equipment, so....I'm really not sure on that, I been told the bees will make that decision.  So from a 3 hive plan point of view, I think I'm in pretty decent shape.  I guess my oversight was the possibility of having to deal with a split or a swarm or something like that.  As I said, I don't necessarily have plans to expand this early, if at all.  However, should my bees be booming, I want to be able to handle that possibility.  I also, don't want to be the over exuberant new beek that needs but 12 boxes to get through his first year but builds 30+.  huh  But I do appreciate the fact that there's really no way to know that answer.  I guess that's part of the fun and challenge of beekeeping.  grin

So....With that being said, Would cranking out another 12 boxes put me more in the prepared or paranoid category???

As you can probably tell, I think I'm leaning that way!  Smiley
« Last Edit: January 31, 2013, 12:10:40 PM by Moots » Logged

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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #23 on: January 31, 2013, 11:42:28 AM »

Moots,
Keep in mind, you can pull the capped frames, spin them and put them back on the hive. I went from 4 hives the previous year, only 2 hives made it into winter, one survived and ended up with 13 hives in the fall. Luckily I had 30 medium supers built the previous winter. Last year I pulled honey 3 times and still left honey on my hives for the winter. I did have all of my supers in operation by fall. I did have to shuffle frames around for winter after I did the last honey removal, I left minimum of 5 honey frames on each hives.
Jim
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Nature Coast Beek
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« Reply #24 on: January 31, 2013, 12:35:26 PM »

@Moots

Flow, flow, flow...know what and when it is. Get into the field with a good wildflower book and start hunting for bloom. Last year I missed the main flow in my area (saw palmetto) and got hit by two tropical storms that dropped tons of water. Ended up feeding tons just to get through the summer dearth and only got a little late flow, enough to get 'em through though. At the end of the day, the bees will only build and grow out if there is flow...er, or you feed them a lot. At least that's my experience thus far. It's really farming; weather, overall livestock health and pasture. You can build/buy all the boxes you want, but if there ain't no groceries at the store...

Early spring or not, doesn't matter, could be drought or hurricanes yet...

Just my .02
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Finski
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« Reply #25 on: January 31, 2013, 02:30:18 PM »



My original thoughts were 4 boxes for brood and up to 3 supers per hive...hence 21 boxes.

It is impossible what then will happen. You just take what hives give and you must be ready for that.

Of course your skills as a beginner is the most important thing. Beekeeping is not easy job to learn. It takes its own time and most never learn it.

Good honey flows are the most dangerours to beginners because they have not e
earlier experience to handle situation and the result is often that swarms escape.

But don't mind. If you do not make mistakes, you never learn.  If you learn beekeeping in 5 years, it is very good. It depends, do you get some good guy who teaches you.

.
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tefer2
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« Reply #26 on: January 31, 2013, 09:23:17 PM »

Moots, beeks in the north country run four medium 8 frame to winter. I think you can get by with three for brood. Starting with four brood boxes and adding three supers, makes 7 boxes high.
Your gonna need a ladder if they don't tip over on you.  I dunno
Michael Bush, is the eight frame medium information source.
http://www.bushfarms.com/beeseightframemedium.htm
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Finski
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« Reply #27 on: February 01, 2013, 04:16:09 AM »

Moots, beeks in the north country run four medium 8 frame to winter. I think you can get by with three for brood. Starting with four brood boxes and adding three supers, makes 7 boxes high.

It will be seen when each hive grows. Important is that a hive will be enlargened in time. You cannot foresee, how much hive needs.
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T Beek
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« Reply #28 on: February 01, 2013, 07:50:54 AM »

I use 'follower' boards on both ends of my 10 frame 'brood' mediums, effectively making them 8 frame (or any size the bees can fill really, best when used as an 'expanding' NUC)).  I noticed some time ago that bees will often ignore the #1 and #10 frames anyway.  Perhaps that's the motivation toward 8 frame equipment?  Not sure, besides being lighter and easier on the back, which is my motivation  Smiley.
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Moots
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« Reply #29 on: February 01, 2013, 08:20:17 AM »

...I noticed some time ago that bees will often ignore the #1 and #10 frames anyway.  Perhaps that's the motivation toward 8 frame equipment?  Not sure, besides being lighter and easier on the back, which is my motivation  Smiley.

T Beek,
You're exactly right, that's the thinking behind 8 frame equipment. Honestly, I read so much while trying to decide on equipment I don't remember exactly where all I saw it, it may have been on Michael Bush's site, I know a lot of his concepts and opinions seemed to make a lot of sense to me.

But the thought is its a more "Natural width" for the bees. one that they will fill better.  The further reduction in weight is kind of an added bonus in my opinion.  Obviously, the down side is from a cost perspective. Hiwever, there are those that will argue that when you factor in the cost saving of not needing back surgery, it's quite affordable.  grin

The other equipment decision that I made, which I don't think many have done, but seemed to make a lot of sense to me...Is I went with the concept of the modified Lang and put my entrance along the long side. The concept allows you to work the hive from directly behind it without an awkward extended reach, saving both the ankles from stings and the back from injury.
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"We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."
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T Beek
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« Reply #30 on: February 01, 2013, 08:33:30 AM »

I've been thinking of moving the locations of my entrances for the same reason Moots.  It's almost 'standard' practice in some parts of Canada.

*I probably printed out 60% of MB's website, creating my own MB file, but bought his book as soon as it was published anyway*   Its definately one of my 'go to' books for common sense beekeeping.
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Just5398
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« Reply #31 on: February 01, 2013, 08:34:54 AM »

Ok, so I think I understand a little more...I would need to add honey supers just for them to survive the winter, is that correct?  Otherwise the queen will just keep laying in the combs?
IF that is correct, then how do I manage the hive as we are preparing for winter?  There will be the hive bodies then there will be the honey supers with the queen excluder in between.  I understand that the hive will decrease in numbers as they are preparing for winter and that I must begin removing boxes.    but in order for them to have the honey for the winter do I just move the frames with the honey into the hive bodies?
Just when I think I understand I feel more confused!  I honestly should not be worrying about this until the time comes, I have so much more I should worry about just getting the hive up and running like a well oiled machine!!!!
Thank you for your patience!
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Sally
T Beek
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« Reply #32 on: February 01, 2013, 08:55:28 AM »

There are few endeavors with a sharper learning curve than Beekeeping.  Never is it dull  cool

Do you have bees now?  If so, in NJ you should have already prepared for winter. 

You don't need to 'add' honey per sey, you just want to "leave" your bees enough to survive the winter, ideally without having to feed supplement syrup.  I stop taking any honey in August, but that's just me.

Queen Excluders;  Personally, I don't use them.  There are pro and con debates about their uses all the time, but its a personal choice thing.  Beekeeping is LOADED w/ personal choices  cool  We don't really need them and the bees prefer to go where they want to go IMO.  Does it mean a 'little' more work for the beek?  Sure, but well worth it it IMHO.

You definitely want that Queen Excluder "off" for the Winter.  Its mainly a tool used to keep fresh honey separate from a laying queen during a flow.  During Winter the Queen lays very little and moves very little.

Downsizing your colonies as winter approaches mainly consists of removing as many 'empty' frames and 'empty' boxes to a size capacity capable of sustaining bees for the winter.  Since I use 'all' mediums, for me it means I try to have bees built up to 4 boxes of mostly brood, surrounded by honey and pollen and topped with another box packed w/ honey.  That's the ideal and not always realized  Wink

Always; Trust your bees.
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Just5398
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« Reply #33 on: February 02, 2013, 09:12:28 AM »

I don't have bees now,  I will be getting them this spring.

I'm trying to understand as much as possible but like I said before I should not be worrying myself with this since I won't need to do it until fall of 2013. 

Thanks for you reply though!
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Sally
T Beek
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« Reply #34 on: February 02, 2013, 09:25:25 AM »

Worrying about your bees over winter months, heh. 

Kinda comes with the territory. 

I think that just means you'll be a good Beek once you get going  cool  Nothing wrong w/ being prepared, especially in beekeeping.
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