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Author Topic: Spring questions for GA beeks  (Read 959 times)
ziffabeek
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« on: February 03, 2013, 11:02:24 AM »

Hello all!

Well, last year was a doozy in my work world, and unfortunately the bees had to take a back seat.  I was pretty much a "bee-haver" rather than a beekeeper last year.  Of course, my neglect didn't seem to bother the girls very much and they all seem very healthy and happy - from the outside at least Smiley.

Things are getting back under control at work and I am excited to get back into my little loves!  I spent all day yesterday cleaning and scraping the frames and boxes that got thrown in the basement last summer.  The weather is cold but sunny and the ladies are flying like crazy.  I realized I need some advice to start this season out right.  So, here I am! Cheesy

First, there was some waxmoth activity on the frames.  Not heaps, and it looked like the freezes we have had so far may have killed or checked their development.  I cut out any wax that had a lot of webbing and tossed it and scraped those frames really well.  There were some where the comb looked pretty good, with just a wisp of webbing and some black seed like things which i'm thinking are either dung or eggs.  I knocked these all out and put the frames in a bag and left them outside in the cold.  So to my questions:

1.  Will the overnight freezes here in Atlanta be enough to kill any Waxmoth left on the frames or do I need to put them in the freezer?
2.  With our crazy winter of warm/cold/warm  when should I start thinking about adding a box to give them room for build-up?  I'm pretty sure they are already laying, but I don't want to add too soon and freeze them.  But I don't want to add too late (which I think i did last year) and then deal with the consequences of that.

So that's all I got!  I am so excited for spring, it's all I can do to not start planting on these warm days!!!!!  I'm driving Hippie-bee crazy already!

Thanks all for any advice! 

love,
ziffa
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10framer
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« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2013, 12:50:07 PM »

those seeds sound like they could be hive beetles but i'm not exactly clear on whether you were cleaning frames that are in the colonies or storage.
when a 10 hive has 7 or 8 full frames of bees and multiple frames of capped brood it is time to give them some room but that's kind of a "rule of thumb" answer.  you should also start watching for swarm cells around that time.
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bailey
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« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2013, 01:35:21 PM »

Those seeds in the webbing is worm poop. Clean the frames.  Put them back in.  Bees will clean them and fill in the gaps. 
Bailey.
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AllenF
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« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2013, 02:53:50 PM »

I don't know how much of a freeze is required to kill them out, but I normally store the supers in freezers for a couple of days no matter what before I put then up.  I do have 2 dead outs on my back porch and a couple more in the backyard that I have not had the time to work them.   And I let the bees clean up most all the moth mess.   
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ziffabeek
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« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2013, 05:24:59 PM »

Thanks all for the replies!

The thing is I have about 30 frames and only a top of fridge freezer Sad.  Hubby aint too pleased with the idea of frames filling the freezer for 2 months.  But I guess better safe than sorry.  I'll freeze them a few at a time.

I understand about the 7-8 frames and then add a super.  What I'm wondering is when (as in date-wise) do you usually start thinking about checking and throwing a super on after winter here in Georgia?  Hubby says we should start in 2 weeks.  I was thinking more like mid-March.  As ya'll know, Georgia weather is all over the place.  I hate to pop the top too early, but don't want to wait too long either.  I was hoping someone had an old rule of thumb as to when to start thinking 'spring'.  Cuz I basically think spring any time after December 30 that the sun is shining Smiley  As if my positive thinking could bring it early. Smiley  In other words, spring fever takes over my brain completely from January through March and I don't always make the most realistic decisions because of it.  I've been known to start my tomato plants the second week of January . . . : /.

Anyway, thanks again guys!  I really appreciate the responses.  I sure missed you all. 

love,
ziffa
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AllenF
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« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2013, 05:53:32 PM »

Bees were flying today Liz.   I have been wondering about the maple pollen.  We still have a lot of cold to go.   You could go pop the tops on these warm days just to look down in there and check to see how heavy the hives are.  You don't want them to starve this time of the year.  I would not worry about supers until there is some honey coming in.  And everybody needs a deep freezer or two.  
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asprince
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« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2013, 05:58:56 PM »

You can stack them up and put some moth cakes in and put a top on them. Works for me. When you get ready to use them just let them air out for a few minutes and they are good to go.

Steve
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10framer
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« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2013, 06:13:10 PM »

i'm about 90 minutes south of you.  my bees were working all day today even in the high wind.
i don't guess i have a set date.  i'd say go through the brood chamber the first time you have a couple of mild days (highs around 60 and lows above 40) and see what's happening. 
i had three full frames of capped brood and ten full frames of bees in the top hive body of a hive two weeks ago so i moved the top hive body to the bottom last week (may have been a bit premature considering the little cold snap but i haven't seen any chilled brood being drug out).  so, i guess in years with a really mild winters late january isn't too early to start prepping.
i do realize that it's usually a good bit colder in atlanta, though.  i've left here with no jacket in the morning an ended up freezing up there at noon.
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ziffabeek
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« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2013, 08:54:25 AM »

Thanks again guys! My girls were flying like crazy yesterday too, even though it was windy and didn't get above 45.  I've been putting out some open feed for them as i am a little worried about their stores.  I'll wait until we get a good warm still day and check under the hood to see how they are doing.  Come on warm weekend!!!!

Let's see Maples start first right?  I gotta go identify some Maples now Smiley . . .

Allen - I've been lobbying for a deep freezer for years! But I am under quarantine for spending anything more on the garden until we get some house projects done Sad.  House projects just aren't as much fun!

Now i'm even more jittery for the warm weather!!! Smiley

love,
ziffa

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10framer
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« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2013, 02:48:13 PM »

i'm the same way.  it's really close down here and i'm not really as prepared as i need to be.
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brushwoodnursery
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« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2013, 07:51:54 AM »

I'm up in Athens and they're flying like crazy almost every day. Some pollen coming in but not loads. I popped open an observation hive I've volunteered to maintain and there was a pretty good start on brood production.
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ziffabeek
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« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2013, 02:39:09 PM »

Yeah, Brushwood, mine have been flying anytime its sunny.  Last Saturday it looked like spring they were so busy.  I'm sure they've started building up, but I'm limited to weekends to look.  Next 55+ weekend day I'm definitely going in! 

love,
ziffa
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divemaster1963
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« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2013, 11:33:28 PM »

hey check your local pawn shop for a small box freezer. I saw a 12 cubic foot box freezer at a pawn shop for 50.00 the other week. thats only 3 days of lunches up there in atlanta. Wink with tax season people are buying new stuff and selling old. I'm waiting till the third week to start working the hives and rotating boxes.


John
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