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Author Topic: Real Growth & Maintaining  (Read 3300 times)
Bush_84
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Location: Brainerd, MN


« on: February 19, 2013, 08:22:36 PM »

So I have never seen a swarm in my life in Minnesota.  In my three years keeping bees I have never caught my own swarms nor have I ever seen them swarm.  So I figure that real expansion comes from splits.  I have a plan to keep my hive count to a certain number, but first a little info about my current situation.

I have two langs and one warre currently alive.  Hopefully they all make it through.  I have four italian packages coming in the spring.  That brings me to 7.  I plan on using one package for another warre and the other three for langs.  I have enough comb to give each package an 8 frame deep of comb (two boxes filled with comb for my warre).  So they should take off nicely!

  I usually try to use carnis due to my cold weather, but my packages are Italian.  So I will eventually like to replace them.  Queen rearing seems to be the next obvious step in my plan.  Not only do I get to direct my own stock, but I believe it's truly an important part of expansion.  You need queens to have hives!  So I plan on using a cloake board two rear two batches of queens this year.

So the next question is what are my goals?  Well I would like to keep 10ish hives.  I would like to keep close to flourish hives for honey production and the rest for splitting, queen rearing, or whatever else. 

So how do I do that?  Aggressive nuc creation.  Firstly what I plan on doing is rearing a batch of queens.  Once ready to harvest I will split my warre into as many individual boxes as humanly possible.  I also plan on making a nuc or two out of one of my overwintered langs.  That will bring my hive count to at least four warres and seven langs.  Hopefully I can bring them all up to a decent strength.  Once my packages have built up to at least two deeps, maybe three I will rear more queens.  Once ready to harvest I will make up a few more nucs by taking a comb of brood out of each hive.  Each individual hive won't miss a single comb with adhering bees. 

I then plan on wintering nucs.  I will do this in two different fashions.  One setup is an eight frame deep split in half.  I have two boxes like this and plan on wintering two nucs in these two boxes.  The other setup is a five over five nuc setup.  I will bunch these together and make an insulatd box around them.  I will create an eke of sorts to put under them all and run a string of Christmas lights under them.  Trying to average 14 watts of lights under each hive.  I haven't fully decided what to do with the my potential heater at this point, but there are Christmas lights that average 7 watts per bulb.  So sounds easy enough.  I will also try out some candy boards to be safe. 

After this it's all a matter of repeating the process enough to keep stable numbers.  Thoughts? 
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Keeping bees since 2011.

Also please excuse the typos.  My iPad autocorrect can be brutal.
Vance G
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Location: Great Falls,Montana


« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2013, 08:32:56 PM »

There is a chinee proverb about a boy with a smal bird held hidden in his hands.  He asks the wise man if the bird is dead or alive.  The wise man replied, it is in your hands.  It could work exactly like that, nothing wrong with your plan.  It might not.  Depends on rain, heat and operator expertise. I wish you well.   
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Bush_84
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Location: Brainerd, MN


« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2013, 09:00:35 PM »

Ya things can always go wrong, but that is why you go into the season with a plan.  You do your best and plan for the worst.
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Keeping bees since 2011.

Also please excuse the typos.  My iPad autocorrect can be brutal.
hummelkurt
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Location: WEST MONROE, LOUISIANA


« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2013, 09:01:28 PM »

WITH YOUR LONG WINTER I JUST DON'T KNOW HOW YOU GUYS UP THERE DEAL WITH YOUR BEES IN THE WINTERS.  BUT YOU DO HAVE A PLAN...RUN WITH IT!!!
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Bush_84
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Location: Brainerd, MN


« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2013, 10:41:55 AM »

WITH YOUR LONG WINTER I JUST DON'T KNOW HOW YOU GUYS UP THERE DEAL WITH YOUR BEES IN THE WINTERS.  BUT YOU DO HAVE A PLAN...RUN WITH IT!!!

Well things have already gone very wrong and my plan has changed accordingly.  All of my hives died over this winter.  My goal is still a sustainable apiary with overwintering nucs, but it may have to wait until next year along with queen rearing.  Oh well.
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Keeping bees since 2011.

Also please excuse the typos.  My iPad autocorrect can be brutal.
Brother Dave
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Location: Shelton WA.


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« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2013, 12:47:27 PM »

For next year I want to get my hives onto stands they are on pallets now looking at plans


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OldMech
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Location: Richland Iowa


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« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2013, 04:30:22 PM »

Sounds like a good plan to me... Your issue is that you have to convince the BEES its a good plan!!!    grin
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39 Hives and growing.  Havent found the end of the comfort zone yet.
Brother Dave
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Location: Shelton WA.


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« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2013, 08:37:31 PM »

LOL I think I will put the new stands   behind where the hives are now. Then move them to the new stand they hopefully can find there new home ok if I move then only a few feet. Any tricks on helping them orient?



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OldMech
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Location: Richland Iowa


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« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2013, 10:10:32 PM »

Put something in front of the entrance. Some use simple branches. Some people hang a sheet in front of the hive. Do something that will make them STOP when they exit the hive and notice that something has changed..  normally, they know where they are.. they go zooming out.. without paying attention...   If you make a change they HAVE to notice, they will reorient.

 
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39 Hives and growing.  Havent found the end of the comfort zone yet.
allincuddy
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Location: Calgary, Alberta


« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2014, 10:19:52 PM »

I don't think you would have a problem with a 5 over 5 nuc going through winter. We had 5 frame nucs going through winter and coming out very strong in spring with no medication except some HBH for nosema as it is my major issue with over wintering nucs. I put mine in insulated full boxes (divided) with a top holes for moisture escape, put some candy on them in January here ( just in case) and have them go into winter with 90% full of stores with a late summer queen. We came out last year with approx. 18% loss.
We used to winter nucs 5 over 5 with 13% losses but can double our wintered Queens in the same amount of space.
I use styro boxes with ply tops and bottoms but stacked 4 tall with a 3 inch styro on the top one.
We are in Calgary and the temp gets down to -40C for periods, but we also have days where in can be +10C from Chinooks and the bees enjoy a good cleaning flight. We have 4 inches of snow in the past 2 days, longing for spring!!!!
Good luck Wink
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