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Author Topic: Some beginner questions  (Read 1233 times)
Charles Sen
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Location: Bridgeman Downs, Queensland, Australia


« on: April 06, 2013, 08:38:42 AM »

My bees are coming along well in the 3 weeks since i got them. I have some questions/obervations though.

1. The bees have totally sealed the 4 screened ventilation holes in the cover. Will the unseal this when spring comes or when needed for ventilation? Should I just leave it alone?

2. I notice about 50% of the pollen being brought in this week is white and 50% the typical yellow colour. I live on the northside of Brisbane and was wondering if anyone could tell me what the white pollen might be from? Unfortunately the tea trees at my place have finished a productive nectar flow but foraging continues to be strong and bee numbers very high.

3. The Apithor SHB traps seem to be working with very low numbers of live beetles present but quite a few dead ones in the trap and being carried out by the bees. I see them (SHB) flying around the hive every afternoon around sunset trying to get in. I recall reading I should treat the ground around the hive but can't remember what with. Can anyone advise? I am going to trial an oil trap bottom board next week and see what result that gives.

4. In Birsbane will the bee numbers continue to go up in Winter, stay the same or go down? I am not sure what to expect.

5. Does anyone feed patties or similar to bees in Winter in Brisbane? I doubt they would need it but not sure given the emphasis given to this in the USA but of course they have a very different climate in much of the USA. I'd like to keep numbers storng as possible.

6. When will the bees stop building comb or will they continue into winter? How many frames of honey should they need for winter for a strong hive?

Well that's about it for now. All things considered I am very pleased with the progress in the last few weeks. They have drawn out 2 frames of foundation and starting to fill with honey so I have placed a second super on top with a baffle board and replaced 2 honey frames I took out and put in the freezer and added one more foundation between them. The bee population has significantly increased although very strong to start with and there are a lot of bees under the lid when I lift it. The honey frames are much heavier than I expected and it was a thrill seeing them filled and looking so pristine!




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Lone
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Location: North Queensland


« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2013, 07:04:00 PM »

Charles,

1.  yes and yes.

2. Don't know

3.  Permethrin  You should have received this information from the DPI when you registered.  http://www.daff.qld.gov.au/4790_18157.htm

4.  Brood all year round in QLD

5.  Foraging all year round in QLD.  Everywhere gets a derth at times; but I wouldn't feed pollen unless they are really starving as I've read it attracts SHB.  Strong numbers might encourage strong swarming.  You could keep a spare frame of pollen in the freezer to use in a new or weaker hive.  I guess freezing doesn't affect the properties of pollen?

6.  Build comb all year round in QLD. A strong hive and a bit to forage on and you shouldn't need to worry about their supplies.  It's nice to save a frame or two for the hive when you extract at any time, but there is usually honey in the brood box.

What is a baffle board?

Is Bridgeman Downs in an urban or rural area?  That might affect how regular the food supply is during the year.

Lone
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ShaneJ
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Location: Burpengary, Queensland, Australia.


« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2013, 07:15:45 PM »

1. Don't worry about those vents. The bees will open and close them as needed.

2. With all the rain we have been getting around here the trees are producing more pollen then nectar. Unfortunately I am finding the bees are storing the pollen in the brood section and reducing the space for the queen to lay.

3. Don't get carried away with shb traps as opening/closing the hive continually will allow the shb to escape the jails the bees use to trap them. The best shb prevention is to keep your hives in full sun, limit your inspections, and keep your hives strong.

4. In winter I find that the honey production slows but bee numbers generally stay the same. The rain is the biggest factor at the moment not the "cold".

5. Don't feed at all, this will bring in shb.

6. The bees will continue producing comb through out winter. The bees should store enough honey on the brood box that you wont need to worry about leaving a honey super for them. However the bees will still produce honey so you will need a honey super on anyway. Just remember never to extra the full amount of honey in one go. If you put 9 - 10 sticky frames back in the hive after extracting them you're pretty much guaranteed to loose the hive to shb.

Good luck with them mate.
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Shane
Charles Sen
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Location: Bridgeman Downs, Queensland, Australia


« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2013, 09:42:11 PM »

Thanks to both of you! That is very helpful and great information for me.

Lone, it is semi rural with hundred of acres of forest behind my property and thousands in front.

A baffle board (or at least thats what they refer to it around here) is simply a frame with ply nailed in where the foundation would normally go. One use is to add say 4 frames of comb/foundation to a super but enclose the space for obvious reasons.

ShaneJ thanks. Point 6 now makes sense to me. My mentor told me a similar thing but I didn't know why and can't talk to him right now as he is in hospital. I appreciate the great information preseneted here for our local conditions.
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Wonga
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The budget should be balanced, the Treasury refill


« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2013, 06:04:45 AM »

Good on you Charles, and it will be great when you extract and start eating your own honey. We just extracted around 30 litres of honey, it's all bottled. Hope you keep enjoying it.

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Charles Sen
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Location: Bridgeman Downs, Queensland, Australia


« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2013, 07:31:12 AM »

Thanks OWnga. It is something I have wanted to do for a looooooooong time and I am now loving every minute of it. Cannot wait to extract my first honey although I couldn't help but trya  little taste already!
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ozebee
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« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2013, 04:37:56 AM »

Shane - a very interesting comment in your point 6 re putting in sticky frames and losing the hive to SHB!!!  Is this because the stickys attract more beetles or the bees are so busy cleaning them up that they lose guard on the hive??? This could explain some of the losses I have had.
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Chevy
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Location: Kallangur, Qld


« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2013, 05:18:37 AM »

So how many is best to remove, 2,3,4,5,6 frames?



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ShaneJ
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Location: Burpengary, Queensland, Australia.


« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2013, 07:23:08 AM »

The way it has been explained to me is that the bees will happily complete a little work when forced to(adding some sticky frames) but just like you and I when dumped with a lot of work(a full box of stickies) they get stressed and don't work so great then allowing the shb to take over.
The same goes for adding new foundation. I have personally had hives abscond due to adding 9 frames of foundation in one go. Admittedly those hives were not as strong as I keep my hives now but its still a concern for me.

Currently when I'm ready to extract I'll only take half (4 - 5) frames from each honey super. When I put the stickies back I make sure I stagger them.

Some may disagree with the above but since doing it this way I haven't lost one hive to shb and all my hives are strong, healthy and constantly producing honey.
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Shane
dermot
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« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2013, 11:05:20 AM »

Perhaps another option with stickies is to put an empty box on top of your hive and then a box of stickies. The gap will have the bees see the honey above as a bonus rather than part of the hive and they will bring the honey back down and store it where they would normally. The boxes can be removed after a couple of days and the stickies stored for later use.less stress and disruption for the hive.

 The idea of putting half back at a time is also a good one -try googling checkerboarding
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