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Author Topic: Behavior before harvest time  (Read 622 times)
ThomasGR
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« on: May 05, 2013, 04:19:59 AM »

Hello,
I am just trying to figure out a way to understand better when its time to harvest or do things in order to prepare the hive for harvest. The reason i ask such a question is that where i live there is not a main flow easily recognizable. In fact, from March ( almonds ) to November ( pine trees ) there is always something for the foragers. This is good but it seems that is not easily to manage. Harvest time is something that none can define, even beekeepers that live in the same village have different view.

I will try to describe a situation. In march bees rebuild populations. During April they expand rapidly ( most of building combs happens that month ). May and June are honey months.They filled brood chamber with pollen and nectar so the queen uses the second floor for laying eggs. But the second floor is also filling with honey that they cap and the queen is blocked to a few frames to lay. Is that what we want to happen ? Just wait to fill it with honey and harvest? What i am asking for, is a pattern of behavior before harvest. Do you use excluders when there is a lot of honey caped in order to finish the job ? Do you use excluders XXX days before or after a fact ? Or simply let the bees do their job and when a frame is caped you take it, no mater the season.

* this is a question for 2 deep bodies. I am not asking for use a 3rd deep because i have not frames ready for use ( built combs ) . They have already build about 15 frames each hive and i am afraid that while the weather gets day by day hot and is not raining at all for 30 days so far the flow will stop some time. Although foragers returning "heavy" to the hive i see main plants to be dry and bees searching on them but not stop to collect.
** Sorry for my level of using the language.
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Finski
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« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2013, 09:05:57 AM »

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It is better that you find an experienced beekeeper who can tell you about vegetation and about local  yield plants.

Normal thing is, how long it takes to different size of colonies to become able to forage and handle yield.

Swarming control is the most important what you should learn.
Mostly swarming period is before main yield.



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ThomasGR
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« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2013, 11:55:45 AM »

I keep my own records of blooming dates and i have good view of what to expect. The truth is that there is a flow that is not main but exists over months. So i have to consider the current flow when my hives have the power to forage surplus as the MAIN. Experienced beekeepers have different time of harvesting in the same area. But the relation of swarming period and flows after that period is something that i can work on.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2013, 08:44:15 AM »

I usually harvest in September or October or November depending on when I get some cold weather enough to push the bees down to a cluster... much easier to assess what they need and leave enough for winter, and no bees to run out of the supers...
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
ThomasGR
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« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2013, 12:29:28 PM »

So,
1. Keep swarming in control early in season
2. Let the bees grow as much as they can
3. When a natural drop of population happens you get all the honey that they do not need ( supers )

Generally in Greece nature is so rich, during all over the year bees collect pollen and nectar, if the temperature is ok because of winter ( brood stops for a period during DEC - JAN . Also nectar sources are available all the time. The mean production of the hives ( about 1.500.000 ) is 8-10 kg, of course some hives produce much more. This is very pour crop. The main beekeeping actions are obvious and globally known. I am trying to find out if flows after flows and the consecutive brood rearing is a reason for low honey production. I also read articles from Nothern coutries such finland or sweden or germany that a better crop is made only with half months of flowering. The climate here sometimes is compared with California, almonds are blooming around the same time.
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Finski
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« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2013, 02:31:16 PM »

I also read articles from Nothern coutries such finland or sweden or germany that a better crop is made only with half months of flowering.

Canola field blooms normally 2-3 weeks. During that time a hive takes normally 60 kg honey. In dry soil it gives nothing.

Rasberies in woods give sometimes huge yields. Even 8 kg per day.
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ThomasGR
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« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2013, 03:19:22 PM »

Does this plant is managed by farmers ? I searched a little and see huge yellow areas that definitely not exist here of any plant.
Also what is your preparations for the time canola blooms. How does your hives look like that moment, as far as population is concerned ?

Anyway thanks for your responses.
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Finski
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« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2013, 03:30:12 PM »

Does this plant is managed by farmers ? I searched a little and see huge yellow areas that definitely not exist here of any plant.


Spring canola is here quite popular. The plant likes moist summers. Minimum cultivation contract is 6 hectares.
20 hectares in one spot is common.

Quote
Also what is your preparations for the time canola blooms. How does your hives look like that moment, as far as population is concerned ?


Canola blooms in July. When I bring hives to canola, I join weak hives so that each hive has 5-6 langstroth boxes.
That hive can handle 80 kg rippen honey.

At same time fireweed starts to bloom. It grows in cutted wood areas. It may give more honey than canola. 100 kg/hive is not rare. It depends on soil what it gives.

Fireweed

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ThomasGR
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« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2013, 05:15:06 PM »

Thanks a lot for the responses, i got some extra info i needed.
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Finski
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« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2013, 08:11:48 PM »

.
What about honeydew yields in Greece?
Forest honey?

We get it only in hot summer when dry period is several weeks and rain does not wash sugar from leaves.
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ThomasGR
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« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2013, 02:24:02 PM »

Yes, honey from trees is the most part of the national production. Its the 75% of the average 12.000 - 15.000 tones yearly. But i am not sure if this honey is called honeydew or something else, its produced on Pines and Firs from insects that coexists with those trees. Of course other trees also adds to the total. Pine tree flow is about stable every year and happens during SEP - OCT just before winter. Its the only situation can be compared with flows you describe. I am at the learning period and my 10 hives are always near my home in order to minimize costs. Other beekeepers makes their living from transferring their hives to those forests.
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Finski
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« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2013, 02:59:01 PM »

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Honeydew is the stuff what insects secrete on leaves and on cars.
Forest honey is the product name which derives from honeydew. You may read about that from google. Stuff is partly f ermented on leaves and there are special microflora in that stuff. 
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ThomasGR
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« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2013, 04:00:42 PM »

In relation with the initial question,
You unite colonies in order to make one very strong. Do you make this action X days before canola blooms ? After joining colonies is there any period that bees need to reorder their activities ( to become foragers due to overpopulation - 1 queen ).
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Finski
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« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2013, 05:25:07 PM »

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Most of my hives are big enough, but those which are for example 4 boxes, those I join.

That is swarming time too, and I may have one box of larvae, of I have 3 boxhive  which has capped brood.  that is result from swarm stopping.

 I cannot join hives before yield because the giant get easily swarming fever.

When the field is blooming, i move hives and just pile them to proper size. No paper or odor treatment. When hive has work to do, it is not earger to swarm.
I have Italian bees.

When I join for  main yield, hive must be in balance: brood, nurser bees, foragers. It is continuously moving chain because bees are short living and all type of bees are needed.

But big amount of larvae is not good thing in main yield. Our season is very short, only one month.

Home bees are as important as foragers. They handle incoming nectar.

If hive swarms, it must be joined again . Young bees do not forage and  in swarm hive half of bees act as homebees.  many say that "all forage honey" but who handle the nectar and draw combs?

Many beekeepers keep the swarmed hive pieces apart, but so they loose the yield.


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ThomasGR
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« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2013, 06:55:28 AM »

What type of beehive do you use ? I am not a professional beekeeper but i think most of the hives i see are 2-3 deeps including brood boxes. Is there any kind of preparation you make before to reach such size during the flow ? Feeding syrup, pollen subs  early ?
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Finski
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« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2013, 04:34:31 PM »

.
We use Langstroths here.
No one use 3- deep hives here. They  are too small. ithink that 5-6 Lang boxs are normal

beehive must have capacity when flow happens.

 
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ThomasGR
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« Reply #16 on: May 09, 2013, 04:05:14 AM »

Thanks,
I noted in other post that you requeen every year, this is also a factor that can boost hives size. I prepared for breeding 10-15 queens in a few weeks, in order to go  next spring only with under 1 year queens in all my hives.

* If there is any article in English for beekeeping to your place i would be curious to read.
Michael's page i have already spent time.
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