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Author Topic: The bees picked me!  (Read 669 times)
itsme
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Location: Viburnum, Missouri


« on: June 15, 2013, 08:12:05 AM »

Greetings,
I have been thinking of having bees for years and later always seemed a better time than now.  I found a swarm on our road less than two weeks ago.  A neighbor helped me get them into a cardboard box.  I drove into the city and bought a brood box with frames and foundation and put them in there. 

I have looked inside (though I hate to bother them) and cannot tell if there is a queen or not.  They are definitely working in the center of the box and drinking the sugar water I made for them.  I see some of the returning bees have pollen and most don't. 

I bought a book on beekeeping and there is so much it does not cover it isn't even funny smiley

I think I need to give them another brood box and cannot seem to find any information about the "best" sort of foundation.  I will look around on this site and I'm sure that has already been covered.

We do everything organically and want to keep our bees mostly hoping they will thrive.  Any honey we would get would be a bonus.

I had to post something here or be removed from the list so there it is.
Thanks!
Bill
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Moots
Queen Bee
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Location: Gonzales LA (Southeastern Louisiana)


« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2013, 08:43:49 AM »

Bill,
Welcome to the addiction...I'm a new Beek myself and have jumped into the deep end have really been enjoying the whole experience.  I feel like I have learned so much, and have so far to go.  Smiley

This forum is a great resource and will prove to be very helpful if you choose to use it as such...

What makes you think they need another brood box already?  How crowded does the box appear when you open it.  When it is time for another box, why wouldn't you go back with the same type box and foundation you originally purchased for box 1?  THere's a lot to be said for sticking with one manufacturer for your equipment because some small differences do exist, even though there are some "rough" standards.

Concerning foundation, it's pretty much a wax or plastic choice...Or, some go foundationless.

Lots of arguments, pro and con for each....give us some more details and specific questions and we'll try to give some specific advice.

Good Luck!

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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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itsme
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Location: Viburnum, Missouri


« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2013, 10:20:02 AM »

Thanks for your response.

I just think they need another brood box because that's what I've been told.  No, they are not crowded right now.  They are all in the middle of the box, working on building and such.

Yes I do want to stay with the original manufacturer, unless I decide to make some boxes myself.

I don't like the cheap pine boxes and see that cypress is offered as well.  I'm thinking of using cypress boxes.  I didn't have time to paint or even glue up the box I bought as it was an all day trip for me to go and get it for them.  So I put it together and got them in there as soon as I could.  I have it set up right now in an open sided out building so it won't get rained on.  At some point I will need to figure the best time to move them to a more permanent location.  I can wait until winter if that's better for them.

So since you asked, here are a few questions.
How do the cypress boxes hold up over time, and do they need any finish applied?
Should I get some honey supers to put over the brood box?
Do I need another brood box now or should I wait and see how they do?
What are the pros and cons to a foundationless frame?

We would like to do everything as naturally as possible.  I considered leaving the bees alone where they were but since they were in the roadway that seemed risky for them so I decided to move them.  I'm open to any and all advise. 
Thanks!
Bill
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kathyp
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« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2013, 11:34:57 AM »

Quote
So since you asked, here are a few questions.


Quote
Should I get some honey supers to put over the brood box?

hopefully someone from your area will answer this, but right now, no.
Quote
Do I need another brood box now or should I wait and see how they do?

you don't need to add another box until the one you have is much farther along.  the number of bees will go down, before it goes back up.  it take time for brood to hatch.

Quote
What are the pros and cons to a foundationless frame?

save that for later.  you are not there yet.   Smiley

Quote
We would like to do everything as naturally as possible.  I considered leaving the bees alone where they were but since they were in the roadway that seemed risky for them so I decided to move them.  I'm open to any and all advise.

nice idea...but...since you are now a beekeeper, you need to keep the bees.  that doesn't mean you need to do tons of stuff with them, but yo do need to stay on top of things so that if it goes south, you can help out.
fist thing you need to do is look in there and make sure you have a laying queen.  if you have had the hive two weeks, that should be easy.  you will have capped brood.  you need to make sure that they are not filling all the space with syrup and not leaving room for the queen to lay.
look for a beekeeping club close to you.  they will be able to help you with more local info.


Thanks!
Bill
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Moots
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Location: Gonzales LA (Southeastern Louisiana)


« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2013, 12:33:47 PM »

Thanks for your response.

I just think they need another brood box because that's what I've been told.  No, they are not crowded right now.  They are all in the middle of the box, working on building and such.

Yes I do want to stay with the original manufacturer, unless I decide to make some boxes myself.

I don't like the cheap pine boxes and see that cypress is offered as well.  I'm thinking of using cypress boxes.  I didn't have time to paint or even glue up the box I bought as it was an all day trip for me to go and get it for them.  So I put it together and got them in there as soon as I could.  I have it set up right now in an open sided out building so it won't get rained on.  At some point I will need to figure the best time to move them to a more permanent location.  I can wait until winter if that's better for them.

So since you asked, here are a few questions.
How do the cypress boxes hold up over time, and do they need any finish applied?
Should I get some honey supers to put over the brood box?
Do I need another brood box now or should I wait and see how they do?
What are the pros and cons to a foundationless frame?

We would like to do everything as naturally as possible.  I considered leaving the bees alone where they were but since they were in the roadway that seemed risky for them so I decided to move them.  I'm open to any and all advise. 
Thanks!
Bill

Bill,
As I mentioned, a lot of this is new to me, but I'll give my 2 cents and sure others will jump in.  You'll learn quickly, there isn't one definitive right way to do anything in beekeeping, my advice is to collect any and all opinions and find what works for you.

As for the additional brood box...At some point, assuming your colony survives and grows, you will need it.  But not now, as a general rule, you don't want to give the bees more space than they need.  Doing so, makes the space harder for them to defend against SHB's, wax moths, etc. etc.

I build my own boxes out of #2 pine, prime and paint all exposed areas with a quality latex paint.  I have no experience with cypress boxes but know the quality of the wood, so no doubt they are better  Smiley....and therefore more expensive.  Sad

Whatever you go with, I'm a huge believer in using glue...Titebond III is what I use, others think Titebond II is more than sufficient.

As for finish, so paint, some do nothing, some wax dip or use other dip style treatments.

Be aware that if you move your bees relatively short distances you have to hang a branch or something over their entrance to help them re-orient to the new location.  Michael Bush's website speaks to this.

Foundationless...what kathy said....maybe later, not now!
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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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tefer2
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« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2013, 01:50:55 PM »

Good advice already given, welcome to Beemaster! bee
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itsme
House Bee
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Location: Viburnum, Missouri


« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2013, 01:39:09 PM »

I just put a foundationless frame between two frames with foundation that the bees were working.  My main goal in opening the hive was to determine whether there was a queen present or not.  People tell me I need to know whether I have a queen or not, lest the entire hive dies off.

Some of the cells seemed to be being filled with honey, light in color, and some of the cells looked much darker and were not all clustered together.

As a reminder, I just got these bees June 6, which makes it ten days ago from a swarm at our place.

Any advise is appreciated!
Bill
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BAH
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Location: Knoxville, TN


« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2013, 02:40:06 PM »

Welcome to the addiction;
Like Kathy said about checking for the queen, if you have capped brood or eggs you have a queen Smiley. Check online for pictures of capped brood and capped honey. Also I was told look for a rainbow pattern on the frame.
Also not all foragers bring in pollen some bring in water, nectar, and that will be in their honey bellies  Wink.
 I for one also agree about the foundationless frames. It takes bees longer to draw out and must be handled carefully. I for one would not use it in the brood box, but without a doubt someone does. For me I would rather use it in my top super just so I can have comb honey.
This is just me though, like it was said before you have to find what works for you.
I was told to add my second brood box when 5-7 frames were fully drawn. Also to spray empty frames, of new box, with 1:1 sugar/water, when added.
Good luck to you and your bees. I am sure you will get much more valuable info from others here, but for now that's my 2 cents  grin
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JPinMO
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Location: west central MO


« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2013, 05:24:04 PM »

Bill, please, please, PLEASE, go to the MO State Beekeepers Association page and find a Club near you --
http://mostatebeekeepers.org/local-associations/
Get in touch with them ASAP, don't wait until the next meeting, ask them to hook you up with a mentor. You'll need someone to help you through the "crash course" in beekeeping.  Wink  Bee Club dues are generally very reasonable and well worth the investment.

(You do not have to join the State Association, but you certainly can.)

Which book did you get? Check your local library; ask if they can borrow books from other libraries (my library calls that "inter-library loan" and I think it's a fantastic service!) Also, see if your local Bee club has recommendations or book(s) for sale.

Sometimes, the local 'farm & home' stores will carry basic beekeeping supplies.

How did you manage to get the bees into a box? Obviously you and your neighbor did something right!

Welcome to the forums!
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Joe D
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Location: Ovett, Ms


« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2013, 08:30:52 PM »

Welcome to the forum, Bill.  I am one of those that does use dome foundationless frames in the brood chamber.  If you put in a starter strip, paint stiring strips, between old comb or foundation frames.  Keep a check that they are building them straight.  They will work and the bees build the size they want.  Good luck to you and your bees.




Joe
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