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Author Topic: New to Beekeeping  (Read 10052 times)
Oak
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« Reply #40 on: November 09, 2013, 11:37:46 PM »

Hi everyone,

I was a bit concerned that the colonised bait hive was nearly full on the last inspection so I added it's first super today. I tried to open up the broodnest by taking three frames of brood out and putting them in the top super. 

I noticed that one frame had two cells that looked like the beginnings of queen cups. I will check on them in a few days and if they are queen cells I will put them in a nuc. Hopefully that will avoid swarming. Open to any advice.

Regards
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prestonpaul
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« Reply #41 on: November 10, 2013, 06:05:52 AM »

It's normal to have a few queen cups or practice cells in a hive. No need to worry unles there is somthing in them.
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Oak
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« Reply #42 on: November 10, 2013, 07:08:28 AM »

Thanks prestonpaul,

There were large white larvae in them. I will check them in a couple of days to be sure.
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OldMech
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« Reply #43 on: November 10, 2013, 09:42:04 AM »

Really nice work on the hives and frames. I am impressed. Luck seems to be on your side.  Excellent use of foundation-less frames as well.   I think the only thing I might do differently is to re queen the aggressive hive.. IF, they remain aggressive.  I have to understand if they get a bit testy when I tear their house apart to inspect, but wont put up with bees bouncing off my head or following me to the house. The real bugger is when they start pinging you when you approach the hive, then you KNOW you have to do something..

    If your bees are indeed feral, you may find they are capable of dealing with varoa and hive beetles on their own.. in which case I wouldnt requeen with anything commercial. If your other hive is strong and non aggressive it might be the best bet to use one of your Nuc's to make a queen or two from the non aggressive hive..    I LOVE my feral bees.   Mite checks on the feral hives are always lower than the commercial Carnys and Italians I have...  It is my intention to replace those commercial queens with feral during the main flow next spring..
   Your doing an amazing job...  I very much enjoy seeing someone as resourceful as you are keeping bees. That smoker is fantastic by the way!!
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39 Hives and growing.  Havent found the end of the comfort zone yet.
Oak
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« Reply #44 on: November 10, 2013, 06:25:53 PM »

Thanks for the encouragement OldMech.

The cutout hive has calmed down a lot, I would even describe them as gentle right now. I think they were annoyed because they had no queen, the hive probably swarmed just before I cut them out. I take your point though, don't put up with aggressive bee strains.

I think I will make a queen from my other hive. It is the next thing I want to try.

 

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hollie
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« Reply #45 on: November 11, 2013, 03:32:06 AM »

Hi Oak - really have enjoyed your pics and the progress you've made. Congrats and well done!
I'm very much a newbee - using foundation, with a small hive I haven't touched in years: tidying up and with a new home I hope they will be as successful as your possum box group. Looks like it was a good size!  That's how I started in beekeeping - a hive in a possum box that fell to the ground in a big storm.  Great hobby.  Good Luck to you and your bees.
Hollie, Southwest W.A.
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Oak
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« Reply #46 on: November 11, 2013, 04:18:32 AM »

Thanks Hollie,

It's great to know that I'm not the only one who started with a possum box. It is a great hobby, always more to learn.
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Oak
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« Reply #47 on: November 15, 2013, 07:36:58 PM »

Hi all,

This morning the weather finally allowed me to check for the beginnings of queen cells that I saw last week. I think I was mistaken as there is no trace of them now. It's a bit of a relief.

Glad I got the super on now, I probably should have put it on a week after the bait hive was occupied.

« Last Edit: November 16, 2013, 02:11:55 AM by Oak » Logged
Oak
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« Reply #48 on: November 18, 2013, 03:25:46 AM »

Hi all,

Just inspected the cut out hive and I am trying to make sense of it. I guess I expected it to completely turn around after I found the first signs of a laying queen two weeks ago, but that isn't what I saw.

1. I found more eggs but not many. I only saw one solid patch about 2 inches in diameter.

2. The brood area remains limited to about three frames. The grubs I saw last inspection had developed into capped worker brood but the brood area hadn't expanded at all. I didn't see much new uncapped brood.

3. Other frames in the broodbox have largely been left alone. They haven't really made much effort to draw out the frames and a lot look like they did the day after the cut out.

My thoughts are that maybe there aren't enough bees to cover more brood so the new queen is stuck on the three frames.

I gave it a frame of capped brood from my other hive. I will repeat this weekly until I see an improvement. Haven't decided on feeding.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2013, 05:06:55 AM by Oak » Logged
Oak
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« Reply #49 on: November 20, 2013, 12:49:26 AM »

While cutout hive has plenty of nectar I don't see any capped honey so I have started feeding syrup. I am using an inverted jar and a poultry waterer (with marbles to stop bee drowning) in an extra box between the inner cover and the roof.

I will continue adding one frame of capped brood a week. I may swap the locations of the cutout hive with the stronger hive if things don't turn around.
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prestonpaul
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« Reply #50 on: November 20, 2013, 01:42:20 AM »

Sounds like you have it all under control  grin
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Oak
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« Reply #51 on: November 20, 2013, 02:38:43 AM »

Thanks prestonpaul,

I just reduced the entrance size on the weak hive. No reason to suspect robbing, just a precaution.
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Oak
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« Reply #52 on: November 20, 2013, 09:06:02 PM »

I saw a drone being attacked by one of the workers in the cutout hive yesterday, which I thought was odd.

Today I had a hard time finding any drones. Maybe reducing the entrance size has helped the workers keep them out.

« Last Edit: November 20, 2013, 11:15:03 PM by Oak » Logged
sawdstmakr
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« Reply #53 on: November 21, 2013, 11:15:01 AM »

A hive only supports drones when they are they think they are strong and have surplus or are queenless (laying worker).
Looks like your reducer board is a bit too narrow. Looks like there is a 1/8" gap the length of the board. If you get a robbing situation before the bees glue it up, the robbers will go through that gap.
Jim
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Oak
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« Reply #54 on: November 22, 2013, 12:00:25 AM »

Hi Jim,

I see what you mean. Thanks for the tip, I'll make one out of thicker timber.

Cheers
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Oak
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« Reply #55 on: November 25, 2013, 01:44:14 AM »

The cutout hive has taken 2.5 liters of 2:1 syrup in a week. They are storing it in the broodbox, which isn't surprising considering most of the super frames have not been been drawn out.

I found more capped worker brood. The queen has a solid laying pattern, she has been laying eggs in every available cell so that's good news.  I added a frame of capped brood from the strong hive.

Hopefully when the broodbox is full they will start putting honey in the super.
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Oak
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« Reply #56 on: November 29, 2013, 08:38:56 PM »

Hi all,

I don't know what is happening with my strong hive. This morning I saw half a dozen bees standing around the entrance with their bums in the air.

About noon I noticed their were a lot more bees than usual all over the front of the hive. There were so many bees trying to enter the hive that some had been knocked to the ground.






My first thoughts were robbing but it died down within 30 minutes so now I just don't know.

The hives weekly inspection day is tomorrow so I will know more then.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2013, 09:38:17 PM by Oak » Logged
Michael86
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« Reply #57 on: November 30, 2013, 04:37:20 AM »

Hi Oak,

i wish you good luck with your bees. Your smoker is a nice idea  grin

Greetings
Michael
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Oak
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« Reply #58 on: November 30, 2013, 07:11:52 AM »

Thanks Michael
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Oak
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« Reply #59 on: November 30, 2013, 10:43:33 PM »

Nothing unusual in my strong hive so I don't know what yesterday was about.

No swarm cells. The super frames are nearly fully drawn. The empty frames I put in the broodnest are being filled and the brood moved up to the super is being capped.

Below is a frame from the super of my strong hive that I am moving to my weak cutout hive.



The broodbox of the cutout hive is nearly full but most of it is uncapped syrup. I think now would be a good time to stop feeding. Another interesting thing I saw on the floor of this hive was some dead slaters.

Below are my inverted jar feeders. I stopped using the poultry waterer because it is hard to clean.



I am going try switching the locations of the strong hive and the weak hive to give the weak hive a boost. I really just want to see what happens. As I mentioned earlier, the buildup of the cutout hive has been much slower than I would have liked.

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