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Author Topic: Straight Combs!  (Read 7171 times)
Michael Bush
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« Reply #20 on: September 04, 2013, 07:49:32 AM »

Usually a wax moth take over is preceded by them going queenless.  Sometimes when they go queenless they abscond and move to another hive that has a queen.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
itsme
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« Reply #21 on: September 04, 2013, 02:07:00 PM »

Thank you for your response.  That's good information about the queenless situation.

I'm still wondering why they didn't make another queen.  Is this not highly unusual?

Thanks!
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #22 on: September 05, 2013, 08:59:18 AM »

I'm sure they DID make another queen.  She probably flew out to mate and got snatched by a bird or a dragon fly or hit a windshield...
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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
itsme
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« Reply #23 on: September 05, 2013, 11:48:22 AM »

I see.  That makes sense.  

Thank you!

As an aside, I think I got all of the wax moths and larvae out.  Now it looks to me like another hive from somewhere nearby is coming in and taking the stores back to their hive.  Many, many bees, very frantic buzzing around outside the box.
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OldMech
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« Reply #24 on: November 12, 2013, 12:20:08 PM »


  Not sure why there werent more posts here to help you.. I know the thread is old, but wanted to say (type a few things)

   I love catching swarms and regularly put out multiple swarm traps.. many of the locals know me and call me if they find a swarm or a feral hive..
   I never disturb a feral hive, and often FEED them when we have bad times.. My hopes are to capture swarms from those hives...

   Now.. when a hive swarms there are several reasons.. primary swarms take the old queen with them. secondary swarms may be virgin queens..
   I have experienced just as you have experienced..   booming start, only to dwindle and fade away..  As already posted, it can happen..  if your queen started and then failed. if the virgin went on a mating flight and did not return, or if a neighbor sprayed his garden with pesticides.. etc etc etc...    MANY reasons it can happen.

   Having two to four hives (or more later on) gives you resources in these situations.. adding frames of brood to keep them strong and allow them to make ANOTHER new queen. swapping places with another hive so the field bees return to that one etc..  In a worst case scenario.. you can take the dwindling hive with no queen and combine it with one of your other hives.. then SPLIT that hive in the spring to refill your empty hive...

   Stating with one hive makes it hard to judge the condition of a single hive. as stated.. they WILL dwindle.. IF.. that swarm was an older swarm that couldnt find a good place to take up residence.. they may have been without a home a couple of weeks, making the bees too old to carry on long enough to restart.. You stated they were on the ground by the road? Was the queen damaged as the refusing beek said? thats where adding brood would help with new young bees and supercedure cells.. He SHOULD have helped you irregardless!!!

   You didnt do anything terribly wrong...   I find it a bit disturbing that ANY beek would refuse to help you..   those in this area help each other when they have problems. I have taken brood frames to neighbors. I have employed my vac to help them do cut outs. I have spent an entire DAY trying to get three hives apart and re situated that have not been touched in three years...   All in repayment for the aid they gave when I started. 
   There may be extenuating circumstances...   no time due to work, sick, etc... but Otherwise I find NO excuse for a beek to refuse aid to another. ESPECIALLY one just starting out.    Makes me glad I live where I do...

   PLEASE restart, and do it with a couple of hives two or even three or four. I started with four, dwindled to two, then moved to five from local swarms, and have grown from there.  Losing a hive sucks.. but stick with it, and apply what you learn from each loss!
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39 Hives and growing.  Havent found the end of the comfort zone yet.
itsme
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« Reply #25 on: November 13, 2013, 08:24:47 AM »

OldMech,

Thanks for your wisdom and encouragement!

I have a few months to decide where to place my new starts in the spring.  I need some more equipment for housing, mainly.  More boxes, stands, etc.

I have "reserved" two hive starts for the spring and am wondering whether I might be better off getting three or four, as you suggest so I can have resources to swap from one hive to another.

Question:  I am wanting to use all medium boxes as this seems like it would make management easier for me.  I am asking my mentor who has the nucs for me this coming spring whether he can arrange to have them on medium frames instead of what he normally uses (deeps).

If he cannot is there an easy trick to get them from the deeps to the mediums?

I'm pretty sure I'll have more questions when I have bees again  Smiley

Thanks!
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T Beek
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« Reply #26 on: November 13, 2013, 08:36:41 AM »

I built some dummy (restricting) boards for my all medium set up, designed to fit below 5 DEEP frames inside 2 medium supers, once the DEEPS are empty of bees I can remove both the frames and the dummy boards, replacing with mediums.  I don't really know of another way of introducing DEEPS into a medium system but this is what has worked for me.
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"Trust those who seek the truth, doubt those who say they've found it."
OldMech
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« Reply #27 on: November 13, 2013, 09:16:17 AM »

I built some dummy (restricting) boards for my all medium set up, designed to fit below 5 DEEP frames inside 2 medium supers, once the DEEPS are empty of bees I can remove both the frames and the dummy boards, replacing with mediums.  I don't really know of another way of introducing DEEPS into a medium system but this is what has worked for me.

  Backwards T.. needs to go from deeps to meds...  but I LIKE the idea.. you just attach a sort of false bottom on the med frames?

   the easiest way I have found.. if you NEED to start with deeps and want to go to mediums is to use the deeps the first year, but dont add another deep, add a medium, when it is nearly full add another medium...    Depending on the time of year your bees start.. they may or may not fill the second medium..    If they do not fill it then make sure to move stores into the medium below it, usually the outside frames etc.. and remove the top medium to winter them in the deep and single medium.. come early spring.. when the temps get into the mid 50's the bees should be mostly up into that medium...  pull it, pull the deep, and set the medium on the bottom board, then drop the medium they started last fall on top of them and shake any bees remaining in the deeps into the top medium, close it up and feed..
  Thats how I am rotating the few mediums I had out.. takes time.. but there isnt really any hurry... I will have my last four deeps pulled out this coming spring.. then they will meet the table saw of fate and become mediums as well.
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39 Hives and growing.  Havent found the end of the comfort zone yet.
T Beek
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« Reply #28 on: November 13, 2013, 10:29:00 AM »

Sorry I must not have explained the process correctly, but 'I am' describing my process of going from DEEPS (frames) to MEDIUMS, please re-read my post Undecided.  

No need to attach anything to the bottoms of the DEEPS, just place the dummy/restricting board/box (s) directly below the DEEPS on the bottom board "inside' two medium supers and you'll see what I mean.  I've found that placing the DEEPS and dummies to one side, rather than centered works best.  Fill all remaining area of the two medium supers with medium frames.

The dummies are basically used to fill the cavity created by the DEEPS being placed inside the mediums.  The goal is to get the bees/brood that are on DEEPS to hatch out and then establish themselves on the mediums.  

The dummies restrict bees from building any comb below the DEEPS which is a mess.  Once those bees hatch out of the DEEPS, simply remove the DEEPS and the dummies and replace them with all medium frames.  Hope this makes better sense this time around  Smiley.
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itsme
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« Reply #29 on: November 13, 2013, 03:54:45 PM »

T Beek,
I think I understand what you're saying after reading your second post.  Here's how I understand it:

I will have two medium boxes sitting on a bottom board.
I will set my five (or whatever number I actually get) nuc deep frames inside the top one.
Since they will hang down farther than the top medium box, I must make sure to fill the space below the deep frames with a box of some sort so the bees don't continue making comb below the deeps.

Then replace the deep frames with mediums as the bees hatch.
Is that right?

If that's what you mean I have two more questions  Smiley

Won't I be giving the bees more space than they can cover/ manage?
Also, it seems that the bees don't really finish up with the deeps.  As the bees hatch, the comb will be refilled with eggs, honey, pollen - no?

Either way, it sounds like I have two good suggestions about how to make the switch.
Thanks!
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T Beek
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« Reply #30 on: November 13, 2013, 05:09:29 PM »

NUC's "usually" come as 5-6 DEEP frames of brood/honey/pollen, ideally the brood will be mostly capped and ready to hatch out soon after you get it.  If you get one that hasn't been capped yet over or there is lots of eggs, give it some time to mature in the NUC box.   Once the majority of brood frames are mostly capped place them inside your new set up.  Another factor is the honey.  You can treat it the same way or remove those frames, placing them above your inner cover inside an 'empty' super.  Bees will bring the honey down into the hive in short time.  You can use a queen excluder directly under the inner cover to restrict Queenie from going up there while the workers move the honey downstairs, one of the few times I use excluders, that and making up splits.  Put a few scratches across the honey comb to get them interested.

Too much space is generally a non-issue in Spring when NUC's (and nectar) are available.  Your bees, if healthy will thank you for giving them some more room as they should be looking for ways to expand as soon as you get them.  A healthy NUC should be bursting with bees.

As for bees finishing up or hatching out and preventing the queen from laying of eggs,  You just have to keep an eye on them during the transition.  Worker bees take 21 days to hatch from an egg.  Regardless of the method used that is your window.  By watching entrances close you should be able to tell when 2,3, or 4 frames of bees hatch out…..Then its time to move.

That said;  you WILL kill some brood, its nearly impossible not to.

Your supplier SHOULD be able to tell you how long the queen has been in the NUC making that date a good place to start.  Are you good in math?  Smiley
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"Trust those who seek the truth, doubt those who say they've found it."
T Beek
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« Reply #31 on: November 14, 2013, 07:10:33 AM »

itsme;  another possibility to consider would be to simply do a 'cut out' of all the DEEPS (it would mean sacrificing some of the bottoms  Sad and wiring the brood comb directly into your mediums.  Its considerably more work……for the beekeeper.

I've only done this once and would recommend an accomplice if that route is taken, probably why I didn't suggest it the first time.  The 'transfer w/ dummy' way is much less disruptive.  Good Luck.
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"Trust those who seek the truth, doubt those who say they've found it."
itsme
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« Reply #32 on: November 14, 2013, 07:27:51 AM »

Okay.  I did think of this method and was hoping to avoid it.

I'm still waiting to hear back from my bee mentor.  I guess I'll call him again soon to make sure he got my message and see what his thoughts are.  He does not do email, which is a mixed blessing I suppose.

Anyway, thanks for your thoughts!
Bill
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OldMech
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« Reply #33 on: November 14, 2013, 09:06:11 AM »

Interesting T.. I hadnt considered that method.. makes it possible to do at any time rather than waiting until early spring...    I learned yet again, Thanks!
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39 Hives and growing.  Havent found the end of the comfort zone yet.
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