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Author Topic: 4 th year of beekeeping  (Read 1193 times)
jeepjivenwale
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« on: July 07, 2013, 01:05:39 PM »

Hello all...I'm not on often but would to share my experiences so far...I'm from Michigan

Year 1...1 hive...lost over winter.
Year 2...Replaced bees.  60 pounds of honey.
Year 3...Bees survived and I went to 12 hives total.  Lost 2 right away to direct Queen release method and fly off (didn't spray her down with sugar water first).  Built my own electric 4 frame extractor.  Had 10 hives up to harvest, 8 gave honey for a total of 325 pounds of honey.  Lost 2 hives before winter (bad queens).  Lost 6 hives over winter (I gave them all hard candy boards...hardly any of them touched).
Year 4 (currently)...1 hive has survived 2 winters now, found mold and low numbers though...not looking good (should've re-Queened this year?)...the other hive that survived was one that I started last year...didn't figure it to be one of the ones to survive but it did and is doing great...went up to 14 hives this year and no Queen release problems...10 on my 2 acres and 4 on my friends 1 acre.  Just did my first "Bee Removal" for a family this morning (they found our beekeeping page on facebook)...found the queen and healthy colony in the wall of there garage...like they say though...a swarm in may is worth a load of hay...a swarm in june is a silver spoon...a swarm in july isn't worth a fly...

Its been warmer and wetter than ever this season...most of my hives started bearding yesterday...they have even stayed bearded up even though it has been raining since last night...I've never seen that before...I defiitely don't think it is a sign of swarming seeing as its most of the colonies and theres bees hanging out at all of the cracks and holes of the hive...not just the entrance.  I've been doing some research on going to 9 frames instead of 10...any suggestions?

I would like some advice as to my winter kill problem and the ability to increase my honey production please (and any other advice that comes to mind for that matter!)

Loving the hobby and looking forward to more knowledge.
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Finski
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« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2013, 05:16:05 PM »


Its been warmer and wetter than ever this season...most of my hives started bearding yesterday...they have even stayed bearded up even though it has been raining since last night
.


Too small space for bees. Too tight and nectar is coming. Add quickly foundation boxes  to each hive. - if you do not have combs.
They will soon have queen cells.

How many boxes you have in each hive?

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jeepjivenwale
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« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2013, 05:25:23 PM »

2 deeps and 1 super on 13 of them...2 supers on 1 of them
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Better.to.Bee.than.not
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« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2013, 05:25:57 PM »

To give any insight at all, people have to know the methodology you are using going about things. The bearding, do you have entrance reducers on? what type of ventilation as well as congestion inside the box/ie how full is it? with a 10 frame, it is purposely made that way to sort of restrict space actually. bees get in there between comb and there isn't much airflow that they do not make themselves, especially going up 3/4 boxes. this has benefits but also has problems. Do you have your boxes out in full sun totally? what color are they, what are they made out of and how thick are they. it all comes into play imo in various amounts. none or it is usually something that cannot be handled though. I'm putting a third deep on 4 of my hives, probably tomorrow. As you say, today is rainy on and off, and I'm not at a emergency situation, so it can wait for me.
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jeepjivenwale
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« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2013, 05:37:19 PM »

No entrance reducers...3/4" hole drilled into face of each box, top is sloped (front lip resting on inner cover), sun exposure 3/4 of the day, made out of typical Dadant 10 frames 9-5/8" Deeps (Broods) and 6-5/8" Shallow (Supers)...White...you say you're putting a third deep on tomorrow...is that in reference to a 9-5/8" box?
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sc-bee
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« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2013, 08:49:52 PM »

Just curious what does color of hive have to do with anything?
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dfizer
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« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2013, 08:59:11 PM »

Just curious what does color of hive have to do with anything?


The darker the box the hotter it will get from the suns rays.  For instance a black box will be considerably hotter than a white one. 
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sc-bee
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« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2013, 09:24:05 PM »

Just curious what does color of hive have to do with anything?


The darker the box the hotter it will get from the suns rays.  For instance a black box will be considerably hotter than a white one. 

I really knew the answer grin Just didn't think it was that important in the scheme of things. I have never seen anyone paint hives black but I guess possible. I have been wrong more than once in my life but I think color of hive is over rated. Maybe not in a northern climate where white will collect heat in the winter? But being in the South I have no idea about bee winters. I know some northern beekeepers who don't paint boxes at all. Now I have heard paint browns or greens to hide a hive.

I think we paint hives a particular color to suit the beekeeper. I wonder if white was originally chosen because of easy to get, reflects heat, or just gives a pristine clean look. Curious to hear the answers from the seasoned old timers.
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sc-bee
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« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2013, 10:27:16 PM »

>I've been doing some research on going to 9 frames instead of 10...any suggestions?

It is common to go one frame less in the honey chambers after they are drawn not before with just foundation. Use a full box when they are drawing foundation. One frame short after drawing encourages them to draw the honey frames thicker for easier uncapping. Most leave the brood chambers as they are. Would see no benefit to leave a frame out  of the brood chamber just encourages burr comb.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2013, 10:55:59 PM by sc-bee » Logged

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iddee
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« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2013, 10:34:53 PM »

sc, the northern keeps paint hives white for coolness in summer and cover with black tarpaper in the winter for warmth.

Go to a parking lot on a sunny day and place your hand on a black car and a white car. There is a significant difference.

Jeep, nine frames is a choice with drawn comb. It is a BIG NO-NO with foundation. They will draw comb everywhere EXCEPT on the foundation.
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"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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sc-bee
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« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2013, 10:53:15 PM »

sc, the northern keeps paint hives white for coolness in summer and cover with black tarpaper in the winter for warmth.

Go to a parking lot on a sunny day and place your hand on a black car and a white car. There is a significant difference.

Jeep, nine frames is a choice with drawn comb. It is a BIG NO-NO with foundation. They will draw comb everywhere EXCEPT on the foundation.

Understand the black car - white car thing. And I understand the heat no heat concept. I just thought white hives were more of a tradition thing than need or function base.
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Finski
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« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2013, 11:24:39 PM »



Understand the black car - white car thing. And I understand the heat no heat concept. I just thought white hives were more of a tradition thing than need or function base.

You may try with hand how hot the dark wooden box can be.

Now guys paint dark polyhives. Olive green is popular. Hives hidden better into nature.
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Better.to.Bee.than.not
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« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2013, 03:50:34 AM »

No entrance reducers...3/4" hole drilled into face of each box, top is sloped (front lip resting on inner cover), sun exposure 3/4 of the day, made out of typical Dadant 10 frames 9-5/8" Deeps (Broods) and 6-5/8" Shallow (Supers)...White...you say you're putting a third deep on tomorrow...is that in reference to a 9-5/8" box?

yep, a third 9-5/8's. a 6-5/8 is a medium not a shallow. a shallow for a langstroth is generally like 5-3/4. white will keep them cooler, do you have a solid bottom board or screened? sort of trying to see if it is a heat problem, as others guessed above. and ya for the record it does make a big difference the color, as others have stated. also airflow. As you stated it is in full sun, which is normal and what many suggest, but if there isn't good airflow, they will attempt to fan of course.
  I cannot get a good sense of what is going on with your hive but you saying you have found mold/etc leads me to believe you have a moisture problem, and that can surely also be a airflow problem. I have never used only 3/4 holes myself. A major problem with bees in the winter is not heat loss, but rather moisture problems imo, and lack of airflow.
 
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BlueBee
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« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2013, 04:51:41 AM »

Now guys paint dark polyhives. Olive green is popular. Hives hidden better into nature.
Iím kind of fond of maize and blue myself. Wink

Jeep, are you sure your hives arenít getting taken out by varroa?  They really knock the numbers down over winter and you end up left with a small moldy colony. 

The bees will beard if theyíre too warm or too populated.  If itís the later case, you best be getting ready for some swarms.  It has happened many times to me.  Too many times.  Sad  I donít use screened bottoms in Michigan, thatís just silly.  I do use polystyrene boxes though and that evens out the thermal conditions inside the hive (as long as you do have some sort of small top vent). 

I will grant you it has been much wetter than normal in Michigan, but our temps have been running around the 30 year averages for a pleasant change.
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Finski
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« Reply #14 on: July 08, 2013, 10:12:08 AM »



Jeep, are you sure your hives arenít getting taken out by varroa?  .


Me Finland, me no varroa

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sc-bee
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« Reply #15 on: July 08, 2013, 12:35:18 PM »



Understand the black car - white car thing. And I understand the heat no heat concept. I just thought white hives were more of a tradition thing than need or function base.

You may try with hand how hot the dark wooden box can be.

Now guys paint dark polyhives. Olive green is popular. Hives hidden better into nature.


I too like the green and greys.
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jeepjivenwale
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« Reply #16 on: July 08, 2013, 07:27:01 PM »

Thank you everyone for the wealth of knowledge...I like Maize & Blue also but...The Mold comment was just about one hive...Finski...you were right...bearded hives were full of bees and most had already filled the first medium with honey...(I have a hard time calling a 6-5/8" a medium because to me a deep is 9-5/8" and a brood box, I'm going to go off on a tangent here...if a 6-5/8 is a medium, then a 5-3/4" should be a small and a 9-5/8" should be a large...why are they not?)...I added another super (or medium) tonight to all...Finski...thats where the phrase "Black Cars are Hot" comes from right?  Solid bottom board...why go with 3 9-5/8" ( i read that somewhere but don't remember the reason)?  I didn't say I only use 3/4" holes...i use those plus the usual...no entrance reducer plus the "propped top" and notched inner cover entrance...Varroa...I'm unsure...I haven't learned that far ahead yet...recomendations...I did see the small white worms like things coming out of that hive last year, but I was told if its strong it'll be fine...and actually after checking them tonight (my only hive on its 3rd year of survival), they are keeping up with the others and have their first medium filled with honey...

I need to get on here more often...I love this!
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #17 on: July 09, 2013, 12:02:47 PM »

>(I have a hard time calling a 6-5/8" a medium because to me a deep is 9-5/8" and a brood box, I'm going to go off on a tangent here...if a 6-5/8 is a medium, then a 5-3/4" should be a small and a 9-5/8" should be a large...why are they not?

They are being measured in depth.  When they started there was just deeps (9 5/8") and shallows (5 3/4").  Then Dadant came up with Dadant deeps (11 5/8") and Illinois (6 5/8) which later came to be called a Medium depth super.  So then you had Dadant deep, Deep, Medium depth super, Shallow super, and (eventually) extra shallow super (4 3/4") which were deeps split down the middle.

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jeepjivenwale
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« Reply #18 on: July 13, 2013, 08:03:47 PM »

So I have a huge swarm in my crabapple up by where the one hive was bearded in the rain...question...I added the new super...I mean Medium 5 days ago and they still swarmed...is the swarming process something that begins well in advance (days) and is irrevesible?  Is there any advice as to what I could've done other than adding a medium sooner?
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iddee
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« Reply #19 on: July 13, 2013, 08:19:33 PM »

Adding a medium super on top the brood box 3 weeks ago may have helped. YES, they plan and prepare for 2 or 3 weeks prior to swarming. Once started, the only fix is to remove the queen and a few frames of brood and honey. It's called an artificial swarm.
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"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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