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Author Topic: So is anybody planning an expansion in 2014?  (Read 6935 times)
merince
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« on: October 25, 2013, 12:24:09 PM »

Are planning to expand your apiary in 2014? Care to share the outline of the plan?

In 2013, I started with 4 colonies and ended up with 19 as of todat, Oct 25.

I had 4 overwintered double deeps. Kept them as honey producers but took brood out of the best for my queens. Ordered 6 packages to use for increase. 2 of the queens were dead on arrival, one was a drone layer.

Raised my own queens (emerged late July / early August so fall queens). I ended up with 5 colonies in double deeps (the 4 honey colonies and the cell builder), 5 in single deeps (3 from the original packages and 2 early splits) and 9 nucs (3 in 4 over 4 configurations, the rest in 4 frame nucs).

All the colonies except the cell builder are headed by my own queens.

I plan to keep about 4 of the colonies back to try to build up possibly to 50 next year depending on how every one does through the winter.
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Jim 134
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« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2013, 05:24:51 PM »

I do hope it works out well for you.






                  BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley
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divemaster1963
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« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2013, 10:56:27 PM »

I have had alot of losses this season. I lost a total of 18 hives in my yards and my partner lost 23 hives. I'm down to 10 double deeps and one nuc (late season swarm) and my partner has 15 double deeps and 5 double nucs going into tonight's freeze. hoping the weather breaks back into the 70's this sunday. Hoping to add another 50 hives next spring from swarm season in the farm area. had a Friend who averages 20 to 40 a year from the farms. pollinators lose alot from swarms. you find them all along the roads in the area. once they make it to the roads . their fair game for who ever comes by. they can't lay claim to them unless they are still on the farm it's self. most of the pollinators don't worry about the swarms and want them removed to not lose pollinating contracts to a area that is heavy consitrated with wild colones.

john
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RHBee
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« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2013, 01:25:49 PM »

I'm working with 14 colonies going into winter. I plan to buy 6-5lb packages in the spring. Queen rearing and swarm prevention are qoals. If those goals are met, I will requeen and split all colonies in the fall. Overall,  go into winter with 30+ colonies 2014.
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Later,
Ray
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« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2013, 06:15:11 AM »

I just installed my first package on 2 Nov and did my first hive inspection today. We're coming to the end of Spring and I'm hoping (really, really hoping to be able to get up to about 8-9 hives by Winter. I'm not so worried about honey production this season.
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2013, 11:58:51 AM »

I will be working the bees by myself next year so except for making nucs, I will probably reduce a little.
Jim
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merince
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« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2013, 02:48:59 PM »

Well, I was discussing my plans for next year with my hubby and he is game to try the package route again so that we can keep all overwintered colonies for honey production.

This definitely takes me back to the drawing board. Do I throw the dice and hope for better luck in the spring?

The packages last spring were very early and we got a week-long cold snap (overnight freezes) that started the day we got them. On the other hand, I am tossing around trying G. M. Doolittle's shaken swarm method of swarm control which involves taking out all the brood combs. I could use those to stock the nucs, too Cheesy

Any suggestions or comments?
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Brother Dave
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« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2013, 04:12:21 PM »

I guess I will see what the bees do.
I would like to raise new queens for all my hives and split my biggest colony.
 If they make queen cells I may wind up with more hives. I am considering a medium sized box as a double queen castle. I am keeping it small as my budget for this project is limited.
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merince
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« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2013, 04:13:42 PM »

Brother Dave,

Do you have any particular method for raising queens in mind?
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Brother Dave
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« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2013, 04:33:02 PM »

I am thinking about pulling a box out of my strongest hive and letting it make queen cells. Then putting the grains with queen cells into a queen 4 frame x2 queen castle. I am still thinking about this. I could do a newspaper combine after harvesting the queens. I don't know if I have the resources to graft,starter hive, finisher hive then mating nooks.


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JPinMO
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« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2013, 12:16:43 PM »

merince, I'm curious if your supplier replaced your queens. Is this a national supplier, or someone local?
What I really want to know is: is this someone the rest of us should stay away from?
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cannot be trusted in large ones either. – Albert Einstein
merince
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« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2013, 12:24:48 PM »

JPinMO:

He is a national supplier, although he is local to me. I have ordered 3 times through him and this is the only time that I had issues with the packages. He replaced 1 of the queens since that is all he had on hand. He offered to replace the others, but his next available ones were within a month. By that time, the bees would be able to raise one on their own anyways.

I am willing to give the benefit of doubt this time.
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OldMech
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« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2013, 10:48:34 PM »


  I have ten more nucs ordered for spring. I will be splitting several of my hives, leaving half for honey. I'll pull brood from existing hives to strengthen nukes and splits, and give them empty frames to draw out to try to keep them from swarming...
   I have half a dozen feral bee trees located and swarm traps built, so I am hoping for around 40 hives going into next winter...
   Once I hit 40, I plan to try VSH Northern queens for 2015 in all my colonies that are commercial and compare them to the feral colonies as far as hardiness and mite resistance, then start splitting, and producing my own queens from the best of what I find. I hope to be (nearly) treatment free by 2016, and then expand from there using only the best of what I have.
   The problem with beekeeping, is that its not measured, in days, weeks, or even months....  I have goals, but its going to take several years to get there.. at least the way I have it planned..  I could probably just buy packages.. but where is the challenge in that?   grin
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39 Hives and growing.  Havent found the end of the comfort zone yet.
marshmasterpat
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« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2013, 08:10:46 AM »

I am a new bee keeper, was not planning to get bees until this coming spring.  But have been reading, helping a few bee people aways down the road, and took a beginner class, plus getting gear ready since middle of the summer.  Then had someone tell me about a cut out they wanted done ASAP and bam I had bees.  Lost the queen, but they raised their own in October and is laying like crazy since the week before Halloween.

Collected another 3 cut outs since then, and have another two someone wants done before spring. 

Have lots of comb with honey banded into the frames and brood comb as well.  And they are still hitting the last of the golden rod (about 2 weeks max is left).

Hope to split these to about 12 before late spring and see what happens. 
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ItalianBeekeeper
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« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2013, 08:18:11 AM »

2013 was a very bad season here in Italy.It rained no stop from May to July for the first time since 1900 i guess. 260 queens were lost from mating flights, after storms and i had to work for other beekeepers for get the money for EAT. Fortunately I saved my season in late summer.
For the 2014 i have to be very creative : after I rear the first 80 queen cells I will make 80 nucs with the old queens and give a queen cell to every hive. The nucs starts very small, 3 frames for everyone and i will use they as backup ,till the first big honey flow begin. In this way i controll swarming too and if they swarm i will move sufficent brood frames from nucs to hives. after the last honey crop in july, i will make all the colonies brood less by making nucs with scrolled broodframes and just 2 frames with bees  and move those nucs  in a new apiary. Than i will threat the broodless apiary with oxalic acid and wait that all the brood of the nucs apiary get out than i will threat them with oxalic too and give a mated queen.

this is a very extreme way to expand, i know, but i want to grow and give work to young people in about 3 years
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OldMech
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« Reply #15 on: November 12, 2013, 09:06:18 AM »

2013 was a very bad season here in Italy.It rained no stop from May to July for the first time since 1900 i guess. 260 queens were lost from mating flights, after storms and i had to work for other beekeepers for get the money for EAT. Fortunately I saved my season in late summer.
For the 2014 i have to be very creative : after I rear the first 80 queen cells I will make 80 nucs with the old queens and give a queen cell to every hive. The nucs starts very small, 3 frames for everyone and i will use they as backup ,till the first big honey flow begin. In this way i controll swarming too and if they swarm i will move sufficent brood frames from nucs to hives. after the last honey crop in july, i will make all the colonies brood less by making nucs with scrolled broodframes and just 2 frames with bees  and move those nucs  in a new apiary. Than i will threat the broodless apiary with oxalic acid and wait that all the brood of the nucs apiary get out than i will threat them with oxalic too and give a mated queen.

this is a very extreme way to expand, i know, but i want to grow and give work to young people in about 3 years

    Go brother GO!   Everyone stand back!     grin
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39 Hives and growing.  Havent found the end of the comfort zone yet.
merince
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« Reply #16 on: November 12, 2013, 09:49:31 AM »

ItalianBeekeeper:

How many hives are you starting with? 80 nucs sounds ambitious, please keep us updated on the progress.
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ItalianBeekeeper
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« Reply #17 on: November 12, 2013, 01:34:29 PM »

i've closed the season with 80 colonies in Dadant Blatt 10F hives on 6-7 frames+ division board. on 6-7 frames the bees are warmer in winter and there is space for the Italian bee brood explosion in the early spring. making nucs is good to keep varroa mites population in a reasonable number during the season + you can sell nucs to friends or other beekeepers when the season is not so honey-friendly. Nucs are the best choice for an expansion, 10 times better than bee-packages and it will cost you just a little bit of honey. afro
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tecumseh
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« Reply #18 on: November 19, 2013, 05:51:39 AM »

yep I expand every spring time and constantly reduce my numbers the remainder of the year.  since I now have obtained a good stack of empty boxes (no frames) I will likely spend the spring time filling all of those empties up with bees and likely sell some in the early springtime.
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I am 'the panther that passes in the night'... tecumseh.
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« Reply #19 on: November 22, 2013, 06:06:56 PM »

I have 9 hives right now, plan on trying to keep them from swarming get a honey crop and then split them like my life depended on it. My goal is to have around 175 hives within the next 5 years, probably end up buying a lot of them though.
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