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Author Topic: what's your game plan for 2014  (Read 1800 times)
10framer
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« on: January 23, 2014, 08:08:05 AM »

it's almost february.  down here that COULD mean spring will be here in a few weeks.  i'm thinking about bees a lot more than i was a month ago and trying to lock in on my beekeeping goals for the year.
my main objective is to increase over the next few years but i do need to start seeing some returns.  i'll be setting up a couple of out yards and a mating yard at my place this year, i've got to figure out the best way to get all that done.
what is everyone else thinking about for 2014?
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chux
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« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2014, 08:33:29 AM »

If everybody makes it through early spring, I'll have one strong TBH, one nuc, and three langs from cutouts with one deep and one medium each. 2014 will be a year to strengthen each of these hives. Next month I plan on building at least a dozen swarm traps to be placed this spring. I will also be putting frames together and building medium boxes, tops, and bottoms. I hope to at least double the number of hives by swarm and cutouts. I also hope to sell my first honey this year. Not much, but enough to get a head start on supplies for the next season.
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10framer
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« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2014, 08:48:59 AM »

chux, last year was my first year back in since the hive beetle became a real problem down here.  i've decided that it's not the big scary thing i thought it might be and i want to go into next winter with 30-50 hives.  i'm like you, these arctic blasts could take out a couple of my hives and i'd like to have a day warm enough to go through all my brood chambers soon to look for any potential issues. i need to be building frames and putting in foundation right now but i've got to finish another big project first.  i also need to be plowing some fields and burning some land........the list goes on forever.  good luck in 2014 and hope that how ever much equipment you put together isn't quite enough.
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T Beek
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« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2014, 09:18:50 AM »

Create more NUCs for winter survival.
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10framer
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« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2014, 09:50:41 AM »

i sent several through in double 5 frames this year (a bit big for a nuc) and i may try to go into winter with several single 5 frame deeps with 4 frames and a division board feeder this winter. 
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Carol
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« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2014, 11:25:48 AM »

Hope to make a split or catch a swarm for my TBH...that will give me 2 Langs and a TBH. Don't think I want more than that...so what to do with those extra bees..... populate the woods?
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10framer
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« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2014, 11:28:28 AM »

send them my way carol.
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cinch123
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« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2014, 12:25:03 PM »

A lot depends on how many of my 10 hives make it through this terrible Ohio winter. If I get at least three through, two will go to honey production and one will become the queen cell starter to make queens for nuc splits. I want to go into next winter with at least 10 hives again but prep for winter better than I did this year. I would also like to standardize my equipment - mainly top covers and bottom boards, which I have different designs of now.
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Steel Tiger
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« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2014, 01:46:53 PM »

 I'm planning on 5 hives and at least 10 double nucs for next winter. If I can get more than 10 going before the end of June, which I suspect I can, any extras will be sold next spring.
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10framer
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« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2014, 02:06:52 PM »

cinch, i think most of us in the u.s. wish we had gone into winter better prepared this year.  i've got a couple i'm a bit worried about. 
steel, i like the idea of getting to a certain number and sticking to it.  the greedy capitalist (that should get tbeek going) in me wants to expand, expand, expand.  my goal is to semi-retire to this, though.
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Steel Tiger
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« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2014, 02:26:11 PM »

steel, i like the idea of getting to a certain number and sticking to it.  the greedy capitalist (that should get tbeek going) in me wants to expand, expand, expand.  my goal is to semi-retire to this, though.
Using limited supplies, I need to stick to a realistic number. I figure that I can produce my own queens and put the nucs in relatives' yards to remove the chance of inbreeding (I have family all over NH).
Since our season is so short, everything needs to be done before the end of June. If I can get 10 double nucs set up, that'll be great. If I manage to get 15 or 20 going, that'll be even better. If I only get 5, I'll still be satisfied and will work harder next year to meet my goal.
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chux
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« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2014, 03:38:01 PM »

I don't want to over-extend. I am trying for slow, self-sustained growth. This will be my second year with bees. In 5 years I want to have at least 30 hives. Ideally, all hives will survive winter. If the colonies grow consistently, I should be able to do splits in 2015 on the hives I started in 2013. I'm hoping for exponential growth as each hive grows strong enough for splits every couple of years. All this will hopefully be supported by the sale of honey, a bit of cash from my "fun money" envelope, and sweat. As the number of hives grows, I hope to sell enough honey to pay for all the materials needed for growth and maintenance. That's how it goes according to me plan. When reality hits, we'll see what happens to the plan.
 
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Palouse
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« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2014, 04:43:07 PM »

This is my first winter, and I went into it with two Langstroth hives of Italians. I left the honey for both hives. I discovered that one of the hives died this last weekend, and in taking it apart, I think moisture got them despite my Warre-style quilt boxes. I fed sugar water too late into the fall is my guess because none of the sugar water was capped, but it was wet inside: I found standing water on the tops of the frames in places. Despite the fact that I left them their honey, I got paranoid and paid for it. Sigh. The other hive wouldn't take any sugar water, and it's doing well...it's dry inside with a nice cluster. It was the one I was worried about as they lost their queen somehow in July, but it's humming along.

I ordered two packages for spring and hope to catch a swarm for a total of four, but I'm not banking on the latter. The learning curve still feels pretty vertical, so my goal for 2014 is survival...and a little honey.
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GLOCK
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« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2014, 05:40:01 PM »

I have as of today 13 DBL.{5 over 5} nucs and 12 DBL deeps and hoping to make 30 nucs and 15 DBL deeps buy this coming fall.
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« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2014, 08:33:09 PM »

This is my first winter as well. I have been feeding them a lot of sugar water lately because of our southern winter. When I took a look at them they were wall to wall in 2 8f deeps and 1 8f med. My plan is to gain more experience and learn where the balance is in all this. Seems there's a lot of catch-22s in this. I have ordered 3 more 3 pound packages and I plan to split this current hive (package from last June) once and maybe twice. I have built 8 swarm traps and I have 5 empty complete hives just waiting for bees. All in all I have probably 11 8f deeps and around thirty something 8f mediums. All these I built, can't help it I'm proud of my bees and hives.
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10framer
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« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2014, 08:51:02 PM »

you guys sound better prepared than i think i am. 
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Joe D
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« Reply #16 on: January 23, 2014, 09:00:52 PM »

I have five hives, started a few years ago with three, have had as many as seven.  I have the boxes for at least ten, but the five to seven is a good number for me.  I have caught and give away swarms to people in our local club that have lost theirs.  A couple of years ago I caught seven swarms in one week on my place.  The old pear tree died this past spring when a lat frost came.  Enough rambling, may all that you are hoping for comes together for you this year.




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Moots
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« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2014, 09:44:15 PM »

10framer,
Great question!.....Just wish I had a good answer.  grin LOL!

Started last January with two Nucs, had planned on maybe getting a swarm, and figured I'd have 3 hives. Well, the bee addiction set in, between my swarms, other swarms, and a couple of cut outs, I ended up with 11 hives.  Lost one to wax moths right around honey harvest time, so went into winter with 10 hives.  So far, knock on wood....I think they're  all looking pretty good....So I'm hopeful headed into my second year, but who knows.

Really don't want to grow any at the moment, would just like to take this year and try to maintain and continue the learning process, I've got a long way to go!  Smiley  At the same time, I know good and well if people start calling me with swarms, I'm not going to be able to say no.  grin 

Still undecided what, if anything I'm going to do to try and prevent my current hives from swarming... huh

I spend half my time worrying that something is going to happen and I might loss most if not all of my current 10 hives....I spend the other half of my time worrying that they'll all make it and with swarm calls, that I just can't say no to, or swarms in my own bee yard, or necessary splits when queen cells are spotted....that I'm going to end up with too many bees and be overwhelmed.  huh huh  huh
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10framer
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« Reply #18 on: January 23, 2014, 10:40:11 PM »

moots, get ahead of the swarms early.  if i remember right that's the opposite advice that you might get from bailey but to each his own.  seems like he was a swarm catching machine last year but i also think he may have said some were from his own hives.......
i'm like you i have a basic plan but i haven't really had time to figure out exactly how to make it happen.  too many other things going on to focus on what i'd like to.  
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stella
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« Reply #19 on: January 24, 2014, 12:14:06 AM »

it's almost february.  down here that COULD mean spring will be here in a few weeks.  i'm thinking about bees a lot more than i was a month ago and trying to lock in on my beekeeping goals for the year.
my main objective is to increase over the next few years but i do need to start seeing some returns.  i'll be setting up a couple of out yards and a mating yard at my place this year, i've got to figure out the best way to get all that done.
what is everyone else thinking about for 2014?

"When" the hives make it until spring....Splits.
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kingd
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« Reply #20 on: January 24, 2014, 06:46:01 AM »

My game plan is to just get some bees,most people around here are not sure if they will have any to spare
because of this winter.
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JanO
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« Reply #21 on: January 24, 2014, 12:34:07 PM »

Since I'm beginning this adventure I was hoping to just have a couple of strong hives to go into winter with next year.  Now I'm hoping to catch a couple of swarms and  have at least 5 colony's, and perhaps a couple nucs before fall. 
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BingalingBees
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« Reply #22 on: January 24, 2014, 12:48:15 PM »

Keep it at 24 to 26 hives... if I have any die-outs, I'll do walk-away splits in May (or swarms captures) to replace. I'm hoping this year to have a really good survival rate, we'll see... :^)
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GLOCK
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« Reply #23 on: January 24, 2014, 07:40:52 PM »

oops aready replyed.
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10framer
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« Reply #24 on: January 24, 2014, 07:50:45 PM »

when i started keeping bees the beekeepers up north didn't try to winter bees, they just started over with packges every year.  times have changed.
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GLOCK
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« Reply #25 on: January 24, 2014, 08:01:40 PM »

when i started keeping bees the beekeepers up north didn't try to winter bees, they just started over with packges every year.  times have changed.
The way I see it wintering is part of beekeeping the challenge of keeping them alive .
I only get better have not lost any yet
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10framer
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« Reply #26 on: January 24, 2014, 08:54:11 PM »

i think that's more the attitude now.  a big part of what we did was sell packages back in the 70' and 80's and most of them went to the guys in the north. 
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Stevezone5
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« Reply #27 on: January 26, 2014, 09:34:24 AM »

Create more NUCs for winter survival.

Same here! I am going to strive for a self sustaining apiary, I think i can pull it off.....I'll know for sure next march lol
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T Beek
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« Reply #28 on: January 26, 2014, 11:43:55 AM »

when i started keeping bees the beekeepers up north didn't try to winter bees, they just started over with packges every year.  times have changed.

Bees have been overwintered in the North for as long as beekeepers have kept them there, with varying results.  Delivered Packages are a recent development in the beekeeping world.  The ABC and XYZ of Bee Culture book (and other old bkpg books) describes overwintering in northern climates in great detail and well 'before' the introduction of package bees, as we know it today.

I know two BEEKS in Canada who have been keeping bees alive over their winters for over 50 years.  Neither has ever depended on package bees.

Our Pal Finski would say the same thing I believe.  Bees are wherever BEEKS decide to keep them……again, with varying success  Smiley  The North and South Poles would definitely be out…. grin
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phrasmotic
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« Reply #29 on: January 31, 2014, 09:30:12 AM »

Catch a swarm or grab a cutout.  Any feral bees that can survive THIS winter are bees I want!
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10framer
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« Reply #30 on: January 31, 2014, 10:06:25 AM »

i'm going to check and possibly feed mine today.  i hope this is the last of the really cold weather down here.  it was about 5 degrees in the country yesterday morning.
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MikeTheBeekeeper
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« Reply #31 on: February 01, 2014, 01:32:18 PM »

For now I'm just trying to make them grow into the second deep.

I hope to make 2 Nucs per hive after almonds and raise my own queens from 2 hives I have determined to have preferable genetics.

I'm looking for pollination contracts during the spring or would like to place my hives somewhere where they would have enough food to eat (so that I don't have to be feeding them much) and hopefully make some honey.

I've been with bees for about 4.5 years and haven't extracted honey yet. So I'm planning on doing that this year but with things the way they are right now I'm not sure they'll be able to make excess honey anywhere around here.
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bbbthingmaker
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« Reply #32 on: February 03, 2014, 08:36:48 AM »

I'm wanting to try a couple of Long, or Horizontal Hives.  I like the idea of not having to stack and un-stack so many boxes.
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10framer
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« Reply #33 on: February 03, 2014, 08:54:03 AM »

I'm wanting to try a couple of Long, or Horizontal Hives.  I like the idea of not having to stack and un-stack so many boxes.
i like the idea of having everything at one level.  i'm thinking about building some long horizontal hives for mating nucs.
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T Beek
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« Reply #34 on: February 03, 2014, 09:27:08 AM »

LONG Hives are great fun and I credit them with making me a better BEEK overall.  The only real issues I ever had with them was providing proper insulation, ventilation and ability to feed or even know whether they needed feed, during long cold spells.  That and I found that DEEPS in a Long Hive did better than Mediums (I currently use all mediums in my Langs and NUCs).  I had one really nice colony survive over three years though and made splits from it every year until the queen finally succumbed (but I've got her daughters  Smiley). 

The experience was/is very self-educating and satisfying, and 'different' in some very pleasant ways.  Brood rearing tends to take place near the entrances (mine 'were' on one end) and honey tends to be placed toward the back. My design allows me to look at any portion of the hive without disturbing the broodiest…unless I want to.

During winter in a Long Hive bees move from front door to the back end consuming honey.  I created a cubby on the back end with a small (bee) access that I could place 5 lbs of sugar, because once my particular design is closed up for winter I don't dare open it (can't check stores) until we reach appropriate temps.

Converting my Long Hives into 3-4 partitioned sections so I can raise NUCs has been successful…so far…and makes sense for what I have going on.  I've only done one and modifications have been drawn up and just need to be implemented.  Fun, fun…. Smiley
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« Reply #35 on: February 03, 2014, 11:34:50 AM »

Double the number of my hives and maintain it's strength till the end Dec 2014 Hopefully I will regain the number of hives I lost last year.
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10framer
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« Reply #36 on: February 03, 2014, 11:37:50 AM »

tbeek, that's my plan.  i want to make something that looks like atop bar hive that will have several 3 frame chambers.  as fall rolls around i want to pick the best of the queens that are left and pull followers to combine the nucs into a couple or a few larger colonies to winter then split it up again the following spring.  if i keep a few of these going i can start raising queens faster without taxing my production hives.  two deep frames and a division board feeder per nuc is the plan for now.  it could expand to 3 plus a feeder as i get farther into working with it.  i need to be building one now, though and i'm too far behind on other projects to get started on this one.
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10framer
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« Reply #37 on: February 03, 2014, 11:41:29 AM »

beedog, my initial plan was to do early splits then a 2nd round but i'm probably going to skip the early ones or at lest dedicate them to mating nuc colonies (so they'll be small splits) and try to get a good crop this year.  i think we're going to have a really good flow in my area this year and i'm going to try to take advantage of it. 
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jayj200
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« Reply #38 on: February 10, 2014, 05:59:12 PM »

I want more swarms. think it will be a great year for that.
the other half wants to raise Queens here
the one hive we have had Beatles (gone) on their own!
no! mites eather.
a little pissy though
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HWDylan
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« Reply #39 on: February 11, 2014, 10:56:12 AM »

Going to up my queen production game and also split split split when I can.

So far things aren't looking too grim for my wintering hives (especially compared to others in the area). It is still very cold here in IL though so anything can happen.

I am optimistic for 2014.
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« Reply #40 on: February 11, 2014, 11:42:17 AM »

we're about to get another small winter storm and i still think spring is going to get here fast and the flows will be intense this year in our area.  seems like we had some winter storms in january/february of 2000 and i caught a lot of swarms and pulled a lot of honey that year.
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« Reply #41 on: February 11, 2014, 05:56:07 PM »

Ya'll are getting the weather we got yesterday, it's cold today and going to be chilly Wednesday.
But Thursday it's going to start warming up and by Monday it's suppose to be 68 degrees F.
Saturday I'm going to put 1-1 sugar syrup on my hives along with protein patties.
Around the 1 week in March (weather permitting) I will switch my boxes, top on bottom, and checker board the frames.
I will make splits at that time also.
Going to check on the egg laying for I've got to start some queens.
I'm in Central Arkansas.
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« Reply #42 on: February 16, 2014, 10:55:09 AM »

Like down here there almost is no winter.
Minus the dearth of nectar.
Mine have daily brought pollen, with no coaxing.
brought home our second hive yesterday. one I won in a raffle.
yep it is weak so i shall feed till Feb 30th, then they'll be on their own.
No we haven't insulated here. most days we could go shirtless.
fatten this hive.
collect a swarm or two. do a cut out. and find a bee yard. got a few in mind.

jay
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