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Author Topic: what's your game plan for 2014  (Read 2202 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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GSF
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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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