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Author Topic: First hiving  (Read 1614 times)
BEE C
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« on: April 18, 2006, 05:48:15 AM »

Hey, Tonight I just finished hiving my bees, which arrived from down under today.  My beekeeping instructor did a short field day at 6pm letting us hive some of his packages, and then we left to go home and hive ours.  I got home around 830pm, and quickly prepared some sugar syrup for the frame feeders.  I added 4.5 grams of fumagilin for nosema to each frame feeder.  While the sugar was cooling, so I could add the fumagilin, I ran outside to finish adding entrance blockers, reducing the entrances to two inches.  I slid a gravity waterer into each opening and stuffed the holes with grass.  By the time the sugar syrup was done It was dark, so I had to light a propane lantern and hang it in the hive hut I built to house the hives.  Each package had four pounds of Carnolians and a queen.  Once my veiless fiance had taken some photos and ran back to the house I started.  I opened each package and poured the whoe thing into the middle of the brood box where I had removed the middle three frames.  The bees didn't seem to like this as much as during the day and the buz was incredible!  I had unhooked the queen cage and hung it from the two middle frames once I had replaced them.  Put the queen excluder on, the inner cover and then the outer lid.  I did this with each and went inside happy that everything seemed to go so well.  Once inside I checked out the two stings I got, one on each wrist, which didn't seem worse than a mosquito bite.  I was relieved as I didn't know what my reaction would be as I have'nt been stung since childhood, and even then wasn't sure if they were bees.  My grandmother is deathly allergic and carries an epi pen so my reaction was in the back of my mind!  
Wouldn't you know it when I unsuited and sat down to look at my pics, i noticed the pollen patties sitting on the table staring at me...So i suited up and went back out...when i opened up the hives again I was pleasantly surprised to find that the bees had spread out along the frames and stayed there while i put the pollen patties on.  The lound buzz was gone, and they had more of a gentle murmour, ah lovely sound.  This may bee a ramble but I'm stoked about my first hiving and can't wait for the season to progress.  My fiance's birthday is today the 18th so we are headed down south to spend the day in seattle shopping for antiques, so its a relief that the bees came finally and I have a few days of leaving them alone, and rest.  Still trying to work out how to get my pics from hotmail to post but the season is begun and I plan on doing mad photos of each step!  Cheers.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2006, 07:27:00 AM »

> Each package had four pounds of Carnolians and a queen.

More likely four pounds of Italians and a Carniolan queen.

>The bees didn't seem to like this as much as during the day and the buz was incredible! I had unhooked the queen cage and hung it from the two middle frames once I had replaced them.

I don't know why the books tell you to do this.  A direct release works better...   But that will work.

> Put the queen excluder on

For what?  I suppose it's a place to store it, but I think I'd put it above the inner cover for storage so it doesn't get burred or propolized.  Better yet, I'd put it in the garage and someday a few years from now you might actually need it.  Smiley  I wouldn't go out just to move it, but next time I'd put it above the inner cover until you actually have some supers and they are actually starting to draw the supers.  Then, if you insist, you can put it on top of the brood chambers with the supers above that.

> the inner cover and then the outer lid. I did this with each and went inside happy that everything seemed to go so well. Once inside I checked out the two stings I got, one on each wrist, which didn't seem worse than a mosquito bite. I was relieved as I didn't know what my reaction would be as I have'nt been stung since childhood, and even then wasn't sure if they were bees.

The next ones may be even less or more.  And the ones after that will probably be less.  But every bee sting is different.

>i noticed the pollen patties sitting on the table staring at me...

They probably won't use them anyway. There's fresh pollen out there.

>The lound buzz was gone, and they had more of a gentle murmour, ah lovely sound.

Yep. They're home.

Sounds like they are settled in.

It's probably too late for you now.  You sound like you're addicted.
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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
BEE C
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Location: British Columbia, Canada


« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2006, 01:25:47 PM »

queen excluders...

For what?  I suppose it's a place to store it, but  I wouldn't go out just to move it, but next time I'd put it above the inner cover until you actually have some supers and they are actually starting to draw the supers.  Then, if you insist, you can put it on top of the brood chambers with the supers above that.

Yeah it is just for storage, I probably will throw it on top of the inner cover next check.  Incidentally how soon do you recommend waiting until I poke around again.  I was told that it would be three days for the bees to eat through the queen candy to release her.  How fast approx will the bees drink the sugar syrup in a frame feeder totally filled?

They probably won't use them anyway. There's fresh pollen out there.

The bees are confined to the hive until my next check, or when they eat through the grass.  My instructor suggested pollen patties, although I did notice lots of dandilions, crabapple blossoms, wild cherrys, forget me nots, quinces, etc around, and my book says bees will not eat patties if fresh pollen is available.  Curious to see what the seasonal availability of pollens and nector is.  There is a beekeeper down the street, I think I might go introduce myself, and see what she says too.  Guess I'll find out what the dearth and flows are.

It's probably too late for you now.  You sound like you're addicted.[/quote]

Yes I think youre probably right...
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2006, 06:35:06 PM »

>I was told that it would be three days for the bees to eat through the queen candy to release her.

Somtimes it takes a day sometimes two or three and sometimes they never get it done.  But usually it takes about two or three.

> How fast approx will the bees drink the sugar syrup in a frame feeder totally filled?

Every package is different.  But they should go through it in about a week.  Could be less.

>The bees are confined to the hive until my next check, or when they eat through the grass.

I've never confined a package before.  They won't need any pollen until they start rearing brood and they can't do that because you confined the queen.  Smiley

> My instructor suggested pollen patties, although I did notice lots of dandilions, crabapple blossoms, wild cherrys, forget me nots, quinces, etc around, and my book says bees will not eat patties if fresh pollen is available.

For once I agree with the book.

> Curious to see what the seasonal availability of pollens and nector is. There is a beekeeper down the street, I think I might go introduce myself, and see what she says too. Guess I'll find out what the dearth and flows are.

If he pays attention.  Smiley  Many of us often don't.
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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
BEE C
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Location: British Columbia, Canada


« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2006, 01:32:43 AM »

I followed your advice and opened the hives tonight.  The opening is about two inches wide.  I had gravity fed watering/feeders that hold one liter stuck into the hive through the openings and stuffed around the edges with grass.  One hive today had eaten through and I saw bees flying around the front of the hive house, doing orientation flights?  I thought it prudent to open the other one as well to let those bees take their first orientation flight tomorrow.
I almost opened the hives up to remove the queen cages candy cap, but thought I would leave them as they were pretty chewed up  when I put them in.  I don't want to open the hives up and mess around too much.  Ok I do really, but caution gets the better of my curiousity...
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Ruben
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« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2006, 10:28:02 PM »

>The bees didn't seem to like this as much as during the day and the buz was incredible! I had unhooked the queen cage and hung it from the two middle frames once I had replaced them.

Quote  MB: I don't know why the books tell you to do this. A direct release works better... But that will work.


Must have read the same book I did "Beekeeping for Dummies", I was planning to make hooks and hang the queen cage as well. MB are you saying that it is better to remove the candy plug and then release the queen into the hive? If so what do you do take a knife and pop the plug out? I am trying to make a mental picture as I have never seen a queen cage or candy plug first hand. Of course this will all change in about 10 days!
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2006, 07:39:15 AM »

>MB are you saying that it is better to remove the candy plug and then release the queen into the hive?

No.  I'm saying pull the staple on the screen and bend it back (while holding the screen side down near the top bars) to release the queen into the hive.  A spritz of light syrup or water will help keep her from flying.

> If so what do you do take a knife and pop the plug out?

Forget the plug.  Open the cage.

> I am trying to make a mental picture as I have never seen a queen cage or candy plug first hand. Of course this will all change in about 10 days!

Besides, if you wanted to "pull the plug" you'd pull the one on the end without the candy.  If it's from California, there probably ISN'T any candy.
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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
Jack Parr
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« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2006, 07:40:11 AM »

and what he, MB is saying is that IF you purchase a PACKAGE of bees the queen is included and shipped as part of the package. Dem bees be tight. They are acclimated to each other. They smell each other for the duration of their trip through the US Mail or whatever shipping service is used. Therefore the drill of hanging the cage in the box and letting the bees eat the candy away is not really necessary. Just lift the screen and let the queen go.

However be careful smiley  the queen should still be able to fly and could fly away , fly away, fly away,  fly awaaaay  Tongue

If you do want to follow the queen release drill, as per the book, be sure that the cork plug is PULLED FROM THE CANDY END, and NOT FROM THE OPPOSITE END smiley

Actually I have just re-queened two feral hives and did do the book recommended release procedure after removing the original colony queen. Three days after placing the queen in her cage, in the queenless colony,  the candy was eaten but the queen was still in the cage smiley  I then pulled the screen and the queen came out FAST and I thought she seemed to have flown away but no, she be in da box with her subjects doing her queenly routine.

Interestingly in the three days of being queenless the colony had started to make a new queen. Actually two of them.  I tore those two cells out when I installed the new queen in her cage. Also,  in this case there was the ability for the colony to produce a viable queen because the original queen I first removed had started laying and there were the correct eggs/larva available.  This is a bit of unknown ground for me so the slow release procedure was hopefully the right choice.
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BEE C
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« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2006, 11:23:15 PM »

Heres what they did to the queen cage in two days without her, I guess their plan was to let her drop the eggs out the cage below where they would catch them and throw them into the cells Cheesy
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