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Author Topic: I met my first beekeeper…  (Read 2708 times)
Hi-Tech
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« on: April 28, 2006, 08:28:06 PM »

I met my first local beekeeper today and soaked up his comments like a sponge. He gave me a lot of tips but I wanted to run some of them by everyone here to see what the general comments are. Since we are both located in the deep south and his operations is a 100 hive outfit only 30 miles from me, I hope his advice is good.

He uses only one deep. He loads the shallow supers on with queen excluders but only uses one deep hive body.

In the winter, he jar feeds directly through a hole in the top cover (no inner cover) and feeds all winter. Wintering bees does not even seem to be much of an issue…

He said he does not have a mite problem and does no treatments for mites. No poisons used of any kind.

He said hive beetles are a MAJOR problem and he uses a screened bottom board with lime in the bottom (I am not sure what he means but he has invited me to come see).

Fire ants are treated with used motor oil trenches.

He mostly uses Caucasian bees.

He drills a hole in all 4 sides of each super for additional entrances.

He said that because of the huge, long nectar flows we have here, robbing has never been a problem.

Swarming seems to be the major thing to look out for….

What do you guys think? Does this sound normal for a deep southern region?

Thanks in advance for any comments….
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Understudy
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« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2006, 08:55:32 PM »

Quote from: Hi-Tech
I met my first local beekeeper today and soaked up his comments like a sponge. He gave me a lot of tips but I wanted to run some of them by everyone here to see what the general comments are. Since we are both located in the deep south and his operations is a 100 hive outfit only 30 miles from me, I hope his advice is good.


If he has been in business for a while his advice is probably very good. However also realize with beekeeping there are multiple ways to do the right thing. What works for one person may not work for another. Also commerical beekeepers may handle things differently than hobby beekeepers.

Quote from: Hi-Tech

He uses only one deep. He loads the shallow supers on with queen excluders but only uses one deep hive body.


If he is comfortable with it that is great. I am using 1 deep and one medium right now for brood and more mediums for honey. I will switch to all mediums next year.

Quote from: Hi-Tech

In the winter, he jar feeds directly through a hole in the top cover (no inner cover) and feeds all winter. Wintering bees does not even seem to be much of an issue…


In Florida we do not winter bees either. Top feeders seem to be great for most people. I have used both top and boardman feeders. I have no problems with either.

Quote from: Hi-Tech

He said he does not have a mite problem and does no treatments for mites. No poisons used of any kind.


That is great. Find out what kind of foundation if any he is using for comb.  

Quote from: Hi-Tech

He said hive beetles are a MAJOR problem and he uses a screened bottom board with lime in the bottom (I am not sure what he means but he has invited me to come see).


He is using a small hive beetle trap.
http://www.dadant.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=724

Quote from: Hi-Tech

Fire ants are treated with used motor oil trenches.


A moat for the modern age.

Quote from: Hi-Tech

He mostly uses Caucasian bees.

They are a nice bee. They are however slow growing. This can be good if swarming is an issue.
http://www.bollingbee.com/bbf_website_002.htm


Quote from: Hi-Tech

He drills a hole in all 4 sides of each super for additional entrances.


Bottom entrances, top entrances, side entrances, everyone has what they are comfortable with. Since you live in the south with high heat and humidity. Air circulation  is vital , screened bottom boards and top entrances will make for good circulation and prevent overheating.

Quote from: Hi-Tech

He said that because of the huge, long nectar flows we have here, robbing has never been a problem.


There is enough to go around.

Quote from: Hi-Tech

Swarming seems to be the major thing to look out for….


Especially for new beekeepers

Quote from: Hi-Tech

What do you guys think? Does this sound normal for a deep southern region?


Normal beekeeping? No such thing. Is what he says reasonable? It seems that way. You should check is medicine cabinet for anti pschotics, Halcyon and Thorazine. If he has lots of imaginary friends, worry.
 

Quote from: Hi-Tech
Thanks in advance for any comments….


Sincerely,
Brendhan
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Hi-Tech
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« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2006, 09:00:56 PM »

Thanks for the info! The beetle trap makes more sense now but I had never heard of using lime....
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KingBeeApiary
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« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2006, 09:14:24 PM »

hitech who is this guy in south alabama? I'm in central Al. and thought there were only two of us (Boiling Bee and myself) with caucasians.
I have a gentleman on another forum looking for a Caucasian breeder to buy from...
Thanks
Tim
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Hi-Tech
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« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2006, 09:33:26 PM »

His name is Johnny Carpenter and I gathered that he has not been doing it alone for very long. I think he may have learned from Bill Gafford but to be honest, I am not real sure. He may have had a partner he reciently bought out or something...

BTW... My wife is from Wetumpka and my in-laws still live there. I have yet to actually see a beehive other than the one I started this year (hint, hint). I was raised in Millbrook myself then moved to Greenville 7 years ago.

Do you sell packages? i have one hive but want to start another...
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manowar422
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« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2006, 10:53:25 PM »

Quote
Swarming seems to be the major thing to look out for….


With only one deep for a brood nest, it's no wonder swarming is a
big concern huh
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Hi-Tech
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« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2006, 11:06:52 PM »

The single deep was probably the one thing that bothered me the most. Is there any reason to only use one instead of two?
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manowar422
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« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2006, 01:51:19 AM »

Quote
Is there any reason to only use one instead of two?


Last year I tried to figure out how much room was needed for
a brood nest. Alot depends on conditions, but it is very close to
three mediums or two deeps. The estimates were calculated
assuming your queen lays 1000 to 1200 eggs a day during
spring build up and the warmer part of the season. Based on
the avergae number of cells per side of each frame and that
most queens will only lay in the middle six frames (in a football
pattern) the rest of the cells (on each frame)being taken up by
pollen and nectar. I finally came up with 12 deep frames or 18 mediums.

I can't see any reason to take the chance of trying to keep the
queen on only ten frames, which is what you'd be doing with an
excluder on top of one deep.
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Finsky
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« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2006, 02:31:47 AM »

Quote from: Hi-Tech

He uses only one deep. He loads the shallow supers on with queen excluders but only uses one deep hive body.….


I have had caucasian bees. One brood box is not enough for that race. Sounds odd.

….
Quote
In the winter, he jar feeds directly through a hole in the top cover (no inner cover) and feeds all winter. Wintering bees does not even seem to be much of an issue…….


This has no idea, why?  It is normal that bees store winterfood and cap it. No idea to feed all the time. No sence.

….
Quote


He said he does not have a mite problem and does no treatments for mites. No poisons used of any kind.….


If you want to believe, do it.  I do not.

….
Quote
He mostly uses Caucasian bees.

He drills a hole in all 4 sides of each super for additional entrances.….


Very odd...

….
Quote


Swarming seems to be the major thing to look out for….….


Caucasian are very slow to swarm....It should not be a problem. I wonder what are his bees?

….
Quote
What do you guys think? Does this sound normal for a deep southern region?

….


I don't believe much even if it would be in high northern region.
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Finsky
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« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2006, 02:43:03 AM »

Quote from: manowar422
Quote
Is there any reason to only use one instead of two?


Last year I tried to figure out how much room was needed for
a brood nest. Alot depends on conditions, but it is very close to
three mediums or two deeps.


Modern queens have raised to use 2-3 brood boxes. There are pollen and honey in boxes too.  And you should have free space for heavy nectar flow so bees have room to dry upp nectar. Why to keep them tight?

There are bee stocks which are not able to use more than one brood box but those days are 40 years away.

I use unlimited brood area. I want much bees so hive is able to handle huge amount of nertar from rape field.

If hive is small  2-3 boxes, it fills a hive during one week and then it swarms.  Small hive and huge nectar flow does not match.


Here is my normal foraging hive. I put 2 weak hive together in order to get one normal.  Here I move hive from rape to fireweed.  After 3 weeks it has 240 lbs capped honey in one time. Brood area was 2 palm size.

If I have weak hives, I miss the yield and bees. I live 100 miles away from my hives.

40 years ago normal hive has 2 boxes: one for brood and one for honey. Normal yield was 30-40 lbs.

If you have small hives you should watch them all the time.

You may calculate space for honey:

medium box  30 lbs honey (8 frames in 9 frame box)
langtroth 50 lbs honey (box 10 frames)

It is possible to have about 150 lbs capped honey one time in this hive and then you must take honey away and give empty boxes.  When nectar's is fresh, bees need really much space for handling. otherwise you get swarms.



.
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Hi-Tech
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« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2006, 10:55:56 AM »

I added a second deep today. I wanted to spend more time in the hive today but the wind was very strong. It seemed very crowded in there and after all I have learned here, I decided to stay with what I knew. 2 deeps, add supers for honey.
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« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2006, 11:06:41 AM »

I use 2 deep and some hive's are just a deep and a medium for brood chamber, both setups do well for me...
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Hi-Tech
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« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2006, 11:52:48 AM »

I ordered another hive yesterday with 1 deep and one medium for brood and 2 shallow supers. I guess I can compare the two as the year progresses...
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2006, 12:08:09 PM »

The frame is the basic element of a modern bee hive. Even if you have various sized boxes (as far as the number of frames they hold) if the frames are all the same depth you can put them in any of your boxes.

Having a uniform frame size has simplified my life. If all your frames are the same size you have a lot of advantages.

You can put anything currently in the hive anywhere else it's needed.

For instance:

1) You can put brood up a box to "bait" the bees up. This is useful without an excluder (I don't use excluders) but it's especially useful if you really want to use an excluder. A couple of frames of brood above the excluder (leaving the queen and the rest of the brood below) really motivates the bees to cross the excluder and start working the next box above it.

2) You can put honey combs in for food wherever you need it. I like this for making sure nucs don't starve without the robbing that feeding often starts, or bulking up the stores of a light hive in the fall.

3) You can unclog a brood nest by moving pollen or honey up a box or even a few frames of brood up a box to make room in the brood nest to prevent swarming. If you don't have all the same size, where will you put these frames?

4) You can run an unlimited brood nest with no excluder and if there is brood anywhere you can move it anywhere else. You're not stuck with a bunch of brood in a medium that you can't move down to your deep brood chamber. The advantage of the unlimited brood nest is the queen isn't limited to one or two brood boxes, but can be laying in three or four. Probably not four deeps, but probably in four mediums.

I cut all my deeps down to mediums.  I've also phased out all my shallows.

And then there is the 90 pound deeps full of honey and the 60 pound meiums...
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Hi-Tech
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« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2006, 11:23:00 PM »

You have sold me on the idea. From now on, I believe I will use mediums for all of my new hives...

Thanks MB!
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Jack Parr
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« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2006, 07:22:34 AM »

Quote from: Hi-Tech
You have sold me on the idea. From now on, I believe I will use mediums for all of my new hives...

Thanks MB!


I am at that stage with deeps, 10 frames, and now wish I had considered madiums but I didn't know anything about bees and keeping of same at start-up

I have started modifying my set-ups with the installation of a 10 frame medium over the one  deep and will eventually use one deep and one medium for brood. Yes it will be a bit tricky when it comes to shifting frames and boxes but I think can be managed with a little ingenuity.

I also bought nucs and the producers of same use deep frames. Those guy are not into playing with bees but run their operations as efficent as they can. It's difficult to make money with bees.

I met a beekeeping guy from Pesacola, FL area last year ( October) at the LSU Bee Lab's,( Baton Rouge, LA) annual open house and he told me that he runs one deep brood box in the full sun and that's it.  Medium honey super as needed, when needed.  The guy had 500 hives going and really didn't have time to keep pets.
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