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Author Topic: Minimum number of bees to start a Nuc?  (Read 6173 times)
Greg Peck
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« on: December 06, 2006, 10:18:48 PM »

I just have a quick question about starting nucs. What is the minimum amount of bees needed. Could I buy a 3 pound package of bees and 2 queens. Then split the bees so I would have 2 nucs with 1 1/2 pounds of bees and a queen in each? Or would I be better off starting a hive with a package and getting it going good then starting nucs by taking brood out and placing it in the nuc?

Just trying to keep the cost of buying multiple packages to a minimum.

Thanks for your time
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Finsky
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« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2006, 12:27:42 AM »

When I started beekeeping I bought swarms. They are like package bees. I noticed that the best solution is to put swarms together that it was 8 pounds in the hive. It was 2 full Langstroth boxes. That kind of hive was able to gather honey and brought money back during same summer.

One box bees needs 4 lbs bees and soon it has half full of brood and half full of honey. It must wait 6 week untill it has new bees that it may enlarge to 2 box. During that time old bees have almost died and new ones are not old enough to gather honey. Hive just englarge but is not able to get surplus yield for long ime. It takes time.

I mean that to minimize cost is not wise. Many other things in beekeeping cost and you do not get value for that with tiny hives.

If I were you, I should by nuc with brood or I should put 2 package hives together to get large enough hive.

When hive is normal size, you may split it after yield season and get more hives.

But young beekeepers cannot do that. They are afraid of honey ield. They like to keep small colonies in big hives and they do not learn beekeeping with their unnatural tiny colonies. The most valuable is to nurse normal hive and learn how to get honey. And how to prepare hive ahead. You must have experience that you may foresee what is happening in the hive and you may lead it to wanted direction..

If you do not want honey and incomes, it is all the same what you do. You may do what ever and you have not a purpose. Many like to count mites half a year when they do not know what is the purpose.

Excuse me for my sermon . After my advices 90% do what they intended to do before asking.





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mick
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« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2006, 01:48:42 AM »

I always enjoy your sermons. You are a very experienced beekeeper, who has made good money in a difficult climate. Theres no substitute for experience.
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Cindi
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« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2006, 09:32:32 AM »

Finsky, I agree with Mick.  I love to read your sermons too.  There is some very good advice that I have listened to from you.  I agree with you about having large amounts of bees in the hives.  In the past when I have had packages come from down under (Australia), these would have been 4 pound packages with 2 queens.  I would divide them in half and give each a queen.  This was a good thing though.  Because when I first started with beekeeping, the queen failed with one of the packages, I united this queenless colony with the queenright colony, so it did become very strong.  That was my first year.  I lived and maybe learned something from that in a way.  Now this last April I did the same thing, but I had overwintered colonies at the time when I got the packages.  So, this last hiving of the packages, again, a queen failed.  But I used queen cells from one of the overwintered colonies to requeen this queenless package.  So that worked.

I don't know if my colonies (4 now) will overwinter.  I have fed them for over 30 days 2:1 s.s., so I imagine that they would have enough stores.  I hope all goes well.  We will see in February, that is when we have weather that is fair enough to safely check into the hive to see if all was well.  If I get packages this year (which I am sure I will), I am thinking that I am not going to get the packages from Australia.  We'll see.  I did not realize there were so many places closer that provided packages.  I have learned so much.  Anyways, when I get packages with extra queens, what I will do is take some brood and bees from my stronger colonies and make nucs.  I will use the packages to create big, strong colonies.  For example.  If the packages come with 4 pounds and 2 queens, I will make a 4 pound colony, take that extra queen and create the nuc.  I am hoping to not have any queen failure.  We'll see.  Such learning curves in the new beekeeper.  But it is all good.  Great day.  Cindi 

PS, do you keep gardens at your place?
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« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2006, 10:19:14 AM »

Then split the bees so I would have 2 nucs with 1 1/2 pounds of bees and a queen in each?

Greg,

You wouldn't have 2 - 1.5lb nucs, you would have 2 - 1.5lb packages.  Nuc infers a laying queen with brood.    Packages take almost a month before you start getting replacement bees from hatching brood and during this time actually reduce quite a bit in numbers (and strength)  3lb. packages are the norm,  some use 2lbs.  But in this case more is better.  When I use to buy packages,  I never used less than 3lbs. Spring build up is critical, and they can easily miss being stong enough for the flow. 

You should concentrate on creating less in quantity stronger hives, than more in quantity weaker hives.  You will be better off in the long run. You can split strong hives in the fall and overwinter nucs for the next year and be farther ahead of trying to nurse weak colonies thru the winter.

If you want to increase your number of hives in a more economical way consider collecting swarms.  Get the word out there with your local police and fire departments and they will get you referals.   Yes it is more work,  but it takes less $$.  In fact, if you do removals from structures, you can make a few $$ to use towards equipment as well.   All depends on the amount of time you can put into it.
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Finsky
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« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2006, 03:45:59 PM »

When you raise bees it is good to know that full brood frame produces 3 frames bees.   
3 full brood frames produces one Langtroth box NEW bees which are able to nurse whole box of brood. But they do not forage during next brood cycle.

* If you have 3 frames bees, they are able to raise about 1/2 -1  frame of brood.
* 4 frames bees raise 2 brood frames
* 5 raise 3 brood frame.

So you see that colony is able to keep warm a certain area of brood .

When queen started egg laying after 4 -5 weeks the colony start to grow. If colony has brood frames which some emerge, colony grows all the time.

*****************

THE MINIMUM NUC

Minimum nuc to me is 3 frames. Colony is able to keep warm center frame and raise brood.

Frame is soon full and I may take it off and give from big hive a frame of emerging brood. After a week I have 3+3 frames full of bees and they are able to raise 4 frame brood.

Then again I give a frame of emerging brood. After a week I have whole box occupied by bees and they are able to raise perhaps 6-7 frames of brood.

IF YOU LEAVE A NUC ALONE it is really slow what happens. After a month you have those 3 frames full of bees.  But if you give emerging brood from bigger hive, after a month whole box is full of bees and brood.

And after 2 months  the aided hive has 2-3 box full of bees and that by own aid hive has about half box of bees.

But those bees from emerging frames are off from big hive. It is not able to carry so much honey as with one box more.  When big hive have lost 30%  (one box from 3 box) bees to nucs, it is not able at all gather surplus honey.  It is able to feed 2 box of brood and those bees are able to gather honey after 6 weeks.

That is rough math.

**************

TIME  3 WEEKS AS BROOD + 3 WEEKS TO GROW FORAGER = OVER 6 WEEKS

When you have a swarm, it takes 4-weeks untill new bees start to emerge, During this time half of old bees have died. It is not able gather honey much. When new bees amerge, they are able to gather honey after 3 weeks.   

So you have brood time 3-4 weeks and bees need 3 weeks to become to foraging age =  6-7 weeks since you installed a package or a swarm.

Our summer is short.  Our yield season is 2 months (June-July).  We have not time to raise weak colonies. It is waste. They will be too weak for winter.  You have much more longer summer and you have a lot of time to raise your colonies and you panic that they are too small.

But if you think calculations, how slow MIMINUM NUC grows, it is not usefull at all.

AND FINALLY

You may fill your valuable nuc combs with syrup and queen has not room for brood.  Same happens if bees get much nectar outside. I think that this is the biggest froblem with beginner. Second broblem is that you have 3 frames bees but 10 frames in the box. Small nuc has difficulties to control they brood area temperature and build up is very slow.

I use to take off food frames from nucs that they have allways free comb. I may take a larvae frame to bigger hive to be feeded. But when I shake a frames, I lost part of open brood.

IF YOU COLLECT HONEY FOR WINTER, COLONY HAS NOT ENOUGH ROOM TO RAISE WINTERING BEES.

Feed with sugar and take honey away during summer.



help your self!

.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2006, 07:05:22 PM »

If you're point is increase, then Finsky is right.  It takes a volume of bees to build up.  The more there are, the more quickly it can reach critical mass.

If the point is the minium number that can survive and eventually build up, a handful of bees in a two frame medium nuc will build up.  But they will be lucky to make it from a two frame mating nuc in late June to a five frame medium nuc in October.
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Greg Peck
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« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2006, 11:15:13 PM »

Thanks for all the input. I think I will take Finsky’s advice and possibly put two packages in one hive to get it going strong right off the bat. I have built 5 hives for next season but really don’t have the funds to buy enough packages to get them all up and running. I had thought that I would put one packages in one hive and then do the split package nuc idea with another package in order to get 2 more hives going over the course of the season.

I have one small hive right now that may or may not make it through the winter. Would it be a good idea to buy 2 packages (3 pound each)  put approximately 4 pounds in a new hive then add 2 pounds to the old hive to help to get it up to production level sooner? If that was a possibility can I just dump the 2 pounds of bees into the old hive or is there a procedure I need to follow. I will probably use the queen from the package as I have no info on the queen that is in the hive now, she may be old and decrepit.

About taking the frames of brood out of  established hives to set up nucs. When you take a frame of brood out what do you do to fill the space. Move the existing frames inward and then add a new frame to the edge of the hive? I assume that it would be best to give them a drawn frame is that necessary?

Some one had commented that my frames looked dark and old. To introduce new frames in the hive body do I just take a frame out and add one with foundation in it? I guess that is the only way to obtain drawn frames.

Robo, I am definitely going to be trying to catch some swarms and will probably do some removals as well. The local bee supply shop here has a list to get on for those proposes. He told me that he normally gets around 75 calls a year for swarms. This is the reason for building 5 hives I hope to use packages on some and swarms in the remaining ones.

Thanks again everyone for your help.
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« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2006, 02:38:03 AM »


I have one small hive right now that may or may not make it through the winter.

When you have one hive, it is impossible to know what happens to it. It is lottery.  In my yard  totally dead colonies are very rare but weakened conoy for nosema are usual.  If hive gets nosema, it is very slow to build up in spring.  - Yu will se.


Quote
I have built 5 hives for next season but really don’t have the funds to buy enough packages to get them all up and running. I had thought that I would put one packages in one hive and then do the split package nuc idea with another package in order to get 2 more hives going over the course of the season.

It is better if you get a real nuc which has brood combs.


If you want to play fast:

I learned 4 years ago how to play with electrict heating in spring + pollen patty eating.  I lost 2/3 my hives and I took into use all what I knew how to play with small colonies.

The cost of 7-15 W terrarium heater is 20$.  Some make it themselves.  Then pollen feeding during spring season.  I got 3 times more rapid spring build up than with natural waiting system

3 W electrict heating in winter is good for small hive and ensure that it is in good condition after winter.

If you have extra mobile phone loader and you put it into electrict circuit, you feel that it is guite warm. Even it gives extra heat to small colony. Terrarium cable heaters are water resistant.

Heaters are usefull if temperature is under 15C (59F). And it helps during night when it is much colder.
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Cindi
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« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2006, 12:04:53 PM »

Greg, your comment below:

>Some one had commented that my frames looked dark and old. To introduce new frames in the hive body do I just take a frame out and add one with foundation in it? I guess that is the only way to obtain drawn frames.>

Greg, I recall someone mentioning in response to your post quite some time ago about the old looking frames, being dark and old.  I did not understand their comment and I think that it does need some clarification. 

In my eyes, the frames did not really look old.  Some of mine look even "darker and older" than yours.  Mine could only be no older than 1-1/2 years at the most.

Now, I somehow got the impression that it is good to have old frames, drawn foundation obviously.  I realize that after so many years, the cells can become smaller due to cocoons from the babies and so on and this is not good.

So, the question to be put out there is:  does not the cocoons, propolis, wax, strengthen the frames so that there may not be sagging or weak combs?

I keep hearing about small cell foundation.  Another question.

If the cells (say on a standard foundation) become smaller with the cocoons, etc., would that not be a good thing, in that so many beekeepers seem to be wanting smaller cells so that the varroa mite cannot be such a strong infliction, or am I getting the wrong impression on things.  Great day. Cindi

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« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2006, 12:06:11 PM »

Finsky,
I love to hear your comments on things, very informative.  And I also love so many of the comments that other seasoned  beekeepers give too, so much wonderful information that we can all listen to and learn from.  Great day. Cindi
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« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2006, 01:31:00 PM »


To me combs are old if light does not come through when you look against light.  The "age" depends on how many brood cycles has been in combs.
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Trot
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« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2006, 04:13:28 PM »



Q:
Now, I somehow got the impression that it is good to have old frames, drawn foundation obviously.  I realize that after so many years, the cells can become smaller due to cocoons from the babies and so on and this is not good.

A:
It is true. Cells do become smaller with time and it is not good cause they can also harbor all sorts of things detrimental to hive health.

Q:[/quote]
So, the question to be put out there is:  does not the cocoons, propolis, wax, strengthen the frames so that there may not be sagging or weak combs?

A:
True. The older the comb the stronger it gets. Years ago they tested an 20 year old comb and it supported a grown man. Standing on it on flat side, of course.

Q:[/quote]
I keep hearing about small cell foundation.  Another question.

A:
This is another area of beekeeping an we don't want to go there, cause it may cause some heated debate.
A lot of keepers use it, (I do!) Others scream for scientific proof - cause they never tried it. (They have no intend to cause they might prove to themselves that they were shouting in the wind before.)

Q:[/quote]
If the cells (say on a standard foundation) become smaller with the cocoons, etc., would that not be a good thing, in that so many beekeepers seem to be wanting smaller cells so that the varroa mite cannot be such a strong infliction, or am I getting the wrong impression on things.  Great day. Cindi

A:
You are a very good observer. (Have the making of a great beek!)
Very good ! But one would have to wait a loooong time to get such comb to the size required in "small cell - SC" keeping.  (I should also mention that with all the "medicating," that wouldn't be a very good thing...)
There are many things at play in such an scenario. Normal comb cells are roughly 5.4 mm in size, SC is usually 4.9 mm and smaller. To keep bees on SC one has to regress ones bees! (Big bees don't feet in small cells - roughly speaking) Therefore keepers buy commercially available SC foundation. But usually it takes a few years to get bees down to SC comb - usually at the loss of most bee hives.
More natural approach IMO is that one lets bees build what they want, where and when they want it.
Naturally bees build 3 size cells: SC in center of the brood nest, a bit bigger, 5.1 mm say next and big, 5.6 to 8.0 thirdly - for drone and honey storage.
One should keep in mind that the core of the nest is not disturbed. Same frame - back in same slot!
This is roughly the idea of my SC thing...
 

Regards,
Trot
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« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2006, 04:38:05 PM »

.
Yes, that small cells- black magic.  I want big bees, big hives and big honey yields. Many have tried small cells and regretted his losses.

When bees have too thick walls  in old cells they bite walls down and build new combs. Then you can see when there like coffee granules on bottom.  Same they do if cells are moulded.
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« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2006, 05:29:33 PM »


This is another area of beekeeping an we don't want to go there, cause it may cause some heated debate.
A lot of keepers use it, (I do!) Others scream for scientific proof - cause they never tried it.


Trot,
Haven't been here long have you. Search the archives cause we have had discussion many times here. There are a few of us that do the small cell thing. Some the natural cell thing (you know, let the bees do it.) some of us do nothing but ferals, and some wouldn't touch a feral with a hive tool.
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« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2006, 07:25:08 PM »

What a observation jerry.
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Trot
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« Reply #16 on: December 10, 2006, 08:21:04 PM »

Jerrymack,
no need to peel something off just to make an issue. I have been around bees for 52 years, some of them professionally! Wrangling my own outfit!   And admittedly, I still don't know nothing! (not unlike some...)
I have been on this site long enough to know exactly who would  be the first to respond on this topic. I admit, I haven't been active, though... And I have said it before and will again: "I don't like much telling others what to do. . . ."

And thank you. I have no need to search the archives, I can still see those debates in my minds eye...
Table is still set the same: Those of us who have insight and open mind - on one side and those who believe it's [Quote: black magic -end of quote] on the other. . . .

And yes, I too, yearly, set out my swarm traps. Five of them... Who knows, in my part of the woods, (literally) I might some day even catch one.

Doing it naturally? God, I've been doing it longer for what I care to remember! Started in Europe in early fifties. Quite by chance, really. Could not afford man-made stuff. If I could, afford it, there was none to  be-get in post-war days.  Glad that more keepers are going that way lately. Although I'm afraid that for some is more of a fad - in Vogue - than a necessity

I do admit though: Hunger and greed will force a man to engage in peculiar thing?!
That brings me to Finsky's writings...



I agree Finsky, SC is not for you! You will never try it - in a thousand years!  Your yield might fall a pound or two?!
I also agree that you should get the biggest bees possible.  Just don't say it too loud...
Your neighbours in Russia have this year adopted new standard for their foundation. I'm sure that is 5.6 or even 5,8 mm. No matter, the bigger the better, right?

That about black comb is also right.
Last Summer I drove 400 km, to buy one such comb. I had to prove the point - to someone.
I put it in brood nest and you know, you are right Finsky. They chewed it all up, in about one week!  
It was as you put it: " . . .like coffee granules on bottom."
On the frame? It was nothing left - but bunch of wires.
And you know what? In a few days they made nice new comb! 5.0 mm in the core, a bit bigger towards the periphery and about 5.8 and bigger under the top bar... And one more thing, lots keepers don't know it - they used, recycled all that wax!  
The coffee grinds, Finsky, were all chewed up cocoons...
The new comb was almost the same colour as the old. Well, not really, but it was nice and brown.
Yes, a lot of this goes on in one's hives and keepers don't usually know it. I sure didn't, when I ran my outfit.
Telling the truth... I really didn't give a darn. The objective was honey! And time was money!

Yes, bees know best - for what they want and when they want it!
So don't buck'm.  .  !

Regards,
Trot
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« Reply #17 on: December 11, 2006, 12:08:33 AM »


I agree Finsky, SC is not for you! You will never try it - in a thousand years!  

Fine, fine !  To me beekeping is not a hoppy "try everything what others say. I agree that if you have nursed bees over 50 years, it is time to try small cell.

I know many beekeepers who said that they tried small cells and it did not worked. Bees are not able to draw cells.

I have queens from one small cel beekeper. When I saw the size of queens I was amazed what are these? Why he send to me these?  OK, they bring honey but half what I got from big bees.

Most of all beekeepers are fond of all kind of bottom boards and inner covers. None of these bring honey.  Many like just make their own variations what ever they is.

I like benchmarking. I have studied it 15 years in my work: "Take into use best practices which is allready working".

I have many hobbies and trials. But what I am not going to. I do not raise mites. I want it run on minimum. Many beekeepers are mad with their mites. It commands their whole beekeeping.

I take care my self but when advanced beekepers are proposing "natural cells" and "small cells" to beginner, I surely use my big voice.

.
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« Reply #18 on: December 11, 2006, 08:36:26 AM »

Finsky, you said that you do not raise mites.  Good idea.  But I would love to hear your tactics to combat these invaders.  I remember reading in one of your posts that your hives have lived with the varroa for many years.  I know that you said you use O.A., but what else do you employ to keep the levels low?  Great day. Cindi
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« Reply #19 on: December 11, 2006, 09:23:29 AM »

Finsky, you said that you do not raise mites. 

That means that I do not "regress myself under the mighty power of mites". I do not make all those tricks what people are thinking: calculate, screen bottom, small cells, regressed bees, natural cells, special races, ice sugar play.......

Many have changed their stardard hives accorging to varroa. Why

And when they do that all, they do not tell what affect it has on honey yield. It seems that varroa is their life. Beekeeping is not interesting without varroa.

I have had varroa 20 years.

I am master in my beeyard and even varroa is under my command. Many wonder if bee is wiser than human. In my yard human is wiser, that is sure. The winner will write the history. tongue

.

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« Reply #20 on: December 11, 2006, 09:44:13 AM »

Finsky, nope you did not address the point.  You say that varroa is also under your command.  That is great, but how?  I lost control of the varroa mite this year, I did not understand the symptoms.  I saw the symptoms of high varroa levels, but did not realize what these symptoms meant.  In looking back, of course I know what these signs meant, but not during the summer.  I was very kniave to the mite.  I lost 6 hives because of ignorance of this pest.  I now have 4 left, I am hoping that I treated these colonies in time and that they were strong enough at the time, that they will come through the winter.  It was a very disconcerting event to lose so much because of ignornace.  Great day.  Cindi

P.S. It is interesting that the hives that are left weere the packages hived last spring and a swarm that I caught.  The three incredibly strong colonies that I had overwintered last year, eventually all died out, even having made splits from them.
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #21 on: December 11, 2006, 10:14:45 AM »

You say that varroa is also under your command.  That is great, but how? 

I have give the cure every year. I have never calculated mites. I am able to look from drone brood where I am going.  5 years ago I had apistan resistant varroa population and I losed hives. But now varroa is not problem at all. I do work with varroa very little and I have not special systems against it.

With chalk brood I am working quite much.  AFB needs also work. I mean, it is not easy to keep bee yard in condition. It need all the time work but vain work is vain work.  If you do not take care of your hives they drop to your hands like rotten apple.
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« Reply #22 on: December 11, 2006, 10:22:59 AM »

Finsky uses oxalic acid. See it here;

http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php?topic=3892.0

Here is Finnsh concept to handle varroa. We have no problems with that creature any more.

Heating of oxalic acid generates formic adic.

There are 2 parts in handling:

1) killig mites with vapur when bees have brood and outer temperature is high.  Idea is kill mites so that they do not violate wintering bees. Efficiency is 70%.
2) Second and final cure with trickling when all brood have emerged . Efficiency is high because all mites are on bees.

I use only trickling because my mite level is very low in summer.

http://bees.freesuperhost.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1136436349
http://bees.freesuperhost.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1136437131

These methods have generated in Europe and tested to each country that they work. Testing in Finland took 3 years. Our authors are  professionals in beekeping.
.


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« Reply #23 on: December 11, 2006, 12:22:52 PM »

To get back to the topic.... shocked

If you have 5 hives that you want to fill...I've never tried to split a 3 lb package, but there are other who do, if you are willing to put a lot of syrup in them, it can work.  Yes they will take longer to build up and need some extra help, but it will help them if they are in a nuc.  If all goes well you will end up with 2 healthy hives and no surplus or increase.

The other option if you have the time...talk to some exterminators(the smaller companies) and get them to call you if they get swarms.  This is a great way to build up.  Many say that we should charge for swarms, but it is still cheaper to build up that way than paying $80 for a package.  The trick is to contact the correct exterminators.

Above all, feed feed feed.  Until there are 2 deeps per hive drawn.

-rick
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« Reply #24 on: December 11, 2006, 12:54:07 PM »



Above all, feed feed feed.  Until there are 2 deeps per hive drawn.

-rick

Not good idea. Bees can nurse brood only so much as they have nurser bees.

And 2 deeps to build, with what measure of bees and in waht time of year?

If you force bees build so much as possible, they will too stressed and short living. They may stop brood raising.



.
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« Reply #25 on: December 11, 2006, 03:24:28 PM »

I disagree finman, to get more bee's you have to feed, feed and feed, I have seen it for a few years now and feeding even when there is a flow will increase bee count, I have seen it for a few years now and the queen raiser's always feed most of the year, and I have seen most of the queen sellers here in Ga. feed also so I know sugar water makes bee's. that's what I have seen.....
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THAT's ME TO THE LEFT JUST 5 YEARS FROM NOW!!!!!!!!

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« Reply #26 on: December 11, 2006, 03:33:38 PM »

I disagree finman, to get more bee's you have to feed, feed and feed, I have seen it for a few years now and feeding even when there is a flow will increase bee count, I have seen it for a few years now and the queen raiser's always feed most of the year, and I have seen most of the queen sellers here in Ga. feed also so I know sugar water makes bee's. that's what I have seen.....


Nonsence that kind of advice.  I may see feeders in every your hive in summer  but  what is the idea? When you are going to get honey?

What size of colony you are talking about and what time of summer?

I have feeded wit pollen and pollen patty hives 17 years and different races. I know quite well how colony react on feeding.

In summer they get honey and pollen from nature. They nurse so much brood as they are able to feed and keep warm.

If you have a nuc which have not  over 3 week old bees, it is not able to gather foof from nature. Otherwise small colonies fill the hive so fast that they swarm. They are not able to grow.

What is the aim of operation?

Look at this picture. http://bees.freesuperhost.com/yabbfiles/Attachments/Kuva_033.jpg

It is a good hive and at the end of June it has 7 boxes full of bees. I may put a laying queen in every box and I get 7 or even 14 good hives before winter.  In picture moment it had 140 lbs honey and 3 weeks later it took 240 lbs honey more.  You may get honey and you may increase hive number in same summer, but not with feeding sugar. 

My advice is exract, extract, extract

It is very easy to multiply hives. But what then?


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« Reply #27 on: December 11, 2006, 04:04:58 PM »

see finsky bro that's where honey production and queen rearing stops, the statement I made above is for hive increases not honey production, if you want to make bee's for hive production then you feed all you can, if you want honey production then you must be satisfied with the number of hives you have then collect honey, but for raising bee's and hive increasing feed, feed, feed.... and that is the way to go!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and that is all!!!!!!!!!!! Now I know a guy that has been raising queens for 55 years and he is also a commercial seller of queens, if you told him not to feed bee's he would laugh in your face,  he live buy the rule if you are trying to raise queens or bee's feed , feed , feed..... sorry bro but that's the way it is!!!
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« Reply #28 on: December 11, 2006, 04:24:36 PM »

but for raising bee's feed, feed, feed....

I do not know where you live. We have so much nectar and pollen in nature that bees get food from nature more that they have roon in nucs.

The cycle of bees' development is 4 weeks.  Even you feed them, they do not emerge faster.

One week larva, 2 weeks pupa and 1 week to substitude the bees which have died during brood development.

An when beginner feeds and feeds and feeds, he gets swarms even from 3-lbs nucs. Then he has virgin queen which start to lay 10 days later and again colony began to grow after 4 weeks. 

In this situation, beginner has spent about  2 months and his nuc is about same size as at the beginning.  These stories we have handled here a lot.

.



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« Reply #29 on: December 11, 2006, 06:38:07 PM »

finman brings up a good point, now see I was talking about raising bee's and having enough bee's to shack to make more nuc's such...
 now if you want to raise enough hives to increase then use my method until you get enough hive, feeding bee's will make them swarm if your not shacking bee's from a hive that you are feeding or decreasing the population in some case, if you are not raising bee's then I wouldn't use my method of feeding.........
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« Reply #30 on: December 11, 2006, 11:08:50 PM »

the more I read, the more confused I become, I will extract all the good intent of all that contribute to eveything, then I will certainly make my own decisions, but this is all a tough one.  Who has the most right and best idea.  Who knows.  I hear that a long time ago, that ask 12 beekeepers a question, and you will get 12 different answers.  How can such a simple culture have so many different ideas.  Especially when I see the pictures of so many different shapes and sizes of hives.  What is wrong with a completely standard hive, that is the same, no matter what country you are in.  Perplexed.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #31 on: December 11, 2006, 11:26:30 PM »

finman brings up a good point, now see I was talking about raising bee's and having enough bee's to shack to make more nuc's such...
 now if you want to raise enough hives to increase then use my method until you get enough hive, feeding bee's will make them swarm if your not shacking bee's from a hive that you are feeding or decreasing the population in some case, if you are not raising bee's then I wouldn't use my method of feeding..........


Twt. What have you drinked. To get honey is same as raise bees. We have here very short season and we needso much bees as it is possible. If I need number of hives I devide hive and give to it laying queen. But you cannot understand that we have so much nectar in nature that there is no need to keep feeders in summer. 

And feeding. It means that bees draw foundations. Bees draw combs only if they get honey.

When I expanded my yard  40 yards ago from couple of hives to 20, I bought swarms. I put swarms together and noticed that 8 lbs it the best size to get colony move on. That swarm build in a week 2 deeps wit the aid of sugar syrup. Soon they had 1,5 box brood. After 4-5 weeks from beginning they had 3 boxes bees.

Now as wiser, if I have  2 frame colony in the end of August I will raise it in two monts to 5 box colony. If you are able to that, tell me.
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« Reply #32 on: December 12, 2006, 02:20:58 AM »

Dear Professor TWT

Stop playing. Would you please this and then get experience how to explose the number of bees.

Sugar feeding is grandfathers knowledge. It works if you satisfied it but I do not want to hear it from professors mouth in the end of year 2006.

http://www.rirdc.gov.au/reports/HBE/05-054.pdf

« Last Edit: December 12, 2006, 11:29:11 PM by Finsky » Logged
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« Reply #33 on: December 12, 2006, 08:40:26 AM »

I agree that stimulating feeding established hives is probably overused.

But from what I understand, Greg is starting out with 5 brand new hives.  I'm guessing that the point is to fill all 5 hives as soon as possible, honey being secondary this year.

Since honeyflow stimulates brood rearing and comb-building, it would be in the best interest of somebody desiring an increase of bees to simulate a honeyflow by feeding sugar syrup when a honeyflow isn't happening.

Of course, this is done with discretion.  If a swarm in a small hive looks imminent, then that is a prime time for a split and a new hive.  Just make sure they always have sufficient resources (food = sugar of some kind).  So during a dearth, if they don't have all the brood drawn, keep sugar available for them to convert to wax.

I think that the point is to get the most bee increase at the least cost.  If you have many swarms around then combine them, etc.  If you don't, then start smaller and make sure they have the resources to increase as fast as possible.  If you only want to spend about $80 for bees to get started (and I don't want to spend more than that), then you will have to split packages,feed,and be very patient and attentive.


-rick
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« Reply #34 on: December 12, 2006, 10:25:54 AM »

Rick, I wonder if it is the same in many climates.  Here our queens begin heavy brood rearing by the beginning of February (probably already began lightly in January).  We begin to feed 1:1 s.s. February 15 and pollen patty (or pollen frames if we have them).  This stimulates the bees to believe that nectar flow is occurring, long before it actually does.  This is our climate.

I would like to know if that is commonplace throughout the colder parts of the states too?  The question.
Do most beekeepers simulate the nectar flow in spring?  Great day. Cindi
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« Reply #35 on: December 12, 2006, 12:18:01 PM »

Great topic. I bought two deeps this summer. One 5/3/06 and the other 6/23/06. The second one was always the inferior hive in numbers and never increased significantly. I followed the advice of many who believe over feeding is hurtful. This second hive never expanded beyond one deep. In late August, I met w/ a mentor w/ lots of experience. he said we were in a horrible dearth locally and the small hive needed to be fed or it would never make through winter. I fed it 5gal of HFCS and several feedings of sugar water too. They finally drew out a medium above the deep, expanded their population and I was able to get them winter ready9I hope). The moral of the story(I think), is w./ experience you can recognize the need to feed. Mr Bush says, "it will work if you let it." Its a fine line between letting the bees do their thing, and over-managing them. I wish I had fed the one hive earlier in the year. I am personally reluctant to over manage as I beleive the bees know what to do. We are usually a hindrance, not the great "benefactor" beekeepers believe we are. Prudent feeding is a must, overfeeding is wrong. Knowing when these two conditions are present is the key. I wish I could borrow all of the visual experiences of the very experience beekeepers so I could make the correct choice next time.
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« Reply #36 on: December 12, 2006, 01:58:16 PM »


It is a big missunderstanding if some one believe that raising up the hive is feeding - not feeding question.

Is it possible that beekeeping can be written in two sentences:

1) raise much bees
2) put them on good pastures.

It does not work so.

It is easy to read advice but it makes much effort to understand how to do it. Practice practice practice. Problems teach best and most learn never.
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« Reply #37 on: December 12, 2006, 02:33:47 PM »

The temperature is near 60f today and the bees are out in full force going through the trash, seeking out soft drink cans. Wonder if they will think there is a flow on. And all this week it get warmer. Up to 70F by Saturday.
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« Reply #38 on: December 12, 2006, 03:11:49 PM »

.

Jerry! How much you have catched swarms alltogether during these some years?
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« Reply #39 on: December 12, 2006, 03:29:15 PM »

Hi Cindi,
I'm still in the beginning of the practice,practice,practice stage, and haven't done much with the spring stimulative feeding.  If I were to, I don't think I'd start much before the middle of March, when the maples bloom.  Most of the time the maples start blooming and we get a couple days of wonderful weather, then we get a week or two of 30F weather so they don't break cluster often.  By the time it is consistent then there are minor flows starting.  I'll see how they are doing in the spring and contemplate it then.
_______
There are also different kinds of feeding.  Stimulative feeding is going to be different than fall feeding.  A miller feeder might clog up a brood nest where a quart jar with some holes punched in the lid won't as quick(I don't think so, at least!).  I think it is important with non-autumn feeding to make sure you know what is going on inside, brood nest condition, hive condition, stores conditions, etc.  And stop feeding when they get to where you want them to be.

For a larger or more experienced beekeeper it is easier to let a hive go or to move it to better forage, but for a small hobbiest with a few in the back yard, that isn't an option.  I had 2 hives this spring that had dwindled to less than 2 frames each back which I baby'ed back to health with the help of new queens and feeding, and they generated both a surplus of honey and a split (one of the queens was too hot).  If I had had more than a few hives I'd have just let them go and done a split from different hives.

-rick
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« Reply #40 on: December 12, 2006, 03:42:15 PM »

the middle of March, when the maples bloom. 

Our maples bloom ih the middle of May.

I try to start protein feeding 3 weeks before willow bloom starts. It mean that first big group of bees emerge when nature gives new pollen.

The earliest time to start is when half of snow is melted. If it too cold or snow on ground,  bees cannot carry water outside, larvae will die. Often bees get a bad chalkbrood.

When mapple blooms here, I begin to enlarge my hives.  2-box hive gets it's third box and 1-box hive gets it's second box.  Fist size colonies get so much emerging bees that they can occupy one box and make it full of brood.

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« Reply #41 on: December 12, 2006, 07:54:18 PM »

Rick, Finsky.  I have no clue when our maples bloom.  I am a weather watcher amongst other things, but never paid attention to the tree bloom.  All I know is that our climate is temperate, we get some very cold nights and mostly warm days after the middle of February.  Our temperature is absolutely undefinitive beyond doubt.  I am not even sure what maple bloom is or what to look for.  Maybe I have seen this occurance, but do not recognize what it is.   A couple of weeks ago I sent in a picture of some pretty maple trees that had "whirlygigs" hanging down, now maybe that was indeed the maple bloom.  I am going to look at the date on this picture.  Hold on....OK, the picture that I was talking about was taken on May 23, obviously the "whirlygigs" are the seed of the flower, so I don't know when the flowers were actually forming.  Maybe I can find out, just for a point of interest.  I just go by the rule of thumb, February 14, start to feed pollen and 1:1 s.s. for brood stimulation.  Much to think about.  Great day. Cindi
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« Reply #42 on: December 12, 2006, 11:31:01 PM »

Rick, Finsky.  I have no clue when our maples bloom. 

Location: Maple Ridge, B.C.


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