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Author Topic: bees not hungry  (Read 4798 times)
AndersMNelson
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« on: December 13, 2006, 10:24:38 PM »

I never added supers to my hive this year, to ensure they have a good supply for the winter.  I gave them medicated syrup for the winter, but they haven't eaten it yet.  Should I worry about this?  Also, do I need to take off the hive top feeder for winter?
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« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2006, 10:56:53 PM »

I use hive top feeders here in florida.  If they aren't taking the syrup then they probaly don't need it.  I would leave it on so they have it if they need it. just my 2 cents.   
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« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2006, 01:26:15 AM »

I never added supers to my hive this year, to ensure they have a good supply for the winter. 

The basic idea of beekeeping is ad super so much that brood area is not used for honey. That ensure that bee cluster for winter is strong.
To keep hive tight in summer is against all good beekeeping principles.
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AndersMNelson
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« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2006, 08:23:11 AM »

It also had a lot to do with my being away at college.  I couldn't get a ride home to tend to my hive as frequently as desired.  Next year will be different.

Finsky,
I was under the impression the first deep hive body was mainly for brood, as the second was primarily for the bees' food storage.  The supers cannot be so if one extracts honey at the end of the season, right?.  Please clarify for me the "basic idea of beekeeping."
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« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2006, 11:54:10 PM »

The bees will use 2 deeps for brood and even a portion of a third if you have an active queen.  That is the optimum in the summer months.  For wintering it is normal to reduce the hive to 2 deeps (or the equivalent) and then force the hive to become honey bound with stores of honey and /or syrup.  With the hive honey bound there is little room for brood production--this is the way you want it.  The majority of the comb in the hive (80% or above) should be filled with stores for winter with the remainder being pollen stores and brood in that order.

The problem with leaving a super on (at least in colder climates) is that it creates extra space for the bees to keep warm making them use up the stores they have at a faster rate.  It is best if the hive is full of stores to leave the feeder off.  In warmer areas like the Southern USA the existance of the feeder seems not to be a problem as the temperatures usually don't get that low for that long to do any real damage.
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« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2006, 01:16:09 AM »

If it were more cold here, would the risk of leaving the feeder on be one of crystallization?  This is my first year, so I'm rather a novice.  Are there any good novels or informative books that I could read?  I read one, The Queen Must Die, which was interesting, but not very practical.  I love my bees, but I'm so afraid any problem I may have could jeopardize the hive.
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« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2006, 08:56:25 AM »

If it were more cold here, would the risk of leaving the feeder on be one of crystallization?


The problem I had was the night temps. were down in the 20's.. then hit the 50's during the day.  This causes the feeder to leak pretty good.. since the temp. is warm.. it doesn't hurt the bee's so much.. but causes a robbing frenzy at the hive entrance where the syrup leaks out. 

There are a lot of good books..  you could do a search on this forum for books beeks have recommended. 

Online there is a lot of info..  a good place to start would be Michael Bush's website.. lots of information.. http://www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm

Any younger brother or sisters you could get to take care of your hives while you're at school? 

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« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2006, 09:28:04 AM »

Anders, there was some discussion awhile ago about good books for beginners.  I copied the list that I liked that I had put on the forum discussion. You may find that you can get hold of some of them or not.  There are lots of good books out there though.  Great day. Cindi

- Beekeeping for Dummies, by Howland Blackiston
-ABC & XYZ of Bee Culture, by A.I. Root, 1877 (a book my father had left for me, so many years ago, he kept bees when I was a young teenager, but I did not have interest at that point in my life)
- 500 Answers to Bee Questions, by A.I. Root Company, 1973
- Lanstroth on the Hive and the Honeybee, by L.L. Langstroth, printed 1853
- The Hive and the Honeybee, co-authors, by 17 people, extensively revised 1963
 - THE SPELL OF THE HONEYBEE, by W. Eric Kelsey, 1945

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« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2006, 12:17:33 PM »

I have one of those polystyrene feeders, so I don't know how badly it would leak, if it would.  I'll just take it off anyway.  Thanks for the book list: I'm going to get one or two of those.
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« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2006, 01:36:48 PM »

     I have a styrene Top Feeder that came with my beginner kit from BetterBee last year.  The only problem I have is to make sure any mold is out when I clean it and rinse it out well after bleaching it.  No leaking at all...only my own ability as a klutz is the real problem.

    When my bees refused food I just removed it and stored it for later.  Usually means something somewhere is available or like pdmattox said they probably don't need it.
     
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« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2006, 02:32:59 PM »

If you have all the same size boxes (which I would recommend) then a box is a box.  If you don't use an excluder (which I do not) then the bees use it for whatever they like.  The important things are that you don't let the brood nest get clogged with honey during swarm season and you keep enough room on the hive that the bees will have somewhere to store their honey without clogging the brood nest.

In the typical hive with two deeps, the two deeps are usually  the "brood boxes" and usually both have some brood in them during the main buildup.  If they don't I would encourage them to by moving some of the brood combs up a box.  By fall these brood boxes should get backfilled with honey.  The bees do this so they will have winter stores AND so the queen will stop laying because they filled the cells and she can't.
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« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2006, 04:32:13 PM »

Finsky,
I was under the impression the first deep hive body was mainly for brood, as the second was primarily for the bees' food storage.  The supers cannot be so if one extracts honey at the end of the season, right?.  Please clarify for me the "basic idea of beekeeping."


In summer I use 3 deeps for brood  +  4-6 mediums for honey. I extract honey accorging it comes  into hive.

In picture I carried 3 hives onto spended fireweed pastures. It took 3 weeks and all hives had capped frames from top to lowest box. I harvested from each hive 240 lbs capped honey in one time.  This was speacial year but good hives make this kind of surprises.  3 miles away on canola fields I got allmost nothing.

If I put 2-deep hive on canola pastures, it will be full in one week and hive will swarm.  So I put 6 box in hives when I carry them to canola: 2 box brood, one empty brood box lowest and 3-4 box for honey.  And I will inspect hives every week if weather  is good for yield.

If you have 3 capped box honey in the hive you need 3 more box for ripening of honey. Otherwise bees full brood area with nectar and hive is jammed.
I use lowest deep as reservoir. They put nectar there first to rippen and then they lift it up to warmer places of hive and cap it.

When I brough these hives to fireweed pastures, the uppermost 3 boxes had empty combs and lower had brood and unripen nectar. Soon I must add empty combs when they are capping ripe honey.


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« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2006, 09:41:09 PM »

Finsky, you know I still find your honey yields beyond amazing.  It is quite incredible. Your statement below was something that I was not even aware of:

<If you have 3 capped box honey in the hive you need 3 more box for ripening of honey. Otherwise bees full brood area with nectar and hive is jammed.
I use lowest deep as reservoir. They put nectar there first to rippen and then they lift it up to warmer places of hive and cap it.>

What I mean is, I did not realize that the bees put nectar in cells to ripen and then move it to warmer places in the hives.  Funny eh?  Just never realized it.  I always thought that the bees put the nectar in the honey supers and just ripened it there.  Still don't quite get it though.

Are you saying that there is an empty box for nectar ripening BELOW the brood boxes?  If this is what you meant, how do you keep the queen from laying down in the nectar ripening box?  If this is what you meant, would not the bees have to carry the ripened nectar up through the brood boxes to the honey supers above???  Great day. Cindi

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« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2006, 10:01:34 PM »

The point isn't the where, they will use what space they have, but the what.  They need space to spread out the nectar so it has a lot of surface area to evaporate.  Making honey requires a lot of surface area, which requires a lot of supers.
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« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2006, 10:27:22 PM »

New understanding.  Wonderful!!!  Probably one of my problems last year, maybe did not provide enough room for honey, the queen became honeybound, and the obvious!!  No room for lots of brood?  Is this the gist of it?  What does she do if there is no room for eggs?  Probably swarm?  But I did not have any swarms occur:

Except, a rather nasty swarm that I had caught the year before.  It was so cranky!!!!  The moment you even went close to their humble home, the aura surrounding this hive was demonous!!!  They did not want you near for sure.  Anyways, I did work with them, (lots of protection) and they were very prolific the first year and first part of second year.  Then one day they decided that they would take off for better places.  I watched them go, I followed as best that I could, along with a bunch of kids and my sister.  We saw them go up in a great big old cottonwood and that was the end of them.  No way on the good green earth could I have reached that far, and personally did not want to -- I actually did not mind one little bit, but in my mind I wished them well.  It was not their fault that they were so crabby, it was nothing that I had done.  I had every intention of requeening this colony, but just never got around to it.  So good riddence to bad rubbish.  I was glad to see them leave in a way. 

I had cut out some mature queen cells from another hive shortly before this swarm took off because I was going to attach them to a frame in a queenless colony I had.  (I would do it differently this year for sure though).  I had the queen cells in a little warm box, all tucked in.  When I went to open it, there was a queen walking around in the little box.  So I put her in a queen cage, stuffed a little marshmallow in the end and put it in the colony.  Good, they had their new queen.  The colony did well.  And I actually still find it hard to believe to this day, but this  colony actually over a period of time became far less cranky.  That was nice, I did not feel intimidated by them by the end of the summer and they produced excess honey.  But, that is a colony that I lost due to varroa destruction.  Great day.  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 #15 on: December 17, 2006, 10:49:29 PM »

Finsky, you know I still find your honey yields beyond amazing.  It is quite incredible. Your statement below was something that I was not even aware of:


Are you saying that there is an empty box for nectar ripening BELOW the brood boxes?  If this is what you meant, how do you keep the queen from laying down in the nectar ripening box?  If this is what you meant, would not the bees have to carry the ripened nectar up through the brood boxes to the honey supers above???  Great day. Cindi


During heavy nectar flow I take wide open the main entrance and some upper entrances.  The lowest box will be cool and queen rise upp to lay. We have fine warm weeks and at once we may have a rainy week where temp. is 54F.  I am not there every day setuping ventilation.  When I add ventilation brood will disapear from lowest box. I late summer I put again entrance reduger on, lowest box will be warmer . But normally in autumn lowest box has no brood and when I put bees in winter condition I press bees to the lowest box and it has onlu polllen and some honey.

We should take all honey away after 10. August. It means that  take capped honey away, extract them, diminish the hive, keep hive warm that bees can raise alot winter bees. The lowest box will have most of pollen and bees use it in brood raising. Nature gives so much nectar that it keeps broon raising on but not surplus.  The hive will deminish from 6 box to -12 box during 3-4 weeks.

Professional play system otherwise.
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« Reply #16 on: December 17, 2006, 11:28:54 PM »


We should take all honey away after 10. August. It means that  take capped honey away, extract them, diminish the hive, keep hive warm that bees can raise alot winter bees. The lowest box will have most of pollen and bees use it in brood raising. Nature gives so much nectar that it keeps broon raising on but not surplus.  The hive will deminish from 6 box to -12 box during 3-4 weeks.
Professional play system otherwise.
.[/quote]

What said makes good sense for sure.  BUT, 10 August in my area is far too soon to take ALL the honey off and prepare for winter.  Even the beginnning of September we still have a very strong nectar flow.  The bees in our area can still process the nectar into honey still during September.  Many people are not taking off all their honey until the middle of September I hear.  I took off all my remaining honey around September 5, and bees were still bringing in LOTS of nectar (and pollen too).  We have a late nectar flow. The queen is still laying quite well come late September even.  When we feed the bees sugar syrup for winter build up, the advice is to no longer feed after October 6, otherwise the bees will not be able to process the sugar syrup in time to winter.  Last feeding, on October 6 and no more s.s. further beyond.  This is pretty strongly advised by beekeeping course leaders I have been taught lessons from. 

What you said about 6 boxes of bees down to -12 in three to four weeks did not make sense to me.  What does the  -12 mean, I understand the 6 boxes.  How can it be -12?Huh  Have a great day Finsky.  Cindi
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« Reply #17 on: December 17, 2006, 11:51:28 PM »



What said makes good sense for sure.  BUT, 10 August in my area is far too soon to take ALL the honey off and prepare for winter. 

Of course you make your tasks on local way . I live on the level of Alaska Anhorage. I just cleared the speed of changes what happens in hives.
On another hand I try to clear teh speed how hives develope ready to forage. If you have not more than a couple of boxes in mid summer, the reason is unselected queens.  They are not able to make more brood.

The basic of good yield is good queens and good origin of queens (which are good enough to local weather.)

I do not speed up brooding with syrup feedings. Still I have bigger hives as I se in your pictures.  And bees draw combs when nectar flow is strong. Outside nectar flow it is hard to get bees draw foundations.

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« Reply #18 on: December 20, 2006, 07:40:47 PM »

Cindi,
I think he meant that 6 boxes of bees condense down to 1-2 boxes.

-12 boxes would require an extra dimension that I don't think any of us have access to rolleyes

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« Reply #19 on: December 21, 2006, 12:17:54 AM »

Rick, sometimes I cannot see the forest for the trees.  I have difficulty with certain things.  Now how you explained what Finsky meant, is perfectly understandable to me.  I am very much of the kind of person of WYSIWYG.  I can't read beyond the line mostly.  thanks for clarification.  Great day. Cindi
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« Reply #20 on: December 21, 2006, 02:02:48 AM »

Cindi,
I think he meant that 6 boxes of bees condense down to 1-2 boxes.


That I meant. 2 and line changed place in typing. My another hand is faster.
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« Reply #21 on: December 21, 2006, 08:02:07 AM »

Finsky,
You write of forcing the hive down into one or 2 boxes.

What do you do with unripe, half filled supers at that time?  I usually have 1 half filled super per hive that I don't know what to do with at that time.

?? thanks!
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« Reply #22 on: December 21, 2006, 08:57:00 AM »

Finsky,
You write of forcing the hive down into one or 2 boxes.

What do you do with unripe, half filled supers at that time?  I usually have 1 half filled super per hive that I don't know what to do with at that time.

That is normal me too.Even more is normal.  It is impossible to arrange so that summer ends and all are capped.

Our yield season ends in last week of July. In August bees get something but seldom surplus because nature flowers are over.

If it is rainy bees eate during August open nectaqr away and they raise winterbees. If weather is good, they also raise new bees and consume most open nectar away. At least honey will be dry and I extract it at the beginning of September. I use heating closet wher I warm up honey before extracting and it ryes enough the honey.

So, there are a little bit alternatives what what I do but I have never had fermented honey. If I keep 5 days honey in the heasting closet, it will be so dry that it is difficult to extract.

At he beginning of September I extract all honey away and give sugar instead.
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« Reply #23 on: December 21, 2006, 09:31:19 AM »

Rick, Finsky gives good advice.  Follow what he says.  This is what I did when I condensed bees down to one box.  I had quite a bit of uncapped, capped and pollen frames left over when all was condensed.  I had given the bees a formic acid treatment the beginning of September.  I had extracted all the honey that I could before the acid treatment.  So when I had the honey frames left over,  I knew that because of the formic acid treatment, the honey was only fit for bees, so I froze the frames so that I can use it next year to give back to the bees, when they need it, or to feed any swarms, nucs, splits I will be doing.  I know that I will need honey for the bees and instead of taking from the hives which I may may nucs from, I will have extra in the freezer that I can give them.

That is what my plan is.  Trot was writing that if you don't have a freeezer, to store the frames with nectar, honey, pollen, to put them into a plastic tub and put sugar around the bottom of frames, this absorbs moisture and they won't go mouldy.  Read his post and there was other talk about the sugar and frames.  This is perfect if someone does not have the freezer space.

when I did the honey harvest I had quite a few frames of uncapped honey, probably some that were not even fully ripened yet too.  I did something similar to Finsky.  I had a little closet in my house that once the uncapped/nectar was extracted, I put the honey in a big pail into.  I kept a heater in there with a fan going for a few days, and this honey was absolutely amazing how much thicker it became.  Obviously the job that the bees just did not get around to was able to be accomplished by human being.  I was actually very surprised at how quickly the honey "ripened".  Hope this helps you out a bit.  This is only my experience, not necessarily the best one, but it worked for me.  Great day.  Cindi
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« Reply #24 on: December 22, 2006, 03:00:46 PM »

As the brood from the new queen hatched the temperment of the hive changed to mirror that of the queen.  also a hive with a high productive queen will generally be more mellow than one with a lower producing queen.
The secret to swarm prevention is to provide lots of extra space.  This extra space allows them to move the honey around the hive as they process it.  The more room for that out side of the brood area the more bees can be grown in the brood area.
But as Michael BushFinksy, & I frequently mention: why not give the queen as much room to raise brood as she needs.  If the equipment is uniform in size it can easily be consolidated to smaller hives at harvest time. The more bees in a hive the more honey is produced so providing plenty of room means more bees are produced for foraging, more room is available to process honey, the more space available for honey storage, and bees kept that busy rarely swarm.
I use 4 medium boxes dedicated to brood production this also supplies room for processing early in the season.  I usually put on 2 supers at a time instead of singles in a effort to keep ahead on space so they can work to their best advantage.  If you follow those practices you can get 200-300 lbs of honey per hive per year.
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« Reply #25 on: December 22, 2006, 03:36:16 PM »

>If you follow those practices you can get 200-300 lbs of honey per hive per year.

Sometimes...
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« Reply #26 on: December 22, 2006, 04:21:26 PM »

>If you follow those practices you can get 200-300 lbs of honey per hive per year.

Sometimes...


Michael is right. The yield maybe with same hive 60 lbs or 300 lbs. It depends how good are pastures and how colony  gets the load.

3-5 fold differences may be in yields.  Why, - you know that later when yield is over.
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« Reply #27 on: December 23, 2006, 01:19:47 AM »

So, basically, I should have provided more room through supers for honey to prevent a standstill in production?  Are they just plain full?  What can I do now, at the beginning of winter to help?
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« Reply #28 on: December 23, 2006, 01:42:30 AM »

So, basically, I should have provided more room through supers for honey to prevent a standstill in production?  Are they just plain full?  What can I do now, at the beginning of winter to help?

I do not know exactly what you are asking?

Nothing can be done during winter. From spring to early summer you try to raise hive so big as possible. HIVE NEEDS ROOM EVEN IF IT DOES GET NO HONEY.  - Bees need the room.

Then when you are lucky weathers are good and bees start to fill hive with honey. Hive should have through all the summer 

2 deeps for brood
2 deeps for nectar and
2 deeps were bees have honey under capping work.

In best days hive will get 15 lbs honey. It menas that in 2 days one medium box will be filled. If they have not space, they stop working.

If honey flow is very good you should extract every week to keep hive in working.
If weather are bad you just wait better weathers. In rainy days big hive consume 1 lbs honey per day.

On of our professional beekeepers said to me that he have  4 deep system. Brood area is restricted to one deep with exluder. 3 deeps are for honey and they go through hives every week and take capped honey box to extraction. He said that 6-deep hives are too heavy to work.

But what ever system you have, you must have allway free space for new nectar and BEES HAVE SPACE TO EXPAND.
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Trot
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« Reply #29 on: December 23, 2006, 04:23:25 PM »

Listen to Finsky, you all !
It takes roughly three times the room to ripen honey.  Say, it takes 3 combs of nectar to make 1 comb of caped honey!
So, if one has on only one super - bees are most likely working only one good day and than waiting two or three, for the honey to be ripened...
A hive is capable of bringing in 10 to 15 kg of honey a day if they have a place to put it...

For maximum crop one should be a few days ahead of the bees, so to speak... A lot of places one has perhaps only a good week or two to make or brake the season...

Regards,
Trot
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Finsky
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« Reply #30 on: December 23, 2006, 04:42:46 PM »


A hive is capable of bringing in 10 to 15 kg of honey a day


LBS is 0,5 kg. ............I have herad biggest day yields 8 kg/day. I have not  balance and I do not follow daily weight.

ÄSH, voi vitja munat = butter chain balls.

Here we have result when hives has been on balance during the summer.  http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php?board=2.0

When you push the button, you will se the weight  of some hive.

Here is one example  http://www.mtt.fi/tutkimus/kasvit/bees/karkola06.htm

Perhaps 18.6 raspberry - canola- fireweed - honeydew in August.

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« Reply #31 on: December 23, 2006, 06:13:52 PM »

Yes Finsky, 10 to 15 kg not lbs/pounds!
I had one yard, (12 hives) on strawberry farm in 1986 and I took 204 kg average per hive..!
Hives were 9 high..!  A real back-breaker!

Even back home - Slovenia, they had exceptional harvest this year.  A lot of beekeepers took in 4 to 5 kg a day - this is in their AZ hives, where they have only room for 10 frames in a single honey-chamber. (Mici posted a picture of such a hive.)
For such - AZ hive average good harvest is around 30 kg. This year they were reporting harvest of 100 kg per hive. They had to extract every day to be able to keep up..??!!
Can you imagine their yield, if they had 4 - 5 boxes to add on?


Regards,
Trot


Perhaps you can translate? If not - numbers are the same...

http://new.slovenski-cebelarji.com/forum/

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« Reply #32 on: December 24, 2006, 02:13:34 AM »

I had one yard, (12 hives) on strawberry farm in 1986 and I took 204 kg average per hive..!

Did you knew where bees got honey. Strawberry does not have quite much.

..................................

Raspberry has tremendous nectar droplets in flower.

The volume of nectar and the foraging distance has been in my interest some years. I have found that choosing a pasture means more than nursing the hive. But if it is too dry it is same how big you hives are. They must collect nectar so far that they will not get good surplus.

This issue is discussed very seldom. On another hand beekeepers are broud when they have  tens of hives in one site. I am proud if I have in best places 1-3 hive. Then bees gather cream from nature. - This is secret of good yields.

But Trot's story from Slovakia is unbelievable.
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« Reply #33 on: December 24, 2006, 01:41:42 PM »

Sorry Finsky, I made a typo mistake - I meant raspberry!!!

You are right!  On strawberries bees work themselves to death. They only get pollen!
(Had 12 on Strawberry farm for pollination - Three year contract. Almost lost my shirt - had to feed them all year!

Sorry to correct you but it is Slovenia - not Slovakia! 
Two different countries - two different people. . .

Regards,
Trot
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« Reply #34 on: December 25, 2006, 09:37:15 AM »

Comments required.  I was of the impression, like Trot, that strawberries do not provide much nectar at all.  I even think (Huh not sure), but strawberries are self-pollinating and don't actually require insects to spread the nectar.  Could be mistaken, but I think I remember something like that in the cobwebs of my mind.  Any comments anyone?  Great day.  Cindi
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« Reply #35 on: December 25, 2006, 11:07:38 AM »

I even think (Huh not sure), but strawberries are self-pollinating and don't actually require insects to spread the nectar. 

To get good looking and large berries strawberry needs pollination.
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« Reply #36 on: December 25, 2006, 11:30:22 AM »

Bees spread the pollen , not nectar...

Sorry Cindi. I suspect it's just a typo - but I couldn't help myself... grin

Also to add... Bees pollinating strawberries should be of greater numbers (double the hives per acre) that for other crops... Cause, many bees are needed to "make" a nice berry.
If number of bees on one and each flower, is not sufficient - the berries are not uniform - round. They will grow to be one sided!  Like if one half is missing. . . etc...
No place is bee more important, for "nice" crop, than on a field of strawberries...

Regards,
Trot
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« Reply #37 on: December 26, 2006, 12:55:45 PM »

Finksy and  Trott.  Good, I got the answer that I was looking for.  (Trot it was a typo, I know the bees don't spread nectar, too much hurry to type something). 

So, OK, strawberries, (like EVERYTHING) must have pollination for the big and lucious!!!.  Granted, I learned something absolutely true and new today.  I thought perhaps that the self-pollinating plants did not require EXTRA pollination.  So, that makes sense, that the bees make the berries even more big, beautiful, uniform, etc.  That must be why the strawberries that I have these past two springs have been the most beautiful that I have ever had growing on my acreage.  They have always been very nice berries, but honestly, since I began keeping the species, the berries are much much larger and UNIFORM in size.  Just didn't put that two and two together. 

The strawberry pollination facts that I learned today remind me of the incredible numbers of bees that it requires for the cranberry pollination here.  In our Lower Mainland (especially out my neck of the woods nearby where we have the flats), cranberries are grown in great numbers.  Now cranberries are very similar with what is given to the bees as far as nourishment goes, it takes about 10 hives to pollinate one acre of cranberry, whereas, for example it takes 1 hive of bees to pollinate the blueberry (which we also grow in a big way this part of B.C.).  Now, that makes pollination of the cranberry very expensive to the grower, no wonder the cost of this berry is so high.

I planted 10 blueberry plants in 2005 and 30 more in last summer.  This year I will be able to produce quite a bit of blueberry product, honey and berries, of course.  The blueberry is an amazing sub-shrub.  If you ever get a chance when the plants are setting forth flower, walk through them.  The fragrance of the flowers are something to behold, no wonder the bees are drawn to these pretty little plants.

Fragrance in the garden is one that I focus on, whether it is flowers or shrubs that bloom during the day or night.  I find the night scented flowers to be even more alluring.  There are some flowers that bloom either night or day that surely take the breath away, and I am not exaggerating, walk around these things of beauty and one cannot help but inhale deeply, wishing never to allow this scent to leave the air.

All have a great day, hope the Christmas celebration was one of joy and happiness.  Winter solstace gone by the wayside, summer a'comin' on.  Cindi
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« Reply #38 on: December 26, 2006, 01:26:06 PM »

Cindi, you are right about Blueberries.  I know all about them. Sudbury is known and officially declared as "Blueberry Capital of the World!"
For miles and miles - nothing but blueberry bushes.
You see, in the past the chimneys from our mining companies were spewing out toxic fumes and everything was burned from the acid. But, this destruction created the ideal conditions for blueberries.
Of course much has been done lately to improve our image - but acidic soil remains...

Regards,
Trot
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« Reply #39 on: December 26, 2006, 01:37:10 PM »

Trot, now that is interesting.  Blueberries and acid, it rings a bell.  In the blueberry fields here I see the farmers mounding up sawdust around each plant.  I have not delved into this to understand the point, but I imagine it gives some kind of mineral that the plants need.  Is this done in Sudbury?  Curious.

I have an enormous pine three in my yard that is surrounded by an emormous garden.  Over the years I have planted many annual flowers in this particular garden, but over the past couple, due to laziness I guess, I have not planted.  This soil under the tree every year has about 4 inches of pine needles, very acidic.  I usually just rake it up and discard into the compost.  this year I am planning, instead of designating the pine needles for compost, and going to mix it with turkey manure and place this concoction around each blueberry plant.  I hope that this will raise the acidity of the soil.

Strawberries also love the acid soil, I understand.

I hate picking blueberries though, that is a pain in my side for sure.  I am not a blueberry picker, love to eat them, but the picking, well, maybe the kids can do it for me this year.  Great day Trot.  My brother-in-law lives in Mississauga.  We are going there for my neice's wedding come the beginning of July this summer.  Is the weather similar in Subury to Mississauga?  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 #40 on: December 26, 2006, 01:56:31 PM »

about Blueberries.  I know all about them.

That is interesting. ... I have had 5 bushes two years and I succeeded so well that now I have 20 bushes in my cottage garden.
In my bushes I saw only bumble bees.  I read American cultivation advices from internet.
We have in nature billberry Vaccinium myrtillus and they are a lot. But it is sensitive to frost and dry wethers. In nature we have no blueberries.

Natural billberry are really abundant but in blooming time hives are so weak that they are not able to forage surplus. I suppose too that water content of bilberry nectar is very high.

Last summer frost burned all billberry flowers but garden bluberries had no violation. Blueberry blooms about a month later than billberry.
 
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« Reply #41 on: December 26, 2006, 02:34:18 PM »

Cindy,

those farmers place sawdust around the bushes, to give them acid.  I am a cabinet maker, by trade and of course I build all my beekeeping stuff. Therefore I have plenty of sawdust, which is not recommended in your average compost pile.  I store it in bags and boxes and I take it to my summer home, which is 124 km south of Sudbury and where my bees are. There I spread saw dust under the cedar plants that I had planted along one side of the driveway.

No, in Sudbury we do not need to add acidity to our plants, cause soil is too acidic allready. Almost every year, City of Sudbury hires a bunch of students and they spread, tones and tones of lime, in our region, to de-acidify the soil.
What was ones coined as "Moon scape," (astronauts from NASA did actually train here for their first moonwalk) now we already have lush vegetation and "moonscape" has all but disappeared...

I usually leave pine needles under the pines, cause they recycle that as nutrient. Pines too need acidic soil.

Mississauga ?  That is practically Toronto.  Sudbury boasts with most sunny days in eastern Canada, but we are a lot colder than Mississauga - by far. What they grow in their open gardens we must grow behind the glass. Well, most of it anyway...
I would say that temp in Mississauga doesn't often dip below zero?  Here is nothing unusual to have minus 30 - for days on end.

I know what you mean about picking blueberries?  They are a bit too close to the ground for my liking also...

Regards,
Trot
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« Reply #42 on: December 26, 2006, 02:41:52 PM »


Blueberry needs pH 4,5 and it is very normal in Finnish pruce forest.
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« Reply #43 on: December 26, 2006, 02:50:55 PM »


Natural billberry are really abundant but in blooming time hives are so weak that they are not able to forage surplus. I suppose too that water content of bilberry nectar is very high.Last summer frost burned all billberry flowers but garden bluberries had no violation. Blueberry blooms about a month later than billberry.
 

I have heard of bilberries, I am unsure if we grow them here, but I heard they are very very good, make beautiful jellies and jams.  I am going on the net to read about the bilberry.  Great day.  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 #44 on: December 26, 2006, 03:05:15 PM »

If summer is good it is able to pick billberries 10 pouds per hour  (= 3 US gallon)  with this machine.

And then I clean berries in the 5 feet groove made from queen excluders.



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« Reply #45 on: December 26, 2006, 03:13:38 PM »

Wow, Finksy, what an interesting tool for the bilberry harvest.  I have not seen one like that around here.  Maybe could be imported to Canada?  LOL. 

I did a little reading on Bilberry.  It is grown here, but I have not seen it.  It is in the family of the blueberry and huckleberry, to make things short.

We grow the red huckleberry wild in our forests.  It is very hard to pick these little tiny berries, but are very very good to eat and make pies, jams, jellies, etc.  I think that your tool for bilberry harvest would work very magificently for the huckleberry harvest.  It is in early August when this species is ready to harvest (if the bears don't get them first).  They usually grow on rotten old stumps, pretty much the only place they LIKE to grow.  Great day.  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 #46 on: December 26, 2006, 03:53:31 PM »

Maybe could be imported to Canada?  LOL. 


I saw from internet that Swedish model is sold in Alaska.
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