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Author Topic: Hello from Cincinnati, OH USA  (Read 237 times)

Offline mrtorrence

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Hello from Cincinnati, OH USA
« on: July 17, 2015, 03:28:13 PM »
Hey everyone,

Very new beekeeper here. I first became interested in trying beekeeping when I saw the Open Source Beehives project. They have some designs for beehives that can be cut out from a single sheet of plywood (CARB Phase 2 certified with non-toxic soy glues only) using a CNC (computer controlled) router. Thus the designs can be shared digitally at zero marginal cost, the hives can be flat packed for shipping, and they require no tools to assemble. I'm also very interested in digital manufacturing so thought this would be a perfect opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. So I built one of their top bar hives and found some bees (started with 5 frames of brood, pollen, and honey, no queen though).

Unfortunately my new hive is struggling a little bit. I found at least 5 queen cells about 3 or 4 weeks ago, but have checked the hive a couple times in the last week and found no signs of a laying queen. We are in the beginning of the dearth here in Ohio so an experienced beekeeper said it is possible the queen is doing a good thing by not laying. However, it is also possible I don't have a viable queen for whatever reason. This same beekeeper has offered to sell me a flown survivor queen for $30, or a russian queen that she says has great genetics for $50. She is also willing to sell some frames of brood to boost my struggling bee population.

The other problem I'm having is small hive beetles. Currently the hive is in the shade, and the very first thing this same experienced beekeeper told me was to move the hive to full sun (which is about 50 feet away from the current location) and place a branch in front of the entrance so that the bees will think something has fallen in their path and will begin the process of re-mapping their area. I also cut out part of the bottom board in my hive and installed a mineral oil trap at the recommendation of the novice beekeeper who owns the property my bees are on. However, this more experienced beekeeper says it won't do anything. She says getting the hive in the sun, and boosting the population are the key changes I need to make.

What do people on here think?

Here are a ton of pictures of my hive so people can get a better idea of what the situation is.


Online sawdstmakr

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Re: Hello from Cincinnati, OH USA
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2015, 07:13:10 AM »
Welcome to Beemaster.
Sounds like your mentor knows what she is talking about.
Full sun and a strong hive are the best defences against SHB but if you can add a screen bottom board with an oil pan, you can seriously help your bees. Oil pans kill every SHB, their larvae and the eggs that end up in it. The bees harass the SHB and the beetles drop to the bottom. The bees will remove the eggs and larvae and they get dropped to the bottom and when a larvae is ready to pupate, they drop to the bottom to burrow into the dirt. The oil tray kills all 3 phases of their life cycle.
Be sure to design it so that the bees cannot get in the oil tray.
You will have to change the oil at least every 30 days. It kills so many SHB that it starts to smell bad.
When I started to use them, the entire tray would bee black with dead SHB after 30 days.
They seriously dropped the SHB population using them for 2 years and was able to run them dry.
I run them dry now but have to clean them once a week because every thing that drops is living in the tray. There is enough dropped pollen for the larvae to grow on.
Good luck.
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Hello from Cincinnati, OH USA
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2015, 09:29:01 AM »
Move them to the sun.  50 feet is nothing.

Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen

Offline annette

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Re: Hello from Cincinnati, OH USA
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2015, 12:31:17 AM »
I liked the photo of the cat sitting in the hive.

Online GSF

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Re: Hello from Cincinnati, OH USA
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2015, 04:27:42 PM »
"Life is hard, It's even harder when you're stupid."

John Wayne

Offline Rurification

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Re: Hello from Cincinnati, OH USA
« Reply #5 on: Today at 09:30:35 AM »
I'm due west of you in Greene County, Indiana.    I have my hives in full sun and never see SHB in my hives.   Ever.   

And for what it's worth, I had screened bottom boards for the first few year and had terrible time overwintering here and big problems with yellow jackets.    This year I switched to solid bottoms and have had zero problems with yellow jackets.   The colonies built up better and faster in the spring.   I'm expecting to have an easier time overwintering, too.
Robin Edmundson

Online Eric Bosworth

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Re: Hello from Cincinnati, OH USA
« Reply #6 on: Today at 09:30:15 PM »
Unless you are beyond the arctic circle how do you get full sun?
Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.
Benjamin Franklin