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Author Topic: Do I need supers already...?  (Read 3052 times)
SteveSC
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« on: February 26, 2007, 08:39:31 PM »

I have three hives that I didn't double up this winter.  I've feed these and all my hives 2:1 sugar syrup for the last couple months and last week I started feeding patties. These 3 hives are starting to get populated to the point that when I take the tops off the entire top of the frames are covered in bees and with bees up the sides of the spacers I put in for the patties.  Everything from the top is 90% covered in bees when you look in.

The bees are really tearing into the patties also. 

Can I go ahead and put suppers on these 3 hives ( last yrs. drawn frames ) or should I wait for a while longer...?

If I can figure how to post the pics I'll do it.  Do ya'll use the " Image shack " as advertised here or maybe " Photobucket " to post pics ..?

The other hives have plenty of bees also but they all have a super on top for additional space.  All hives have patties in place and the bees seem to really like it.
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Steve in SC


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« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2007, 08:44:20 PM »

Since you are in South Carolina. I suspect you are not having the winter issues some of the other states are having. If you temps have been consistantly above 55F/12C and are not expecting any major drops in temp, I would add. Please make sure you have plants in bloom and your bees are bringing in pollen.

I use my own servers for pictures.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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imabkpr
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« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2007, 09:21:59 PM »

SteveSC;  No don.t add honey supers now. You don't have a nectar flow yet ,do you? If you have honey supers on and you are feeding syrup your bees are storing syrup not nectar in your supers. that is a no no unless your plan is to feed it back to your bees.  Charlie
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kathyp
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« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2007, 09:31:15 PM »

you have them in 1 deep?  if that is the case, i'd add a second deep for brood room.  otherwise, as i recall the advice i was given here, you risk swarming.  you probably do have things blooming in your area?
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« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2007, 09:45:27 PM »

How full is the hive with bees?  With syrup?  With brood?  90% would indicate you should have already added a box.

Of course, here it is still winter.
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Michael Bush
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Finsky
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« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2007, 12:36:01 AM »

Woodruff,South Carolina forecast. Look night temperature!

We have that weather in Finland in May. Have you some plants blooming? Willows?

http://www.wunderground.com/US/SC/Woodruff.html

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

It seems good weather there.  But this is a place of learning. When it is good weather, it is best to look inside what you have there. How many brood frames you have there.

If you have normal hive qnd they rise hives temperature for brooding, they spread all over the hive. That meand not that you give new space.  When I start to bees big hive in spring with patty, it takes over a month that I may give another box.

I add first box under the brood area. So hive keeps it's heat and hive will enlarge downwards. You will se the miracle that hive does not need extra space for long time. They need to keep existing brood are warm.  If you add 100% more sace, during first week warm just escape to upstairs and bees have difficulties to nurse brood area.

It depends so much how cold are nights and do you have rainy days.

.

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SteveSC
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« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2007, 08:35:00 AM »

These 3 single deep hives are hard to inspect for stores - brood.  The frames are connected pretty heavily and it would require making a mess to get them apart. I'm not sure I'd want to do that right now.  These pics. are 8 days ago right after placing the patties in.  The population has grown since then - I checked them yesterday. The hives have the top feeders and the 2" spacers in place so I think the bees have room to expand.

The top syrup feeders are in place but have been empty for a few days.  All hives have patties in place and the bees are taking the patties fast - they'll have to be replaced this weekend. The bees are bringing in pollen at a steady pace but not loaded down when they come in. 

Our night temps. have been 37- 44F and day temps are 52 - 70F for the last couple weeks.  We get a day of cold rain every 10 days or so. On warm sunny days the bees are busy. 

Finsky made a good point about the temps inside the hives.  If I add empty supers that will probably lower the hive temps and effect the brood survival rate.  I just don't want a swarm issue this early in the yr.. I don't know how crowded bees can get before they want to swarm but they look crowded now.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c288/jcwatts/Bees2-22-07020.jpg
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c288/jcwatts/Bees2-22-07022.jpg
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c288/jcwatts/Bees2-22-07019.jpg

Another question:

Should I discontinue the 2:1 syrup and continue the patties. Can I continue both at the same time..?

Thanks.
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Steve in SC


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kensfarm
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« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2007, 08:51:22 AM »

All those bee's are nice to see..  I'd go w/ advice given & add a deep to the bottom. 

What brand of pollen patties are you using? 

Where did you get your bees/queens? 

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Finsky
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« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2007, 08:52:48 AM »

Your 3 hives seems really more than fine. When they get pollen outside it inpires brooding a lot, and hives have new nurser bees. Emerging bees use pelnty of pollen and patty is necessary for bad weathers.

As you see, between inner cover and frames there are free room. If it is full of bees, so it is tim eto give more room.

So, frames are clued with burr. That is why you cannot get boxes apart. When it is good day, loosen frame one by one up tvisting with knife. The temperature when it is safe to inspect all frames is 62F. If brood catch cold, it may start cahalk brood

How many boxes you have in hives?  

In on pic you can see that gap agaist wall is as full bees as other gaps. That is sign that hive is coming growdy.
.
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Finsky
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« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2007, 09:02:10 AM »

.
I see that you have good temperature on days but near freezing point at nigth. It makes that cluster speads all over the hive and if you look early in the morning, you see very different cluster. During night bees are tightly around brood. - Thay may be usefull to look.
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SteveSC
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« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2007, 12:18:58 PM »

Finsky and all: I have 8 total Italian hives now with 3 Russians coming this spring.

I have brood boxes with only foundation for the Italians if I was going to add another. 
Would it be good to add the foundation only boxes on the bottom of the 3 singles that are looking crowded…?

I have 3 brood boxes set aside with drawn comb for the 3 Russian 5 frame nucs coming this April.  I figured they needed the drawn comb because they’ll have less population than the established Italians.

The other 5 hives look as good as these do but they’re doubles ( with either 2 brood boxes or 1 brood box and a super ).  They ought to be ok until alittle later in the spring. 

Do you think I need the 2:1 syrup in addition to the patties or should I stop the syrup and continue the patties..?

For anyone who wants to know about the patties  - here’s what I used.  The bees like it..!

2 lbs yeast ( Bakers’ ) Sam’s has it.
2 lbs  powdered milk replacer ( goat \ cow milk replacer . 24% protein ) Feed store.
5 lbs. Sugar
Warm water to blend to a thick consistence. ( It doesn’t take much water )
Press it between wax paper to about 1\4” thick.

I put it over where the most bees were gathered – I hope that’s where the most brood was.  Seems to be, because there’s a lot of smaller bees than there were just a week ago. I might have done it all wrong but the bees are eating it – I hope it helps them, looks like it is.
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Steve in SC


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Finsky
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« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2007, 12:33:59 PM »


Do you think I need the 2:1 syrup in addition to the patties or should I stop the syrup and continue the patties..?



It is impossible to others say what you need to do. Check hives in some good day and look,

* How much they have free combs
* how much capped food - Capped food should be all the time alltogether 2 frames 5 pound. It is food for 10 days in brooding time.
* how much brood

* they get quite much sugar from patty.


If you feed vainly, it just take free combs from laying.

If you have not drawn combs, you of course give foundations. Bees start to build combs when they are ready. Don't press them.

.

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kensfarm
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« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2007, 09:11:48 AM »

"I have 3 brood boxes set aside with drawn comb for the 3 Russian 5 frame nucs coming this April."

I'd split the drawn comb & foundation between them..  drawn comb frames in the center that they can use right away..  foundation towards the outside.  The nucs will probably have most of the frames drawn out or started. 

On the milk replacer.. I know they have replacer made from %100 milk.. and other replacers made w/ milk & soy..  some is medicated.  I use to raise bottle calves.. the 100% milk replacer is the most expensive.

I'd make some syrup available(open feed station) for your existing hives until the nector flow starts.

Are you going to split any of your Italian hives?  Who did you purchase them from? 
How many patties have your hives consumed? 
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SteveSC
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« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2007, 10:08:26 AM »

I’ll probably put some 2:1  sugar syrup out this week-end to see if they’ll take it. I have 2 hives ( doubles ) that sit side by side, they seems to rob each other every time I put syrup in the top feeders.  I think they’re just swapping stores – I can’t see any apparent damage to either hive.  Both are full of bees and real busy.

I just started the patties near the end of last week – they’re still on the first patties.  All of them are at least 1\2 eaten – 8 hives.  The most eaten are coming from the 3 singles I have – I guess the doubles still have more stores left. 

The milk replacer is not the medicated – what I bought was pretty expensive – I believe I gave $47 for 50# @ Tractor Supply. 

That’s a good idea about splitting the drawn frames between the doubles and the nucs I’ll be getting in April.  As you said the nucs should have started drawing by time I get them. If I can just get through to spring and the flow without loosing any hives I feel like I’ve accomplished something.  This is my first winter.  I appreciate all the advise from everyone here – keep offering it…..   
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Steve in SC


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Finsky
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« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2007, 10:14:28 AM »



That’s a good idea about splitting the drawn frames between the doubles and the nucs I’ll be getting in April. 

If you split hives you will loose your early honey yield for long time. - What is the aim to split?
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kensfarm
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« Reply #15 on: February 28, 2007, 11:40:05 AM »

Hi Finsky..  Steve was saving his drawn frames to give to the nucs..  I suggested he split the drawn frames between the nucs & the new hive boxes he would add to the 1 box hives.

I did asked if he was going to split the double hives for increase.. but his reply was referring to dividing up the drawn frames. 

***
"Seems to be, because there’s a lot of smaller bees than there were just a week ago."

Steve.. what type of treatment for mites have you done?  Smaller "looking" bees may indicate you have a mite load..  look on the ground in front of the entrance for bees unable to fly.. look for any DWV.  Do you have IPM screened BB w/ slide in sticky board? 
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SteveSC
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« Reply #16 on: February 28, 2007, 12:24:02 PM »

Quote
I did asked if he was going to split the double hives for increase.. but his reply was referring to dividing up the drawn frames.

I'm not going to split this yr. to increase #s.  I'll have 11 hives going by April.  I'll spilt next yr. from the 11 established hives.  I might catch a few swarms if I can but I want the best established hives I can get before I split. 

Quote
Steve.. what type of treatment for mites have you done?  Smaller "looking" bees may indicate you have a mite load..  look on the ground in front of the entrance for bees unable to fly.. look for any DWV.  Do you have IPM screened BB w/ slide in sticky board? 

The smaller looking bees I was referring to seem to be young bees - they're alot more fuzzy looking. I don't have a mite problem right now - I probably have a few but I didn't see any during last week's inspection.  I don't have any bees unable to fly at the entrances. Last October I used MiteAway II on all the hives.  I'm thinking about using it in a week of two again but I don't want to use for no reason. It might be best not to use if I don't see any mites.  I do use SBB on the hives - no sticky board - no screens..  I'm not familiar with IPM - what is that..?
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Steve in SC


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kensfarm
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« Reply #17 on: March 01, 2007, 09:53:10 AM »

Hi Steve..  (IPM - Integrated Pest Management)..  Screened Bottom Boards are considered a part of an IPM program. 

I'm glad you don't have any bee's out front crawling..  and since you've treated in the fall your mite counts should be low.

In ABJ..  Randy Oliver wrote a 4 part series on mites.. he has gathered a lot of information & research in one place.  On his last article.. he did a test w/ a mite infested hive.  He did a powdered sugar treatment.. counted the mites..  then killed the hive and washed all the bees to see how many mites didn't fall off.  The initial results he reported that the powdered sugar treatment dropped 33%(from memory) of the mites on the bees. 

So if you don't want to use chemicals..  a bi-weekly, monthly powdered sugar treatement would help keep the mites counts low. 

I'm happy your bees are doing good.. if you get a good flow.. you should have lot's of honey this year! 



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kathyp
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« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2007, 11:44:02 AM »

i have not finished that article yet.  just got it.  were those the hives that he had treated in the fall, or the ones he's left alone?  the plan was to keep the hives that seemed the most mite resistant and breed from those? 
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called the government. They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

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SteveSC
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« Reply #19 on: March 01, 2007, 12:35:25 PM »

Quote
were those the hives that he had treated in the fall, or the ones he's left alone?  the plan was to keep the hives that seemed the most mite resistant and breed from those? 

I treated all hives for mites last fall. I'm going to recieve 3 Russian Nucs in April - they'll be placed by themselves miles from the 8 Italian hives I have located together right now.  The ( 3 ) three hives I was wondering to put supers on are over-wintered single box Italians.

I'll breed ( split ) next yr. from the Russians and the very established Italians..
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Steve in SC


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kensfarm
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« Reply #20 on: March 01, 2007, 04:24:44 PM »

Steve.. I think Kathy was talking about Randy's article in ABJ. 

Kathy.. I'm not sure.. but I know he sacrificed one hive for the test. 
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #21 on: March 01, 2007, 04:33:19 PM »

If you want to treat (with anything) I suggest you read and try to understand this:

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesvarroatreatments.htm

You'll find that marginal treatments when there is brood will sometimes not appear that effective even though they are getting rid of some mites.  You'll also see why treating when there is not brood in the hive is MUCH more effective.
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Michael Bush
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SteveSC
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« Reply #22 on: March 01, 2007, 08:29:59 PM »

 
Quote
You'll find that marginal treatments when there is brood will sometimes not appear that effective even though they are getting rid of some mites.  You'll also see why treating when there is not brood in the hive is MUCH more effective.

Maybe this wasn't addressed to me but I'll add a comment to it. I got 5 of the 8 hives I have last spring from an old fella that has since pasted on.  The other 3 were swarm captures I suspect came from the same bee yard.  Sam ( the ole' fella ) never treated for anything and after he was gone I checked his hives and all his equipment that he had stored away on the property.  It was a mess.  Moths were killing his hives left and right - he had 40+ hives - I would say 20 were killed off with in 2 mons. due to a massive moth infestation.  There were moths flying everywhere in the storage areas - you could lift the top covers on any hives and they would just go everywhere.

A friend and I saved about 15 hives - we barely saved them after changing out frames that were infested with moths with just frozen frames.  Some of the ones we saved were pulled from sure death had we not got involved.  Some hives are still sitting where they were - the frames complete encased in moth webs.  Sam just didn't have the time - the information - the will or whatever to take care of the hives anymore.  He had them for about 8 yrs. when I got them.

Having said that and not knowing the history of of mites at his place I felt I needed to treat these hives at least once with something strong to kill off any on coming mite problems.  I don't have a problem now and these hives are doing good from all I can tell.  Last yr. I would not have taken a bet that any of them would make it past Aug. - we're talking a moth breeding facility... shocked

As I posted before - I won't treat for something I don't have.  Hopefully I won't need to use anymore mite begone.
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Steve in SC


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Michael Bush
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« Reply #23 on: March 01, 2007, 08:49:34 PM »

>Maybe this wasn't addressed to me but I'll add a comment to it.

It's not addressed to any in particular, but sometimes people think something is ineffective because they don't see a noticeable drop in the mite population.  Sometimes not seeing an INCREASE is an improvement.  Smiley  But the other point is that it is much more effective to treat when there is no brood, if you can plan that either ahead or arrange that. 

On another note, a good time to arrange that is just before the flow.  If you confine or remove the queen two weeks before the main flow then when the main flow his there is no open brood.  In another week or so there is no brood at all.  If you're using powdered sugar you can treat with that, then, and you can enjoy a better harvest because of the nurse bees being recruited for the flow, and you get a break in the brood cycle.  Release the queen (or if you removed her, just let them finish rearing theirs) and you now have a lot less mites and a lot more honey.
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Michael Bush
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kensfarm
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« Reply #24 on: March 02, 2007, 09:14:35 AM »

Hi Steve..  the only time I've seen Moths flying like that is from grain storage..  once you stirred them up.. the chickens would run around and chase & eat them

If you're looking for something to read..  Mike has a lot of good info. on his site.. even some books! 

Happy Friday.. hope you have a good day!   


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