What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Basic beekeeping, this is beekeeping after the first winter until about the third or fourth year. You are a beekeeper, but you still have a lot to learn. Talk about normal everyday beekeeping here.
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GregV
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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby GregV » Thu Apr 20, 2017 2:24 pm

SiWolKe wrote:... Behaviours of animals and the impact on environment can change if we shift them to other locations and this can be dangerous.
No offense meant, Greg. ;)


Well, but you see by saying exactly this you imply that even harmless animal may turn into a monster if placed into conditions that trigger such behaviors. So I can say, sounds as if your own bees are plenty dangerous and you still keep them. :D

From my past we had incidents where bees turned dangerous (similar to what Jeff had; if in USA and now - we'd get sued, probably). But the trigger was - attempting to harvest honey during dry and hot, late summer dearth. By doing this we kind of pushed the bees into a corner. They instinctively knew they would have no chance to winter if robbed of their reserves just before the fall (no more significant flows left ahead). Until then, those bees were reasonably harmless if just left alone.

My experiences, however, come from Northern European bee beekeeping and bad behaviors were pretty predictable (basically - tit for tat).
If AHB is involved in some way - that may change the dynamics in some ways that better are avoided.
But even this you don't know ahead of time. I think it is reasonable to try a wide variety of lines and just watch them closely (say at the nuc level; nucs are just safer). IF some of them tend to become liability - terminate those.

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SiWolKe
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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby SiWolKe » Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:27 pm

GregV wrote:
Well, but you see by saying exactly this you imply that even harmless animal may turn into a monster if placed into conditions that trigger such behaviors. So I can say, sounds as if your own bees are plenty dangerous and you still keep them. :D

From my past we had incidents where bees turned dangerous (similar to what Jeff had; if in USA and now - we'd get sued, probably). But the trigger was - attempting to harvest honey during dry and hot, late summer dearth. By doing this we kind of pushed the bees into a corner. They instinctively knew they would have no chance to winter if robbed of their reserves just before the fall (no more significant flows left ahead). Until then, those bees were reasonably harmless if just left alone.


Mine are not dangerous at the entrance boards, only with opening. You can walk around without protection.
And they do not attack as a whole hive, only 20-30 or less.
You can´t compare them with africanized bees.

It´s true, there are situations when bees are stressed. Being queenless, being exploited, weather, predators around.... Every queen has some different traits and in Nordalks case the defense pheromones seem to have a leading role.
If I had a queen which acts like that every time I`m near, I would not keep her. The other genes are not lost, breeding from her.
Civility is strength. http://www.VivaBiene.de

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GregV
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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby GregV » Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:43 pm

SiWolKe wrote:It´s true, there are situations when bees are stressed. Being queenless, being exploited, weather, predators around.... Every queen has some different traits and in Nordalks case the defense pheromones seem to have a leading role.
If I had a queen which acts like that every time I`m near, I would not keep her. The other genes are not lost, breeding from her.


I suppose it is time to define what a "hot bee" actually is.

What I meant by "hot bee" - the bee that will attack and try to sting at above average rates when the hive is disturbed.
This is a very important distinction.
As long as I don't disturb them - no issue exists.
This is controllable "hotness" and I want it as long as it also means TF and low maintenance.
Nothing wrong with controllable "hotness" if managed properly (remote yards; harvest honey in very late fall when bees already cluster; horizontal hives where you do not disturb the nest/cluster when harvesting; etc).

I do NOT want "hotness" when bees randomly attack for no justified reason.
This becomes uncontrollable "hotness" and is a liability (TF or not TF - not important anymore if people/pets get injured or worse).
Uncontrollable "hotness" must be terminated.

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Nordak
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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby Nordak » Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:07 pm

Greg, I have one hive just as you describe. They are on the "hot" side when in the hive, but don't bother anyone in the yard. They are my top honey producers so I tolerate it. They have good days also where they are less bothered by my intrusion. I can work with such bees.

Happy to say our yard is back to normal by all appearances. That's one hive I'm glad is gone. Like lharder stated, and mentioned in a conversation with a friend, I'm putting a halt to introducing outside genetics for now. I have a feeling that was perhaps the cause of this incident. I want to make it very clear that the Anarchy queen is a sweetheart hive. Awesome bees. Again, just as likely it could have been some bad boy drones that caused this. I can on my part at least eliminate one of those possibilities by halting the import of outside genetics. I'm just relieved things seem back to normal.

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GregV
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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby GregV » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:01 pm

Nordak wrote:Greg, I have one hive just as you describe. ......... I'm just relieved things seem back to normal.


Right. Controllable bees on a "hot" side could totally be keepers and a good bet for going TF.

So, Jeff, technically speaking, how exactly did you terminate the "monsters"?
Did you, like, dunk entire frames into a soapy tub?
I just never done this myself before; remember of reading about gassing them with sulfur smoke (should be non-toxic post-termination).
(I have seen one youtube about soapy water method but it looked like a major hassle)

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Nordak
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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby Nordak » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:51 pm

I bought a tub to dunk hive and all. Got everything ready, picked the hive up and after setting it in there, realized it was too small. Undeterred, I grabbed the now partially stuck in tub hive and walked the 50 yards to the pop up pool and held it underwater for a minute. Brought it out and dunked the remainder of the hive with 5 gallons of soapy water for good measure. Took 5 stings to the palm, but it was worth it. It would have made a great beekeeper blooper reel. All of this was done at night of course.

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SiWolKe
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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby SiWolKe » Fri Apr 21, 2017 4:19 am

Interesting!

I thought you would let them supersede, Jeff.
Civility is strength. http://www.VivaBiene.de

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Nordak
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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby Nordak » Fri Apr 21, 2017 4:56 am

No, they were fierce, Sibylle. A true danger. Could not risk it. I want to make it clear that this was not a normal circumstance. It could have easily gotten out of hand. I have dealt with what many would call "hot" bees, but these bees were a different scenario altogether. I think it's a case of "you had to be there." Trust me when I say it was the right decision.

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SiWolKe
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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby SiWolKe » Fri Apr 21, 2017 5:05 am

Nordak wrote:No, they were fierce, Sibylle. A true danger. Could not risk it. I want to make it clear that this was not a normal circumstance. It could have easily gotten out of hand. I have dealt with what many would call "hot" bees, but these bees were a different scenario altogether. I think it's a case of "you had to be there." Trust me when I say it was the right decision.


Oh, I trust your decisions entirely, Jeff :) that was no criticism. Just interest!
Civility is strength. http://www.VivaBiene.de

lharder
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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby lharder » Fri Apr 21, 2017 2:52 pm

moebees wrote:
Yes its a decent day today and I'm going out with a bunch of boxes, bottom boards, top covers to see who needs more room and who is strong enough to go into big boxes. I have some boomers and have some decent weather, so will be busy the next while.


Update us on what you find. :)


At that site I have 16 colony positions on 4 pallets.

A couple of colonies got extra boxes, one because it needed it, the other because I had it. 3 colonies got transferred into big boxes bringing the total to 9 in big boxes. The rest of the hive positions have nucs or double nucs. A few spares to take to another site soon. The smaller clusters are taking their time getting going, but once they reach critical mass they take off. I will be going out again with more boxes mid week.

I'm taking a couple of nucs from my back yard to a customers yard. Not to sell as they weren't the best coming out of winter and had to shake some nurse bees into them to get them going. I'm going to put them in a side by side square dadent set up and hope to get some honey out of them. Meanwhile I'm going to sell a spring nuc to the customer with a daughter from my best queen. So they get a few bees on their property (they can't wait) while they are waiting, I will get a honey crop hopefully (good spot) while mentoring them through their first season. The plan for him is to start off with a nuc, then buy a couple more queens from me in late june and start a few nucs to overwinter.

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SiWolKe
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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby SiWolKe » Sat Apr 22, 2017 2:09 pm

lharder wrote:

I'm taking a couple of nucs from my back yard to a customers yard. Not to sell as they weren't the best coming out of winter and had to shake some nurse bees into them to get them going. I'm going to put them in a side by side square dadent set up and hope to get some honey out of them. Meanwhile I'm going to sell a spring nuc to the customer with a daughter from my best queen. So they get a few bees on their property (they can't wait) while they are waiting, I will get a honey crop hopefully (good spot) while mentoring them through their first season. The plan for him is to start off with a nuc, then buy a couple more queens from me in late june and start a few nucs to overwinter.


Very cool :)
Civility is strength. http://www.VivaBiene.de

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Nordak
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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby Nordak » Sat Apr 22, 2017 3:41 pm

I'm taking a couple of nucs from my back yard to a customers yard. Not to sell as they weren't the best coming out of winter and had to shake some nurse bees into them to get them going. I'm going to put them in a side by side square dadent set up and hope to get some honey out of them. Meanwhile I'm going to sell a spring nuc to the customer with a daughter from my best queen. So they get a few bees on their property (they can't wait) while they are waiting, I will get a honey crop hopefully (good spot) while mentoring them through their first season. The plan for him is to start off with a nuc, then buy a couple more queens from me in late june and start a few nucs to overwinter.


That's a great example of community based beekeeping. Strength in numbers. Looking forward to hearing more.

lharder
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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby lharder » Sun Apr 23, 2017 3:45 pm

I had another customer come by to look at bees. I didn't really know her so I invited her to come over and have a look to give her some confidence in the process.

She had bees before and has taken courses and had a good base of knowledge. She was really impressed, not only with the bees, but with my wacky beekeeping methods. She has never encountered many of the concepts I talked about. I guess I do go on. Anyway she is excited to get bees from me and even put a deposit on them:) So lets hope my prize hive doesn't swarm. They are starting to pack some nectar in so I better reverse and maybe add another box above the brood. She is already in 5 medium boxes.

Meanwhile I'm building boxes. This year's experiment a side by side 2 queen system with square dadant supers over them. I can't help myself.

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SiWolKe
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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby SiWolKe » Sun Apr 23, 2017 4:42 pm

lharder wrote: I can't help myself.


:D

Maybe I also have a cool tf co-worker now, a new member of Viva lives nearby, 6 miles, and he is tf for three years , using warré and local mutts.
He had started with three hives but now has only one survivor, but the problem were some management mistakes with feeding.

He wants to expand and will buy some local colonies and use two bee yards. The survivor colony, he tells me, has an exciting behaviour. He claims the bees use propolis so the mites get stucked. I met him today and he is honest, I think. He will monitor his hive and try to take pictures.
They propolised the entrance to a one bee space and the mites on bees got stucked. He saw this in the interior too. Mites stuck on propolis.
I hope this is true, this would be a colony to use for breeding.
Civility is strength. http://www.VivaBiene.de

moebees
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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby moebees » Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:03 pm

Lharder wrote:

I'm taking a couple of nucs from my back yard to a customers yard. Not to sell as they weren't the best coming out of winter and had to shake some nurse bees into them to get them going. I'm going to put them in a side by side square dadent set up and hope to get some honey out of them. Meanwhile I'm going to sell a spring nuc to the customer with a daughter from my best queen. So they get a few bees on their property (they can't wait) while they are waiting, I will get a honey crop hopefully (good spot) while mentoring them through their first season. The plan for him is to start off with a nuc, then buy a couple more queens from me in late june and start a few nucs to overwinter.


Do you see any problem with having your hives on a property where the owner has bees too? I may have a situation like that and I am a littler concerned about clashing beekeeping styles and competition with someone I am paying hive rental too. If the landowner wants to treat and I am tf for example. If the landowners hive dies from Varroa will he blame me? Perhaps you have a different perspective and I am over thinking it?
Sam Droege, a biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey—“bees are not optional."

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GregV
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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby GregV » Mon Apr 24, 2017 3:25 am

3 traps out...
10-20? to go. The real issue is time.

Tonight I should have been planting carrots and the like.
Instead, I spent the evening cleaning my latest acquisition - a log hive.

This weekend I scored an odd hive (pic). Sort of an man-made log it is.
Six ~20 liter sections. 5 deep Lang frames fit vertically just right.
It is really, really well used and will make excellent traps (more traps!!)
I may make two 60 liter traps or three 40 liter traps.
Or maybe I make one of each and keep a spare section on hand.

I am also thinking (after getting bees into this log-thing) to keep it around as a no-maintenance swarm generator.
Fun! I always wanted a log hive and thought of making one. And now this.
All need to do just a couple of top covers and bottoms. Got me a log hive.
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lharder
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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby lharder » Mon Apr 24, 2017 2:20 pm

moebees wrote:Lharder wrote:

I'm taking a couple of nucs from my back yard to a customers yard. Not to sell as they weren't the best coming out of winter and had to shake some nurse bees into them to get them going. I'm going to put them in a side by side square dadent set up and hope to get some honey out of them. Meanwhile I'm going to sell a spring nuc to the customer with a daughter from my best queen. So they get a few bees on their property (they can't wait) while they are waiting, I will get a honey crop hopefully (good spot) while mentoring them through their first season. The plan for him is to start off with a nuc, then buy a couple more queens from me in late june and start a few nucs to overwinter.


Do you see any problem with having your hives on a property where the owner has bees too? I may have a situation like that and I am a littler concerned about clashing beekeeping styles and competition with someone I am paying hive rental too. If the landowner wants to treat and I am tf for example. If the landowners hive dies from Varroa will he blame me? Perhaps you have a different perspective and I am over thinking it?


I'll be putting robber screens on mine, suggest it for him after the flow and I'll explain the reasons why. It will be a eyes wide open explanation of the risks of TF. I don't mind if he treats himself. He had a bad experience with a hive that died mid summer from another supplier, so he knows bees die. I'm teaching him to make increase with bought queens so hopefully he will be set up with tough bees and will be taught that he should make his own queens each year and to have extra bees on hand. Nobody gets taught that around here.

lharder
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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby lharder » Mon Apr 24, 2017 2:26 pm

SiWolKe wrote:
lharder wrote: I can't help myself.


:D

Maybe I also have a cool tf co-worker now, a new member of Viva lives nearby, 6 miles, and he is tf for three years , using warré and local mutts.
He had started with three hives but now has only one survivor, but the problem were some management mistakes with feeding.

He wants to expand and will buy some local colonies and use two bee yards. The survivor colony, he tells me, has an exciting behaviour. He claims the bees use propolis so the mites get stucked. I met him today and he is honest, I think. He will monitor his hive and try to take pictures.
They propolised the entrance to a one bee space and the mites on bees got stucked. He saw this in the interior too. Mites stuck on propolis.
I hope this is true, this would be a colony to use for breeding.


Yes if a poll was taken of % of hive loss vs years experience, I'm sure it would show us beginners taking the brunt. Most TF keepers are new, so inexperience is surely part of the explanation for hive losses.


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