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

Postby SiWolKe » Fri Jun 30, 2017 8:12 am

lharder wrote:
Anyway, I arrived and the entire front of the hive was covered with bees. Lots of honey not all capped in the top 3 boxes. I added another 2 boxes. Hopefully they get back to work.


I getting kind of desperate having enough space left for the queen to lay because of all the honey. never saw a storing like that.
The bees only want to use the brood boxes for nectar, the mediums on top must be drawn first, so far not all want to do this.

I contacted MB to get some advise.

I will check the next days and take out all surplus, leaving only some nectar and pollen combs, since he told me how many frames get layed in his hives.
The ones I take out I will store and maybe give back if there is no flow in fall.

I don´t want the colonies to dwindle before breeding winter bees.
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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby GregV » Fri Jun 30, 2017 1:17 pm

SiWolKe wrote:.....I will check the next days and take out all surplus, leaving only some nectar and pollen combs, since he told me how many frames get layed in his hives.
The ones I take out I will store and maybe give back if there is no flow in fall.

I don´t want the colonies to dwindle before breeding winter bees.


Good idea.
A similar plan here.
I want my stronger three hives to collect as much honey as they can.
I also have my little expansion nucs here (four now!).
Will be robbing my stronger hives of honey to feed the nucs.

PS: had to split yet again once again - a queen-less nuc raising few QCs for me was getting into a swarmy mood; so now I got 4 nucs spawn off a single overwintered hive.. :D crazy. Though all of these will have to be fed eventually (honey is best). Not sure yet I want to combine these back. Each nuc will have a different line in it - I would rather test them through the winter. Maybe I will use one of these to requeen my commercial Italian swarm. Will see.

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby lharder » Fri Jun 30, 2017 3:08 pm

SiWolKe wrote:
lharder wrote:
Anyway, I arrived and the entire front of the hive was covered with bees. Lots of honey not all capped in the top 3 boxes. I added another 2 boxes. Hopefully they get back to work.


I getting kind of desperate having enough space left for the queen to lay because of all the honey. never saw a storing like that.
The bees only want to use the brood boxes for nectar, the mediums on top must be drawn first, so far not all want to do this.

I contacted MB to get some advise.

I will check the next days and take out all surplus, leaving only some nectar and pollen combs, since he told me how many frames get layed in his hives.
The ones I take out I will store and maybe give back if there is no flow in fall.

I don´t want the colonies to dwindle before breeding winter bees.


The brood nest was actually pretty good re nectar. I pulled a few frames to make room for more comb building. Its warm here now with 30 plus C temps. I actually had a bit of extracted comb at home that I could have used, but didn't have the brains to have it with me. But between extracting honey and giving back empty comb, pulling honey out of the brood nest, and giving space for them to build, not much to be done. At any rate, I've discovered that I don't have to have dedicated swarm hives to seed the feral bee population. Some will get away from you all on their own.

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby Nordak » Sat Jul 01, 2017 12:19 am

Some will get away from you all on their own


I've certainly done my part in helping build the feral population this year.

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby MarkDirksen » Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:13 pm

Just made a split of one of my colonies. I wasn't sure whether the colony would have enough stores, since they didn't have much last time (3 weeks before). Luckily they made up for it these past few weeks, must have ben a lot of nectar flow.

I chose to wait until now as I did not want to disturb them while a good flow was on. As I understand it, we are now past the peak in the Netherlands. In fact, everything was a little early this season.

I had plans of making a split of my second hive as well, but I realised I didn't have all the materials I needed. Beginner's mistake due to being badly organised ;) .

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby GregV » Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:31 pm

MarkDirksen wrote:...I had plans of making a split of my second hive as well, but I realised I didn't have all the materials I needed. Beginner's mistake due to being badly organised ;) .


Well, then get those materials and still do the split.
Missed opportunity now will amount to another wasted year - not the best way.

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby MarkDirksen » Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:48 pm

@Greg Definitely, I'll probably do so in a week or two.

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby SiWolKe » Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:59 pm

Checking the elgon/ carni bee yard everything looked fine the last days, queens present, much honey, no disease, no mites on boards and bees.

Today I found the swarm from my queenless split without queen, four weeks ago they had 6 combs of open brood. The last hive to check it was.

Pushed a comb in with eggs. I hope the others will go on breeding some drones, not many around any more.

Perhaps my neighbor still has them too, i would like to have the new queen mating with primorsky drones.
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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby SiWolKe » Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:21 am

I´m doing my last check before closing up.

I only have to feed the two weakest.
The reducing to one brood box dadant size worked wonderfully, the bees are already in fall modus and reduced brood nests.
Around they have stored and capped honey in domes and away from entrance. Seems to me my problems to have them isolated from food in winter should be solved.

Two of the hives are heavily mite infested. I moved the healthy to a new location and treated the susceptible. I treated them with a new Ultrasonic Unit. I´m not sure this worked, so if they crash this fall I don´t want the others to have the phoretic mites drifting into their hives.

This will probably be my last posting here. Doing IPM I feel it´s not my platform having such strict rules.
But I`m not acceptingt the dyings and crashes coming with bond methods. I will not treat with chemicals, never, but do some technical managements which could be regarded as such.
I´m not able to fill colony voids with feral swarms and this is a "swarm" forum.

So goodbye and good luck to everyone.
I will go on recording my progress in Beesource Forum for those who are interested.

Thanks to those who helped me with their good advise and are my friends. Thanks, Michael.
:)
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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby Michael Bush » Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:58 pm

You are welcome. Good luck.
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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby lharder » Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:33 pm

I've had my first bear incidents this year.

One was in an urban setting where I had placed 6 nucs. A bear got into 2 of them. I moved them the next day, lost one queen.

The second was at a country location. A large bear got in and ate 2 (maybe 3) hives. I haven't gotten into the 3rd one yet to see if I lost the queen or not. I lost the ground connection on the electric fence (maybe the bear by shuffling around dislodged it.) During the day the bear was sitting on his haunches just outside the fence looking in at the hives before he was chased off. He did very little damage to the equipment itself or the other hives, contenting himself to consuming the contents of each comb in the hive (18 combs/hive). Even the frames (foundationless) were mostly undamaged.

I put the fence back together, hardened the system, in the process zapped myself good. The game warden will come down and live trap/remove the bear when he returns. The owners are around and keep watch on them.

Its been very dry and the bears are probably in poor condition before hibernation.

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby SiWolKe » Fri Sep 29, 2017 9:12 am

I changed my mind about leaving here.

I´m doing IPM now but MB said I could stay not telling about treatments, and another very nice person pm(ing) me convinced me there is still some interest in my doings in spite of using IPM.
I will tell about those IPM because they are no chemical treatments until I´m banned by Sol, if ever.

The main reason for staying though is that I hope people from europe will tell more about their experience and I saw some joining.

I got rather tired of reading the advise to catch feral swarms because there are none. So my IPM strategy, to have bees left.

OK.
I closed up for winter and all 13 hives have strong enough density of bees and enough food stores.
The two I treated with the Ultrasonic Unit are healthy again ( no more defect bees seen and healthy orientation flights) so I believe it worked.
Mite drop is still terribly high but these colonies drop mites on their own with grooming too, so maybe they will make it.
This means if they survive that I will keep them separately for one season, not to have their drones mating with my untreated survivors, or to shift the queens.

Different to last year the bigger hives reduced brood drastically from 8 to 2-4 brood combs dadant. This made me nervous and I checked the queens, they are present and laying.
Asked Erik Österlund about that ( it´s his queen`s descendants, mixed with local genetics) he said with him this is normal.
Since I took away all supering in august the colonies arranged beautifully in the one deep box, making high honey domes which spread down to the bottom at one side.
So I hope to have found the right box management.

I plan to expand in spring with putting a medium with frames under and one on top for honey. The bottom one will stay so it can be used for drone brood, pollen or more worker brood. The above I plan to harvest or leave for winter stores, depending on the strength of colony.
This allows me to leave the broodnest area undisturbed as much as possible and the colonies to be strong in spite of splitting or allowing to swarm.

One strategy will be to use the best and strongest hive , or hives, to breed drones and spread genetics. So I plan to put in many empty frames and feed.

The new kind of splitting was successful, mite concerned. The 2 frame queen splits developed nicely to be an established one deep box hive.
The big queenless gave me 120 pounds of surplus honey ( I fed back 12 pounds) and raised queens, one swarmed with virgin queen after splitting because the dadant square deep was too small, even with a medium on top.
One carni colony is over the threshold with mite infestation ( >10 dropping a day) but they seem strong and only 2 defect bees found, so I leave them alone.

Some of my group already lost hives having handfuls of defect bees crawling out of the entrance. They are not doing any monitoring or IPM.
Since that´s against the law and I´m a public person through my forum, I´m refraining from the bond method, infesting my other colonies or neighbor beekeepers with drifting bees carrying mites.
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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby GregV » Fri Sep 29, 2017 2:12 pm

SiWolKe wrote:I changed my mind about leaving here.

I´m doing IPM now but MB said I could stay not telling about treatments, and another very nice person pm(ing) me convinced me there is still some interest in my doings in spite of using IPM.
I will tell about those IPM because they are no chemical treatments until I´m banned by Sol, if ever.

The main reason for staying though is that I hope people from europe will tell more about their experience and I saw some joining.

I got rather tired of reading the advise to catch feral swarms because there are none. So my IPM strategy, to have bees left.

OK.
I closed up for winter and all 13 hives have strong enough density of bees and enough food stores. ......


Welcome back!
The swarm season is over and we can all talk about wintering now.
So don't you worry (until spring that is).. :D

And yes, we do need European representation here so we can talk of good old heritage hive systems, so unjustly forgotten.
Time for beekeeping Renaissance is here and now.

I am sending 11 hives into winter.
I don't even care to measure mites and all.
I just don't care.
Those that are good enough will survive.
I will provide shelter and, possibly, emergency food.

PS: let me report some good news here anyway, as of two days ago my city council approved new beekeeping regulations - I now can keep up to SIX hives in my backyard. Yes! All my nucs are coming home for the winter.

PPS: I don't take any honey this year and may just take few frames from the strong hives and give them to the nucs;
well - a heavy foundation-less comb collapsed on me another day while careless handling;
so I took it and crashed it and got about 3 pounds of mostly goldenrod honey - the stuff is GOOD. 8-)

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby SiWolKe » Fri Sep 29, 2017 3:59 pm

Thanks GregV.
And yes, we do need European representation here so we can talk of good old heritage hive systems, so unjustly forgotten.

Look up the skep thread!
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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby GregV » Mon Oct 02, 2017 3:50 am

OK, so as of today's survey, one of my hives might actually crash sometimes this winter.
I have never seen so many sick bees crawling in front of the hive (classic deformed wing case, looks like).
Let the selection begin, I guess.
It is a shame, started as a very strong June swarm (though a typical treated and cultured bee, so I can see this demise coming).

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby SiWolKe » Mon Oct 02, 2017 4:22 pm

GregV wrote:
It is a shame, started as a very strong June swarm (though a typical treated and cultured bee, so I can see this demise coming).


Is it standing single? Perhaps I would avoid this area.
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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby GregV » Mon Oct 02, 2017 5:53 pm

SiWolKe wrote:
GregV wrote:
It is a shame, started as a very strong June swarm (though a typical treated and cultured bee, so I can see this demise coming).


Is it standing single? Perhaps I would avoid this area.


Unsure what you mean by "avoid this area".
The swarm was collected in a urban setting (someone did not want to climb 3 meters/10 feet up the ladder to get their own swarm from a tree - which I did). It is hard to know which swarm areas to avoid.

At this time the problem hive is standing along with two others on one of my four bee locations.
This is in woods. The hives are about 7-10 meters apart each.
If I recall, in summer I took a couple of frames of brood from this hive to prop one of the nucs, but I will not worry about it.
Mites are everywhere and no need to try to quarantine them - not possible and waste of time.
I am not concerned and not changing anything. If 50% of my hives make it through, it would be good. If more than 50% - a bonus.

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby SiWolKe » Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:49 pm

If you place your hives in an area where many bees rob or are robbed by yours you are not able to evaluate if the colony is resistant if it survives, more so because you took out combs.

But no problem. You do bond so no problem. If 50% survive, very good. If all die because they distribute mites by drifting, no problem.
If they distribute mites to other beekeepers, no problem. The others will treat.

Catch more swarms, no problem. You will always have bees. You will not propagate resistance but you will have bees left.
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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby GregV » Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:46 pm

SiWolKe wrote:....... You will not propagate resistance but you will have bees left.


And why, exactly, not?
Just to be sure, this is what Sol does - after many years still has bees without much regard to conventional anti-mite practices, if I still understand this.

You have to have flu if you want to develop resistance to it.
No flu - no resistance.

In all, this dynamic (i.e. expansion) style of the beekeeping should basically handle most all issues that come alone (be it mites or be it bears).
Practice expansion and practice redundancy and you will have bees.
Trying to micro-manage is really a futile effort.

FYI: I *already* have fairly resistance bees, as we speak; I am pretty sure of it; not all colonies, but few.

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby Kwalt » Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:17 am

A couple of weeks ago I smelled a funky odor coming from my hives. I opened them and all appeared to be fine. Today I learned that the goldenrod honey stinks like that. I never would have guessed.

Kevin

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby SiWolKe » Tue Oct 03, 2017 11:11 am

GregV
you have resistant bees if you have descendants of your actual stock left after 6 years without expansion through catched swarms.

I believe Sol is now starting again with local swarms after many losses?

If you are able to flood your area with your own tf stock then you will have resistant bees after some years, if you are slightly isolated.

Trying to micro-manage is really a futile effort.


Good for you to be able to do such a lazy bond beekeeping as you do.
I my eyes this works if all beekeepers would suddenly use this path.
But they never will.

I´m not that lucky, I have to do this work because I only can use my own stock.
To purchase new hives every year is not my aim even if I´m not poor.
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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby GregV » Tue Oct 03, 2017 2:30 pm

SiWolKe wrote:GregV
you have resistant bees if you have descendants of your actual stock left after 6 years without expansion through catched swarms.

I believe Sol is now starting again with local swarms after many losses?

If you are able to flood your area with your own tf stock then you will have resistant bees after some years, if you are slightly isolated.

Trying to micro-manage is really a futile effort.


Good for you to be able to do such a lazy bond beekeeping as you do.
I my eyes this works if all beekeepers would suddenly use this path.
But they never will.

I´m not that lucky, I have to do this work because I only can use my own stock.
To purchase new hives every year is not my aim even if I´m not poor.


I am pretty sure Sol still has his original stock population on hand.
It is just not wise to NOT catch swarms so to bring in more variety into your stock (if the swarms are available, of course).

In any case, low maintenance homestead beekeeping - what peasants practiced for hundreds of years and I intend to do just the same.
This requires appropriate equipment to give the bees the most appropriate environment to self-regulate (which I build myself).
Otherwise, just let the weak bees die and propagate the survivors and all it is to it.

PS: this resistance thing should co-develop along the way... natural factors will insure of it; just let it work.

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby SiWolKe » Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:06 pm

GregV wrote:PS: this resistance thing should co-develop along the way... natural factors will insure of it; just let it work.


Not here.
We have to work actively on this.
There is someone who searches for wild living honeybees. I mailed to him and he will work with us.he is the first I met who wants to safe wild honeybees without having them located and treated.

We started a mind mapping with our group, developing how to work to make our bees more healthy. All bees available as swarms or purchased colonies are weak, weak genetics, weak defense, weak health, susceptible to all pests and disease.

They will not even last one season without treatments. Mine do. The first step.
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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby SiWolKe » Wed Oct 04, 2017 3:45 pm

I met a person who started a project last year to promote treatment free beekeeping.
Through him it could be possible we will get a license to be tf.
Fingers crossed.
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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby SiWolKe » Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:57 pm

I had a deadout on Saturday.

This colony was made as a split in June 2017, I splitted in two strong parts because I was not able to find the queen ( supplier 16 years tf), they had 12 brood combs dadant and bursted with bees. Genetics: AMM descendants from a "resistant survivor " queen, treatment free for 4 years in Germany.

So I splittet half half and the queen was in one split in the end with 6 combs, mostly capped.
Queen was prolific and had good looking brood combs until varroa stroke. This developed after the first brood hatching.
As I said before, this kind of splitting does not work for me in my locale.
No big splits with queen, no production hives possible in a tf arrangement.

I used small cell,harvested no honey, it was a high density of bees, wax ok ( my own), much propolis, not many disturbances, robber screens on all season, almost no drifting, hives placed with distance, survivor genetics: still no defense against mites.
End of july the mite drop was nearing 50 a day and rising, so I put on a new Ultrasonic Unit which was advertised for treating and should stop the mite reproduction.
Mite drop raised to 200 a day and I saw many light mites, so I believed the Unit worked.
After 3 weeks I took off the Unit, the manufacturer claims the mites are reduced to almost zero then.
They had 5 combs of open brood which looked wonderful.
I believed them healthy again.
I wanted to use them for a better queen, if ever found.

Mite drop was reduced to 30 mites a day. No Virus seen.

Saturday there was no traffic. I opened up and there was the queen dead on the top bar and all bees left. Brood hatched but a third was to weak to hatch and died while hatching.
20-25 kg of capped honey left, very good winter stores, and the empty hive was not robbed.

So as Solomon says: let them die. It was not my intention, having no swarms around, so I treated, but they died anyway.

The hive next to them was infested too and will be the next to go. Almost no traffic.
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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby Kwalt » Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:19 pm

Sorry to hear of your losses so soon heading into winter. It sounds like you had everything going your way. Your mites seem to be especially virulent. Let's hope we get our bees and mites to co-exist here in the US before we have conditions like you have to deal with. This reinforces the adage that all beekeeping is local and what works for one doesn't work for all

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby GregV » Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:07 am

SiWolKe wrote:I had a deadout on Saturday.

This colony was made as a split in June 2017, I splitted in two strong parts because I was not able to find the queen ( supplier 16 years tf), they had 12 brood combs dadant and bursted with bees. Genetics: AMM descendants from a "resistant survivor " queen, treatment free for 4 years in Germany.

So I splittet half half and the queen was in one split in the end with 6 combs, mostly capped.....


Too bad. :cry:

Unsure what is your strategy and many hives you want to carry, but...
.. as for me in this case I would kept splitting and made at least three (and try for four colonies) out that single source.
I have made three splits out of my single survivor.
Almost made four splits but due to my own fault one nuc failed to mate the queen.
My last splits I made were at the end of July and were successful too.

So - four successful splits out of a single source colony are totally feasible.
Now I know and will try this again.
I think you went too conservative.

So my take is that (since I am trying to establish and grow and don't care of any product output), more variety is more valuable to me than fewer but stronger colonies. I would readily go for more (but smaller) hives even is this means I may need feed them into the winter.
But my system allows for smaller colonies to successfully winter too - a consideration.

Also, I have a questions - how do you allow your bees to raise drones (with all that SC foundation)?
Were there any drones raised by the splits at all?
There are many arguments around, but most all are agreeing that drones are natural mite sinks and are significant in that particular function.

Most all of my nucs did raise their own drones (bigger hives raised lots and lots of drones for sure).
I am foundation-less and my combs may look a total mess and contain lots of irregular, honey, and drone combs (to some keepers).
I even have mixed in several LC combs here and there just because it so happened.
Not worried too much.
I believe all that mix of combs is important part of the healthy ecosystem and must exist for a robust colony.
A normal colony maintains 10-20 distinct cohorts of bees at once (each from different father); each of those maintains different traits, including slightly different sizing. So let them build what they want and be done with it.

In the same line of thinking, it maybe actually desirable to have 1-2 LC combs in the colony just to make those larger combs mite sinks out side of the drone season. Loose some - keep the rest alive is the logic.

Anyway, will see what happens with my stock in few short months and any of the above matters.
Too early to tell.

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby SiWolKe » Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:32 am

I have drone corners cut out on every foundations 10% and they raise drones ( only the swarm with virgin was without drones, but now is one of the stronger).
I have one third foundation less this season and will have more. They built sc in broodnest area.

Strategie will be to expand from the survivors if they are any. If not, I will purchase 10 swarms or nucs of local mutt bees ( 1000€) and introduce elgon queens in august ( 500€) but only if the elgon queens show any survivor rate this winter.
If not I will do IPM with the mutts ( culling of capped brood combs ( worker) if my threshold is reached ( 30 mites a day dropping). This before winter breeding.
Then start the selection.
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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby GregV » Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:58 pm

Wow, you are spending some money.... :shock:
Well, at that rate I would really look for a variety and order some queens outside of West Europe, actually.

Lately I watched several videos by an Ukranian beekeeper and really like his ways.
He raises and sells his own local Carpathian bee queens from his own farmstead (south-west Ukraine).
I am sure there are lots of local, small-scale sources that have good starting stocks of some local mixes.

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby GregV » Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:55 pm

Here is a quick write-up about the Carpathian bees:
http://apiexpert.eu/carpathian-honey-bee/
It is a good bee, albeit not well known (maybe for the better - not as much industrial selection that spoils everything).

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby SiWolKe » Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:40 pm

It´s not the queens actually, Erik`s my friend, I will work for him as apprentice next year so probably I get them for free.

The problem is the bee colonies. No colony, no introducing. No swarms available, no bee numbers.

Package bees I don´t want, they are the worst. There are many sideliner though who give up on beekeeping so maybe I would be able to get a good price for purchasing a whole apiary.

I don´t think I will drive to romania to buy colonies and pay for the health certificates. Gas and renting of a truck , hotel room, will be the same money spend. And I have my own stuff.
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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby GregV » Wed Oct 18, 2017 2:50 am

SiWolKe wrote:...I don´t think I will drive to romania to buy colonies and pay for the health certificates. Gas and renting of a truck , hotel room, will be the same money spend. And I have my own stuff.


Why drive? :D
Order queens by mail and done.
I know for the fact beeks in Russia routinely get queens by mail from Germany, Holland,etc.
Watching a video right now, in fact.

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby SiWolKe » Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:56 am

GregV do you ever read others posts or just view them?
I need bees not queens.

No offense meant but it makes me tired to explain again and again. ;)
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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby GregV » Wed Oct 18, 2017 2:00 pm

SiWolKe wrote:GregV do you ever read others posts or just view them?
I need bees not queens.

No offense meant but it makes me tired to explain again and again. ;)


I do mean - queens.
No offense, but fine. Get bees.

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby GregV » Sun Oct 22, 2017 1:58 am

Well, down to 10 now.
Today found that one of my swarms (some commercial bees; caught in June) absconded.
The same where I found many sick bees outside.
Must be mites.
Too bad; moving along.

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby GregV » Tue Oct 24, 2017 4:29 pm

Yesterday took a day off from work so I could use the last warm day to re hive bees.
Just crappy, cold weather now as far as forecast can see.
So I had to move fast to move my two remaining nucs from traps into a solid winter hive (put them into a solid horizontal 20-framer, side-by-side).

So a side observation - I think I will loose another hive.
A strong commercial Italian captured swarm, that I was not able to re-queen in summer, looks to be doomed.
Found lots of dead bees at the hive bottom as I gave them a different hive.
They don't even try to pull them out and I had to do it.
No other hives I have show this problem - a good thing for the rest of the operation.

I hope these Italians die rather sooner than later (so I get to keep their honey for my own uses and redistribute as needed).
I don't really want them to burn all the honey stores (lots of honey) and only then die; that will be true waste.

The only good thing of these Italians - I used them as reliable donors through the summer and it was very helpful with the expansion.
I kept robbing them of the stores and brood to prop up my expansion nucs.
They also built lots of combs from scratch for me.
Otherwise, these bees not suited for our locale.
They even keep the lots and lots drones still around for whatever reason right now (end of October) - not a good trait.

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby SiWolKe » Tue Oct 24, 2017 7:53 pm

Today I extracted 40 pounds of very good dark honey from my deadout hive.

Scraped out some pollen to feed too.

I kept 3 deep frames of fresh comb with honey domes for the ones in need in spring.

Three of the best built small cell deep combs, not very black, without dead brood patches I kept to give to a hive, the dark comb with the varroa diseased dead brood cells I melted down.
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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby moebees » Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:26 pm

I did final winter prep on five hives today. They all look really good. One is so full of bees it would swarm if it was spring. The swarm I caught is a little light so I gave them sugar cakes. Tomorrow I do three more including the tiny nuc I am nursing along and will be amazed if they make it. I had two I started late and was going to combine but one got robbed out before I had a chance. Still have the one and it will be interesting test for my polystyrene hives to see if such a small cluster can make it. I lost two big hives and one split to mites this fall. At least one I know was mites. One was queen failure and the other I am not sure what did it in but guessing mites.

We'll see how many I have come spring.
Sam Droege, a biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey—“bees are not optional."

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby GregV » Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:54 pm

moebees wrote:........ it will be interesting test for my polystyrene hives to see if such a small cluster can make it. ....


I observed a video where tiny mating nucs in polystyrene hives wintered just fine outside (Ukraine; similar USDA zone).
Out of 4-5 all made it fine.

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby moebees » Thu Oct 26, 2017 2:23 am

I observed a video where tiny mating nucs in polystyrene hives wintered just fine outside (Ukraine; similar USDA zone).
Out of 4-5 all made it fine.


That is encouraging.
Sam Droege, a biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey—“bees are not optional."


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