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

Postby moebees » Wed May 10, 2017 2:04 am

Good job Dusty! Looks like a nice spot you have there.
Sam Droege, a biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey—“bees are not optional."

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

Postby Nordak » Fri May 12, 2017 2:56 am

Found this in my backyard this morning:

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby Kwalt » Fri May 12, 2017 3:11 am

Is it in one of your hives now? I would like to find one in my backyard.

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

Postby Nordak » Fri May 12, 2017 3:16 am

No, unfortunately just as I was getting ready to cut the limb and shake them in a box, they took off en masse. They were from one of my hives I'm pretty certain, just not sure which.

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

Postby SiWolKe » Fri May 12, 2017 5:18 am

Spray them with water next time! Be quick about it.
Wonderful swarm!
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Nordak
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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby Nordak » Fri May 12, 2017 6:17 am

SiWolKe wrote:Spray them with water next time! Be quick about it.

Why didn't I think of that? That's something I'll do next time. Thanks Sibylle, great idea.

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby lharder » Fri May 12, 2017 2:06 pm

I find my good ideas are usually after the fact. How many times do I go back into a colony after thinking about it and changing plans.

I'll have to try to remember the water trick.

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby GregV » Fri May 12, 2017 2:32 pm

SiWolKe wrote:Spray them with water next time! Be quick about it.
Wonderful swarm!


Sorry, Nordak! Darn it!

+1 Water spray on the swarm works great to keep it put.
This one I knew since I was 7-8 years old and helping Dad with his swarms. :)
Bucket of water and a broom worked for us fine.
Even a bunch of grass when in a pinch works. Wet it well and shake onto the swarm. Then you can take your time....

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

Postby SiWolKe » Fri May 12, 2017 4:55 pm

Always have a spray bottle of water with me now but I hope my colonies will use my bait hives if they swarm, because I will be at work.
:lol:
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SiWolKe
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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby SiWolKe » Sun May 14, 2017 5:59 pm

One of the hives of my new mentor throwed a swarm today and he was not prepared!

He had to wire frames and glue on starter strips while the swarm was hanging 5m high in a tree in his garden.

Well, he won! Ladder up...spray water...ladder down ..wire...ladder up...spray...down...melt wax...up..spray..down...put on strips...up...water....and then he caught them in a bag!

Made his day. They were in a langstroth 1.5. before they swarmed.
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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby GregV » Sun May 14, 2017 8:15 pm

SiWolKe wrote:One of the hives of my new mentor throwed a swarm today and he was not prepared!.


Did he not have an empty cardboard box saved aside, being a beekeeping mentor?
Could have shook them in there and close in and set in some shade.
Then - prep the hive and have some beer while at it. :D

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

Postby SiWolKe » Mon May 15, 2017 5:12 am

GregV wrote:
SiWolKe wrote:One of the hives of my new mentor throwed a swarm today and he was not prepared!.


Did he not have an empty cardboard box saved aside, being a beekeeping mentor?
Could have shook them in there and close in and set in some shade.
Then - prep the hive and have some beer while at it. :D


I will ask him why he did not think of this! :)

Maybe because he never did swarm multiplying until now.
I call him mentor because I want him to be my mentor, not because he sees himself as one.
Last edited by SiWolKe on Mon May 15, 2017 5:17 am, edited 2 times in total.
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SiWolKe
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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby SiWolKe » Mon May 15, 2017 5:15 am

This year all hives seem to be swarmy.

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

Postby Nordak » Mon May 15, 2017 5:23 am

Sorry, Nordak! Darn it!


Honestly, I was am kind of ok with it. Since that swarm, I have caught a swarm in my swarm trap, lost a smaller swarm from my own bees, brought a good size swarm to my Dad from my bees and today caught a swarm of my bees and hived them. This is officially the swarmiest year on record. All of this after selling bees in late April.

I've got too many bees.

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

Postby GregV » Mon May 15, 2017 2:31 pm

Nordak wrote:
Sorry, Nordak! Darn it!


Honestly, I was am kind of ok with it. Since that swarm, I have caught a swarm in my swarm trap, lost a smaller swarm from my own bees, brought a good size swarm to my Dad from my bees and today caught a swarm of my bees and hived them. This is officially the swarmiest year on record. All of this after selling bees in late April.

I've got too many bees.


Again, darn it! You have it good.
I got 10 traps out (slowly loosing the count in my head and need to draw a map; and yet have more traps to deploy).
Not a hit yet. Still early though up here.

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby SiWolKe » Mon May 15, 2017 8:14 pm

Checked two of my hives today, no swarming fever.

The carni survivor colony which was the weakest after winter crowds the big dadant box and half the deep on top and filled the deep on top entirely with nectar.
Could be they will be my queen cell starter. They have not many mites on the oil paper.
Nice drone brood they have in the corners I cut out on all 12 frames.

The elgons I got in april are mite infested and I will cull out half of the drone brood from different areas. Evaluation and perhaps bond is next year when they survive winter. They are not adapted to my location.
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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby moebees » Mon May 15, 2017 11:50 pm

This is a cautionary tale told at great embarrassment to me but perhaps it may serve as a warning to some others as poor at beekeeping as am.

Today I inspected a hive that I suspected is queenless and indeed it is. It was a package installed on April 8. I fed 1:1 syrup in quart jars for about two weeks. I had made some wood blocks that the jars rested in with some space underneath so they did not sit directly on the frames and bees that were feeding would fill the void underneath each block. From piecing together evidence after the fact I am nearly certain that the queen was in one of those cavities in the wood block when I removed them from the hive. I saw bees in there but did not look for the queen because I never expected her to be in a place like that and I am an idiot. But lesson learned. Nothing comes off or out of a hive without a thorough exam for the queen.
Sam Droege, a biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey—“bees are not optional."

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

Postby Nordak » Tue May 16, 2017 3:13 pm

Don't feel badly, Moe. I've done my share of accidental queen displacement. Once you get established, the trick is always have back up when things like that happen.

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby lharder » Tue May 16, 2017 3:15 pm

Yes in general shake bees into the hive if they are on random bits. New queens have lots of energy and I've guided a couple back into their nuc boxes having found them running around on the outside of the box while examining it. Also lost a huge new queen in a nuc box probably during an inspection. The box was instantly full of brood when she got going.

Sigh

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby SiWolKe » Sun May 21, 2017 3:16 pm

Last night I got my "observation" colony, so far treated, big cells, 5.4

They are now on natural comb, started with a 4.9.comb. I want to regress them and never treat them, not even with managements, except a robber screen.

The one brood comb which was used to put the artificial swarm on was taken out and melted, so now they are almost free of mites.

They are in one dadant deep box and very strong. I gave them a honey super with 4.9 foundations, no queen excluder.

The queen is a local carni mutt queen mated under influence of elgon not treated drones and treated drones from the surrounding beekeepers.

They stand single in an urban environment with very good flow and almost no spraying.

I installed this hive to learn about regression, mite and virus influence, cell size and much more.
I want to see if they survive without being harvested ( I want to see how much they store) or being managed in any kind but I will check the cell size some time.

The pict of the robber screen is not this colony but another.

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

Postby Nordak » Wed May 24, 2017 11:58 pm

Found a mat of 30,000+ dead bees in front of one of my original colonies today. A week and a half ago, they were bursting at the seams with bees. They have dwindled to maybe 4 full combs of bees. None of my other hives seem to be affected, but I can't help but think poisoning was involved somehow. 4 years this hive remained colonized from the same line of ferals when I started. I plan on consolidating what's left, giving them some brood and a queen cell to see if they can make it. Bad day.

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby Dustymunky » Thu May 25, 2017 5:43 am

Sorry to hear this Nordak. I cant think of anything else other than pesticide that would suddenly kill that many bees.


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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby SiWolKe » Thu May 25, 2017 7:01 am

Sorry too, Jeff. This could happen to anyone. I believe they are sprayed by pesticides.
What a terrible experience.
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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby lharder » Thu May 25, 2017 3:04 pm

That's not a good sight to see. We poison everything around us and ourselves. One of the reasons I've gone TF.

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby Nordak » Thu May 25, 2017 3:14 pm

lharder wrote:That's not a good sight to see. We poison everything around us and ourselves. One of the reasons I've gone TF.


Very true. Plenty of poison to go around, both literally and figuratively. Careless and needless use of poisons. Not knowing what exactly did this and how it happened is equally worrying. I hope this is an isolated event, but I'm sure I'll see it again at some point.

Thanks Dusty, Sibylle and Leroy for your concern.

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby SiWolKe » Thu May 25, 2017 6:48 pm

Nordak wrote: I hope this is an isolated event, but I'm sure I'll see it again at some point.

By god, I hope not!
Try to find out. Even if you are not able to prevent spraying, you might ask the farmer to do it before or after foraging time.
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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby lharder » Sat May 27, 2017 4:12 pm

So I went out to my Heffley site. I have a few mating nucs set up there. Queens are about to start laying so went through them. 4 were trying to raise their own queens so I removed them combined the nurse bees and remaining brood at one mating nuc site. Instant cell builder. I gave them a frame with young brood and eggs from my 2 winter survivor monster. So they will make me a few queens, will grow in strength, then will be given grafted frame for twenty cells. The other failed mating nucs sites got another frame of brood/bees (they still had foragers) and some queen cells from a snelgroved strong hive that has morphed into a monster from a overwintered nuc. Also packing in the honey.

With the failures, I was forced by circumstance to place the queen cells when it was cold (10 C)I believe it killed them. Found one rotting corpse not yet cleaned out. One way or another they would have died, either by a sister or by cold. So a weather set back. This early queen rearing can be tough and may limit the number of nucs sold.

I snelgroved another strong overwintered nuc in my yard. The bees are bringing in a ton of nectar. Lots of beekeepers in the area are chasing bees in trees. I give my bees lots of space compared to some, use snelgrove boards on my strongest and I haven't seen any evidence of swarming yet.

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby SiWolKe » Sun May 28, 2017 5:13 am

My 2 queenless AMM splits seem to have new queens, a quick check showed some eggs layed in a good pattern and single in cell.

Now I´m up to 4 hives at this yard. Everything is fine, good stores, nice brood, almost no mites so far.
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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby Kwalt » Mon May 29, 2017 12:16 am

Nothing exciting happening here. The two nucs keep making comb and brood. A friend was out and snapped a couple photos before his phone battery gave out.

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby SiWolKe » Mon May 29, 2017 4:29 am

I see some pollen.
Do they have nectar or honey?
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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby Nordak » Mon May 29, 2017 5:07 am

Lharder, Sibylle and kwalt- Sounding and looking good.

I got a call today from a former co-worker who informed me his grandfather was passing away and wanted me to have his grandfather's hive. I visited this hive 4 years ago when I first started beekeeping and was amazed at what I saw. It was an old survivor hive, untreated and basically left to it's own devices. The only thing the grandpa ever did was harvest from the top deep. I asked the grandpa if I could set up a swarm trap around his place, but he didn't really say anything and seemed suspicious of me, so I let it go. It's strange how life works sometimes. I feel badly about the circumstances under which I am receiving the hive, but am glad the bees will be under my care. According to the grandson, he said the hive has been occupied consecutively for the last 8 years, and guessed longer than that the way his grandpa described. I go get them on Tuesday.
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Dustymunky
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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby Dustymunky » Mon May 29, 2017 5:30 am

Nice Nordak! Hopefully u get it home in one piece.


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

Postby Nordak » Mon May 29, 2017 5:47 am

Thanks Dusty. The deeps are seemingly still structurally sound. The plan is to smoke them out of the top deep and let the grandson keep the honey. I'll then secure a screened top and solid bottom to the bottom deep for transport. I'm hoping all goes well. I really want to get these bees home.

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby SiWolKe » Mon May 29, 2017 7:35 am

I remember you mentioned them in a former mail.
Nice you got them in the end. :D
Good luck.
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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby Kwalt » Mon May 29, 2017 12:42 pm

SiWolKe wrote:I see some pollen.
Do they have nectar or honey?


I didn't look at all of the frames in either colony. I found eggs in one and the queen in the other. Neither colony has had honey but they both have nectar. Earlier one had a bit of capped honey but only in the corners of a brood frame. There shouldn't be any shortage of nectar to gather at this time of year.

Kevin

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

Postby SiWolKe » Tue May 30, 2017 4:31 am

Hey Kevin, nice. :)
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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby lharder » Mon Jun 05, 2017 5:35 am

So I had a minor milestone. I sold my first 3 nucs queened by daughters of my most successful colonies.

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

Postby Nordak » Mon Jun 05, 2017 6:07 am

Congratulations, lharder! That's quite an accomplishment.

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby lharder » Tue Jun 06, 2017 2:41 pm

Sold a couple more, will have a couple more sold on Saturday. New owners are very happy with them. As a little bonus, they have already drawn a full frame of foundationless worker comb filled with eggs and young larvae. A beautiful sight to see.

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby Nordak » Tue Jun 06, 2017 3:26 pm

Lucky beekeepers. They are getting quality bees. Great job! I felt a similar satisfaction on the packages and queens I've sold/given away this year. Hoping to do more over the years to come, as well as distinguishing some of the traits that appear to be working in their favor in terms of survival. I find this stuff fascinating. Keep us updated.


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