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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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby moebees » Tue Jun 06, 2017 9:59 pm

Today I made up two nucs to receive two new queens that came today. I got the queens to replace queens in two struggling hives. One I mentioned on here before that went queenless and they made a bunch of ecells. One hatched out and I was concerned she would not get mated with the terrible spring weather we have had. Discovered open brood in the hive yesterday so apparently she got mated. So one of the new queens had to go into a nuc. The other one was for another I have in the same general location that is struggling because the package queen seems to be pooping out already. Both these queens were tiny. Rather than pinch and introduce the new queen I decided to nuc her also so that I have more hives and more options at these locations. When the first hive went queenless I immediately went to the other hive to grab brood and they didn't have enough to spare.

To make up the nucs I visited 3 of my 4 carniolan hives that I know are doing well and were in need of new boxes. One of those has gone queenless and I am pretty sure it was from a comb collapse. They have lots of ecells and and a pretty good population and are packing in the honey so I think they will be ok. One of the hives is doing really well and I gave them a third box. The last hive is full of swarm cells and ready to swarm. I gave them a new box and lots of undrawn frames but that isn't going to stop them. I will probably go back tomorrow try to make a split with the old queen.

Very busy day in the beeyard when hives are separated by many miles.
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 Jun 07, 2017 3:22 pm

Got my first swarm!
Just found them this morning (they settled down already and taking in pollen).
Though large commercials bees, this is a good resource to start off another TF colony.
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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby Dustymunky » Wed Jun 07, 2017 3:57 pm

Nice Greg!


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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby moebees » Wed Jun 07, 2017 4:52 pm

Congratulations Greg! I have had no action at all on 10 traps so I am impressed.
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 Nordak » Wed Jun 07, 2017 4:56 pm

Awesome Greg! Very cool.

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby GregV » Wed Jun 07, 2017 5:23 pm

Thanks!
This was the trap that I posted in the "trap hives" section.
I went there this AM thinking to move it.
Although, it is on a nice hill by the nice hedge tree row, it was being hit by PM sun.
So I wanted to move the trap by about 200 meters under a tree (to have more PM shade).
Brought all the tools and all, on my way to work.
Duh!

Well, I guess the bees did not care of my human thinking!
I guess, I will live the trap as-is in the PM sun (after I resettle the swarm).
It ain't broken, don't fix it? Donno.

PS: my other "log" trap was being checked just last AM too as I decided to move it a bit into a shadier spot;
I hope I did not jinxed it by the move to make it "better". :?

PPS: just told my local TFB partner (we have a couple of joint trapping sites); he said he already scored 4 swarms (two of those are typical large, commercial bee; but the other two - smaller, feral-looking bees)

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby SiWolKe » Wed Jun 07, 2017 7:03 pm

Hey Greg, great news!
Congrats!
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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby Dustymunky » Thu Jun 08, 2017 3:30 am

I've caught 2 swarms at my 5 trap locations. One small, about 1lb, that never came up with a laying queen and an appx 3lb+ swarm with a queen. Getting a fair amount of scouting action at that location again too. The trap is right next to a 50 acre wooded area so they could possibly be feral. Fun stuff!


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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby SiWolKe » Thu Jun 08, 2017 4:37 am

Nice, Dusty.
Did you combine the two swarms?
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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby Nordak » Thu Jun 08, 2017 4:45 am

Dustymunky wrote:I've caught 2 swarms at my 5 trap locations. One small, about 1lb, that never came up with a laying queen and an appx 3lb+ swarm with a queen. Getting a fair amount of scouting action at that location again too. The trap is right next to a 50 acre wooded area so they could possibly be feral. Fun stuff!

Good luck. Hope you get them!

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby Dustymunky » Thu Jun 08, 2017 5:54 am

Tried to wait for queenless swarm to see if they had a virgin waiting to mate. Never happened. Gave frame of eggs and they made some cells but never got a laying queen out of it. Gave them another frame of eggs and combined with some more bees. Made cells again. Last week i saw chewed out queen cells and possibly some hatched cells. Hoping to see eggs this weekend.


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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby GregV » Thu Jun 08, 2017 3:14 pm

I too deliberately keep few traps by/in wooded areas trying to score some ferals that should be there (in theory).
But I have been thinking - feral bees could totally be found in urban setting also.
I hear they have been living in human structures for years (both undetected and detected) and are basically feral too.
The buildings replaced many (most?) natural dwellings and so urban/suburban feral bees maybe becoming a new norm. Just a thought..

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby moebees » Thu Jun 08, 2017 6:22 pm

Yes feral bees can be anywhere. An old barn or any structure.
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 lharder » Sat Jun 10, 2017 4:23 pm

Sold a couple more nucs. A more experienced bee keeper dipping his toe into the TF game. He was very happy with what he saw. Nice queen, 6 frames with brood, an excellent laying pattern, they had already built 2 beautiful frames of foundationless comb laid up with some open brood. He was well prepared, passionate, so it looks like they are going to a good home:)

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby Nordak » Sat Jun 10, 2017 5:47 pm

Way to go, Leroy!

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby GregV » Sat Jun 10, 2017 7:02 pm

So I finally got to my "log" trap this Saturday AM and it turned into a full-blown cut out.
Few combs I simply screwed additional bar on the top and simply moved into my standard hive (pictured).
But needed to cut-and-paste two large combs just free-hanging off of my "stick-and-staple" guides.
Some sticky mess but got it done.
They have been there at least a week.
Classic, commercial Italians. Unsure yet how to proceed.
Will let them harvest honey as-is since we are in the main flow now.
Maybe in the summer end I will re-queen with some survivor/TF queen.

PS: btw, this flat top makes for a really handy working table when need to work a cut-out; the top on the picture is covered in spilled honey and botched brood. This is one of my 40 liter nuc/trap/temp hives that I toss around. Very handy.
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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby Nordak » Sun Jun 11, 2017 12:15 am

Good job, Greg.


One of the coolest things I've ever seen in my bee yard, and I caught it on film! Keep an eye on the last bee.

https://youtu.be/0rASrblfZCA

Maybe that's why small hive beetles aren't much of an issue. :mrgreen:

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby Dustymunky » Sun Jun 11, 2017 1:35 am

Awesome video! Feisty little bees


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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby Dustymunky » Sun Jun 11, 2017 1:48 am

Inspected my week old swarm hive and they are building beautiful white wax. Very calm even on a 58 degree cloudy afternoon. Seeing eggs and larvae, everything looking good.......then I saw the queen was missing a front leg. Kinda bummed me out. I guess they will likely supercede her in the near future.
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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby Nordak » Sun Jun 11, 2017 6:01 am

Looks great, Dusty. I'm jealous of both your weather and that nicely drawn white wax. We're starting our dearth here. Bees are shutting down until Fall.

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby GregV » Sun Jun 11, 2017 1:36 pm

Wow! Summer dearth already?
I think we should have a good flow until mild-July or end-July here (depending on weather).
Basswood is just about to start.
Clovers already started and should carry on through most of the summer.

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby SiWolKe » Mon Jun 12, 2017 5:26 am

Maybe they keep her, Dusty, if the laying pattern and pheromones are good.
Fingers crossed!

Jeff, I envy you ;)
You seem to have the most ferocious fighters!
As long as they do not fight you, that´s wonderful!
Thanks for the video!
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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby Nordak » Mon Jun 12, 2017 6:42 am

GregV wrote:Wow! Summer dearth already?
I think we should have a good flow until mild-July or end-July here (depending on weather).
Basswood is just about to start.
Clovers already started and should carry on through most of the summer.


Yep, our flow is gone. We'll have a trickle here and there, but for the most part, the bees will have to make until late August/September before anything substantial blooms again, and in some years Fall flow is no guarantee.

SiWolke wrote:As long as they do not fight you, that´s wonderful!
Thanks for the video!


They are actually pretty nice bees for the most part. Outside of the trouble hive I had early in the year, I've never had them act intolerable. Thanks for the kind words.

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby GregV » Mon Jun 12, 2017 2:40 pm

Nordak wrote:Yep, our flow is gone. We'll have a trickle here and there, but for the most part, the bees will have to make until late August/September before anything substantial blooms again, and in some years Fall flow is no guarantee..


It is interesting how our locales are different.
Our summer dearth is much shorter - South WI.
It is about a month in length - end of July/some of August (if hot and dry, then worse and longer).
But then, of course, need to add 1-2 extra months to the winter dearth.
So right now we are in the main flow, the only bad news is - entering second week of hot/dry spell of 90F+ (35C+).
Some rain just about now would be really nice.

For sure we start up about 1-2 months later than Jeff.
This year spring was especially terrible, everything was mostly down until very end of the May (outside of occasional warm window).

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby GregV » Tue Jun 13, 2017 3:14 pm

Caught another swarm.
Late evening. Dark. Pouring rain.
But this is a whooper all right (I am afraid, 40 liter nuc is too small for them).
Some bees spilled all over the tarp; I brushed them into a cardboard box; the box is turning into a soggy mash.
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Oh well, as of this AM, all bees have been accommodated.
Dumped the cardboard contents into a separate hive to give some boost there.
:)

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby Nordak » Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:44 pm

Nice, Greg!

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby SiWolKe » Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:01 pm

Today was a very good day. :D

All my now 12 hives have a laying queen and are good looking. Nice patterns.
The old queen from my grafting mess seems to be still there.


The swarm`s natural comb looks great with the fresh white wax.
All colonies build combs. Two fill the medium on top. the elgon build small cell natural comb, the carnis small and large cell, the LC bad looking comb, which I switched to drawn 4.9 comb to help them along.

All are bursting with honey so I harvested some frames to give more place to lay eggs. I´m always leaving +- 40 pounds.
Flow and weather are still fine and will go on for a week as I saw in the news.

Next week will be the hottest in June, 35°C, lets see it they are able to climate with closed floors.
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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby GregV » Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:14 pm

SiWolKe wrote:Next week will be the hottest in June, 35°C, lets see it they are able to climate with closed floors.

I am sure they will be fine. :)
We just had a week of 30-35C non-stop and thunderstorms. High humidity too.
I have three nucs now - all are in cardboard, computer boxes and under blankets.
This nuc-farm is set in a tight, non-ventilated shed. The only mitigation they have - afternoon shade
They are doing just fine.
This is how I want them - produce maximum brood with minimum bees.

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby GregV » Tue Jun 20, 2017 4:16 am

35C is nothing.
Try 45C. :D

Meanwhile our heat wave is over.
We have 10-12C nights ahead.
Keeping my nucs under several blankets, nice and toasty.
This is June in WI, mind you! :roll:
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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby lharder » Fri Jun 23, 2017 7:22 am

I put a snelgrove board on one of my more promising first year hives. I gave the queen 2 boxes of empty freshly extracted comb, had 2 boxes of brood above the snelgrove board, and had 6 boxes of honey between them (8 frame boxes) for a montrous hive 10 medium boxes high. My leaning tower of pisa. I think I better take some boxes of honey off before some wind knocks the set up over.

Big honey flows here. I'm scrambling.

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby SiWolKe » Fri Jun 23, 2017 7:26 am

God!
Post a picture please!
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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby lharder » Fri Jun 23, 2017 1:21 pm

I've never experienced anything quite like it. There must be a solid 120 pounds fo capped honey on it. Alfalfa is just starting to bloom, and if last year was any indication, July and half of August is a honey flow. I might get another 120 pounds from that hive. A few other hives there need some more comb as well. I have the last of my deadout stores I'm extracting, then I can clean things up and get ready for honey extraction. Think I'll be on a treadmill of extraction and replacing comb.

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby SiWolKe » Sat Jun 24, 2017 9:31 am

Before the heat spell ( 35°C-40°C ) the last week I harvested some surplus out of 9 combs to make some place for laying.

I left two combs of capped honey at least on both sides for insulation.

Next week there should be nice weather to check. I was not opening because I did not want to disturb the bees while they climate.

There are some which have 100-120pounds of honey with our flow, I believe.
It rained a little bit, hopefully it´s enough to make clover go on.

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby lharder » Tue Jun 27, 2017 2:25 pm

So I took a few boxes off that monster setup. Not all capped so I just gave some boxes to other hives. Took a couple boxes home. Should have some capped cells to place soon.

In other news, of 16 queen cells I placed June 6th, 14 have queens, 13 laying, one looks about to lay. Really pleased with the nice looking queens. Only one smallish queen. Some of them were started with only one frame of brood and one of food. This time of year it is quite warm and it seems one can get away with a lot.

Today, I'm going to replace some queens that aren't doing very well. Chalk brood seems to be a problem with about 20% of my queens. Some have built up ok, but others don't do anything. The ones that are doing ok will have a nuc placed in two boxes on the bottom, excluder, frames of food, excluder, then brood and queen to be replaced on top. If I see her I will get rid of her, but otherwise no hurry.

For the hives that are not doing well at all, they will be replaced with a two queen square dadant setup. Side by side queens, supered by square boxes. In this case I have to find the queen. Could be some shakin happening soon. Just maybe I can give the setups enough of a boost to get some honey yet. I have till the middle of August maybe. If not honey, then the setups will be brood factories to support more recent nucs going towards winter.

I have noticed that selling nucs has put a damper on available brood for cell placement later in the year. Most of my hives have boxes of honey, and its getting old removing them to get frames of brood.

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby lharder » Tue Jun 27, 2017 2:27 pm

SiWolKe wrote:Before the heat spell ( 35°C-40°C ) the last week I harvested some surplus out of 9 combs to make some place for laying.

I left two combs of capped honey at least on both sides for insulation.

Next week there should be nice weather to check. I was not opening because I did not want to disturb the bees while they climate.

There are some which have 100-120pounds of honey with our flow, I believe.
It rained a little bit, hopefully it´s enough to make clover go on.

Honig c,e,lc 2017 Juni.jpg


That looks really nice. Do you sell some honey? Are people interested in honey from hives that have no chemical inputs?

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby GregV » Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:20 pm

SiWolKe wrote:.....There are some which have 100-120pounds of honey with our flow, I believe.
It rained a little bit, hopefully it´s enough to make clover go on.

Honig c,e,lc 2017 Juni.jpg


Sibylle, a practical question:
* did you use crash-and-strain method for those pictured honey jars?

With my small-scale/no-cost ways, I don't want to buy much of anything unless I must.
But I do wonder how much honey one needs to get before crash-and-strain becomes unpractical.
I have nothing yet this year and plan to save everything for the bees themselves (except for maybe 2-3 really messed up combs that need culled anyway).

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby SiWolKe » Tue Jun 27, 2017 5:14 pm

@ Iharder

I appreciate you reflecting and updating about the managements you do. Very good learning.

Yes I sell a some honey to local people who know me, but nobody knows about tf. TF is illegal, so I don´t talk about that. I´m just selling "honey not made out of sugar syrup" and of bees " living in a more natural way and keeping their own honey as food, giving only surplus".

@ Greg

I purchased an used extractor over internet because I wanted to reuse the comb. It was cheap because you can extract only three combs at the same time and it´s not electric.
You have only dinks if you have no comb to give to the small splits. Too much energy lost. I understand now why bees are lured into new hives with old combs.
It´s a survival strategy.

The crushed honey is more aromatic though.

In my hometown you can rent an extractor or, if you are in bee club you can use it for free.

I wanted my own not to mix my honey with different people`s honey. For the natural comb without wire we built a cage.
You might try to find some co-workers to do the extraction together. This I do just like with pressing foundations or melting wax.
I`m in the lucky position to be able to purchase many things, with my industry job.
But my co-workers give me back some of the money if they use my equipment.
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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby GregV » Tue Jun 27, 2017 6:47 pm

We, in fact, have a shared extractor in our bee-club.
One can borrow it.
I just don't want to mess with it (yet).

Besides, my custom frame size (Dadant) is not common around here (Langstroth sizes, basically, took over everything).
Will need to special order an extractor - even more expensive then.

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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby SiWolKe » Wed Jun 28, 2017 4:55 am

GregV wrote:Will need to special order an extractor - even more expensive then.


If possible order it the biggest size and share with others who pay a little fee.
All sizes of frames can be done with that.
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Re: What's the Buzz in the Beeyard?

Postby lharder » Fri Jun 30, 2017 5:40 am

So I visited my mentee and delivered a couple of queens for a side by side nuc set up. I have a 2 queen set up, side by side in a square dadant setup, all medium boxes.

Bottom 2 layers have 6 frame boxes, then excluders, then 12 frame boxes. I had 3 of them, for a total of 5 medium boxes of square dadent equivalents.

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 removed some frames from the brood boxes and didn't see any swarm cells.


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