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 Message Boards » » 2013 Official Beekeeping Thread Page 1 [2] 3, Prev Next  
DonMega
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Good points, I'll make a decision once I can get a better picture of what is going on inside the hives next week. Before the hornets attacked the one hive, it was by far the stronger hive (also surprising that the hornets chose that hive to attack).

I'll make sure to post another update on the hives next week.

I ordered a jacket, new veil, and gloves today. My stings are definitely itching today!

8/21/2013 3:00:49 PM

djeternal
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yeah, fuck stings. they're no joke. they hurt for days

8/21/2013 3:44:13 PM

y0willy0
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45000 dead bees in the bottom of my only hive today

8/22/2013 8:02:20 PM

djeternal
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that sucks. Is the queen one of the dead? Do you know what killed them?

I recommend doing 2 hives at least, for this very reason.

8/22/2013 8:30:13 PM

DonMega
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^^ were you able to figure out why?

8/23/2013 8:01:15 AM

DonMega
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I am heading back out to my hives tomorrow morning (with my new inspector's jacket and gloves) to refill sugar water and see if there is any queen activity.

8/30/2013 10:37:07 AM

DonMega
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Good news, the queen is still in the hive that was attacked by hornets! I was checking out the frames to see if eggs were present, and the queen walked right into view. The bees are much calmer now that they aren't being attacked by hornets and after a week of being fed with sugar syrup. There is some capped brood and larva (not a ton, but some), so I'll keep feeding and keep my fingers crossed. Bees are amazing things, they cleaned up every last dead bee that was in the hive even though the entire bottom was covered. You couldn't even tell that anything had happened to the hive other than the total lack of honey and bee guts splattered on the outside.

The second hive seems to be doing great too. I didn't see the queen, but there was capped brood and larva. They also had a lot of uncapped honey throughout the hive. It's hard to see the eggs since the nuc used plastic foundation and the comb is super old. I took off the super since they had never really moved into it (only slight comb formation) to encourage them to fill out the rest of the frames in the brood box.

My new inspector's jacket and gloves worked great. It was nice not having to be constantly freaked out by the bees crawling on my hands. I forgot my phone, so I don't have any new pictures. I'll make sure I take some pictures when I go back next time to refill the feeding containers.

[Edited on August 31, 2013 at 9:29 PM. Reason : ]

8/31/2013 9:28:42 PM

NeuseRvrRat
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any of y'all want to sell some beeswax?

8/31/2013 10:20:07 PM

DonMega
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unfortunately I don't have any to sell since I did not collect any honey this year.

8/31/2013 10:37:40 PM

0EPII1
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Is it common practice to give sugar syrup to bees? Are commercial honeys available for sale made in the same way? What about artisan honeys made by small keepers in small batches?

How did bees make honey before people started giving them sugar syrup? And most importantly, is there a difference in taste between wild honey made without giving sugar syrup to bees, and honey made with? Regardless of if there is or not, honey made with sugar syrup given to bees, I wouldn't call it natural honey, and I wonder if there would be nutritional differences.


[Edited on August 31, 2013 at 11:20 PM. Reason : ]

8/31/2013 11:18:42 PM

elise
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They feed sugar syrup to new bee colonies and weak bee colonies to help them out. It is my understanding that if your bees are weak enough to need feeding you probably wont be harvesting any honey that year.

[Edited on August 31, 2013 at 11:33 PM. Reason : disclaimer: i dont have bees, but that is what i have gathered from following the thread.]

8/31/2013 11:31:32 PM

adam8778
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You feed sugar to weak hives. Not saying a little hasnt been got mixed in the harvested frames, but you generally dont feed at times that bees are filling supers with honey during a natural flow. Or like was said above, if the hive is weak enough to need feeding they will consume it, they wont have any honey to harvest, so its kind of a moot point.

[Edited on August 31, 2013 at 11:38 PM. Reason : s]

8/31/2013 11:38:05 PM

NeuseRvrRat
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if someone does have some wax they want to bag up and put in the mail, i can paypal you for it. need some for making cast bullet lubricant.

9/1/2013 12:17:28 AM

0EPII1
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This is insane

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/horror-as-couple-are-attacked-by-swarm-of-around-30000-bees-who-kill-their-two-horses-8735362.html

9/2/2013 9:45:38 PM

djeternal
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^^ I lost a hive over the winter, and even though my remaining hive is pretty strong I probably won't harvest any honey this year. Best case scenario I may pull 2 frames, and you are more than welcome to have the wax. It won't be much, but you can have it.

Quote :
"Is it common practice to give sugar syrup to bees? Are commercial honeys available for sale made in the same way? What about artisan honeys made by small keepers in small batches?"


Previous posters have already answered the feeding question. As for the commercial honey, you have to be careful what you buy. Most of the big brand honey is filtered so much that it really isn't even honey anymore. It's pretty much just honey flavored syrup. If you want the full benefits of honey, make sure you buy local. You can definitely taste the difference, and in some cases can even taste what type of plants the bees got the pollen from. I took a taste of my honey this year and I can definitely taste hints of cantaloupe, which makes sense considering my bees were all over the flowers in my garden plants this year.

9/3/2013 11:00:00 AM

Klatypus
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9/18/2013 2:34:15 PM

DonMega
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Opened my hives up yesterday to add some more sugar water, was happy to see several frames of honey after the bees didn't have any in August. It was raining slightly so I didn't take any new pictures.

I had wanted to treat for varroa, but I think I am too late now (I believe it needs temps in the 70-80 range).

10/14/2013 10:57:34 AM

Klatypus
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really good and thorough presentation on the issues that are facing honeybees right now

10/24/2013 10:07:32 AM

DonMega
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Filled up the feeders last weekend during the 70 degree weather. Everything is looking good (one hive had totally drained their quart of sugar water, the smaller hive had hardly touched theirs). Next warm weekend I'll fill it up again.

I didn't pull any frames, but I could see capped honey at the top of the frames under the feeders. The hives seemed pretty full, and they were sunbathing on the front porch in the nice weather.

12/26/2013 2:13:12 PM

Klatypus
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most of the hives at work are doing well, however we were not allowed to feed until a regulatory agency said we could for a certain study we are doing.... so sadly some died from starvation

which also mucks up the data so WAY TO GO GOVERNMENT sticking your head in research and then taking waaaaaaaaaaaay too long

but surprisingly even our recent swarm hive that is going to ride out the winter in a nuc (fingers crossed) is doing really well so far.


good luck this winter everybody

12/30/2013 11:26:26 AM

Klatypus
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lol. neighbor keeps coming over with things she printed off the internet trying to tell us they will take legal action against our bees "swarming in their yard"

you mean foraging in your garden?

1/27/2014 1:09:46 PM

Master_Yoda
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^ Ask your neighbor, "ok why haven't you?" Otherwise its harassment and threats, and you have valid grounds to countersue for that.

Anyone know if theres a JoCo association? With all the stuff putting in at my new house, debating to try to start a hive.

1/27/2014 1:34:56 PM

Klatypus
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I will assume you have internet searched.

if you mean Johnston County, here are the details

http://www.jocobee.org/

[Edited on January 27, 2014 at 1:39 PM. Reason : this lady is so full of crap it is kind of funny]

1/27/2014 1:38:12 PM

rhinosponge
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Getting into beekeeping, but I live in townhomes. Anyone have any experience convincing potentially skeptical neighbors and an HoA?

I have land available elsewhere, but it would be so much more fun to have it in the backyard here (which is largely wooded and devoid of any human traffic).

1/29/2014 4:32:19 PM

DonMega
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I didn't have to worry about convincing anyone, my hives are in the middle of nowhere.

Checked on my bees today, they were fairly active in the warm weather. I didn't open them up, but I assume they still have plenty of sugar water since I filled it up two weeks ago. They were collecting pollen like crazy (not sure where it was coming from). I'll try to remember my phone next time so I can take some pictures.

2/22/2014 7:22:31 PM

rhinosponge
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Did my first check on 2 packages I installed this past weekend...

Everything appears to be going well.

Should we start a new thread for 2014?

4/9/2014 8:13:54 PM

AntiMnifesto
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Have 2 hives this year so far: my overwintered swarm from last year (first hive to make it over winter!) and a second one someone gave me because they are moving and unsure whether they'll remain in the country.

Mine is 2 supers deep, the other is 4. Checked my hive a few weeks ago, had eggs and larvae, so the queen is good and busy.

I live around a bunch of poplars, so the bees should be excited about that.

4/28/2014 3:27:20 PM

DonMega
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my hives are doing great so far. These pictures are from a month ago when I took off the feeders. The second hive was eager to start building out! I added a second box on top of the hive (my other hive already had two). I saw one queen cell in each that looked like a queen had emerged (looked like a supercedure cell, not a swarm cell). Both hives have a ton of bees, and they have been very active so far this spring.

5/19/2014 10:27:48 AM

rhinosponge
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Is there a particular time of day that you guys prefer (or is recommended) to go into the hive?

Mine are doing great so far with one undergoing supercedure as well.

Friend having a hard time finding nucs this late in the year, anybody have a lead?

5/19/2014 10:12:01 PM

DonMega
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during the day there will be less bees in the hive because a lot will be out foraging (so don't do super early morning or late evening). I like going in before it gets too hot out so I don't sweat my ass off, so usually mid morning or just before noon.

5/19/2014 10:53:31 PM

DonMega
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In 2 weeks both of my hives completely filled a medium 8 frame box with honey!

I did a check this past weekend to check on the boxes I just added and was completely surprised that they were overflowing with capped and uncapped honey. I had to drive back out on Sunday to add another box of each and mow around the bee hives.

first pic is looking down into the top box (comb completely drawn out on all frames and almost completed filled with honey). The rest are just some pics of the hives.









[Edited on June 2, 2014 at 4:02 PM. Reason : ]

6/2/2014 4:02:34 PM

DonMega
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I haven't opened my hives in over a month because of the rain and because I have been out of town, but they seem to be doing well. The front porch is slammed pack full of bees (I assume cooling off or returning from harvesting). They have made it up to the garden and sunflowers now, I guess the foraging options are starting to dwindle (it's about 400 yards to the garden through the woods).

8/6/2014 9:49:33 AM

DonMega
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[Edited on August 6, 2014 at 9:50 AM. Reason : dbl post]

8/6/2014 9:50:18 AM

DonMega
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Since it was such a nice day I attempted to open my hives after work since it was such a nice day. The first hive was filled to the brim with bees, and despite being careful, I dropped the hive cover when trying to shake the bees off. Fast forward 10 minutes, I think I stepped on a few of the bees and ended up with about 15 stings on my ankles and legs. I have learned my lesson, don't open the hives in the evening and always wear long pants.

I was attempting to take off the top hive body box when the stings started. I abandoned the attempt and retreated quickly. I didn't even try to open the second hive.

8/13/2014 9:45:52 PM

DonMega
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Refilled the sugar water feeders in my hives last weekend, the hives seem to be doing well. I didn't pull any frames and it looked like there was still honey in the frames I could see.

2/16/2015 5:40:33 PM

DonMega
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Have you heard about the Flow Hive yet? These guys created a system to get honey out of your hive without opening it up and without disturbing the bees.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/flow-hive-honey-on-tap-directly-from-your-beehive#home

Looks very interesting, although a little expensive. I'm curious to see the final prices with shipping and what people think of them (no real use until fall of 2016).

2/25/2015 3:58:59 PM

Master_Yoda
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^Weve been discussing that at work all day. Watching a vid, I dont know enough on keeping, but you are disturbing massive amounts of cells when you "tap" it. Why wouldnt that be disturbing any nursery cells which Im pretty sure is a bad thing...

2/26/2015 5:49:37 PM

DonMega
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I think the intent is to use it as a honey super only (above the brood). You can also remove the frames to check to make sure there is no brood in the frames you want to crack.

I had the same concerns, but I don't often find any brood in my honey supers.

2/26/2015 9:51:43 PM

DonMega
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Well, a lot has happened with my hive in the past month. 3 weeks ago I took the feeders out of the hive, both hives were super busy, and I made plans to put some more boxes on top once I went home and got the wax sheets to make more frames. The next day my father in law calls me to say that there isn't any activity on the formerly "busier" hive. I go out there that evening after work and there are only about 5 bees in the hive, and they looked like they were robbers from the other hive. My guess is that they swarmed and every bee got up and left.

Saturday I went out to the hives in an attempt to make my first split ever. I took apart the empty hive, took two of the frames of honey out, and cleaned out everything that built up under the hive frame to make sure it was stable again. I did see a single completed swarm/supercedure cell, so I guess the new queen decided she didn't want to hang around any more. Once I put the hive back together, I moved half the brood frames (eggs and capped brood) and two full frames of honey (to get a bunch of bees) from the active hive into the empty hive box. I put the entrance reducer on and began praying that I did the right thing.

Fast forward a couple days, and my father in law reports that there is almost no activity at the split hive. Either all the bees drifted back to the original hive, or they are getting the new hive set up. I'll check on it this weekend when I can drive back out there. The hive I made the split from is still going gangbusters.

Despite being the third year since I started with bees, I finally harvested my first batch of honey. I took two frames of honey out of the empty hive to make room for the frames full of bees from the active frame, so I decided to finally harvest a little honey. So far so good, it was over a liter after 15 minutes of straining, we'll see how much I end up with.



4/20/2015 9:32:38 PM

DonMega
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Well, looks like the new hive from the split still has some activity, just not much. I am not going to open up the hive just yet, but something is living in there!

The other hive (the one I split from) is still going strong, but when I opened it up they had not started working on the honey super yet. I guess they are filling in spots from where I had to take frames out for the split.

5/13/2015 12:25:10 AM

DonMega
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Well, since my kid was born last year, I spent very little time down in the bee yard. The hive made from the split slowly dwindled off, and my active hive must have swarmed an abandoned the hive. Over the winter, I didn't notice any activity and had just given up (and assumed wax moths and other things had invaded the hive, stole the honey, and ruined the wax).

My father-in-law wanted to move the bees to the iris field to help with an expanded garden, and now that the hives are empty, it seemed like a good time. He had a friend help him move the hives, and the friend inspected the frames and although everything wasn't perfect, there were no pests.

The day after relocating the hive, the hive was buzzing with bees again! I guess a swarm found the empty hive and decided to move in? The bees are extremely active, so I welcome them to their new home!

Has this ever happened to anyone else?

5/2/2016 10:05:53 AM

Master_Yoda
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That is pretty cool to hear. Hope they stick around and you get a lot out of them.

5/2/2016 2:49:16 PM

NeuseRvrRat
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i'm no beekeeper, but a buddy at work put a little lemongrass oil around a couple of his empty boxes a couple weeks ago had bees take up in both of them. he said it's pretty easy to do that this time of year.

5/2/2016 7:02:05 PM

afripino
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any updates on the flow hive? Thinking about purchasing.

5/3/2016 10:15:29 AM

AntiMnifesto
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New hive is in residence, about to get 4-5 more hives on my property. A research beekeeper needs a place to drop his hives and I volunteered. Should be an interesting year!

5/3/2016 7:19:34 PM

Klatypus
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in case anyone has any hives going, during warm spells in the winter. In winter, we need to ensure that our colonies are heavy with honey stores and are alive. You can do both of those without opening the hive up and pulling frames. Lift from the back to determine weight (you should get to a point where you can tell just by picking it up, but if possible, weighing with an industrial scale can work too). Put your ear to the side of the brood chamber and give it a knock to determine if the bees are alive.
If you do a full-out inspection this month, there really isn't anything beyond feeding that we can do if we find any problems. We cannot requeen, it isn't the right time for combining weak colonies, Varroa mite damage has already been done, etc. Plus, presence or absence of brood means absolutely nothing. So doing a in-the-hive inspection right now can satisfy our curiosity and perhaps enhance our bee education but has no value with respect to colony management per se.

check this out for management suggestions for each season : https://www.baileybeesupply.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Management-through-the-seasons.pdf

Regardless of whether you pull frames or not, feed sugar to your colonies if they are light. Syrup, fondant, candy boards all work fine; the form of the sugar isn't important. We have a long way to go until the main nectar flow starts https://www.baileybeesupply.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/beware_the_ides_of_march.pdf

happy beekeeping

1/3/2017 9:50:00 AM

djeternal
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I'm planning in starting up my 2 hives again this year. Anyone local have any nucs for sale?

1/3/2017 9:53:48 AM

DonMega
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I haven't heard of anything, but I haven't been looking and haven't been to a beekeeper's meeting in quite some time (so I'm not much help).

I haven't checked on my hive since winter started, but I know my father in law has been feeding them.

1/3/2017 10:12:07 AM

Klatypus
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I know someone in carrboro looking to sell hives

Quote :
"Downsizing my beekeeping efforts and have two hives to sell.

2 complete 8 frame hives, cypress, 2 years old, painted white:
2 deeps
4 mediums
Mostly wood frames. Deep foundation has been used, partly drawn, mix of beeswax and plastic. Medium foundation is new beeswax.
Telescoping metal tops
Inner covers
Screened bases
Entrance reducers
Top feeder and in hive feeder
Smoker

Prefer to sell all together, $300 OBO. WIll consider splitting up with fair offer. Located in Carrboro. Picture attached."




let me know if you want his contact info

1/3/2017 10:18:58 AM

djeternal
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^ I've got all that, just need the bees. I'd consider package bees but I've had more success with nucs.

1/3/2017 11:41:30 AM

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