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Old 05-09-2013, 09:43 AM   #1
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Default Bee Keeping: Picture's Only, No Videos

For our Bee Friends unable to load videos!

Yesterday we harvested a hive located in-between two buildings. When they had built an addition they covered up an old window and bees had found their way into that space. They had been there maybe 3 or 4 years and the comb was amazing! We filled 20 deep frames with comb covered in healthy bee's! Our share was 5 excellent frames with brood cells and honey plus one very nice Queen cell and all the bits and pieces trimmed off in order to make the comb fit into frames.
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Old 05-10-2013, 07:48 AM   #2
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Yes, and what BG forgot to tell you is that we attached the comb to the frames using sewing thread! It was a tedious process and we should both have been stung numerous times during the time we were doing it. Heh. The bees stayed on the honeycomb and brood comb and it was an experience I'll never forget.

Soon, our queen will hatch and our hive will be complete. We're having fun now, I guarantee you!!!
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Old 05-10-2013, 06:31 PM   #3
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Yesterday evening we went to a beekeepers home and he did some hive inspections. There were several members of the bee club there and the demo was very interesting.

Our bees are doing very well. The other beekeeper went back today to set up to trap out the remaining bees in the hive. After that the rest of the comb can be gathered. We'll probably end up with another hive box of bees and if we're lucky another Queen. These bees are so gentle we'd be delighted to get a second hive of them.

Max is totally taken with this project!
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Old 05-12-2013, 12:17 AM   #4
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I use big rubber bands to secure cut out comb into frames. Much easier than tying, IMO. Others find string or twine easier.

Good job on the cutout! But, Max, you're right in that bee super highway there. Watch out when the guard bees start thumping you in the head. They're politely telling you to get your nose out of their front porch.
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Old 05-12-2013, 01:24 PM   #5
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This morning we picked up two more boxes of trapped out bees from that same hive plus quite a bit of comb. All ten frames of our Nuc have comb/honey/brood plus we were able to make 3 frames of comb/brood to take with us to a trap out call we will be doing this afternoon! Its a wonderful day!
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Old 05-12-2013, 09:18 PM   #6
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Trap set but forgot to take pics. We'll be going back tomorrow to check on the set up while the bees are active and we'll be sure to take pics then. Keep your fingers crossed!
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Old 05-16-2013, 07:28 PM   #7
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We think that the swarm they saw Sunday was the bees in the attic fleeing the scene after the homeowners taped over their entrances last week. Our trap had no activity at all even though right at first there were bees in the area. We could hear a swarm in the woods nearby and a pollen laden worker zinged me in the shoulder on its way to a destination in the trees away from the house. So no cigar on this swarm. We did take pics though:
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Old 05-16-2013, 11:09 PM   #8
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So is that two hives you're up to now? Or just the one still? Sorry about the last trap out. Silly bees. They could have had such a nice home!

I did an even split on one of our hives this past week. I was out reversing the hives' positions yesterday when someone called me about a swarm. I called newbie beekeepers who live on the way so they could watch. It was a small swarm but it was really easy, just hanging from a branch on a pear tree. A couple of steps up a ladder, a quick snip, and voila. I got it hived when I got home but I don't expect much of it since it was so small. Maybe I'll get lucky and it'll stay and end up the best hive of all. If you're gonna dream, dream big, I say!

I just got an email that the nuc I ordered is ready. Nellie's birthday is tomorrow and Grandma is visiting for it on Saturday so dunno if I'll get to pick it up for a couple of days or not.

I also put second boxes on the two packaged hives this week. They're doing well so far, knock on wood.
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Old 05-16-2013, 11:34 PM   #9
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Still just one hive but its going strong and full of good honey comb and brood comb. We just put a super on it. The bee keeper we went with to help get this hive went back and gave us two more 5 frame boxes with comb and bees. If we had another queen we might even consider splitting this one. We've still got two hives baited and the bees are busy. We haven't spotted the queen yet, her cell should have hatched a couple of days ago. The weather hasn't been ideal for a good thorough look see. The next good bee day we'll see what we can find.

The weather has been so cool the nectar flow is late coming. We may still get another hive, keeping our fingers crossed anyway.

---------- Post added at 10:34 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:33 PM ----------

When Max went to get the extra bees the bee man told him we were "naturals" and he was really impressed. How 'bout them apples?
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Old 05-25-2013, 09:06 PM   #10
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We have swarms. We're not sure if its from the hive we just got or if they are incoming to the baited hives but this place is buzzing!

There are bees in 2 of the baited hives and a swarm still in a tree nearby so we put out and baited another hive body. Now its a game of wait and see.
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Old 05-26-2013, 10:42 AM   #11
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One Swarm still in the tree, 4th hive baited, 2 new hives still active, keep your fingers crossed!
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Old 05-26-2013, 10:53 AM   #12
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Some pics: The first two are our hives. The next one is of the swarm. It's really hard to see but it's that dark cluster right in the middle of the picture. The last picture is of the pomegranates just beginning to bloom. I think they are so pretty.
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Old 05-29-2013, 07:25 PM   #13
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Well, we hate to say it but our hive up and went leaving us with a very weak hive. When we did the inspection we found a major hatch of hive beetles. One frame was loaded with larvae and the bottom of the hive was covered in fine wax 'dust'. No wonder they went looking for another home... So we took the bees that were left and combined them with some others that had hidden out in the other hives and have a very week hive left. We'll have to really watch it or it will be lost.

In the mean time, we got a call about an old time beekeeper who has decided to cut way down and eventually get out of bees all together. So today we went for a visit. Nice gentleman with a Michael Bush type of attitude, nice healthy bee colonies with nice friendly attitudes, old hive bodies all homemade but in good shape and in a day or so we'll be bringing 4 of them home. We'll be going at dark and with this front coming through it looks like we'll be able to pick a cooler evening. We're expecting some rain and that may even work to our advantage the idea being to move them during a time when the hive is the least active. One of the major good things about this is that these bees have really been busy and the hives are full of honey. Two of them have fairly full supers as well. It will be a good start even though they are coming here so late in the season.
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Old 06-02-2013, 01:23 PM   #14
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They're here safe and sound and then this morning we seem to have had a swarm come into our weak (queenless) hive. They have made themselves right at home and there doesn't seem to be any conflict so who knows. Personality wise they are the same as the other bees, maybe some of the swarm decided to come home.

The 4 hives we picked up last night are settling right in. Two of them have supers and weigh 60 pounds or so. The other two are fairly heavy but are this years swarms so they are busy making bees. The old beekeeper is so interesting to talk to. He has some interesting philosophies and pretty much leaves his hives alone except to add supers or harvest honey. In his hive bodies he only puts in a top frame bar and lets them make their brood comb as they wish. Once that is established he puts a super on to get his honey store then harvests from the next super. He rarely looks at the bees in the body unless there seems to be a problem. He feels that some things are best left alone and that a healthy hive will take care of itself. He caulks any cracks to help the bees keep their home sealed and that helps keep out the moths. If the colony is healthy beetles/mites are kept in check. For ants he has bolt 'legs' on a platform he sets the hives on. The bolt head sits in a bottle cap filled with motor oil and that keeps the ants out.

He makes his empty hive bodies available and the wild bees find them, voila new colonies. He's very relaxed about the whole thing and full of stories.
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Old 06-02-2013, 03:49 PM   #15
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Dangit! Some of those bees are a bit ouchy!!! I got stung about ten times in less than a second just trying to add a sooper to one of the hives. Those guys are still pissed at being moved. I don't guess I blame them but man! They kicked my ass!!!

I took a benadryl, so its probably naptime for watash...

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Old 06-02-2013, 05:08 PM   #16
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Our Bee spot is on a side porch separated from the rest of the porches by a catwalk and gate. Its right outside the windows of my Dad's living room. We can sit at his dining room table and watch the hives about 10 feet away. It's awesome!

A few more pics:
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Old 06-10-2013, 07:23 PM   #17
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It's hot out, even the bees are complaining:
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Old 06-11-2013, 12:00 AM   #18
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Ventilation is hugely important, not only in summer for heat but also in winter for moisture. You have that hive sitting on a (mostly) solid surface. Ever think about screen bottomed boards? What about the top of the hive? Is it screened or at least ventilated? An additional thing I do once the warm months are upon us is to prop open the outer cover. Just put a shim or twig underneath the front of it so that it lets more airflow/heat out of the top.

Just some ideas for you to consider. Maybe take the laptop out to the hives and let them read the ideas. They'll tell you what they'd like.

Then again, you do seem attracted to beards. ;-)

(For the non beekeepers out there, what's going on in BG's hive is called "bearding". It's what happens when the bees think it's too hot in the hive. They hang out on the "front porch" and fan their little hineys off to help move air through the hive. They'll also suck up water and come back and spit it out in/on the hive as a way to cool the hive.)
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Old 06-11-2013, 09:09 AM   #19
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We're going to try that booger. But the problem we see is that if there is an attack, the attacking bees will be able to enter through the top lid. But yes, opening the top lid is a good idea to help keep the bees cool. We just don't want to compromise them by opening up a space that would allow an attack from a honey stealing bunch.
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Old 06-11-2013, 09:59 AM   #20
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Heh. I just shimmed all of the soopers and the last hive didn't like it much. Got stung three more times. I seem to stay swelled up most of the time from bee stings. I guess its good for me...
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Old 06-11-2013, 02:57 PM   #21
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Hi beekeepers,
I'm near Chattanooga and we've been losing a lot of hives the past two years. I lost my only two hives last year and a friend lost all 20 of his. Everyone in our local club is reporting unusual losses and behavior, so it's not just poor practices.

What are you experiencing?

---------- Post added at 02:57 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:55 PM ----------

I started over with two packages this spring and bought a strong hive from a moving beekeeper. The strong hive swarmed in the first week, then put on more swarm cells and I split it. So now I have 4. I've been away for two weeks so I'm curious to get home and check on them.
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Old 06-11-2013, 03:08 PM   #22
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As I understand there has been a 40 to 50% decline in the bee population over the last couple of years. Neonicotinoids (Roundup) seems to be a major culprit along with GMO Roundup ready crops. Monsanto just bought a major bee research lab so who knows how the new studies will explain the decline...

I hope your new hives have fared well and look forward to hearing more about your bee keeping experiences!

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3338325/

---------- Post added at 02:08 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:06 PM ----------

http://www.globalresearch.ca/neonico...awsuit/5334816

Quote:
Neonicotinoid pesticides are a newer class of chemicals that are applied to seeds before planting. This allows the pesticide to be taken up through the plant’s vascular system as it grows, where it is expressed in the pollen and nectar.

These insecticides are highly toxic to bees because they are systemic, water soluble, and pervasive. They get into the soil and groundwater where they can accumulate and remain for many years and present long-term toxicity to the hive as well as to other species, such as songbirds.

Neonicotinoids affect insects’ central nervous systems in ways that are cumulative and irreversible. Even minute amounts can have profound effects over time.

The disappearance of bee colonies began accelerating in the United States shortly after the EPA allowed these new insecticides on the market in the mid-2000s. The lawsuit alleges that the EPA allowed the neonicotinoids to remain on the market despite clear warning signs of a problem.

It also alleges the EPA acted outside of the law by allowing conditional registration of the pesticides, a measure that allows a product to enter the market despite the absence of certain data.
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Old 06-11-2013, 03:13 PM   #23
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Interesting site here:

http://www.buzzaboutbees.net/

http://www.buzzaboutbees.net/neonico...an-health.html
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Old 06-11-2013, 11:09 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxTheKnife View Post
We're going to try that booger. But the problem we see is that if there is an attack, the attacking bees will be able to enter through the top lid. But yes, opening the top lid is a good idea to help keep the bees cool. We just don't want to compromise them by opening up a space that would allow an attack from a honey stealing bunch.
Mine are not exposed to raiders when I prop the outer covers. Do you use inner covers? If so, what type?

I use inner and outer covers. I only prop the outer cover which, when not propped, should not be a tight fit anyway. (There should be a small gap at either the front or back, if you've pushed your cover against one side. This allows for airflow as well as a second entrance, depending upon your inner cover.) My inner covers are all screened, as are the bottom boards, so that there is plenty of ventilation from bottom to top. But no extra holes for them to defend, other than the top entrances I have been switching over to.
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Old 06-12-2013, 12:44 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blue gecko View Post
It's hot out, even the bees are complaining:
Would it help to put up some kind of shade for them? Maybe attach a sheet to the deck railing and the clothes line. It looks like they have no shade at all.
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