Beekeeping--a new beek's journey!PIC HEAVY (first week of Oct)

lorihadams

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I decided to put this thread here instead of the journal section because I really wanted everyone to contribute.

Here is my story--after moving to a new property and planting lots of fruit trees, almond trees, and berry bushes we decided to get some bee hives to help with the pollination and given the fact that my children LOVE honey we figured that would be a perk as well.

I started attending beekeeping meetings last fall and last month joined our local beek club. I have learned a lot and the majority of folks in the club are first timers but there are a lot of old timers and some that are only a couple years in so we have a good mix of experience levels.

I got my first two nucs May 21 and installed them early that morning. Unfortunately we didn't take any pictures cause we were so nervous. :p

Here is my journey through beekeeping.....feel free to join in so others can learn too!
 

lorihadams

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May 30, 2011---first inspection of both new hives

I don't own a veil or bee suit. I don't own gloves. I don't own a smoker. Let me just get that out of the way up front. I did purchase a product called liquid smoke (I'm wondering if it is the same stuff you can get in the grocery store btw) and you are supposed to dilute it with one gallon of water and then spray on the bees as you would use smoke.

Now, I forgot to mix it up so I just used sugar water to spray on some of the bees as I lifted everything up. I won't do that again cause I smelled like food. I got stung once working each hive but it wasn't that bad.


TIP: take hand sanitizer with you to the hives and if you get stung spread it on the sting site and the other bees won't bother it, it blocks the pheremones that are released when a bee stings you.

Hive #1
This is my strongest hive and I suspect that I may have had some drifting from the weaker hive. The entire hive was full of bees at 2pm.


We took out the first frame on the outside edge and worked from right to left. We only put in 9 frames instead of 10 to give the bees from the nuc more room to spread out. Here is the second outside frame


More pics of the frames...the center 4 were the established older frames from the nucs but you can see where they are drawing out comb on the new frames


Our queens came marked with a yellow dot....can you find her?
 

lorihadams

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Here is the last frame we pulled from Hive #1 and as you can see they are drawing it out nicely and capping it over already. If you look closely at some of the other pictures you may see some of the larvae.


Now, we use baggie feeders. Baggie feeders have some advantages and disadvantages. They are easy to work with, you just mix your syrup and fill the ziploc bags. When you open up your hive lay the baggie directly on the frames starting at the edge of the bag and gently ease it down onto the frames so that the bees move out of the way. Then take a utility knife or razor blade and put several 2 inch slits in the top of the bag until the air comes out. The bees will find the syrup. You place an empty super on top of the hive body and replace the cover and lid. The good thing is that when you are done with it you just replace it with a new bag and you don't have to clean anything. It is less likely to be robbed if it is inside the hive. The downside is that you have no way to know if they need more unless you take the cover off of the hive and sometimes if you don't seal the baggie all the way (I always check it and use the ones with double zippers) then the syrup can leak down into the frames and drown your bees but this doesn't happen very often. Here are some pics from that.
 

lorihadams

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Hive #2
As you can see from the pictures this hive has WAY less bees in it. They had only spread out to the immediate adjoining frames. We were able to find the queen but the capped cells in this one were very dark brown and appeared to be older. I don't know if they just haven't hatched out and had new bees develop yet or if this queen is just weaker. We'll keep an eye on it and see what happens next week. I am wondering if we had some drifting to the other hive. I don't know, maybe some of you that have bees can take a peek at the pictures and give me your opinion.



Well, that's all for this week....
 

Quail_Antwerp

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I see your queen!!!

but gosh, those pics freaked me out a bit - and I'm going out in like 2 minutes to work mine!

sting stop - check
veil - check
nervous? - check
smoker - check
long sleeves - check
long pants - check
socks & shoes - check
feel like vomiting? - check
gloves - check
sugar water and chamomile tea in spray bottle - check
feel like vomiting? - check
thingy to grip the frames - check
did I mention I feel like vomiting????
 

lorihadams

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Oh honey....you'll be okay. As you can see I had an audience. Our neighbors just got a nuc too and had not checked theirs yet so they came over to see me do it (like I'm some kind of expert or something) :rolleyes: Then my hubby invited some of his friends over that are interested in getting some hives too. Then my kids wanted to see everything.

It will be fine.

The vomiting feeling will pass as soon as you open it up and start working it. I had it too. :D
 

keljonma

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Look at all that beautiful white beeswax! :D


You'll want to remove the burr comb they have built on tops and bottoms of the frames or they will start using those cells.

In Hive#1 - If you have 9 out of 10 frames with wax built and they have started filling all 9 frames, start thinking about adding the frames for the second deep hive body.

When you do get stung, scrape the stinger out of you so that you limit the amount of venom that is pumped into you.

The liquid smoke that Brushy Mountain sells has spearmint oil in it, not sure of the other ingredients.

Personally, I preferred working the hive alone. Then I could watch the queen working for a bit and get some good "in the cell" pics. ;)
 

keljonma

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Quail_Antwerp said:
I see your queen!!!

but gosh, those pics freaked me out a bit - and I'm going out in like 2 minutes to work mine!

sting stop - check
veil - check
nervous? - check
smoker - check
long sleeves - check
long pants - check
socks & shoes - check
feel like vomiting? - check
gloves - check
sugar water and chamomile tea in spray bottle - check
feel like vomiting? - check
thingy to grip the frames - check
did I mention I feel like vomiting????
Deep breath! Deep breath! :lol:
 

Quail_Antwerp

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Um, we put in a call for help.

E will try to get pictures, but the entire colony has built their comb on the bottom of the inner cover.

:hide

I'm actually embarrassed to post about it publicly - but after sending it off to LoriAdams, I thought maybe I should post it here so others can see and learn? :hide

We smoked, we got the top of - no one got stung - but we didn't get the inner cover completely off because there was the entire colony and the largest white beeswax comb I've ever seen (not that I've seen many) coming down in a circular shape - and honey was it ever HEAVY!!!!


:hide :hide


Shut everything back up and put in a 911 call to the local Beek Instructor - who YAY only lives 5 miles away!!!

but whew...

E said, "chicken - I doubt you'll work that hive"
me - yes I will, just not with 20,000+ bees attached to the inner cover!!!

even at that, though I could hear all the p'o'ed buzzing from my having lifted their "hive", no angry bees came swarming at me!
 

keljonma

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So you don't know ... but it is possible...

that they have already filled the frames in the deep hive body and needed to expand, which would be why they started building comb on the inner cover - because the top deep hive body did not have frames in it yet.

Let me know what you find out.
 
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