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

Discussion in 'Bees and Beekeeping' started by lorihadams, May 30, 2011.

  1. Aug 19, 2011
    lorihadams

    lorihadams Always doing laundry

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    Thank you darlin'!

    I'm going out to work them tomorrow so I will have some new pictures for ya. I am curious to see the progress of the brood in the upper deep. Hubby fed them last weekend but didn't inspect them at all, he said they were covering the inside of the inner cover and it freaked him out to do it alone so he just put the syrup in and closed everything back up. :p

    They have been hanging out on the front of the hive a lot in the afternoons when it has been warmer this week but we have also been getting a lot of evening thunderstorms so I've been iffy about going in to check on things. I went on Brushy Mountain's website today and did some reading. They have a monthly newsletter that you can get too...just go on www.brushymountainbeefarm.com and sign up for the newsletter. They have a beginning beekeeper that chimes in on her experiences from time to time.
     
  2. Aug 20, 2011
    keljonma

    keljonma Epicurean Goddess

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    And if you sign up for Brushy Mountain's e-news, you can get a head's up on their webinars! ;)
     
  3. Aug 20, 2011
    keljonma

    keljonma Epicurean Goddess

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    You can....

    1. add a queen excluder and another deep hive body.
    2. add a queen excluder and an Illinois or medium (they are the same thing) super.

    A 10-frame deep hive body will give the bees 70# of honey.

    A 10-frame medium super will give the bees 40# to 45# of honey.

    To survive winter, each colony will need 60# to 70# honey. They won't leave the hive in winter except on the occasional warmish (45 to 50 temperatures) sunny day, when they will defecate.

    Of course, all this depends on the time of summer, and how the honey flow is going in your area. It is almost September...how long are honeybee-friendly plants available in your area?

    Because you won't be collecting this honey, but keeping it on the hive for the colony's use, you can continue to feed the sugar syrup to the bees to help them build their honey stores for winter.
     
  4. Aug 20, 2011
    lorihadams

    lorihadams Always doing laundry

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    I'm thinking I may go see if I can get the excluders and two medium supers and get them put on. I have to look at everything tomorrow and see how full the upper deeps are. They have lots of honey in there but I don't know how much more they will produce between now and the wintertime. I will probably continue to feed them sugar syrup but up the concentration towards the end of September. I have a timeline from a local beekeeper that shows what he does each month so that will help some. I'm paranoid, I want them to make it through the winter alright. My neighbor only has the lower deep and a medium super on hers but we have 2 deep hive bodies so far on each. I would think that if we added the supers now anything extra would just be a boost to them for the winter.

    If I add the excluders and medium supers can I still continue to feed with and empty super on top with the baggie feeders until the weather turns?
     
  5. Aug 21, 2011
    lorihadams

    lorihadams Always doing laundry

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    8-20-11 So the good news and the bad news....the good news we got some really good pictures of Hive 1 and it looked really good. The bad news is I dropped a frame and got stung twice, Hive 2 is gonna need feeding and a pollen patty, and my camera died before we got any pictures of Hive 2.

    So....here is the good stuff. Hive 1 looks really good and is crammed full of pollen. There are entire frames front and back that are 95% pollen. There isn't much honey but some and the outer frames have been filled with nectar which hopefully will be honey reserves for the winter. Nothing much in the way of capped honey. I'm thinking that this last week without food has really affected both hives. There is some older brood in the center frames of the upper and lower deeps and we even got to watch a few bees break out of the capped cells, it was really cool! The lower deep needed some cleanup so we had a lot of scraping to do. Didn't see the queen in either hive but there were newly laid eggs so we know they are in there and laying.

    Here are the pictures from the upper deep...Hive 1...if you look closely at some of the capped cells you can see the bees breaking through
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    Here's Hercules moving the upper deep :p

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    Here's the lower deep pictures...check out the pollen!
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    Now, onto hive 2. I am not happy at all with hive 2. We saw brood, some newly laid and some capped and in various stages so we know the queen is in there and doing her thing. Not a lot of frames filled out in the upper and the two outer frames of the lower deep are only partially drawn out. There is not a lot of pollen reserves in here at all and I really think I will be ordering a pollen patty this week. They have a bit of capped honey but not much. I think they really need the extra food. It just seemed much emptier than the other hive but then again it always has been. The bees looked good, no sign of mites or pests. We cleaned up a lot of burr comb in this hive too in the lower deep. It has been a while since we checked the lowers and everything was really stuck together good. I accidentally dropped one of the frames when we were scraping the outside edges and got stung on the inside of my elbow and on my index finger just above my knuckle. Not fun when I had to milk the goat tonight.

    It took us over an hour to inspect both hives completely but today was around 90 degrees and sunny and not much breeze so it was a really good day to do such a long inspection.
     
  6. Aug 29, 2011
    lorihadams

    lorihadams Always doing laundry

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    8-29-11 Due to Hurricane Irene we had to postpone the weekend inspection until today. So, I put a pollen patty in Hive 2 last week and they had almost completely eaten the whole thing! I'm going to give them until next weekend to finish them and then inspect the upper deep. I left it alone today and did some brief inspection of the lower deep and things look pretty good. I noticed more pollen and it seems like they have drawn out more comb on the two outside frames that were previously bare. I did see some clear fluid in the the cells and I'm hoping that it is nectar and not water and eventually it will be honey :rolleyes: They don't have much honey stored in there at all so I'm hoping they get on the ball soon. I upped the concentration on their sugar water so maybe that will help speed things along. Didn't get any pictures of the frames cause I was by myself but I do have some of the bees on the pollen patty and bag of feed. I am thinking that I may need to requeen this hive and I'm hoping it will make it until spring but I'm nervous about it. My granny told me that I have a "lazy hive" and need to requeen it. I did see some freshly laid brood. I also saw 1 bee with a varroa mite on it out of 5 inspected frames.

    Here are the pics from Hive 2
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    eating on the pollen patty
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    trying to find the opening in the baggie feeder
    [​IMG]

    Now, Hive 1 looks really good. Lots of pollen still and more honey that has been capped over. I managed to get a few crooked pictures of the frames on this one. There are lots of brood in various stages as well but I only looked at about half the frames in the upper. I'm pleased with this one. I also upped the concentration of the sugar water for this hive as well but did not give them a pollen patty. Here are some pictures from hive 1

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  7. Aug 29, 2011
    keljonma

    keljonma Epicurean Goddess

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    Lori, if a hive almost finishes a pollen patty in 1 week, it could be an indicator that there isn't enough pollen in the fields. But since Irene recently visited your area, the weather system would have kept the bees inside. Pollen is the bee's source for protein, which is critical for healthy bees and brood.


    The bees will store water as well as nectar, as both are needed by the colony to survive. Check with the beeks at your next association meeting about requeening this late in the year. Around here, queens are mighty expensive at this time of year, so it wouldn't be an option I would persue.

    ALSO - check to see if a beek association member would sell you a couple medium supers or a deep hive body of frames filled with honey to use for feed on the hives if they don't have enough stored.
     
  8. Aug 30, 2011
    lorihadams

    lorihadams Always doing laundry

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    I'm going to keep feeding the pollen patties... at least until I see more evidence of storage in the frames. I'll check with the members Thursday night to see if maybe I can get something to help them through the winter or maybe even get someone to come take a look at the hive so I can get a more experienced opinion.

    The frustrating thing is that Hive 1 has got 4 or 5 frames that are packed FULL of pollen and honey stores and she is still going strong on brood. Hive 2 is laying brood but doesn't have much stored up at all. I was reading an article from a master beekeeper in Michigan and he says that he has fed his bees through the winter before....he just lays a small baggie on top of the frames in the center, flips the inner cover over to give the bees more room to get to the baggie, and only opens the top of the hive on warm calm days and only enough to get the old baggie out and the new baggie in. He doesn't even take the cover off, just prys it open and puts in the feed. I'm wondering if I did that later into the year before the freezing weather hits if that would help and then start feeding them again with a pollen patty and sugar water in February when we get the first warmer days to jump start things.
     
  9. Aug 30, 2011
    lorihadams

    lorihadams Always doing laundry

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    Just wanted to post a couple of websites for you guys!

    basicbeekeeping.blogspot.com/ a blog from a master beekeeper
    beesource.com has a forum where you can ask questions and talks about lots of basics
    beekeeperlinda.blogspot.com nice blog
    backwardsbeekeepers.com an interesting approach to beekeeping in NYC, great for those in urban areas!
     
  10. Aug 31, 2011
    lorihadams

    lorihadams Always doing laundry

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    Wanted to share a pic of my bees that I got today...they are in these plants that are growing in my former corn patch and they are loaded with bees....I got 4 just on this one little stem...there's so much pollen in them that you can see it falling off when the bees crawl on it...anyone know what it is??? It has pinkish main stems with lots of thorns on them.

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