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Old 07-05-2014, 03:11 PM   #101
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I got into the hive today. Last time I had put a honey super on top, but the bees really did not touch it. A week ago I pulled the queen excluder to encourage the bees to get up in there. Today there were plenty of bees in the super and they were drawing comb on all 8 frames and they seemed to be shoving nectar into the comb as fast as they can draw it. I looked only at the top brood box and it was jam packed with capped honey, uncapped honey, larvae, capped brood, etc. I think 2 or 3 of the frames were entirely or almost entirely devoted to honey storage. I had a few earwigs in the empty super last time and they are gone. Things look really good. We will be travelling for 3 weeks before the summer ends and I hope they do well while I am away. I am guessing I will be tossing at least one empty super on top of the hive before I leave at this rate.
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Old 07-11-2014, 12:12 PM   #102
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I made some splits, (divided a hive to make more colonies), recently and am keeping tabs on them here at the house. Here's a couple pics. I have one opened up and you can see the original frames with brood, larvae, and nurse bees...as well as an internal feeder, (frame feeder). The frame feeder holds about a gallon of sugar water. Pretty neat. huh?
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File Type: jpg House hives 7-9-2014 (2).JPG (177.5 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg House hives 7-9-2014 (1).JPG (185.9 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg House hives 7-9-2014 (3).JPG (144.8 KB, 10 views)
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Old 07-12-2014, 03:17 PM   #103
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What are the four dark frames in your photos Redbug?
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Old 07-12-2014, 03:34 PM   #104
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What are the four dark frames in your photos Redbug?
I believe those are the frame feeders he mentioned.

Pretty brave sticking your bare hand in!

I did a full hive inspection today, looking through everything. The bees are slowly working on a super, but the top brood box is probably 2/3 full of capped honey. That sucker is heavy! When I lifted it off the bottom brood box it was easily 60 pounds an it was stuck to the bottom box with propolis. The colony seems to be doing well, although the heavy honey store suggests they have started getting ready for winter. We have a killing frost here about October 1, so they don't have a forever season to play with.

My colony seems to be doing really well, so I am still hopeful I might get some honey this year.
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Old 07-12-2014, 04:37 PM   #105
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What are the four dark frames in your photos Redbug?

Those are the newer plastic frames I am using in the hives. They are black and make it really easy to see eggs and larvae, which are white. Also, the cell sizes are a little smaller than the normal comb which is supposed to reduce the varroa mite population. I have not done anything yet for mites since the hives are new this year. I may treat with sugar later in the year.

The frame feeder is to the right...the thing with the holes for the bees to climb down into to get the sugar water inside.

Mostly, I don't use gloves or bee suit. I use my veil more than not. I have gotten stung near the eyes a couple times and the veil stops all that worry.

Brewer...Your hive is doing well. Up where you live...you need two brood boxes for the winter. I am building my hives up that way, too. I don't think you need to worry while you are gone about your bees. They are doing fine.
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Old 09-09-2014, 10:31 AM   #106
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Thread hasn't been updated in a while, but I just saw this article and video on another site, and thought people might find it interesting.

I thought it was really cool how they were able to tag the bees, scan them, and track their progress as they flew in and out of the hive:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/09/sc...w-nytimes&_r=0
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Old 09-09-2014, 12:04 PM   #107
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Interesting article.

It has been really fascinating to watch my hive this year and learn about it. I am going to have to start preparing the hive for its winter slumber soon, as our first frost averages 10/1. I have been monitoring varroa mite counts all season and passively managing mite populations, but in the past few weeks the mite load shot up to danger levels for my hive. So today I got the weather window I needed and treated the hive with formic acid. This is supposed to wipe out 90 to 95% of the mites, nuke tracheal mites as well and be pretty much harmless for bees. It is an organic acid that naturally occurs in honey (among other things), so it is pretty benign. You can actually compost the carrier for the acid once the week long treatment period is over. Hopefully this knocks the mite population down enough that my hive is good to go for the winter.
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Old 09-09-2014, 01:36 PM   #108
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That is a neat article LoneAspen! Just when you think we know almost there is to know about bees, another study comes up with new information you never could have guessed.

As for me...a lot has happened in the past couple months. The bees we had at the farm got into pesticides from the surrounding big farms. They spray those big fields and that's what helps them thrive. I always had that worry in the back of my mind. This year peanuts all around. Cotton is around 3/4 mile away. More peanuts and corn in between. Hundreds of acres. The pesticide could have been in the pollen, too. If it's a systemic then the pollen would be bad. Neonicks, you know. If so, it may not have been sprayed lately, either. I have come to the realization that hobby beekeeping is not compatible with large monoculture farms. That's just the way it is. I see these big fields now in another light. Devoid of life. But they produce. Bees are trespassers to these farmers. No way wild bees can live out there for very long.

So, I loaded the bees up and brought them home away from the fields. And they thrived at home. I was afraid the queens would get poisoned but got lucky, I guess.

After about a month, Eddie got to missing his hives and bees. And I can understand. It's really better than watching TV...sitting outside drinking a tea and watching the bees come and go. He could not take them to his house since the home owners association would not allow bees. So, I brought his 3 large beehives back to his farm and mine are staying at the house. I am afraid to take a chance with the big farms nearby and all that they spray.

And that's where we are today. I have six hives at the house and watch them every day. I just got done with my mite treatments last week using oxalic acid vaporization. I did Eddie's too. I am getting ready to treat my friend's hives at my hunt club, also.

Here's pics of the die off...
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File Type: jpg Bee poison deaths 8-5-2014 (2).JPG (154.6 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg Bee poison deaths 8-5-2014 (4).JPG (154.0 KB, 6 views)
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Old 09-09-2014, 01:50 PM   #109
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And a couple more pics...moving Eddie's hives back out to the farm all buttoned up in the truck...the hives set up at the farm and my hives at the house.

I have two areas set up at my house for bees. I plan to expand and hope to have 15 or more hives next year. I got a little bit of honey this year. But it really takes a hive two years to start producing. Bees are great! With the crazy world around us, you can sit down and watch those little bugs doing their thing and forget all about what a rough day you may have had...
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File Type: jpg Moving Eddies bees to farm 8-29-2014 (1).JPG (155.4 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg Moving Eddies bees to farm 8-29-2014 (8).JPG (140.1 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg Yard hive 9-5-2014 (2).JPG (169.9 KB, 7 views)
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Old 09-16-2014, 10:57 AM   #110
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What do you think of the mason jar beehives for somebody just wanting to try beekeeping?

How much time/watching is required for a hive? Could I set one up in a remote rural location and just check on it 3-4 times a year?
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Old 09-16-2014, 11:11 AM   #111
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What do you think of the mason jar beehives for somebody just wanting to try beekeeping?

How much time/watching is required for a hive? Could I set one up in a remote rural location and just check on it 3-4 times a year?
What the heck is a mason jar hive?

I think once a month from March to October would be the minimum I would be comfy with in my climate. You would also want it to be in a place that would not attract vandals or bears.
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Old 09-16-2014, 01:04 PM   #112
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Lots of info on it on the net. Seems to be a fad for backyard beekeeping right now. Example can be found here:

How To Easily Make A Beehive In A Jar DIY Project | RemoveandReplace.com
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Old 09-16-2014, 02:13 PM   #113
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Lots of info on it on the net. Seems to be a fad for backyard beekeeping right now. Example can be found here:

How To Easily Make A Beehive In A Jar DIY Project | RemoveandReplace.com

Very clever. In my climate I need a different setup so they can make it through the winter. But even in a larger hive it would be pretty easy to make a super with mason jars and slap it on top. There is also a special super made to allow the bees to make comb honey that basically drops out of the box in already completed cylinders.
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Old 10-22-2014, 11:50 AM   #114
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Now that Fall is here, how did you beekeepers do this year? First year hives make much honey you could remove?
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Old 10-22-2014, 01:22 PM   #115
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First year hives in my climate typically produce no harvestable surplus, as they need something like 60 pounds of stores to make it through the winter. However, my hive established so well and so strong that I expect to split it next spring and get a good honey crop.
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Old 10-22-2014, 02:30 PM   #116
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Thanks. I wondered if you get any honey the first year or not. I thought you might get some. Depending on how early the hive is established, feeding, nectar flow, etc..
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Old 10-22-2014, 02:44 PM   #117
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Thanks. I wondered if you get any honey the first year or not. I thought you might get some. Depending on how early the hive is established, feeding, nectar flow, etc..
We have relatively short season here (1st frost averages October 1st, Mother's day snowstorm this year was not unusual), so honey from a newly established hive is a rare gift. I expect to expand by 1 to 3 hives (depending on whether I get one or more spots at a community garden apiary) next year, so we will see.
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Old 12-24-2014, 03:13 PM   #118
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I'm not a beekeeper but have a question. On a small bottle of honey I bought at the grocery store the label claims "pure clover".

How can they be sure? How do they know a few bees haven't gone rogue and visited azaleas, or honeysuckle vines, or tulips or something other than clover? And if they do, what happens to the honey then? Do they have to label it "mixed variety" or something?

Ah, life's weighty questions....
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Old 12-24-2014, 04:30 PM   #119
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Yeah, it's speculative as to the nectar source, but when a large monoculture is in bloom and the hive is in the middle of it, it's a fair bet. A clever marketer might backfill quickly if asked; "the pure refers to the honey, not the clover source nectar".

Bees do have preferences. Pear orchards sometimes have great difficulty if dandilion is in the orchard and blooming when the hives are set, as bees like dandylion much better than pear blossoms.
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Old 12-24-2014, 05:12 PM   #120
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Thank you, now I'll be able to sleep with this question answered.
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