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Bee season is here #7838804
04/05/23 10:05 AM
04/05/23 10:05 AM
Joined: Feb 2020
Posts: 9,271
Indiana
P
Providence Farm Offline OP
trapper
Providence Farm  Offline OP
trapper
P

Joined: Feb 2020
Posts: 9,271
Indiana

It's finally here again. How did everyone come out of winter.

I lost my first hive over winter. No dead bees in the hive and robber bees were still cleaning it out. I'm the bottom where the wax piled up from the robbers un caping it there was enough mouse poop to make me think they had something to do with the bees leaving that hive. But they could have moved in after the bees left also. My hives are sitting on concrete blocks and mice like to nest inside the holes. It's time I turn them on their aide ot get something else to place hives on.

All my hives at the farm were packed full of bees and still had frames of caped honey and brood. I added med suppers to them.

I had 2 experiments. I had a late July swarm and figured it would not survive becuse it wouldn't have time to build up. But I was short on drawn comb so put them in a nuke with additional 5 frame box figured if nothing else they could build some comb for me. I also had an extra queen I was banking because the hive I purchased her for got laying worker before I got her introduced. Also in late July. So I made a late split with her and put them in a nuke with 5 frame box on top with some built out comb and honey frames.

Both the experiments made it through the winter and the one that is at my farm I moved into a 10 frame box with med supper on it. I will probably add another 10 frame deep box next week. And hopefully the queen will pack it fuff of brood and I can make some spring splits off that one.

Two of my hives may get re queen they were pretty hot. I got stung more than I have in the last 3 years combined. On the flip side I have heard aggressive hive are normally good producers. I'm not sure I'm willing to deal with that ever time I need to do an inspection though.

If I get time I plan on doing some splits and trying queen breeding.

I have built 6 more swarm traps and put 4 out on the farm. I have several places I will run more swarm traps.

I have 2 hives and that one late swarm at an out yard I have not got to do an internal Inspection on yet. I hope to get that done next week..

I have 9 hives now and will probably stop at 15 or 20 this year do to time and I spend to much on equipment each year and never make a profit. It's time to make a profit.
How did you come out and what are your plans for the year

Re: Bee season is here [Re: Providence Farm] #7838873
04/05/23 11:51 AM
04/05/23 11:51 AM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 2,203
B61-12 vicinity, MO
T
TreedaBlackdog Offline
trapper
TreedaBlackdog  Offline
trapper
T

Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 2,203
B61-12 vicinity, MO
rough counted around 20 hives look decent. Shook another dead single out last night that I obivously starved out. 12 queens ordered for 18th so will make around 20 splits in about 2 weeks and also try to raise around 15 nucs or so to have
goal of around 40 strong hives going into winter shouldnt be too hard to attain this year. Been checking weather and probably wont get into mine until next week and start really looking them over hard to check brood frames etc

Re: Bee season is here [Re: Providence Farm] #7838877
04/05/23 11:55 AM
04/05/23 11:55 AM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 2,203
B61-12 vicinity, MO
T
TreedaBlackdog Offline
trapper
TreedaBlackdog  Offline
trapper
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Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 2,203
B61-12 vicinity, MO
raising my own queens is probably my favorite thing to do. All I do is pull at least 2 good frames of brood with eggs under 3 days old, frame of heavy food and another frame loaded with bees with no queen and put in a nuc box
few days later should see the start of some queen cells and I let them raise their own queen. Start to finish - I plan on about 33 days to see newly laid eggs from new queen. Some years are better.......I have had about 80% success to 30% success

Re: Bee season is here [Re: Providence Farm] #7839011
04/05/23 04:03 PM
04/05/23 04:03 PM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 5,983
South metro, MN
C
Calvin Offline
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Calvin  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 5,983
South metro, MN
"Generally" a hive that obsconds in fall (no bees in it come spring) is a result of high mite count. Been there, done that.

Not all hot hives need a new queen. A skunk messing with your hive will make them "HOT" as well. This usually happens to the outer hives. Always look for skunk activity when dealing with a hot hive.

I've done walk away splits and grafted queens in the past. I've gone to just letting my best hives get a little cramped, then harvest the swarm cells. Swarm cells make some of the best queens I've found. No need to overcomplicate it.

We had (and are still having) a hard winter up here. I suspected a heavier loss than I am seeing so far (not out of the woods, yet). Think I'm probably at a 15 % loss out of 70 hives...which is good for this far north. I will contribute this lack of loss to the extended release Oxalic acid sponge method that Randy Oliver promotes (along with my normal mite treatment).

Bees are like barn cats: You start with a couple, then before you know it, you have far more than you want to deal with and you keep looking for people to give them away to. Might as well keep building boxes.

One of the answers to making a profit with bees is to never buy them but to make your own. Go into winter heavy, knowing you'll lose a few.

Last edited by Calvin; 04/05/23 04:05 PM.
Re: Bee season is here [Re: Providence Farm] #7839030
04/05/23 04:33 PM
04/05/23 04:33 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 8,304
Piney va. soon be 19
cotton Offline
trapper
cotton  Offline
trapper

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 8,304
Piney va. soon be 19
The best way to make a million bucks with bees is start with two million.


John 3/16

ifin your gonna be dumb ya gotta be tough
VTA life member

Re: Bee season is here [Re: Calvin] #7839043
04/05/23 04:54 PM
04/05/23 04:54 PM
Joined: Feb 2020
Posts: 9,271
Indiana
P
Providence Farm Offline OP
trapper
Providence Farm  Offline OP
trapper
P

Joined: Feb 2020
Posts: 9,271
Indiana
Originally Posted by Calvin
"Generally" a hive that obsconds in fall (no bees in it come spring) is a result of high mite count. Been there, done that.

Not all hot hives need a new queen. A skunk messing with your hive will make them "HOT" as well. This usually happens to the outer hives. Always look for skunk activity when dealing with a hot hive.

I've done walk away splits and grafted queens in the past. I've gone to just letting my best hives get a little cramped, then harvest the swarm cells. Swarm cells make some of the best queens I've found. No need to overcomplicate it.

We had (and are still having) a hard winter up here. I suspected a heavier loss than I am seeing so far (not out of the woods, yet). Think I'm probably at a 15 % loss out of 70 hives...which is good for this far north. I will contribute this lack of loss to the extended release Oxalic acid sponge method that Randy Oliver promotes (along with my normal mite treatment).

Bees are like barn cats: You start with a couple, then before you know it, you have far more than you want to deal with and you keep looking for people to give them away to. Might as well keep building boxes.

One of the answers to making a profit with bees is to never buy them but to make your own. Go into winter heavy, knowing you'll lose a few.



I had 8 hive in that yard. Wouldn't the other have mite issues if one was so bad they left since they interact so much? The rest of them are nearly busting at the seems with bees.
The only bees I have purchased have been queens. I have also harvest queen cells. Lucked out doing an inspection and caught them hatching. Got 4 out of that.

My largest issue is time. I'm away from home working so much I don't get to my inspections as often as I should. I loose queens every spring after seeing the hives are doing great like they are now. In 3 weeks or less I will have queen loses. It seem to coincide with crop spraying. I don't catch it and end up with laying workers.

Those two hives were hot last summer as well. Could hardly feed them without getting stung.

Last edited by Providence Farm; 04/05/23 04:57 PM.
Re: Bee season is here [Re: Providence Farm] #7839046
04/05/23 04:57 PM
04/05/23 04:57 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 26,030
Georgia
warrior Offline
trapper
warrior  Offline
trapper

Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 26,030
Georgia
The flow has finally started here after an early start then two freezes. We lost the locust bloom to freeze.


[Linked Image]
Re: Bee season is here [Re: Providence Farm] #7839050
04/05/23 05:02 PM
04/05/23 05:02 PM
Joined: Feb 2020
Posts: 9,271
Indiana
P
Providence Farm Offline OP
trapper
Providence Farm  Offline OP
trapper
P

Joined: Feb 2020
Posts: 9,271
Indiana
Anyone else tried grill smoker pellets in their smokers. I stsrt them with leaves and add pellets on top. Once they are lit they stay lit and smoke very well. The only draw back is the creosote builds up in the lid.

Re: Bee season is here [Re: Providence Farm] #7839062
04/05/23 05:22 PM
04/05/23 05:22 PM
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 350
Northern KY
H
huntcook Offline
trapper
huntcook  Offline
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H

Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 350
Northern KY
Been at Ky. Lake for 2 weeks Crappie fishing vising the son and grandkids when I left I had lost 1 hive out of 30 and 1 very weak hope to put honey supers on Friday and Saturday.


Government making sin legal does not make it right.
Re: Bee season is here [Re: Providence Farm] #7839067
04/05/23 05:27 PM
04/05/23 05:27 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 26,030
Georgia
warrior Offline
trapper
warrior  Offline
trapper

Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 26,030
Georgia
Originally Posted by Providence Farm
Anyone else tried grill smoker pellets in their smokers. I stsrt them with leaves and add pellets on top. Once they are lit they stay lit and smoke very well. The only draw back is the creosote builds up in the lid.


They'll roll out the top if you tilt your smoker. A handful of pine straw stuffed down on top prevents that.


[Linked Image]
Re: Bee season is here [Re: Providence Farm] #7839071
04/05/23 05:45 PM
04/05/23 05:45 PM
Joined: Jan 2023
Posts: 534
Pennsylvania
K
Keystonekiller Offline
trapper
Keystonekiller  Offline
trapper
K

Joined: Jan 2023
Posts: 534
Pennsylvania
Lol I like that cotton .....so I had my first hive was a group of wild bees I guess just found my hive I had sitting out well they made it through the winter but the first nice day about a month ago they left any ideas what happened or what I did wrong ? How much is it for a queen?

Re: Bee season is here [Re: Keystonekiller] #7839078
04/05/23 05:53 PM
04/05/23 05:53 PM
Joined: Feb 2020
Posts: 9,271
Indiana
P
Providence Farm Offline OP
trapper
Providence Farm  Offline OP
trapper
P

Joined: Feb 2020
Posts: 9,271
Indiana
Originally Posted by Keystonekiller
Lol I like that cotton .....so I had my first hive was a group of wild bees I guess just found my hive I had sitting out well they made it through the winter but the first nice day about a month ago they left any ideas what happened or what I did wrong ? How much is it for a queen?


Queens pricing depends on where you get them and how many. My semi local guy 70 mins away is $45 each. Ordering them the price goes down with volume and shipping cost can be spread out on several vs just one.

There are different breads of bees that have different traits and do better in different climates.

Re: Bee season is here [Re: Providence Farm] #7839170
04/05/23 08:22 PM
04/05/23 08:22 PM
Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 2,186
S. Illinois
C
Chuckles84 Offline
trapper
Chuckles84  Offline
trapper
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Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 2,186
S. Illinois


This was the front of my hive a few days ago, hopefully they didnt swarm on me yet as it will be the weekend before I can get in them. The other hives are my brothers he went into winter with 12 and came out with 8 in the spring

[Linked Image]


Your entitled to oxygen. Everything else is earned.
Re: Bee season is here [Re: Providence Farm] #7839239
04/05/23 09:45 PM
04/05/23 09:45 PM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 5,983
South metro, MN
C
Calvin Offline
trapper
Calvin  Offline
trapper
C

Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 5,983
South metro, MN
Originally Posted by Providence Farm
Originally Posted by Calvin
"Generally" a hive that obsconds in fall (no bees in it come spring) is a result of high mite count. Been there, done that.

Not all hot hives need a new queen. A skunk messing with your hive will make them "HOT" as well. This usually happens to the outer hives. Always look for skunk activity when dealing with a hot hive.

I've done walk away splits and grafted queens in the past. I've gone to just letting my best hives get a little cramped, then harvest the swarm cells. Swarm cells make some of the best queens I've found. No need to overcomplicate it.

We had (and are still having) a hard winter up here. I suspected a heavier loss than I am seeing so far (not out of the woods, yet). Think I'm probably at a 15 % loss out of 70 hives...which is good for this far north. I will contribute this lack of loss to the extended release Oxalic acid sponge method that Randy Oliver promotes (along with my normal mite treatment).

Bees are like barn cats: You start with a couple, then before you know it, you have far more than you want to deal with and you keep looking for people to give them away to. Might as well keep building boxes.

One of the answers to making a profit with bees is to never buy them but to make your own. Go into winter heavy, knowing you'll lose a few.



I had 8 hive in that yard. Wouldn't the other have mite issues if one was so bad they left since they interact so much? The rest of them are nearly busting at the seems with bees.
The only bees I have purchased have been queens. I have also harvest queen cells. Lucked out doing an inspection and caught them hatching. Got 4 out of that.

My largest issue is time. I'm away from home working so much I don't get to my inspections as often as I should. I loose queens every spring after seeing the hives are doing great like they are now. In 3 weeks or less I will have queen loses. It seem to coincide with crop spraying. I don't catch it and end up with laying workers.

Those two hives were hot last summer as well. Could hardly feed them without getting stung.


I've had hives butting up next to each other that were night and day as far as mite counts go....I wouldn't say its that uncommon. And yes, we all miss one, or two of these outliers once in awhile. It won't be the first, or the last time for either of us.

I also agree that these hot hives can and do produce more honey. I had a hot hive that I kept for several years that always did much better than the rest. I was happy to finally see them die off, however. IMO, it wasn't worth the hassle. I've also had many mean hives turn back to docile in a weeks time for some unknown reason. Most times (for me anyhow) a sudden change in temperament is a skunk knocking at their door. Always good to keep the skunk essence needle and jar handy in the summer.

I always lose a few queens the first couple weeks of September for some reason. Happens every year. Haven't figured that one out, either. And I've never had luck combining hives that late in the season. They never make it through the winter for some odd reason I can't figure. Just some observations is all.

Re: Bee season is here [Re: Providence Farm] #7839249
04/05/23 09:54 PM
04/05/23 09:54 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 26,030
Georgia
warrior Offline
trapper
warrior  Offline
trapper

Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 26,030
Georgia
I've got to have at least one good hot hive. That's the mean mother that I put on the end of the row closest to the road.
Don't have vandalism in my yard, lol.


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Re: Bee season is here [Re: warrior] #7839259
04/05/23 10:06 PM
04/05/23 10:06 PM
Joined: Feb 2020
Posts: 9,271
Indiana
P
Providence Farm Offline OP
trapper
Providence Farm  Offline OP
trapper
P

Joined: Feb 2020
Posts: 9,271
Indiana
Originally Posted by warrior
I've got to have at least one good hot hive. That's the mean mother that I put on the end of the row closest to the road.
Don't have vandalism in my yard, lol.


My hives at home are out of sight 600 yards and in the other side of a woods from the road except one and it's 300 yard from the road behind a gate and fence.

My out yard thay are closer to a road but not a busy road and visible from two houses.. other than cool and stinks I have not had anything mess with my hives yet.

Re: Bee season is here [Re: Providence Farm] #7839264
04/05/23 10:14 PM
04/05/23 10:14 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 26,030
Georgia
warrior Offline
trapper
warrior  Offline
trapper

Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 26,030
Georgia
Small lot here. Mine sit on the property line running right angle to the road. About ten foot from the hardtop.

Come to think of it I haven't seen that bunch of spandex wearing bike riders in a while now. wink


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Re: Bee season is here [Re: Providence Farm] #7840885
04/07/23 06:29 PM
04/07/23 06:29 PM
Joined: Dec 2020
Posts: 45
OR
M
Minz Offline
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Minz  Offline
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Posts: 45
OR
Went into winter with 17 and came out with 1. I almost pushed it all into a pile and set it on fire but purchased a nuc in case I lost the last one I would not be out. I have given so many away the last years that it really hurts to buy one at todays prices.
I have been feeding them some sugar I got for free and the last barrel was smelling bad. I debated but sugar was double what I normally pay for it so and made the call to feed it. Now I am starting over. I must agree that raising your own queens is the best part of this hobby. At the price of queens to the price of bees it is good $.

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