Welcome, Guest

Author Topic: Newbie beekeeper made a mistake and needs to fix it.  (Read 789 times)

Offline aapuzzo

  • New Bee
  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • Gender: Male
Newbie beekeeper made a mistake and needs to fix it.
« on: October 16, 2017, 09:12:58 am »
Let me start out by saying this is my first year and there is so much to learn.  I believe I have a fairly strong hive but I need to fix a dumb mistake I made before going into winter.  As an FYI I was told to feed my bees and give them pollen patties the entire first year when I bought my equipment.  I think that is wrong and I changed mid summer after reading and doing my own research.  My equipment is the following.

5 medium box 10 plastic frame Langstroth hive with a screened bottom board
Queen excluder placed above the 3rd broad box with one I believe full honey super and a 3/4 drawn honey super where bees are starting to cap cells in center frames.
Innerview top cover so I can inspect bees all the time without suiting up or disturbing hive  <---- best purchase I made
Telescoping top cover
2 frame feeder

Now for the newbie mistake I made which I believe messes everything up.  I was feeding the bees sugar water with honey b healthy when the first honey super went on.  This was in July and I realized the mistake I made before filling their 2 frame feeder a second time however I already had a box of capped honey minus the 2 frames space the feeder took up.  I removed the feeder and placed 2 new plastic frames coated with wax in and added a the 2nd honey super on top.  Bees a few days later started drawing out comb but never finished.  At this point I assume I have a 4th full honey super with sugar syrup + honey b healthy and an unfinished honey super with some good honey.

What I was going to do was remove the queen excluder and add the full honey super to the broad chamber so the cluster can reach it more than ensuring my hive has enough food for the winter.  I'll take the unfinished box off and see what I get.  At least I'll have drawn comb for next year.  In the spring I'll remove a box and use in a new hive.  Add queen excluder back with a honey super after I stop feeding sugar water with honey b healthy for a week.

For the 5th unfinished box I have now maybe cross fingers I get a jar of honey :)

I live in Massachusetts so it will be getting cold soon.  I plan on leaving the screened bottom board on and blocking the wind from my hive for the winter.

What would you do?

Please help,
Anthony

 

Offline sawdstmakr

  • Global Moderator
  • Galactic Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 8738
  • Gender: Male
Re: Newbie beekeeper made a mistake and needs to fix it.
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2017, 09:23:07 am »
First I would pull the queen excluder off and remove the fifth box. Queen excluders kill the queen when the cluster moves above it.
Jim
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain

Offline Van, Arkansas, USA

  • Field Bee
  • ***
  • Posts: 832
  • Gender: Male
Re: Newbie beekeeper made a mistake and needs to fix it.
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2017, 10:05:08 am »
Anthony, do you have an entrance reducer, use it.  Is hive entrance facing south, a little thing but in your area fierce colds north winds are brutal.  Rotate hive slowly to face south if possible.
Ditto Jim and as in your 4th paragraph.

Offline cao

  • Field Bee
  • ***
  • Posts: 977
  • Gender: Male
Re: Newbie beekeeper made a mistake and needs to fix it.
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2017, 11:41:00 am »
Welcome  :happy:

As already stated, remove the queen excluder.  Whether you remove any boxes is your choice.  Just leave enough for winter.  I tend to leave extra if not sure.

Offline aapuzzo

  • New Bee
  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • Gender: Male
Re: Newbie beekeeper made a mistake and needs to fix it.
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2017, 12:21:07 pm »
Thanks for all the replies.  This year was a learning year and one small mistake really makes a difference.  Glad it isn't anything that will impact the bees going into the winter.  As for the question if I run an entrance reducer I ran one all year.  Also good advice on turning the beehive for wind.  Most wind is being blocked by a hill and the tree line.  I may place a few cinderblocks around the bottom of the hive a few feet away to shield wind from blowing in fast under the screened bottom board.

Offline sawdstmakr

  • Global Moderator
  • Galactic Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 8738
  • Gender: Male
Re: Newbie beekeeper made a mistake and needs to fix it.
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2017, 12:57:49 pm »
Since you are so far north, I would slide in a board under the SBB to block the wind. The white corrugated sign boards would work well. If there is not a slot for one, place it on the screen.
Jim
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain

Offline Acebird

  • Galactic Bee
  • ******
  • Posts: 4607
  • Gender: Male
  • Practicing non intervention beekeeping
Re: Newbie beekeeper made a mistake and needs to fix it.
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2017, 04:04:21 pm »
For the 5th unfinished box I have now maybe cross fingers I get a jar of honey :)

How is that even possible when all you have done is feed?  It is bad enough when feeding a hive and then putting supers on let alone feeding while supers are on.  I dare say you have no honey.
Brian Cardinal
Just do it

Offline Van, Arkansas, USA

  • Field Bee
  • ***
  • Posts: 832
  • Gender: Male
Re: Newbie beekeeper made a mistake and needs to fix it.
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2017, 05:15:39 pm »
"realized the mistake I made before filling their 2 frame feeder a second time however I already had a box of capped honey minus the 2 frames space the feeder took up.  I removed the feeder..."

I interpret as feeding the bees just 2 feeders then removed the feeder.  No problem, common mistake,,,,,you removed the feeder,,,,,, don't get discouraged.  Blessings

Offline Acebird

  • Galactic Bee
  • ******
  • Posts: 4607
  • Gender: Male
  • Practicing non intervention beekeeping
Re: Newbie beekeeper made a mistake and needs to fix it.
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2017, 05:54:35 pm »
I interpret as feeding the bees just 2 feeders then removed the feeder.

I didn't get that interpretation at all.
He said:
Quote
At this point I assume I have a 4th full honey super with sugar syrup + honey b healthy and an unfinished honey super with some good honey.
Feeding the bees to me means feeding them and they consume it.  Once it is stored it can be moved anywhere in the hive.  There is no harm done with the sugar syrup but I wouldn't want to eat an essential oil or any other additive.  The OP is taking a chance if he assumes the fifth box is not contaminated especially at the end of the season.
Brian Cardinal
Just do it

Offline Van, Arkansas, USA

  • Field Bee
  • ***
  • Posts: 832
  • Gender: Male
Re: Newbie beekeeper made a mistake and needs to fix it.
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2017, 10:20:14 am »
Ace, good point.  I agree, I want pure honey, no oils or whatever.  Just pure honey....  Yep, you betcha, honey can be moved around in the bee box.

For a newbie, common mistake though.  Folks get excited about the NEW hive(s) and want to help the bees anyway they can.  Then, they come here to learn from experience fellas like yourself and the rest of the beeks. 
Blessings

Offline Dallasbeek

  • Super Bee
  • *****
  • Posts: 2241
  • Gender: Male
Re: Newbie beekeeper made a mistake and needs to fix it.
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2017, 12:45:24 pm »
Some sellers tell newbies they should feed for the first year, so it's not the newbies fault.  Blame the nuc seller if you blame anyone.  I think Ace was saying even capped stuff resulting from feeding sugar water is not honey; only natural nectar from flowers is honey, so you won't get any honey this year -- just to clarify for the newbie.
"Liberty lives in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no laws, no court can save it." - Judge Learned Hand, 1944

Offline Acebird

  • Galactic Bee
  • ******
  • Posts: 4607
  • Gender: Male
  • Practicing non intervention beekeeping
Re: Newbie beekeeper made a mistake and needs to fix it.
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2017, 12:49:17 pm »
For a newbie, common mistake though.

I think some of it is misinformation.  I killed my first hive with a hive top feeder left on all winter.  I was led to believe bees will heat the syrup and keep it thawed so they could eat it.  What a crock that is.  Bees heat themselves nothing more.
Brian Cardinal
Just do it

Offline Dallasbeek

  • Super Bee
  • *****
  • Posts: 2241
  • Gender: Male
Re: Newbie beekeeper made a mistake and needs to fix it.
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2017, 01:00:07 pm »
Lots of really good misinformation out there.  I even hear some from speakers at my bee club meetings.  I bite my tongue and keep my mouth shut as a rule, rather than cause a ruckus.  It's not in my job descriotion to argue with the speaker.
"Liberty lives in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no laws, no court can save it." - Judge Learned Hand, 1944

Offline Acebird

  • Galactic Bee
  • ******
  • Posts: 4607
  • Gender: Male
  • Practicing non intervention beekeeping
Re: Newbie beekeeper made a mistake and needs to fix it.
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2017, 01:09:59 pm »
It's not in my job descriotion to argue with the speaker.

Some people call it arguing and label you as argumentative.  I think you should voice your opinion and your reasoning.  Let them call you whatever they want.  It is very difficult for newbies to know what is right listening to all different people.  It is not so hard to see when bad things happen though.
Brian Cardinal
Just do it

Offline Dallasbeek

  • Super Bee
  • *****
  • Posts: 2241
  • Gender: Male
Re: Newbie beekeeper made a mistake and needs to fix it.
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2017, 01:27:49 pm »
If it was important, I'd argue, but not for little stuff. 
"Liberty lives in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no laws, no court can save it." - Judge Learned Hand, 1944

Offline sawdstmakr

  • Global Moderator
  • Galactic Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 8738
  • Gender: Male
Re: Newbie beekeeper made a mistake and needs to fix it.
« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2017, 08:52:17 pm »
At our bee meeting last night the speaker talked about feeding, feeding, feeding. We had a lot of debate about it. My bees are on Goldenrod right now until the frost hits. I will not feed until February when it warms up and there is no food. When I do I only put 2 tiny holes in the feeder just to make them think there is some food to build brood with and not abscond and not back fill the brood nest.
Jim
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain

Offline Acebird

  • Galactic Bee
  • ******
  • Posts: 4607
  • Gender: Male
  • Practicing non intervention beekeeping
Re: Newbie beekeeper made a mistake and needs to fix it.
« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2017, 08:27:05 am »
At our bee meeting last night the speaker talked about feeding, feeding, feeding.

This is very common and I can't put my finger on it why it is.  It comes across to a newbie that you must feed no matter what.  After reading hundreds and hundreds of posts on two sites I have come to the conclusion that it causes problems that eventually results in the lost of hives.  I believe that more hives are lost due to incorrect feeding than mites for a newbie.  What a shame.  We should not be steering new people wrong.
Brian Cardinal
Just do it

Offline manfmlox

  • New Bee
  • *
  • Posts: 7
  • Gender: Male
Re: Newbie beekeeper made a mistake and needs to fix it.
« Reply #17 on: October 18, 2017, 03:12:34 pm »
So all good info here but what is the correct "rule of thumb" when it comes to feeding? When I kept bees many years ago I never fed them anything, but I did leave them enough honey to get them through the winter (Virginia winter). Never had a problem.

When I started anew this year I bought a package and the seller told me "feed, feed , feed" so they could get comb drawn. I fed them for a month or so and stopped, and they're a really strong hive now.

Also bought a NUC and that seller said the same thing. They've devoured a gallon of 1:1 syrup every week. They're strong, lots of bees/brood, and they've filled and capped every available cell in a deep and a super with what I'm sure is 100% syrup.

So with the winter approaching, what is correct? I've left both hives with plenty of stores. And what about solids? (pollen patties, fondant, etc.) I would assume feeding practices vary from region to region as well?

Offline cao

  • Field Bee
  • ***
  • Posts: 977
  • Gender: Male
Re: Newbie beekeeper made a mistake and needs to fix it.
« Reply #18 on: October 18, 2017, 04:42:40 pm »
So all good info here but what is the correct "rule of thumb" when it comes to feeding?
Feed only when they need it. :wink: 

Yes I'm being a little bit of a smart a$$.  But seriously I typically only feed sugar water this time of year to get the smaller hives(this years splits) up to weight for the winter.  As far as packages, I would feed until they have drawn comb and are starting to store some of the syrup in the comb.  Then I would stop as long as there was a flow and let them get their own.  As far as nucs,  I don't feed my nucs that I make up because I make sure they have enough honey an nectar to get started.  Typically there is still a flow going when I'm making nucs. 

So with the winter approaching, what is correct? I've left both hives with plenty of stores. And what about solids? (pollen patties, fondant, etc.) I would assume feeding practices vary from region to region as well?

As far as the solids,  I do open feed them pollen substitute during the late summer an fall.  I have foud that there can be a pollen shortage around here during the summer that stops the bees from raising brood.  I don't like pollen patties because of SHBs like them too much.  I will put sugar bricks on my smaller hives(that don't make weight) and nucs that I am overwintering as a precaution.

This is just what works for me in my area.


Offline Acebird

  • Galactic Bee
  • ******
  • Posts: 4607
  • Gender: Male
  • Practicing non intervention beekeeping
Re: Newbie beekeeper made a mistake and needs to fix it.
« Reply #19 on: October 18, 2017, 09:19:58 pm »
I can't speak for all areas but think about this for a moment.  If there are wild bees in your area they have figured it out.  They don't need you.  I know that hurts your feelings but hey their life depends on it.  What would you do if your life depended on it?  If your area cannot support wild bees then maybe you should look into babysitting or not have bees.
Brian Cardinal
Just do it