Beemaster's International Beekeeping Forum

BEEKEEPING LEARNING CENTER => DOWN UNDER BEEKEEPING => Topic started by: Butteredloins on August 20, 2018, 06:30:27 am

Title: Upcoming Spring
Post by: Butteredloins on August 20, 2018, 06:30:27 am
Hi Guys
Just wondering when you guys start to inspect your hives. Its late august now coming to the first days of spring. We have had a really hot winter here in Wollongong and very little rain. But with rain forecasted at the end of the week and lots of flowers getting buds, when is the best time to inspect?

Also when should i add a second box? Should I wait until the box is stacked full of bees. Just worried about them swarming.

Cheers :
Title: Re: Upcoming Spring
Post by: beepro on August 20, 2018, 08:58:11 am
Glad that your bees finally made it.   In early Spring they will be gearing up to
expand their brood nest.  Plenty of food including patty subs should be made available for
the hive.  When the temp. is 55F or above you can inspect the hive but don't take too
long because of the chilled brood situation.  Maybe 5 minutes for a quick look inside to see how they're expanding or not.  So don't take too long now. 

You can add another box after the first cycle of new bees had emerged.  Depending on how crowded is the hive it will be another 3 months before the main flow or when the hive population has build up enough to issue a swarm.  So your thinking might be a bit too soon.  When the bees are hanging at the entrance at night that is the time you add another bee box. 
Title: Re: Upcoming Spring
Post by: Butteredloins on August 23, 2018, 07:54:08 pm
Thanks Beepro, yes am happy they made it to. There still seems to be chalkbrood though cause i can see a couple new mummies. I might give them a few more weeks than, because the bees flying in and out on our hot days isnt enough to remove the entrance reducer yet, so there numbers must be low. I just want to get rid of these old frames the queen keeps laying in to finally hopefully get rid of this chalk brood problem.
Title: Re: Upcoming Spring
Post by: beepro on August 26, 2018, 08:42:58 pm
To deal with the chalk brood issue, 3 criteria must be met.  One is a new chalk brood
resistant queen.  The other is having enough hive ventilation so that this disease doesn't has a
chance to take a foothold.  Lastly is to give them all brand new frames.    You can try to graft for the
local bees that might be more chalk brood resistant than the bees you have now.  That will take at least 3
generation of grafting and mating of the local bees there.  After the 3rd generation of queen grafting I can see much resistant in
the hives.

I use the chalk brood frames to deal with the mites.

Title: Re: Upcoming Spring
Post by: Butteredloins on September 11, 2018, 05:32:20 am
So it was a warm day here so i inspected the hive and noticed that 6-7 frames were full of bees. The brood pattern is still patchy due to chalkbrood but i swear it must be because of the old frames. About 4-5 of the frames are 100% full of capped honey, one is starting to get comb drawn on it and the other 4 have brood and pollen. After seeing bees flying in with pollen filled legs i decided to add a honey super. Its another 10 frame deep super, so the hive has 2 boxes total now. I moved the three center frames up and shifted the rest in the middle and placed new frames on the outer edge. I put on the queen excluder, but i worry about the queen not having enough room to lay down stairs now that i have taken the 3 brood frames with eggs and some larve away. Our nights are pretty warm now around 15-16 dgree ceius so iam not to worried about the bees not being able to keep the brood warm. I guess my question is did i jump the gun adding another box, will the bees make space for the queen and start eating the honey and pollen and perhaps moving it upstairs.
Title: Re: Upcoming Spring
Post by: beepro on September 12, 2018, 10:45:46 pm
Don't worry!   At Spring hive expansion time I'm sure they will adjust.   Yes, it is a bit early for
the expansion.  I would wait for 2-3 bee emergence cycles before doing any frame manipulation.