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Author Topic: Hive relocation and spring preparation field report  (Read 581 times)

Offline omnimirage

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Hive relocation and spring preparation field report
« on: August 20, 2017, 03:03:09 am »
I relocated nine beehives last week, and checked up on them this weekend, in preparation for the upcoming spring weather.

For some reason, almost half the hives had a lot of dead bees in front of it. I also took a weakened, queenless starving hive up there with me, with the intention of merging it with another weak hive, but they all died on the way. Does transportig bees stresss them and cause them to die? It seems like the hives with the most bees, and least space, had the most loses. Is there anything I can reduce loses next time?

I didn't see any queen cells, which surprises me. I figure the warm spring weather will arrive in ten or so days, so I expected to see some. I may have simply missed them. Only one hive had a heavy amount of drones. I wasn't sure what to do with them, as my mentor advised me to kill them but people on these forums have said otherwise; I ended up squishing most of them.

I gave most hives an extra super. Two of the hives proved to be a challenge, as last year, I needed to move my deep nucs into a bigger sized super, but I only had medium sized brood chambers available to me, so I put the deep frames into two medium supers. They of course built a lot of comb underneath, I discarded most and strapped the brood to frames with rubber bands. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with my deep nucs anymore; I'm transitioning to all mediums. I guess I'll try to fill them with bees and sell them.

I wasn't sure if one of the hives should have had the extra super on top. They have a fair amount of space, there's a few frames that haven't been used and a few frames were somewhat low on honey, but spring is approaching and I'm not sure what the flow will be like soon.

I set up two trap hives. The hives are on stands, with feet sitting in a container with a little bit of vegetable oil in it. I've read that such can be used to stop ants, but I'm unsure how effective it'll be. I used to use sump oil for this purpose, but am concerned about the environmental impact of such as it'll spill when it rains, and I figure it'd be disrespectful to the farmer who I have the hives at, to even suggest using such. I guess I'll need to top up the containers when using vegetable oil; I didn't have to with sump oil. I used only a very little amount covering the bottoms, I'm not sure if I even used enough and it cost me a bit of money to do, about $12 in oil (which is the cheapest homebrand oil that I could find and was on half price, I wouldn't consistently bee able to purchase it for this price). I did wonder if maybe I could exchange honey for used vegetable oil from a local fish and chips shop, as I figure used vegetable oil would be just as good. I'm not exactly sure how I'd approach them for such or if it's even a good idea. I also read that mineral oil can perform the same function as vegetable oil, and that it's supposed to be very cheap, but it was enormously expensive when looking for prices online; I haven't checked local hardware stores for it, it may be cheap there.

A few of the hives had a bit of moisture on the top of them. I've very concerned about this, simply because I've had this issue in the past and I haven't ever really been able to work out how to effectively deal with it. The hives that had the most moisture, had the most buckled lid; I'm not sure if water got in there, causing it to buckle with time, or if the water came in from elsewhere.

I'm not sure when I should check the hives again, but I figure in about a months's time would be good.

I took a couple photos:

https://imgur.com/a/kRlhx

Offline eltalia

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Re: Hive relocation and spring preparation field report
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2017, 12:10:53 pm »
@omnimirage

As it is your post is looking like being read yet none committing to comment I swing by to
say - having read a great deal of your BMA bio whilst the post reads like a dirge it is
actually a record of some success - considering the bee numbers in pix you have
shown, and assuming those are what you see as worst cases.

Having managed an apiary north of your locale, and set migratory jobs to the south and
south east, I strongly recommend you try again in attracting the interest of a
noncommercial BK of sound experience, in other words a fella/shiela that owns success
over some years... or join a local club working the hill country.

Two things I can point to for your immediate attention.
1. The moisture trip you are having is only because you are looking at the hive as a series
of boxes, and not as a shell for an organism.
The shell has to be integral and has to have airpaths _bees_ manage.
Effectively "one in, one out".  A big "in" is good for the bees can manage that.
2. There exist some mean mothers of ants (and millipedes) in that country.
If it was under my control the hive stands would not be as yours are, firstly, secondly, the
oilbath trap needs to be built around the same lines as those old oilbath air filters on
truck/tractor engines, and use an airgap.
That said, what you have now could be mostly 'fixed' using inverted cones packed with
grease, and monitored during summer months above 38C into a western sun.

In closing, as a general comment I would offer whomsoever led you down the path of
using mediums has done you a huge disservice and likely there is the cause of why many
a BK in Sou'Aussie - or anywhere else in Aussie - would not be able to - or at all keen
to - mentor such a direction.
Retailing honeycomb is an art form... and you do not need to run foundationless mediums
 to produce it.

There it is for what it is. Good luck in your venture/s

Cheers.

Bill

--
thread 0ff



Offline Oldbeavo

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Re: Hive relocation and spring preparation field report
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2017, 07:08:58 pm »
How did you shift them?
What time of day did you shift?
If you shift during the day and it is warm then you risk smothering bees, especially if you block the entrances.

Offline Acebird

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Re: Hive relocation and spring preparation field report
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2017, 09:35:47 am »
I relocated nine beehives last week, and checked up on them this weekend, in preparation for the upcoming spring weather.

Ventilation... the bigger the hive the more ventilation it needs when you move it.  Of course there is a stress in moving bees but they will be fine if they can breath and keep cool.

Moisture: very common in the spring when temperature swings warm and cold.  Ventilation.

Do not put an empty box on top of the hive in early spring when there is no flow it could starve them out.  If you need to provide space because you may not get to them soon enough put the box underneath.

Bees could care less what box you give them only beekeepers have a preference.
Brian Cardinal
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Offline omnimirage

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Re: Hive relocation and spring preparation field report
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2017, 06:20:52 pm »
@eltalia

What's my BMA bio?

I have had quite a success here! It was a challenge to prepare, and move the bees to this site, and then I also fixed a number of issues with the hives that I've been having and things are generally moving forward :) They are the worst case scenarios.

There is a local beekeeping club that I'm interested in joining. Next meeting is in two weeks I'll take action to join and attend it.

1.

Okay then. So should I be doing anything to increase their airpath? I'm a bit confused by all this.


2.

There's a white ant, termnite nest just sitting outside the apiary.

I'm not familiar with these old oilbath air filters unfortunately. An inverted cone packed with grease huh. Should I use that alongside the oiltraps? How often should they be monitored? What sort of grease should be applied to it?

Why would using mediums be detrimental to me? Michael Bush's online information was the greatest influence on me using them. Also concerns for my weak back and difficulty in lifting the heavy deeps.

@ Oldbeavo

Shifted them at night time! Went from 18:00-03:00

Ended up borrowing an extra station wagon, we fit all the bees and stands in them. One car had 7 beehives in the back :)

@Acebird

How much ventillation should I be needing?

I put the new supers in between the two supers of the hive, not on top.





Offline Acebird

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Re: Hive relocation and spring preparation field report
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2017, 08:33:07 am »

How much ventillation should I be needing?
For my area just a small hole or notch on the bottom side of the inner cover.  For transport for that long in a confined space a screen across the whole top wouldn't be too much.  Air conditioning in the station wagon?

Quote
I put the new supers in between the two supers of the hive, not on top.
Let me clarify ... I assumed you do not have a QE on because you are still in late winter early spring but maybe you put one on prior to adding the box.  The QE would prevent the queen from laying in the new box and stranding bees on cold nights.  The problem is the QE prevents the colony from expanding up into honey.  The best place for the new box is on the bottom if you will be away from the hive for some time during a flow.
Brian Cardinal
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Offline Oldbeavo

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Re: Hive relocation and spring preparation field report
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2017, 06:43:16 pm »
If you are running full depth frames then do you think the queen has enough room under a QX?
Is it the mediums that require 2 boxes to live in?

Offline omnimirage

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Re: Hive relocation and spring preparation field report
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2017, 07:44:17 pm »
So take the whole lid off and replace it with a screen? Where could I find these screens? I've went to my local hardware store and have done a little looking around, but haven't found anything suitable.

I'm not using queen excluders, for good or bad, for that reason mostly; I don't wish to conjest the queen inside the brood chamber.

I'm looking to build inverted cones to place on the legs, lined with some grease so that the ants can't crawl up onto. I'm quite concerned about the ants, I feel my traps won't be sufficient; I suspect they'll simply dry up during the summer. I might be able to find some cheaper mineral oil, and then get the owner to top them up during the summer.

Does anyone know how to go about building these cones cheaply?

Offline eltalia

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Re: Hive relocation and spring preparation field report
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2017, 09:32:46 pm »
"Does anyone know how to go about building these cones cheaply?"

https://www.sheetmetalworld.com/sheet-metal-news/fabrication-tutorials/22-sheet-metal-tutorials/5962-how-to-develop-a-square-to-round

Use a high temperature grease.. most wheel bearing products do the job.

Not being so willing to advise you on ventilation, as each to their own in construction applies, I have
long used a 65mm penetration in tbe upper side of each box, stainless steel screened on both sides.
I use No-More-Gaps[tm] to fix these in place as I also use the penetrations in trapouts and so need that
flexibilty. The bees manage these very well, and t is intriguing tp observe tbem "opening and closing the
blinds/drapes/curtains".
All my BB run that same penetration style central - around 75mm back from the entrance - entrances
are 75% of box width and 17mm high. In new colonies I run partial/adjustable entrance restrictors.

Your view on QX use is wholly wrong. Talk to your club about this, someone is bound to have the
experience to explain to you firsthand why it is so. You are not going to find the concept explained
within USA dominated forums, and like use of "mediums"  it is way too contraversial to attempt to
explain it here. Confusion is imminent.

Cheers

Offline PhilK

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Re: Hive relocation and spring preparation field report
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2017, 12:37:17 am »
QE debate is for another thread (search them - there are hundreds!), but I find a QE to be absolutely no problem to my bees and every hive has one on all year round.
I also don't know the most about ventilation, I wonder how much use it actually is when all my hives have propolised every ventilation port they have ever had

Offline omnimirage

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Re: Hive relocation and spring preparation field report
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2017, 01:10:57 am »
It's just pecuilar as my hives already have a couple of ventillation ports on them, and it was a rather cold night. If they did overheat, I'm guessing it's due to how overly packed they were within the hive.

It's difficult for me to determine whether queen excluders are worthwhile. I see that everyone seems to have a different opinion on it.

Offline eltalia

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Re: Hive relocation and spring preparation field report
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2017, 01:22:45 am »
QE debate is for another thread (search them - there are hundreds!), but I find a QE to be absolutely no problem to my bees and every hive has one on all year round.
Ditto for my two 'permanent' colonies, and likewise, use of single brood chambers.
And my new longLangs will have them also.
Yet when doing rescues of other's colonies their use is very flexible in "going with
the flow" as the colony recovers from whatever ailment it presented with.

Quote
I also don't know the most about ventilation, I wonder how much use it actually is when all my hives have propolised every ventilation port they have ever had
John L Guilfoyle - the old bloke - and Norman V Rice developed Guilfoyle's line
of lids and ventilated bottom boards. I used these as did many many others for
years, until the day I realised these were designed for southern climes - and
questionable there also - and not at all suitable for the tropics (dry or wet).
Often an interested BK would pass by the truck -  usually as we were leaving the
pub - to ask what the pipes hanging out of my boxes were. Most went away
enlightened, some wanted to argue... not a good thing to do with a few beers on
board ;-)))

Cheerio...

Bill

Offline eltalia

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Re: Hive relocation and spring preparation field report
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2017, 01:30:09 am »
@omnimirage

Neither are arguable as both will bee determined by the bees.
And where that determination has humans weeping then it is just too bad... bees do not
give a rat's really. We can make them suffer for short periods but ultimately they decide
or die.. as many a post in many a forum testifys.

Cheers.

Bill

Offline Acebird

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Re: Hive relocation and spring preparation field report
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2017, 10:00:49 am »
but I find a QE to be absolutely no problem to my bees and every hive has one on all year round.

Bee survival is local.  That would be a disaster if tried here or anywhere that the bees are clustered for months.
Brian Cardinal
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Offline omnimirage

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Re: Hive relocation and spring preparation field report
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2017, 10:58:34 am »
The only local beekeeper I've spoken expressed vaguely that neither option was necessairly better.

Offline PhilK

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Re: Hive relocation and spring preparation field report
« Reply #15 on: August 24, 2017, 11:11:22 pm »
but I find a QE to be absolutely no problem to my bees and every hive has one on all year round.

Bee survival is local.  That would be a disaster if tried here or anywhere that the bees are clustered for months.
I know Ace. I am a few hours drive from OP while you're on the other side of the world, so figured I would put in my $0.02

Offline eltalia

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Re: Hive relocation and spring preparation field report
« Reply #16 on: August 25, 2017, 01:27:09 am »
[
but I find a QE to be absolutely no problem to my bees and every hive has one on all year round.

Bee survival is local.  That would be a disaster if tried here or anywhere that the bees are clustered for months.
I know Ace. I am a few hours drive from OP while you're on the other side of the world, so figured I would put in my $0.02

It's _very relevant_ to factor in a lot of NH BKs have been brought up using mediums in their configs, Phil-  in itself a recipe for disaster in building wintering stores, and indeed foolhardy in readying for Spring flows pretty much anywhere in Aussie, with maybe exceptions in Tassie and extremes of SouEast WA.
The terminolgy often used does not help us in Aussie (with translation) as, for instance, "throwing on a super" usually becomes adding a medium filled with foundationless frames. Another is "lots of bees on the frames"
where the picture supplied clearly does not meet the formula for required covered of sustainable brood acreage.
An easy understood version of which is here, example #4 being the minimum to qualify as "lots of bees".
#6 as what I would call a "comfortable margin" and #8 as being "mobs of" in maybe keeping an eye on for future action in making some changes.
http://www.dave-cushman.net/bee/beesest.html
Those are just two of many examples which do not translate well, and so "local" becomes subjective in many instances it should not, as bees do not know about the Equator beyond a mere point of GPS input.


I am not saying for a minute BKng over the Equator is so different as to not be taken notice of. What I am saying is the numbers are much greater than ours and so the percentage of those led into management "by rote" is way more in numbers than we own, and those way more ready to announce their 'wisdom' "on the Intetnetz".
The shakeout from all that is what we get to read when chasing up anecdotal experience of others.

Cheers.

Bill

Offline Acebird

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Re: Hive relocation and spring preparation field report
« Reply #17 on: August 25, 2017, 08:39:16 am »
I know Ace. I am a few hours drive from OP while you're on the other side of the world, so figured I would put in my $0.02
[/quote]

The OP should thank you for your post because local information rules over any other information including books.
Brian Cardinal
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Offline Acebird

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Re: Hive relocation and spring preparation field report
« Reply #18 on: August 25, 2017, 08:49:05 am »
The terminolgy often used does not help us in Aussie (with translation) as, for instance, "throwing on a super" usually becomes adding a medium filled with foundationless frames.

I would translate "throwing on a super" as a box of drawn frames and "putting on a box" as something less, foundation or foundationless.  Until the bees have lived in it there is no way to know if it was a brood box or honey super.
Brian Cardinal
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Offline eltalia

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Re: Hive relocation and spring preparation field report
« Reply #19 on: August 25, 2017, 11:01:33 am »

The terminolgy often used does not help us in Aussie (with translation) as, for instance, "throwing on a super" usually becomes adding a medium filled with foundationless frames.

I would translate.... (edit)

"Utica is a city in the Mohawk Valley and the county seat of Oneida County, New York, United States. The tenth-most-populous city in New York, its population was 62,235 in the 2010 U.S. census. Wikipedia"

: shocked: -- where you AB have a need to translate your own countryman's lingo/dialect/accinct..!.. then
by crikey what hope have the rest of us offshore got!

Compliments.

Bill