Beemaster's International Beekeeping Forum

BEEKEEPING LEARNING CENTER => GENERAL BEEKEEPING - MAIN POSTING FORUM. => Topic started by: kedgel on July 18, 2009, 01:19:47 pm

Title: Florida beekeeping Questions
Post by: kedgel on July 18, 2009, 01:19:47 pm
Any other Floridian beeks want to answer questions or provide some tips?  Up North the honey flow was in the spring and by July my hives were loaded with honey.  I have had problems getting my new hive going, so that may be an issue, but I have no honey.  I had 5 frames of drawn comb, some with honey, and I put in 5 frames of foundationed and partially drawn comb with a cut out colony I hived.  I fed initially, but stopped after they had a good start with syrup stored in the combs.  The combs didn't fill up and the stores soon disappeared--including the capped honey I put in.  I have gone back to feeding again and once again they have started to store it in the combs.  Since the combs weren't filling up and they were slow to draw out the other frames, I took out the undrawn frames to focus their energies and to aid in SHB defence, but they still aren't filling.  At first I suspected robbing by carpenter ants that are thick around here.  I  buttered the cinder blocks that support the hive with axle grease which deterred them, but they are still getting in, just not in as great of numbers.  I haven't seen enough ants coming and going to believe they are emptying the stores.  They are coming for the syrup, I think.

Is the flow earlier in the year when the oranges bloom?  Is FL lacking in nectar sources?  Up North my honey was mostly clover, but there is no clover in SW FL.  There are lots of palms and palmettos blooming that are swarming with all manner of bees and wasps, but I think they only provide pollen rather than nectar.  I live in Bonita Springs--between Naples and Ft. Myers on the coast. Can I plant a nectar source that will live in this climate?  I never had to try to do anything for my bees up north.  I put them in the box and they did their thing without any help from me.  I'm perplexed...
Title: Re: Florida beekeeping Questions
Post by: fish_stix on July 18, 2009, 11:17:10 pm
Kedgel; I've been beekeeping commercially in FL, on and off, since 1959 so hopefully can answer a few questions. As you stated, the orange flow is our major flow and you need to have your bees built up strong by Feb to take advantage of it. A good strong 2-deep brood chamber hive should produce several supers of superior quality honey if you're in or close to a large citrus grove. Build them by leaving the Brazilian Pepper flow honey from Sept on them and using the Red Maple and oak bloom of Dec-Jan plus feed them a gallon or so of syrup to get their motor running. We extract the pepper honey prior to the citrus flow; it's not good quality and sells as bakery honey. After the citrus we have gallberry/palmetto in Apr-June which is also excellent quality light honey. Then in July an intense Cabbage Palm bloom; use it for building splits as it is not good eating quality although some of the Latinos like it. In Sept we have the Brazilian Pepper bloom and we usually make a couple supers but leave it on the bees for winter (our 2-5 day winter!) stores. In between these major blooms we have Spanish Needle all year;this used to be a major crop for us in the orange groves until they discovered herbicides. It makes a medium dark fairly good tasting wildflower honey. Also, the 1000's of yard shrubs and trees make good forage and if you're close to a large mangrove area this makes good honey.
Title: Re: Florida beekeeping Questions
Post by: kedgel on July 19, 2009, 12:02:50 am
Thank you so much for the local intel!! :-D  I'm encouraged!  I had no idea that Brazillian pepper was a nectar source. I'm surprised its even edible since exposure to it gives me a nasty rash.  Thanks again!
Title: Re: Florida beekeeping Questions
Post by: jtcmedic on April 07, 2017, 09:47:02 am
want to bring this back to top and try to open some chat between Florida keepers, Have been in only a year in central west coast Florida, and it is different then up north, started with 1 hive last year going in to this year with 4 after split and nucs, working on building my apiary, had issues with double deep hive with shb,, but my single deep has been great . have been thinking deep and a medium for my area ,  it has been a learning experience with out a mentor except this site, but was wanting to start up a florida area to discuses things
thanks
Title: Re: Florida beekeeping Questions
Post by: jtcmedic on May 01, 2017, 11:28:18 pm
Bump
Title: Re: Florida beekeeping Questions
Post by: bwallace23350 on May 02, 2017, 12:24:30 pm
I will help you out. Not a Florida bee keeper but will give you a bump
Title: Re: Florida beekeeping Questions
Post by: sawdstmakr on May 02, 2017, 12:42:16 pm
JT,
You are not too far from a beek that pulled and recorded a record 400 pounds of honey per hive on 4 hives. He is in the Tampa area. 1600 pounds in one year from 4 hives. You should be pretty well set.
Jim
Title: Re: Florida beekeeping Questions
Post by: jtcmedic on May 02, 2017, 09:14:49 pm
Well it is dry here and I am trying to build up, would love to be that guy but I am looking at it to get me and my family honey and then possible sideline later.
Title: Re: Florida beekeeping Questions
Post by: jtcmedic on May 08, 2017, 02:34:50 pm
Well my hives are back on tract with me feeding and them getting pollen building nice
Title: Re: Florida beekeeping Questions
Post by: KD4MOJ on May 16, 2017, 08:21:26 am
JT,
You are not too far from a beek that pulled and recorded a record 400 pounds of honey per hive on 4 hives. He is in the Tampa area. 1600 pounds in one year from 4 hives. You should be pretty well set.
Jim

He must have had a dozen supers on each hive!  :smile:  Do you know what his setup was?

...DOUG
KD4MOJ

Up "North" in Tallahassee.
Title: Re: Florida beekeeping Questions
Post by: sawdstmakr on May 16, 2017, 12:08:20 pm
JT,
You are not too far from a beek that pulled and recorded a record 400 pounds of honey per hive on 4 hives. He is in the Tampa area. 1600 pounds in one year from 4 hives. You should be pretty well set.
Jim

He must have had a dozen supers on each hive!  :smile:  Do you know what his setup was?

...DOUG
KD4MOJ

Up "North" in Tallahassee.

No, I was told about it by the bee inspector.
He could not give me the guys name.
Jim
Title: Re: Florida beekeeping Questions
Post by: tycrnp on May 16, 2017, 07:52:55 pm
I am in NW Florida, along the Gulf Coast.  Had a single top bar last year (1st year) and plan to have it + 3 langstroths.  The city I am in allows bees.  I have informed them, so they don't spray.

Where can I find info about any regulations? I have lots of questions.  Is it a state thing?  Is there a limit to the # of hives I can have? Eventually I would like to sell honey at the farmer's market...are there laws?  I am going to a beekeeping meeting tonight, so I figure I will get some answers there.

Thanks for any input.
Title: Re: Florida beekeeping Questions
Post by: sawdstmakr on May 16, 2017, 09:08:25 pm
I am in NW Florida, along the Gulf Coast.  Had a single top bar last year (1st year) and plan to have it + 3 langstroths.  The city I am in allows bees.  I have informed them, so they don't spray.

Where can I find info about any regulations? I have lots of questions.  Is it a state thing?  Is there a limit to the # of hives I can have? Eventually I would like to sell honey at the farmer's market...are there laws?  I am going to a beekeeping meeting tonight, so I figure I will get some answers there.

Thanks for any input.
TY,
The state of FL took over control from local communities about 5 years ago when city's and counties started to ban them. They did this because Africanized will fill the void when they are banned. How large is your property?
Less than 1/2 acre and you are allowed 3 hives except during swarm season. Then you can have 6 hives. If you have more than 1/2 acre then it is 10 and 20 hives.
At the meeting, ask who your bee inspector is. I think it is Rob Horsbough. You just need to let him know you have hives. When he comes to inspect, you will regester.
Jim
Title: Re: Florida beekeeping Questions
Post by: tycrnp on May 16, 2017, 11:21:59 pm
Jim,

Thanks so much.  I missed the meeting, it was last week.   :oops:  I will attend next month.  Our property is ~ 3/4 acre.  I'll be sure to get in touch with the inspector ASAP.
Title: Re: Florida beekeeping Questions
Post by: jtcmedic on April 17, 2019, 05:46:03 pm
Bumping this to keep it Alive again I know Jim is a Florida beekeeper in the the north, I?m in west coast central Florida. How you all faring
Title: Re: Florida beekeeping Questions
Post by: sawdstmakr on April 17, 2019, 07:16:34 pm
JT,
Bees are looking good. Gallberry plants have  lots of buds starting. Lots of rain. 
Hoping it is a good year.
Jim Altmiller
Title: Re: Florida beekeeping Questions
Post by: Beeboy01 on April 17, 2019, 07:36:55 pm
Been working on a few early splits and getting the hives ready. The spring flow seems to be running a little later this year even with the warmer winter. I noticed a flow going on about two weeks ago which has stopped and nothing has started back up yet. Beside that my little bee yard is looking better than it did last year at this time. Think one hive swarmed early but is building back up. 
Title: Re: Florida beekeeping Questions
Post by: Barhopper on April 17, 2019, 08:02:55 pm
Bees doing good in the Ocala area. Sold a bunch of Nucs, bred some queens, got some honey to pull. Not much but some. All hives are queen right (knock on wood). Bought some queens to diversify my line a little bit. We?ll see how it goes.
Title: Re: Florida beekeeping Questions
Post by: jtcmedic on April 17, 2019, 09:04:10 pm
Well I have had a heck of a time getting my queens going, not qrafting. Culled a couple old queens who were failing and used cells from another booming hive and just couldn?t get them to take. We are a 2 weeks from palmetto popping, and there?s a lot of pollen but honey is light. Have new 5 queens coming at end of month and gonna split and feed then. Trying to get my numbers up and enjoy some honey. 
Title: Re: Florida beekeeping Questions
Post by: jtcmedic on April 17, 2019, 09:05:00 pm
JT,
Bees are looking good. Gallberry plants have  lots of buds starting. Lots of rain. 
Hoping it is a good year.
Jim Altmiller
Gallberry makes fine honey.
Title: Re: Florida beekeeping Questions
Post by: jtcmedic on April 17, 2019, 09:34:31 pm
Bees doing good in the Ocala area. Sold a bunch of Nucs, bred some queens, got some honey to pull. Not much but some. All hives are queen right (knock on wood). Bought some queens to diversify my line a little bit. We?ll see how it goes.
doing the same at the end of the month from a guy in pasco https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Local-Business/SebBees/about/ (https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Local-Business/SebBees/about/) so far been qood queens got 4 cells last year, gonna add 5 mated queens this year.
Title: Re: Florida beekeeping Questions
Post by: FloridaGardener on April 17, 2019, 10:19:41 pm
Tycrnp: Hello! I'm an hour NE of you, in Niceville.  My TBH is packed. They are bearding on the landing board tonight, and were washboarding on the front, this afternoon. Happy bees.

I supered the TBH with a medium Lang hive body, using a rim board to seal it up tight.  I left a gap in the top of the super to accustom them to coming in the "top door" and depositing their bounty in the super.  I'll use an escape board when it's full, then give 'em another super.

Japanese Privet has fully bloomed and smells amazing, but there is so much here, there's a dearth for bees, not for forage!  Oaks are putting out catkins. The inflorescences for Palmetto are starting to sprout.  Pittosporum is still blooming. 

Gulf Breeze should have many of these same shrubs and trees.
Title: Re: Florida beekeeping Questions
Post by: saltybluegrass on April 17, 2019, 10:44:09 pm
Tycrnp: Hello! I'm an hour NE of you, in Niceville.  My TBH is packed. They are bearding on the landing board tonight, and were washboarding on the front, this afternoon. Happy bees.

I supered the TBH with a medium Lang hive body, using a rim board to seal it up tight.  I left a gap in the top of the super to accustom them to coming in the "top door" and depositing their bounty in the super.  I'll use an escape board when it's full, then give 'em another super.

Japanese Privet has fully bloomed and smells amazing, but there is so much here, there's a dearth for bees, not for forage!  Oaks are putting out catkins. The inflorescences for Palmetto are starting to sprout.  Pittosporum is still blooming. 

Gulf Breeze should have many of these same shrubs and trees.

Please explain (TBH) I assume Top bar hive ?  I?ve never heard of supering one is why I ask. Thanks if you have a link - I was thinking about making one.
Title: Re: Florida beekeeping Questions
Post by: sawdstmakr on April 18, 2019, 06:08:57 am
Floridagardener,
I recommend not using an escape board here in Florida. By the time the bees move out, the SHBs have laid their eggs everywhere. If the larvae hatch before you extract the honey, it will Bee slimed. Even if it is just a little bit, it changes the taste and causes it to ferment. Use Beequick. Cover a board with terrycloth spray a light coat and put it on top of the box for 5 minutes. Then pull the box. You may have to shake a few bees out. Bees don?t realize you are taking the honey, they just want out of the super.
Jim Altmiller
Title: Re: Florida beekeeping Questions
Post by: jtcmedic on April 18, 2019, 07:50:16 am
I am gonna be building a dr Leo top bar/ Langstroth  holds 31 frames. My wife wanted it seams interesting. Here is a pic of a supered tbh (https://www.beeculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/1TopBar.png)
Title: Re: Florida beekeeping Questions
Post by: Acebird on April 18, 2019, 08:43:20 am
Floridagardener,
I recommend not using an escape board here in Florida. By the time the bees move out,
Jim, if the bees do not move out overnight then the board is not a very effective tool.  If they do move out overnight then the eggs laid will not hatch for a couple, three days.  If small hive beetles are a problem in your area then it would be wise to freeze the frames anyway.  Some commercial beekeepers in the north use escape boards because they are guaranteed the bees will cluster overnight which makes the honey boxes totally empty of bees.  Escape boards work best when there warm days and cool nights in the fall.
Title: Re: Florida beekeeping Questions
Post by: sawdstmakr on April 18, 2019, 09:19:20 am
Brian,
I have used them and it took 2 days to work and we still had bees in the supers.
Our main flow ends in June and it is hot all night. Same with the second flow in September.
Jim Altmiller
Title: Re: Florida beekeeping Questions
Post by: jtcmedic on April 18, 2019, 02:13:11 pm
Brian,
I have used them and it took 2 days to work and we still had bees in the supers.
Our main flow ends in June and it is hot all night. Same with the second flow in September.
Jim Altmiller
It?s florida it?s hot all summer. :cool:
Title: Re: Florida beekeeping Questions
Post by: Acebird on April 19, 2019, 08:41:20 am
Brian,
I have used them and it took 2 days to work and we still had bees in the supers.
Our main flow ends in June and it is hot all night. Same with the second flow in September.
Jim Altmiller
It?s florida it?s hot all summer. :cool:
Don't harvest in the hot summer.  Where Jim lives it is possible to get ice and snow.  There is a cool season.  As Jim said, I would not leave an escape board on for two days because of SHB.  Where I live now it is a problem because it never gets cold.  I am going to have to develop new skills.
Title: Re: Florida beekeeping Questions
Post by: saltybluegrass on April 19, 2019, 10:27:36 am
I?ll try to make this an easy question from me a new bee
I think we are talking about taking  honey and the process of moving bees out of supers?
If so, what is the way to deal with  shb / eggs/ bees and replacing frames you take out?
Maybe the answer can consider my langstroth instead of the TBH but supers are supers?
I see very large hive beetles here in the treasure coast in my hive

I?m still at the installation stage of my education  :embarassed:
Title: Re: Florida beekeeping Questions
Post by: sawdstmakr on April 19, 2019, 04:24:02 pm
Salty,
Bee quick is the best way, especially here in Florida. It is quick and easy, 5? to 7 minutes per super. Try to do your extractions during a flow.
Jim Altmiller
Title: Re: Florida beekeeping Questions
Post by: Acebird on April 20, 2019, 09:12:34 am
I know commercial beekeepers that do extractions during flows.  They take the capped supers off, add empty supers and lay the full ones on their side.  Leave them a couple of hours and all the foragers go out to the fields and come back to the parent hive voiding the full supers of bees.  Word of caution, do not do this unless there is a flow.
Title: Re: Florida beekeeping Questions
Post by: Acebird on April 20, 2019, 09:16:27 am
Salty, another method is blowing the bees out if you do not like putting chemicals in the hive.
Title: Re: Florida beekeeping Questions
Post by: saltybluegrass on April 20, 2019, 10:08:59 am
Salty, another method is blowing the bees out if you do not like putting chemicals in the hive.

I just visited mr bush?s Website and read the importance of natural methods.
Title: Re: Florida beekeeping Questions
Post by: FloridaGardener on April 22, 2019, 10:29:01 pm
SaltyBlue, I have an apiary at home, so I can pull one frame out, and replace with an empty.  They don't seem to notice. 

Recipe for all-natural 5-lb honey draw (foundationless):

1. Hang honey frame in a cardboard amazon box while closing up inspection (recycling the box, lol)
2. Put another piece of cardboard on top of harvest box
3. Shake box on the way to the garage, and lose those last bees
4. Wrap frame in wax paper in the garage
5. Exit garage, head for screened porch. Check for hitchhikers
6. Enter house and get a knife...the wax paper helps conserve all  :)

Good idea to freeze the bar 24 hrs, to sanitize it.

The med. super on 1/3 of the top bar hive is, in part, swarm control.  They'll know they're not honey-bound.  I don't have to check like clockwork.
Title: Re: Florida beekeeping Questions
Post by: oliver.karp on September 18, 2019, 09:39:03 pm
The Brasil Pepper is starting to bloom heavily here in Tampa, FL. So back to the original post. What are Tampa or nearby FL Beekeepers' experiences with comb building on the pepper flow. Do they generally build comb on foundation or simply backfill the broodnest. What should I be prepared for, stacking supers, watching for a clogged broodnest, or all of the above?

Any or all suggestions for someone new to the pepper flow are welcome.


Thanks

Ollie