Beemaster's International Beekeeping Forum

BEEKEEPING LEARNING CENTER => GENERAL BEEKEEPING - MAIN POSTING FORUM. => Topic started by: van from Arkansas on December 01, 2019, 08:42:53 pm

Title: My BeeKeeping plan for 2020.
Post by: van from Arkansas on December 01, 2019, 08:42:53 pm
In 2020, I plan an all out assault on the small hive beetle, maintain under 20 hives and breed the best queens on the planet: gentle, honey producers, non swarming with hygienic qualities.  Of course I am bias, I admit it, I adore my queens.

My Alpha queen, that is my main breeder queen will be 4 years old.  I have 4 generations of queens from Alpha that range in age from 3 years to 6 months of age.  For those of you who are not familiar with Alpha know this:

At two years of age Alpha Filled 5 deeps, 10 frame langstrof of eggs in 4 months.  I could have started 15 nucs or more if I wanted.  I estimated she was laying 2,000 eggs a day, non stop all Spring and Summer.  Her 4th generation daughter, hatched last August, Thelma Lou; hatched, mated and was laying in four days, a new record for me.  Most queens take 7-10 days from hatch to mated and laying.  Alpha has never swarmed, a great quality.  I do not sell queens, this is no sales pitch.  I will give away queens to locals.

I don?t know if Alpha will make it to Spring, so far, so good.  She is a Cordovan Itialian with a tiny paint spot so easily recognized.

So next Spring:

1.  Verify Alpha is OK and graft more queens from Alpha.
2.  Green drone frame provided to Cordovan queens with different genetics than Alpha.
3.  Employ my new entrance traps for small hive beetle, shown in earlier post.
4.  Employ pvc entrance on 3 test hives for beetle reduction.  New idea from BenFramed.
5.  Artificial Inseminate Alpha virgins as drones mature, about late May.
6.  Produce a YouTube video staring Alpha.  IF I can figure that out??  Low priority.
7.  Access small hive beetle #3 #4 controls and repeat that with best results.
8.  Extract enough honey for family.

Ok, I hope I did not bore you to much.  I have previously texted about Alpha on BeeMaster so forgive my repeated boast.  Just a proud ol BeeKeeper I am.  I am a bit anxious to see if Alpha will survived her 4th winter.
Blessings

Van
Title: Re: My BeeKeeping plan for 2020.
Post by: Nock on December 01, 2019, 10:59:51 pm
I?m ready to follow along.
Title: Re: My BeeKeeping plan for 2020.
Post by: bobll on December 01, 2019, 11:19:08 pm
Sounds good, Van. You have inspired me to try the anti-SHB entrances. I hope it goes well for you in 2020.
Title: Re: My BeeKeeping plan for 2020.
Post by: saltybluegrass on December 02, 2019, 11:11:03 am
I?ll be here
Title: Re: My BeeKeeping plan for 2020.
Post by: sawdstmakr on December 02, 2019, 02:50:14 pm
Great plan Van.
If you really want to kill thousands and thousands of SHBs then build screen bottom boards with oil trays. With 20 hives you will totally devistate  the SHB population in your area.
Jim Altmiller
Title: Re: My BeeKeeping plan for 2020.
Post by: Barhopper on December 02, 2019, 08:02:58 pm
Great plan Van.
If you really want to kill thousands and thousands of SHBs then build screen bottom boards with oil trays. With 20 hives you will totally devistate  the SHB population in your area.
Jim Altmiller

True words. West Beetle Traps. Check them out.
Title: Re: My BeeKeeping plan for 2020.
Post by: Ben Framed on December 02, 2019, 08:17:11 pm
I could be mistaken,  am thinking that last year as we were talking about SHB, someone here was experimenting with some type of lure set up in an oil tray. I am thinking it was Paus, but that could be wrong. Does anyone remember anything about this? I was wondering what the results were.
Phillip
Title: Re: My BeeKeeping plan for 2020.
Post by: paus on December 02, 2019, 09:34:51 pm
Yep I tried some of the goop from a slimed out hive.  I could not tell any difference from other hives with just the oil pan.  My conclusion from a very limited and unscientific test "It ain"t worth the trouble"  I can look at 4-5 hives before I see a SHB and they are always in the top screen hiding out.  I use all DSBB and a top screen frame 1 1/2 inches thick, a cloth and shavings or sawdust in the frame.  One of the big advantages with the top screen is that you can take the top off and raise the cloth to get a look down in the hive for a good indication of what is going the bees seldom even notice anything is going on unless I breath in the hive.  I can tell no difference from hives in the shade and in the sun.  Just a thought sawdust is a better insulator and probably more readily available than shavings.
Title: Re: My BeeKeeping plan for 2020.
Post by: Ben Framed on December 02, 2019, 09:44:51 pm
Yep I tried some of the goop from a slimed out hive.  I could not tell any difference from other hives with just the oil pan.  My conclusion from a very limited and unscientific test "It ain"t worth the trouble"  I can look at 4-5 hives before I see a SHB and they are always in the top screen hiding out.  I use all DSBB and a top screen frame 1 1/2 inches thick, a cloth and shavings or sawdust in the frame.  One of the big advantages with the top screen is that you can take the top off and raise the cloth to get a look down in the hive for a good indication of what is going the bees seldom even notice anything is going on unless I breath in the hive.  I can tell no difference from hives in the shade and in the sun.  Just a thought sawdust is a better insulator and probably more readily available than shavings.

Thanks for the update Paus. You and Jim (Sawdstmakr), among others are the ones that got my attention about the oil trays and screen bottoms in cahoots.
I am thinking wouldn't it be nice if there was some sort of super lure that SHB just simply could not resist and we could place this in a single trap in the middle of our apiary with confidence that the SHB would pass up every hive to reach this super lure and meet their demise. Wishful thinking for now I guess.
Phillip
Title: Re: My BeeKeeping plan for 2020.
Post by: paus on December 02, 2019, 10:06:28 pm
Ben you ignited an idea, I may get around to doing putting a hive with oil and one with oil and bait.  I am going to put 6-10 hives in an area that is very near wet lands next spring.  Maybe this can be a better indication. The rest will only use DSBB unless SHB make it necessary.
Title: Re: My BeeKeeping plan for 2020.
Post by: Ben Framed on December 02, 2019, 10:29:46 pm
Ben you ignited an idea, I may get around to doing putting a hive with oil and one with oil and bait.  I am going to put 6-10 hives in an area that is very near wet lands next spring.  May this can be a better indication. The rest will only use DSBB unless SHB make it necessary.

I like your plan Paus. Along with Mr Vans plan with the traps and PVC portals. I intend to purchase some Guardian entrances along with some experimental PVC portals.  We will keep pounding!! 

I also intend of raising more of my own queens.
Title: Re: My BeeKeeping plan for 2020.
Post by: van from Arkansas on December 02, 2019, 11:17:02 pm
Ben, I have used sub pollen on tray beneath screened bottom board surrounded by diatomaceous earth.  The beetles are attracted to pollen patty.
Title: Re: My BeeKeeping plan for 2020.
Post by: The15thMember on December 03, 2019, 10:45:59 pm
Sounds like you have a great year coming up, Van.  Do keep us posted on how Alpha is doing.  I too was concerned for her hearing that she is heading into her 4th winter.  4 years is about the max. life expectancy for a queen, is it not?   
Title: Re: My BeeKeeping plan for 2020.
Post by: Ben Framed on December 03, 2019, 11:24:29 pm
Ben, I have used sub pollen on tray beneath screened bottom board surrounded by diatomaceous earth.  The beetles are attracted to pollen patty.

Thanks Mr Van
Title: Re: My BeeKeeping plan for 2020.
Post by: van from Arkansas on December 04, 2019, 10:50:27 am
Sounds like you have a great year coming up, Van.  Do keep us posted on how Alpha is doing.  I too was concerned for her hearing that she is heading into her 4th winter.  4 years is about the max. life expectancy for a queen, is it not?   

Member, Good Morning to you.  I have heard of queens living 5 to 6 years max.  But I have never seen a documented queen over 4.  I believe a lot of queens are replaced without keeper awareness.  Alpha is uniquely colored, red queen, Cordovan and a tiny spot of paint remains.  I imagine the tiny paint spot will eventually vanish.

In just a few short months, I will know how Alpha is doing.  Four winters is a long time for a queen.  How long can a honeybee queen remain fertile and lay worker brood?

March, we will know.

Blessings
Title: Re: My BeeKeeping plan for 2020.
Post by: Michael Bush on December 04, 2019, 11:57:29 am
"In Indiana we had a queen we named Alice which lived to the ripe old age of eight years and two months and did excellent work in her seventh year. There can be no doubt about the authenticity of this statement. We sold her to John Chapel of Oakland City, Indiana, and she was the only queen in his yard with wings clipped. This, however is a rare exception. At the time I was experimenting with artificial combs with wooden cells in which the queen laid."--Jay Smith, Better Queens original edition pg 18

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesbetterqueens.htm#Queen%20Alice
Title: Re: My BeeKeeping plan for 2020.
Post by: rockink on December 04, 2019, 12:40:33 pm
I implemented DSBB in 2017 and they were awesome.. I waited too long in 2018 to get the oil in so SHB started getting thick however once I put the oil in things started getting manageable again..

I'm also going to be using Nemotodes from here (https://www.arbico-organics.com/product/heterorhabditis-indica-small-hive-beetle-control/pest-solver-guide-grubs-beetles) to help control the SHB..  Anyone else have any experience with them?
Title: Re: My BeeKeeping plan for 2020.
Post by: The15thMember on December 04, 2019, 12:42:28 pm
"In Indiana we had a queen we named Alice which lived to the ripe old age of eight years and two months and did excellent work in her seventh year. There can be no doubt about the authenticity of this statement. We sold her to John Chapel of Oakland City, Indiana, and she was the only queen in his yard with wings clipped. This, however is a rare exception. At the time I was experimenting with artificial combs with wooden cells in which the queen laid."--Jay Smith, Better Queens original edition pg 18

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesbetterqueens.htm#Queen%20Alice

Fascinating.  :rolleyes:
Title: Re: My BeeKeeping plan for 2020.
Post by: Michael Bush on December 04, 2019, 12:49:15 pm
I don't have Dzierzon's book handy, but he says something similar as to the longevity of queens.
Title: Re: My BeeKeeping plan for 2020.
Post by: van from Arkansas on December 04, 2019, 07:36:14 pm
Thank you Sir.  Clipped wings is certainly an identifier.  Alice?  Ok, begs the question, how did the name originate.  Eight years is a new record to me.  Eight years and 2 months to be exact.  Sounds like genetics I would like to get my hands on.  How much money did Alice sell for?  I am guessing $30,  the fella got a good deal on that queen.  He certainly took good care of Alice.  Good story Mr. Bush, thank you, no doubt Alice was a Republican.  Ok I threw that in to see is Ace is reading.  We will find out soon enough.

Blessings
Title: Re: My BeeKeeping plan for 2020.
Post by: FatherMichael on December 04, 2019, 07:40:48 pm
Great plan.  Always good to have a plan.
Title: Re: My BeeKeeping plan for 2020.
Post by: Michael Bush on December 05, 2019, 08:20:13 am
>Sounds like genetics I would like to get my hands on.

I'm sure a lot of it is that Smith would limit the area a queen could lay when he was grafting from her and a queen generally lasts as long as she doesn't run out of sperm.  A queen laying flat out year after year usually doesn't make it past 3 and sometimes doesn't it make much past 2.
Title: Re: My BeeKeeping plan for 2020.
Post by: van from Arkansas on December 05, 2019, 10:04:49 am
Oh that makes sense, usually a queen swarms when she is out of laying space, so her wings were clipping preventing swarming.  Thanks for clarification, Bush.
Title: Re: My BeeKeeping plan for 2020.
Post by: CoolBees on December 08, 2019, 03:12:58 pm
I will be trying Nemotodes from here[/url] to help control the SHB..  Anyone else have any experience with them?

Nope. ... I've learned that my area has a lot.of SHB"s (more than I knew about). I haven't [yet] had much of a problem with them. From what I've read, it may be due to the chickens that we raise. We keep between 40-70 laying hens, and turn them loose most days. People say they target the SHB larvae. Neither chickens, nor nematodes, will accout for beetles coming from from other areas though. ... just some thoughts ...