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Author Topic: The Drought: What are you doing?  (Read 3102 times)

Offline 2Sox

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The Drought: What are you doing?
« on: August 10, 2012, 08:22:24 am »
Needless to say this drought has affected all of us.  Maybe it's a good idea to get a survey of what actions people have been taking to help their bees out at this very difficult time.  I generally don't like to feed unless it's absolutely necessary.  The majority of my twenty five colonies are from captured swarms and cut-outs from this season and I haven't taken any honey at all from them - just taken frames of honey from the rich and given to the poor, so to speak. And I've fed back to them all the honey from the cut-outs. Even with this, it looks like it's going to be absolutely necessary to feed at this time. 

Taking into consideration your geographical location, aside from the obvious - feeding - what have you been doing and what are your plans?  What has past experience taught you about times like this? Thanks.
"Good will is the desire to have something else stronger and more beautiful for this desire makes oneself stronger and more beautiful." - Eli Siegel, American educator, poet, founder of Aesthetic Realism

Offline VolunteerK9

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Re: The Drought: What are you doing?
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2012, 10:10:39 am »
I have been feeding my nucs since the first of July-still hoping for a good Goldenrod flow next month to finish off their stores for winter. My notes from previous years says "Feed,Feed Feed Nucs" during July and August with the first of the Goldenrod and Yellowtop beginning to bloom around the 2nd week of August. (Full bloom here doesnt hit until September here) Ive learned not to be too greedy in pulling honey off my production hives in order to get them through nice and strong until the Fall flow.

Offline Joe D

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Re: The Drought: What are you doing?
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2012, 11:36:39 am »
This is my first year and we have had plenty of rain.  Lost 3 fields of hay last week, had it cut and it set in to raining again.  We got 2 in yesterday and a shower already this morning.  On my bees I pulled some supers first of last week, left 1 super of uncapped honey on each hive.  I have a pond not far from the hives but I have a poultry waterer in yard.  When I wash out buckets and equipment after extracting, filtering and bottling, I try to catch the first of it in buckets and will put it in the waterer a ways out infront of yard for them.  Will need to check in a few days on their stores, we are in dearth now until fall flow.



Joe

Offline AllenF

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Re: The Drought: What are you doing?
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2012, 06:09:14 pm »
I was watching the grass turn brown.   Now with the rain this week, I might have to mow.  It has been nice with the weeds dead in the field and not having to weed so much.    :-D     With the bees, I have done nothing different. 

Offline bassman1977

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Re: The Drought: What are you doing?
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2012, 09:02:55 pm »
I think my bees should have been helping me out.  I was having a hard time keeping up with keeping the brood chamber from being honey bound.  Got 2 extra boxes of honey just adding more space.
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Offline BearCreekBees

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Re: The Drought: What are you doing?
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2012, 08:16:52 pm »
We have not been nearly as affected by the drought as much of the rest of the country, but it has been plenty hot here in Minnesota.
I have kept entrance feeders filled with water and a bit of salt on all of my hives all summer. We have a creek on our farm but it is about 300 yards from the bee yard.

I also stagger my boxes, leaving a 1/4" gap between them. This helps a lot with ventilation, and as a bonus, the foragers can use the gaps as upper entrances, saving the effort of using the front entrance and having to make their way through the brood nest to get to the supers.

Offline iddee

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Re: The Drought: What are you doing?
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2012, 08:28:44 pm »
We have flood warnings on the news.
"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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Offline Sour Kraut

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Re: The Drought: What are you doing?
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2012, 08:30:07 pm »
The 'big' hive....2 deeps and a medium seems to be fine without my interference, need to open it and check if the medium is filled this week....doubt it

The little one, the one of five medium size combs that son Mike and I cut out of a concrete road culvert 3 weeks back, is taking 1:1 syrup steadily, I need to open it and see how they are doing this week

Other than that, let the hose drop onto a piece of scrap plywood about 15 ft from the hives and let them be

And thank my lucky stars that I didn't do a 3 from 1 split middle of June.......

Gary

Offline Boom Buzz

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Re: The Drought: What are you doing?
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2012, 09:24:08 pm »
Here in Colorado north of Denver, there has been plenty of alfalfa in bloom for the past 5 weeks, and usually the bees would be pulling in the nectar like crazy, but not the case this year.  Though the alfalfa is blooming, I think the drought has stressed the plants to the point they are not producing much nectar.  So I have been feeding all the hives that are still building out their brood box.  And they have been taking the feed readily.  If the brood box is full and the honey super is on - no feed until the super comes off.  But they are not packing it away like the last two years.

I think we had a record hot June, record hot July, and closing in on record number of days over 90 in the summer  :tumbleweed: - the record being 61 days.

John

Offline AliciaH

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Re: The Drought: What are you doing?
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2012, 06:58:09 pm »
We're just hitting our dry period here in Western WA.  It's promising to be a doozy.  The ditch that bisects my back field is drying up quickly, and that's where my bees get most of their water supply.  When things dry up at my house, the girls can get cranky! 

We've already started running the oscillating sprinkler to provide some moisture.  Hate to have to keep mowing the lawn, but it helps keep the girls happy and keeps the hives that are by the house from chasing us!

Offline L Daxon

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Re: The Drought: What are you doing?
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2012, 09:54:47 pm »
We have been hot, hot, hot and dry, dry, dry here in Oklahoma for most of July and so far in August.  I haven't done anything for the girls as 1) they laid up plenty of honey and pollen in May and June -most of which I have left on all 3 hives of my hives, and 2) I live on a small urban lake so they have plenty of water less than 50 ft. from their front door.

Last year the honey crop was dismal as the heat set in much earlier so I had to feed, feed, feed just to keep them going.
linda d

Offline Sour Kraut

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Re: The Drought: What are you doing?
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2012, 10:00:55 pm »
And today they started coming in LOADED with bright yellow pollen



Offline silent hunter

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Re: The Drought: What are you doing?
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2012, 11:44:36 pm »
Today i had to start feeding. i have 2 hives (one is a beekeeper thats teaching me) my hive contains italian and his is ferrel. my girls seem to be doing rather well but his is not. hopefully feeding them will help save them. right now there's not much blooming. goldenrod is just around the corner.

Offline beeghost

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Re: The Drought: What are you doing?
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2012, 03:13:40 am »
No problem with my two hives in town, pulled 65# of honey off them already and will probably extract again in a couple weeks. As for my 7 hives in the country.............feed feed feed. I was counting on the star thistle flow to build up and perhaps get some honey........but i didnt happen in the country I keep my bees at. Now I am going to find an alfalfa field that is going to seed and see if I cant stop feeding them, even have to throw pollen patties on.
Coyote Creek Bees - Est.2011

Offline bayouboy

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Re: The Drought: What are you doing?
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2012, 11:44:36 pm »
No drought here,we've had a very wet spring and summer in southeast Louisiana.
Mike
Mike

Offline blanc

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Re: The Drought: What are you doing?
« Reply #15 on: August 20, 2012, 10:05:07 pm »
2Sox we have been trying to chase the rain out of here for a while now. Catching up for the drought conditions we have had for the past ten years or so and it just seems not to stop. Just one extreme to another. It is also time to plant fall garden and too wet to get r done.  :(
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More to be desired are they than gold, yea ,than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.

Offline indypartridge

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Re: The Drought: What are you doing?
« Reply #16 on: August 21, 2012, 07:37:27 am »
Most of Indiana has been in extreme to exceptional drought this summer. Everything has been crunchy-brown since May. Most Indiana beekeepers are reporting excellent honey crops. The long-time beekeepers say that drought years are often the best honey-producing years.

Offline 2Sox

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Re: The Drought: What are you doing?
« Reply #17 on: August 21, 2012, 10:37:56 am »
Indy,

What is the explanation for this???
"Good will is the desire to have something else stronger and more beautiful for this desire makes oneself stronger and more beautiful." - Eli Siegel, American educator, poet, founder of Aesthetic Realism

Offline indypartridge

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Re: The Drought: What are you doing?
« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2012, 12:34:51 pm »
One of my beekeeping friends is a professor of biology, and he explained that during drought, plants often produce more blooms and nectar than during times of normal rainfall. It's a survival of the fittest thing, trying to propagate the species before everything dies.

I sure didn't expect to find my supers loaded with honey, and have no idea where the bees found anything, but somehow they did.

Offline KD4MOJ

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Re: The Drought: What are you doing?
« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2012, 12:45:56 pm »
We had/have flood adviseries yesterday and today.  :-D

...DOUG
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