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Author Topic: Getting ready for first hive in spring  (Read 2461 times)

Offline feenix3k

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Getting ready for first hive in spring
« on: September 15, 2016, 08:14:36 pm »
I have decided to start collecting hive parts and tools for spring I have decided to use Medium Supers for the bodies of the hive. ( 2 medium = 1 deep) I have a lifting limit so 8 frame mediums should work fine. As for foundation, I will either let them build their own or us small cell foundation. The bottom board is an issue for I have been told that screen bottom boards invites attacks from say skunks and other bee loving creatures. And it disrupts the bee ventilation system. Such as causing brood chill in spring and summer. The cover I am thinking of using a telescoping top and inner cover or a flat migration top.

I am looking for advice at this time and a mentor if anyone is in the Marietta / Atlanta Ga are.

Offline Acebird

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Re: Getting ready for first hive in spring
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2016, 09:25:15 am »
Brood chill in Atlanta?  I use SBB on all my hives and I use to leave them wide open and never got brood chill.  However the bees will propolize the heck out of the bottom frames and essentially not use the bottom box for brood rearing.  It is natural for the bees to use it for pollen storage anyway.
The only negative I can think of in your area is small hive beetle and wax moth that will thrive in the debris that gets caught in the tray.  I use all mediums and wax foundation.
I believe there is a lot that can be determined without intervention if you can view what is falling out of the hive.  You will have to make a choice among many other choices what you do as a beekeeper.
Did you order bees?
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Offline Hops Brewster

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Re: Getting ready for first hive in spring
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2016, 10:52:32 am »
actually, 1.5 mediums = 1 deep, 3 med is 2 deep, &c.

It's colder in winter where I am, so I winter with a 3 mediums.
Winter is coming.

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Offline feenix3k

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Re: Getting ready for first hive in spring
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2016, 02:12:19 am »
   In the winter we sometimes get to the low teens to rare single digits. Average is near freezing give or take 5 degrees. I am still undecided about a bottom board. I don't know if a screen would be safe for even in the burbs we have animals that might go in through the screen. 
   As for bees they have not been ordered for the places near me that sell bees don't have the prices yet for the spring. I will be getting them locally. I don't want the disaster I heard a beekeeper had this pass spring. His bees were all dead when the Post office called to say they arrived.
   Foundation I am thinking small cell or let them build their own.

Offline Acebird

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Re: Getting ready for first hive in spring
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2016, 09:03:46 am »
we have animals that might go in through the screen. 

They would be small animals to get through a 1/8 square.
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Offline paus

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Re: Getting ready for first hive in spring
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2016, 10:16:23 am »
I have started using screen on top and bottom of my hive bottoms.  I have a slot on the rear so I can insert an oil pan to catch shb or mites.  In the winter I can insert a political sign cut to fit or use insulated building foam board that is aluminium  coated for easy cleaning and economical.  The oil pan can be used year round. I live in NE Texas with weather similar to Dallas.  I am going to use green house shade material for the bottom board to make dsbb   beetle proof. 

Offline feenix3k

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Re: Getting ready for first hive in spring
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2016, 01:52:53 pm »
I thought the screen area was about the same as the hive body which is larger then 1/8.

Offline Acebird

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Re: Getting ready for first hive in spring
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2016, 05:28:59 pm »
I thought the screen area was about the same as the hive body which is larger then 1/8.

The area of the screen is about the same size as the interior of the box but the screen mesh is 1/8 squares.  The original purpose of a SBB was to let mites fall through and not let the bees get in that area where the mite could jump back on the bee.
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Online cao

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Re: Getting ready for first hive in spring
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2016, 11:24:41 pm »
As for foundation, I will either let them build their own or us small cell foundation. 
I would start with foundation and add foundationless as you go along.  It's easier to start out slow.
The bottom board is an issue for I have been told that screen bottom boards invites attacks from say skunks and other bee loving creatures. And it disrupts the bee ventilation system. Such as causing brood chill in spring and summer.
I have some with and some without screen bottoms.  I like being able to put a pan with oil to kill SHB's.  I've never heard of any creature getting through the screen to get the bees.  As far as the ventilation, I leave the pans on all year so there is no problem. 
I am looking for advice at this time and a mentor if anyone is in the Marietta / Atlanta Ga are.
As many would say on this forum, this forum does make a good mentor if you can't find one near you.(that's what we are here for)


Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Getting ready for first hive in spring
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2016, 09:30:02 am »
>( 2 medium = 1 deep)

3 ten frame mediums = 2 ten frame deeps
4 eight frame mediums = 2 ten frame deeps
so
2 eight frame mediums - 1 ten frame deep
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Offline feenix3k

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Re: Getting ready for first hive in spring
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2016, 06:34:07 pm »
As I have been reading  about bees I have found they are varieties of bees. It seems that Italian bees are the most common. Is there a variety of bee that would be best for a just starting beekeeper?

Offline Matt J

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Re: Getting ready for first hive in spring
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2016, 07:12:03 pm »
As I have been reading  about bees I have found they are varieties of bees. It seems that Italian bees are the most common. Is there a variety of bee that would be best for a just starting beekeeper?

Buy a Nuc that comes from an over wintered hive with a mutt/locally mated queen. I started with packages and Nucs are much better. I don't really like the idea of packages in general. Local Beeks can point you in the right direction for Nucs.


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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Getting ready for first hive in spring
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2016, 10:52:35 am »
> It seems that Italian bees are the most common. Is there a variety of bee that would be best for a just starting beekeeper?

All the bees in North America are mutts.  They all will do fine.
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Offline feenix3k

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Re: Getting ready for first hive in spring
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2016, 04:33:23 pm »
I feel very Mentored here. One yahoo group I was on I felt like it was ran by a dictator instead of a mentor.

Offline feenix3k

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Re: Getting ready for first hive in spring
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2016, 04:11:00 am »
Does anyone use a slatted rack? From what  I Read it stops traffic jams in a hive with bees coming and going. I think it maybe good or it's a gimmick item just to get you to spend more money.  I am just trying to find out if it is useful or not needed.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Getting ready for first hive in spring
« Reply #15 on: September 24, 2016, 09:30:15 am »
Feenix,
I was at the Central NJ Beekeepers meeting last night and the slatted rack subject came up.
A member tried it on all of her hives and just about eliminated bearding and also moved the brood comb lower in the hive.
I sounds like something I want to try. She said that they cost $10. Not worth building at that price.
Jim
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Offline Matt J

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Re: Getting ready for first hive in spring
« Reply #16 on: September 24, 2016, 09:35:55 am »
Feenix,

You might check out the Beekeepers Corner Podcast. Lots of valuable information on there.  The producer of the podcast covers just about everything you can imagine beekeeping.  You have to keep in mind that he is in New Jersey, but the principles are the same, just adjust for your locale. I have learned so much this first year from books, YouTube, and that podcast. There's enough info out there to immerse yourself in for months. You just have to collect all the information, and figure out what works for you. I have found that the forums are a great place to get some quick answers and advice, but for most questions, you will get many answers, some conflicting.


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Offline Acebird

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Re: Getting ready for first hive in spring
« Reply #17 on: September 24, 2016, 09:15:56 pm »
Michael Bush writes about the Lazy Beekeeper.  Well I put the lazy beekeeper to shame.  What difference does it make if the hive uses more of the bottom comb in the winter or cooler months?  This is when you have a whole bunch of comb to store anyway.  I say forget adding another piece of equipment to the hive just keep another box on that you would only have to store anyway.
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Offline Matt J

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Re: Getting ready for first hive in spring
« Reply #18 on: September 25, 2016, 02:43:56 pm »
Michael Bush writes about the Lazy Beekeeper.  Well I put the lazy beekeeper to shame.  What difference does it make if the hive uses more of the bottom comb in the winter or cooler months?  This is when you have a whole bunch of comb to store anyway.  I say forget adding another piece of equipment to the hive just keep another box on that you would only have to store anyway.


In my first year I am thinking the "Lazy" way may be best at times. Just so I am clear about your post, the bees move up in the winter, and in the spring you just leave the empty on the bottom, or rearrange?  Or are you talking about empty honey supers?


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Offline divemaster1963

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Re: Getting ready for first hive in spring
« Reply #19 on: September 25, 2016, 02:59:46 pm »
I feel very Mentored here. One yahoo group I was on I felt like it was ran by a dictator instead of a mentor.

Feenix3k. hey I'm johndown here in middle ga. Gray, Ga. the ga. beekeepers assc. is up there near mcdonna. I'm going to be doing alot of splits this spring. get with me in feb or march. I'll give you a nuc if you want to spend a saturday giving me a hand. I have to yards. but have not been able to work them because a injury. If I can get them thru winter this year ( which is looking good because of the fall flow sofar) You can have the nuc two deep tall. I have all wild hives so thier a little more definsive, I dont use screen bottoms. and they do find. I dont treat or feed sugar water.

john

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Offline feenix3k

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Re: Getting ready for first hive in spring
« Reply #20 on: September 25, 2016, 10:44:37 pm »
Sounds like a deal to me. Just have to see if the place we rent will have room for bees. We are presently hunting for a house to rent with room for bees in the yard.

Offline Acebird

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Re: Getting ready for first hive in spring
« Reply #21 on: September 26, 2016, 08:44:16 am »
Just so I am clear about your post, the bees move up in the winter, and in the spring you just leave the empty on the bottom, or rearrange?  Or are you talking about empty honey supers?

No, no, no do not leave an empty at the top.  That was one of my bone head mistakes that cost me a hive.
If the colony doesn't completely backfill the bottom box I leave it through the winter.  It may look empty but it could be full of pollen that they will need at some point in late winter / early spring for build up.  In the spring when they start bringing in fresh pollen is when I make my decision on whether I will split or not and most likely will remove that bottom box that is empty and heavily propolized.  When the hive is a good 4-5 boxes high I will split by the box.  I use all mediums and it makes it so easy to do this.
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Offline feenix3k

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Re: Getting ready for first hive in spring
« Reply #22 on: September 29, 2016, 02:44:52 pm »
I will be starting to order hive bodies in about two to three months. I am seeing prices all over the map and all types of wood. What wood is the preferred wood for a hive body? I will be compairing prices and wood types once I am ready to start ordering beekeeping tools and hive parts.

Offline Hops Brewster

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Re: Getting ready for first hive in spring
« Reply #23 on: September 29, 2016, 03:06:34 pm »
How much money ya got? :grin:
By far, the most common wood used is pine.  Then you'll find (usually) 3 grades of pine bee gear.  The cheapest may have cracks, loose knots and a certain amount of allowed warping.  Some commercial outfits use this to keep expenses low.  It gets painted anyway, right?. 

Next will be straight boards that could have a few tight knots.  I use this, because an occasional tight knot doesn't bother me and it helps keep expenses down. 

Next will be straight, clear lumber.  Some people insist on this, though it will be painted.  Expense is higher.

You can also find cypress (very weather resistant), cedar (also weather resistant), various hardwoods, &c.  Can be very expensive, unless you mill your own.

Then you have those who build their equipment out of scrap lumber, or lumber they mill themselves, with great results.  Very low cash outlay, but lots of work.

That's if you're assembling your own gear.  If you want it preassembled, you will pay even more for it.
Winter is coming.

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Offline Acebird

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Re: Getting ready for first hive in spring
« Reply #24 on: September 30, 2016, 10:39:56 am »
Very good reply Hops Brewster.
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Offline Hops Brewster

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Re: Getting ready for first hive in spring
« Reply #25 on: September 30, 2016, 12:37:02 pm »
Thanks Ace
Winter is coming.

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Offline yes2matt

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Re: Getting ready for first hive in spring
« Reply #26 on: October 01, 2016, 08:15:31 am »
I feel very Mentored here. One yahoo group I was on I felt like it was ran by a dictator instead of a mentor.

Feenix3k. hey I'm johndown here in middle ga. Gray, Ga. the ga. beekeepers assc. is up there near mcdonna. I'm going to be doing alot of splits this spring. get with me in feb or march. I'll give you a nuc if you want to spend a saturday giving me a hand. I have to yards. but have not been able to work them because a injury. If I can get them thru winter this year ( which is looking good because of the fall flow sofar) You can have the nuc two deep tall. I have all wild hives so thier a little more definsive, I dont use screen bottoms. and they do find. I dont treat or feed sugar water.

john

four seven eight 718-six four 09
Wow that's a really good deal! Free bees and a free day's lesson disguised as work? Don't pass that up!

Offline feenix3k

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Re: Getting ready for first hive in spring
« Reply #27 on: October 05, 2016, 11:53:36 pm »
Yes it is a very good deal. It all depends on if the rental house we find will have a yard that bees will not bother other people.  The friend we are staying with has a perfect yard. The yard is fenced and an area finced inside of that with solid board fence. Perfect for a beehive or two.

Offline feenix3k

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Re: Getting ready for first hive in spring
« Reply #28 on: October 11, 2016, 02:12:01 pm »
The house we moved to as a temporary solution may be more permanent. I now must find out from the property owner if he objects to having a beehive on his property. The are is fenced in  and hidden from sight by a board fence and a shed. It is a suburban area so plants should be available all over. Once I take .pics will post them

Offline feenix3k

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Re: Getting ready for first hive in spring
« Reply #29 on: March 20, 2017, 02:50:13 am »
Well, I just learned we are moving to Washington State in June so no bees this year.

Offline GSF

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Re: Getting ready for first hive in spring
« Reply #30 on: March 20, 2017, 02:56:05 pm »
They have bees in Washington state.., :)
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Offline yes2matt

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Re: Getting ready for first hive in spring
« Reply #31 on: March 20, 2017, 11:50:23 pm »
When I moved (across town), the bees were the first to occupy the new property. :) Have a good move! Eastern WA is among my favorite places.

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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Getting ready for first hive in spring
« Reply #32 on: March 21, 2017, 03:52:36 pm »
>Does anyone use a slatted rack?

I used to have enough for all my hives but I changed everything over from 10 frame to 8 frame and sold them all off.  I never replaced them.  I like them, but not enough to buy 200 of them...
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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Offline CrazyTalk

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Re: Getting ready for first hive in spring
« Reply #33 on: March 24, 2017, 11:19:02 am »
How much money ya got? :grin:
By far, the most common wood used is pine.  Then you'll find (usually) 3 grades of pine bee gear.  The cheapest may have cracks, loose knots and a certain amount of allowed warping.  Some commercial outfits use this to keep expenses low.  It gets painted anyway, right?. 


Just to chime in - I bought 30 of Mann Lake's cheapest boxes (budget grade - in flatpacks) last year when they dropped prices during some sale or other, and none of them have any cracks, or loose knots. I think there was a piece or two that had some cupping, but nothing unusable. I do have a box or two that doesn't sit completely flat/square - although I can't be sure that this wasn't an assembly issue (as I didn't use any sort of box assembly jig).

I'm not sure if they've improved the quality of their low end goods recently, or 30 boxes is just too small of a sample and I got a lucky batch, or if they have higher standards during the times their sales are low (and they're discounting things), but my experience doesn't match the general opinion of the 'budget' boxes.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Getting ready for first hive in spring
« Reply #34 on: March 24, 2017, 02:09:52 pm »
Crazy talk,
They may have ran out of low end boxes and sent you what they had on hand. Good companies like Mann Lake will do that.
Jim
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Offline Acebird

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Re: Getting ready for first hive in spring
« Reply #35 on: March 24, 2017, 05:15:56 pm »
Crazy talk,
They may have ran out of low end boxes and sent you what they had on hand.

Or old inventory of the higher quality, returns, imperfections, something like that.  Budget boxes definitely has knots.
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Offline CrazyTalk

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Re: Getting ready for first hive in spring
« Reply #36 on: March 27, 2017, 05:23:09 pm »
Crazy talk,
They may have ran out of low end boxes and sent you what they had on hand.

Or old inventory of the higher quality, returns, imperfections, something like that.  Budget boxes definitely has knots.

It's totally possible that I got better boxes because of supply issues - but just to correct, I didn't say 'no knots'. I said no loose knots. Tight knots aren't really a problem.

Offline BeeMe

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Re: Getting ready for first hive in spring
« Reply #37 on: July 18, 2017, 05:48:17 am »

feenix3k in Atlanta you have the Metro Atlanta Beekeepers Association.  They have a very good reputation in GA.   (www.metroatlantabeekeepers.org)

On this list you have Tillie (Linda) she is virtually your neighbor and a master beekeeper.  She is very active in your area and with the association.  She has a web page where she covers a lot of area specific beekeeping issues. (beekeeperlinda.blogspot.com/)  As it is rightfully said, 'all beekeeping is local beekeeping', meaning even a distance of 40 miles can alter what works and does not work.  Like others I used SBB in south GA and never had an issue with any animal trying to get in through the screen.  I leave my screens open year round.


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