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Author Topic: The New Beginning  (Read 555 times)

Offline Acebird

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The New Beginning
« on: March 23, 2020, 09:19:04 am »
Due to a gift from the heavens (I think it was my next door neighbor) on my way back from the Beefest a swarm moved into a stack of boxes I had stored in the driveway.  Unfortunately I do not remember the frame configuration that was in the stack and the stack is 5 medium boxes high.  So like it or not I am back into bees.  (I like it)  I am now a new beginner because I have never had bees in the south and I have never caught a swarm before.
So here come the questions...  The stack needs to be reduced and I would assume the entrance needs to be reduced.  The question is when is it safe to manipulate the hive so that they don't leave?  The hive needs to be moved about 50 ft, again when?  I like that the hive is on concrete and where I plan to move them isn't but it is in plain sight and too close to the neighbors land.
I am sure there will be more questions to come.
Brian Cardinal
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Offline van from Arkansas

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Re: The New Beginning
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2020, 11:04:47 am »
Ace, a newbie, that does not sound correct.  Glad, so glad you back into honeybees.  Can?t argue with a gift from above.

Watch for the small hive beetles.  Up north, not an issue but in your new location small hive beetles are more of a threat than varroa, at least to me.

When to move the hive?  I would wait for the queen to lay.  The brood kinda locks in the bees preventing abscond.  I would give the bees at least one week, then, surely should be brood.  I would watch for the bees bring in pollen, that surely says the bees have accepted the hive as permanent residence.

Ace, the time frame of a week, is based on a guess, not tried and true experience.  Seeing brood gives me a sign of relief, a sign the hive is not going anywhere,

Congrats,,,, free bees.

Health to your bees,

Van
I have been around bees a long time, since birth.  I am a hobbyist so my answers often reflect this fact.  I concentrate on genetics, raise my own queens by wet graft, nicot, with natural or II breeding.  I do not sell queens, I will give queens  for free but no shipping.

Offline Bob Wilson

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Re: The New Beginning
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2020, 11:43:04 am »
Acebird. That is so funny, you getting home and having those bees moved in! Little did you know that while we were talking this weekend, you were already back in the business.

Offline Acebird

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Re: The New Beginning
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2020, 01:09:35 pm »
Watch for the small hive beetles.
That is my concern Van.  With a stack of 5 boxes and not knowing what is in each box I am in a hurry to find out.  But I don't want them to leave.
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Offline Acebird

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Re: The New Beginning
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2020, 01:12:54 pm »
Acebird. That is so funny, you getting home and having those bees moved in! Little did you know that while we were talking this weekend, you were already back in the business.

I suspect they came from my neighbor in the back of our house who didn't want to talk about bees.  Oh well they are mine now.  My wife was shocked by the size and the sound they made.  It was the sound that called her attention.
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Offline CoolBees

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Re: The New Beginning
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2020, 01:44:20 pm »
Ace - that is totally awesome! I'm glad for you. You've been a great help here for all the new Beeks. You deserve some Free-Bees.  :grin:

Remember. ....

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You cannot permanently help men by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves - Abraham Lincoln

Offline Acebird

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Re: The New Beginning
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2020, 03:06:31 pm »
Thanks Cool.  We will see if they want to stay.
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Offline Ben Framed

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Re: The New Beginning
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2020, 08:50:10 pm »
Ace, I want to congratulate you also. As cool said, you have been a great help here. You are a great help to me also. It is only fitting that a bee person should have bees. lol  As far as Southern beekeeping advice, I think Mr Van pretty well covered the basics. I will add, when you are confident that you have brood and they are locked in, you might consider treating for mites at, or around that time also. At least before they have capped the brood.

Phillip




Offline Acebird

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Re: The New Beginning
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2020, 09:01:38 pm »
Well Phill I have this thing about treating bees.  I don't know how that is going to go with the inspector.
Brian Cardinal
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Offline Ben Framed

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Re: The New Beginning
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2020, 09:06:06 pm »
Well Phill I have this thing about treating bees.  I don't know how that is going to go with the inspector.

I understand, hopefully varroa will not be much of a problem there in Florida. As Mr Van said varroa are not nearly the problem in his area, and I add, in my area either as SHB.

Phillip

Offline cao

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Re: The New Beginning
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2020, 10:08:04 pm »
As to the original questions, I would give them a week to draw comb and the queen to lay some eggs.  That should lock them in but not let them fill the five boxes.  I assume the comb will be in the top box.  I also would assume that there may be a mess in that box if you didn't have the frames in it.  I would go though the hive and straighten everything up first.  Then a couple days later, move the hive to the new location.

As others already stated, glad you are back in the bee business.  It was meant to bee.

Offline Acebird

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Re: The New Beginning
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2020, 09:06:34 am »
I am pretty sure there are frames in the boxes but not 100% sure.  The top box has frames because I lifted the cover to check for bees.
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Offline Ben Framed

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Re: The New Beginning
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2020, 10:46:11 am »
>I am pretty sure there are frames in the boxes but not 100% sure.  The top box has frames because I lifted the cover to
  check for bees.


Ace it will be interesting to see what you find when you do go in.  I hope they stay with the frames. I have found it almost impossible to save new comb no matter how careful I have been while handling it while doing cutouts. And if they are in an area that does not have frames, hopefully they will draw straight comb instead of twisted maze of comb. It just seem to be the opposite of M&M's. Melts in your hands lol. No matter how you handle it it will fold, collapse, and break. This would not concern me so much except the queen will readily lay in the new stuff, adding to her baby count leaving the possibility of her being in the middle of this stuff. My concern when doing a cutout of a newer hive with this new white comb, is trapping the queen in between this new stuff. Killing her. There are ways to up your odds in this situation. I know that all the above you already know. I just put it in for newer beekeepers. I had to learn the hard way. lol

Phillip Hall

Offline FatherMichael

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Re: The New Beginning
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2020, 11:14:35 am »
So glad you got some bees, Ace!

Online Nock

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Re: The New Beginning
« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2020, 11:31:50 pm »
I?m jealous. Wish I could come home and find a swarm. Good luck with them.

Offline sc-bee

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Re: The New Beginning
« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2020, 02:47:23 am »
Not me ... they chose the bod and are home. I would move them where I wanted and rid the extra boxes. Just me :wink:
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Offline Acebird

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Re: The New Beginning
« Reply #16 on: March 25, 2020, 08:47:16 am »
Inspect and then move or move then inspect?  What time of day, morning or evening?  I am going to wait until 3-30 when my new bee jacket is suppose to get here.  I could move them without it.
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Offline Bob Wilson

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Re: The New Beginning
« Reply #17 on: March 25, 2020, 10:07:29 am »
It was a rough way to begin beekeeping when I caught my first colony as a swarm and they built on the migratory top in the back of the box. There's nothing for it except to wait the week out then go in with a knife and rubberbands. I know it will work out well for a more experienced beek like you.
However, Acebird... i wouldn't wear short pants like you did at beefest. :wink:

Online FloridaGardener

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Re: The New Beginning
« Reply #18 on: March 26, 2020, 04:23:58 pm »
From Northwest Fla to Ace in South Fla: Hooray!
     Moving to the right location.
I've leapfrogged them on 2 sets of sawhorses.  Couple of feet every other day or so. No worries when the entrace faces the same direction.
     Feeding a swarm.
I wouldn't feed a swarm this time of year, unless you want ants, robbing, etc. My best swarms just built up a bit and I added a frame or two of capped brood as they could defend it. There's oodles of forage out there, almost year round.  The main flow in NW Fla ends after sabal palms...mid-end of June.  Then, watch out: many hangry bees looking for weak colonies to rob.
    Feral Bees in Fla.
Speaking of robbing, I keep entrances small on new colonies... 3/4" by 1"... a 1x board cut short.  So many ferals here.  And nobody's putting any OAV on those feral colonies. Anyone I know who does cutouts doesn't bother to treat here.  Fla. apiary inspectors are all nice, none I've met are pushy.  It's not like childhood vaccines.
     SHB
Now that's another matter and we have to do something mechanical.  My best defense is Dixie H700 reusable paper towels.  Cut them in half, stretch them up a bit, rough them up on #8 mesh, and drop on the top bars.  Even feral cutout bees figure out fast that SHB get trapped in the fuzz, so they herd them to the towel.
       Some people use Beetlebuster traps. I find those warp in hot weather, the SHB get corralled under the ruffled edge, and make a run down the frame when I lift out the trap. And the trench dries out, etc.  I'm trying a few guardian hive entrances, but not enough time has passed to see results.
      The bees use the gaps under the 1x entrance reducer for an SHB corrall, too.  So when you move the entrance reducer, be on the ready with with a 1" putty knife.  The putty knife is more precise and flexible than a hive tool.  I aim for where those SHB are headed and play Space Invaders for a few minutes at the beginning of an inspection. Resting a frame on a piece of carboard to do SHB smashing keeps SHB guts out of the hive. 
       Finally, a good screened bottom board system helps a lot.  It should have at least 2.5" space underneath so the hive trash can be collected weekly on a pull-out tray, otherwise SHB will lay eggs in the hive trash. The hive needs some ventilation, but not a lot so they can keep the "A/C" on. So I use front & sides closed, back open for cleaning.  If they're fanning too loud in 100 degree temps, a partial reducer there closes the door a bit.
       I almost lost a colony in a bottom board system that didn't have cleanout space.  They started to abscond and I had to catch them but lost the Q.  Now I always use the right SBB setup.
      Best thing: Bees love Florida!

Offline Seeb

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Re: The New Beginning
« Reply #19 on: March 26, 2020, 06:04:33 pm »
So glad you have bees Ace
To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow - Audrey Hepburn

The edge . . . there is no honest way to explain it, because the only people who really know where it is, are the ones who have gone over. ~ Hunter S Thompson

Online paus

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Re: The New Beginning
« Reply #20 on: March 26, 2020, 06:05:06 pm »
On my soapbox again advocating DSBB with oil pan.  I went through some big hives today did not see a SHB, there some cockroaches in the shavings in the top board. but lots of SHB in the oil.

Offline Seeb

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Re: The New Beginning
« Reply #21 on: March 26, 2020, 06:21:28 pm »
glad to hear the oil pan method works - I've set up my new hive with one
To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow - Audrey Hepburn

The edge . . . there is no honest way to explain it, because the only people who really know where it is, are the ones who have gone over. ~ Hunter S Thompson

Offline Acebird

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Re: The New Beginning
« Reply #22 on: March 26, 2020, 06:37:07 pm »
     SHB
Now that's another matter and we have to do something mechanical.
What is the season for SHB?
Brian Cardinal
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Online FloridaGardener

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Re: The New Beginning
« Reply #23 on: March 26, 2020, 07:04:44 pm »
Over 70 degrees.

Offline Seeb

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Re: The New Beginning
« Reply #24 on: March 26, 2020, 08:35:24 pm »
What is the season for SHB?

Over 70 degrees.


Oh dear!
To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow - Audrey Hepburn

The edge . . . there is no honest way to explain it, because the only people who really know where it is, are the ones who have gone over. ~ Hunter S Thompson

Online FloridaGardener

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Re: The New Beginning
« Reply #25 on: March 27, 2020, 12:17:01 am »
@ Paus - so your DSBB is a tray under the screened bottom board, with an additional screen on top of the tray to keep bees browsing in the hive trash from getting stuck in the oil? 

Do the SHB really go through the two layers of #8 mesh?

Is it too much trouble to uplink photos?  Would appreciate - Thanks.

Offline Acebird

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Re: The New Beginning
« Reply #26 on: March 27, 2020, 06:20:39 pm »
Over 70 degrees.

That's almost all year long down here.  I better get moving.
Brian Cardinal
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Offline Acebird

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Re: The New Beginning
« Reply #27 on: March 31, 2020, 10:11:11 am »
Update: They are here to stay!
I got my ventilated jacket last night so this morning was first trial.  There is about 3 medium frames of open brood and they are drawing out 4 frames in the box below.  I did not see the queen and hopefully I didn't lose her.  I have some foundation so I will put that in empty frames and switch that with empty frames in the hive.  Seems like I have to work this hive like a horizontal for a while.  They are all over to one side.
What a difference a ventilated jacket makes.  No stings.
Fingers crossed.
OH BTW old dog learned new trick.  I had a video conference meeting (zoom) with my siblings last night on my birthday.  It was fun!
Brian Cardinal
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Offline Seeb

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Re: The New Beginning
« Reply #28 on: March 31, 2020, 11:02:48 am »
Happy Birthday Ace!  I love my new ventilated jacket too - congratulations on your new hive
To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow - Audrey Hepburn

The edge . . . there is no honest way to explain it, because the only people who really know where it is, are the ones who have gone over. ~ Hunter S Thompson

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: The New Beginning
« Reply #29 on: March 31, 2020, 11:53:09 am »
Happy Birthday Ace! I love my ventilated jacket. You will especially need it in Florida when you require protection. I would suggest bringing a fan along as well allowing the vents to do their job more efficiently.

Phillip Hall

Offline Acebird

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Re: The New Beginning
« Reply #30 on: March 31, 2020, 02:54:59 pm »
I would suggest bringing a fan along as well allowing the vents to do their job more efficiently.

Phillip Hall
I went without a shirt.  I sweated more when I was up north with the other jacket.
Hey I saw the queen on the second intervention!  Right on bottom of the inner cover just mozing around without a care in the world.  On the first inspection/move I did not see one hive beetle but on the second I saw two.  What oil do you put in the tray?  How often do you empty it?
The move went really swell.  I saw bees in the top two boxes so I put them on a piece of plywood and the bottom board with the cover.  Then just slipped a hand truck under the plywood, tipped the hive back and walked it to the new location about 50 ft away.  That left 3 boxes back at the old location.  On the second intervention at the new location I replaced 4 empty frames with foundation in the bottom box.  I went back to the old location and grabbed each box one at a time with hundreds of bees on them and set them on there side next to the new location.  In ten minutes these boxes were empty and there is only 15-25 bees left at the old location.  It didn't take them long to find the active hive.  All is good.
My plan is to let this hive build up to 4 boxes and do a walk away split.
Brian Cardinal
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Offline CoolBees

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Re: The New Beginning
« Reply #31 on: March 31, 2020, 03:49:29 pm »
Happy [belated] Birthday Ace, and congratulations! That's too awesome!
You cannot permanently help men by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves - Abraham Lincoln

Offline jtcmedic

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Re: The New Beginning
« Reply #32 on: March 31, 2020, 05:33:09 pm »
Congrats on the bees. It is hot keeping bees in Florida drink lots of water.

Offline FatherMichael

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Re: The New Beginning
« Reply #33 on: April 01, 2020, 09:02:18 am »
Sounds like you've got a good start!

Offline Kwalt

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Re: The New Beginning
« Reply #34 on: April 01, 2020, 10:00:01 am »
Awesome!

Offline Seeb

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Re: The New Beginning
« Reply #35 on: April 01, 2020, 10:11:41 am »
Ace - I buy a gallon of food grade mineral oil to soak all my wooden ware each year [wooden spoons, chopping boards, tools, etc] then strain it back into the jug and reuse the next year - so now that I have bee's again, I have plenty to put in the SHB tray as well.

To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow - Audrey Hepburn

The edge . . . there is no honest way to explain it, because the only people who really know where it is, are the ones who have gone over. ~ Hunter S Thompson

Offline yes2matt

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Re: The New Beginning
« Reply #36 on: April 01, 2020, 11:08:33 pm »
Well Phill I have this thing about treating bees.  I don't know how that is going to go with the inspector.

We met the inspector last year. Seems a good guy, to me.

I asked him if there were many folks in FL who purport to keep bees treatment free. And he gave the typical roundabout yadayada about "what's the definition. .. even putting them in a hive is a treatment ..." and I said so whatever about the definition is anybody doing it? and he said "not successfully."

So you might just have to work hard to demonstrate that you are successfully keeping the bees, and have documented mite tests etc to show you're doing your diligence, ya know.

Anyway, I'M GLAD you are back in the game. If you welcome the bees they will stay with you.

Offline Bob Wilson

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Re: The New Beginning
« Reply #37 on: April 02, 2020, 06:50:24 am »
Congrats Brian! I am enjoying the story, and very glad they stayed. Have you thought about placing a few baited boxes around the yard? Where you catch one swarm, you will often catch another. The season is young, and you might not even need to split to get a second and third hive.

Offline Acebird

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Re: The New Beginning
« Reply #38 on: April 02, 2020, 09:23:46 am »
Have you thought about placing a few baited boxes around the yard?

I don't have anything to bait it with but the boxes are set up next to the new hive.  I was thinking of sacrificing some brood but down here it will just draw a whole bunch of beetles.  I am going to keep watch on the foundation I put in the hive.  If I can catch it before they put honey and pollen in the cells that might work.
Also I did not want to leave boxes where the swarm came because I did not what to encourage the bees to hang around that area.
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Online FloridaGardener

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Re: The New Beginning
« Reply #39 on: April 02, 2020, 11:35:22 am »
Ace, I suspect this is why beeks in NW Florida can go treatment https://bee-health.extension.org/varroa-mite-reproductive-biology/

High humidity.

Offline van from Arkansas

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Re: The New Beginning
« Reply #40 on: April 02, 2020, 12:02:49 pm »
Well Phill I have this thing about treating bees.  I don't know how that is going to go with the inspector.

Good morning Ace.  I understand you are treatment free, ok by me.

FYI: the Italians the Germans rear hives by the thousands treatment free, successfully.  I have been studying their methods very closely.  They create brood breaks, cage the queen, remove capped brood, use trap comb, split.  Time intervals are important.

Also, recently learned: When all capped brood is removed, Varroa change physiology.  When capped brood is available, the Varroa change physiology again.  The point being the change in physiology, a weakness of Varroa, can be exploited to the advantage of the beekeeper, no chemicals are used.

I am changing subject with this post so I am going to cut short and not go into the details of the successful treatment free methods by the beeks across the pond.

Bees can be managed treatment free, nothing to do with small cell nor a special gene pool, that is the so called hygenic bee.
I have been around bees a long time, since birth.  I am a hobbyist so my answers often reflect this fact.  I concentrate on genetics, raise my own queens by wet graft, nicot, with natural or II breeding.  I do not sell queens, I will give queens  for free but no shipping.

Offline The15thMember

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Re: The New Beginning
« Reply #41 on: April 02, 2020, 01:37:19 pm »
I am changing subject with this post so I am going to cut short and not go into the details of the successful treatment free methods by the beeks across the pond.
Perhaps you could start another thread to discuss this more in depth?  I'd be very interested to hear more. 
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.