A few more questions :)

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by stevendt, May 26, 2014.

  1. stevendt

    stevendt New Member

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    I have a couple more questions about my bees, as I am new. Help would be appreciated!

    1. All of our bee boxes are one story hives. We will be adding a honey super this Tuesday. How much honey do we need to leave the bees in the winter? Is it just the brood box or do they need honey supers too?

    2. I know a queen can lay 2000 eggs per day...does that mean 2000 can hatch a day? Our hives are getting pretty small ( they were packages) & I'm just waiting for the brood to hatch.

    3. Is there any more information you could throw my way? All the help is appreciated!
     
  2. afterburn001

    afterburn001 New Member

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    Typically it's tow deeps and then you put your super on. If you put an excluder on then a honey box you are more than likely to get a swarm before you get honey.
    If they take care of of all the brood then yes, 2000 can hatch the same day.
     

  3. stevendt

    stevendt New Member

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    So what do you recommend I do? Add another brood box or a honey super?
    If I add another brood box will they store honey for themselves in winter? Will I get honey?
    Sorry I'm a noob!
     
  4. DMLinton

    DMLinton New Member

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    I am going to be slightly off topic here, stevendt, but I have read some of your posts and I feel compelled to try to offer a heads up while reiteating advice others have offered previously. Unless you are in an area of very meager forage or a local, and successful, beekeeper has recommended it, one brood box is not enough. You need at least a deep and a medium if not two deeps, which is my preference for brood. It is those extra bees that produce extra (surplus) honey.

    A very good queen can, under very good conditions including lots of space, lay 2000 eggs per day but that is the exception rather than the norm. 1000 - 1500 eggs per day is more typical.

    The only time a single storey hive exists, except for some who have found success in wintering single brood chambers, is in the first few weeks of growing a package or nuc into a full sized colony. Any bees that are happy in a single brood box for more than first few weeks of bee flying weather in Spring are probably not worth having ... and the queen is probably laying less than 500 or 600 eggs a day.

    A package with any kind of decent feed avaiable should populate about two frames a week so that, if you are using eight frame boxes, 75-80% of the first box should be used up around the end of week three at which point the second brood box (not honey super) should be added. Add honey supers just before the main nectar flow starts (unless you have Russians).

    Finally, I would forget that queen gates and excluders even exist. Their use, most often (not always), is a bandaid to compensate for inadequate or improper management. Queens are in the baby making business and, thus, are pre-programmed to stay in the nursery except for the occasional urge (usually in year two or later) to develop another nursery and leave the existing one to a daughter.

    I have to emphasize that, unless you have very solid advice to do so in your area, trying to operate with single brood boxes will most likely yield mostly grief.
     
  5. DMLinton

    DMLinton New Member

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    Yes, add another brood box. Two reasons - one to help ensure that they do not run out of space and swarm and, two, to produce enough bees to produce surplus honey to harvest.

    The first honey super should really be considered the bee's winter stores and should not be harvested. They should take the honey from that super down into the brood chamber in the Fall as brood rearing comes to a close and space for stores becomes available in the brood chamber.

    Will there be honey to harvest? We all ask ourselves that question but there are lots of thing one can do to lead to a harvest.
     
  6. stevendt

    stevendt New Member

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    That helped a bunch!
    We will be adding a deep brood box to each of the hives.
    How do I know when the main nectar flow starts? They stopped taking sugar water from the feeders so I assume it already has. They've been going absolutely crazy on the blackberry bushes that surround us, I don't know how long those will stay.
    I know a lot more things like star thistle will come up, I just don't know when.
    Sorry for all my noobish questions, I'm getting Into this & I plan to have many beehives once I get a hang if it!
    Here's my beehives that I currently have.
     
  7. stevendt

    stevendt New Member

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  8. DMLinton

    DMLinton New Member

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    Glad I could be helpful.

    The season ends when one or both of the following occurs - one, it gets too cold for the bees to fly or, two, when there is no nectar to harvest. In my area here in Eastern Ontario, we get nectar flow from early May to early October with something of a dearth in August during the hot, dry weather. BUT, the surplus honey producing nectar flows only occur for five to six weeks in June and early July. In most years the Fall nectar flow (mostly goldenrod and asters) will produce a little surplus honey as well.

    How long do you have to put on supers? Probably not enough unless you put two or three honey supers on in the first round and then watch them very closely. Some add one honey super at a time but that can be a crap shoot especially if one is not familiar with how their bees produce. The nectar is stored as it becomes available. If there happens to be a few days of super flow, the available space can disappear in a blink and the bees will store where ever they find space which, if there is any, it will be in the brood chamber. This reduces the queen's nursery space and usually gets her to thinking about swarming and cuts the worker bee production rate.
     
  9. stevendt

    stevendt New Member

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    Okay you really answered all of my questions, thank you so much!
    This may be kinda weird...but could I get your ( or someone else's..the more the better :) ) number? Then I could ask you questions, and get help if I have an emergency.
    Although, you might not want an annoying noob asking questions.
    My number is 530-957-3289
    Feel free! :)
     
  10. DMLinton

    DMLinton New Member

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    Ahhhh! The bees are in the blackberries. A wise fellow once said something like, "Don't split until the blackberries bloom." I know you are not splitting this year but for next year ....

    If your bees have stopped taking syrup, there is lots of forage for them and that is a good thing. With the blackberries on, suggesting that the main flow has, or is about to, start, your bees may fill that second brood box far quicker than two frames a week. You willl need to watch things very closely especially if most, or all, days are bee flying days. You want that second box 70-80% filled before adding honey supers as the extra space the honey supers provide can be a detriment.

    Be prepared for your bees to go gangbusters for the next several weeks. They may not but, if they do and you are ready for them, surplus honey becomes highly likely as well as colonies suffciently well developed that you have the option of pulling a few nucs to increase your holdings for next year. You want to be able to put those honey supers on at a moment's notice - you could have a week to get around to it ... .or half a day.

    The amount of activity it the front door is proportional to how much food there is to bring in (except for robbing or swarming). If there are traffic jams, you are almost certainly into a major nectar flow.

    Don't worry about noobish questions. We were all noobs at some point.
     
  11. stevendt

    stevendt New Member

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    Thank you so much!
    Now I'm actually confident in what I'm doing. :)
     
  12. DMLinton

    DMLinton New Member

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    Just PM me - my email comes through on my cell and I get notifications from here almost as quickly as I could answer a phone call.

    We are on opposite sides of the continent so it would be better if you were able to find someone close by that could advise you. I do not mind helping out at all but keep in mind that this is my first year actually keeping bees. I have been closely associated with a few beekeepers almost all of my life so you might say I have learned quite a bit by "osmosis" and I am a farm boy born and bred so animal husbandry is a long way from something new to me.
     
  13. stevendt

    stevendt New Member

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    Okay sounds cool!
    I'll deff email you if I have any questions :)