advice for today's plans

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by bwwertz, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. bwwertz

    bwwertz New Member

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    Things I'm thinking of doing today......for once I'll try to make my post in a better "order."
    Will be working my hive - the weak one - am running two deeps - have already been reversed with mostly empty frames on top and bottom because I can't find queen and there are no eggs, no brood, etc. I put three frames of brood on there the Thursday before last - hoping to see a queen cell or something to indicate I do in fact have a queen despite their "queenright behavior" (calm, bringing in pollen, plenty of food, not drinking sugar syrup, no queen cell as of last inspection even though they had eggs from new frames in which to raise one).
    My hive is about 6 inches away from my Dad's hive. My Dad's hive is strong. I've seen varroa mites and a shb or two in both hives. We have them sitting on a table. I would like to put screened bottom boards on both of these hives - does it defeat the purpose if they're on a table and don't get the ventilation from the underside?
    Spray or saturate (basting brush) "count board" with vegetable oil? What about ants/flies/various pests flying into the bottom of the bottom board if cinderblocks/not table are used?
    I want to move my Dad's hive to a new location about .1 - .2 miles away to the watermelon patch we're going to be pollinating for a local farmer. I'd like to reduce his down to 1 deep (at least for the move) - we're currently running two deeps on his as well and they have also been reversed. Thought since he has a strong hive with plenty of bees of all "levels" (foragers, nurses, etc.) it would be okay to allow them to fly back to the old location and into my hive that will still be there. Thoughts? My Dad's has a marked queen and I know she's there. Also plenty of pollen, uncapped and capped honey for them to feed all the brood they're rearing, so I figured the immediate loss of the foragers would be tolerable. Still plan on moving them at night and putting grass out front for the foragers to reorient themselves so maybe we wouldn't lose them all.
    We're planning on putting the hives in the watermelon field on a table also. Would cinder blocks be better? Better to put the screened bottom boards on my older and weaker hive? We have a 1 year old hive (renamed "mine")and a 2 year old hive (now "Dad's"). The 1 year old was split from the two year old. Hoping to ultimately create two more hives for pollenating. Have a small nuc that we moved 5+ miles away to reaclimate to watermelon field and hopefully start rearing a queen. Haven't checked on them yet. Not sure when we'll move them, but I want to take a peek inside - Dad says to wait.
    I think that's it for now. Looking forward to your thoughts, comments, ideas, and insight. =)
    Thank you always!
     
  2. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Not sure what kind of 'table' you have your hives on. A photo would really help. Yes you can put your hive with just a screen bottom board right on cement blocks, leaving some space in the middle for mites to drop off the bees, through the screen, and onto the ground where they can't get back up into the hive again. A strong hive can defend itself against flies, wasps, ants, and other robbing bees.

    Yes you can move Da'd hive and put grass or twigs around the opening so the foragers will reorient on their way oout the door the next mroning. If the hive is strong it' will recover quickly from losing a bunch of foragers who will go into your weaker hive in the old spot.
    But you best be sure your weak hive actually has a queen.

    Not sure it's a good strategy to have reversed the deeps on your dad's hive and now you plan to reduce it down to one deep...? Probably better to let it have two deeps to expand into now. If it gets overcrowded it may swarm, and you'll lose half the bees and get less honey.
     

  3. bwwertz

    bwwertz New Member

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    I just reduced it down to one deep for the move. We are going to move them tonight - leave them "closed" until the morning. Put some grass, etc. at the front entrance for them to reorient in the morning when I "open" them back up. I'll probably still leave an entrance reducer on though. (thoughts?) Plan on putting second deep back on on Wed.
    My weak hive - not sure what on earth is going on over there. Have some foragers bringing in pollen, but have not spotted the queen, no brood at all - no eggs. Trying to get them to rear a queen. Thought maybe I saw the beginning of some queen cells in there today, but not positive. Just gave them two more frames of eggs and larva to go to town with (hopefully). Another member suggested I had an unmated queen. There's plenty of food in the hive, they're very quiet - and some other "queenright" behaviors that have me baffled. Have noticed a tremendous amount of "mess" on the bottom board every time I'm in there though. =( Hopefully Wed. I can put a screened bottom foard on my hive too to help with that problem. Baffling findings in the weak hive for sure.
    Thank you for the great input! Will keep you posted for sure!