Another Central Texas Drought Victim

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Scotty Bee, Jun 14, 2011.

  1. Scotty Bee

    Scotty Bee New Member

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    I live west of Austin, Texas in the hill country on, what is normally 18 wildlower covered acres, if there is such thing as normal anymore. This is my 1st year with bees and I will ultimately have 5 colonies this year, 4 from nucs and one trapped swarm. Seems like the drought is really affecting many of my central texas piers. I wish we were having a year like last year, for our bees to prosper. I guess it is just a matter of survival for now, sort of like work and the economy.

    Looking forward to everyone's wisdom.
     
  2. Americasbeekeeper

    Americasbeekeeper New Member

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  3. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Hi Scotty:

    Glad you found us, a friendly group of beeks if there ever was! :mrgreen:
    If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask, and you will usually receive a timely answer or two, (or three, or four, or more, and some of them might even say the same thing :lol: )
    Good bunch of folks here, welcome aboard!
     
  4. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    howdy from College Station and welcome.

    ScottyBee writes:
    Seems like the drought is really affecting many of my central texas piers. I wish we were having a year like last year, for our bees to prosper.

    tecumseh:
    well the past two years certainly does give you a better idea of the problems associated with bee keeping over the long haul here in Texas. some folks who really only began bee keeping last year likely thought that was you typical year. I suspect a number of folks made plans for expansion and honey crop that did not materialize.
     
  5. Walt B

    Walt B New Member

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    What Tec said! :D

    Actually, it's a little dry here: I'm thinking of selling beachfront property on my pond. I'm northeast of you.

    Still, many of our natives are in bloom. We've got syrup in the hummingbird feeders and no bees...I consider that a good sign! Of course, I'm probably wrong. :(

    Glad to have you here. Visit often.

    Walt
     
  6. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    if Walt B still has a pond it must not be that dry????
     
  7. Scotty Bee

    Scotty Bee New Member

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    Thanks for all the welcomes.

    I've been in this area for 31 years and I have never seen an Apr - Jun as dry as this one. Austin's official rainfall total is a little skewed since they got a freak 3" rain in May, that most of the surrounding area did not get. I have barely recorded 3" since Jan 1, and most of that was in Jan. Normal is around 15" by the end of June.

    I guess feeding will be a widely discussed topic this year.
     
  8. divkabee

    divkabee New Member

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    Welcome Scotty Bee from your fellow Texan. I'm east of you (about halfway between Austin and Houston), but I know the Hill Country pretty well.

    We've had the worst spring for wildflowers I've ever seen. Even the bluebonnets were stunted and shriveled away. Nothing to do but wait it out.

    How are your bees?
     
  9. Scotty Bee

    Scotty Bee New Member

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    One colony is very strong and 2nd deep is about 60% drawn. The other superceded the queen but now seems to be building fast. They have 6 frames drawn and I will adding another box soon. The swarm that I caught doesn't seem to want to draw much comb, they only fill the frames about 50%, all on one end of the box. They also will not take any syrup. I'm kind of scratching my head over this one. I am picking up two more nucs from Beeweaver this weekend.

    I noticed yesterday that the mesquites are blooming for a 2nd time. Maybe a blessing, but I'm sure it will not last too long.
     
  10. divkabee

    divkabee New Member

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    I picked up bees/queen from BW in April. They are doing ok, and I think if we didn't have the drought, they'd be growing really fast.
     
  11. skyler49

    skyler49 New Member

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    I also have hives in the hill country in Tow, Texas. I had 8 hives now down to 5. The hives remaining are doing terribly despite my best efforts in feeding. Brood pattern is very spotty and bee populations are dwindling. I doubt that I will have any hives remaining in 3 or 4 weeks.

    I assume this is just the drought, if not, I am doing something terribly wrong.
     
  12. 2kooldad

    2kooldad New Member

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    now i been through Texas twice on a grayhound on my way to pheonix....all i saw was dirt....days worth of dirt....it suprises me that yall are suprised there is no rain....pheonix has a monsoon season...does Texas have a monsoon season...most of the state is desert isnt it ???
     
  13. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    no Texas is not primarily a desert although it gets progressively dryer the further west you go. normally we get fall thru early spring rains that can seem a bit like monsoon season but we got none of that last fall or winter followed by nothing in the spring. historically this is a once in every 50 to 100 year drought and there is no telling how long this may last.

    given Skylar49 description (I have no idea where Tow Texas is located) I would inspect the hives for stores and most especially note any pollen stored in the frames. this may be a case where feeding some pollen supplement is called for. I am assuming (I know, I know) that Skylar49 has adequately provided for ventilation and perhaps some shading from the excess heat.

    welcome aboard Skylar49.
     
  14. Walt B

    Walt B New Member

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    I know where Tow, Texas is: It's on the way to Fall Creek Vineyards on Lake Buchanan. Not that I'm a wino or anything. :drinks:

    You're response was very nice. Thanks.

    Walt
     
  15. skyler49

    skyler49 New Member

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    Thanks for the welcome!

    Hives are largely already shaded and I use a screened bottom board which I assume provides adequate ventilation. I have been feeding both 1/1 sugar water and pollen patties. The bees seem to do worse and worse, less brood, increasingly more spotty and smaller adult bee populations.

    Because the same thing seems to be happening to every hive I assume it must be due to some broad causality and so the drought seems like the obvious villian. However since I am feeding you would think that perhaps the bees would do alright, at least survive.

    I am a little perplexed but I have heard that many beekeepers are losing hives right now...Tow TX is on Lake Buchanan which is an hour north west of Austin, yes by the winery!

    Any comments or insight would be appreciated
     
  16. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    perhaps start a thread...

    give some detail as to number of hives, their age (when you got them), the age of the queen and what kind of equipment you are keeping them in, what kind (or type) of queen you think you have in the box? what source of water do the bee have? what kind of feeder are you using? sometime the smallest of things can matter.