First Year Beekeeper Confused

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Trexdarlington, Oct 9, 2017.

  1. Trexdarlington

    Trexdarlington New Member

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    I'm new to this but want to be successful, a friend talked me into starting a hive and I feel lost, hive seems to be thriving but I'm unsure with winter coming on if they can survive, I'm only in South Carolina so winters are mild compared to others!
     
  2. ccjersey

    ccjersey Member

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    OK. First thing is are they queenright and is she laying well. Not queenright hives will need a proven mated queen ASAP or be combined with a queenright hive to build up numbers.

    Next is Varroa mite numbers. Look online how to do alcohol wash or sugar shake. Your choice but you need some hard numbers on infestation rate. In reality, at some point this fall or winter you will want to treat to reduce mites to near zero, but waiting until the BEST time may result in weak "winter" bees that are hatching out this fall.

    Next is honey stores. How many boxes do you have and how many frames full of honey do they have? A sort of standard recommendation is two 8 or 10 frame deeps for the brood chamber and stores for winter. I think in the south it may take more honey to winter because the bees uncluster several times during warm spells and go out foraging when there is little to nothing to be had for their efforts. Of course the low temps are not nearly so severe as north and west of me and you.
     
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  3. Trexdarlington

    Trexdarlington New Member

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    Thanks for your reply, at the urging of a friend, I added a 3rd medium about 6 weeks ago with a queen separator between the 2nd and 3rd box, the upper box seems to be a waste other than all the bees crawling around up there, no builtout whatsoever is going on up there on any of the 8 frames, but I would say it has hundreds of bees if not a few thousand.
    I guess I should start by saying I bought a package of bees back in April and no doubt she has been a very productive mated queen, my main concern is how do I know they have enough food storage for the winter.
    I have neglected to check for mites to this point, I know I should have done so by now, I really need to find a mentor close by or join a club where I can maximize other people's experience.
     
  4. roadkillbobb

    roadkillbobb Member

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    welcome aboard, I am in my 2nd year beekeeping, and have found most of my info here and help, so dont go crazy thinking you need someone looking over your shoulder in order to be successful. if you arent, start feeding the bees sugar syrup to help them build stores for the winter, and you can buy some bee patties to supplement feeding in the winter, im way north of you and much colder winters..I treat before winter with oxilic acid vapor for mites, it seems to have very little effect on damaging the bees, if your handy you can make your own vaporizer for under $10.00 and the oxilic acid powder is cheap, just be careful not to breath the vapor in...after you treat with OA you can see what the mite drop( dead mites on the bottom board)..even if you dont have a mite problem the oxilic acid wont hurt the bees...it can seem over whelming at first, but things settle down as you get a routine going..any questions ask here and you usually get an answer in a few days or sooner..
     
  5. Trexdarlington

    Trexdarlington New Member

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    Thanks for the information, yes I have helped them along in the early stages with sugar syrup and they loved it. I will order a few of the parties to help them during the winter months and treat the hive for mites.
     
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  6. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    And by the way, welcome Trex
     
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