gypsi's beekeeping advice from the school of hard knocks.

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Gypsi, Jun 13, 2013.

  1. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    1. If your gut says you don't know why that hive died, do NOT feed that honey to your bees. Hive 1 was almost gone with a full super. Hive 3 was gone with a full super. Common wisdom, share with the bees. If you do not know why they are doing badly, eat the honey..

    2. I'll figure this out when I go rescue the newly hatched baby bees from 3 frames I took away from hive 5. I went to put them in bleach water at midnight and found they had new bees, so I am going to add them to the nuc.

    3. when the bee inspector says the comb and honey are safe and do not carry the disease European Foulbrood, I will never again believe him. He could have 50 years in beekeeping but none of them were in weather like we have today with dearths like we have today, except the past 3 years. He has some catching up to do. On the other hand, I have NEVER seen a good flow. EVER. Not since I had one bee here.

    4. Since the swarm that went into hive 1 went into the bee tree first, I assumed they caught the EFB from the bee tree's comb. (there were no bees there when I cut it down) However, there are no feral bees in my area, and were none until I lost a swarm on May 3, 2011. That swarm was from a hive I purchased locally that swarmed off, and the balance of the bees absconded a month later due to dearth, too much real estate, shb and wax moth I assumed. I am now quite suspicious that the first hive I bought didn't come with the EFB. Her advice was so inappropriate to healthy beekeeping I waited months before joining a local group.. Deep shade under a giant elm that sees no sun for 6 months. That's where she set up my hive...

    5. Feeling all safe and secure here, obviously. I am going to the garden. I apologize for my tone, many of you here have been supportive. But I have had one 8 hour nights sleep since this all started, and I do not anticipate another one for 2 or 3 more days... Still cleaning up wax, processing honey, medicating bees, and going now to rescue the new bees... They wouldn't hatch on the ledge next to the hive, too hot and sunny, they'd get their head out and die. So before I went to work yesterday I tossed the frames on a white nylon rock bag and covered them with the rest of the bag. I was very surprised to find 25 or 30 live bees at midnight. They are looking for home. Going to assist before I turn the chickens loose.
     
  2. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Hive 1 has built up from nothing on the day I stripped the hive and medicated them May 24th. They have had plain sugar water with clorox (2 teaspoons per gallon of 1:1) and fairly decent forage. They have had medicine 5 times counting today, starting on May 24th. They went from 10 empty frames to about 7 frames full of comb. Only 2 have brood, only capped except for a few larva in the purple eye stage, no eggs, no uncapped brood, some capped drone brood as well. I did not see the queen. I gather she will not lay, or will not lay often, when there is medicine in the hive. I had a 6 day break between dose 1 and dose 2, given May 30th, that might be enough to get purple eye larva?

    Nuc started on June 8th with the 2nd queen from hive 5 and half a cup to a cup of bees, has one frame, still alive, accepted 2nd dose of medicine today and 20 or 30 freshly hatched bees from the frames from 5. Taking sugar water. Robber guard a good thing.

    Hive 5, torn down Monday June 10th, 10 empty frames in bottom, 9 on top, 1 frame full of capped brood still hasn't hatched out. Re-dosed and closed up.

    will check neighbor's hive when I get home from work.

    I finally got the rest of the frames that are outdoors gathered up and dunked in bleach water. It was critical all bees be medicated til I got the honey/wax mess under control. I still have a full refrigerator and freezer to deal with. This is hard work.
     

  3. lazy shooter

    lazy shooter New Member

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    gypsi:

    It does appear that you are "snake bit" with bees. Like you, my bees have never seen a good flow during their 26 month tenure at my ranch. That's OK, they are still living and it will rain someday.
     
  4. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    i 'hear' and read your frustration and then some in your posts.
    you all in texas need rain, there's too much rain up here, all of may and june, done nothing but rain. i am not strapped with EFB, but if the rain doesn't quit, i might be feeding and/or i might not have any bees.
    hang in there gyspi :grin:
     
  5. lazy shooter

    lazy shooter New Member

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    Like Riverbee, I read frustration between the lines of your posts. I was there a couple of months back and then decided to try some more bees at a different location. I've accomplished that with the capable assistance of Lborou. The new bees have invigorated my psyche. You are at a low spot, but when one is on the bottom the only way left is UP. It seems like you are going to keep on keeping on, and in my opinion, that is the best prescription. You love bees, and you are a smart, capable, get it done lady. You will wither this storm and be the better because of it. Butt that saddle and hang tough better days are coming.

    Lazy
     
  6. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm still hanging in here. the later diagnosed hives all had dose 2 of terrabee on Thursday the 13th. Hive 1 had its 5 dose. With as much contaminated honey and wax as I've got, I am not taking any chances on reinfection. No matter what the bee inspector said. (he told me not to redose, but I would rather kill them with antibiotic OD than go through this again, and he also told me to put honey from a dead hive on my other hives.)

    My biggest frustration is not with the weather, the bees or the EFB. it is with people

    On the one hand those that know how EFB spreads, and those who consider it normal and a lack of sustenance.

    When I found EFB in my neighbor's hive, which never ever missed a feeding, the sustenance philosophy went out the window.

    And they didn't get any January/February dead out honey unless they robbed it. (they aren't big robbers, they are smaller bees than mine and it is a small hive.) But they had old comb with honey and brood from last year, one of my hives on the brood, the old comb was from hive 1 or the bee tree that preceded it. That is proof enough for me. I don't have to submit a scientific paper, and I hate conflict. I hate to argue. So I go back to the garden and just do what feels right to me.
     
  7. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    To quote a verse from a song written in this little town and about this little town some time ago by Robert Earl Keen and Lyle Lovett...

    'remember the fallen down
    and the laughin' of the curse of luck
    from all those son of bitches
    who said we would never get up'
     
  8. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    All bees look good today. My neighbor's bees are a bit smaller, and a tiny bit hotter than mine. they also have filled a solid 10 frames of comb since I cleaned them out. Have to take them a 2nd box in the morning. My bee inspector said NOT to pull the syrup or honey they put up during the medication, just leave it for the bees to eat.
     
  9. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Bee inspector comes in the morning. Will see what I see