Hello

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by timbre, Sep 4, 2012.

  1. timbre

    timbre New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hello all. I hope this post is in the right place, I just registered today.
    I thought I'd post about my problem and see what you guys thought. I started beekeeping two summers ago. My one hive has not been overly productive, I only got about 17 pounds of honey from the honey super last year. And I can never find the queen. I looked in the hive at the begining of the summer and it seemed to be very full and strong. I work offshore and have not been home for about two months. Now it is fall (east texas) and i just checked the hive and what I found is not good. There is NO honey at all, only about 3 frames in the brood box with brood on them. Also, we have a new hive in a tree in my yard.
     
  2. klpauba

    klpauba New Member

    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'm a newbee myself and I will let the other, more experienced beeks help you out. I do, however, want to welcome you to the forum ... I've found it invaluable in getting my hives up and running.
     

  3. timbre

    timbre New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks and it seems I can use some help.
     
  4. CeeGee

    CeeGee New Member

    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Welcome, and feed.
    Feed.
    Feed.
    Seems you may have a late swarm on your hands? Depending on your queen, your winter, and your luck you may get that hive through winter fine, but they need food. On here are tons of recipes, techniques, etc, for feeding. Have you looked to see if there is a heavy mite load? That will knock them back a bit too
     
  5. timbre

    timbre New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I actually did not see any parasites, there were hive beetles in it earlier in the summer but I did not see any this time. There's probably nothing for them to eat! I have frame feeders in the brood and bottom supers, i usually feed them a 1 to 1 sugar water mix in the spring. I figured if they are gonna be salvaged I will have to feed them thru the winter. What about capturing the hive in the tree?
     
  6. CeeGee

    CeeGee New Member

    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    This time of year you want to consider a 2:1 sugar water. It's thicker and there's less dry time.
    Not having beetles yet, I couldnt tell you much about them, though not seeing any is probably a good sign.
    Personally, and others may differ, I wouldnt try for the tree hive yet. Wait until spring. I've done cut-outs and trees too late in the year and sometimes they dont really have time to recover or build back up enough. Sometimes they do. I'm of the thought that they are probably starting to hunker down for winter and will probably do fine in their chosen locale. Then in the spring, they're all yours.
     
  7. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

    Messages:
    5,829
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Welcome to our friendly forum. :hi:
    It can be tough when you have to be away for a couple months.
    Is the "new hive in a tree in my yard" actually in the tree or perhaps is it a swarm hanging there?
    Feed, feed, feed is good advice. A mite count wouldn't hurt as well, don't count on actually seeing them. Do you see open brood, larvae, etc?
    I am sure others will have more ideas as well.
     
  8. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

    Messages:
    3,708
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Welcome Timbre. Glad to have you join us. :hi:
    I'm sorry to say it, but you have a problem based on a conflict of interests: bees vs job. When I first started with bees, there was such a thing as "let-alone-beekeeping" and generally you could get away with it and pull in a yield. As globalization has made the whole world into a small village, we've (unintentionally) shared pests, parasites and diseases from one area of the world to the next. Bottom line, without our help, bees have a rough time making a go of things. That puts a heavy responsibility on us beeks.
    Two months of not being examined and attended to is an invitation to trouble.
    I would suggest that you get a friend to join you with your beekeeping and fill in for you while you're away. It should be a win-win situation for you, your friend and, above all, the hive.
     
  9. Americasbeekeeper

    Americasbeekeeper New Member

    Messages:
    1,126
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Welcome Timbre! Varroa prefer the soft underside of the abdomen. Unless you turn the bees over or do a sugar shake, or alcohol shake, or mite drop, you will not see most of the mites. A managed hive has a lot better chance of survival than one exposed on a tree limb.
     
  10. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    a snip..
    My one hive has not been overly productive, I only got about 17 pounds of honey from the honey super last year.

    tecumseh:
    that is 17 more pounds than I myself collect from 200 hives last year so you must be doing something right.

    for most of the southern US the mix of feed (1to1, 2to1, etc) really does not matter so much. at this time of year if you were further north (that is, a die in the wool yankee beekeeper) 2 to 1 would be the feed mix you would wish to use. here it just doesn't matter that much. I myself feed 1 to 1 simple because it is simple and requires little heat to dissolve the sugar.

    as a hive approaches the end of year two most times I suspect varroa (it is just the biology of how varroa works). some simple testing will tell you pretty clearly yes or no but I suspect beyond lack of flow that varroa is at least part of your problem.

    another snip..
    east texas

    tecumseh:
    well actually east Texas is not part of the United States and as far as I can tell it is not even a part of this universe :wink: :wink:. some more precise description of where in the US and approximately where in East Texas you reside may help folks that respond to any questions.

    good luck....
     
  11. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

    Messages:
    1,936
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I can't add to what the experts have said about your bees, but I can add my welcome to the friendliest forum on the internet! :D
     
  12. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

    Messages:
    2,056
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Welcome to the forum! Yeap, sounds like a swarm spun off.
     
  13. kebee

    kebee Active Member

    Messages:
    1,008
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Welcome timbre to the froum, hope you have gotten good advice here

    kebee
     
  14. timbre

    timbre New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    ok, I had conflicting advice about when to take the hive from the tree, but I did it today. I gathered all the comb I could, looks like the bee's took most of the honey with them when smoked. I strung up 3 or 4 frames of brood in a new box. There is a swarm forming in a nearby tree. If I take this swarm and put them in the box is it a safe bet they will set up shop? And should I do it today or wait for them to settle down?

    update: In the time it took me to write this and go back outside, the bees in the tree are gone and they all seem to be on the stump now. I have the new box with the brood inside right next to the stump group. Maybe they will go ahead and move in? Would it help any if I put a frame feeder with syrup inside the box to attract them or would that just attract bees from the other hive to rob?
     
  15. CeeGee

    CeeGee New Member

    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Depends on where the queen is.
    If she's in that swarm (and I'm assuming she is) they might just stay put. I usually shut them in for a day or two so they are resigned to sticking around at that point. I would do it soon. Stragglers will find her.
     
  16. Noronajo

    Noronajo New Member

    Messages:
    211
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    If you have any, put a frame of brood from your other hive-they won't abandon brood( I read that on here and all 6 swarms I hived stayed last year). I've also read that it doesn't always work but it has for me.
     
  17. timbre

    timbre New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I actually put about 3 or 4 frames of brood from this actual hive in the box. The only real question I have at this point is should I try to manually gather the bees and put them in the box, or wait and see if they go in on their own.
     
  18. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

    Messages:
    8,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I would use something flat like a credit card or dust pan and scoop them up and put them at the entrance.
     
  19. timbre

    timbre New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I've done everything I can think of now. Some of the bees were still congregating on a limb, so I cut it off and put it in the box. the bees from the stump cluster began crawling into it. I scooped up the biggest part and dumped them in. I put a frame feeder in with syrup. As I was cleaning up some of my tools I noticed another group climbing and flying around ANOTHER tree close by. I'm just gonna wait till this evening now and see what they do.

    DUH! I got it now. The small groups of bees on the first and now second tree must be groups of foragers returning to find their hive gone. There are more bees on the stump now which I figure are also foragers returning and landing there with nowhere else to go. I will try to gather more up tonight and get them in the box. I still don't know if I have the queen or not.
     
  20. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

    Messages:
    8,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    You said you put the limb IN? the box. If so, remove it. Never put bees in a "less than full" box. The first place they ALWAYS draw comb will be from the ceiling, not on the frames. You have to fill the box with frames or they will not use them.