I'm so far behind......

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by PerryBee, Jun 12, 2013.

  1. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    I think I'm out front! :shock:

    How did this happen? I started the year with such great expectations, an excellent over winter, booming hives, etc.
    My goal of hitting 50 hives was easily in my sight.
    I think back and here is what has thrown me off.

    After receiving almost no interest in pollination work, I made the decision instead to sell nucs, and started beekeeping with that in mind.
    Queens were ordered, equipment was ordered and built to allow me to hit 50 hives and also sell some nucs. Things got off to a bit of a bumpy start with the rejection and failure of many of the imported queens, forcing me to allow those bees to re-queen themselves thereby tying up that equipment.

    Then came the call for a part-time gig doing inspection work for the Province (something I was initially reluctant to do but have since come to appreciate). Those days are done during good weather of course which means my bees take a back seat so to speak.

    Then came the calls for pollination, and the allure of an infusion of $$$ was too hard to pass up (that, and I was honouring another contract for someone else).

    Toss into all of this, I was approached by Adam Foster Collins and decided we would try a hand at grafting queens. We went through some of my hives, made a queen rearing set-up out of a box Adam built especially for raising queens, and had a go using bees and brood from a couple of my boomer hives.
    Adam grafted into 32 cups, 16 on each of 2 bars and we ended up with 31 going into the queen rearing box (1 cup inadvertently fell off). After 24 hours I went back and checked and from what I can see they are busily working on 27 cups, ignoring 4 altogether. Wow!

    Now I find myself in a predicament. Adam and I have to set up mating boxes withing a week to place these cells into. We are going to try using deeps and dividing them into 4 - 2 frames nucs with entrances on all 4 sides. This is tying up even more resources that neither of us had counted on (bees and comb). Then what to do when they are mated and need more space? Adam is thinking of trying to over-winter nucs made up in July, which seems like a good idea given we can only get offshore queens for early spring starts here. and the success of these queens is real hit and miss.

    I am almost out of frames and will likely need to order more. I have just begun supering some of my hives and need to finish the mediums I have started, and build those frames as well. Hives are starting to come out of pollination and will need a thorough going over. I am already at 46 hives, achieved mostly by heading off hives that were close to swarming.

    Oh yeah, my honey house is as it was 2 months ago. :sad:

    I consider myself an organized guy, but lately it fells like I'm anything but!
     
  2. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    I am glad to hear you have decided to rear some of your own queens. Given your early season set back with the mated queens this sounds like an excellent idea and IT WILL MAKE YOU A BETTER BEEKEEPER.

    One item I would suggest you look into early on is some form of banking the queen cells. I simply make my own with hardware wire and electrical tape and shape the hardware wire into tubes with a plug on the bottom and a queen cell closing the top... I set these into a rack made with frames and a bit of scrap wood. These allow you to monitor the percentage of cells that actually hatch and in addition doesn't tie up bee resources (bee and boxes) for cells that never hatch + they allow you a bit of time cushion in the entire process.

    in making divider I would suggest you not divide boxes into anything less that three divisions per 10 frame box. This allows you three frames per slop + some small amount of extra space.
     

  3. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Last year you complained when bees died. This year you complain when they do well. You sound like a wife. Just can't be made happy. :lol: :lol: :lol:

    Glad to hear things are going well. Now order that wood and get busy.
     
  4. lazy shooter

    lazy shooter New Member

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    I was once on an oilfield fishing job. Sometimes a bit of other tool twists off or torques off the tool string and falls into the well. Then another tool is used to "fish" out the lost tool. We call it fishing. Once upon a time I had a fish that was caused me great misery in trying to catch it. I finally caught it, but it was stuck in the well at a difficult angle and would not come loose. I called an expert and he told me, "well you wanted to catch it and you caught it, and it won't come loose. So PULL HARDER."

    You wanted more bees. You have gotten more bees. So PULL HARDER.
     
  5. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    I guess........."I just gotta bee me!" :lol: :thumbsup: :mrgreen:

    Tec, why do think 2 frames mating nucs are too small? Is there some noticeable difference between that and 3 frames for mating?
     
  6. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    Tell me about it:shock:, bought Lic. and new battery's for my boat 4 months ago (boats not been out of the garage since) Got 300 + tomato plants setting on the trailer because of wet ground (going to plant them today) temp. in the mid 90's today.Checked 25 hive yesterday in my northern yards,all have 2 med supers almost fully capped and working on the 3rd super and the ones with comb honey shallow supers are 3/4 capped:eek:. People calling the house wanting to know when i'll be at the farmers market? on top of that, i haven't got my Hay up.:roll: Jack
     
  7. Noronajo

    Noronajo New Member

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    Jeez, you guys sound like a bunch of old women- and as an old woman, my advice is "Suck it up, boys!!!"
     
  8. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    "Jeez, you guys sound like a bunch of old women- and as an old woman, my advice is "Suck it up, boys!!!"

    ........:lol:
     
  9. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    Ohh Yeah, It's all those girls causing all our problems according to Perry, and i'm inclined to agree.:roll: Jack
     
  10. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Those two would complain if you hung them with a BRAND NEW rope. :eek:
     
  11. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    "Ohh Yeah, It's all those girls causing all our problems according to Perry, and i'm inclined to agree.:roll: Jack"

    "Those two would complain if you hung them with a BRAND NEW rope. :eek:"

    .......:queen:...................:lol:
     
  12. lazy shooter

    lazy shooter New Member

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    You guys have we down here refer to as high class problems. Me, I'm trying to decide at what point in time do I move my bees to hopefully keep from feeding them in the summer, or do I leave them as they are and just get on with the feeding. Excess honey and excess bees will not draw a sympathetic response from me.
     
  13. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

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    I got the MD's ok to go back to work Monday. So now my problem will be to sort out everything that needs done, and not overdo it trying to get things accomplished. I'll have to go to work so that I can rest!
     
  14. Adam Foster Collins

    Adam Foster Collins New Member

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    Well, as I said in our own conversations,

    "These are good problems to have". Meanwhile, an hour away we're having terrible weather (easily 5 or more degrees cooler on average and wetter), and I am a month behind where I hope to be by this time in terms of bee numbers and colony development.

    Mother Nature's hard to bet on.

    Adam
     
  15. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Hey Adam. :thumbsup: Gonna have to start calling you the "graftman" or something cool like that! :lol:
    What do you make of tec's thinking that mating nucs should be a minimum of 3 frames?
     
  16. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Atta'boy Jack! :thumbsup: :lol: :thumbsup:
     
  17. Adam Foster Collins

    Adam Foster Collins New Member

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    I think 3 is ideal, but we're in a squeeze for resources. You're running out of frames, and still have a list of nucs to get out the door. I'm just short on bees. Making them three frame means maybe another 20+ frames of resources. You were feeling the squeeze just stocking the Queen cell starter/finisher.

    I also have to move mine. I've got to make up boxes and put some of my resources in them, drive an hour to your yards, and set them up where there is a bigger drone population. This means that if I make 4x2-frame queen castles out of deeps, then I can do 12 in three boxes. A lot easier to move. As soon as the queens are mated, I'll move them onto 4 frames at my home yard. Maybe by that time I'll have had some more expansion - and maybe another swarm or two...

    Truthfully, I'd prefer to just put them in 4 frame nucs from the get-go. But seeing as I've had a rough Spring and had to work down your way, things have been stretched a bit out of ideal.

    Adam
     
  18. Tiwilager

    Tiwilager New Member

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    May I be of any assistance gentlemen?
     
  19. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    How's that response for proving, once again, that this is the friendliest bee forum you can find?
    Good for you Tiwilager. :razz:
     
  20. Tiwilager

    Tiwilager New Member

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    Haha, Thanks! :D I do happen to live in between where they both live, just for reference.