Late Visit to Bees

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Slowmodem, Jun 5, 2013.

  1. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

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    I finally got out to the bees today. I was afraid I'd find boxes full of was moths and SHBs. We spent yesterday doing inventory on frames, boxes, tops, bottoms, etc. Got everything loaded up on the new cart headed to the beeyard:

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    Two great looking guys!

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    Our goal today was to:

    1: Check the status of bees.
    2: Add a second brood box to each hive (if needed).
    3: Remove the feeders (everybody is raving about the nectar flow right now, and if it keeps raining, I'm hopeful things will keep blooming).
    4: Add cinder blocks to the two hives with nucs and level the hives (I have each hive set on two sets of two cinder blocks so I don't have to bend so much).

    I was pleasantly surprised to find four boxes completely full of bees. They seemed healthy and happy. There was comb built up into the feeders (maybe ladder comb so they can climb up into the feeder). Dad had to lift the feeder while I stuck a hive tool in there and pried the frames back down into the deep. There was some drone larvae on top of the frames, and the good news is that I didn't see any mites.

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    Also, I had the boards in the screened bottom boards for the installation of the packages and nucs to prevent absconding. I took those out today and looked at them with a magnifying glass. There was a lot of wax and stuff on the boards because they had been in for a month, but I didn't see any mites (but they might have been in there in the mess, and I couldn't see them).

    A note from last year: After extraction, I put the supers on top of the inner cover on the hive so the bees could clean them out. Well, those silly bees filled then up with honey again. I extracted some and put the uncapped honey frames in the freezer (they're still there, I'll probably put them on a hive in a couple of weeks when the get the deep drawn).

    Back to this year: I was thinking about that when I put the feeders on the hives to get the bees to clean up the combs and honey out of the bottom of the feeders. I thought I had read or heard that if I put an empty super on top of the inner cover and then put the comb to be cleaned out on top of that, that it might fool the bees to think it was outside the hive, and they'd bring it back down under the inner cover into the hive. Also, I was afraid that if I turned the feeders upside down in the yard for the bees to clean out, it might attract other unwelcome bees from around the neighborhood. So now I have an empty super on each frame on top of the inner cover, and the empty feeders with comb underneath on top of that, and the telescoping covers on top of that.

    (confused yet?)

    Anyways, that's where I'm at now. I'm glad I finally got to see into the hives and I'm glad there's no moths of beetles. I may not get much honey this year, but I think I'm headed in the right direction.

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    Dad decided that while he had his bee suit on, he'd mow in front of the hives:

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    And I've still got a swarm trap full of bees I have to deal with sometime in the next few days or maybe Monday.
     
  2. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    Good pictures Greg, everything looks neat and clean. I'm betting you'll get a good honey flow.:thumbsup: Jack
     

  3. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Great adventure with your Dad, wish mine was still around, cherish every moment!!

    Bees are looking good and building up strong it looks like. I need to get busy and get some supers put together for sure!!
     
  4. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Question # 1... Which is the Dad? :roll:

    Question # 2.. Are you going to have a market for the comb honey you harvest from the 4 empty supers? You know they are going to fill them with honey.

    Placing the feeders upside down or upright on two blocks, I think it would be better 200 feet from the hives than on them.
     
  5. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

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    You may be exactly right. I was hoping that inner cover would deter that. But I'll check in a couple of days and see which way they're going.

    There really were a lot of bees in each feeder and I wasn't sure if they would be considered nurse bees or forager bees. I wanted to make sure they got back into/stayed in the hives. I was afraid that if they were nurse bees and I shook them out, they wouldn't get back in.

    But, this is how I learn. :) (but I do appreciate everyone's advice!)
     
  6. pistolpete

    pistolpete New Member

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    I had mixed results with letting the bees clean extracted supers. I think it mostly relates to whether they have somewhere to put the honey. If the broods below are already mostly full then all they do is fix the wax and start filling regardless of the inner cover. I'm thinking what might work is an extracted super, then an inner cover, then a couple more extracted supers. The top two should get cleaned out nice, but I have yet to try this. I have also experimented with various ways of feeding back cappings and broken comb. The trick seems to be to give them only a day or two to work on it, otherwise they clean out the honey and start building a mess of burr comb with the left over wax.
     
  7. Mosti

    Mosti New Member

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    Nice photos, hives and all. Thanks for sharing.
     
  8. bamabww

    bamabww Active Member

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    Neat looking bee yard. Great photos Greg. Good luck.
     
  9. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    "Two great looking guys" ?????????????? :???: :cool:
    I mean, the guy on the left is handsome, but the other fella???? :lol:

    I hope you realize how lucky you are to be able to share all this with your Dad. :thumbsup:
    Everything looks good to me Greg. Nice yard.
     
  10. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

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    Thanks everyone! I was really scared to look into those boxes after a month of neglect. I'm glad they turned out ok.

    PS: I've found that a sweat band works really well inside a veil. I just wish someone would come up with a straw hole covered up with Velcro strap (or something similar) in the veil so I could get a drink without taking the veil off.
     
  11. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    great pics. I like the RV in the background. Is that your bee wagon:thumbsup:
     
  12. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    Thanks for sharing those pics Pete. I wear my suit while taking care of the grass in my yard like your Papa did. I went back to check my yard yesterday and noticed the grass was cut. ???:shock: My wife cuts the grass quite often around the house to sun herself. I asked her if she had cut the grass in the yard. She snugly said, yes! I asked her if she was stung. She said nope! I love her dearly but she has always been dare devil like that! ha!
     
  13. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    greg,
    great photos, really enjoyed them! happy to see you are on your feet and in the bees!

    "two great looking guys!" very cool photo of you and your dad! :grin:
     
  14. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

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    The RV is my parents. They used to spend Jan, Feb, and March in FL in it. But since they've moved up here, they've not took the winter trip. They've been trying to sell the RV for a couple of months, and ironically (or coincidentally), there a couple here this morning giving them a deposit, so they can close the deal next week.
     
  15. gunsmith

    gunsmith New Member

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    Great pics, Greg. And, like everyone else, I'm glad to see you back on your feet.
     
  16. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

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    Just a quick update. We went out to the hives today and took the empty supers and feeders off the hives. Not too many bees above the inner covers. So I leaned the feeders up against the entrance board so the bees would go in at dark, and put the telescoping tops on top of the inner covers. So hopefully all will be well now.

    Just from what I've read, those plastic inserts are very thin and tender. I think I'll try to scrape the wax and comb off with my finger or something very dull. But that's for another day.
     
  17. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    A real pleasure to see those pics Gregg. Everything is so neat, clean and organized. Make sure the air pressure in the wheels of your waggon is high enough to handle the great yield you're going to roll home. :thumbsup:
    I envy you, having your dad, willing and able to join you at the hives. It's a real blessing for you both. Many long and healthy years together to the two of you. :grin:
     
  18. lazy shooter

    lazy shooter New Member

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    Greg:

    You're bees look really dark. What breed of bee do you have?
     
  19. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

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    Italians. It might just be that it's a phone camera and the dark frames.