My bee year 2011...

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Omie, Feb 6, 2011.

  1. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Ok, I'm starting my 2011 thread.

    2009-had one established hive, given to me as a gift around Halloween. On thanksgiving, I found the queen outside dead. The hive died sometime in December.

    2010- started two new hives from nucs. All year seemed healthy, by Fall had built up to two deeps each with lots of bees, lots of honey. Have not treated either hive except with grease/wintergreen patties. Didn't feed in the Fall but didn't take any honey either- they seemed to have plenty stored up.
    December, both hives seemed ok.

    2011 begins...

    New years...January 2011- some signs of nosema around entrance of the slightly weaker hive. Less activity from that hive on warm days.

    February 2011- the last 2 weeks, I've been only seeing bee activity from the stronger hive on the rare warm days we get. Today was about 38F with some sun, saw some good activity from the strong hive, but no sign of life from the weaker hive.
    I won't count out the quiet hive just yet, but I cannot get any response from them at all even on warm days, and am thinking perhaps they didn't make it.
    However, my strong hive is still looking very good, with lots of little faces peeking out the upper entrance at me on warm days. Plenty of poop flights going on.
    Now I'm very glad I ordered another nuc from Don this coming Spring for added insurance.
    So, if my strong hive pulls through this winter in good shape I might just make a split from it and also hive the new nuc, ...winding up with 3 hives for the 2011 season if nothing else goes wrong. At least I will have more drawn comb frames to work with this year!

    Plus I have two different local friends of mine who are each starting with bees this Spring. By 2012 we three may be able to start sharing our resources and helping each other out in a pinch. :thumbsup:

    [​IMG]
     
  2. fatbeeman

    fatbeeman New Member

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    wow :goodpost:
    that make me cold looking at the snow. :drinks:
    now I know why I moved south :yahoo:

    Don
     

  3. milapostol

    milapostol New Member

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    Nice pic!

    We're bummed over here. Checked our 2 hives that we were worried about and they are gone. We've not lost a hive before. I keep wondering what we did wrong and are playing "what if" scenarios in my head...

    On the bright side, our two strong hives remain strong and populous.
     
  4. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Mil,
    I think you can't really figure it out sometimes. Both my hives were just fine going into December. I cared for them both exactly the same way.
    Who knows?
    I'm just glad I still have bees!
     
  5. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Now you've done it. I'll be on pins and needles waiting for the next update all year. :D

    You do have a way of keeping it interesting. Keep it up.
     
  6. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    milapostal writes:
    We're bummed over here. Checked our 2 hives that we were worried about and they are gone. We've not lost a hive before. I keep wondering what we did wrong and are playing "what if" scenarios in my head...

    tecumseh:
    why not start a thread and tell us about it (if you have not already). structure your response in what the two groups (living and dead) had in common and any differences. what do you do for disease/pathogen vectors?
     
  7. rast

    rast New Member

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    Wow Omie, I can't even imagine keeping bees in that. I enjoy reading you too.
     
  8. Ladyleo191

    Ladyleo191 New Member

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    Keeping bees in that??? I can't even imagine visiting in that! I'll be right here, where it's rain, at least til Thursday.
     
  9. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Today Valentine's day feb 14, 2011...
    over 50F and sunny this morning, went to check my two hives.
    As I suspected, one is dead but the other seems quite healthy.
    Here's what I found:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0p3WaIKoxU
     
  10. milapostol

    milapostol New Member

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    Omie,
    Just watched your video...:(

    Also, what is that piece of equipment under your hive top? I am interested to know what it is.

    Best,
     
  11. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Mil, I use insulated/ventilated inner covers like this:
    http://www.honeyrunapiaries.com/store/a ... p-232.html
    In the winter the foam insulation block is in. In the summer the foam comes out and provides ventilation area under the cover. the bees cannot get into it though- screens cover the holes.

    Don't feel to bad for my dead hive. I'm optimistic about next year!
     
  12. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    50F today by 8am...! I knew my one hive was still alive and well without even going to look at them.
    I also know now why beekeepers should not buy white cars. :shock:
     
  13. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    an Omie snip...
    I knew my one hive was still alive and well without even going to look at them.

    tecumseh:
    Omie's bee education is progressing nicely.
     
  14. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Well we just came through a pretty bad winter cold snap with night temps in the single digits, near zero. It's about 50F today, and my one remaining hive looks good- girls are flying today....winter is *almost* over! We will probably (hopefully) have only maybe one more night next week in the single digits. Then things will start staying warmer!
    Pretty soon I'll screen up the dead hive so it can't be robbed out. I'll be using those frames for my coming new ordered nuc, and also most likely to pull a split from my surviving hive later this Spring.
    I kind of tickled pink because (knock on wood) this looks like it just may turn out to be my first hive to survive a winter. :)
     
  15. milapostol

    milapostol New Member

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    Black cars too. Actually, I think any color car looks awful with bee poop. :D

    Omie, glad you are optimistic. I guess out one or two hives is pretty good compared to 600 hives. A beekeeper I spoke to two summers ago lost about that number of hives.
     
  16. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    I'm going to make some queens and nucs this year, so yes I am optimistic. :)

    My husband's car is rusty orange- the ideal bk car color! lol
     
  17. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    Omie's statement followed (>) by tecumseh comment..

    I'm going to make some queens and nucs next year, so yes I am optimistic.
    >go for it girl. makes us all proud.

    My husband's car is rusty orange- the ideal bk car color! lol
    >it should be a truck but you can remedy that fairly easily with a plasma torch. the smell is the most important aspect of proper bee transportation... it should always smell vaguely of smoke and bee go.
     
  18. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    I love it when my hair and clothes smell like smoke and beeswax from working the bees. I have some cool loose cotton tops and drawstring loose pants that I just pull over whatever I'm wearing- keeps the bees away from my skin, and I tuck the pants in my socks. Then my veil ties down pretty well, and I have some very old but comfy goatskin bee gloves with partial arms. They had holes but I mended them and they work well. Think I'll pass on the BeeGo though- I heard that stuff smells awful! I do have a triangle board which should work ok.

    I meant I was going to make some queens and nucs this year, not next year. If my hive makes it through and looks strong, I'm going to start May by pulling the queen and a few good brood/honey frames and shakes and making a nuc from it off to the side. Then i'll use the old hive as a queen cell producer, to split into more nucs a couple of weeks later. Should be exciting!

    Question- will 2 five frame nucs side by side fit neatly under a 10 frame telescoping cover or would they be too wide?
     
  19. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    They would be to wide unless you make your own and then they would have to be four frame nuc's. Or you could use a deep super with a thin divider board to make two nuc's that would fit.By the way, that bee-go works on widow women to, my wife makes me put a drop of it behind my ears when i go into town. and they don't bother me when i go to the feed store. :thumbsup: Jack
     
  20. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Thanks. I was thinking of ordering some plastic dividers. I do have a couple extra deeps, and I could drill upper entrances in them on opposite sides, with little sliding covers to shut when wanted. I could just tack a screen bottom under the deep. I'll also order a few cardboard nucs, they sure are cheap enough and will give me yet more options.

    Hmm...that reminds me of the can of elephant repellent. The guy sprays it on all the time and when someone points out "but... there aren't any elephants around here"....he says "See?-it works!". You just keep applying that 'widder repellent', ok? :lol: