My First Year of Beekeeping (2012)

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Papakeith, Jun 21, 2012.

  1. Papakeith

    Papakeith New Member

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    I've got a couple of different threads out there so far regarding inspections and questions I've had. I thought that an easier way would be to have one thread that I can update along the way. A clearing house of sorts cataloging the trials and tribulations of my first year as a beekeeper.

    Here are some links to my other threads so far:
    Hello from Rhode Island
    First Inspection
    Old Foundation
    Second Inspection Complete
    Hive Spacing
    Three Weeks in and All is Well
    Emerge
    Bees Deconstructing Foundation


    those will get me to this point. The rest I'll make up as I go along.
     
  2. Papakeith

    Papakeith New Member

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    This past Saturday, after finding the foundation gone in part of one frame I started feeding again. 1:1 . I think they needed it. Between the two colonies I've been going through a gallon a day (2 quarts per colony). They have been on a tear building new comb. Exactly what I had hoped they'd do!

    The strongest hive had actually built up the second deep to 8 + frames worth of comb. Seeing that they had done such good work, I placed my first honey super on the hive. I kept the feeder on. I have no plans on selling any honey that comes from this super and I want the comb to get built out for when I do want to collect honey. As they build out the comb I'll start swapping them out for frames with foundation. Once I have a couple of supers worth of comb I'll be ready for the next flow.
    Good plan? Bad plan?
     

  3. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    When bees have lots of sugar water available, you will see that they are filling the new comb cells with syrup even as they are building the wax out. By the time the new comb is 2/3 built out, it will already be filled with sugar syrup. I suppose there are various solutions for this issue, but I'm just saying that I see my bees filling cells with nectar even as they are building the comb. This happens sometimes with brood comb as well- a queen that needs more room to lay will begin laying eggs in cells that are still being built!
     
  4. Papakeith

    Papakeith New Member

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    Thanks Omie,
    I hear what you are saying about them filling the comb as they make it. It seems like it's a thin line between feeding to help them build, and feeding to the point that they have no space left to raise the next generation.

    Each colony took down about 1 quart today which leaves a quart in each feeder. They appear to be slowing down taking the syrup.. . at least for today. I'll be looking into the hives on Sunday, so I'm thinking I'll not feed them any more until I get a better idea of what they are doing with all of the syrup.
     
  5. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a snip..
    so I'm thinking I'll not feed them any more until I get a better idea of what they are doing with all of the syrup.

    tecumseh:
    although I encourage folks with packages and new nucs to feed even this small task can be taken a bit too far which can or will create it's own set of problems. they are not actually consuming the two quarts per day of syrup but are more than likely storing it in the cells they are constructing. so essentially they are moving this feed from one container to another container.

    it is extremely rare for me to feed 2 quarts per week to almost any hive at any time of year.
     
  6. Papakeith

    Papakeith New Member

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    2 quarts per week? each of these hives have taken (stored or built with) the better part of 6 quarts since Saturday:shock:.
     
  7. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    yes that was not a typo.

    your statement here...
    'It seems like it's a thin line between feeding to help them build, and feeding to the point that they have no space left to raise the next generation.'
    states the problem quite well.
     
  8. Papakeith

    Papakeith New Member

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    I'm glad I stopped then. I'll see where they are at come Sunday and take it from there.

    I do have a quick side question about your hive setup tecumseh. Do you use deep hive bodies or medium? If deep, being in Texas, do you have two deeps full before adding supers or only one? I'm trying to make sure I'm comparing apples to apples.

    Thanks :)
     
  9. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    hi papakeith,
    great thread you started here, (like omie's adventures), and i will look forward to reading your posts, btw nice avatar, and nice photo of yourself:grin:
     
  10. Papakeith

    Papakeith New Member

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  11. Pilotbeekeeper

    Pilotbeekeeper New Member

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    I learned that lesson this year (first year). I had two Nucs that were doing great. They built out the first 10 frame deep quickly (going thru 1 qt per day each). Everything i had heard and read said to feed new packages and Nucs until they build out two boxes or until they stop taking the syrup, so At 3/4 full of comb and bees i added the second box. Rather than draw out the second box it seems both colonies continue to gorge themselves on the quart per day i was feeding them and both swarmed. I think they can be overfed to the point of feeling it's time to reproduce? But hey, I'm new to this so it's only a guess at this point. Anyway, I'm slowing down on the feeding from now on and see what happens.
     
  12. Papakeith

    Papakeith New Member

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    Today's inspection:

    I opened up the hive again today to see if I had fed too much and the bees were storing it causing a nectar bound condition, or if the bees were actually working with what I had supplied. Turns out it was a little of both.

    Hive 1:
    I learned a lot from this inspection. Don't over Feed! I don't think I did thankfully, but I came close. The hive is still chugging along and doing the work it is supposed to do.

    The bottom hive body was filled with capped brood on 7 of ten frames. There was no sign of eggs, but there were larvae on three frames. Most frames had copious amounts of nectar and pollen with some capped honey to the top of the frames. I swapped frames 1 and 2 to encourage the last bit of the outside frame to get built out. frames 4-7 had capped brood.
    The top body had one frame unused and 7 -8 fully drawn out. frame 3 , 8 and 4 was mostly eggs 5 and 6 was capped brood 7 had a good amount of larvae 9 and 10 were almost completely nectar. I found the queen on frame 8. All in all hive 1 seems to be doing well.

    On to hive two.

    Hive two is the weaker of the two hive. This is the colony that I think I came really close to giving them so much food that they had nowhere left for the queen to place her eggs. Even some of the comb that was barely built out had nectar stored in it. I gave (or tried to give) the two deeps a lift. Heavy is an understatement. I'll give it a hoist in a week after no feeding to get a feel for how much lighter it may or may not be.

    Here's the frame by frame:
    lower deep hive body:
    frame one and two were slam full of nectar. It's interesting to note that frame two was the frame I had a picture of last week with the chunks eaten out of it. I moved it in one frame last week some time. It's fully repaired and full.
    3 had a good amount of capped brood, nectar, pollen, and some capped honey. 4 and 5 were almost twins with capped brood, nectar, a bit of drone comb. Anywhere there was an open cell there was nectar. The only difference was that 5 had some larvae. 6 had nectar pollen and larvae. 7 was pollen, nectar, capped brood and larvae 8,9 were capped brood, some drone cells, then nectar pollen and honey above. 10 was larvae, capped brood and a small cluster of drone cells.

    the upper hive body:
    frame 1 was untouched foundation. frame two was almost fully drawn and dripping with nectar. I swapped the positions on those two frames. frame 3 was eggs, eggs and more eggs with the remainder nectar. frame 4 and 5 were capped brood almost exclusively. Anywhere there weren't capped cells there was nectar. 6 was capped brood nectar and pollen.. 7 and 8 were eggs, larvae, capped brood and 8 was where I spotted her highness. 9 and 10 were full to overflowing with nectar. The queen probably would have preferred that I leave her some more room to do her work. Live and learn, right ?

    That was it. No pictures, sorry. I didn't have anyone helping me and I didn't feel like getting my sticky hands all over the camera.
    Any thoughts on what I found? I'm glad I stopped feeding when I did. Especially for hive two. I may have dodged a mini bullet.
     
  13. Papakeith

    Papakeith New Member

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    I placed the new inner covers on the hive last night.

    The telescopic cover covers a good portion of the new inner cover. Even so, I imagine that the vents will still be able to what it is designed to do.

    new inner covers on hive cropped.jpg
     
  14. Papakeith

    Papakeith New Member

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    I hadn't inspected my hives since the 24. I was really wanting to go in but I settled for watching them come and go.
    Hive one is going gang busters. Since I left them last they have been working their little bee hinies off! The super that I had added is almost full. They are starting to cap it. The tophive body is a collection of pollen, honey, larvae, and capped brood. The bottom deep has a couple of frames with stores and lots of empty space under honey filled arches waiting for the queen. I found her on the third frame of the bottom deep btw. I'm really excited at how well this hive is doing.
    Hive two is doing ok too, but is nowhere near hive 1. The super hasn't really seen too much activity yet, although they have started drawing out the comb. the top deep was almost 100% nectar and capped honey. Very little empty space. What space there was was filled with cappedbrood and some larvae. The bottom deep seemed quite a bit lighter. While still having a couple of frames of pollen and nectar there was quite a bit of unused comb. I never did spot the queen.
    I couldn't see any eggs in either hive. I blame my new plastic veil. The veil I have from the 70s makes the eggs much easier to see.
    Overall, I'm very happy with both hives so far.

    Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Tapatalk 2
     
  15. Marbees

    Marbees Member

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    There is always one hive going gang busters, we would like others to follow:grin:
    If your inner cover holes are covered by telescoping lid, you may want to glue 1 " blue board foam insulation on the inside of telescopic lid.
     
  16. litefoot

    litefoot New Member

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    Reading this thread, it sounds like I need to slow down my feeding (nearly a gallon a day for one colony).

    The last inspection, they had drawn out most of the top deep, but it was all filled with syrup. No eggs whatsoever. If I stop feeding, will the bees consume the syrup in the cells and make room for brood. The queen appears to NOT have moved up.
     
  17. Papakeith

    Papakeith New Member

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    I think I came really close to causing a problem by feeding too much. I started feeding again after I found little to no stores. but I kept at it too long. In reality, they probably didn't "need" my help.
    One thing I've started doing is really paying attention to the weight of the hive. I'm getting a feel for how full it is or isn't.
     
  18. Beeboy

    Beeboy New Member

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    Couple of questions.

    Why does the foundation get holes in it, and how?

    How late in the year can you feed? If your feeding later in the year after the queen has stopped laying will that be a problem?
     
  19. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Bees sometimes chew holes in foundation for "communication" paths, or, if they are large holes they may be using the wax elsewhere.
    If you are feeding too late in the year the bees may not have enough time to reduce the moisture level in the nectar to turn it into honey. You may be increasing the moisture level inside the hive too late in the year.
     
  20. Papakeith

    Papakeith New Member

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    It was a busy weekend on the farm.
    I had a quick peek to see if the bees were working the new super. Some experts in the area are saying a dearth is on and that adding a super is not warranted. I'm in a great area apparently. When I added the second super last week I seeded it with three frames from the first honey super. The frames of foundation put in the lower super are well on their way to being drawn out, and there is a good bit of work being done on the second super. I figure they wouldn't be building out the comb if they didn't have a need for it, right? So there must be a nectar source for them still in the area.

    I also dusted off my table saw and made up a couple of medium supers. Pretty simple actually. Cut to length, three rabbet cuts on the end pieces, then glued and screwed together. And my cost was ~8$ per box. The only thing I need to do is either cut hand holds or add cleats to the sides.

    While I had the saw out I made up a simple frame jig. Basically a box with a couple of cross slats.

    The big chore Sunday was marking out the corn maze. I think we did it right :) time will tell.

    All in all a busy and productive weekend.