Prepping for Spring

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Papakeith, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. Papakeith

    Papakeith New Member

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    I suppose it's time to make a list of what I will need for the coming year to properly supply my (hopefully) growing hive count. I'd like to stay ahead of the curve and since this will be my first full season I could use some help.

    To make the list I need a goal for my beekeeping year. As it stands right now I have two colonies that seem to be wintering well. I'd like to get to somewhere near 10 colonies this summer.

    Since life doesn't tend to follow my plans I'm going to plan for 6 and shoot for 10

    I have 8 plywood nucs on hand for expansion.
    two colonies that are set to get split this spring

    Wooden ware:


    10 telescoping covers
    10 all season inner covers
    10 queen excluders
    10 bottom boards
    20 deeps
    20 mediums
    240 deep frames (extra 40 for the new nuc boxes I have) I'll probably get 300
    200 medium frames
    240 deep foundation
    200 medium foundation
    ----
    8 2 quart glass jars
    couple of 25 lbs bags of sugar
    decide on mite treatment for the year and get supplies ordered

    What else should I add to my list of things to have for the coming year?
     
  2. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    A good explanation for your wife if she ever sees the receipts for all that! :lol:

    Do you have extracting gear?
     

  3. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    Looks like a great plan to me. Planning for six but having enough extra equipment for 10 leaves a nice cushion. My mind is racing ahead too. I even plan on making a chicken tractor in the middle of all my bee excitement.

    It will be my second full year also. The one thing I did not try with my bees last year was splitting. So, I will hopefully gain two more hives by splitting at least two of my four hives now in early April. With swarms and maybe a package, I hope to be near the 10 hive range too. I am getting pumped up for this season. Maybe it's just a "second year" thing for keeps.....:smile:
     
  4. Papakeith

    Papakeith New Member

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    Hide the receipts? I give them to her. This is part of our farm business. :D
     
  5. Marbees

    Marbees Member

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    Keith, you planned very well:thumbsup: Wish you are short on mediums:grin:

    blueblood:I am getting pumped up for this season. Maybe it's just a "second year" thing for keeps.....:smile:
    Marbees:No it's not:lol:
     
  6. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    Collect the thinking and equipment to handle mite assessment and treatment. Whatever route you go, chemical or not, it is best to get a handle on them before brood rearing gets into full swing and before honey supering begins. Sometimes there is a rush in demand and things unavailable if you are tail end Charlie.
     
  7. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    It's happened to me. :sad:
     
  8. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    Well, that's good Marbees, I hope I have this excitement every year....
     
  9. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    With my luck, what i plan for the opposite seems to pop up leaving me scrambling for solutions?? I try to take everything with me to the beeyard, but there's always that one thing i forgot.:mad: Jack
     
  10. DLMKA

    DLMKA New Member

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    This is my second year as well. Good fortune on swarms and a trap out left me with 9 colonies going into winter. I have 6 new bottom boards, 50 mediums (using all mediums), frames for everything, going to design some 8-frame dcoates style medium nucs and build 10-12 of them. Goal is to bring 15 hives plus 10 nucs into next winter. Friend of mine offered the use of his 12-frame extractor until I can get one of my own and a place to keep it. Planning on using honey money to buy extracting equipment next winter.
     
  11. Yankee11

    Yankee11 New Member

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    Maybe a way to feed 6 to 10 new hives to get them started off good.

    My second year as well. Cant wait. Hope to go from 7 to 12.

    I have learned so much this first year, This second year should be great. Still much more to learn.
     
  12. Papakeith

    Papakeith New Member

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    I imagine that as long as I'm playing with bees it will be a constant learning experience
     
  13. reidi_tim

    reidi_tim New Member

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    I'm with you Papakeith starting my second year and working on getting wooden ware ready for spring splits. For all of us that are going into our 2nd year I will have to say " good show and good luck " :drinks: I know for myself year one was a hard learning curve but thanks to all the members here and my mentor for all the help and encouraging words:Dancing:
     
  14. Omie

    Omie Active Member

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    PapaKeith, sounds like you are going to learn a lot about splitting and making new queens this year....personally I think that's the most fun of all in beekeeping, and the thrill of looking for a new queen 2 or 3 weeks after you made a nuc with a queen cell, and then spotting the beautiful new queen walking about regally on the frames, and seeing new eggs ....well there is nothing as thrilling as that sight i think. :Dancing:

    If your plan is to start with 2 Spring survivor hives and split them into 6-10 new colonies by the end of the year, then you probably won't need to worry much about either mites or extracting. If you get a few frames of extra honey you can always crush and strain it in a bucket with a paint straining cloth.
    In my own (limited) experience, with all that splitting and queen making, mites don't have a chance to become a problem, and the bees will be (rightly) more concerned with raising queens and worker brood than filling extra honey supers.
    New small nucs know they need more foragers and nurse bees desperately, they don't typically waste time raising lots of drones, and it's in the drone cells that mites multiply the most. For the past 3 years I've been making new splits and new queens almost every year for every colony, and I haven't had any mite issues so far. Just my 2 cents, but if you are going to be splitting and 'nuc-ing' as much as you say on all your hives, I would suggest the possibility that you can get by without monitoring mites for that year.
     
  15. Papakeith

    Papakeith New Member

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    I'm planning on taking the two I have and depending on their strength splitting those two once for four colonies total. I hadn't given any thought to multiple splits. Heck, I haven't given any real thought to when I should be doing these splits. Kinda shows how much more I need to read and talk to mentors in my area.
     
  16. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

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    That's a great thought! Ever since I unexpectedly got a swarm last year, I think having extra stuff around is just good sense. I know a lot of it depends on budget, but I plan to keep as much extra as I can stand, because you just never know.
     
  17. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

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    I did try a split but ended up with a hive full of wax moths. I am trying two packages this spring. I may try a split again, but this time I'll order a queen for a split, instead of hoping they'll make their own.

    (but that's how ya learn about stuff!) :D
     
  18. LongWoods

    LongWoods New Member

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    Keith,

    A plan is what makes a successful keeper and yours is a good one. Remember in agriculture there are 2 ends to every rope, you may fall short of your 10 but you may exceed it.

    As you gain hives your work load will increase geometrically for a while as you find that as you increase your hive count, you also increase your chances of different issues appearing at the same time and you'll end up running back and forth to the shop for supplies/equipment. Keep a ledger or notebook, records will become your friend as you grow. Develop a hive marking system is also a great help. Again, time becomes your most important issue.

    Your list is pretty complete, I would consider if you see a sale on sugar to up your reserves a good bit, with new hives and a dearth you can go through sugar very fast.

    One last thought is when you are studying and deciding on a Varroa control, look at 2 types of control. One for a rapid setback of the mites and then another with greater efficacy (long term). It reduces the potential for resistance, and consider allowing for different temperature ranges.

    Just my passing $.02 .... err $.015 after the new tax plan.
     
  19. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    How many acres and of what honey plants are you planning to plant?
     
  20. Papakeith

    Papakeith New Member

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    I'm on 5 acres that borders 50+ of a co-op farm. I have no neighbors so they are not a consideration. I'm zoned as a farm so I'm pretty much left alone. I have a spring fed pond about 100 yrds away from the hives so there is plenty on hand.

    Black locust, dandelion, goldenrod, aster, catalpa, alfalfa, clover, are some of the local varieties of plants that I tracked last year. There are more that I noted, but those come to mind immediately.

    On the other side of the street is my family's 60+ acre produce farm. Strawberries, Pears, raspberries, corn, pumpkins, lots of other smaller crops. Hay, including one 5+ acre alfalfa field on property we lease. Up the street next to our farm is another 75+ acres of farmland A mix of flowers, and produce. Next to them another farm. Down the street the other way are apple orchards and quite a few acres couple hundred anyway of pasture land. If for some reason that doesn't work I have out yard availability about 10 miles north of me that was where my uncle used to keep his hives.
    I've been told by other local keeps that my area is some of the best locally for honey production. As a first year keep starting with packages last year I manage to harvest almost 45 lbs of honey.

    I don't have any plans to plant any honey plants.