SC March/April 2010

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by sqkcrk, Mar 20, 2010.

  1. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

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    Well, here I am in SC for my annual spring fun time w/ the bees. So far I have been through each colony and the nucs that I brought down here last October. Dead out percentages are running about 33% so far. W/ the majority of the live colonies having an average of about three weakish frames of brood.

    So, my latest plan is to get the live nucs into the spaces on my 4 way pallets and then get some queen cells from a friend of mine and make as many nucs as I can w/ a frame of brood and a frame of pollen and nectar and the bees to cover them.

    I'm also getting some queens from CA around April first to make some more splits w/ then. Hopefully I will be able to make these 100 w/ two frames of bees or better. Then they will have the rest of the month to grow before trucking them to NY for apple pollination and a summer of honey.

    Those are my plans for now. They always change. Don't hold me to any of this.

    I also need to fugure in a mite treatment and a nosema treatment. I guess I need to get me some fumadil.

    Enuf for now.

    Mark
     
  2. rast

    rast New Member

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    33% loss and the rest weak, that's rough on somebody making a living from bees.
    How many did you have there?
     

  3. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

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    I forget the total number that I brought south last fall. It was a full semi and a full F-450. Around 500 and something.
     
  4. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    how long ago did you take the bees to the carolinas sqkcrk?

    the bees here are growing mighty fast. we have had pollen coming in here for quite a spell, but I suspect the first real nectar flow will begin when this current cool spell passes. you may see a bit of this weather front in a day or so.

    I would trickle on a bit of feed to the 2/3 remaining and any that didn't slurp it up pretty quick I would do a quick round of fumidil + syrup.

    I don't try to do anything with mites this time of year beyond monitoring and scratching drone brood (anything that seems to have a higher than expected mite count).

    good luck bro....
     
  5. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

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    The hives got here in October. There is some nectar coming in and pollen has been coming in too. I'm afraid that if I feed any syrup at this time some colonies would just get robbed and die.

    I'm not exactly sure when I'll get a mite treatment into the hives. Either just before getting them on the semi or after I get them into the orchards. But i do need to do a spring treatment so they will be strong enuf to make a crop of honey.
     
  6. Mama Beek

    Mama Beek New Member

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    Wow..... your posts should be a real eye opener for anybody considering becoming a commercial beek!
     
  7. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

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    Yeah, I guess. At one time I really encouraged people to go into beekeeping. Now I have to qualify my encouragement w/ all sorts of warnings and examples of how difficult keeping bees is in this modern day. But it can be done and I strongly suggest that using new equipment is the only way to go for a Newbee. One may even want to avoid nucs as a source of bees, unless the frames are less than two years in use.
     
  8. CentralPAGuy

    CentralPAGuy New Member

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    Sqkcrk,

    Are you running 33% for the nucs -- What was your percentage of deadouts for the hives....
     
  9. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

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    I counted the nucs in w/ the total number of colonies that I brought down last fall. So that was 30% +/- of all colonies.

    We had a nice beekeepers mtng last night at the Ryan's Rest. in Conway. Four women and their husbands and five guys w/out wives. We had a good time trading stories and eating. Fred Singleton, SC Apiary Inspector showed up too. He brought winterloss surveys for us to fill out, the on that the Apiary Inspectors of America have sent out for Dennis van Engelsdorp to tabulate.

    I spent the laast two days raising brood above excluders on about sixty hives. I have 100 queens coming in tomorrow from CA and another 100 coming next week. So the resurection of Squeak Creek hives is on its way. We've had temps in the 70s and 80s lately w/ pollen and nectar coming in well especially the last couple of days.

    I ran home last week for the weekend to get equipment that I hadn't brought w/ me earlier. I never seem to have the right stuff and this time I didn't have the excluders and empty deeps. So I went and got them and also the new 4way pallets and covers and feeders to put in them. I'm feeling pretty good about how things are at this point. If things progress fast up North I may have to hurry home w/ some bees. I hope it gets cool there soon.

    End of report.

    Y'all have a nice Easter. I'll check back in monday and update my report.
     
  10. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    Have a pleasant Easter Mark.
     
  11. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Same to you. Hope the easter bunny is good to you.
     
  12. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

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    Well, I guess I got a little busy there for a while.

    Had a pretty good season in SC. Bought 310 queens and about 100 cells. Filled 100 nuc boxes and filled all of the spaces on my fourway pallets. Limped back to the North Country w/ my F-450 loaded w/ nucs and hives leaking oil something fearful. Got the semi unloaded and the 332 hives spread out into the orchards in a day and a half. Got the truck and trailer to the shop and got it fixed. All before the end of April. The earliest pollination season I have ever heard of in the Champlain Valley.

    Got the hives out of the orchards before May 15th, which is usually when they go in, on average. Now they are in their summer yards, w/ the exception of 40 that need to go to cranberries for a couple weeks and the hives that I brought home last night which a friend of mine brought home on his truck.

    Currently the hive count is about 576 plus some nucs not yet sold. I sold 50 to one of my orchards and 10 to a beekeeper near the orchards. Ten have gone to local beekeepers w/ orders for about ten more to go some time soon. One hundred queens are coming soon, I hope, for my use and to sell to other beekeepers.

    The hives gained some weight while in the orchards from apple and dandelion. Since then I have seen honeysuckle bush in bloom and other blossoms too. I can really smell the lilac out side our bedroom window. Nectar was shaking out yesterday and the day before. So some honey is being produced. Bee feed.

    Reversing, supering and making some nucs to lessen swarming, but mostly the hives were on the weak side coming out of SC, so I'm hoping that they are just about right to make honey and not swarm.

    I haven't seen any varroa mites, but I'm sure they are there. No SHB either. Not that they have ever been a problem for me.

    Honey sales are a little slow. Five grocery stores that I serviced have closed and will reopen soon under another name. I hope that I can get into them when they do and maybe into some others of the same chain. Some of the slow down may be due to my last price increase and the state of the economy.

    That's all for now. More later when I have something to report.
     
  13. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    nice to see your post sqkcrk.
     
  14. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Yep, glad to see you back.
     
  15. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Sounds like you have been really busy.

    Good to hear from you and of your bee adventures.

    I hope you get a good contract in the chain store to sell our honey, after all of the hard work it is so rewarding to be able to move your product.

    G3
     
  16. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

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    Thanks y'all. It's nice to be able to take some time to relax in front of the computer.

    104 queens being shipped to me on monday. I have had some more inquiries about nucs, but only one firm order of one. Reversed and supered some more hives today. Taking 32 to a yard tomorrow morning. Am loading them this evening in about an hour. Still have 12 or 14 yards to go through to check for queens and to give more room. Nectar has been coming in a little. Next week should see a good nectar flow, 4 days in the 80s.