Used Hives

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by walliscomputers, Dec 26, 2015.

  1. walliscomputers

    walliscomputers New Member

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    I recently purchased a hive with what was described as a weak colony. This is my first hive sp please excuse my ignorance. After looking at the colony it looks as though the previous beekeeper may not have kept good care of them. I would like to grow this colony and would like some advice. I have attached photos that I took today. The bees are only living in the first 3 frames. All but 3 frames have some sort of wax comb present. Would it help for me to replace it with new frames? What else can I do to help grow tis Hive?
     

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  2. kebee

    kebee Active Member

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    Get it back together and feed 2 to 1 sugar, that is done by mixing 2 parts sugar to one part water, in a pot bring the water to boil turn off heat and pore sugar in until water is almost clear than it is mixed good, let cool and put in what ever size jar, the bigger the better and put 3 or 4 small holes in it and put on top of inter cover hole so the bees can have something to keep them alive until the flow in the spring. During the the winter it is best to have a box around the feeder jar to keep it from freezing and freezing the bees also.

    ‚ÄčKen
     

  3. camero7

    camero7 Member

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    or put some sugar blocks on the top bars and a rim on the hive. It's probably too cold for syrup this time of year. And the syrup will contribute to moisture problems many times.
     
  4. walliscomputers

    walliscomputers New Member

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    Thanks or the reply. I have two bottom feeding jars. I mixed 2-1 water yesterday. The jars looked as though they haven't been used I months. So far we have had a mild winter. Handful of 30 degree nights and 60-70's during the day.
     
  5. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    We have a cold front coming. I believe you can find a nice recipe for fondant on here somewhere, and that I posted it. If not I can repost it later.
    Meantime here is a thread I put up last winter before I wanted to include pollen sub. Bees will not take syrup when temps are below 50 and they are going to be below 50 all of next week, you need to protect your hive from wind, put a styrofoam board inside the lid and provide a solid feed that you can put just above the cluster, on top of the frames. Hopefully the 3 frames they are on are the middle 3. If there are 2 boxes on that hive and all the bees are in the bottom take the top box off If my weather forecast is right tomorrow morning is all you have. I took my small hive down into stacked nucleus boxes, easier for the bees to stay warm in, BUT I knew they would be small 2 months early so I had the woodware ready.
    Good luck,
    Gypsi



    http://www.beekeepingforums.com/threads/11404-winter-beekeeping-prep
     
  6. walliscomputers

    walliscomputers New Member

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    The bees are in a single box hive setting on two widen pallets. The bees are on the outer three frames. I was going tomorrow to get styrofoam for the top. It's going to be in the low 20 at night Thursday's and Friday. I was also going to get some black plastic to wrap the hive. Basically I'm making a poor mans bee cozy. I have 3 more unused 10 frame boxes if I need to move anything around.
     
  7. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Humidity kills more bees than cold, and in the south we can't wrap in black plastic without locking it in, especially since our temps swing so much. If you have a piece of bubble wrap, tape it to the north side of the hive, or northwest if that is where your wind comes from. Then put styrofoam in the top lid. Why? Because condensation will stick to the coldest surface, and we want it to be sidewalls. So it drips down. What kind of bottom board is on the hive? Lid? and stores. You can make a sugar brick on a dinner plate, pour sugar on it, pour boiling water with a half teaspoon of apple cider vinegar on it (not too much water. Kind of stir and let sit and harden while you work on the hive, should sit on top of the frames.

    You can also put a windbreak a bit back from the hive, or set your empty hive boxes around it to slow the wind's speed
     
  8. camero7

    camero7 Member

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    or try this recipe for sugar blocks, it's what I use, but not my recipe. I have great success with it.

    25# cane sugar
    one quart cider vinegar
    sprinkle of electrolytes
    1-2 T citric acid (Found in your canning dept)
    splash of pro Health or other scented essential oil of choice

    Mix together about 1/3 of the sugar and vinegar at a time in a five gallon bucket with a large drill and paint paddle mixer. If you try to mix it all at once, you will get uneven moisture distributation.
    Mixture will feel very soft, but not wet or sticky.
    I use a shallow aluminum baking sheet that fits right into my food dehydrator. You can use any size pan you want, but be sure your bricks are no taller than your frame extension under your inner cover. Score the sugar to the size blocks you want before drying.
    Fill the pan to desired depth with moistened sugar mix:
     
  9. walliscomputers

    walliscomputers New Member

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    Thanks for the recipe. I'll make those tonight. I got out today and moved the unused hive boxes onto the same palsy to act as a wind break. I also went and got some styrofoam insulation and added to the top. Is it normal to see roaches when you pull the top off? I know these are outside and not going to be free of insects and critters. Unjust don't expect to see 10-15 roaches every time I open the lid. ImageUploadedByBeekeeping Forum1451253062.583791.jpg ImageUploadedByBeekeeping Forum1451253186.969113.jpg
     
  10. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Not enough bees to keep the roaches out. Also I don't see an entrance reducer on the hive. A piece of 1x2 shoved in the opening leaving a 1 inch opening for bees will help keep mice and critters out. I would remove both front feeders until a warm day and measure the opening without them
     
  11. walliscomputers

    walliscomputers New Member

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    Good. I was beginning to worry every time I saw the bugs. I have an entrance reducer. It's just not visible in the photos.
     
  12. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Ok. Well solid feed above the frames they are on and hope for the best
     
  13. walliscomputers

    walliscomputers New Member

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    I just wanted to update everyone. After 6" of snow last weekend it's been in the 70's the last 2 days. A couple weeks ago I added a top feeder in the last week they have gone through 6 cup of 2-1 sugar water. I added more today. After inspecting the hives I found the queen. The bees are bringing in pollen. I saw very little capped brood cells or very little capped anything to be honest. They bees have multiplied and are working 5 frames instead of 3. Is it common to see very little capped cells but you can see honey in them and the bees had their head down in them wiggling around.
     
  14. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    early for capped brood. those might be uncapped brood they were feeding. Don't open on cold days