What would you do different next season?

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Crofter, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    What experience have you had that calls for changes in your plans for the upcoming season? Perhaps a new experiment to try?

    I have in mind to make up a gadget that will handlily weigh hives one side at a time to be able to keep tabs on how they are doing at either building or spending their stores. The digital luggage scales are fairly cheap. What I used this past year was much too slow. I will have to space the hives a little differently to accommodate this and need to anyway to have stacking room for boxes when doing inspections; my old back isn't up to doing much crane work!

    Since my queens will have all been through 2 winters I want to requeen and put the old ones to work in nucs I split off. Could conceivably try some Buckfast though these Carni Itialians seem to be doing well. I want to keep some spare queens working in nucs so I can requeen any hive that is not doing well. I spent all summer nursing one hive along and had to do a lot of feeding to it because no queens readily available.

    Definitely harvest earlier to have time to fix mites and give the bees time to build stores and breed their winter bees.

    Keep closer tabs on mites as it is a lot harder to remedy once the numbers start to snowball.
     
  2. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    Trying splits, tbh's and avoiding taking any fall honey from goldenrod and asters this year.
     

  3. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Last year was a time to rebuild from over 40% loss (22 down to 12) and expand from 12 to 29. This year I want to hit 50 hives and try and overwinter some nucs as well.
    Find a market for any extra honey I end up with. Have a honey house! :roll:
     
  4. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    I want to make several nucs early this Spring, including at least one from a queen cell of my friend's awesome Vermont bees he got last year if he's willing to give me a frame of eggs...and another nuc from my odd blackish queen that popped up for me last year.
    I need to build up again to 6 or 7 colonies- I know i'm already down to 3, and winter's only half over.
    =====================
    Hmmm....editing this because I see the thread is what would we do differently this year...

    I think last Spring I should not have sold off my two really good nucs that survived the winter. I wound up with only 4 hives going into winter and I think 6 would have been better. I had figured I could make bunches of new nucs over the Summer...but two of the new nucs did not really thrive, so I ended up combining colonies by Fall. This year i will not be so confident in terms of numbers I need to maintain. It's easy to keep a couple extra colonies on the side, and keep them relatively small if I want, but less easy to create new colonies later once Summer is dwindling.
     
  5. HisPalette

    HisPalette New Member

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    Differently... Install robbing screens sooner...
     
  6. kebee

    kebee Active Member

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    Keep a closer eye on the active of the hive to not lose one because it went queenless. Put robbing screens on the hive in the begenner to keep the strong hive out of my starter packages I am getting, also a split on my strong hive I have now. Should I buy a queen for the split or let them make their own.

    kebee
     
  7. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    Buy a queen in my opinion maybe even two timed for about the time the nucs are being produced and sold in your area. Before then use the extra bees from the strong hive to equalize by adding to the weaker hives earlier, Dandelion time of year. I would aim for 2 for each surviving colony. for them to raise their own it takes 30 days before she is back in the hive laying and carrying on her queenly duty's
     
  8. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    every year seems to require some minor or major changes and as seems to be true for a lot of places no two years is exactly the same.
     
  9. lazy shooter

    lazy shooter New Member

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    I'm going to try a couple of Bweaver mite tolerant queens, and I am going to make some splits and get some more of the feral bee genetics into my colonies. I have three nucs wintering, and if one of them is weak I will make a combine next spring. This is my second year with bees and I intend to be more proactive with my bees.
     
  10. oblib

    oblib New Member

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    Make my Nucs earlier and pay more attention to who needs fed in a dearth. I lost several nucs that I thought had plenty of feed to last until next inspection. Next inspection comes and they had starved out :(
     
  11. Lburou

    Lburou Member

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    I'm going to get smart about (accurately) monitoring the mites. I have treatment free, hygienic and feral queens and have not seen much sign of mites....If I do, will probably go with oxalic acid vapors to curb them when they get past the treat/don't treat threshold recommended by Randy Oliver. Entered Winter with three hives and one 6 frame NUC....They were fine yesterday, boxes were full of bees with lots of honey remaining for the buildup to come :inconsequentialbraggadocio:

    In my view, it depends on your goals. If you are a hobbyist like me, then do what will teach you the most about the bees. The advantage of letting them make their own queen is the lapse in brood making that sets the mite reproduction back in that hive, which is a good thing.

    The trick is to know what to do in advance.....If you could bottle that knowledge, I'd buy some ;)
     
  12. C Adams

    C Adams New Member

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    This year I won't split and make nucs as early in the year.
    I took a gamble on doing it early last year and got bit -- many queens didn't make it back from mating flights (or didn't mate well and got superceded).

    I intend to quadruple my colony count, and go into winter with half of them as nucs, selling half the nucs come spring 2014.

    I'm also going to try Russell Moonbeam queens and see if their mite resistance, cold weather flight, and in-the-dark-foraging is as good as the Hybrid 410's I got last summer.

    And if there is enough interest, I'm going to try to get a local bee club going in Elmira.
     
  13. srvfantexasflood

    srvfantexasflood New Member

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    That's a great idea. I am a big advocate of bee clubs. Teaching, promoting bees and beekeeping, and sponsoring youth interested in beekeeping is pretty much the goals of our bee club. A bee club can start with two beekeepers getting together and inspecting each others hives.
     
  14. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    Host a spring bee field day. it will attract more beekeepers out and will start the teaching dialogue. Invite the local inspector to come and talk on spring management, disease control. and get his assistant in contacting the beekeepers in the area and inviting them. He most likely has access to an list of beekeepers and have there numbers or E-Mail. If you have a local bee equipment suppler in your area invite them to set up an information table on the produces they carry and supply. As well as contacting his local customers in your area and extending an invitation to them also. Advertise in the community events section of the local paper, radio, and TV just a quick community event notification e-mail to the different media outlets.
    For the first field day I would stay away from trying to do the full potluck lunch but provide coffee tea juice and light refreshments. Until people become acquainted with one another a full potluck could scare some people off. have your new club sign up sheet in full view with easy access and announce your desire to have a local club to meet on a regular bases time and place to be determined thru email suggestion and polls. Once you decide on a day of the month stick to it. Good luck with the club. Some times your local club can be affiliated under a larger state organization. Your local bee inspector would know this information.
     
  15. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Figure out what an aster is, and maybe build an observation hive. Get my bottom board situation more "normal" - pretty diverse collection right now. Fresh coat of paint on my summer migratory covers.

    If there is actually honey (and we are getting rain so there might be) - well learning to harvest and borrow the group extractor would be a whole new thing for me.
    Can I extract foundationless? Or just my plasticell frames?
     
  16. jb63

    jb63 New Member

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    Make my nucs in july instead of aug.,and move out of red clover before the yellow jackets start attacking.
     
  17. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    It depends on the extractor if the extractor has mesh sides to suport the comb and you are gentle and remove some weight from each side evenly you should be OK. You could but some rubber bands around the comb to help support it and keep the comb in place. If the comb did crack the bands could be left on till the bees reattached the comb
     
  18. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    an Apis snip..
    You could but some rubber bands around the comb to help support it and keep the comb in place.

    tecumseh..
    this is what I do on frames without any support wires (although I do start from foundation). Generally I simply scratch the capping and then apply 3 to 4 rubber bands per each frame. I do this in a radial style extractor and as long as you take it slow and steady very few of the comb will come apart in the extractor <most of these kind of frames I employ to have some comb honey which I sell so these are generally frames that did not make the grade for comb honey.
     
  19. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I just used 20 lb test weight fishing line on my foundationless, but this sounds like it would work, thank you. (most of my frames are plasticell - one piece, but 20% are foundationless wood.)
     
  20. Nature Coast Beek

    Nature Coast Beek New Member

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    Swarm trapping. Just completed making 10 traps, deployment is scheduled for first weekend in Feb.