Honey Bees

Discussion in 'Homesteading' started by Leadchunker, Dec 20, 2016.

  1. Leadchunker

    Leadchunker Member

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    Figured I would help build the site by starting a bee thread. Make sure your girls are staying dry and protected from the wind. Fall mite treatments should be done by now. Check hives for food stores and feed as needed, not when you feel like it. Starvation is one of the leading winter killers of Honey Bees. If you have some light hives feed them 2 parts sugar to 1 part water and never have the heat on after adding sugar. Heating sugar will cause it to caramelize. The caramelized sugar will poison the bees. Pollen patties or pollen substitute may be needed as well.
     
  2. Majicmike

    Majicmike Overweight lover Benefactor

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  3. beamernc

    beamernc LTC - Liberal Tear Collector Charter Member Supporting Member

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    I checked on mine Sunday when it was above 60 degrees. The small swarm I caught this year has already frozen out. My new package is very weak and probably will not make it. My other 2 hives looked good.
     
  4. shadowsbane

    shadowsbane Member

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    Lost one hive to moths last year. The rest are doing good so far. All weighed in at about 50lbs per box so I haven't fed them yet. They kept just about all their honey they made this year
     
  5. Leadchunker

    Leadchunker Member

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    Shadow they will be ready to split in March or even February if the weather is nice. Having honey stores instead of sugarsyrup is better for them. They will build up faster. Keep a close eye on them or they will swarm. I had slot of swarms this year because they were quicker than I anticipated. Are you treating for mites?
     
  6. Leadchunker

    Leadchunker Member

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    Fed the girls about 100lbx of sugar in the past two days. They are working it pretty hard. Some people don't want to feed their bees. They say you got welfare bees if you have to feed them. Well if you take Thier honey and the Golden Rod gets destroyed by a hurricane, they have no food. You can feed them or they can die from starvation. I'll feed mine and have live bees in the spring.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 24, 2016
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  7. We are interlopers (renters) on a working farm with 5 hives. The owner of the farm has volunteered to "apprentice" Carole my wife on how to raise chicken, goats and herbs. We are hoping to get some instruction on bee keeping as well. I will be watching this thread. I know less than nothing.
     
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  8. leper65

    leper65 Steve

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    Bee keeping classes should be starting up in January. I found that the class is well worth the expense...
     
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  9. beamernc

    beamernc LTC - Liberal Tear Collector Charter Member Supporting Member

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    I agree. The classes are worth while if you are interested in beekeeping.
     
  10. Gazengine

    Gazengine 8 Track guy stuck in a digital world Charter Life Member

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    I just found this thread. don't know how I missed it. I have bees in Stanly county.and a member of the Stanly County Beekeepers. If any of you are close to Albemarle.we have a beginning beekeepers class we put on at the Ag Center that is 1 nite a week and starts Jan. 23 thru March 13. Check out the website for info.
    I lost 2 hives early in Dec.when the hard cold hit. Our fall goldenrod was bad also.
     
  11. Errant_Venture

    Errant_Venture I'm the space cowboy.

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    You guys are awesome, by the way. I love hobbies like this! Really has character and skill to it.
     
  12. xtp308

    xtp308 Well-Known Member

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    Just another thing on my "bucket list" for once the kids move out and I have time. Looks really interesting and rewarding !!!!!
     
  13. Goofyfoot2001

    Goofyfoot2001 Member Supporting Member

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    I would love to keep a hive or two but not sure Tega Cay would allow it. Might be under the farm animal rule.
     
  14. Leadchunker

    Leadchunker Member

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    Been pretty busy building boxes and frames for the spring build up. The season started early this year due to the higher temps in February. We have split half of our hives and should have the rest split Saturday. Hen Bit, Maple trees, Plum trees, Pear trees, Dandelion, Jasmine are blooming right now. Everybody should have rotated their hives by now and almost finished with mite treatments on the coast. The time to get supers ready to put on is now. Spring seems to be a month ahead of schedule. We also have a bee school at the Brunswick County Gov complex that starts next Wednesday. It will be every Wed night for 6 weeks and a field day in May. We will be offering the certification test for the state of North Carolina at the end of the school. You can get a class schedule by email brunswickcountybeekeepers@outlook.com.
     
  15. Heavy Barrel

    Heavy Barrel Black Cows Matter! Charter Life Member

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    Anybody in Guilford County looking for a place to place a hive or two? My brother and I both have small farms in Southeast Guilford county and would not mind having a hive or two to help nature along.
     
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  16. shadowsbane

    shadowsbane Member

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    One hive survived the winter. One loss was expected, and the other was a bit of a surprise, as the hive still weighs in at an impressive amount.

    Bees are in full activity currently but a bit on the ornery side. Stung my face when I stayed too close to the hive. Which is a first for them. (about 8 feet from the side) Normally I can mow and do all sorts of things and they don't care.

    Doesn't look like a robbing issue, but they are definitely irritated.

    Is that more normal considering the weather conditions lately?
     
  17. muskrat

    muskrat Caterpillar Killer

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    Lost my hive 2 years ago about this time and greatly miss having them. Not sure what happened but I'm willing to bet it was mostly may fault. When I noticed the lack of activity it was too late. When I opened it up I didn't have the desire to investigate and clean at the time.
    So it sat for a few weeks and by then everything else had moved in and destroyed any evidence.

    The time has come to try again but I need to have everything sanitized. Being that I'm not sure why the hive was lost I feel it's safest to sanitize rather than just torch the surface. Anybody know where I can take my stuff to be sanitized?
     
  18. Gazengine

    Gazengine 8 Track guy stuck in a digital world Charter Life Member

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    With the weather last week, the bees are a lot more ill than normal. Watch carefully now for swarming. It always happens after a cool week or so when the hive is building up strong and is then cooped up and crowded. They won't fly if it's under 50 deg. Set a few bait hives around an hope you catch one.
    Had a few swarms here in Oakboro 3 weeks ago.
     
  19. Gazengine

    Gazengine 8 Track guy stuck in a digital world Charter Life Member

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    We use Clorox and water in a big tin tub and dunk the hive bodies and woodware in. Let it dry in the sun. I normally burn the wax and frames. I can build new ones quicker and cheaper. It was most likely wax worms that destroyed it. They move in when the hive gets too weak to drive them out. I don't see much activity from small hive beetles during winter.
     
  20. Leadchunker

    Leadchunker Member

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    Boy it has been a busy season already. The bee school is going well in Brunswick County. Our apiary got inspected. We sold some nuc hives. We have been making splits. We have been building frames, boxes, tops, bottom boards, and swarm traps. We caught 5 swarms, one left and was never seen again. I am sick of Carolina Panthers blue paint. A 5 gallon bucket seems to go a loooooong way. It was only 49 bucks so I really can't complain. The bees are busy bringing in the pollen and nectar. Dogwoods, Bradford Pear, Bartlett Pear, Dandelion, Cherry Laurel, Ligustrum, Yashino Cherry, and Peach trees are blooming right now on the coast. I will be adding supers to the stronger hives this weekend. Good luck with your bees this year folks.
     
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  21. shadowsbane

    shadowsbane Member

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    Finally got into all my hives. One of the ones that died starved. The other has about 70lbs of honey in it tons of pollen and only about 6 or 7 dead bees. Think that honey would be safe to eat? It is all sealed, and outside of an errant cobweb or two the whole thing was untouched.

    Third is doing really well, but has these weird grubs in them. Not sure what I am looking at. exactly.

    Are they bee larva that broke open when I got into the hive or something else entirely?

    I couldn't do a full inspection the frames are actually falling apart when I try to get them out and not quite sure on how to solve that little issue right at the moment.
     

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  22. beamernc

    beamernc LTC - Liberal Tear Collector Charter Member Supporting Member

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    Looks like burr comb was built between the upper and lower box. When you pulled it off, it opened up the capped brood. Mine was the same way and was drone brood.
     
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  23. Gazengine

    Gazengine 8 Track guy stuck in a digital world Charter Life Member

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    Like Beamer said, it is brood that was in the burr comb. Most of the time, it is Drone cells. Look closely for queen cells as they may be getting to swarm.
    If you haven't already, add another super as they need more room.Looks like a good hive.
     
  24. shadowsbane

    shadowsbane Member

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    They are Russian bees. they always have several queen cells set up and going. They just tend to kill the queens before they emerge unless they are missing one.

    Kinda handy action but a bit concerning other times. Also, don't believe the hype, these things are pretty docile most of the time.

    Today I mixed up the bottom two boxes. Cause they tend to want to keep moving up, then have a mostly empty box on top.
     
  25. Leadchunker

    Leadchunker Member

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    Done selling nucs for now. Focus is on honey production. The girls are bringing nectar that is producing a very light colored honey. Picked up 10 Hawaiian queens early in the season. They didn't work well at all. 3 died, 2 were drone layers, and the rest swarmed with plenty of room to expand. I wont be getting anymore of those. I attended the NC State queen rearing course in Greenville this past weekend. We will be making our own queens from now on from our own stock.
     
  26. leper65

    leper65 Steve

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    I was wondering how the Hawaiian queens would do. A guy was selling them in the Johnston Co. Club. We wanted to go to the queen rearing course but our schedule wouldn't allow it.
     
  27. Sneakymedic

    Sneakymedic Super Moderator Staff Member Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    I went to the beekeepers meeting in Surry County last year and listened to a guy lecture on Queen Rearing. Really interesting. Neat guy. I went up late in the season last year and bought a few Queens with a buddy of mine and wanted to see his set up. Really nice. He's out of Meadows of Dan, VA. He ships, and I had a great result with his Queens.
     
  28. Gazengine

    Gazengine 8 Track guy stuck in a digital world Charter Life Member

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    A guy in our bee club had bought some Hawaiian queens this year. He had bad luck with his also. Said he would not order anymore either.
    I made 4 splits with local queens and all seems well with them.
     
  29. beamernc

    beamernc LTC - Liberal Tear Collector Charter Member Supporting Member

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    My phone woke me up this morning with a number I did not know and I almost didn't answer it, but I did. A guy called to see if I would remove a swarm from his yard. Went over and it was about 7' up in a crape myrtle. Finally got them in my nuc and brought them home. This afternoon, I was going to put them in a hive and as soon as I took the lid off the nuc they all flew out. Luckily they swarmed about 30' way in one of my pear trees about 7' up. Finally coaxed them into a hive and moved them to a new location.

    I went up to my cousin's farm and was going to bring my swarm trap home and when I got there it was full of bees. Looks like it caught a swarm. I'll give them a couple more days and then move them into a hive. That gets me up to 5 hives.

    Nothing like free bees!
     
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  30. Gazengine

    Gazengine 8 Track guy stuck in a digital world Charter Life Member

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    I like free bees!!
    I had a call about a swarm a lady found in a pine tree. When I got there, they were about 30' high. Set up a bait hive as high as I could get it. To high to shake.
    Next day there were gone. I hate to lose a swarm, but all we can do is give it out best try.
    Seemed to be a slow year around here for swarms. Most guys I know never saw any or had any calls.
     
  31. Leadchunker

    Leadchunker Member

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    We got a swarm yesterday. Took a ten frame deep to get them all. Big swarm. We have been pulling honey frames and we are up to about 200lbs of honey. We have allot of supers on the hives, but they aren't cured. The girls are working hard for sure.
     
  32. Leadchunker

    Leadchunker Member

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    Been awhile since I posted anything. Been busy with the bees and busy with the trees. The hurricanes have everyone calling for tree work. Well the bees are finally doing well. We had some issues with queens we bought and with virgin queens making it back after mating flights. I would have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes. Dragon fly eat bees. It seems that queens and drones fly slow, making them easy targets. I had a hive open and a big blue dragon fly landed beside me and it was eating a bee. There are a lot of dragon flies in that bee yard. I will need to make queens in a different yard if I want to have any success.
    We are almost done pulling supers this year. We have 15 more and we will finish extracting this week. So far we have put 850lbs in jars.
     
  33. Gazengine

    Gazengine 8 Track guy stuck in a digital world Charter Life Member

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    We pulled honey in July, what little there was this year. Extracted and sold out already. Got the extractor cleaned up and put away.After heavy loses last winter, I had to sacrifice honey to make splits. We had the same problem with getting good Queens. Purple Martians like bees also. Good luck with the rest of the honey, I know what work it is.
     
  34. beamernc

    beamernc LTC - Liberal Tear Collector Charter Member Supporting Member

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    The frames of honey that mine made, I put it all on a swarm I caught to help them through the winter. I also added some frames of brood to the swarm that was on the lean side. I need to check them.
     
  35. htperry

    htperry © 1957-20xx

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    Can someone explain something to me? Lactic acid in 3D Printed PLA comb might be good?

    Read the info at the link below the picture, but this is honey bee comb? PLA plastic has lactic acid in it that is supposed to be helpful -

    "As a side note, lactic acid has been shown to be useful as an anti-varroa mite treatment and PLA (polylactic acid), releases small amounts of lactic acid over time. it will be interesting to see if this has any effect on varroa populations in my hives."

    What does the above paragraph mean?

    [​IMG]

    https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2550700
     
  36. Gazengine

    Gazengine 8 Track guy stuck in a digital world Charter Life Member

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    Varroa mites are a big problem with us beekeeps,but I have never heard of using lactic acid for treatment. I have started using oxalic acid and vaporizing it to treat for mites. It is a more natural treatment than what we have had to use in the past.
    I do use plastic molded comb each spring as a natural Varroa treatment. I put in 1 frame of drone size cells in spring when they are building up bees for swarm,
    Varroa like to lay in the drone brood as it takes longer to hatch than workers. Before the drones hatch out, I pull the frame and freeze it,killing all the Drone brood along with the unhatched mites.It is a natural way to help control Varroa and helps to suppress the hives urge to swarm.
     
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  37. Gazengine

    Gazengine 8 Track guy stuck in a digital world Charter Life Member

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    Just went through a hive yard today to check on progress for overwintering. Still seeing lots of small hive beetles. They seemed worse than normal this year, maybe because the wet summer kept the ground soft. Traps put on about 3 weeks ago maybe had 30 - 40 each, with lots on inner covers. Bees doing good keeping them run out.
    How are they looking in other areas? I am in the Piedmont area.
     
  38. MochaJoe

    MochaJoe Custom Title

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    This is pretty cool.
    I’ve got a thing for nature, glad you guys are helping the bees. I can’t do hives or whatever but I’m gonna plant loads of flowers to help them out, maybe attract some.
     
  39. Gazengine

    Gazengine 8 Track guy stuck in a digital world Charter Life Member

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    I do all I can without chemicals. I don't use 24d or Roundup. I use oil soap in the garden.
    This summer a house close to me was sold.I saw the new owner in the gravel driveway every afternoon hand pulling up the grass. After a few weeks, I stopped
    to say thanks and my bees say thanks for not spraying weed killer.
     
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  40. Oneofsix

    Oneofsix bag of mostly water Charter Member Supporting Member

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    Oil soap? For?

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