To Bee Or Not To Bee (a Bee-odyssey)

Discussion in 'Environment' started by jjl, Feb 18, 2016.

  1. jjl

    jjl dowser/attention whore

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    There are a few things that you can do with the wax capping derived from strained honey. I also save the Burr comb that I scrape each inspection.
    There are tons of things that you can make from Beeswax. But I am thinking that homemade foundation might be the safest thing to use in the hive. After all, there is no way of knowing the condition of the hive or Bees that made the wax from manufactured foundation. In theory, it could pass on American Foul Brood or even European Foul Brood.
    Some of my friends are making their own foundation...


    This isn't the only way to do this..youtube has jillions of vids about it.
     
  2. jjl

    jjl dowser/attention whore

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  3. jjl

    jjl dowser/attention whore

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    So I haven't written about moving my Bees until now because it was so traumatizing for all of us and I am waiting to witness the final repercussions of the move.

    Originally, Jim and I were planning on hiring a guy for $125, which given the size of the hive and length of the journey, seemed more than reasonable.
    But as time drew closer, I resisted removing the top honey super from the hive, and I knew the guy moving it would object to the extra weight.
    In the end, we rented a truck and enlisted the help of my mentor. One of the trickier aspects of moving Bee's is that it has to happen after the sun goes down.
    Because of the temp drop, this made me very uneasy.
     
  4. jjl

    jjl dowser/attention whore

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    We did an inspection, a few days before we moved our Bees. I had a top super with about 30 extra pounds of honey that needed removing. There was still plenty of Brood in the top super, so I left the box on and swapped out the heavy honey frames for fresh empty ones. I wasn't planning a harvest, I just needed to reduce the weight of the hive.
    The girls did NOT take kindly to my robbing and made a big stink about it for several hours, but they had no interest in feeding off of syrup.
    The bottom brood had massive stores of pollen, some brood, a little drone comb and tiny patches of honey,
    Second deep had good brood in the center, a little pollen and masses of honey, maybe 70 pounds of it.
    Top medium box held brood and honey.
     
  5. jjl

    jjl dowser/attention whore

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    The reason you move your hive at night or before dawn is to assure that most of the colony is in the hive. There will be a few field Bees that might not make it back to the hive. This is an unhappy fact. But the life span of a summer forager is a short one and the stragglers at this stage of the season will likely expire in a day or so either way.
    Summer Bees literally work themselves to death.

    So After strapping the boxes together with about a hundred ratchet straps, Jim cut a piece of #5 hardware cloth to the size of the entrance. He also taped up the escape exit notch on the inner cover.
    When the sun fell and we saw no more Bees fly into the entrance, Jim stapled the hardware cloth into place. Three of us loaded the hive boxes as steady as we could, onto the pick-up bed. We strapped and loosely buffeted the boxes from the wind with moving blankets, careful to leave ventilation by facing the screened entrance to the cab of the truck instead of blanketing it.
    New England is full of hills, so we tried to take the least jarring route to my residence.

    *you want to keep a few days between deep inspection and moving. This way the girls get a chance to reglue the boxes together with propolis.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2016
  6. jjl

    jjl dowser/attention whore

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    We loaded the hive off of the truck to the newly designated spot.
    I was happy as hell to finally have my Bees with me.
    I could now look outside my window and see my girls to observe how they were doing.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2016
  7. jjl

    jjl dowser/attention whore

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    As usual, everyone has a different opinion on when you should release bees from the screened entrance. They looked pretty miserable to me, so I asked Jim to remove the staples and turn them loose.

    The result was breathtaking. Had I foreseen what would happen i would have had a camera.
    For several minutes, a tornadic cloud rose from the entrance.
    I had no idea I had that many bees.
    I watched, transfixed. I had no presence of mind to record this and I regret it.
     
  8. jjl

    jjl dowser/attention whore

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    That day, our yard was filled with Bees orienting their new surroundings.
    We kept the cats inside, just in case.
     
  9. jjl

    jjl dowser/attention whore

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    The next day I found about a dozen dead Bees at the entrance, the next day a few more.
    And my girls are not taking syrup despite the late season.
    All of the forums admonish the new Beeks to feed feed feed.
    But my girls have no interest.
    Every day I find a few more dead Bees at my entrance and it was starting to alarm me until I read this: Dead bees on the outside of the hive this time of year is usually a sign that everything is proceeding according to plan. If your cluster is active and has plenty of food, your colony is probably fine.
    http://honeybeesuite.com/dead-bees-all-over-the-place/
     
  10. jjl

    jjl dowser/attention whore

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    Yesterday, when we inspected, the brood had mostly hatched out and there seemed to be fewer bees. But the foragers were still gone still and I think the colony shrinks itself a bit for the winter.
    But the food stores are tremendous.
    To be safe and so that the girls could stop working the third top super, I returned the full frames of honey to them.
    I also left a pollen patty to feed them on the top of the frames, but I doubt with all the stores they have that they will even touch the thing.
    We also pulled the hive back a foot. We will do this again next week so that the boxes will get maximum sunshine.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2016