Beez pleezz

Prairie Rose

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I love your concrete pathways, Trish! I have a fairly decent stash of brick from the old farmhouse stashed out in the barn...I might have to lay paths between my beds when I build new ones next year. Just depends on if they are as crumbly as I suspect they are or not.

The year I had bees, I had one hive get off to a much slower start than other hive. The hives were three feet apart, started at the same time, with the same kind of bees. I am pretty sure the slower hive replaced their queen after the first month. That was about the time I was learning I actually was allergic to bees; I did not inspect the hives nearly as often as I should have because I was afraid of being stung and ending up in the hospital again. That hive caught up to the other one by the end of summer, and ended up being the one that survived our weird, weird winter only to starve in a late spring cold snap because they wouldn't break cluster to move to fresh food or the candy bar I had directly over them.

It is awesome that you got to see them dispose of the old queen thought!
 

flowerbug

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I did an Oxalic acid vapor (OAV), treatment the other day on both hives. The original wound up with a mite drop of 21 in 24 hours and 51 in 48. the second hive didnt show anything, but I dont think the brood nest is over the sticky board yet, sooo....
Tomorrow, when I get home from work, I will be doing another one.
how long will a mite live after it comes off a bee?
 

Trish Stretton

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I love your concrete pathways, Trish! I have a fairly decent stash of brick from the old farmhouse stashed out in the barn...I might have to lay paths between my beds when I build new ones next year. Just depends on if they are as crumbly as I suspect they are or not.

The year I had bees, I had one hive get off to a much slower start than other hive. The hives were three feet apart, started at the same time, with the same kind of bees. I am pretty sure the slower hive replaced their queen after the first month. That was about the time I was learning I actually was allergic to bees; I did not inspect the hives nearly as often as I should have because I was afraid of being stung and ending up in the hospital again. That hive caught up to the other one by the end of summer, and ended up being the one that survived our weird, weird winter only to starve in a late spring cold snap because they wouldn't break cluster to move to fresh food or the candy bar I had directly over them.

It is awesome that you got to see them dispose of the old queen thought!
Thank you.
I was told I should have laid them on leveled compacted sand, but I have a bad habit of not doing what I am told. So far they are still very stable. Once I have them in place and stable, I pack the dirt in around the bottoms so they cant move. When the whole path or part thereof is ready to be mortared, I use 'fastcrete'(tm).
I hose down the whole thing so the bricks especially, are quite damp so they dont draw moisture out of the mortar. When I think its not too wet and not drying out-going by feeling rather than science, I crack open a bag and brush it over the whole thing working the mortar into all the cracks, trying to keep it all level. Then with my hose attachment on mist, I hose it all so its all wet and shiny. I have found its best not to drown the path with water or it seems to stay soft. In summer, its more a thing of little and often.

I am so glad I am not allergic to stings. You can get 'Epi-pens' as I havent needed them I only vaguely know that they are some sort of 'hit me quick' jab to stop any reaction. SO if you are looking at getting bees again they are worth checking out.

I have decided not to feed them again.
I did in the first year cos they just didnt have enough to see them through the winter and did the second winter, once, just in case.
Our winters are very mild compared to yours and the bees are flying out most days unless the rain is hammering down.

My problem with the original hive at the moment, is that it is so Big. I cant put supers on the top like Lang hives and at the moment am not too sure what to do about this.
My next inspection day is next Friday, so long as it isnt too windy-a problem here at the moment, or raining.

I need to try to get the frames with brood on them back over by the entrance. The had started backfilling the brood nest in preparation for swarming, so what brood there is, is now throughout the hive. Hopefully I can sort this out this week, even though they are not going to like it short term.
 

flowerbug

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um, I dont know.
The 'sticky boards' I have under the mesh screen bottom of the hive are really well oiled so those that fall onto it drown.
I dont recall seeing any info to be able to answer this question, sorry.
it's ok, i am just curious... :) hope you have a safe/fun hive update/activities to report on soon also wish you would post it to SS as the bee forum there needs some more to talk about. :)
 

Trish Stretton

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Finally, I managed to inspect both hives- Christmas eve.
I started with the original one cos I thought it might take a bit more time and needed to have a smoker that was reasonably fresh, so it didnt go out on me. I knew I had a lot of interfering to do.

Because they had been backfilling the brood nest in Spring, there were still alot of frames with patches of brood throughout the hive. I had hoped that they would slowly move the brood nest over themselves, but they didnt.

First of all, I had to move out the two frames on the brood nest side that had open nectar with large patches of capped drone brood. This got moved right to the end of the honey side so that they would move the nectar back over to fill up the almost finished honey combs. There are enough bees in the hive for them to keep this brood warm and its too far away from everything else, so I am hoping the laying worker wont keep laying in it. I'm pretty sure there is a laying worker in there as well as a new queen.

This gap gave me room to go through the rest of the frames and move over the ones with worker brood and/or eggs. I got to see a lovely patch of eggs laying on the bottom of the cells. Apparently when they are lying down, they are about 3 days old and about to hatch.
There was one frame I didnt move over as there was only a small patch of capped brood and it looked like they were replacing this with nectar as they emerged.

I didnt get to harvest any honey this inspection cos no frames were fully capped, but I am expecting to do so in two weeks time.

With the second hive, I had to trim a very nice piece of comb that they had decided to build joining two frames. Luckily it wasnt too fat and only 4 inches deep, but it still made a mess and I had to rescue soaked bees to stop them from drowning in the stuff.
I've learnt to have something with me that I can scrape burr comb off the inner covers so this was a handy place to put my first of the season honey treat, small as it was.

I was a bit disappointed that they had not built out as much new comb as I thought they would but what they had was looking good, except for the crazy bit.
The brood nest so far is still on the one Jumbo deep frame, which was also a surprise but it was wall to wall/floor to ceiling on one side. The other side had the usual honey dome over top with the brood nest slapdab in the middle and the pollen underneath. Very pretty.

Once I got my treat inside had had drained the honey into a dish, I found half a dozen capped drone brood cells.
I decided to check out whether or not they had varroa mites in them. I Carefully peeled the sides of the cells off and slipped the poor things out onto some tissue paper. Once they were all out, I checked them over to find Not One mite!!! Yay. That was a relief. I dont have a window on this hive and there is only one sticky board, so I dont really know what is going on inside til I open up.

With all the burr comb I have collected over the last few inspections, I decided that there was enough to make it worthwhile trying to melt it down to coat another frame or do some more starter strips with it. This lot is now sitting in a bowl inside a black stock pot in the sunniest spot of the courtyard.
I got busy today down at mums place and forgot about it til it was starting to get dark. So, one of tomorrows chores will be getting some more frames ready for the next inspection for both hives.
 

Trish Stretton

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Today, I finally got around to doing another Oxalic acid vap. treatment-from now on its just 'an OAV', on the original hive- now call 'Tahi'=one.

For some reason I forgot to clear the far end sticky board and found a number of mites on this, but I'm not sure if they are current or not, which is annoying.
So between 10am and 6.30pm I got 31 mites, including those, which is higher than it has been in the past and more than I was expecting.

I was scratching my head trying to figure out why there would be so many mites at the far end on the honey side and had a light bulb moment!
I had moved the two frames that had quite a lot of capped drone brood on it. They were also full of open nectar.....this is probably a good thing cos it would mean that the mites went to the drone brood rather than the worker brood....but I'm not sure, so we watch and learn.

What I am going to do is check each day now at 10 am to get 24hr counts. I found I can really only do this for 3 days before I need to clear the boards or its just too messy to read.

Thats okay, cos I'm also going to re-do the OAV every 4 days til I see a no drop.
I'll also do an OAV on 'Rua'=two while I am at it. The brood nest is now directly over the sticky board so I should get an accurate read from that.

Next Tuesday, if the weather is nice, I'll inspect both again. I think I can get away with doing an inspection every two weeks. I'm sure they will let me know when the dearth is on and get antsy about it.
 

flowerbug

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i'm not in the know about the life cycle of mites as to how long it takes for them to hatch or how they get transmitted from one adult to another, but i do wonder if there is some way to inspect other things to see if they are about, like certain flowers or locations.
 

flowerbug

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i'm enjoying your descriptions and thought processes as these are things i've not known about before and so i keep learning. :)
 
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