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Beekeeping 101 / Re: 52 Hives from 13 hives in two years?
« Last post by Some Day on Today at 01:48:47 pm »
B13,  How do you determine if a hive is weak?  Is there a number of frames of brood or frames of bees that you use to say a hive is weak?  For example, 2 frames is weak, 4 frames is fair, 8 frames is booming?

Do you take a weak hive of 2 frames of bees/brood and newspaper combine with a strong 8 frame hive?  What do you do with the extra queen?  Does she meet the hive tool guillotine or do you just let the bees sort them out?

I have one more question on this combining of hives, but I am waiting for some one to address that pesky 500 pound gorilla I mentioned in an earlier post.
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Beekeeping 101 / Re: 52 Hives from 13 hives in two years?
« Last post by Some Day on Today at 01:36:11 pm »
Are those two hives Sakatraz queens or are they Italian?

I think you should try splitting them and adding new queens and seeing if they make it through winter.  If they don't make it, I'll know not to do that.
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Beekeeping 101 / Re: 52 Hives from 13 hives in two years?
« Last post by tedh on Today at 01:13:51 pm »
The above are two of those colonies a week ago yesterday.  Also a good shot of our breast cancer awareness boxes.  Ted

We had 4 supers on each of them and should have put a fifth on but would have needed a ladder.
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Beekeeping 101 / Re: 52 Hives from 13 hives in two years?
« Last post by tedh on Today at 01:11:45 pm »




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Beekeeping 101 / Re: 52 Hives from 13 hives in two years?
« Last post by tedh on Today at 01:06:01 pm »
We called Lappes Saturday regarding Saskatraz queens (they don't raise their own) and they said they were currently out of Saskatraz but would have more this week.  If my memory is right those queens come from California.  That still doesn't answer the question of how long they've been in the cage but a phone call might.

The problem we've run into with spring queens is availability.  If we wait to make nucs when queens are available the hives are in swarm mode or have already swarmed.  I know,  make nucs with the swarm cells, but i don't want my hives to get to that point.  I prefer to pull nucs to AVOID the swarming conditions while keeping strong colonies for honey production.  Having mated queens lets the nucs get rolling right away. Where as letting the nucs make their own queen works, they kind of dawdle along most of the summer.  We made up 5 five frame nucs (5 over 5) early this past spring and installe mated queens from Georgia.
  When the queens were accepted (which seems to work more often with smaller colonies than stronger colonies) we dropped them into 10 frame boxes and threw 10 frame deeps from winter dead outs on top.  Those are among the strongest colonies we have and they were the best honey producers and those colonies is were we plan to pull the upcoming nucs from.  What the heck though. It's all a gamble.  Might work this year and not next.  Ted
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Beekeeping 101 / Re: 52 Hives from 13 hives in two years?
« Last post by Some Day on Today at 12:11:18 pm »
Riverrat,  I am retired so I do not have a job to compete for my time.  I think you are correct in saying honey average per hive will be lower.  I think you can either make bees or make honey with your hives until you have a number of hives that can be dedicated to just honey and some to just bee making. You have also hit on one of the factors for increase that I have been using and that is swarm captures.

Ted,  You have me thinking about the late summer nucs.  With plenty of resources; meaning bees, brood, pollen, honey, and drawn comb a new queen might really "go to town" before winter.  The mid to late summer queens may actually be better bred with more drones than the early spring queens.  This could lead to a very vigorous hive, hmmmm.  To be Devils advocate, what if the bred queens you get have been caged for 4 to 6 weeks before you get them?  Will they still be up to par?

No one has mentioned the 500 pound gorilla in the room and how it should be handled.  Ted may have stumbled onto a method of handling with the late summer nucs.
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Beekeeping 101 / Re: 52 Hives from 13 hives in two years?
« Last post by Lburou on Today at 09:43:38 am »
Neil,  I have met Murphy and I think he was an optimist...

...In my second year of bee keeping I knew everything about bees, in my 3rd year I only knew half of what there is to know, in my 4th year of bee keeping I knew a little bit, and now in my 5th year I don't know anything.  But I do have some goals in mind and am trying to achieve them.
You have a good start Some Day  :)
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Beekeeping 101 / Re: 52 Hives from 13 hives in two years?
« Last post by tedh on Today at 08:25:58 am »
Nope. We haven't tried this in the past, but I can't see why it wouldn't work.  We have (usually) untill mid Novmber before weather shuts us down, 3 months.  If we create the nucs using two or three frames of mixed brood, two or three frames of capped brood, an empty drawn frame, the rest honey frames and add a mated queen, essentially building a five over five nuc, I think the chances are good.  Good enough for me to try at least.  We'll make two of these and I'll let you know next spring how it turns out.  I think the worst that could happen is we end up recombining, losing the cost of two queens or combing the two nucs losing only one queen.  Interesting dilema and great for getting a conversation going.

I dig the knowledge decreasing.  Reminds me of when my parents didn't have a clue.  Ted
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Beekeeping 101 / Re: 52 Hives from 13 hives in two years?
« Last post by Riverrat on Today at 08:16:56 am »
If you have the knowledge and work ethic it can be done in a year,  I jumped from about 25 to 80 in a year picking up a few swarms and with splits.  Had great success but figured out after a year of working a full time job and running 80 hives your going to get tired wore out burn out and wondering what you was thinking.  You will also notice your honey production average per hive drops as you are spread thin.  Now if your not working another job you are good to go
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Beekeeping 101 / Re: 52 Hives from 13 hives in two years?
« Last post by Bakersdozen on Today at 05:52:16 am »
I'll be Debbie Downer and add this:  Don't plan on any honey or very little. 
This quote is from Keith Delaplane. "The more you know, the more there is to know."
Any colonies that are weak going into fall can be combined and then split again in the spring, should they be really strong.  My colony numbers seem to be fluid through the beekeeping year.
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