Author Topic: Alaska Bee Keeping  (Read 26123 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Nugget Shooter

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 512
  • Thanked: 69 times
  • Gender: Male
    • Nugget Shooter
  • Location: Arizona's Sonoran Desert in Growing Zone 9b
Re: Alaska Bee Keeping
« Reply #40 on: June 10, 2017, 06:30:56 pm »
Really enjoy the photos, thanks  :yes:
Cheers, Bill
The following users thanked this post: yukonjeff

Offline yukonjeff

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 201
  • Thanked: 41 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: Mountain Village, Alaska
Re: Alaska Bee Keeping
« Reply #41 on: June 11, 2017, 04:22:10 am »
Thanks ,glad to share them.

Well here is the Russian queen, she is doing great and has two part frames of brood already, so hoping she builds quickly.



The other two hives are exploding and filling the second deep fast.



I had a slight panic attack after seeing this, but after I cut it out I see it was only a cluster of drone cells.




Offline Perry

  • Global Moderator
  • Gold Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 7373
  • Thanked: 386 times
  • Gender: Male
    • Brandt's Bees
  • Location: Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia
Re: Alaska Bee Keeping
« Reply #42 on: June 11, 2017, 06:03:42 am »
You live in a remarkable and beautiful part of the world! :)
"It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor."      
Forum Supporter
The following users thanked this post: yukonjeff

Offline efmesch

  • Gold Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1685
  • Thanked: 201 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: Israel
Re: Alaska Bee Keeping
« Reply #43 on: June 11, 2017, 07:34:02 am »
Let's hope that people with the wrong attitude to nature don't spoil it.
The following users thanked this post: yukonjeff

Offline Lburou

  • Gold Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 2284
  • Thanked: 315 times
  • Location: DFW area, Texas, USA, growing zone 7a
Re: Alaska Bee Keeping
« Reply #44 on: June 11, 2017, 10:19:04 am »
...I had a slight panic attack after seeing this, but after I cut it out I see it was only a cluster of drone cells...
Jeff, are you referring to the small pieces of comb hanging down from the bottom of the frames?   If yes, that is called 'burr comb' or 'ladder comb'.   Bees commonly build it, and queens use it to lay drone eggs.   

When you leave frames foundationless, the proportion of worker to drone comb is variable, but about 20-30% drone size (wild brood nests have a lot of brood comb too).  When you use foundation, that percentage of drone comb goes down closer to 10%.  Bees supplement their drone population by raising drone brood in the burr comb.  This is normal.  The only reason I remove it, (and I do), is to prevent squashing bees when reassembling the hive.  When the drone brood hatches, bees often fill those cells with honey.   HTH    :)

Now, burr comb can take many other forms that give bees, (and pests & potential brood disease), a place to hide during inspections.  If you look at the first picture below, the comb on the frame to the right was built entirely on the side of the foundation, (caused by the beekeeper's violation of 'bee space').  Bees have made an entire honeycomb on the side of the foundation.  You can't find the queen if she is back there, you can easily squash bees with pressure on the outside of the comb, and if there was a brood disease hiding back there you couldn't see it to know there was a problem that needed action.





Burr comb like this is caused by too much space between the frames.  You can read about bee space here, or you can do a search, it's an important concept in modern beekeeping.  :)
Lee_Burough
The following users thanked this post: yukonjeff

Offline yukonjeff

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 201
  • Thanked: 41 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: Mountain Village, Alaska
Re: Alaska Bee Keeping
« Reply #45 on: June 11, 2017, 01:39:53 pm »
Thanks again guys this place has its ups and downs that's for sure, but is an amazing place just the same.

And thanks Lburou,so it was a ladder of burr combs, that makes sense.I saw it hanging off the bottom and had flashbacks of last year when my package swarmed after seeing something that looked a lot like that. I have been inserting frames into the brood nest and looks to be helping with the swarming tendencies so far.

I like that picture, that's one mistake I have not made yet, but I will I am sure.  :)

Offline Perry

  • Global Moderator
  • Gold Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 7373
  • Thanked: 386 times
  • Gender: Male
    • Brandt's Bees
  • Location: Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia
Re: Alaska Bee Keeping
« Reply #46 on: June 11, 2017, 04:42:49 pm »
that's one mistake I have not made yet, but I will I am sure.  :)

If you keep bees long enough you will eventually make all the mistakes, if you don't believe me just ask me. :laugh:
"It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor."      
Forum Supporter

Offline Wandering Man

  • Gold Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1732
  • Thanked: 148 times
  • Gender: Male
    • Life Lessons from dogs, bees and others
  • Location: Victoria, Texas
Re: Alaska Bee Keeping
« Reply #47 on: June 11, 2017, 05:55:26 pm »

If you keep bees long enough you will eventually make all the mistakes, if you don't believe me just ask me. :laugh:

I'm trying to work my way through all of the mistakes quickly, and I think I'm doing a pretty good job of it.
Never argue with drunks or crazy people

Offline Nugget Shooter

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 512
  • Thanked: 69 times
  • Gender: Male
    • Nugget Shooter
  • Location: Arizona's Sonoran Desert in Growing Zone 9b
Re: Alaska Bee Keeping
« Reply #48 on: June 11, 2017, 06:22:21 pm »

If you keep bees long enough you will eventually make all the mistakes, if you don't believe me just ask me. :laugh:

I'm trying to work my way through all of the mistakes quickly, and I think I'm doing a pretty good job of it.

And I am right there with ya  :laugh:
Cheers, Bill

Offline yukonjeff

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 201
  • Thanked: 41 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: Mountain Village, Alaska
Re: Alaska Bee Keeping
« Reply #49 on: June 14, 2017, 01:03:27 pm »
Well we have blooms everywhere here now, its just like a botanical garden here in the summer with all the flowers its quite impressive .



The bees are bringing in different colors of pollen, I noticed white yesterday, there is also yellow ,orange ,brown and tan.



I suspect from these.



And we had another cranberry bloom of high bush cranberries and they are all over it, they have been blooming since mid April, and going strong.



Also on the Cloud Berry flowers too.



Our main Fireweed flow will start in about two weeks and it will last two months. My second deep was getting full on my last check so was going to add another deep on Saturday  to see if they would keep drawing wax. And have some same size frames of honey to feed other hives if necessary.

I was wondering the best way to add a upper entrance ,I now have a notch I made in an inner cover for a upper entrance, but the telescopic lid covers it unless I add a super on top. Can I add a three inch shim instead?  I will need the supers for honey( I hope)

And also I am trying to figure what I need as far as supers, how many per hive? since I need to pre-order them and have them on hand when I need them. Also any tips on supering would be appreciated I was going to use deeps mostly.

Thanks again

Offline efmesch

  • Gold Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1685
  • Thanked: 201 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: Israel
Re: Alaska Bee Keeping
« Reply #50 on: June 14, 2017, 04:26:01 pm »
A shim should be fine---you could even prop up the telescoping roof with a block of wood or a stick of the proper dimensions.

I was wondering---if you were to successfully overwinter your hives in Alaska, do you think the bees would be able to build up their populations fast enough to be able to take advantage of the early honey flows?   Would russian bees make the difference?  Would importing bees from further south be a viable, profitable alternative?

BTW, your pictures are great!!!

As to supering:  It's hard to know just how fast the nectar is coming in.  That's where neighboring beeks with experience from previous years can be very helpful with advice---but it looks like your on your own and will have to give advice to those who follow you.  Personally, I like to place new supers below the top super or above the brood nest, but from what you are telling us, I  would assume you would have a lot of heavy lifting to do at uncomfortable heights if you try that method.  My suggestion would therefore be to place new supers on top, it is easy, fast and effective when the honey is coming in profusely.

Offline Lburou

  • Gold Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 2284
  • Thanked: 315 times
  • Location: DFW area, Texas, USA, growing zone 7a
Re: Alaska Bee Keeping
« Reply #51 on: June 14, 2017, 06:28:33 pm »
Quote
...My second deep was getting full on my last check so was going to add another deep on Saturday  to see if they would keep drawing wax...

I was wondering the best way to add a upper entrance, I now have a notch I made in an inner cover for a upper entrance, but the telescopic lid covers it unless I add a super on top. Can I add a three inch shim instead?  I will need the supers for honey( I hope)

And also I am trying to figure what I need as far as supers, how many per hive? since I need to pre-order them and have them on hand when I need them. Also any tips on supering would be appreciated I was going to use deeps mostly.
If bees are covering 70-80% of the frames in the second super, add another super.  Sometimes, I drill a hole in a super above the hand hold, making it the same size as a wine bottle cork; you can plug the hole anytime you wish.  I don't know how many supers you could need, it depends on the honey flow and how much it produces.  Best to have more than you need...Two or three more for each hive...?
Lee_Burough

Offline yukonjeff

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 201
  • Thanked: 41 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: Mountain Village, Alaska
Re: Alaska Bee Keeping
« Reply #52 on: June 15, 2017, 02:25:26 pm »
Efmesch
Thanks for your thoughts, I will try a shim, I am a bit leery of opening up the top for an entrance in our terrible weather, we get raging storms and hate to have them open during one of those.

 To answer your questions: Yes I do hope to overwinter a hive or two and take advantage of the early bluberry,cranberry and wildflower flow. I had dreams of that last season but my hive had enough of me and didn't make it through winter, hopefully next year and I will have the Russian hive and hope that makes it this time. The bees I have now are Carnies from California.

I will top super then, I dot think those deeps will be a problem when I know they are full of honey :)

And Thanks Lburou I will order a few more to have on hand, I am concerned of running out of room while they dry and cap it,I guess I could swap out frames with empties and freeze them if needed.

Also do I need to bring up a frame of brood to get them started in the third deep ? or can I just throw the box on? also is it ok to use previous brood comb for honey extraction after its backfilled ?

PS. I have another queen flying in from the east coast and going to try start another nuc. as late as it is I hope to get them to fill a deep and try some overwinter indoor experiments with them, and have extra genetics on hand.



The Russians are doing great  for less than three weeks, I will add a few more frames on my Saturday inspection.










Offline efmesch

  • Gold Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1685
  • Thanked: 201 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: Israel
Re: Alaska Bee Keeping
« Reply #53 on: June 15, 2017, 03:25:08 pm »
When the nectar is coming in fast there is no need to persuade the bees to start moving in and building in the super you place on top.  Their need for room and instincts will get them to build up there.
Frames that have had brood in them are perfectly suitable for honey storage---perhaps even more desirable than new frames.  Frames from brood are stronger than new frames because of the exuviae that the growing larvae press against the walls of the cells.  The more cycles of brood raised in the frames, the stronger and darker the combs will become. These combs are a lot easier to extract because they don't come apart during the spinning process.  However, dark frames have a tendency to darken the honey stored in them, but the extracted honey is still quite useable.
The following users thanked this post: Lburou, yukonjeff

Offline Lburou

  • Gold Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 2284
  • Thanked: 315 times
  • Location: DFW area, Texas, USA, growing zone 7a
Re: Alaska Bee Keeping
« Reply #54 on: June 15, 2017, 09:13:43 pm »
Quote from: Ef
"exuviae" In zoology an animal's cast or sloughed skin, especially that of an insect larva.
Had to look that one up again Ef.   :yes:
Lee_Burough

Offline yukonjeff

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 201
  • Thanked: 41 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: Mountain Village, Alaska
Re: Alaska Bee Keeping
« Reply #55 on: June 16, 2017, 01:20:34 pm »
Thanks again efmesch, I will throw one on and see if they start on it.

Well I figured out where the white pollen is coming from.



 

These big white flowers( wild celery) are about ready to open, and I remember from last year,  bees love them.


Offline yukonjeff

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 201
  • Thanked: 41 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: Mountain Village, Alaska
Re: Alaska Bee Keeping
« Reply #56 on: June 22, 2017, 09:06:42 pm »
Well, I am having a bit of trouble with the Russian Nuc.  The weather here got cool again, west winds from the Bering sea direct from Siberia had us in the lower 40s f and cloudy with a cool breeze. The Nuc was not flying and now these came out and appear lethargic and chilled and trying to warm up , not sure what up with the dead. they are walking real slow, I don't think they are getting robbed out? starving ? they have a feed jar on.

They were doing so well too.



 

Offline yukonjeff

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 201
  • Thanked: 41 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: Mountain Village, Alaska
Re: Alaska Bee Keeping
« Reply #57 on: June 23, 2017, 02:48:34 am »
I now think they starved to death,even with a nut jar feeder on !  Its on a screen under a super on a inner cover with a hole. Lots of dead bees inside too. might of lost the whole hive will do an inspection tomorrow and see if the queen is still alive and add a frame of honey from the other hive.

I brought some of the lethargic bees in the house in a jar and gave them a dab of honey and they are good as new, got lively again

Can I add a shake or two of bees from another hive or will they ball the queen ?

I have another queen should be here any day,was going to start another nuc.


Offline Lburou

  • Gold Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 2284
  • Thanked: 315 times
  • Location: DFW area, Texas, USA, growing zone 7a
Re: Alaska Bee Keeping
« Reply #58 on: June 23, 2017, 09:32:56 am »
Jeff, at 40 degrees, bees wouldn't be flying much or taking in much sugar syrup.  That would be normal.  Without looking inside to see the number of bees on the combs, it is hard for me to say how concerned you should be about that many dead bees.  A member here called 'Apis' is back online again and maybe he will offer an opinion.  :)
Lee_Burough

Offline yukonjeff

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 201
  • Thanked: 41 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: Mountain Village, Alaska
Re: Alaska Bee Keeping
« Reply #59 on: June 23, 2017, 12:42:17 pm »
Thanks Lburou

I am sure now that they would not break cluster and starved with the feed jar an inch above their heads. Some are alive still but the bottom was covered in dead bees and their was only about three frames of bees.

I will go in after it warms up this morning and add another frame of honey if their is enough bees left, I did put in a half of frame,once, I thought with the feed jar and the flow going on they would be ok, I guess it would of if it didn't get cold again.

Well its warmer today so that's better.

Just when I think I am starting to get this bee keeping figured out, I realize how much I still don't now.

God save the queen. :sad: