Author Topic: How are your bees doing?  (Read 20862 times)

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Offline rrog13

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How are your bees doing?
« on: February 09, 2014, 07:44:38 pm »
 I was able to do some hive diving today.  I’ve got one hive that was a bit on the aggressive side.  I may have to pinch that queen if it gets any worse.  Every time I’d pull another frame, quite a few bees would go airborne and begin pounding against my veil and jacket. I was very surprised at how pissy they were.  :-\ A couple times I had to walk away for a few minutes but, of course a good many would follow.  They got me a few times....geez, they'd have tore me a new one if I hadn't had some protection on.  Other than that, it sure was nice to get in there, check things out and cleanup the frames a little.  They had everything glued down tight.  With the crazy weather we’re having, my bees seem to be in full build up mode.  Lots of brood in all stages including drone brood.  They still have a good amount of stores left and are bringing in pollen like crazy from somewhere.  It reached about 65 degrees today but ….the National Weather Service put out a winter storm warning earlier today.  I guess the temperatures are expected to plummet by mid-week.  Anyway…hope everyone else’s bee are doing well.  I can’t wait till the warm weather is here to stay.

Offline Jen

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Re: How are your bees doing?
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2014, 08:22:37 pm »
Hey rrog, nice to hear from you. We haven't had a 65 day yet to lift frames, but I have had some warmer day opportunity to lift the lid and see what I can see.

Our 7 day warm streak, 50 degrees, got the bees very busy and bringing in pollen. I started hefting the hive every couple of days and found that I needed to start winter patties, they're low on stores which surprised me. Presently, they are going through one winter pattie in two weeks.

Mine are assertive as well. I had on my usual jeans, white long sleeve shirt, and my veil. Within a minute there were 30 bees on my shirt. Only got nailed once.

There Is Peace In The Queendom

Offline Finally Home

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Re: How are your bees doing?
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2014, 09:08:49 pm »
Won't know till all this snow goes away  8)

Offline rrog13

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Re: How are your bees doing?
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2014, 09:30:58 pm »
Won't know till all this snow goes away  8)

I saw the pictures you posted in "Cleaning Snow from the Entrances".  Looks like it might be a little while before that snow disappears for ya.  ???

Offline caesarsfish

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Re: How are your bees doing?
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2014, 09:43:12 pm »
65 out today and I checked 9 hives.  Six were strong, two weak and one dead.  I added patties to all.  The bees were very aggressive.

Offline Jen

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Re: How are your bees doing?
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2014, 11:50:22 pm »
Caesar- what kind of patties are you using?
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Offline keeperofthebees

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Re: How are your bees doing?
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2014, 01:22:25 am »
I was able to do some hive diving today.  I’ve got one hive that was a bit on the aggressive side.  I may have to pinch that queen if it gets any worse.  Every time I’d pull another frame, quite a few bees would go airborne and begin pounding against my veil and jacket. I was very surprised at how pissy they were.  :-\ A couple times I had to walk away for a few minutes but, of course a good many would follow.  They got me a few times....geez, they'd have tore me a new one if I hadn't had some protection on.  Other than that, it sure was nice to get in there, check things out and cleanup the frames a little.  They had everything glued down tight.  With the crazy weather we’re having, my bees seem to be in full build up mode.  Lots of brood in all stages including drone brood.  They still have a good amount of stores left and are bringing in pollen like crazy from somewhere.  It reached about 65 degrees today but ….the National Weather Service put out a winter storm warning earlier today.  I guess the temperatures are expected to plummet by mid-week.  Anyway…hope everyone else’s bee are doing well.  I can’t wait till the warm weather is here to stay.

If you're in no rush, throw an extra box on there for insurance...and wait until the cold weather clears.  I know someone that would send you a small cardboard screen box(postage paid) with a jar of apple honey for a mean queen and a handfull of bees ;D

The weather is just not fit in wisconsin for anything!  I've been trying to find some feisty queens that will take care of themselves/requeen on their own.  The stuff I've been getting hasn't been lasting into fall and I don't believe in using weird chemicals on the hives.  Our general rule in wi. is 7-8 months for a queen, 1-1/2 yrs if you're really lucky...Those are the guys that treat all the time. 

-Food for Thought

Offline Jen

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Re: How are your bees doing?
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2014, 02:01:52 am »
""Our general rule in wi. is 7-8 months for a queen, 1-1/2 yrs if you're really lucky...Those are the guys that treat all the time.""

Really?!? That's rediculous!   
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Offline keeperofthebees

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Re: How are your bees doing?
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2014, 02:28:39 am »
""Our general rule in wi. is 7-8 months for a queen, 1-1/2 yrs if you're really lucky...Those are the guys that treat all the time.""

Really?!? That's rediculous!


The guys in the warmer weather(florida, georgia, california, texas, etc) can get away with it, because the bees requeen themselves better.  With early spring & fall up here in wi, they don't fly & mate if they need to do their thing.  It's like what they're doing with german shepherds in the U.S. breeding them with sloped backs, then their hips go out early.  It's really sad & frustrating to deal with it. 

The guys out in the swamps, hills, mountains,  etc with isolated stock/strains are better off.  People are just starting to get queen burnouts in the isolated areas.  Ask any old guy out there about the queen bees that used to last 4-5 yrs.  That was back in the days of DDT, and who knows what else for pesticides.  Everything including bees get pushed out the door to meet the demand, lowering the quality.

I love working with feral colonies!  They're kind of peculiar in the blossoms that they work on, but they sure do bring some awesome different honey's in 8)

Are yours bringing in pollen and nectar?...  Did you stick a spoon in the hive to grab a bite of some fresh stuff?

Offline kebee

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Re: How are your bees doing?
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2014, 05:06:35 am »
I checked mine Saturday and they were not happy at all with it, I had bees chasteing me an hour after I got through with them. I would say no flow and they had nothing better to do, they are bring in a lot of pollen though from some where. They still had some honey left but I have been feeding them syrup though.

Ken


Offline lazy shooter

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Re: How are your bees doing?
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2014, 07:40:54 am »
""Our general rule in wi. is 7-8 months for a queen, 1-1/2 yrs if you're really lucky...Those are the guys that treat all the time.""

Really?!? That's rediculous!


[/quote

Don't pull any punches, tell the fellow what you think.  :):)

Offline caesarsfish

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Re: How are your bees doing?
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2014, 09:18:04 am »
jen,   I said patties but they are really sugar cakes, I use sugar, a couple drops of lemon grass and water making them and the bees really love them.  Another cold front coming in tomorrow, this has been a bad winter here in the south.

Offline blueblood

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Re: How are your bees doing?
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2014, 09:23:06 am »
Still under frigid here with several inches of snow on the ground.  Looking at a low of -15 tomorrow.  Highs in the single digits make folks smile around here, ha! I don't suspect I will be able to pop any lids till mid March or so.

Offline Finally Home

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Re: How are your bees doing?
« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2014, 09:33:01 am »
Still under frigid here with several inches of snow on the ground.  Looking at a low of -15 tomorrow.  Highs in the single digits make folks smile around here, ha! I don't suspect I will be able to pop any lids till mid March or so.

Same here in N.W. Ind.  -6 now with wind chills at -19
Going to be a while yet.

Offline iddee

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Re: How are your bees doing?
« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2014, 09:48:08 am »
Keeper, order a Wayne's queen from

Larry Tate
2241 Union Cross Rd.
Winston-Salem, NC
Call 336-788-4554 or 336-972-3583
TatesApiaries@yahoo.com

If she dies this summer, I will personally refund your money.


Wayne Rich, of Sophia, NC began beekeeping sometime in the 1960's as a hobby to have honey for his family and pollinate the family farm. He only knew what the older local beeks taught him and what he learned from experience. He never medicated a hive in any way. He had the normal die off and the normal swarm catches that were common in those days. By 1987, he had approx. twenty five hives. When the mites showed up he lost all but one hive. That hive survived and begin casting swarms. Some lived, some died. In 2001, Wayne had 5 strong hives. He gave me a swarm from one of them that year. I placed that colony in a yard by itself and began to catch swarms, make splits, use swarm cells to start nucs, and use eggs and larva from that hive to bait trap outs. Of all the colonies I have started from that hive, and it has been many, none have ever been reported to have died from mites. None, as far as I know, have ever been treated. When I let someone have one, I asked to have them marked and traced, not treated, and report back if any ever died from mites. In 12 years, only one has ever reported back to me that they died from mites.

Wayne passed away Dec. 26th, 2008. Since that time, I have promoted these bees as "Wayne's bees". In 2010, Larry Tate, of Tate's Apiaries accepted a colony of Wayne's bees and began to graft from them. He is also going treatment free with them. So far, he is happy with their production, temperament, and longevity. He has not had any die from mites.
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Offline Ziffa

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Re: How are your bees doing?
« Reply #15 on: February 10, 2014, 10:18:23 am »
As of this weekend, all 4 hives are going strong.  They are bringing in pollen and I've been open feeding a little, but something else is  blooming because they aren't mobbing the feed.  If they make it through this next cold snap, I will breathe a sigh of relief.  I'm so excited for spring!  I hope to split the 2 big hives, and i have high hopes for the little yellow one.

Iddee - i ordered 2 Queens from Larry Tate and hope to make some splits with them.  Very excited to have the new genetics.  So far for me 3 years no treatment and the bees seem to be doing really good.  I did lose 2 hives at the end of last summer, but I think that was re-queening issues rather than mites.  I hope they make a lot of drones this year, because i think that the queens they made may never have gotten mated. 

I have a messy yard (bee and literal), but they seem to be doing ok!  And really friendly!  We raked vigorously all around them this weekend working in the garden, and only got a couple of fly bys from the guards.  The dog had it a little worse, but I told him not to snap at them!

love,
ziffa
"There's a spoonful of honey where your heart should be. . ." - The Wood Brothers - Honey Jar.

Offline brooksbeefarm

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Re: How are your bees doing?
« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2014, 10:48:09 am »
rrog13, If you trade Keeperofthebees a mean queen for a jar of his honey? hold out for his Black locust/Basswood honey, it's better than the Apple honey i think. :D His apple honey coming from Milwaukee,Wi. i thought had kind of a beer and cheese taste to it. :laugh: Jack

Offline keeperofthebees

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Re: How are your bees doing?
« Reply #17 on: February 10, 2014, 02:45:52 pm »
rrog13, If you trade Keeperofthebees a mean queen for a jar of his honey? hold out for his Black locust/Basswood honey, it's better than the Apple honey i think. :D His apple honey coming from Milwaukee,Wi. i thought had kind of a beer and cheese taste to it. :laugh: Jack

Hey Buddy!!!  Watch it...Cow pastures in southwest wi are the name of the game!!! 

Offline Jen

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Re: How are your bees doing?
« Reply #18 on: February 10, 2014, 03:25:45 pm »
This is how my bees are doing today! When I was a girl we would normally have 3 foot of snow on the ground this time of  year.




Update today! two hours later. Went out to sit with my bees for a bit, observe. I counted 8 out of 10 bees bringing in fat legs of pollen.

I'm Feelin' Like The Octomom!
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Offline Waverlybees

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Re: How are your bees doing?
« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2014, 06:43:50 pm »
Our hives are double deeps. So, yesterday while it was sunny and 68, we swapped the deeps and put the full one on the bottom. Bees were quite gentle. They didn't seem to mind the intrusion. Pollen was being brought in by the truck load.

Dan