Author Topic: Midsummer reports  (Read 132 times)

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Offline Zweefer

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Midsummer reports
« on: July 24, 2020, 01:48:40 pm »
It’s near the end of July- just thought I’d ask how everyone is doing?

I have had one hive with a bumper year.  I just added my 6th box to it!   One hive was prepping to swarm, so I split it into three hives’s week ago, all have a queens that are laying as of yesterday. The nuc is still going strong and was kind enough to donate some brood and nurse bees to the splits.   
Mite counts were very low - highest I had was 3 per 300. 
In short, it’s been a very good year on this end - I am kinda waiting for the other shoe to drop :yes:




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Offline RAST

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Re: Midsummer reports
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2020, 04:39:44 pm »
I started my semi annual mite treatment, thus far talked myself out of making more splits. The splits I made on the 2nd are doing good. No fall flow in my micro climate and the love bugs always get on all the goldenrod that blooms.

Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Midsummer reports
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2020, 09:41:51 am »
I am in a "preparing to harvest" mode.  I bought a new 4 frame electric extractor and have decided not to attach the legs at this point.  Given my circumstances, I don't want to add any more weight to the extractor and it needs to be movable.  I have gotten a barrel dollie for moving and storing.  I found a $5 wooden table at an estate sale that I have "stabilized" to place the extractor on while using.  With some advice from rober, I think my table is as sturdy as it can get.  I had to order some food grade buckets and they took a while to arrive, because of COVID19.  I am looking at harvesting around August 8th.  In the meantime,  I am going to do sugar roll tests to see where my mite levels are, continue to control SHB, and check on colony strengths.   
Beekeepers in the area are claiming record breaking harvests.  It was a very good year.  I have every honey super I own on my hives.

Offline Wandering Man

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Re: Midsummer reports
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2020, 10:18:24 am »
We harvested four frames out of our six hives.  Actually, only two hives contributed to the harvest.  The dry weather and making a couple of splits contributed to our low harvest. 

Also, I think we might be a little conservative in what we take.  Generally, we let the bees keep everything in the two deep brood boxes and take anything of value in the upper mediums.  Since our only vertical hives are the two splits, there were no mediums.  In our horizontal hives, we figured we should count twenty frames over, and only take anything beyond the 20th frame. 

Our bees seem to be holding their own on our new property.  I'm not sure what they are finding, other than goat weed (dove weed?).  The mesquite no longer has any tassels, the cactus is now putting on fruit, and the wildflowers have dried up.  So, we are stocking up on sugar and getting ready to feed.

The bees are hitting the water hard and a lot are drowning.  I add sticks and cork almost daily to help them out, but there are other critters out there that are drinking from my chicken watering can as well.  They seem to be interested in eating the cork and removing the sticks.

Wasps are a big problem.  I found the head of a bee rolling around on the bottom board of my most gentle hive, and there are usually several dead bees on the ground at the entrance in the morning.  I've tried wasp traps and am so far only successful in capturing ants and flies.
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Offline Zweefer

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Re: Midsummer reports
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2020, 11:45:22 am »
What are you using for wasp traps?

I take a bottle (barrow neck) and mix 1 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 cup water and one banana peel. 
I hang it near the hives, and it works really well in trapping the wasps, yellow jackets in particular!




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Keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.
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Offline Wandering Man

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Re: Midsummer reports
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2020, 11:53:59 am »
Zweefer, I’ve got a couple of commercial traps hanging in trees. I put a tray out filled with soapy water almost to the top and a bit of chicken held in place by chicken wire to a plank. I built another with a jug filled with sugar water and a hunk of chicken, using #8 hardware cloth as an entry cone.

I’ve got spider, flies and a frog in one of the commercial traps. The tray was filled with ants on day one. One day 2 an unknown critter robbed the trap. The others have a couple of flies.

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