The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy)

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Anianna
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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy) - Updated OP

Post by Anianna » Thu Jul 25, 2013 11:41 am

Halfapint wrote:Anianna how are the hives? I just saw the last update about the "oops paint" great tip for those of us who paint our hives.... I wonder how much gray they get returned that's our favorite color for our hives. hahaha
I need to paint my barns and I recently picked up two 5 gallon buckets of Valspar that usually run about $125 each for $35 each. One was blue and one was off-white. I think I'll have a couple of striped barns when all is said and done.

Hubby has been complaining that our one hive that survived the winter isn't doing much of anything in the honey super. He has been feeding the two new hives constantly.

I have been reading on the school of thought that moveable comb hives, particularly the Longsworth, have led to the decline of the bees over time because we are meddling too much with them. I'm thinking of starting a hive next year based on this philosophy and just leave it alone except once per year to observe the results. I think it would be better to have several hives like that to preform a better experiment, but I'll have to start with just the one due to finances. I will still use a Longsworth hive with the same pest control measures we currently use. The only difference will be how frequently and how they are meddled with.
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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy) - Updated OP

Post by Anianna » Sat Jul 27, 2013 8:57 am

I would just like to point out that softboxes, octoboxes, and AlienBees are image studio devices and have nothing to do with bees or beehives. Hubby was much confused at first when he did a search for bee stuff on Craigslist and an "octobox for use with Paul C. Buff AlienBees" came up. :lol:
Feed science, not zombies!

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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy) - Updated OP

Post by Anianna » Fri Aug 02, 2013 8:23 am

Here is a neat thing to make with your beeswax. With some cotton fabric and beeswax, you can make reusable sandwich/food bags. They look nice, too.

Image
Feed science, not zombies!

Failure is the path of least persistence.

“People had more than they needed. We had no idea what was precious and what wasn't. We threw away things people kill each other for now.” ~Book of Eli

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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy) - Updated OP

Post by xLionx » Mon Aug 05, 2013 9:24 am

Great thread, loads of info,love the mason jar hive
thanks everyone

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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy) - Updated OP

Post by Anianna » Fri Aug 09, 2013 11:10 am

We have a large patch of lemon balm that has flowered and the bees are loving it. I think lemon balm is their favorite thing on our property.



In other news, my husband changed how he feeds his bees. You may recall from previous posts in this thread that we fed using the bucket method, but this resulted in some dripping that often killed some bees. We wanted to continue to feed inside the hive rather than getting an exterior feeder to reduce robbing. We tried a shallow container with rocks the bees could get on to drink without drowning, but the dish was full of dead bees anyway. Then hubby tried the ziplock bag method (there are YouTube videos showing the method) and he has been very pleased with it. Once 5lb package of sugar mixed with 5 cups of water fills 2 one gallon bags perfectly for this purpose, which is great for us because we are currently feeding two hives. I have not been out to take pictures of this, but my husband assures me that this method saves the bees from a sticky death and works very well to keep them fed. He has been teaching the kids this method and they got to feed the bees all by themselves today.
Feed science, not zombies!

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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy) - Updated OP

Post by Halfapint » Tue Aug 13, 2013 1:43 pm

Here's a little update of what I've been doing with the honey from out last batch.... I finally made some mead. Yes that's right I finally made some of that delicious honey wine.

Image

Image

It turned out pretty darn good needs some tweaking but for a first time batch I am very very happy. I have another pictures but photobucket wont let me edit it to fit in here. I just started another batch of flavored mead yesterday this is a smaller batch only 1 gallon but I have very high hopes for it.... Honey, cinnamon, and vanilla. I was able to get some VERY fresh very pungent vanilla beans that were just bursting with vanilla flavor they were double vacuum packed and you could STILL smell them. Then I was able to pick up some very high quality organic cinnamon sticks. So I hope that with good quality stuff this will turn out great!
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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy) - Updated OP

Post by Anianna » Tue Aug 13, 2013 4:22 pm

That sounds awesome. Meade is something we were interested in making, too, but I have no idea how we would test it since we hate the taste of alcohol and don't drink. :lol:
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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy) - Updated OP

Post by Halfapint » Tue Aug 13, 2013 4:48 pm

It's....... Umm... Different. It has the after taste of honey that kind of sweet taste that lingers in the back of your throat. That's the majority of the flavor. But it's very..... Unique. They sell mead in the store there's sweet, semi sweet, and dry. The sweet and semi sweet would probably be better if you don't like the taste if alcohol. I have real high hopes for the flavored mean. I used some of our real dark flavorful honey for this batch,so I don't think it's going to have the classic golden color but flavor wise I'm excited.
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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy) - Updated OP

Post by erik_in_tx » Mon Aug 19, 2013 11:05 pm

Just ordered some HSC myself to try out. What are your thoughts on it?

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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy) - Updated OP

Post by jdev » Tue Aug 20, 2013 4:52 pm

That mead looks awesome!

Random question, though: What's the difference between 8-frame and regular (I guess 10-frame?) supers/hives? Is there a particular purpose in the different hives? Or is it just tied in with some sort of tradition I'm not aware of?

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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy) - Updated OP

Post by Skrunch » Tue Aug 20, 2013 4:57 pm

erik_in_tx wrote:Just ordered some HSC myself to try out. What are your thoughts on it?
This is Anianna's husband. Our supercell hive last year did not do well. We had 2 hives, one with supercell and one without. The supercell population BOOOMED...unfortunately that meant they went into the winter with more bees than they could support. I was new and did not recognize well when a hive is struggling. The winter was too warm, and then spring was too cold. I checked them too late. they had died off, but I was able to save the non-supercell which had a smaller population. So, I cant blame supercell for my failure to properly manage.

I currently have 3 hives and even thought I have been told not to mix frames, I did so. I had some issues and went and put 2 supercells in with one hive. That hive took to it with no problems, filled it with honey and capped. They did this very quickly.

Here are some misconceptions I had about supercell. I thought wax moths could not get in them. Well, when the hive died out... I took too long before cleaning the hive. The wax moths were most certainly surviving in the supercell. Additionally, I was unable to get all the dead bees and the moths that died out of the cells. I have soaked them in bleach, sprayed with a water hose on high power, and dishwasher them. Well, they are not sitting on my porch waiting for me to decide if I am going to try anything else or just throw them away. Perhaps I will make the kids pull them out with tweezers... but it would be cruel as there are a LOT.

I do have lots of supercell left, and plan to mix them since it is working, although I plan to just use it in supers for honey next spring/summer...

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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy) - Updated OP

Post by Anianna » Tue Aug 20, 2013 5:04 pm

jdev wrote:That mead looks awesome!

Random question, though: What's the difference between 8-frame and regular (I guess 10-frame?) supers/hives? Is there a particular purpose in the different hives? Or is it just tied in with some sort of tradition I'm not aware of?
There has been some research done in regards to the spacing between frames. Supposedly, the 10-frame hives (Langstroth) are the ideal spacing for bee health. It is my understanding that placing 8 frames in the hive creates too much space between frames, making it difficult for the bees to control the hive temperature and parasites as well as encouraging excess bur comb (comb built in between frames that has to be broken to access the frames).
Feed science, not zombies!

Failure is the path of least persistence.

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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy) - Updated OP

Post by jdev » Tue Aug 20, 2013 5:07 pm

Anianna wrote:
jdev wrote:That mead looks awesome!

Random question, though: What's the difference between 8-frame and regular (I guess 10-frame?) supers/hives? Is there a particular purpose in the different hives? Or is it just tied in with some sort of tradition I'm not aware of?
There has been some research done in regards to the spacing between frames. Supposedly, the 10-frame hives (Langstroth) are the ideal spacing for bee health. It is my understanding that placing 8 frames in the hive creates too much space between frames, making it difficult for the bees to control the hive temperature and parasites as well as encouraging excess bur comb (comb built in between frames that has to be broken to access the frames).
Gotcha; good to know. I'm starting to look more seriously at getting some land and a house built on it, and a bee hive is my second priority for improvement (after a garden), so I'm trying to do some research and budgeting and figure out just exactly what I need to get going, what I'm going to need later on, what to look at, what to avoid, etc, lol. This thread has been an awesome amount of help with that, and I thank you all for it!

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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy) - Updated OP

Post by Rossboy14 » Wed Aug 21, 2013 12:58 pm

After a crazy year of moving, and my wife giving birth to our beautiful daughter. I finally got around to converting the old rabbit hutch on the "farm" to a temporary platform for my new girls. We got 2 hives recently from a friend who has been beekeeping for several years now, and instructing me. Here are a few pics of a noob beekeeper. Any tips pointers or info will be greatly appreciated!

The bees are loaded up on the little trailer, and ready to get to their new home. We live on 2 acres adjacent to 30 acres of wooded land owned by the family, and passed down with the stipulation of being used for hunting, and recreation only. A country garden center is directly across the road, as well as a lot of farm land. The trailer is registered in FL, I am in the Northeast.
Image


Temporary home for the bees. Old hutch faces due south, and sloped down hill. I sured up the structure for the time being, and utilized some old pallets as a platform. Once the new chicken coop is done, it will have a platform for more hives.

Image


Looking into the smaller 5 frame hive. These bees have been fed to get their numbers up. I opened up the brood box last night and check for laying. the queen has been pretty busy, but there is still a mix of brood and sugar syrup in the brood box. I would like to see them move it up to the super in a few weeks.
Image



Like I said. if anyone has any tips, pointers, anything... about when to treat for mites, what to look for, how often to inspect, etc...etc... I have been doing a lot of reading, but I always prefer applied knowledge from people who have done it.
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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy) - Updated OP

Post by erik_in_tx » Wed Aug 21, 2013 2:24 pm

jdev wrote:That mead looks awesome!

Random question, though: What's the difference between 8-frame and regular (I guess 10-frame?) supers/hives? Is there a particular purpose in the different hives? Or is it just tied in with some sort of tradition I'm not aware of?
There is another way of differentiating between 8 frame or 10 frame equipment. The most widely used equipment is 10-frames, meaning it holds 10 standard frames with some extra room. There is also 8-frame equipment that holds 8 standard frames.

Some people use 8 frame instead of 10 frame because it's 20% lighter in weight if you're trying to move a super filled with honey.

The following web site discusses the most common variations of American beekeeping. Most common differences I know of are 8 vs 10-frame beekeeping and whether people go all-deep, all-medium, or mix up the box sizes.
http://www.bushfarms.com/beeseightframemedium.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I started last year with 8-frame medium equipment but this year I'm mixing in some 8-frame deep equipment. I'm adding in deeps because you can get more bees/honey per frame. If your goal is a 3-foot high hive, it's fewer frames ($$) and fewer boxes ($$) to go with deeps instead of mediums. I also do cutouts removing wild bee hives from walls or other unwanted locations. When I have to cut wild bee comb, it's fewer cuts and faster to make big rectangles into deep frames rather than medium frames.

Erik (near Abilene, TX)

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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy) - Updated OP

Post by erik_in_tx » Wed Aug 21, 2013 2:28 pm

Skrunch wrote:
erik_in_tx wrote:Just ordered some HSC myself to try out. What are your thoughts on it?
The wax moths were most certainly surviving in the supercell. Additionally, I was unable to get all the dead bees and the moths that died out of the cells. I have soaked them in bleach, sprayed with a water hose on high power, and dishwasher them. Well, they are not sitting on my porch waiting for me to decide if I am going to try anything else or just throw them away. Perhaps I will make the kids pull them out with tweezers... but it would be cruel as there are a LOT.

I do have lots of supercell left, and plan to mix them since it is working, although I plan to just use it in supers for honey next spring/summer...
Well I'd suggest Craigslist for reselling the HSC if you won't use it! It's expensive stuff. (or I'll pay shipping if you want to send it to me!)

You might also try putting one HSC frame at a time into a strong hive (maybe when you take a capped honey frame out for harvest). One frame at a time the bees will remove the corpses and clean up the HSC and put it back to use.

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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy) - Updated OP

Post by Anianna » Thu Aug 22, 2013 3:28 am

Erik, thanks for the additional information regarding 8 vs 10 frame hives. We use two ten frame deeps for the hive body and ten frame mediums for honey. My husband has complained on occasion that those deeps are heavy when he goes to assess the hives. Also, we do plan on giving the HSC another try and are not opposed to letting the bees do the cleaning except that there is wax moths in the HSC frames we aren't currently using and we want to figure out how to clean those out of the frames before using them in tne hive.



Rossboy, welcome to beekeeping! I am envious that you are starting with established hives. I am curious why you have your hives so high up. It seems like they would be difficult to access up there.
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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy) - Updated OP

Post by Anianna » Thu Aug 22, 2013 3:31 am

One of the things you can do to reduce mites is gat a bottom board with a tray and mesh. Greenbeehives.com sells them. I'm sure you can find them from other suppliers, too.
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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy) - Updated OP

Post by Rossboy14 » Thu Aug 22, 2013 8:42 am

Anianna wrote:Rossboy, welcome to beekeeping! I am envious that you are starting with established hives. I am curious why you have your hives so high up. It seems like they would be difficult to access up there.

HI, and thank you! I did get a little lucky to be able to get some established hives. My friend is a generous person, and wants to see more people with bees.

I put them high up to keep the bee line high. My wife is a bit nervous around them still, and in the off chance that she mows the lawn she would not want to be to close to them. She is getting used to them though. I have a ladder for anyone that has trouble, or when harvesting. Being 28 and an avid mountaineering enthusiast, having them high up is probably more fun for me.

Also, the hives did come with the mesh bottom board. The kind that is sticky and has numbers and grids for counting. With regards to mites, have you ever tried any grease patties?
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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy) - Updated OP

Post by erik_in_tx » Thu Aug 22, 2013 3:54 pm

Woohoo, got a swarm call today. Of call places it was from the veterinarian's office! So I got a nice swarm of bees and maybe a discount on my next furry doggie grooming appointment.

Erik (near Abilene, TX)

BTW, if the hive of bees is strong it won't matter if your HSC frame has wax moths/larvae. The bees will evict them quickly enough. Just one frame at a time and when you see the bees cleaned it all up and are using it again you can do another.

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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy) - Updated OP

Post by Halfapint » Mon Sep 16, 2013 6:57 pm

Wow, I totally did not see the posts above ill have to come back and read though everyone's posts when I have some time!

In the mean time we pulled off some of our boxes and supers that were full. This had been AN AMAZING year for us. One of our hive see had stacked with 3 regulars and 2 supers we took them out and replaced with empty and they are working in it again. But over all this is what we ended up with

Image

We started spinning the other day but by the time I thought about taking picture well I was sweaty, sticky, and had to get outta there. We did a little under half of what is shown there and non of the supers we ended up with a little more then 8 gallons of honey. Hopefully get more with the rest, that was only on the hives that had filled and capped completely.

More pictures with spinning, buckets o honey (not to be confused with honey buckets), our newly built base for the spinner, and awful pictures of me covered in honey. Haha
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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy) - Updated OP

Post by Anianna » Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:15 am

Wow. Nice!

We have an ant problem and the ants love to try to get to the extruder (we only have a gravity extruder at this point). So, some tips for anybody else with an ant problem:
1. Put your honey stuff on a table or stand with legs and put the legs in a bowl of oil. We use peanut oil, because I sold my frier and have lots of peanut oil left. It works well.
2. Keep other furniture and things well away from your table/stand. The ants can make a sort of chain of ants to bridge the table to nearby items and the ants will use their bridge to get to your honey equipment. We find that things need to be at least six inches or so away to avoid the swinging ant bridge.
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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy) - Updated OP

Post by Halfapint » Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:16 am

Ants?? Really? What are they doing? Invading the hive for honey? How many we're in there? Sorry to hear about that. They aren't a problem up here luckily but good to know about some solutions.

Edited due to awful spelling
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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy) - Updated OP

Post by Anianna » Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:23 am

We have ants everywhere. The bees seem to take care of them just fine in the hive, according to my husband, but they get into the honey extruder in our beekeeping shed if we aren't vigilant. I have ants in my house here, too. There's just no getting rid of them.
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Failure is the path of least persistence.

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