The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy)

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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy)

Post by Anianna » Wed Feb 04, 2015 4:38 pm

We had a warm day so went to check on the bees. Every single hive is dead. We have no more bees to keep. :cry:
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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy)

Post by Halfapint » Wed Feb 04, 2015 4:54 pm

Anianna wrote:We had a warm day so went to check on the bees. Every single hive is dead. We have no more bees to keep. :cry:
Oh no Ani I'm sorry :( do you know the cause??? Was it just to cold? Fowl brood? Take over?


It's been so warm here OLY winter need are dead and the queen is laying new brood. I hope we don't have a cold snap and lose them all. It's February and our bees are thinking it's May. They are even coming back WITH pollen?!? We didn't scavenge more honey out of them cuz we thought it would be a cold winter.
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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy)

Post by Anianna » Fri Feb 06, 2015 1:19 pm

Halfapint wrote:
Anianna wrote:We had a warm day so went to check on the bees. Every single hive is dead. We have no more bees to keep. :cry:
Oh no Ani I'm sorry :( do you know the cause??? Was it just to cold? Fowl brood? Take over?


It's been so warm here OLY winter need are dead and the queen is laying new brood. I hope we don't have a cold snap and lose them all. It's February and our bees are thinking it's May. They are even coming back WITH pollen?!? We didn't scavenge more honey out of them cuz we thought it would be a cold winter.
We don't know yet. Hubby had planned on waiting until today because the weather is warm to fully take the hives apart just in case we are wrong, but we've both fallen ill. The sugar we put out for them is untouched and there is no activity. When we feel better, we'll take the hives apart and get a closer look.
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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy)

Post by Halfapint » Fri Feb 06, 2015 1:40 pm

Terribly sorry to head about your hives, and your illness. Hope you can figure out what happened, do you plan on starting over?
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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy)

Post by Anianna » Mon Feb 09, 2015 11:05 pm

Hubby said there just weren't enough left in the hives to sustain them through the winter. There was just a small amount of dead bees in each hive. They had cleaned out all the comb but hadn't touched the sugar.

However, we have found that a hive that had problems and that we left for dead for several reasons (couldn't find queen or new brood late in the season and the population was low) has actually survived thus far. We had not been feeding this hive at all because we thought they were goners. We figured they would clean up the comb and die off. Hubby went ahead and gave them some food as we think there's a pretty good chance of bad weather in March this year. Maybe they'll be strong enough to split this season so we can rebuild the apiary.

My freezer cannot sustain the frames from all of these hives if I have to store them. Have you ever tried using something like a Food Saver to seal up the comb to keep it safe from pests while in storage? I'm thinking if we set them in the bag in the hive body and then use the gizmo to suck the air out, we should be able to store them right in the hives in the bee shed without issue. I wonder if they make bags wide enough to accommodate a frame lengthwise.
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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy)

Post by Halfapint » Mon Feb 09, 2015 11:12 pm

No we never vacuum packed the grams. But why not wrap the entire frame in a plastic garbage bag or two and keep them in that? Could use a vacuum to suck most the air out then just twist and tie it off. If you get some of those really heavy duty thick plastic it should should work well. Them you don't have to worry about doing individual frames you can do the entire box.
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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy)

Post by Anianna » Tue Feb 10, 2015 11:22 pm

We did trash bags once, but the moths still managed to get in and make a mess of the frames, which is why hubby insists on taking up so much freezer space.
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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy)

Post by Halfapint » Tue Feb 10, 2015 11:33 pm

Anianna wrote:We did trash bags once, but the moths still managed to get in and make a mess of the frames, which is why hubby insists on taking up so much freezer space.
Oy..... I'm sorry you guys have so many more problems over there. Only pest problem we've had was earwigs. Other than that once we spin the frames we put them in the boxes and leave them in the garage. I'll be making a shed for the boxes as soon as the rain stops in like August.

An idea to help maybe rebuild your apiary would be to get on a swarm list. My dad was on one and got a few calls a month. If he couldn't get them he'd just call them back and tell them to call the center and ask for the next closest. If you have some little nuc hices they work well, the last few times we got a swarm we just cut the branch dumped them in the nuc. Ask the home owner if it was ok to leave it thee till early in the morning and go back and seal it before they get active. You can also sell them a full nuc will fetch some decent money.

Good luck, keep us updated.
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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy)

Post by Anianna » Wed Feb 11, 2015 12:11 am

Yea, pests are a nuissance here. We also have just a crazy ant population and they love making nests in plastic bags. They're the reason I installed the honey extractor with bowls at the feet. I have to fill the bowls with cooking oil to keep the ants out of the extractor. It's a real challenge here and I'm thinking the vacuum sealer could be a good investment for us.
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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy)

Post by Halfapint » Wed Feb 11, 2015 12:33 am

I think you are right, not to mention having one is just good in general.
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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy)

Post by AlphaKilo47 » Wed Feb 11, 2015 9:47 pm

Boy, I guess we've been lucky. I built an 10' x 20' area inside my shop for the wife to have a room for all her craft stuff. When we started with bees, we use her room for honey extraction and wooden ware storage. Any frames that we extract or frames from hives that didn't make it, we just put them into a spare super of the right size and put the whole shebang into a garbage bag and twist tie it off. So far, knock on wood, we've not had any problems with pests or moths. We also store our extractor and other gear in the same room.

We just checked on package bee prices and they are going for $98 to $111 for 3lbs and a queen in our area (southwest lower Michigan).
How are the prices in your areas?

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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy)

Post by Anianna » Thu Feb 12, 2015 10:37 am

All of our local beekeepers are already sold out for the season. Many of the online suppliers are reporting demand they can't meet, as well. Hubby hopes to split the remaining hive and perhaps catch a swarm or two if we can find any. Honestly, before we got our hives, the only bees I ever saw around here were carpenters. We have a lot of wasps and hornets around here and I wonder if those contribute to a lack of honey bees in the area. Hornets, especially, will attack bees.
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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy)

Post by AlphaKilo47 » Thu Feb 12, 2015 12:04 pm

Yeah, we lost a hive to wasps last year. Unfortunately, I wasn't paying attention and by the time I did check on them, the hive was gone. The amazing thing for me was that EVERY bit of honey was gone.

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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy)

Post by Halfapint » Thu Feb 12, 2015 3:17 pm

During the summer I'd always sit on the hill watching the bees, and when I see a yellow jacket I hit it with the blow torch, or one of those electric fly swatters. I've actually seen my bees gang up on yellow jackets and kill them. Luckily I haven't lost a hive to them.
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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy)

Post by ZMace » Thu Feb 12, 2015 3:28 pm

Anianna, if you seal the frames in a bag, then freeze them for a week or so to kill off all the wax moth larvae already present, you should be able to leave the sealed frames at room temperature and free up your freezer space.

At least this works with weevils in stored wheat.

Sorry to hear about your hives, good luck.

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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy)

Post by Anianna » Sat Feb 14, 2015 3:12 pm

Thanks. We'll give it a try.
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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy)

Post by Anianna » Sat Feb 21, 2015 11:57 am

What do you guys think of this beehive invention, Flow Hive? I first saw it here on Bored Panda. I can't find more specific information about how it works yet. Hopefully, they'll include that information in the Kickstarter that goes up in a couple of days. Personally, I'd prefer three deeps to the two, but the harvesting without disturbing looks pretty awesome.

Image



ETA: Ok, this system works with standard equipment. It is special frames and a special super for honey collection, so you can put the Flow super with the Flow frames on your existing hive. I'd really like to try two deeps with the Flow super. One deep for brood, one deep for the hive's honey stores, and the Flow super for our honey consumption. I love this idea.
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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy)

Post by Halfapint » Sat Feb 21, 2015 1:45 pm

Anianna wrote:What do you guys think of this beehive invention, Flow Hive? I first saw it here on Bored Panda. I can't find more specific information about how it works yet. Hopefully, they'll include that information in the Kickstarter that goes up in a couple of days. Personally, I'd prefer three deeps to the two, but the harvesting without disturbing looks pretty awesome.

Image



ETA: Ok, this system works with standard equipment. It is special frames and a special super for honey collection, so you can put the Flow super with the Flow frames on your existing hive. I'd really like to try two deeps with the Flow super. One deep for brood, one deep for the hive's honey stores, and the Flow super for our honey consumption. I love this idea.
Looks pretty cool, but..... You'd have about a million dead bees in the jars. You'd also have problems I'd think with bees trying to enter the hive through the flow tubes. Other than those thoughts I like the idea!
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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy)

Post by Anianna » Sat Feb 21, 2015 2:05 pm

Halfapint wrote:
Anianna wrote:What do you guys think of this beehive invention, Flow Hive? I first saw it here on Bored Panda. I can't find more specific information about how it works yet. Hopefully, they'll include that information in the Kickstarter that goes up in a couple of days. Personally, I'd prefer three deeps to the two, but the harvesting without disturbing looks pretty awesome.

Image



ETA: Ok, this system works with standard equipment. It is special frames and a special super for honey collection, so you can put the Flow super with the Flow frames on your existing hive. I'd really like to try two deeps with the Flow super. One deep for brood, one deep for the hive's honey stores, and the Flow super for our honey consumption. I love this idea.
Looks pretty cool, but..... You'd have about a million dead bees in the jars. You'd also have problems I'd think with bees trying to enter the hive through the flow tubes. Other than those thoughts I like the idea!
As I understand it, you can use flexible tubes that feed into lids on the jars for a closed system. They used the rigid open tubes for the demonstration. In the gallery, you can see the inventor's grandfather uses lidded jars with flexible tubing.
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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy)

Post by Anianna » Tue Mar 03, 2015 12:28 am

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)

Post by ineffableone » Sat Mar 14, 2015 9:53 pm

I just learned about these Flow Hives. Had to come see if folks at ZS knew about them yet.

Here is their Indigogo video with more info about them.



I am especially interested in these since I have wanted to raise bees but have a sting allergy that makes me swell up and need to take benadryl. But something like this could drastically reduce my chances of getting stung and make raising bees a possibility.

This is one of those simple ideas that makes you say "Why didn't someone make that before this?"

Only real negative I see, is you sacrifice being able to also harvest the wax. If you want to harvest the wax you have to opt for a mix of traditional wax combs, and Flow frames.

Doesn't seem overly expensive either, which is good.

Image
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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy)

Post by ineffableone » Sat Mar 14, 2015 9:55 pm

They have already raised $6 million. They were only asking for $70,000. I think the market has spoken, and people like this idea.
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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy)

Post by Halfapint » Sat Mar 14, 2015 10:34 pm

I like this concept but it's really only for small scale single hive operations. For me I have 11 hives, they hold 12 frames, for me to fit my entire operation with then it would cost me $9,240. To break even I'd have to sell 96 1/4 gallons of honey. I got about 40 gallons of honey last year.

So for me I'll stick with picking harassing the bees. Also I seem to have become allergic to them as well, never was growing up but I got stung twice last year and swelled up like crazy. But I only got stung for messing with the bees without a suit. So if it's something you are interested in pick it up, it's a fun little hobby.
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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy)

Post by ineffableone » Sat Mar 14, 2015 10:49 pm

Halfapint wrote:Also I seem to have become allergic to them as well, never was growing up but I got stung twice last year and swelled up like crazy. But I only got stung for messing with the bees without a suit. So if it's something you are interested in pick it up, it's a fun little hobby.
Yep I wasn't allergic growing up as a kid, then around age 16 I suddenly started being allergic.
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