Really sorry Babs. I'm going to have to deal with AHBs down here I believe. I'm going to need to get a full suit with gloves. Since they'll most likely be killer bees, I have to figure out where to place the hives away from where my animals will be and where I won't tick them off running farm machinery... I'm going to have to remember to try and find some beekeeps down here to learn from.
I have wasps and hornets all over the place here at the house. I haven't seen any honey bees at all. There are old neglected pastures all around me full of golden rod right now, which I'm actually happy to see as I know the bees I get next year will have a late fall pollen/nectar source. I hope to set up a few swarm traps next spring and get re-started that way... time will tell.
Mike, you really ought to consider keeping a couple of hives. It'll give you something to occupy all your "free time" now that you're retired. And something to spend all those extra retirement bucks you have on...
@Latestarter once upon a time I was going to order a package from Texas, Bee Weaver Apiary. The queens are supposedly mite resistant and I wanted to try them...I chickened out because of the AHB. You are a brave man and I certainly wouldn't capture a swarm unless you requeen it. You could order queens from another state if you get any swarms.
I take all the honey these failed hives have left me I will have no shortage of honey for a few years. I am freezing a lot of it for next year. Any one know if I can freeze pollen?
Can you help me understand what bee pollen substitute you use from Dadant? I just looked through their website and could not find it...but I did find other 5 gallon buckets of feed for over $1,000? Wow! That is shocking!
Something happened here that is like a miracle. Our two hives from last year were hammered by mites. One nearly died. We made 15 hives this year from those hives, but the mites have been nearly non-existent this year. I think our newly born virgin queens flew out and mated with drones that caused the new bees to be mite resistant. We are very happy about that.
My old regret is not doing the Nucot queen raising system right. We should have had over 100 new virgin queens, and many more nucs, but I made several mistakes that caused the new nucs and new queens to be much less in numbers. When doing the Nucot system, you should have at least 100 new virgin queens. We only had 27 new queen. And of those, we only had a limited number of nucs that were born from this system. It was really a bit frustrating. I did not follow the advice in three areas that several master beekeepers told me about. And I also missed a couple of points from the book. Everything is required to be done according to a very strict timeline. I have learned a lot and hopefully next year, it will be a much better story. Did you know that if you do the Nucot system correctly, you could have over 100 new virgin queens and make up to 100 new nucs? You would need a lot of healthy hives to start with though.
Babs, so sorry to hear about your terrible losses again. Did you make any progress in contacting the vector control from your county for the yellow jacket challenges? Please let us know how this turns out.
The vector control here does not offer any services for yellow jacket control. I am not sure if the bait I put out worked or if the rain helped or both but the number of yellow jackets is drastically reduced. There were many dead ones in the hive I took apart today. I will put out more bait this week.
I still want to get pictures of the big dead hive. It all just happened so fast. A week ago there were hundreds of bees in that hive, it really hurts to lose so many so quickly. I had no idea that robbing could do so much damage so fast.
Queen rearing is fascinating but anything that has to be done on a strict timeline is not for me right now. Goats and building a dairy are pretty demanding. Next year I will buy two more nucs and put them in a three deep hive with a super. I will have a lot of pollen, drawn comb, and honey to start them out. I will pull the supers in July and treat for mites. Robbing screens will go on year round, and pollen will be fed. Hoping for no swarms, healthy bees, and that they live through the winter. I am determined to get this right.
@soarwitheagles If you are selling nucs next spring please let me know, I would love to get some before the almonds. I have a friend that will be looking for one too, she is a brand new beekeeper.
You may try calling the Yolo/Sacramento Vector Control and ask them the name of the chemical dust they use to destroy the yellow jacket nests. But that chemical only works if you locate the underground nests.
Yes, I hope to sell many nucs next spring [25 or more]. I need to do more reading and research to make sure I do it right because I have never sold nucs. So I will let you know what it looks like sometime around January.
You have been very blessed with your bees. Please be sure and let me know and getting them before the almond pollination would be a HUGE plus. I have picked them up in cardboard nucs and I have also taken a hive body a few days before pickup and they installed the nuc into my box. This last time the guy brought them to Redding (he was visiting family) and I picked them up super early in the morning before they were awake. It is sad that I have so much experience in buying nucs.