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Hive inspection and box reversal

Discussion in 'Habitat - The Beehive' started by Happy Chooks, Feb 26, 2015.

  1. Nov 3, 2016
    Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Loving the herd life

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    I went out to fill up feeders with sugar water, and noticed fighting on the landing boards. Their entrances have already been closed down, but my small hive from the swarm seemed to be dealing with it worse than the others. So I put 2 robber screens on the 2 hives with the most fighting going on and ordered a 3rd for my main hive.

    Population in the hive still looks good from what I could see while filling up sugar water, and the bees are still bringing in pollen, so I think I caught it early.
     
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  2. Nov 3, 2016
    soarwitheagles

    soarwitheagles Loving the herd life

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    Wow, still feeding sugar syrup in November? I usually stop all feeding due to mold/mildew issues. Last year, once the rain began, I found mold/mildew on the top of the frames if I fed, so I yanked all feeders out until spring.

    Regarding bee numbers...I found a super easy way to count my bees...

    If your Langstroth frame is nearly full of workers on both sides, you easily have 2,000 bees on that frame [and this is counting bees on BOTH sides of the frame]. So a Langstroth hive box with 10 frames of nearly full bees would be 20,000 bees. Half full frames would be 10,000, etc.

    With all the great weather after those days of rain, our bees are super active every day now. Such a blessing to live in warm California in the fall/winter/spring. Our queens will lay eggs all winter long.
     
  3. Nov 4, 2016
    Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Loving the herd life

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    No mold issues here. I was concerned with the swarm, as they never really built up much in the top box. Their storage isn't enough to get through winter. So, I figured I'd feed all of them to avoid robbing. So much for that theory.:( I'm feeding on top of the inner cover within the hive, entrances are closed down, so I'm not sure why the robbing started.

    We are warm enough, that I figured I'd feed until we got a really cold snap, then I'd switch to a pollen patty. No pollen is needed right now, as all of the hives are still finding it and bringing it in.
     
  4. Mar 9, 2017
    Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Loving the herd life

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    Since we have a beautiful spring day today, I went to check out entrance activity. Hive #1 and #2 are bringing in a lot of pollen and some nice orientation flights. The drones are out too.

    Zero activity on hive #3 (captured swarm), so I popped the top and looked. Very few bees alive, no queen, no brood of any kind. Plenty of honey. As I suspected, I think they lost their queen when they were being robbed in the fall. I thought I got the screen on in time, but obviously not. They were treated for mites and this doesn't look like a mite death.
     
  5. Mar 9, 2017
    soarwitheagles

    soarwitheagles Loving the herd life

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    Ouch! So sorry HC! Hopefully you can build up your hives and then split them a few times this year!
     
  6. Mar 9, 2017
    Latestarter

    Latestarter Novice; "Practicing" Animal Husbandry Moderator

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    Sounds like a ready made split situation once the 2 existing hives are booming. Shouldn't take too long with spring starting up in earnest. I was walking down through the back pasture the other day and heard buzzing and the weed flowers were loaded with honey bees. Not mine mind you and no idea where the hive is, but I do know it's within 3 miles. I may just set up a swarm trap here and see what happens. I must admit that I'm really a bit worried about working with AHBs though :barnie
     
  7. Mar 10, 2017
    Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Loving the herd life

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    Yes, as soon as the other hives build up more, I'll split and get this hive going again.