I like to start keeping bees in spring 2022…

R2elk

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And we had the first »Duck Incident« with the bees: Fluffy Fluffbutt Duck, one of my white layers investigated the bee-hives while i was busy digging a hole in the ground for my new rhubarb-plant. When all of the sudden there was that characteristic loud humming of a bee that is trapped somewhere, like between some white feathers…
Fluffy outright panicked and tried to run away from a bee that was stuck in her feathers. I have never seen a duck of her breed running that fast. 🤣
No clue if she was stung or what happened to that bee, but Fluffy is not going anywhere near those white-things ever again. :lol:
I used to put cracked corn out for birds. At the time deer could get to that area. On sunny days during the winter the bees would gather the fines just like they gather pollen. One day the bees were work ing the corn very well when a young buck decided to grab a mouthful of corn, bees and all. He started shaking his head wildy and then took off running with bees in hot pursuit.
 

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Once upon a time I received a package of bees during a blizzard. When I set them up in the hive, I put an empty hive body on top of the queen excluder and set the outside feeder directly over the cluster right on the queen excluder.

I don't paint anything on the inside of the hive, only the outside and the edges which are not exposed to the bees. I just use a quality exterior enamel paint.
I painted only the outside of the frame to protect it from the weather and the white paint that i have is using a terrible solvent that makes me feel dizzy even when i paint something outside. I thought that wouldn't be good for the bees too.
Is it important to exclude the queen from the food source?
I don't have any queen excluder material right now and my thought was that she wouldn't find anything interesting in that empty attic if she ever ventured in there.
 

WannaBeHillBilly

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Hi bee experts, today i have added a medium honey super to my hives, because some shrubs on my land are in full bloom and they smell so intense that the bees are ignoring their sugar-water. And my mentor just said: Give it a try, worst case the queen starts to lay in the honey super…
After doing so i noticed that the bees have started to chip away the white paint around the entrance in the entrance reducer. Is that a sign that i should remove the reducer?
The single hive-box that they are currently using is about ¾ full of capped brood and the the worker-bees are jamming up the little entrance hole.
Hive #1 ................. Hive #2
20220425_172013.jpg 20220425_172034.jpg
 

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After doing so i noticed that the bees have started to chip away the white paint around the entrance in the entrance reducer. Is that a sign that i should remove the reducer?
The single hive-box that they are currently using is about ¾ full of capped brood and the the worker-bees are jamming up the little entrance hole.
Yes, those entrances are too small. Those reducers usually have larger size, you just flip them. Are you planning on overwintering in one brood box?
 

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Yes, those entrances are too small. Those reducers usually have larger size, you just flip them. Are you planning on overwintering in one brood box?
This entrance reducer is self-made and has only one size. I guess i will remove it this week.
My mentor told me to start with one brood box and add the second one in May, together with the first honey super.
But this spring everything here is unusual: We literally switched from frost into the 80's and the autumn olives have started to flower really early. I was supposed to feed the bees with syrup until mid may, but since the shrubs are in full bloom they just ignore the syrup-feeders.
I need to buy some additional frames tomorrow and then i will add the second brood box to the hive - and remove the reducers.
 

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My mentor told me to start with one brood box and add the second one in May, together with the first honey super.
But this spring everything here is unusual: We literally switched from frost into the 80's and the autumn olives have started to flower really early. I was supposed to feed the bees with syrup until mid may, but since the shrubs are in full bloom they just ignore the syrup-feeders.
Great, its sounds like they're doing fine. I have no idea what its like to keep bees in WV. Wasn't sure if beekeepers use 1 or 2 deeps to overwinter in W, Virginia.
 

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Great, its sounds like they're doing fine. I have no idea what its like to keep bees in WV. Wasn't sure if beekeepers use 1 or 2 deeps to overwinter in W, Virginia.
Afaik beekeepers here do the same thing as everywhere else: Two deeps for the hive, a queen separator and one to two supers for the honey.
No clue why it is two hive boxes and not one or three. - Because in Nature, there's ginormous bee-hives in hollow tree-trunks, far bigger than two hive-boxes… (?)
 

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I have another question: My mentor dislikes queen excluders and advised me against using them.
Now he is rearing queens and creating new hives, whereas i want to produce honey.
I assume that is the reason why he isn't using queen-excluders(?)
Should i use queen-excluders when focusing on honey-production?
If yes, what is better? Metal or Plastic excluders?
 

R2elk

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I have another question: My mentor dislikes queen excluders and advised me against using them.
Now he is rearing queens and creating new hives, whereas i want to produce honey.
I assume that is the reason why he isn't using queen-excluders(?)
Should i use queen-excluders when focusing on honey-production?
If yes, what is better? Metal or Plastic excluders?
I prefer metal excluders.

Some people claim that you should never use queen excluders. If you don't want brood in your honey, use a queen excluder.

If you are going to leave a super on through the winter, remove the queen excluder after harvest.

I do use a queen excluder without any issues.
 
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