Lessons learned (read as "OUCH!)

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wow! $250 for a hive? :weee That's a great deal (if it's healthy - no hidden problems like AFB...Ask Maggiesdad... Look it over REAL close before buying it)!

Sorry, but I might kinda understand your DH... if he never signed up for them, taking them over prob seems pretty daunting. Most folks are scared pretty bad about getting stung. Don't know that's the case, just pulling straws...

The new latest & greatest Hopguard II doesn't have to be repeated. They've changed the formula and improved the strip backing so you leave the strips in for 2-3 weeks and then remove them. You don't need to replace them every 7 days (from what I've been reading). It's supposed to have an 80-90% efficacy rate! :epThat being the case, and with cold weather coming and a slow down in laying by the queen, that should be enough to get them through till spring. Of course I'll read the instructions and ask the bee club officer who's helping me out to be sure! He's a "CO Licensed Applicator" Grrrrr :rant so I would expect he'll know what he's doing. Next year I'll prob get someone in a less regulated state to help me out, but for now, the bee club officer is already on record and ID'd by govt, so no harm no foul.

I've often thought about getting a UPS box in a neighboring state and then forwarding from that. A lot of these restrictions require a street address though and won't allow to a UPS box. When I win the lottery it won't be an issue anymore ;)
 

Happy Chooks

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Oh My! New Jersey? Fuggeddabouditt! Talk about political corruption and cronyism... Man, the east coast, NE corridor has it all! From DC all the way up to Boston! I'm originally from Taxachusettes! I couldn't live anywhere there anymore... just too expensive and corrupt. Sad to say but I think the only remaining "free" state is Alaska, and that's changing as well. People from the lower 48 are moving up there to get away, and even turning THAT into what they left! Why do folks do that? Yeah, I know Chooks, there are good folks in bad places, and I shouldn't speak in generalities... And I have to agree, CA has some of the nicest weather in the states.

I know, right? No way in heck would I ever consider moving to NJ. I've visited Taxachusetts too, not my cup of tea either. The husband wants to move to either Nevada or Alaska. I'm a tree person, so living in the desert doesn't really appeal to me, and the cold of Alaska scares the crap out of me. Not to mention the 6 months of daylight, that would really mess me up.

I'm afraid if we ever move, it will be out of the country. I have family in Australia, and my husband would easily be able to get a work visa there. But for the moment, we will be staying here. Kids and school and all that.
 

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@Latestarter I was going to not do the bees anymore as I just don't have the time to commit to them, especially when some are 30 min. from my house. But I really like them here for my garden. Also, the hives get heavy when you need to inspect a bottom deep and I can't lift them so I needed his help but didn't usually get it. He volunteered to take it over, wasn't my idea. Then he didn't do anything when we bought the new bees. That was last year...this year's bees are on me...it is still my hobby I guess. Oh well.

I think the hive would be healthy, he sells splits in the spring after the almonds and he is really only selling me one as I kinda begged. Money is an issue though...the dairy is eating a lot right now.
 

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Well, Babs, I know you're probably swamped with the dairy, and I know that has your highest priority/attention. I can't even imagine what it's costing you! Whatever you choose to do, it has to work for you! I understand completely! I don't even have a garden yet... Why did I get bees? :idunno I don't use a lot of honey either (though I did just make a big mug of hot tea loaded with a heaping tbls of my bee's honey for sweetener)? :idunno I bought a LGD and don't own anything for it to guard yet?:idunno I recently quit my job and retired early, taking a >$2K/month drop in net take home pay... :idunno Maybe there's something wrong with me?! :idunno I guess I better evaluate my situation and decide my priorities...

Chooks, you know there are parts of coastal Alaska that are similar to coastal Oregon in temps, right? They get the pacific current bringing warmer water in which means they aren't nearly as cold as the interior. I completely understand the light/dark issue though... 2 months with only 4-6 hours of daylight, and the opposing 2 months with 18-20 hours of daylight would require some real dark window shades. Though I have little problem sleeping during daylight hours (naps are my friend) and seem to only have a problem getting good sleep at night when a body is supposed to be at rest. But look at the bright side... with those long daylight periods in summer, your garden would be awesome!
 

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So I got my hopguard II strips. it's a 1 time application, to remove after 3 weeks. Tomorrow is supposed to be low 80's so hope to get the majority of hive tasks knocked out tomorrow. Won't wrap it for winter yet as we're still quite a way off from hard freezes (least a month I would guess).
 

babsbag

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@Latestarter Where are you at in Colorado that you have such a late frost date? ...I may need to move there someday. Ours is Nov 15 but usually later and I love it. I am so not a cold weather person.

I put the Hopguard in yesterday and I am going by what you said about only doing it once. I never did find any corrected instructions. Did you?
 

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If you have the original Hopguard, it IS 3 applications. If it's the newer Hopguard II (latest revision) it's just one application, once per year, preferably in fall after honey harvest, to knock down mites before winter. Then use something different next year. You really need to read the label on your package. The package mine came from had written instructions in the bag with it.

We get our first mild frost here typically in September, but it hasn't happened yet. First real hard frost typically early October. First freeze typically mid-late October and first real snow late October, typically on or right around Halloween. Lowest we've been so far has been mid 50s. Expected to be low 40s this coming weekend, so our first frost is right around the corner. It has snowed in September, and there have been years when there was no snow till late November...

I'm on the front range (east of the foothills and rockies) about 20 miles north of Denver and maybe 35 miles out on the plains away from the foothills. Any further east and winter temps drop and winds increase. We DO get really cold snaps here. Last winter we had a week w/temps of -15 at night and single digits during the day. But that typically only lasts a week or so and then we're back to more manageable daytime temps in the upper 30s to lower 40s average. And since we receive so many sunny days here, have very low humidity, and are a mile high, the sun is intense, even in mid winter. So, you could be outside in short sleeves (if no wind) and be quite comfy with actual temps in the 20s-30s, and come back in with a sun burn! The weather is one main reason so many Californians move here. It's very similar to what they left.
 

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Got er' done today, strips installed, hive all checked, feeders installed, entrance reducer installed, mouse guard screen goes on tonight. Only thing left to do is add a pollen pattie just before winter wrapping, when the time comes. Also gonna cut down and install a section of that hanging ceiling (cardboard) tile, to fit the inside of the outer cover to wick away and absorb moisture during the winter. Don't want condensation dripping back down into the hive.

I'm a little discouraged w/my hive as I expected everything to be very neat and orderly inside. like you see on TV shows about honey bees... I expected to be able to just pull out perfect frames of comb, covered with bees, brood, pollen and honey... It is anything but! While bees are wonderful builders, they sure can mess things up w/bridge and bur comb. When I pried apart the frames, honey cells ripped and spilled all over the place inside. Quite frankly, I wonder how the bees can even navigate in such a tight, confusticating and maze like environment!? I can't help but think I MUST have killed hundreds of bees when I pushed the frames back together to close up the hive... I just hope one of them wasn't the queen. I now wonder if that isn't exactly what happened in my other hive to make it queenless...

I also wonder if the hopguard strips will work, as they must be smashed right up against the comb... I don't see any feasible way the bees could even think about walking over them... ah well... we'll see. I'll be checking the drop board over coming weeks to see what's happening.

So, another lesson learned is make absolutely sure that you press those frames as close together as you can, especially down toward the bottom, to leave the bees ONLY enough room to build comb on the foundation, as is intended. <sigh> They're still pretty cool insects. Yesterday afternoon I watched a couple of sisters trying to drag a drone out. He managed to pull them both back inside but I'm certain his days are numbered.
 

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Poor drone.
I looked for directions on my bag and didn't see them, but then I will admit I didn't go and get my glasses to read all the fine print. They do say Hopguard II. We will see.
 

Happy Chooks

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I hope the treatment works. I know they say to remove all that comb, but bridge comb is beneficial in the winter for the cluster.

I'm just feeding mine for all they will take. We had rain yesterday and today, so not as much foraging. Good thing I got the jars in a couple of days ago, because I now have strep throat.
 
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