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Our bees in Oklahoma!

Discussion in 'Everything Else Bees' started by lonnyandrinda, Oct 29, 2014.

  1. Oct 29, 2014
    lonnyandrinda

    lonnyandrinda Exploring the pasture

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    :frow Hi everybody! I'm new here but very active on the BYC site. @Happy Chooks invited me. We have about 25 hives and this is our 4th year with bees. Harvest last year was 900 lbs, this year about 850 lbs. When we get started on something we jump in with both feet! I will post more when the weather turns cold and I have more time to myself (HA like that happens).

    Let's see if I can figure out how to add pictures... most of these are older pictures, probably our 1st year of bees. I was pregnant with my daughter who turns 3 tomorrow.
    2011 May 029.jpg 2011 May 030.jpg 2011 May-June (1).jpg 2011 May-June (6).jpg 2014 Beeswax 3 oz block.jpg 2014 honey 3 sizes.jpg Bees and Chickens 2012 006.jpg Bees and Chickens 2012 008.jpg July 2012 004.jpg June 2012 2 004.jpg
     
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  2. Oct 29, 2014
    Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Loving the herd life

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    :celebrate Yay! You joined us!

    900 lbs of honey. :bow My measly 2 lbs from 1 hive is sounding pretty pathetic right now. :\
     
  3. Oct 29, 2014
    babsbag

    babsbag Herd Master

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    Welcome to BYH.

    900 lbs of honey is a lot of honey. I have been told that here where I am at in dry hot no. CA if I get 40lbs from a hive I am doing great, but I am lucky to get 5 lbs. In other states, like ND, they can get 200 lbs / hive. :ep I am almost to the point of buying a new package every year just to pollinate my garden and orchard and then forget about trying to get honey or keep them alive. The honey harvest isn't worth it IMO.

    Commercial guys are doing pollination services and feeding almost as much syrup as they are getting back in honey. I had one tell me that he makes more money off the wax than he does the honey.

    Very depressing.:(
     
  4. Feb 3, 2017
    CLSranch

    CLSranch Ridin' The Range

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    Howdy. I'm also a BYC person. I know this is an old post but I still want to ask. I have a bee hive in my tree behind my house. I love them there if anything putting a box/hive to keep them to gather honey. The tree is next to my garden. I always have worms in my corn before they are ripe. I was wondering what would be a good solution to my garden with out hurting the bee's.
     
  5. Feb 3, 2017
    babsbag

    babsbag Herd Master

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    If you have a wild hive in your yard you are very lucky. I am not sure how to get a wild hive to go into a box, maybe someone else will have some ideas. But as far as the worms research a product called Bacillus thuringiensis. It is also used for tomato horn worms.
     
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  6. Feb 4, 2017
    CLSranch

    CLSranch Ridin' The Range

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    Thanks babsbag. will do
     
  7. Feb 4, 2017
    Latestarter

    Latestarter Novice; "Practicing" Animal Husbandry Golden Herd Member

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    You COULD set up a swarm capture trap nearby as the wild hive WILL swarm, sometimes multiple times over the course of a summer, especially if they're a successful hive. There's nothing better than getting a feral swarm as they are already acclimated to your area and successful. Aside from that, the only way to get the hive out of the tree would be to cut the tree down and open it up to gain access. You would then try to save as much of the comb as you could and rubber band/wire it into empty frames then place those frames in a box right beside the tree hive so the bees will hopefully move over into the box. You have to make sure when doing that that you put the comb in "right side up" as all honey comb is actually not perfectly horizontal but sloped "up" at an angle to keep the fresh honey from dripping out before drying.

    You can build a very simple top bar hive (plans all over the internet) probably from scrap you have laying around the farm. I'm less familiar with warre hives, & if you choose to go with the typical square box Langstroth hive, be prepared to spend some $$ and deal with some heavy weights lifting full boxes. If you use a Lang deep as a honey super, when the bees fill all 10 frames with honey, that one deep will weigh close to 100 pounds.

    https://www.beethinking.com/pages/the-best-bee-hive

    Good luck! Bees are fascinating but they do require work to "keep" them. :D
     
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  8. Feb 4, 2017
    CLSranch

    CLSranch Ridin' The Range

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    Looked it up and it seems to be just what I need. Also known as Dipel.

    Thanks latestarter. I was thinking of putting out a Langstroth hive in hopes of a natural swarm to add to their hive.
     
  9. Feb 4, 2017
    CLSranch

    CLSranch Ridin' The Range

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    To the Okies. When do bee's start swarming here in OK? Or more when is the best time to try to maybe catch them to put some in hive so I can get some of the honey instead of it sitting in the tree.
     
  10. Feb 4, 2017
    Latestarter

    Latestarter Novice; "Practicing" Animal Husbandry Golden Herd Member

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    You can't just "catch some" and put them in a hive... they are tied to their swarm/hive/queen. If you watch them very soon you'll start seeing bees returning to the hive with full pollen baskets on their legs. As soon as they have a source of pollen the queen will start laying eggs in earnest to start building the colony for the first nectar flow. The bees eat nectar, the pupae and larva eat pollen. The eggs go from egg to larva to pupae and hatch into new worker bees (female) in 21 days. Some eggs will be made into drones (males); 24 days, and if the workers feel the queen should be replaced, they'll make one or more queen cells (16 days).

    As the hive builds in size, the workers will decide if there are too many bees and start getting the old queen ready to fly. They will simultaneously produce new queen cells. When the new queens are about to hatch out, the old queen and ~ 1/2 the hive's workers will leave the hive and form a swarm ball on a tree branch or some structure away from the hive. The queen will be in the center of that ball. There will be scout bees that will go out in all directions looking for a new place to create a new hive. If you have a swarm capture box set up nearby, your hope is that they'll choose that to make their new home. Alternatively, you can place the box under the swarm ball and knock it off whatever it's attached to into the hive box (try to make sure you get the queen) and close it up and hope they'll stay inside.

    Typically a swarm will not occur until there's sufficient food for the old and new hive to succeed. In your area, that should be some time in mid-late march as a start time. Swarms will stop happening generally by July as after that there isn't enough time or food resources for a new hive to survive and build enough to make it through the next winter. It really is a pretty complicated thing to get a grip on. I suggest you take a class or contact your local bee club/association and become active with the group. There's a lot to learn and you're already way behind the PC for a start this year. North East Oklahoma Beekeepers Association; http://neoba.org/ Oklahoma State Beekeepers Association; http://www.okbees.org/

    You also need to be aware that there are now Africanized Honey Bees (AHBs) in OK. They are not something to play around with and you need to be prepared as at some point, if you get started beekeeping, you WILL have to deal with them. http://www.newson6.com/story/17797976/killer-bees-swarming-into-oklahoma
    Here's a very good beginner course online that was recorded several years ago. http://www.klcbee.com/school.shtml Scan down and you'll see the recorded classes from 2013. Be aware this was in Maine and they do NOT have AHBs there.
     
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