Joel-help me with bees pleasegreenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
Joel, or any beekeeper-this is an update to my questions about a swarm of bees that came several weeks ago to our mulberry tree. We decided to order a hive, a beginner kit and have decided to keep bees. Now, I really need help as we live too far for relying on help from extension services and can't seem to locate anyone keeping bees here in our tiny community. Our beginner kit is composed of 10 of those black plastic beeswax coated type frames, by Pierco. The hive of bees in the tree is about a foot across either way. What do we do? Should we put a couple of frames in the hive and leave the rest of it open so they'll fit? Keep in mind our climate here, desert Southwest, highs of 105 just the other day, highs around 90 right now. Still quite a few flowers around too. This hive is just thriving, they are bringing in tons of pollen and they all look quite healthy, although I have no experience of course with this at all. But they are constantly coming and going, this mass of bees covers the outer portion of the combs, which hang like disks sort of, about six of them, off a branch. I am so excited about this now, we have just fallen in love with these guys. But, I really really really need some step by step help here. We don't have our phone yet, so I can't just call someone. This is my only outlet for help. Thank you all for any help. Of course if these guys don't make it we will purchase bees for spring, but I would sure like to see them survive.
-- Katie (email@example.com), September 23, 2000
OK, Bee Keeping long distance is tuff ! I recommend:--We have a brood box ? correct ? --Now place the swarm between at least two outside frames. Now, place a supra on top for "bee space" and for stores for the upcoming winter. Place a shallow tray in front of the hive filled with sugar and water -no more than a 1/4 inch deep. In the spring Jan or Feb we should do apistan strips to control mites ! In april we should re-queen and write me later on a trick to that one--Lets make it thru the winter first ! Hope this helps=my bee door is always open !
-- Joel (Joel681@webtv.net), September 24, 2000.
Just a few comments. Like Joel said its hard to give advice long distance and not seeing what you have got. I would take out enough of the foundation to squeeze in what the bees already built. It wouldn't hurt to get another deep super with ten combs above as they will build up. Just order one box and enough frames to total ten( with the ones you had to remove from the original one to fit the bees and their comb in). You can deal with replacing that original comb next spring. I think Joel is right . Just get them for now in the box with some room for them on empty combs before the one outside gets too big. Hope you have some sort of veil. Once a swarm gets established and making comb, they can be ornery when bothered. Where are you? I have lots of empty deep supers and a few extra used smokers. Best time to move them is mid morning on a nice day when most of the field bees are out foraging..they're the more aggressive ones. Try to set the hive box below or near by so the field bees will not get confused. Hope I haven't confused you. Kate
-- Kate Henderson (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 24, 2000.
I read somewhere that an easy equivilent to smoking bees to get them to settle down is to mist them with sugar water. Not only do they settle down (they have to clean themselves immediately), but they get a treat out of it, and (unlike the threat of fire that smoking brings to a bee's mind) it seems like it would be less traumatic to the hive. Sometimes getting a smoker to smoker properly in less than ideal conditions is tricky and the smoke can end up in the face of the beekeeper as well as, and sometimes instead of, the bees'.
-- Soni (email@example.com), September 25, 2000.
My husband uses both the sugar water and the smoker -- I will try to remember to get him to look at this thread when he gets home tonight.
-- Kathleen Sanderson (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 25, 2000.
All this information has much merit ! I think the smoke is ok as it has always worked for me. S/water is fine also for short periods. Sometimes it boils down to personnal preference. My mentor just did a six waffle wild bee capture back in the spring and did it like we are suggesting. They cut the branches to fit inside the brood box. He vidio taped the whole capture and placement. I got to watch it at the bee meting last thursday--just excellent ! I also found out that late swarms are normal when the queen is getting older and supercedes herself--when the new queen is hatched out the old queen leaves with her swarm--anytime of year, usually spring but at anytime. This is why I love bees, I learnsomething new everytime I'm around them.
-- Joel Rosen (Joel681@webtv.net), September 25, 2000.
You are never to far away from your extension office as long as you can get on line . My etension office is only 7 miles away and I still chat with them on line. To find them search for your state in the computer then goverenment. They may also give you names of people you could corispond with even if it is by snail mail. If you don't mind me e-mailing you I have some web sites that might be of intrest to you after you get going . becky
-- becky (Joel681@webtv.net), September 26, 2000.
It is a bit late in the year to start with the bees. It's not impossible, but they will take a lot of care and feeding to get through the winter.
-- Noah Simoneaux (email@example.com), September 28, 2000.
Oh you guys - thank you soooo much. We will order a super for them, and follow all your adivce. I got the paint for the brood box, and will try to get an additional super as soon as possible. Thank you again, each of you provided even more helpful ideas that we just didn't know about. I promise to keep you all updated. We do have gloves and a veil, and my husband will be dressed carefully.
-- Katie (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 28, 2000.