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massphatness
02-20-2017, 02:37 PM
Grace and I have been talking about keeping honey bees for a couple years, and we finally got serious about it this winter; did some reading and attended a couple of presentations. I enrolled in a 6-week bee keeping class that started this past weekend and just placed my order for a starter hive & initial package of bees that will be ready for us around mid-April.

Not looking to do anything more than maintain a single hive for the moment. But even with just one hive, given the proper oversight and care, you can yield 60+ lbs of honey by end of the season. I'm thinking you might see honey in future troop auctions, Secret Santa gifts and herfs. We're not doing this to produce a lot of honey, but as a fat guy with a sweet tooth, I'm not going to complain if we do.

Always been interested in honey bees, and recently their populations have been dwindling. As one of the prime pollinators, if the bees go, our food supply is negatively impacted. Again speaking as a fat guy, I need to do my part to ensure the food supply remains robust.

Plus I already have the smoking part of bee keeping down. I just may opt to blow some ERDM Choix their way instead of whatever the hell it is they put in the bee smoker.

Will keep this thread updated with what I am sure will be an (occasionally comical) adventure.

Mr.Maduro
02-20-2017, 03:04 PM
At work, we have a couple on the roof. They are maintained by Best Bees (out of Boston)

They are a big hit with the tenants and we jar up the honey every year and distribute it to them. The anti-allergen benefits of local honey is amazing also. And it tastes great

markem
02-20-2017, 04:04 PM
Have you been in touch with Shade? It's a great day when I can get some of his honey.

Steve
02-20-2017, 04:36 PM
:tu:tu:banger

croatan
02-20-2017, 04:41 PM
Interesting, Vin! I think that the fear of getting stung and crying like a baby outweighs the potential benefit for me personally at this point, but I'm really looking forward to seeing how this progresses and watching you make some tasty honey!

Tio Gato
02-20-2017, 05:13 PM
That's great Vin. Check with your tax person. You may qualify as a farm and have hugely reduced property tax. I red Jon Bon Jovi keeps bees at his huge mansion in NJ. His property tax was reduced from 10's of thousands to 500 bucks a year. That's more money for cigars.:2

HabanosBob
02-20-2017, 05:39 PM
Glad you're doing your part to insure the future of our food supply!!

pnoon
02-20-2017, 06:42 PM
Interesting, Vin! I think that the fear of getting stung and crying like a baby outweighs the potential benefit for me personally at this point, but I'm really looking forward to seeing how this progresses and watching you make some tasty honey!

:tpd:

sigsauer
02-20-2017, 06:52 PM
this is an awesome hobby......someday!

hudd
02-20-2017, 09:29 PM
Good for you! We need bees to survive.

CigarNut
02-20-2017, 09:39 PM
Very cool, Vin!

bonjing
02-20-2017, 09:45 PM
That sounds awesome Vin! Bees are pretty cool.

AdamJoshua
02-20-2017, 11:40 PM
As another fat guy I'd like to thank you for doing your part in ensuring the food flows! I bee-lieve that our entire food chain relies on bees, not just part of it, also growing up in FL we went to a bee farm and they used pine needles in the smoke guns, now with legalization in MA you can kick it up a notch for them. A side not you can do much with the wax as well. Best of luck on your unbeelievable new adventure.

tsolomon
02-21-2017, 07:43 AM
I looked into bee keeping here in Maryland and attended an 8 week class on it taught by local bee keepers and decided against it. We have a very short nectar season and hive losses around 50 - 80% each year. The one suggestion that they did make was to have a minimum of 2 hives so you can evaluate how they are doing by comparing hives. Good luck and I hope you do well with this. :tu

8lug
02-21-2017, 08:06 AM
Vin, that's very cool. If you don't mind me asking where are you taking the class? I'd like to get some info.

Fat guys need to unite to save food source.

shark
02-21-2017, 08:37 AM
Cool!

Bee a bee charmer:


https://d1o50x50snmhul.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/dn16071-1_300.jpg

mosesbotbol
02-21-2017, 09:02 AM
I'll gladly buy honey off of you! There is a lot of beekeeping near me in Holliston & Ashland due to the apple farms.

Was thinking of getting in bee hives as well, but figure I can just buy local honey down the road...

icehog3
02-21-2017, 11:11 AM
I have had a wonderful time visiting you the past few summers, Vin, and look forward to seeing you elsewhere in the future. ;) :r

massphatness
02-21-2017, 11:28 AM
I have had a wonderful time visiting you the past few summers, Vin, and look forward to seeing you elsewhere in the future. ;) :r

We're going to herf in the back yard this year -- the bees will be out front. That's a good 250 feet away. :D

OLS
02-21-2017, 03:48 PM
I almost think that you should just let them keep all their honey, at least to the point where you end up with more
than one hive. Then maybe start taking some for daddy. I don't know if anyone really knows just how to keep the
bees around forever when they can't figure out what's really going on yet. In any case, you are a guy that goes over-
board to be kind, I am sure it will work out.

AdamJoshua
02-21-2017, 07:41 PM
You should probably find the biggest bee and kick it's ass right away, just as a message to the other bees, not the queen but the biggest drone.

icehog3
02-22-2017, 12:44 AM
We're going to herf in the back yard this year -- the bees will be out front. That's a good 250 feet away. :D

I'll bring a suit of armor. :D

stearns
02-22-2017, 08:40 AM
Very cool Vin, if I had the space and time I'd love to do something similar. I'm always up for a honey/honey bbq sauce trade :D

massphatness
02-22-2017, 09:22 AM
I almost think that you should just let them keep all their honey, at least to the point where you end up with more
than one hive. Then maybe start taking some for daddy. I don't know if anyone really knows just how to keep the
bees around forever when they can't figure out what's really going on yet. In any case, you are a guy that goes over-
board to be kind, I am sure it will work out.

From my as yet very limited understanding of honey bee dynamics, bee keepers are taught to only harvest the excess honey. There's not a "brood hive" and a separate "storage hive" -- if I have two hives, I potentially end up with 2X the honey. I'm nowhere near the point where I want to manage two hives, although some instructors recommend starting out with two because it can be easier to deal with problems in one hive if you have a second. But I'm going with one for the time being. I don't want so many bees that icehog won't set foot in New England much less Mass.

icehog3
02-22-2017, 10:46 AM
I like turtles. :D

mosesbotbol
02-22-2017, 03:27 PM
Make sure the bees have plants to do their work on. If all there is around are pine trees; the honey will have a certain taste...

CigarNut
02-22-2017, 03:28 PM
Vin, before you get too far into this, you might want to verify that you are not allergic to bee stings :)

massphatness
02-22-2017, 03:38 PM
Make sure the bees have plants to do their work on. If all there is around are pine trees; the honey will have a certain taste...

We're quite literally across the street from an apple orchard. :noon

Vin, before you get too far into this, you might want to verify that you are not allergic to bee stings :)

Been stung as recently as last summer. Can't absolutely say it was a honey bee, but I'm not overly worried.

massphatness
02-22-2017, 03:39 PM
I like turtles. :D

Here you go ...

http://fashionablygeek.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/turtle-cozies-bee.jpg?x22977

Tio Gato
02-22-2017, 04:46 PM
Backyard herfing is better. That way your neighbors won't see Tom's retirement stripper dancing.:noon;)

AdamJoshua
02-22-2017, 05:28 PM
Have you seen these hives, Vin?

https://youtu.be/0_pj4cz2VJM

icehog3
02-22-2017, 11:18 PM
Make sure the bees have plants to do their work on. If all there is around are pine trees; the honey will have a certain taste...

IPA! :pu

Here you go ...

http://fashionablygeek.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/turtle-cozies-bee.jpg?x22977

Yay!!

Backyard herfing is better. That way your neighbors won't see Tom's retirement stripper dancing.:noon;)

It better be a chick, Jeff. :r

massphatness
03-05-2017, 10:44 AM
Built a hive stand over the weekend from some plans I found online. I'm no carpenter, but the stand is (relatively) stable & the hive fits on it perfectly.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/292/33266475735_c8c8656260.jpg

The honey bees are due on April 10 ...

CigarNut
03-05-2017, 10:50 AM
Wow! Did not realize people still used corded tools!

:)

markem
03-05-2017, 11:16 AM
Cool! Progress is good. Any chance you'll put up a "bee cam" at some point? By that I mean a small camera that sees inside the hive. Something like this but a wider shot: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_9HZeG97Xg

massphatness
03-05-2017, 12:19 PM
I could see doing something outside the hive, but inside the hive would be tricky based on what little I currently know about honey bees to this point and the space (or lack of space) they like to have in the hive.

There's a concept knows as "bee space" which is between 3/8 and a 1/4 inch. If there's more space, the bees build to fill it in, and if there's less, they seal it up with this resin-like substance they produce called propolis. So a camera in the hive has to take bee space into account at a minimum, and I'm not there yet.

icehog3
03-05-2017, 01:17 PM
Most importanr part of beekeeping is yet to come. That would be beekeeping the bees away from icehog.

J/K, stand looks cool, Vin. Looking forward to seeing the project move forward. :tu

AdamJoshua
03-05-2017, 01:23 PM
Very cool. You never know maybe the bees like to be watched, everyone has their kink.

BigAsh
03-06-2017, 07:53 AM
I have had a wonderful time visiting you the past few summers, Vin, and look forward to seeing you elsewhere in the future. ;) :r

hahaha...

Built a hive stand over the weekend from some plans I found online. I'm no carpenter, but the stand is (relatively) stable & the hive fits on it perfectly.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/292/33266475735_c8c8656260.jpg

The honey bees are due on April 10 ...

And yet, you have "Jesus sandles"....Oh, and April 11th on my calendar ...:D

massphatness
03-06-2017, 08:45 AM
And yet, you have "Jesus sandles"....

Much like Jesus, my dad has the carpentry skills.

AdamJoshua
03-06-2017, 09:07 AM
Just curious how to they ship the bees, I'm guessing it's not a big UPS box or anything, or hell maybe it is?

massphatness
03-06-2017, 10:26 AM
The bees are shipped in a small wooden box wrapped in fine wire mesh to allow for airflow. The queen is in her own separate "queen cage" in the larger box that keeps her separate from the other bees, but allow them to smell her and acclimate themselves to her because she doesn't start out as their genetic queen.

The package of bees originates from a bee farm in GA and is transported up to New England by a local beekeeper who then distributes them here. Because the bees are sensitive to temperature, he has a special trailer he uses to keep the bees in the Goldilocks zone: neither too hot nor too cold.

T.G
03-06-2017, 10:28 AM
The bees are shipped in a small wooden box wrapped in fine wire mesh to allow for airflow. The queen is in her own separate "queen cage" in the larger box that keeps her separate from the other bees, but allow them to smell her and acclimate themselves to her because she doesn't start out as their genetic queen.

The package of bees originates from a bee farm in GA and is transported up to New England by a local beekeeper who then distributes them here. Because the bees are sensitive to temperature, he has a special trailer he uses to keep the bees in the Goldilocks zone: neither too hot nor too cold.

I'll bee dammed. That's pretty cool.

CigarNut
03-06-2017, 11:06 AM
Do bees do ok with cigar smoke?

icehog3
03-06-2017, 11:09 AM
I wish I was a bee.

T.G
03-06-2017, 11:48 AM
Do bees do ok with cigar smoke?

I hear that beech wood smoke makes them drowsy.


(actually serious here)

shilala
03-06-2017, 08:00 PM
Bees kick ass.
I have a ton of books, and had a mess of hives when the kids were little.
I never did dump bees in them, I was all about swarm gathering and had limited time to hunt bees with the farm and all.
I finally finished fixing all the bodies and frames and top and ended up gioving them all away to old man Hanzely.
A week later, I had an enormous swarm hanging in the oak tree at the corner of the yard, which was about 20 yards from where the hives had sat.
If I can help Vin, just holler.
It's still something I'm going to do, but as you can imagine, I have ideas for a "different" hive. :D

Flynnster
03-06-2017, 08:22 PM
Not sure how I missed this, but I've been researching getting into beekeeping heavily once I move into my next place.

What sort of hive are you going for? Starting with a langstroth it looks like.

massphatness
03-07-2017, 08:22 AM
What sort of hive are you going for? Starting with a langstroth it looks like.

Yup - going with a 10-frame Langstroth. The hive I bought came with the two deep boxes and two honey supers plus some basic starter equipment: smoker, hive tools, veil & gloves. (I look super cute in the veil.:noon)

Cannot recommend the bee school thing strongly enough. Lots of people in the class who tried their hand at beekeeping by reading/watching youtube videos, etc. Many of them have been struggling to maintain healthy hives or successfully overwinter them. Learning direct from someone who's been doing this for a couple decades brings life to all the book learning and online reading I've been doing.

massphatness
03-14-2017, 08:22 AM
Finally got the hive painted ... now with the two feet of snow we're getting today, I'm worried my yard is still going to buried come bee delivery day: April 10

https://c1.staticflickr.com/4/3833/33436482885_d664b2022e_z.jpg

AdamJoshua
03-14-2017, 08:40 AM
Awesome. Hope you get a good thaw in and some Indian summer temps.

stevieray
03-14-2017, 08:48 AM
This is pretty cool. Looking forward to following your progress.....from a safe distance. :tu

BigAsh
03-14-2017, 10:46 AM
Yea yea, the hive is nice...BUT:

This thread is worthless without a picture of you in the "Bee-Suit"...:tu

icehog3
03-14-2017, 10:46 AM
Yea yea, the hive is nice...BUT:

This thread is worthless without a picture of you in the "Bee-Suit"...:tu

-(P

AdamJoshua
03-14-2017, 12:48 PM
Yea yea, the hive is nice...BUT:

This thread is worthless without a picture of you in the "Bee-Suit"...:tu

Here's the entire hive!

https://trsorrell1138.files.wordpress.com/2015/08/snl-killer-bees.jpg

bonjing
03-14-2017, 01:40 PM
Yea yea, the hive is nice...BUT:

This thread is worthless without a picture of you in the "Bee-Suit"...:tu


And singing,

I'm bringing home my baby bumble bee. . .

AdamJoshua
03-17-2017, 05:18 PM
For future reference, the wax is really useful stuff!

http://www.rachelssupply.com/bwax.htm

massphatness
03-26-2017, 04:06 PM
Wrapped up the last week of bee school with a hive opening at the instructor's apiary.

Temps were cool and the bees were docile though two did manage to find their way into the fleece I was wearing. One decided to initiate me into what a honey bee sting feels like (not bad, really - at all) while the other walked around my shoulder while I gently removed the fleece. She flew off with neither of us worse for the experience.

Here's a shot of the hive opening
https://c1.staticflickr.com/4/3839/32823342234_1a7944ee54.jpg

A frame of bees tightly clustered for warmth
https://c1.staticflickr.com/4/3800/32823339544_07bafe2bf2.jpg

Me assisting with one of the outer frames (way fewer bees)
https://c1.staticflickr.com/4/3736/33536921131_9354b0229e.jpg

My girls arrive April 10 -- will be interesting

AdamJoshua
03-26-2017, 04:32 PM
anyone else itching and feeling things crawl on them looking at those pics... or it might just be something on this couch :lr

I i was looking at those "automatic" hives, with the cells pre-made and you just turn the tap and honey comes out ... seems like that's more my speed, ok to be honest the little squeeze bear of honey is more my speed.

Again, best of luck!

markem
03-26-2017, 07:36 PM
I think that last pic is "I wonder if I can get away with shoving my face down there and waiting my fill?". To which I reply, "you never know until you try." ;)

BigAsh
03-27-2017, 08:18 AM
No gloves?!?....baller....

massphatness
04-05-2017, 10:22 AM
My girls were due to arrive this Monday, but because of the crazy weather down south (they're coming for Georgia) delivery is being rescheduled. No deets yet, but the extra time will give me an opportunity to practice getting the smoker to work properly.

icehog3
04-05-2017, 11:09 AM
MMMM.....smoked ribs with bee sauce. :dr

IBQTEE1
04-05-2017, 02:51 PM
My girls were due to arrive this Monday, but because of the crazy weather down south (they're coming for Georgia) delivery is being rescheduled. No deets yet, but the extra time will give me an opportunity to practice getting the smoker to work properly.

I will bee down there tomorrow I will check on the ladies. LOL

shilala
04-06-2017, 01:41 AM
Get your **** together, Vin.
And realize where you fit in the colony.
Otherwise you'll just thunp them into Polanderdom.
I found my books and lecture material if you want to take a look.
Oddly, the guy across the street has about 10 hives. But they're only one frame high.
I worry for the girls. I'm going to go talk to him soon.

massphatness
04-16-2017, 02:40 PM
The bees arrive tomorrow!

Little bit nervous at the moment - I really don't want to screw this up. Grace is a tad more nervous as she's the one that has to go pick up the package of bees from the apiary. :)

Made some simple syrup just in case their feed can is empty from the trip. Grace can give them a few squirts while she waits for me to get home.

I've got a single 10-frame deep box ready for the initial install. Will add a second deep box once they've drawn out 7-8 frames of comb.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/4/3952/33921662102_b61edc8525.jpg

galaga
04-16-2017, 03:42 PM
Geez, Vin. Nice box....

Enjoy your new Honeys

AdamJoshua
04-16-2017, 05:45 PM
Geez, Vin. Nice box....

Enjoy your new Honeys

Phrasing!

I for one would bee remiss if I did not wish our new resident Apiarist the best of luck!

massphatness
04-17-2017, 03:04 PM
It beegins ...

https://c1.staticflickr.com/4/3953/33291802773_ed0e941e80.jpg

AdamJoshua
04-17-2017, 03:31 PM
Holy crap that's a lot of bees! So the queen is separate in there or in another box or something, this is truly fascinating, though only enough to live vicariously through you. You better bee-live it!

CigarNut
04-17-2017, 03:34 PM
That's awesome, Vin!

Let us know how many times you get stung this week :)

markem
04-17-2017, 03:35 PM
That's a sweet setup.

AdamJoshua
04-17-2017, 03:42 PM
That's a sweet setup.

*rim shot*

massphatness
04-17-2017, 06:18 PM
Not in my wildest dreams did I think this was going to go as easily as it did!

The bees wanted NOTHING to do with me or Grace. They wanted to get into the hive and start making it their home. The sugar syrup and pollen patty didn't hurt, I'm sure, but while there were a lot of them flying around initially, within minutes they were making a, uh, beeline(!) for the hive.

Here's me initially shaking the package of bees into the hive. Literally just dump them in. Some fly around, but most start exploring their new digs.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2949/33293475183_5893a95495.jpg


Here are the bees crawling around the frames. At the far left is a feeder frame that's filled with the sugar syrup. There are little bee ladders that extend down into the feeder so the bees can climb down, gorge on syrup then climb back up. Bees are notoriously bad swimmers and even worse snorklers, so having something for them to hold on to is really important. The syrup provides them with the necessary carbs they need while waiting for the New Engalnd flora to start blooming. That chunk of cake looking thing is a pollen patty. The bees feed on that as well - protein source. Between the syrup and the pollen patty, they've got what they need to fill their little bee bellies and start making honey comb.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/4/3937/33293477063_6234b2f10a.jpg


The bees clustered around that gap between frames are getting acquainted with their queen. She's in a little queen cage that hangs between the frames. She'll eat her way out of her enclosure over the next few days, and if all goes well, begin ruling over her hive.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2917/33293479213_0b768ac48f.jpg

massphatness
04-17-2017, 06:23 PM
The package is almost empty -- will leave it in front of the hive for a bit, and eventually the remaining bees will find their way out and into the hive.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2875/33720100540_6973f3b9fd.jpg


The bees mostly enter and exit the hive via the bottom board. It's here where the guard bees will stand watch (seriously), and it's here where the bees will take out the hive's trash -- such as dead bees.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2870/33720102010_c04440338a.jpg

CigarNut
04-17-2017, 06:34 PM
Was your queen a part of this hive before they shipped, or is she new to these bees?

Bax
04-17-2017, 06:46 PM
That's so cool! You can start making your own honey mead next.

massphatness
04-17-2017, 06:55 PM
Was your queen a part of this hive before they shipped, or is she new to these bees?

Both actually.

The queen was shipped with the bees, but she's not "their" queen. Thus the need for the acclimation period.

icehog3
04-17-2017, 07:21 PM
It beegins ...

https://c1.staticflickr.com/4/3953/33291802773_ed0e941e80.jpg

ARE THOSE ****ING BEES???

HOLY ****!!!

I'm a little jittery, please excuse my outburst.

massphatness
04-17-2017, 07:46 PM
ARE THOSE ****ING BEES???


They're all females, so no ****ing at the moment :D
Posted via Mobile Device

CigarNut
04-17-2017, 08:27 PM
Both actually.

The queen was shipped with the bees, but she's not "their" queen. Thus the need for the acclimation period.

For some reason I thought that the queen needed to be related to her bees and started out with bees from her mother's hive.

AdamJoshua
04-17-2017, 08:29 PM
Have you named them all yet?

BigAsh
04-18-2017, 07:51 AM
Intrigued...I like the "bee words" like "apiary"...I'm simple like that...Serious question: Is "honey" the point?...I like honey...and cake...

bonjing
04-18-2017, 08:21 AM
Does the colony/hive eventually grow or outgrow their home?

yourchoice
04-18-2017, 09:07 AM
Kudos, Vin. This is a fascinating thread!

8lug
04-18-2017, 09:21 AM
Vin,
Very cool, best of luck. When you expect to have a surplus of honey?

stearns
04-18-2017, 09:39 AM
I'll keep reading this thread so long as the puns keep coming :D

massphatness
04-18-2017, 10:27 AM
Intrigued...I like the "bee words" like "apiary"...I'm simple like that...Serious question: Is "honey" the point?...I like honey...and cake...

Honestly, Grace & I were just looking for a low key hobby. Honey bees have always seemed interesting to me. The dynamic of the hive is fascinating. Add to it that it's an environmentally friendly endeavor. Honey bees are responsible for pollinating something like 70% of our food, and the bees are dying off for some reason. No more bees = way less food. If I can't have proper breakfast due to food shortages, you know that's going to be an issue, so I'm doing my very small part. The honey comes third. I'm actually most apprehensive about that piece of it. A healthy hive in ideal weather conditions can produce 120+ lbs of honey in a season. For perspective, a twelve ounce water bottle holds about a pound of honey. I don't have a strong desire to fill nearly a gross of bottles then figure out what the hell to do with them all. (On the plus side, honey does not go bad. It will crystallize when cold, but returns to it's gooey goodness when warmed.) In my reading, I came across a passage indicating people don't leave the hobby because of the bees, they leave because of the honey. So the short answer to your question, "is honey the point?" - I'd say no, at least for now.

Does the colony/hive eventually grow or outgrow their home?
The hive definitely grows! I started with about 10,00 bees. (Actually 9,874 but I think I miscounted a few.) It takes 21 days to produce new worker bees, and the amount of hive growth depends on a number of factors: supply of resources - nectar, pollen, water and is there room to grow? If we have a poor spring (wet/cold) and flowers bloom late, the hive won't grow as quickly. But if resources are in abundance, the colony will grow in size. If I'm doing things correctly, I'll be monitoring this and adding a second box of frames to accommodate the growth. A typical two-box hive ultimately supports 40,000 - 50,000 bees. And if they continue to grow the colony, that's when you can potentially have them swarm; not in a horror movie kind of way, but literally the queen takes half the colony and swarms out to find new digs. The other half of the colony remains behind, and having lost their queen, the workers create a new one.


Vin,
Very cool, best of luck. When you expect to have a surplus of honey?
With a brand new hive, it wouldn't be uncommon not to get much honey this year because the bees need to draw out all the comb for the new hive and fill their stores first. If we have a nice spring and a temperate summer, maybe we could see some excess late in the summer, but the key for us is making sure the bees are well stocked and fortified with a strong, healthy hive heading into the late fall because it's not unusual for beekeepers to lose 50% of their hives over the winter. That's fine, I guess, if you have 10+ hives. I just have one, so the bees eat first -- I can wait on the honey.



I am brand new to this and really just parroting back what I THINK know from the reading & research I've done as well as the 7-week bee class I attended. Yesterday was my first time do any of the stuff you see in the photos. Again, I THINK I'm doing things correctly, but if there are seasoned beekeepers here, it would be cool to hear from them.

icehog3
04-18-2017, 11:15 AM
You should just bring the hive inside for the winter so you don't lose 50%. :D

bonjing
04-18-2017, 11:57 AM
Holy crap Vin, that is all very cool! What are you going to name you honey farm and can we look forward to some of your honey in an upcoming troop support auction? :)

massphatness
04-18-2017, 12:05 PM
This link takes you to a short video of how the bees get into the hive. If you have the sound on, you'll here Grace say:

"There Go the Bees!" (https://flic.kr/p/TMByFV)

av8tor152d
04-18-2017, 12:09 PM
Very cool!

AdamJoshua
04-18-2017, 01:02 PM
This link takes you to a short video of how the bees get into the hive. If you have the sound on, you'll here Grace say:

"There Go the Bees!" (https://flic.kr/p/TMByFV)

Great video, yet all I can picture is Tom running toward the woods in a sleeveless shirt and flip flops. :lr


A stream or body of water Tom, look for a stream or body of water!!!!

stearns
04-18-2017, 01:06 PM
https://youtu.be/mUR14_ry1Zo

They're ripping my flesh off! Your firearms are useless against them!

massphatness
04-18-2017, 01:26 PM
What are you going to name you honey farm and can we look forward to some of your honey in an upcoming troop support auction? :)

Working title is "V'zzz & G'zzz Bees" :D

My daughter's boyfriend is working on a logo

stearns
04-18-2017, 01:50 PM
don't know if I want any Gizzz bees

AdamJoshua
04-18-2017, 02:40 PM
don't know if I want any Gizzz bees

Better than Bee gizzz

AdamJoshua
04-18-2017, 02:42 PM
Right away I pictured a muscular bee, with a cigar in the corner of his mouth, facing 3/4s, flexing with a tat for Grace and your family on the bicep... funny i can actually picture it heh

CigarNut
04-18-2017, 03:52 PM
Right away I pictured a muscular bee, with a cigar in the corner of his mouth, facing 3/4s, flexing with a tat for Grace and your family on the bicep... funny i can actually picture it heh

:tu :tu

icehog3
04-18-2017, 04:21 PM
Great video, yet all I can picture is Tom running toward the woods in a sleeveless shirt and flip flops. :lr


A stream or body of water Tom, look for a stream or body of water!!!!

Or I could just herf wearing Vin's hood and gloves. :D

bonjing
04-18-2017, 05:07 PM
The bee's didn't get angry with you shaking them? All I could think was Oh-chit he's shaking the bees :lv

massphatness
04-18-2017, 06:55 PM
The bee's didn't get angry with you shaking them? All I could think was Oh-chit he's shaking the bees :lv

Nope -- in fact, I wasn't shaking hard enough. They really just want to get into the hive and start doing bee stuff. Honey bees are pretty docile. It usually takes quite a bit for them to get aggressive.

G G
04-18-2017, 07:18 PM
Nope -- in fact, I wasn't shaking hard enough. They really just want to get into the hive and start doing bee stuff. Honey bees are pretty docile. It usually takes quite a bit for them to get aggressive.

Evidently being thirsty does the trick. Across the road from my house, the guy leases space on his land for beekeepers to stage the bees there awaiting transport to different locations. Last summer it was very dry, and the bees would come to my house to the water container for my outside dog. My wife got stung twice while going to check the mail.

BigAsh
04-19-2017, 07:53 AM
Nope -- in fact, I wasn't shaking hard enough. They really just want to get into the hive and start doing bee stuff. Honey bees are pretty docile. It usually takes quite a bit for them to get aggressive.

to be(e) tested in July no doubt....

icehog3
04-20-2017, 11:09 AM
Honey bees are pretty docile. It usually takes quite a bit for them to get aggressive.

Just like me! :noon

Evidently being thirsty does the trick. Across the road from my house, the guy leases space on his land for beekeepers to stage the bees there awaiting transport to different locations. Last summer it was very dry, and the bees would come to my house to the water container for my outside dog. My wife got stung twice while going to check the mail.

Water them goddammed bees, Vin! :eek:

IBQTEE1
04-20-2017, 12:35 PM
This is becoming a great thread to read.

Even with Grace getting stung she is still supporting this hobby. She is a tough cookie. :tu

Now I would like to see Tom in the hat and gloves.

And by the way isn't it jizz not gizz??

GreekGodX
04-22-2017, 10:58 AM
Yea I'm trying to figure out why I'm so invested in Vin's beehive success. This is great and such a cool hobby. I'm learning a lot.

markem
04-22-2017, 11:06 AM
Yea I'm trying to figure out why I'm so invested in Vin's beehive success. This is great and such a cool hobby. I'm learning a lot.

You live! How is Tom's son doing, anyway? Start another thread. :noon

massphatness
04-23-2017, 06:07 PM
Time for an update.

The plan, when installing a package of bees, is

1 - Install the queen cage in the hive
2 - Dump the bees into the hive
3 - Wait three days then inspect to be be sure the queen has both successfully eaten her way out of her cage & has been accepted by the hive (ie. they didn't kill her on exit)
4 - Wait another week (Day 10) and inspect for bee eggs

Originally, I was supposed to take delivery of the bees on April 10. Due to weather in the South (tornadoes and what not), that got pushed to April 17 as I had discussed previously. The April 10 date would have been damn near perfect for me from a New England weather standpoint, a work schedule standpoint and a personal time standpoint. I could have followed the schedule above pretty precisely.

Having instead received the bees and installed them on Monday, I was unable to do a queen cage inspection until today because Grace & I went on a mini vacation. We were both very excited to see what had been going on with the hive while we were away, and we didn't even bring our luggage into the house when we got home. Instead, we donned our bee gear, fired up the smoker, and went off to inspect the hive hoping to find a live & productive queen.


Have your speakers on to hear my panic in this video:

Queen Cage Inspection (https://flic.kr/p/U9Gj34)

markem
04-23-2017, 06:24 PM
What will you do about the space? Is that a huge comb or what?

massphatness
04-23-2017, 06:33 PM
Bees, when given a width of more than about 3/8" of an inch to work with (called bee space) start to fill in that space with honey comb. The whole point of the hive frames is to give the bees a manageable area for them to build out comb in an orderly fashion. What happened in the case of my hive is that the queen cage took up a slot where a frame would normally sit. The bees did what bees do, and instead of limiting their building to the frames, they also started hanging comb from the inner cover down into the empty space where a frame would normally reside.

So while it looks cool, it's unworkable because I can't have random comb hanging down into to the hive since I'll be doing periodic inspections, and the comb is eventually going to break and make a mess of things both in the hive & for me.

So here's what I'm dealing with:

https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2841/33844676540_56a731fa50.jpg


I had to make a decision, and after some gnashing of teeth and a few soothing words from Grace, we broke the comb away from the inner cover and brushed the bees back into the hive as best we could. With the comb gone, I easily inserted the frame where it would have been had the queen cage not been there.

The stress inducing part in all of this is that I couldn't find the queen. She comes marked with a dot -- literally a yellow sharpie dot on her back for ease of identification. But she could be anywhere within the hive, and it's pretty easy for a 5-thumbed bull in a china closet fat guy to inadvertently squash her.

As you saw in the video, I knew she had made it out of her cage. Here's a shot of the empty cage:

https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2948/33387000884_2139f814a1.jpg
The hole at the bottom was once filled with candy and capped with a bit of cork. The queen eats the candy from the inside of the cage while the worker bees eat from the outside (after I had removed the cork), and she walks through that hole after a few days.

But I still didn't know if she was alive or where she was in the hive.

I need to digress for a moment. I believe in karma. Call it God, Allah, Jesus, Mother Earth, Eywah - whatever, but I believe there is some force out there greater than all of us, and that if you do the right thing often enough, you are rewarded with the right thing being done back.

Sometimes this manifests itself in small ways. I spent a good couple hours on a plane ride today playing peekaboo and making funny faces with a kid who was probably 9 or 10 months old. If I stopped, the kid cried -- and I mean screamed -- so I kept it up all though the flight. It was actually a fun way to pass the time since JetBlue's internet service doesn't work over open ocean; plus I'm a goofy basterd at heart.

Anyway, Grace is watching me come unglued over the situation with the honey comb in the hive and the status of the queen when she looks down and right in front of her feet is the queen! As near I can tell, she must have been in the mass of bees on the comb and fallen to the ground. Grace happened to notice a few bees on the ground, and one of them also happened to be the queen! Karma? Coincidence? No matter - I very gingerly picked her up by having her walk on to my bee brush & transported her back into the hive.

pnoon
04-23-2017, 06:49 PM
Very cool, Vin.
Bees, and stinging insects, make me very nervous. But I can certainly enjoy the experience through your efforts.

They are fascinating creatures.

longknocker
04-23-2017, 06:49 PM
Bees, when given a width of more than about 3/8" of an inch to work with (called bee space) start to fill in that space with honey comb. The whole point of the hive frames is to give the bees a manageable area for them to build out comb in an orderly fashion. What happened in the case of my hive is that the queen cage took up a slot where a frame would normally sit. The bees did what bees do, and instead of limiting their building to the frames, they also started hanging comb from the inner cover down into the empty space where a frame would normally reside.

So while it looks cool, it's unworkable because I can't have random comb hanging down into to the hive since I'll be doing periodic inspections, and the comb is eventually going to break and make a mess of things both in the hive & for me.

So here's what I'm dealing with:

https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2841/33844676540_56a731fa50.jpg


I had to make a decision, and after some gnashing of teeth and a few soothing words from Grace, we broke the comb away from the inner cover and brushed the bees back into the hive as best we could. With the comb gone, I easily inserted the frame where it would have been had the queen cage not been there.

The stress inducing part in all of this is that I couldn't find the queen. She comes marked with a dot -- literally a yellow sharpie dot on her back for ease of identification. But she could be anywhere within the hive, and it's pretty easy for a 5-thumbed bull in a china closet fat guy to inadvertently squash her.

As you saw in the video, I knew she had made it out of her cage. Here's a shot of the empty cage:

https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2948/33387000884_2139f814a1.jpg
The hole at the bottom was once filled with candy and capped with a bit of cork. The queen eats the candy from the inside of the cage while the worker bees eat from the outside (after I had removed the cork), and she walks through that hole after a few days.

But I still didn't know if she was alive or where she was in the hive.

I need to digress for a moment. I believe in karma. Call it God, Allah, Jesus, Mother Earth, Eywah - whatever, but I believe there is some force out there greater than all of us, and that if you do the right thing often enough, you are rewarded with the right thing being done back.

Sometimes this manifests itself in small ways. I spent a good couple hours on a plane ride today playing peekaboo and making funny faces with a kid who was probably 9 or 10 months old. If I stopped, the kid cried -- and I mean screamed -- so I kept it up all though the flight. It was actually a fun way to pass the time since JetBlue's internet service doesn't work over open ocean; plus I'm a goofy basterd at heart.

Anyway, Grace is watching me come unglued over the situation with the honey comb in the hive and the status of the queen when she looks down and right in front of her feet is the queen! As near I can tell, she must have been in the mass of bees on the comb and fallen to the ground. Grace happened to notice a few bees on the ground, and one of them also happened to be the queen! Karma? Coincidence? No matter - I very gingerly picked her up by having her walk on to my bee brush & transported her back into the hive.

:tu Good On You, Brother!:D

markem
04-23-2017, 06:50 PM
The Queen Bee found the queen bee. Karma.

massphatness
04-23-2017, 07:13 PM
One final photo.

I was able to closely inspect the honey comb we separated from the top board, and I found bee eggs!! This is HUGE because it confirms that the queen is doing her job.

The eggs are the little tiny rice-like protrusions jutting up from the bottom of the comb.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2949/33386999564_67bc516427.jpg

The worker bees will tend to the eggs, and they'll go through a larval and pupa stage after which they will metamorphasis into a honey bee. The whole process takes about 21 days, and I hope to have some additional photos of the various brood stages in future updates.

For now, I need to leave them "bee" and let them do their thing. I'll check them again in about a week & top off the feeder frame. Once the spring flowers start to bloom in earnest here, there won't be any further need for that as the bees will forage for nectar and pollen in the wild.

markem
04-23-2017, 07:16 PM
Ah Vin, they look just like you. You must be so proud ;)

AdamJoshua
04-23-2017, 07:19 PM
Very cool I actually was like "what .. there has to be more!!" when the video ended. :tu Riveting stuff to say the least, as we all live vicariously though you and Grace.

I was wondering, what are you using in the smoker? When I was younger we went to visit a guy that had dozens of hives and he was using pine needles and the the smoke was everywhere he flooded them with it, in the video you couldn't see that much smoke, why I asked.

Also are you going to get a spinner to spin out the honey or is that only for larger operations? so many questions :lr

massphatness
04-23-2017, 08:23 PM
I use some punk wood for the smoker -- it produces a very light smoke. You can over-smoke the bees. They get used to the smoke, and start to ignore it. I figure I can always get it smokier if I need it.

As for extracting honey, my plan is to take it to a professional to have it done. I don't want to invest in one, even a hand cranked model at this point. Down the road, I could see it though.

CigarNut
04-23-2017, 09:06 PM
Very cool, Vin!

bonjing
04-24-2017, 10:21 AM
Thanks for keeping us updated Vin.

What happens to the queen if you didn't find her? Would she not find her way back into the hive?

IBQTEE1
04-24-2017, 11:25 AM
This is so cool to read. Not a big honey fan but it is an amazing process.

massphatness
04-24-2017, 12:33 PM
What happens to the queen if you didn't find her? Would she not find her way back into the hive?

Kinda' unknown -- she wasn't buzzing around. She was literally walking across the ground in front of the hive. She can fly, so maybe she would have just flown back in the hive.

Under different circumstances, it the hive was more established, it wouldn't be a big deal. Queens die; life happens. When she goes, the worker bees simply create a new queen. But they need an egg that the previous queen laid, and the egg has to be a certain age. With my hive, I don't know if there would have been proper eggs from which to choose.

All eggs start with the potential to be queens:

* If the queen doesn't fertilize an egg, it will develop into a drone (male) bee. All queens are female.

* In the beginning all eggs are fed this goop called royal jelly -- it's produced by the bees from special glands in their head. After 3 days, the workers switch to feeding the eggs a honey mixture EXCEPT if they're making a queen. Fertilized eggs destined for the throne are fed ONLY royal jelly. Eggs weened off the royal jelly develop into regular female worker bees.

pnoon
04-24-2017, 01:14 PM
Vin said "royal jelly"

:r

longknocker
04-30-2017, 07:42 AM
Vin said "royal jelly"

:r

Interesting Article About "Royal Jelly".
https://www.wired.com/2015/09/royal-jelly-isnt-makes-queen-bee-queen-bee/

Don Fernando
04-30-2017, 09:05 AM
ARE THOSE ****ING BEES???

HOLY ****!!!

I'm a little jittery, please excuse my outburst.

Bees, Gurkhas, is there anything you're not afraid of??

sigsauer
04-30-2017, 09:26 AM
any pics?

massphatness
04-30-2017, 03:42 PM
Interesting Article About "Royal Jelly".
https://www.wired.com/2015/09/royal-jelly-isnt-makes-queen-bee-queen-bee/

Cool article - thanks for the info

More pics early next week. I have to check the feeder frame and possibly remove it now that flowers have started to bloom. Also need to check on how much comb has been built out in the frames. That will determine if I need to add another box.
Posted via Mobile Device

icehog3
05-01-2017, 11:58 AM
Bees, Gurkhas, is there anything you're not afraid of??

The Dutch? :D

massphatness
05-01-2017, 05:41 PM
Opened up the hive today to check on two key things:

#1 - Did the girls have enough sugar syrup in the feeder frame?

#2 - How much progress had they made on building out frames of honey comb?

Flowers are just starting to bloom in this area, and while I "think" there's enough natural nectar and pollen to be had, the feeder frame was just about dry. We refilled it just to be sure the bees had an ample supply of carbs. Pollen patty is getting worked through as well. My thinking is we can eliminate both in the next week to ten days.

Cool to see how much progress they're making on drawing out frames of comb. Of the 9 frames that are in the hive currently, it looks like they've made significant progress on filling the front & back of about 3.5 of them. The number would be higher if they had been working on frames instead of free-form building the comb in the space where the queen cage had previously been. But from what I can see, they are right on schedule.

I had posted pics of bee eggs previously. As the days have gone by, those eggs are now further developing in the larval stage. You can see bee larva in the comb in this photo. It's the curled up grub-like white mass at the bottom of the comb. The different size larva, I assume, indicates different ages with the larger larva having developed from eggs laid earlier in the process than the smaller ones. Educated guess on that.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2852/34233676352_fa9feb05e4.jpg

Another interesting thing in the photo above is the relative size of a drone (male) bee to his chiquita worker bee counterparts. The drone is the big, burly fellow in the top quarter of the photo with the massive girth and huge eyes.

At some point in the larval stage -- around day 7 or 8 after being laid as an egg -- the bees will ensconce or "cap" the comb. It's kinda' like a caterpillar going into it's cocoon. The rest of the development process takes place over the next two weeks within the capped comb where the larva will pupate and metamorphosize into an adult bee.

You can see the capped comb in this photo.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2941/33550470714_3c92a4bed6.jpg

The capping is made of the same bees wax as the comb itself, and while it appears very light & yellowish here, as the queen re-uses the comb for subsequent bees it will darken over time until it becomes almost black.

Super happy to see the bees are raising a lot of new siblings. The population of the hive has been slowly decreasing since the bees arrived. That's because it takes about three weeks for a new bee to form, but it looks like we're maybe 10-12 days from reversing that as new bees should start emerging around then. Really hoping I can grab some video of a bee eating it's way out of its cell.

And while this has been going on, the bees have also been making honey. They have to -- it's what they eat. The process is pretty complex and involves mixing nectar and pollen and water in the right amounts, then fanning it with their wings until it achieves a ratio of about 80% sugar and 18% water. Remaining 2% is made up of minerals, proteins, and some bee parts. :)

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4168/34350487676_de26a57884.jpg

The honey is capped just like the brood is capped. Capping the honey allows the bees to safely store it until they need it for food down the line.

massphatness
05-01-2017, 05:58 PM
You'll recall I panicked not being able to locate the queen bee during my initial hive inspection. No such problem today! Ms. Thing was right where she should be: in the middle of the hive at the center of activity.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4182/34392206505_12c94676f5_z.jpg

The apiary that sold me the bees marks their queens with a colored dot. The marking helps me to more easily pick out the queen in a vibrating mass of bees on a frame, but also it references her year of birth. I just have the one hive, but if I had several, I'd want to keep track of the age of my queen because as they get older, they begin to slow down the rate of egg laying, and it might be time to introduce a new queen to that colony. The colored dot system is supposed to be consistent among apiaries, so all yellow dot queens should be from 2017. Queens hatched in 2018 will be coded with a red dot. 2019 will be green.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4189/34392205425_19bece7be6_z.jpg

pnoon
05-01-2017, 06:21 PM
So cool.

G G
05-01-2017, 06:27 PM
:tu

markem
05-01-2017, 06:27 PM
Very cool, Vin.

G G
05-01-2017, 06:28 PM
We have bees that are placed all over the woods here by beekeepers. A friend of mine had his own a few years ago, not sure if he still has them or not.

longknocker
05-01-2017, 06:34 PM
Awesome!:D:tu

Greentud
05-01-2017, 07:53 PM
Wicked pissa stuff.

markem
05-01-2017, 08:04 PM
http://www.cigarasylum.com/vb/attachment.php?attachmentid=17673&stc=1&d=1493687068

massphatness
05-01-2017, 09:20 PM
Truth
Posted via Mobile Device

BigAsh
05-02-2017, 08:07 AM
Damn son, you're "all in" on this...Nice...

Don Fernando
05-02-2017, 08:42 AM
The Dutch? :D

we are a pretty peaceful people, so there is no need to be.

8lug
05-02-2017, 08:44 AM
Very cool Vin.

yourchoice
05-02-2017, 10:40 AM
Great stuff, Vin. Very interesting.

CigarNut
05-02-2017, 11:06 AM
Very cool, Vin!

IBQTEE1
05-02-2017, 11:32 AM
Glad you answered my question about knowing which one was the queen. I am so into this now.

icehog3
05-02-2017, 11:37 AM
So when you introduce a new queen to the hive, what happens to the current queen, Vin?

massphatness
05-02-2017, 12:03 PM
So when you introduce a new queen to the hive, what happens to the current queen, Vin?

A colony will often introduce a new queen to the hive themselves if they sense the old queen is slowing down because her egg laying production drops or pheromones aren't as strong. They literally raise a new queen. Since the new queen comes from an egg laid by the old queen, they are often allowed to co-exist in the hive as genetically they are mother/daughter. If the hive doesn't WANT two queens, they kill the older one once the younger one is established.

The above is wholly based on what I learned in the classes I took, and doesn't represent any firsthand experiences. However, many of the blogs I follow seem to confirm it.

AdamJoshua
05-02-2017, 12:30 PM
A colony will often introduce a new queen to the hive themselves if they sense the old queen is slowing down because her egg laying production drops or pheromones aren't as strong. They literally raise a new queen. Since the new queen comes from an egg laid by the old queen, they are often allowed to co-exist in the hive as genetically they are mother/daughter. If the hive doesn't WANT two queens, they kill the older one once the younger one is established.

The above is wholly based on what I learned in the classes I took, and doesn't represent any firsthand experiences. However, many of the blogs I follow seem to confirm it.

Too and this doesn't work with ex wives and new wives .. would make things o much simpler.... and cheaper too.

Thanks for the posts and pictures, a lot of very cool stuff here. :tu

Tio Gato
05-02-2017, 04:21 PM
Vin, this thread is awesome. I'm sure that if you bring the same passion you have for cigars to this you'll have great success.

I was wondering what your dog thinks of this. I forgot that sweeties name:confused:. I'm so looking forward to seeing the hive. Hope there will be a lecture (in full bee uniform)!:tu

massphatness
05-02-2017, 06:25 PM
Jayda's been outside and near the hive, but hasn't really shown any interest in it. My guess is the bees will let her know if she's becoming a nuisance. :)

icehog3
05-03-2017, 10:51 AM
Too and this doesn't work with ex wives and new wives .. would make things o much simpler.... and cheaper too.



Beat me to it. :r

massphatness
05-06-2017, 10:07 AM
Bring Out Your Dead!

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4162/33644612874_e16ba07be0_c.jpg

Bees die after about 6 weeks. And those that live like to keep a tidy hive.

Usually the worker bees will drag the bodies of their fallen brothers & sisters out of the hive and fly off a bit to drop them away from the hive. But it's been raining, and bees don't like the rain, so they've deposited the cadavers on their front porch for the time being.

pnoon
05-06-2017, 12:14 PM
Bring Out Your Dead!

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4162/33644612874_e16ba07be0_c.jpg

Bees die after about 6 weeks. And those that live like to keep a tidy hive.

Usually the worker bees will drag the bodies of their fallen brothers & sisters out of the hive and fly off a bit to drop them away from the hive. But it's been raining, and bees don't like the rain, so they've deposited the cadavers on their front porch for the time being.

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/0d/c0/ad/0dc0adc947663e9bf31365edde44424c.gif

shilala
05-06-2017, 04:19 PM
A colony will often introduce a new queen to the hive themselves if they sense the old queen is slowing down because her egg laying production drops or pheromones aren't as strong. They literally raise a new queen. Since the new queen comes from an egg laid by the old queen, they are often allowed to co-exist in the hive as genetically they are mother/daughter. If the hive doesn't WANT two queens, they kill the older one once the younger one is established.

The above is wholly based on what I learned in the classes I took, and doesn't represent any firsthand experiences. However, many of the blogs I follow seem to confirm it.
That's what it is, Vin, but it gets bigger.
Most times the girls will feed up a number of ladies with royal jelly, turning them into queens.
When the very first queen erupts, she runs around and chews the heads off the other queens while they're still in the comb.
That also depends.
Generally she'll eat all their heads. If she leaves one, she has reason.
Mostly it's hive strength.

This is cool...
You know how you're to NEVER set a hive in the shade because "the bees get aggressive"?
And this is partly my personal feeling or theory mixed with my own stuff from studying and working with critters and sh1t my entire life.
It's hive temperature.
Bees are extremely intelligent and sensitive.
If something has happened to the hive that's caused the population to be just right for the hive, the new queen eats some serious heads.
If it's low, and the hive is going to swarm, maybe a new queen.
Depends. Large, healthy colony or sick small one?

Small and sick, Likely an extra queen. I case.
The hive will swarm to find a smaller home that they can support with their population, move in, recover and survive to grow. Or not. Depends how sick they got. You understand susceptibility, I won't blather on that.

Healthy hive. They move because it's too hot or too cold and they get b1tchy, exactly like we do.
The standing queen will let a queen live, and maybe two. One to replace her. Depends on her age. Another wrinkly but that's not gonna happen often, the "let 2 new queens live".

That's enough typing.
And this stuff is obviously deeper, but I know you'll think it into submission. Or call me.
But it's temperature in the hive.
You can use the same question to answer "why does part of the hive swarm sometimes, but the whole swarms sometimes?"
You won't find an answer for that anywhere. Or maybe you will now. That was the 64 dollar question years ago.
But it's easy enough to figure out.
Temperature.

shilala
05-06-2017, 04:33 PM
Oh, the new queen thing, also temperature induced in most cases. Or in all.
A young queen can take the stress. The old one can't.
Temperature causes the slowing egg production, too.

shilala
05-06-2017, 04:36 PM
Vin said "royal jelly"

:r
Come to Butthead.
:lr :lr :lr

longknocker
05-07-2017, 05:15 AM
Interesting Stuff On Bees, My Friends!:D:tu

longknocker
05-07-2017, 05:19 AM
Some New Information I Found:
http://www.buzzaboutbees.net/swarmingbees.html

massphatness
05-07-2017, 07:47 PM
Appreciate all the great info - guys: thanks!

Was able to observe the hive a great deal this weekend while spreading what seemed like a metric ton of bark mulch in the yard.

It was pretty cool to see the bees coming back to the hive carrying pollen balls. They actually have an area on their hind legs called a pollen basket, and as they collect pollen during their foraging, they roll it together in a ball and carry it in the pollen basket. Was reading they can carry their weight in pollen, and an average colony will collect 100 pounds of it during the course of a season.
https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4171/34134468460_7df697ebc6_z.jpg

And here's one of the girls working a basket of hanging flowers I put near the hive. You can see she is carrying a pollen ball too.
https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2827/34389982981_4e5d7abda2_z.jpg

massphatness
05-07-2017, 07:58 PM
We opened up the hive tonight to remove the feeder frame and replace it with a regular frame.

The bees had been building some comb in the open space between the inner cover and the tops of the frames. That's because I was using a one-inch spacer board to allow the bees access to the pollen patty. I removed that as well -- they seem to be gathering sufficient resources and the patty is no longer needed. With the spacer board gone, the inner cover will sit just above the frames, and there won't be sufficient space for the bees to build excess comb. Now they fully concentrate on building the frames.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4189/34390030841_3af3a42003_z.jpg

Took my first sting tonight while chiseling the comb off the inner cover. I suppose it had to happen sooner or later. My fault for wearing shorts. Got me just below the knee. Felt barley more than a mosquito bite though.

Saving all the comb for future use (lots of uses for beeswax, but you need A LOT of it).

AdamJoshua
05-07-2017, 08:58 PM
Awesome pics and information. Love at First Sting- great Scorpions album btw.

Tom, remember wear shirts with sleeves and no shorts, you might wanna invest in actual shoes as well. :lr

jonumberone
05-08-2017, 07:04 AM
My fault for wearing shorts.

No. it's your fault for placing a swarm of bees on your lawn. :2

icehog3
05-08-2017, 11:38 AM
Sleeves. Check.
Jeans. Check.
Shoes. Check.
Pollen balls. Ch....wait, what?

BigAsh
05-08-2017, 04:21 PM
Took my first sting tonight while chiseling the comb off the inner cover. I suppose it had to happen sooner or later. My fault for wearing shorts. Got me just below the knee. Felt barley more than a mosquito bite though.



I've seen those legs...that's a lot of "dermis"...surprised you felt it at all! :D

markem
05-08-2017, 04:40 PM
Nice, Vin, transitioning to a fully functional setup!

I find that honey bee stings are easily ignored. Bumble bee stings less so and hornets are just asking for a MADD (Mutually Assured Destruction) response.

IBQTEE1
05-09-2017, 11:28 AM
Wow, I didn't realize there is so much prep when it comes to this.

I am learning a ton.

Steve
05-09-2017, 11:49 AM
Wow, I didn't realize there is so much prep when it comes to this.

It's enough to keep someone "beezy"

:D

shade
05-13-2017, 08:41 AM
Freaking awesome, Vin. Looks like you and Grace are well on your way to parenting 60,000 or so young girls. :tu

I almost think that you should just let them keep all their honey, at least to the point where you end up with more
than one hive. Then maybe start taking some for daddy. I don't know if anyone really knows just how to keep the
bees around forever when they can't figure out what's really going on yet. In any case, you are a guy that goes over-
board to be kind, I am sure it will work out.

Agree. Conditions almost have to be perfect weather wise, to be able to 'rob' honey from a first year hive. A lot depends on how you want to manage your hive(s). You can take honey from your girls, but you'll most assuredly have to supplement their stores in late summer with a sugar solution. Personally I'm not a fan of this, but lots of beekeepers do this with great success. I would take one frame of honey though to reward all your hard work, Vin. :)



Do bees do ok with cigar smoke?

There are some theories out there that say if you add a cigar leaf or two to your smoker, the natural insecticide in tobacco will help keep the varroa destructors (parasitic mites) at bay. Doubtful at best. I've done hive inspections without any protection other than a good Cuban cigar. Works sometimes. :sl



I wish I was a bee.

You are beeutiful Tom, or a beeut as it were. ;)

Nope -- in fact, I wasn't shaking hard enough. They really just want to get into the hive and start doing bee stuff. Honey bees are pretty docile. It usually takes quite a bit for them to get aggressive.

Spring and Summer inspections are 'easy'. Just wait until they are defending their honey. :hy

icehog3
05-13-2017, 10:58 PM
Spring and Summer inspections are 'easy'. Just wait until they are defending their honey. :hy

Hopefully they don't defend until August or later, Mark? :D :r

shade
05-14-2017, 05:40 AM
Hopefully they don't defend until August or later, Mark? :D :r

You might be hitting prime time, Tom :D

In the halls of justice they say 'If it doesn't fit, you must acquit'

In the bee world it's 'If there's a drought, look out' ;)

icehog3
05-14-2017, 04:21 PM
You might be hitting prime time, Tom :D

In the halls of justice they say 'If it doesn't fit, you must acquit'

In the bee world it's 'If there's a drought, look out' ;)

**** it, I've been stung by hornets and wasps, this will bee a cake walk! :D

massphatness
05-16-2017, 09:06 AM
Did a hive inspection this past weekend. (There's some video, but I need to edit it down so my Flickr account to accept it.)

The bees have drawn out about 50% of the frames, and new bees are starting to emerge from the brood comb.

Will be checking again later this week because once they've drawn out 80% of the frames in the current box, I need to add a second box.

Grace took a couple bee stings for the team. :D No video of that, unfortunately.

Will try to get the video up in the next day or so because there's some cool activity going on in the hive.

BigAsh
05-16-2017, 11:44 AM
Is a second box considered a "new hive"?...Will the first box get jealous and angry if caught playing with the second box?...

massphatness
05-16-2017, 12:09 PM
Second box creates a larger hive. A strong, healthy hive generally has two boxes of 10 frames each and approximately 50-60,000 honey bees. (All of which are programmed to swarm on July 15.)

BigAsh
05-16-2017, 12:35 PM
that's a LOT of bees!....do errant bean bags agitate the masses and can we smear honey on anyone traveling from CT??

Conch Republican
05-16-2017, 01:14 PM
Right away I pictured a muscular bee, with a cigar in the corner of his mouth, facing 3/4s, flexing with a tat for Grace and your family on the bicep... funny i can actually picture it heh

Can you draw it? THATS what we need

Mastercylinder
05-16-2017, 04:31 PM
you're already getting honey out of this? very cool, can't wait for some pics Vin.

massphatness
05-16-2017, 05:12 PM
No honey yet. Or at least know honey that I can use. All the honey that's being produced right now is for the bees themselves.
Posted via Mobile Device

icehog3
05-16-2017, 05:16 PM
I like Keith's CT idea. ;) :D

massphatness
05-16-2017, 08:12 PM
https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4170/34544040102_4d2d4d665d_c.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/UCxeCj)

Clicking on the photo above should bring you to the hive inspection video from this past Saturday. A few things to note:

* My dopey dog tries to eat a bee right at the beginning of the video. Fortunately, she fails.

* The camera work is a little shaky. Grace got me a GoPro for Christmas, and this was our first time using it. Will need to have a steadier and slower hand in the future. Tried to cut out as much of the nausea-inducing scenes as possible. :)

* You really get a sense for how the bees don't give a sh!t about us poking around. Some of them are buzzing about, of course, but for the most part they're just focused on doing their bee thing.

* Need to figure out how to capture individuals images from the video because there's some good shots of brood cells and honey cells, but the video progresses too quickly to see them clearly.

jrw
05-16-2017, 08:34 PM
Vin, this is the first of your several videos that has played for me, so my first chance to see what it is that you're doing. Most interesting. It's surprising that so little smoke is needed to keep the bees docile. Or maybe they just shrug their bee shoulders and think, "Eh, this guy again," I dunno.

BigAsh
05-17-2017, 08:09 AM
Helmet cam needed!....and love the shirt tucked into the sweatpants, its a good look on you...Dumb question: Is the "honey-comb shape" already on the frames, or do the bees make that with such precision?

massphatness
05-17-2017, 08:16 AM
Fashion is secondary to preventing bees flying up open shirts, pants, shorts, etc. :D

The frames I use are pre-printed with a very light raised honeycomb pattern & the bees build off that. Without it, they would still build out comb in the general shape, but it wouldn't be as tidy.

The comb from this earlier photo was built free-form and was not on a frame. You can see they still build it in the typical honeycomb shape.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2949/33386999564_67bc516427.jpg

AdamJoshua
05-17-2017, 08:34 AM
For stills I have always found going frame by frame on a computer and doing screen caps works well.

I couldn't get within 50 yards of that box of death, I'd be gassing them like I was Assad on a Saturday night partying with my buddy the Grand General Khamenei Pooh Bah of Iran, not just spritzing them with a little smoke.

That being said a honey lemon BBQ sauce on ribs with honey right from the source does sound tantalizingly good.

BigAsh
05-17-2017, 09:11 AM
Fashion is secondary to preventing bees flying up open shirts, pants, shorts, etc. :D

The frames I use are pre-printed with a very light raised honeycomb pattern & the bees build off that. Without it, they would still build out comb in the general shape, but it wouldn't be as tidy.

The comb from this earlier photo was built free-form and was not on a frame. You can see they still build it in the typical honeycomb shape.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2949/33386999564_67bc516427.jpg

not sure why I find this so fascinating ...but I do...:tu

bonjing
05-17-2017, 09:49 AM
Still very cool Vin and thanks for keeping this updated! And your pup is cute. Have you tasted any honey out of the hive yet? I know I wouldn't be able to resist once I saw the honey production.

Does the dog bother the hive?

massphatness
05-17-2017, 10:17 AM
I won't be taking honey out of the hive until much later this summer, if at all this year. As this is a new hive, my number one priority is to make sure the hive is strong and healthy. Part of that is ensuring the bees have enough food stores (pollen & honey) to overwinter in snowy New England.

If I get lucky, there might be some surplus honey in the fall, and that would be completely awesome. Too early to tell yet, though.

The dog doesn't bother the hive. She's sniffed around a bit, and I am absolutely certain the bees will let her know if she's making a pest of herself. :D So far though, all is good. (Grace's sister has a lab mix puppy that found out first hand why you don't stick your snuffler in the hive. She didn't go near it again after that experience.)

Tio Gato
05-17-2017, 11:38 AM
Second box creates a larger hive. A strong, healthy hive generally has two boxes of 10 frames each and approximately 50-60,000 honey bees. (All of which are programmed to swarm on July 15.)

Now we'll learn just how fast Tom can run.:D

BigAsh
05-17-2017, 11:44 AM
The dog doesn't bother the hive. She's sniffed around a bit, and I am absolutely certain the bees will let her know if she's making a pest of herself. :D So far though, all is good. (Grace's sister has a lab mix puppy that found out first hand why you don't stick your snuffler in the hive. She didn't go near it again after that experience.)

Hmmm...if only you'd learn likewise....just my 2 copper penny's worth...:D

Conch Republican
05-17-2017, 06:39 PM
Wow

massphatness
05-19-2017, 12:40 PM
While setting up a sprinkler the other night, I inadvertently showered the hive for a few moments. Not the hugest of deals because it's covered, but I did witness something pretty interesting take place immediately afterwards. Once the water cut off, the bees instantly started scurrying about, drinking up the water and bringing it inside the hive for later use.

The video below is less than 10 seconds long, and you may have to loop through a few times, but you'll see a bee right near the bottom of the frame extend her tongue to suck up the water. On a relative basis, Gene Simmons has nothing on bees! The tongue rolls out of their mouth sorta' like a New Years Eve noisemaker.

(Sorry for the eye strain on the video - I really have to figure out how to get better at this)

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4169/34757427125_d68fdc7cb3_o.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/UXoU9V)

markem
05-19-2017, 03:04 PM
I think that CA should take up a collection to install a "bee cam" at Vin's place so that we can check out the hive(s) any time.

8zeros
05-20-2017, 10:08 AM
I learned beekeeping as a kid on an orchard. My wife wanted to start a few hives until I pointed out how we don't even have enough time for all the chores we have already. Maybee when we retire, which is getting sooner.

markem
05-21-2017, 12:41 PM
Hey Vin, bees from National Geographic!

http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/magazine/150415-ngm-bees

jrw
05-21-2017, 12:45 PM
Theif stole $1 million worth of hives.

https://www.usatoday.com/videos/news/nation/2017/05/18/beehive-thief-busted-fresno-authorities/101816412/

IBQTEE1
05-22-2017, 10:23 AM
Still so cool to watch and read everything.

massphatness
05-22-2017, 02:21 PM
Last Friday Grace & I did a hive inspection to gauge the girl's progress in building out the remaining frames in the brood box. They're doing great, and have filled 75%-80% of the frames with drawn comb, so it's time to add a second box.

The second box is identical to the first: 10 frames for them to build on. As they finish off their work on the first box, the bees will move up into the second and continue to build.

The whole point of this is to grow a strong, stable, healthy hive with ample space for both resources and brood. The queen will continue to lay eggs in the second box, and the bees will also produce honey & store pollen in there as well. And as I mentioned before, the honey in these boxes are for the bees to use to feed themselves and nourish the new larva. It's not for me to harvest. That'll come down the road only after they've successfully built out the second box to capacity.

Here's what the hive looks like now:
https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4200/34631177951_5d3f21226d_z.jpg




Wanted to document some of the more interesting finds during the inspection.

This is a frame of comb that has been nearly 100% built out.

If you look along the left side, you'll see some open "uncapped" comb with little crescent shaped larva in it. They’re the white-ish things in the comb that look a little like a slug.
Just to the right of the larva is capped brood comb. It’s the butter yellow comb in the left third of the frame. The brood comb has a slightly raised texture to it. After the larva reach a certain point, the worker bees cap their comb to allow them to pupate and grow into adult bees much like a caterpillar develops into a butterfly while in its chrysalis.
In the center of the frame, you can see the buttery yellow comb changes both in color and texture. The darker colored capped comb is stored honey. The capping has a slight indentation to it vs. the raised quality of the brood comb. Don’t know why this is, but it’s one of the ways of telling what kind of comb you’re looking at.
Along the very bottom edge of the frame, notice the puffed up individual combs that are somewhat bullet shaped. This is brood comb, but instead of worker bees, male drones are developing in there. Drones are larger than workers and need a larger space in which to develop. For the most part, drone brood comb is found at the edges of the frame and in much, much fewer numbers than worker brood.
The empty comb to the far right probably had honey in it, or it may have had brood. The darker color of the comb tells me it’s been used before. Bees “polish” the comb after each use, and this polishing turns the comb darker. What I don’t know & need to research is do the bees reuse comb cells strictly for the same purpose? For example, if it starts out as a brood comb, does it forever stay a brood comb, or do they change it up at times and put honey in a comb that once housed brood?
https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4189/34631179051_fb53f873f1_z.jpg


The photo below is a closer view of the brood comb (both open & capped) from a different frame in the hive.
You can see the bees have stored pollen in the comb cells along the right hand side of the photo. They pack the pollen down into the comb with their heads. Pollen is their protein source and a key component in honey production as well. In fact, they flavor and color of honey will be directly impacted by the type of pollen the bees bring back from their foraging flights each day.
The open comb cells in the middle of the capped brood are cells from which a new worker bee has recently emerged. Upon entering the world, the first thing a new bee does is clean and polish her cell so it’s ready to be reused as soon as needed.
https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4195/34631181111_42b67fca57_z.jpg


This final pic shows capped honey in the upper two-thirds of frame. (The lower left corner of the photo looks to be brood.) You can get a sense for the dimpling inward texture of the capping on the honey cells. The hollowed out comb cells are empty, having been used as food for the hive.
https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4227/34631180171_7213103ec2_z.jpg


Will check the hive in another couple weeks or so to see what kind of progress they're making on the new box. The pace should really start to ramp up now as new bees are emerging every day.

croatan
05-22-2017, 02:24 PM
Still loving this thread. Thanks, Vin!

stearns
05-22-2017, 02:40 PM
Awesome update, thanks Vin. If I need a favor from a good apiarist (https://youtu.be/rGKbwN8Ceew) I know who to call :tu

AdamJoshua
05-22-2017, 06:07 PM
Bees are so damn efficient. Thanks for the entertaining and enlightening updates!

Mikepd
05-22-2017, 08:46 PM
Hey Vin, I know you brought in a queen from the same "farm" as the stock of bees when you started this hive earlier in the spring, but have you seen any signs of any queen cells in the bottom box? I'd be interested to see if your first new generation of brood rejects the queen now that you put in the second box up top if she refuses to move to the new comb they make. As far as cell reuse, a lot of times if the "paper" of the cocoons that previously hatched are still in cells, they will only place eggs in there, while former storage cells (from pollen or honey) they'll reuse for anything.
Your hive is looking good and I'm glad to see such a lively hive with the crazy weather we have gotten over the past month.

massphatness
05-23-2017, 07:26 AM
Mike! Holy crap - been a long time! Who knew you were a bee keeper!

Was concerned about the bees rejecting the queen initially, but I found her in three of the first four inspections I did. She's marked with a yellow dot on her back, so I know it's her.

Thanks for the info on how cells are reused.

Tio Gato
05-23-2017, 08:29 AM
Simply amazing Vin! Please keep the pics and vids coming. It's wicked pissa!:D

yourchoice
05-23-2017, 12:25 PM
I find this thread very entertaining and can't wait for the updates. Good stuff, Vin.

Mikepd
05-23-2017, 02:18 PM
Vin- good to hear they all like her, keep the photos coming and when some honey is ready, I'd love to try it.

shade
05-23-2017, 03:48 PM
Hey Vin. Great shots of your frames. Your queen is really laying a nice brood pattern, and she's really phat to boot. :D

What I find fascinating is how quickly the bees get their house in order, from drawing comb, to gathering pollen and nectar, and raising brood.

I had a swarm come and take residence in an empty three box hive two weeks ago. Checked on their progress Sunday, and they had already filled two boxes with honey!! Timing is everything I guess. In our location we were in the middle of a tulip poplar, and locust bloom when they arrived. Seems they know what to do and when to do it, and the girls got me three times in my hands. Felt great!

bonjing
05-24-2017, 11:38 AM
Who needs guns when you have bees!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEteC_M1154

shark
05-24-2017, 04:38 PM
Then you have dipshits like this:


Man facing 10 felony charges after allegedly stealing thousands of bee hives



Police believe Tveretinov stole around $875,000 worth of bees



A California man has been arrested on 10 felony counts of possession of stolen property this week after cops say he stole thousands of bee hives worth nearly $1 million.
Pavel Tveretinov was booked into the Fresno County Jail on Monday by sheriff's deputies who allege the Sacramento man stole hives from California as well as other states over the last few years.
Investigators also believe that, in addition to keeping some of the bees himself, the 51-year-old sent some of the approximately 2,500 stolen hives to farms in multiple states, where renters paid him fees in exchange for the borrowed pollinators.


All told, police believe Tveretinov stole around $875,000 worth of bees over the last three years.
Tveretinov was initially booked into the Madera County Jail with a bail of $10,000 in April. He later posted the necessary bond and was released.
"[Investigators] found stolen bee hives at two other locations in Fresno County," the Fresno County Sheriff's Office said in a statement on Facebook. "It is believed Tveretinov is responsible for stealing these hives during the last three years from various parts of California. He would then redistribute them to different places in California, as well as other states, and collect money for the rental of the hives."


All of the charges against Tveretinov are related to the allegations he stole beehives.
His bail was set at $67,500.
The hives that police say they've recovered belong to Buzz Beekeeping of Springfield, Mo. The company, like many other out-of-state beekeepers, contract with California growers to help with the pollination of their crops.
Almond trees are most popular for this service in the Central Valley.
Detectives have contacted several owners of the hives and made arrangements to return them.


One victim traveled all the way from Montana to collect his bee boxes. That man, beekeeper Lloyd Cunniff, told KGPE-TV (http://www.yourcentralvalley.com/news/bees-stolen-from-areas-across-california/715386792) he was all but financially ruined when his bees vanished from a California orchard in 488 beehives he had taken to California to pollinate almond trees.
Cops say this remains an ongoing investigation and detectives continue to work to identify other victims and return their property to them.




https://www.clickondetroit.com/news/national/man-facing-10-felony-charges-after-allegedly-stealing-thousands-of-bee-hives

Don Fernando
05-25-2017, 03:28 AM
I have a blackberry plant in my garden and its humming with bees now. There are regular size bees but also a few huge ones. What's the difference (obviously the size!), different breed?

massphatness
05-25-2017, 09:16 AM
My guess is different types of bees.

In my yard, I see bumble bees, carpenter bees, and yellow jackets in addition to my honey bees.

icehog3
05-26-2017, 02:21 PM
My guess is different types of bees.

In my yard, I see bumble bees, carpenter bees, and yellow jackets in addition to my honey bees.

Can we get the honey bees to kill them all by mid-July? :D

AdamJoshua
05-26-2017, 09:11 PM
Can we get the honey bees to kill them all by mid-July? :D

Well, Tom, I just read this article, seems there are some cockroaches that might well pollenate flowers, you could raise those then have them fight the bees, winner takes all.

link to story (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/05/cockroaches-pollination-insects-chile-animals/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Social&utm_content=link_fb20170526newscockroaches&utm_campaign=Content&sf82154591=1)

CigarNut
05-26-2017, 09:44 PM
Well, Tom, I just read this article, seems there are some cockroaches that might well pollenate flowers, you could raise those then have them fight the bees, winner takes all.

link to story (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/05/cockroaches-pollination-insects-chile-animals/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Social&utm_content=link_fb20170526newscockroaches&utm_campaign=Content&sf82154591=1)

Way to bring us all down, Adam! Cockroaches! Reall??

:)

AdamJoshua
05-26-2017, 10:00 PM
Way to bring us all down, Adam! Cockroaches! Reall??

:)

Well I am in FL and it's pollen related!

AdamJoshua
05-28-2017, 09:31 AM
Interesting article on bee population and the little tidbit that every three bites of food, van Engelsdorp said, is directly or indirectly pollinated by honeybees, who pollinate about $15 billion worth of U.S. crops each year. Almonds, for instance, are completely reliant on honeybee pollination.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/05/26/third-nations-honeybee-colonies-died-last-year-why-you-should-care/348418001/

massphatness
06-03-2017, 05:56 PM
Been a couple weeks since I put the second brood box on, and I wanted to check the progress on it. You can see in the video below that the girls are busy working on the frames, but I was a little concerned to see the uneven comb that's being built. Look at the blob of comb creeping up between the second & third frames. That shouldn't really be happening with the types of frames I'm using. They should be drawing out comb from the frame instead of building free form.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4288/34231374484_4c4153064b_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/U9UK2N)


My concern turned to a bit of panic when I tried to lift the top box off in order to inspect the bottom box. The bees had attached comb between the frames in the two boxes, and as I lifted the top box, frames from the bottom box started to pull up with it. A little sample of what I'm talking about in the video below.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4217/34231375064_b28034a272_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/U9UKcN)


This isn't a situation I was prepared for; nor was it one that I had even heard about. Placed a call to a bee keeper in the area, and he was able to talk me off the cliff.

My basic issue was one of frame spacing. The ten frames in the box need to be packed tightly together. I had inadvertently left some space, and the bees did what bees do when confronted with open space: they filled it.

The remedy was fairly involved, and unfortunately was very much a two person job that didn't allow for photos & video. Basically, Grace tilted the second hive box slightly so I could get a hive tool in to push the frame in the bottom box down, breaking the comb as I did so. Once I negotiated that over each of the affected frames, the top box lifted easily off of the hive. Then while Grace applied copious amounts of smoke to both me & the bees, I scraped the broken comb from the top of the frames in the bottom box to dissuade the bees from recreating that situation.

Once the bottom box was cleaned up, I worked on breaking up the free form comb in the top box to the extent where it allowed me to pack the frames closer together. Now wholly sure that part worked, but I'll do another check in a couple weeks and report back on the progress.

icehog3
06-03-2017, 11:02 PM
Hope you have it fixed, Vin. I don't want pissed off bees in July. :D

CigarNut
06-04-2017, 03:12 PM
Pissed off or not, the bees will find you, Tom! :)

icehog3
06-05-2017, 05:02 PM
Pissed off or not, the bees will find you, Tom! :)

I will fear not the bees. I will embrace them. Figuratively, of course. :r

Mikepd
06-05-2017, 09:30 PM
Vin looking good! That comb up top is such a beautiful pure white, that'll be packed with honey before you know it (maybe even before July). Don't fret over the attached combs and free form, like your other keeper friend said, too much space. You may want to get a very wide thin metal putty scraper to fit the width of the hive. You can make a tool too with some dowels and piano wire in place of the scraper. If propulous abounds they'll likely rebuild between the boxes again. As far as the free form comb, if it really is a pest, just cut it and rubberband or string into empty frames. I like the string because the workers will chew it and remove it once all the comb is reattached to the frame. They are pretty smart typically and after a few corrections to them, they'll learn to do it your way so the comb doesn't continue to get disturbed.

How's the queen doing? Any queen cells yet in the bottom box? Also is your queen still relaying eggs in the hatched brood comb? If you find some cells before hatching you might be able to split off a small group into a second hive if you were daring enough! :noon

Be happy you didn't get a flow hive if you ever were thinking of it, there seems to be an issue where queens are passing their queen separator and laying brood in the mechanical comb meant for honey and rendering it an overly expensive plastic frame. :r

IBQTEE1
06-06-2017, 03:53 PM
Love the pants in the socks. I remember wearing mine like that in middle school. Vin looks like you are bringing it back. :tu

Steve
06-06-2017, 03:56 PM
Love the pants in the socks. I remember wearing mine like that in middle school. Vin looks like you are bringing it back. :tu

Definitely beats having bees up your pants!!!

icehog3
06-06-2017, 11:04 PM
Definitely beats having bees up your pants!!!
Unless it's Samantha Bees!

Dux
06-07-2017, 09:44 AM
Friends of mine just started beekeeping in CT. I don't need another hobby but I might just cave. Hives look great Vin!

shade
06-11-2017, 04:31 PM
Unexpected (nice swarm) guests arrived in a two box hive last week, and today was the first chance I had to inspect them. What I didn't realize was the the top box was missing 3 frames, and the bees did what bees do which is fill empty space with comb. The picture below shows three combs attaches to the inner cover which makes a big mess if not attended to. I had to cut out the comb and try to attach it to an empty frame. Bees don't appreciate their homes being renovated.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4198/35115097821_ff1d9f8e86_t.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/Vv14c4)P1000306 (https://flic.kr/p/Vv14c4) by MarkE77 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/10669119@N03/), on Flickr

Hey Vin, real beekeepers wear shorts and flip-flops. :D


https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4267/34401033984_c3321b3822_t.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/UpUhTA)P1000310 (https://flic.kr/p/UpUhTA) by MarkE77 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/10669119@N03/), on Flickr


Ruberbanding comb to an empty frame


https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4253/35115107241_f1c7111705_t.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/Vv16Zt)P1000358 (https://flic.kr/p/Vv16Zt) by MarkE77 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/10669119@N03/), on Flickr

markem
06-11-2017, 05:04 PM
Hey Vin, real beekeepers wear shorts and flip-flops. :D


You be the man, Mark!

We have a local friend who occasionally gives us honey from his hives. No clover so his seems "heavier" than yours.

massphatness
06-21-2017, 02:05 PM
Did a hive inspection last night to see how the second box of frames are progressing.

Results:


Disappointed the bees haven't built out more comb in the second box. It's about 50% full -- which isn't yet full enough to add a honey super (and finally have a shot at collecting some honey for myself).



Applied a mite treatment. Basically a cotton pad soaked in a formic acid solution. Formic acid is a naturally occurring acid that vaporizes when heated and is an effective control against Varroa mites which are a particular nemesis to the bees. The acid is mostly safe for the bees, and is naturally found in honey anyway, so the application of it doesn't affect the honey's safety or flavor.

As the hive box warms each day, the formic acid in the pad will vaporize and work its way through the hive. Will leave this on for about a week then remove.



Grace took a stinger to an ungloved hand while snapping the pic below. :banger


Will be going back in next week to remove the formic acid pad and further check on the progress of the build.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4259/34641034353_be39963065_z.jpg

BigAsh
06-21-2017, 04:25 PM
Did a hive inspection last night to see how the second box of frames are progressing.

Results:


Disappointed the bees haven't built out more comb in the second box. It's about 50% full -- which isn't yet full enough to add a honey super (and finally have a shot at collecting some honey for myself).



Applied a mite treatment. Basically a cotton pad soaked in a formic acid solution. Formic acid is a naturally occurring acid that vaporizes when heated and is an effective control against Varroa mites which are a particular nemesis to the bees. The acid is mostly safe for the bees, and is naturally found in honey anyway, so the application of it doesn't affect the honey's safety or flavor.

As the hive box warms each day, the formic acid in the pad will vaporize and work its way through the hive. Will leave this on for about a week then remove.



Grace took a stinger to an ungloved hand while snapping the pic below. :banger


Will be going back in next week to remove the formic acid pad and further check on the progress of the build.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4259/34641034353_be39963065_z.jpg

Seems like Grace is the "decoy target" keeping you safe...

AdamJoshua
06-21-2017, 06:25 PM
Seems like Grace is the "decoy target" keeping you safe...

I think he's put some bee pheromones in her hand lotion or something.

jonumberone
06-22-2017, 07:40 AM
Grace took a stinger to an ungloved hand while snapping the pic below. :banger


I'm willing to bet that stinger is the first thing Grace has had stuck inside her that she could actually feel since she started dating you.
:sl

BigAsh
06-22-2017, 08:09 AM
I'm willing to bet that stinger is the first thing Grace has had stuck inside her that she could actually feel since she started dating you.
:sl

:D

Tio Gato
06-22-2017, 08:11 AM
I'm willing to bet that stinger is the first thing Grace has had stuck inside her that she could actually feel since she started dating you.
:sl

Dom, I sooo wanted to go there but didn't. Thank you for that!:r:r:r

massphatness
06-22-2017, 09:48 AM
Words hurt, you know.
:(

Besides, all of my previous girlfriends have said it's not the size of the wand, it's the magic it creates. Then they'd usually break up with me.

pnoon
06-22-2017, 09:49 AM
Words hurt, you know.
:(

Besides, all of my previous girlfriends have said it's not the size of the wand, it's the magic it creates. Then they'd usually break up with me.

:lr

icehog3
06-22-2017, 10:20 AM
Grace got the stinger, but Vin got the shocker.

markem
06-22-2017, 10:35 AM
Besides, all of my previous girlfriends have said it's not the size of the wand, it's the magic it creates. Then they'd usually break up with me.

Jeff Foxworthy:
"It's not the size of the boat, it's the motion of the ocean. But it takes a long, long time to get to England in a rowboat!"

IBQTEE1
06-26-2017, 11:22 AM
Wow Just Wow!!

Sorry Grace took it in the hand.

OLS
06-26-2017, 02:41 PM
Plus I already have the smoking part of bee keeping down.
hehehehehe

massphatness
06-28-2017, 10:41 AM
The bees keep teaching me lessons. Today's was "Take Your Damn Time, Boy!"

You'll recall I placed a couple of formic acid pads in the hive about a week ago. The pads are supposed to be left in for about a week, and with loads of thunderstorms forecast for the next few days, Grace and I decided we'd remove the pads this morning before we went to work.

This should have been a quick in and out:

> Smoke the hive
> Remove the cover and top board
> Remove the top deep box
> Grab the formic pads
> Reassemble the hive

All was going well until I went to remove the top deep box. Instead of checking to make sure the bees hadn't attached comb between the boxes, I just lifted straight up. I ended up pulling a frame from the bottom box out due to some comb the bees had built between the boxes. The frame fell on to it's side (though fortunately still in the hive), and when it did a veritable cloud of bees exploded from the hive.

I still had the top box in my hands when they started stinging me ... nothing to do but take it while I gently set the box down and slowly back away from the ruckus I had stirred up.


This pic was taken about ten minutes afterwards. I wanted to give the bees some time to settle down before trying to reassemble the hive. The stuff that looks like mud pouring over the top and from beneath the hive box are actually masses of bees. When the situation first happened, you could barely see the front of the hive because of all the bees on it.
https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4286/35588531375_f2ec76c10a_z.jpg

Not all that clear, but this is a closer view of the bee mass ...
https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4204/34747271064_35f0be33c0_z.jpg

So here's what two in the gut, three in the arm and one in the hand taught me: SLOW DOWN. TAKE YOUR TIME. CHECK & DOUBLE CHECK.

Life lesson courtesy of the bees.

BigAsh
06-28-2017, 10:49 AM
how hard was grace laughing?....ear-to-ear smile here! :D

stearns
06-28-2017, 10:51 AM
Love learning bee lessons vicariously through somebody else, thanks for taking one for the team Vin! :r

Tio Gato
06-28-2017, 10:52 AM
Bzzzz! Dang :sl. Adolf"s meat tenderizer works well on stings.:2

markem
06-28-2017, 11:20 AM
Good judgement comes from experience and most experience comes from bad judgement. We'll turn you into a consultant yet!

IBQTEE1
06-28-2017, 11:45 AM
Holy sh!t Vin. Glad you are not allergic to bee stings.

markem
06-28-2017, 12:49 PM
Vin - here is a new business opportunity.

Bee, wasp venom shortage could be dangerous for those with allergies

http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/27/health/insect-venom-shortage-partner/

Time to purchase a bee milking stool.

AdamJoshua
06-28-2017, 12:55 PM
https://ww2.kqed.org/news/2017/06/27/beekeepers-feel-the-sting-of-californias-great-hive-heist/

Or you could rent your bees out in CA, of course you need tons of little bee-gps rigs.

jonumberone
06-28-2017, 04:37 PM
I love the smell of alarm pheromones in the morning. -(P

massphatness
06-29-2017, 08:12 AM
https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4104/35213927320_cf7b21ce79_z.jpg

And that's what three in the arm looks like. Doesn't hurt, but man does it itch.

Black Coral
06-29-2017, 08:18 AM
Vin that looks fun! so what's the count because we know the bees are winning

BigAsh
06-29-2017, 08:56 AM
https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4104/35213927320_cf7b21ce79_z.jpg

And that's what three in the arm looks like. Doesn't hurt, but man does it itch.

I got nothing..I mean, I should have a witty comment with that pic...but..I got nothing...:confused:

icehog3
06-29-2017, 11:00 AM
3 in the arm beats 1 in the rectum. Glad you (and they) are pretty ok. :)