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Bee Man
LSU Fan
Hester, LA
Member since Mar 2018
65 posts

re: Anyone here keep Bees?
Varroa mites are the number one cause of colony loss in the US. I refuse to medicate my hives, so I accept the fact that I will lose some each winter. My strongest hives have queens that still have the genes of some Varroa Hygienic Sensitive queens that I bought several years back. They actually pull the larvae that have mites on them out of the hive to break the mites’ life cycle. Pretty cool.

I don’t know George, but I’ve seen the “Have a bee problem? Call George” signs, even near my house in Gramercy.


jimjackandjose
Member since Jun 2011
3758 posts

re: Anyone here keep Bees?
I haven’t treated mine this winter and hoping I have all my hives this spring


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GRIZZ
LSU Fan
PRAIRIEVILLE
Member since Nov 2009
2855 posts

re: Anyone here keep Bees?
We haven't had a problem with mites, but we did have a problem with beetles a few years ago. We found that the problem occurred in the summer months when the temp inside our boxes got too high and the bees started to "beard up" on the outside of the hive. That's seems to be when the hive is most vulnerable to mites and beetles. We've overcome this by venting our boxes to lower the temp.


Bee Man
LSU Fan
Hester, LA
Member since Mar 2018
65 posts

re: Anyone here keep Bees?
Actually, heat is one of the only natural effective treatments for mites and small hive beetles.

USDA top management practices for small hive beetle:
“6. Place colonies under the sun. Research has showed that out-hive traps positioned in a shaded part of an apiary trapped more beetles than those exposed to the sun.” LINK /

Varroa mites: LINK




cave canem
Mississippi St. Fan
land o sand
Member since Oct 2012
8567 posts

re: Anyone here keep Bees?
learning a lot in this thread, the OB never fails to deliver


fillmoregandt
Ole Miss Fan
Over the Mountain
Member since Nov 2009
11951 posts

re: Anyone here keep Bees?
I’m looking into this more and more, and really want to get it going. Got a perfect setup in my backyard.

Getting some reading materials, but in the meantime, how many frames are needed. I see some box’s that are one layer, 10 frams. Then see other boxes that a multiple layers tall. Would one 10-frame box suffice? I found a small box (on sale) that has five frames, would that be too little?


Bee Man
LSU Fan
Hester, LA
Member since Mar 2018
65 posts

re: Anyone here keep Bees?
You would want two 10 frame deep boxes. If you only had one the bees potentially wouldn’t be able to store enough honey to make it through the winter. Also, they would get over crowded very quickly and swarm on you.

The five frame nucs are for beginning hives. They’re really just a temporary box until you move them into a full sized hive box.


fillmoregandt
Ole Miss Fan
Over the Mountain
Member since Nov 2009
11951 posts

re: Anyone here keep Bees?
Good info. Thanks


Bee Man
LSU Fan
Hester, LA
Member since Mar 2018
65 posts

re: Anyone here keep Bees?
No problem


cave canem
Mississippi St. Fan
land o sand
Member since Oct 2012
8567 posts

re: Anyone here keep Bees?
Any idea where one could find some bees in early mid march?

I am going to attempt to catch some but if unsuccessful need to find them in this time frame if at all possible.

I work overseas and though my wife is going to be involved and babysit while I am gone she insist I am there for initial set up, next shot is late April-May and I think I will miss a great deal of nectar flow by then in south MS.



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Columbia
Houston Astros Fan
Land of the Yuppies
Member since Mar 2016
1879 posts

re: Anyone here keep Bees?


Bee Man
LSU Fan
Hester, LA
Member since Mar 2018
65 posts

re: Anyone here keep Bees?
You can’t get a better list than that.

Cave Canem - I recommend you buy a nuc instead of a package of bees. Nucs are 5 frame (fully drawn out comb) hives with honey, pollen and eggs and larvae.

A package only has worker bees and a queen with no frames or wax comb. It takes them a bit longer to get established.
This post was edited on 2/8 at 6:31 am


cave canem
Mississippi St. Fan
land o sand
Member since Oct 2012
8567 posts

re: Anyone here keep Bees?
quote:

Cave Canem - I recommend you buy a nuc instead of a package of bees. Nucs are 5 frame (fully drawn out comb) hives with honey, pollen and eggs and larvae.



Would you recommend the same thing for a flow hive?

I ordered it already as a "learner" hive, my thought process was avoiding extraction equipment for 1 hive.

From what I understand in a langstroth you simply remove the frames from the nuc and slide them in their new home, not sure how to deal with that in a flow hive.

I may have made a mistake going this route but will just have to stay the course at this point.

After many hours of research I believe I will make some long lang hives should I choose to expand, seems the best of both worlds but as of yet I am just thinking and actually know nothing.

something along the lines of the below seems much better than manhandling boxes for the wife.





Bee Man
LSU Fan
Hester, LA
Member since Mar 2018
65 posts

re: Anyone here keep Bees?
The nuc is perfect to get started with the Flow Hive. The Flow Hive body is no different than a standard Langstroth deep hive body, so you’ll just remove the frames from the nuc and slide them in your Flow Hive deep body. Then you just add some new frames on the outside of the drawn out frames from your nuc.

I haven’t researched the Flow Hives since I bought mine, so if they haven’t changed, they should be standard 8 frame deep hive body boxes. After you place your nuc frames and empty frames into the deep hive body, you need to wait until those frames are at least 80% drawn out with comb before adding the second hive body. Don’t expect to use your Flow Cells (the meat and potatoes of a Flow Hive) during the first year. You’ll need to let the bees fill out both hive bodies and store as much honey and pollen as possible so they can make it through the first winter. The second year is when you should add your Flow cells for the nectar flow.

I’ve never experimented with a long Langstroth hive like that, but it does seem reasonable that it would limit any heavy lifting.


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Bee Man
LSU Fan
Hester, LA
Member since Mar 2018
65 posts

re: Anyone here keep Bees?
Also, I’ve learned quickly that’s its very difficult not to expand. Each spring when the queen is laying eggs like crazy, and the colony numbers are on the rise, you’ll need to make a split. There are many ways to make a split, but one is to remove at least three frames of eggs, pollen and honey from your hive (being sure that the queen is not on the frames) and place them in a nuc box with a couple empty frames. They will make a new queen, and just like that, you have a new hive. Then you’ll just replace the frames that you removed from your primary hive with some empty frames.

If you didn’t make a split, your hive would get overcrowded and swarm on you. By making a split, your defeating their urge to swarm.

On top of that, I’m sure you’ll catch some swarms too. Even if you don’t want them, it’s pretty exciting to catch them. If you build some nucs, you could transfer the swarms over to your nucs and usually sell them pretty easily for around $100. If you hold on to them long enough for them to store honey and pollen and have a decent laying queen, you could selll those for $130-$160.

Standard beekeeeping will cost you money. You don’t make enough honey to pay for all of your equipment. However, if you sell swarms, nucs and/or establishes hives you can come out ahead. The biggest money is from doing hive removals from houses and sheds; and you get to keep the bees and honey...


cave canem
Mississippi St. Fan
land o sand
Member since Oct 2012
8567 posts

re: Anyone here keep Bees?
Thanks Bee Man you are a wealth of information as is everyone else who has posted in this thread.


Bee Man
LSU Fan
Hester, LA
Member since Mar 2018
65 posts

re: Anyone here keep Bees?
No problem buddy. Glad I could help.


jimjackandjose
Member since Jun 2011
3758 posts

re: Anyone here keep Bees?
I have 3 nukes I bought last year for hives. Got a couple gallons of honey last October but want to grow my number of boxes.

Should I try to catch the swarms or split the boxes I have?


Bee Man
LSU Fan
Hester, LA
Member since Mar 2018
65 posts

re: Anyone here keep Bees?
Are the hives still in nuc boxes? If so, you should transfer them into full size Langstroth hive bodies so they can expand.

If you’ve already moved them to full sized boxes, it depends how much drawn comb and how full they are - whether you should make a split or not.

Regardless, catching swarms is an easy and fun way to expand your colony numbers.


cave canem
Mississippi St. Fan
land o sand
Member since Oct 2012
8567 posts

re: Anyone here keep Bees?
One more question

Would I be better off placing hive close to home where it can be checked but there are other beekeepers in the area or at a farm where there are no beekeepers within 10 miles when it comes to avoiding mites.

Seems they are spread mostly by robbing and I would think there is less of this in a more remote spot.

Only problem is I have black bears destroying corn feeders there already and I am sure they would love a bee hive to maul.


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