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Old 05-09-2011, 09:42 AM   #1
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My other hobby, or why I can't work on my AS

Had a pretty successful honeybee job this weekend. Have you ever had trouble getting to sleep, maybe a little annoying sound in the room, and you couldn't quite place it?

Maybe it was just 30,000 bees in your ceiling...
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Old 05-09-2011, 11:19 AM   #2
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Did you remove them....?
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Old 05-09-2011, 12:26 PM   #3
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Yes

yes, that's me in the video... as opposed to me in a video removing my belly pan, which is the other thing I wanted to do Saturday.
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Old 05-09-2011, 03:37 PM   #4
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Cool video. It is apparent that you really know bees. It is fun to watch a pro in action. Many years ago, I went along to observe Uncle working his bees. Got stung, wound up in the hospital. Was told you only get one free ride and the next one will send you to your reward. Not completely true as I have been stung twice more, appear to have plenty of time to get to treatment but treatment is necessary. Darn shame cuse bees are really cool creatures and working them would be fun.
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Old 05-09-2011, 04:33 PM   #5
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Good work on the cut out Rob. How many frames were you able to fill in, and did you find the Queen?

Kevin
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Old 05-09-2011, 09:52 PM   #6
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If I had packed the comb in, probably 5 frames worth. They were only 4" deep. However, there was very little honey, a little pollen, and a whole lot of dying brood. I did not get the queen, but it was no great loss as I don't think I could have resolved the fact that she was a virgin queen. It's like a laying worker, you can't do anything about it but replace her. The queen either died in the process, or she's stuck in the spray foam at the original hive.

I pulled a bunch of swarm cells out of some other hives and gave it to these bees. They should have a new queen soon enough.
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Old 05-09-2011, 10:24 PM   #7
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Wow!! You are a brave soul!
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Old 05-09-2011, 10:45 PM   #8
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Rob, that's really cool! It's great to see you taking the time to relocate these bees. We had a colony set up shop on the outside of a rental house we were living in near Phoenix. We called several people before we found someone who said he would try to remove them instead of just coming in with poison. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to save them. Not sure why, although it was a HUGE colony, and he may not have been prepared to deal with one that size.

With all of the problems honeybees are facing these days, it's nice to know there are people out there working to save them. Our gardens wouldn't be the same without them!
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:14 AM   #9
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Appreciate your relocating and saving them.....!!
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:29 AM   #10
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Will you follow up with a re-queening post

Quote:
Originally Posted by robwok View Post
I pulled a bunch of swarm cells out of some other hives and gave it to these bees. They should have a new queen soon enough.
Robwok,
Will you follow up with a re-queening post, if your method was successful or not? I have not heard of this transfering a queen cell from another hive method. I thought the relocated queen cell might be attacked by the existing workers.
I lost all of my 5 hives a while back and have not replaced them, yet. I am thinking about doing it again soon. I have been waiting to hear which strain will be most resistant to bee CCD.
Thanks!
Alan
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:33 AM   #11
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requeening

I guess it is possible that they could attack a queen cell, but it's on the method that bees attack other bees, not larva. If the queen cell hasn't opened yet, it is larva developing. the hard part is that sometimes it's too close to the time she hatches. Just yesterday, I was about to move over a capped queen cell and actually realized she was hatching out at that moment, and watched her break free and fly off. No idea where she went, but hopefully it wasn't into the honey super I had sitting nearby for that hive. A virgin queen ought to be able to make it down through the queen excluder though.

The idea is basically to transfer frames of bees and brood, with a capped queen cell, into a new hive. The bees will recognize they are queenless, and when the new queen hatches out, they will accept her just fine, and it will be like a supercedure, or requeening situation. The bees should not fly off like a swarm.

In my case, the bees were queenless. I introduced a capped queen cell, which they should accept that new queen as one they raised when she hatches out. If you were just to drop a queen in a queenless hive, they would probably kill her as a foreigner.

As for CCD. I know that there have been studies out about fungus and virus, but that really doesn't explain CCD. Diseases kill bees in the hive and you will see the dead in the hive, or on the ground in front. CCD behavior just shows a gradual shrinking until there are no bees left.

Bayer makes a pesticide that basically gives colony insects Alzheimers. They can't remember how to get back to the colony. They collect the food, but then wander, so the colony doesn't get the food, and the bee dies from exposure. That's what I think CCD is.

Anyway, regardless of the other factors, genetics plays a big factor. Most people get their bees from Georgia. Those bees for the most part have been vaccinated and medicated so there are no real strong genetics that have a chance unless you follow the medication method. I haven't medicated my bees in over 8 years. Nothing. I've done a couple of the organics like spearmint oil, and some of the pollen patties that I've made just to build up a little, but my main focus is just getting better bees -and that means getting feral bees when I can.

The other thing that's interesting is the size of bees. 100 years ago, we artificially increased the bee size by putting in manufactured comb with a larger comb size. The bees drew out that comb, and since there was more room, the larva took a couple more days until they maxed out their size. The result was a bigger bee that could carry more nectar to the hive.

However, since the bee spent more time in development, that allowed for a larger trachea, which now allows trachael mites to survive. The longer "gestation" also allowed more veroa mites to complete their lifecycle. So, in the end, we have a larger bee more susceptible to their 2 biggest pests.

The solution is moving back to a small cell bee. I've not made the jump yet, but I am starting 2 top bar hives. I also let the bees make as much propolis as they want. It has been considered that the propolis is an extension of the bees immune system, and by our breeding bees with less propolis, we have made them more susceptible to disease, and therfore, we put terramycin in the hives, when it previously wasn't needed.

Most beekeepers would argue with me. But again, I have healthy bees, with 3 supers of honey on most of them by early May and that's after pulling 3 frames each to start new colonies. And no winter losses. I must not be all wrong.
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Old 05-10-2011, 09:37 AM   #12
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You are lucky to have healthy bees. Just yesterday there was a bee that landed in my driveway on the concrete. While she sat there I noticed she looked very thin, definetly had not been collecting nectar. When she tried to fly away she flew backward and in circles. She just fell and fell. After several attempts she finally got into a nearby tree and I lost view of her. She was not a healthy bee. Sad!
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Old 05-10-2011, 10:26 AM   #13
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Alan,

You're not that far from Virginia. Let me know if you want to come up here and buy a nuc. I may have some available later on. I think I could probably add an "Airstreamer" discount.
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Old 05-10-2011, 11:31 AM   #14
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One of the swarm cells we cut out last weekend was actually in the process of chewing her way through the cap. Scooped up the cell, a frame of brood, placed them in one of the 2011 packages that recently lost a queen.

Great flow so far.
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