Keeping Bees

Grow some food and stuff!

Moderator: matt walker

Re: Keeping Bees

Postby pa_friendly_guy » Thu Jan 08, 2015 4:36 pm

I ordered another package of Bees this morning. :D I figured I would give it a Go as they say in England. :lol: Turns outs Bees are available for purchase from many places. :lol: :lol: Found a guy in North west Pa about an hour and 1/2 from me who has a family farm and raises Bees. He has been doing this for over 25 years. He gets his bees from Mann Lake [ a large company with dealers around the country ] I think his dealership helps to pay for his hobby, and maybe a bit more. I believe the bees are bred in California. I ordered Carniolan Bees this time instead of Italian Bees. They are from Northern Europe, so I am hoping a little more cold hardy, they tend to increase the size of the brood quickly when there is a nectar flow, and they reduce the size of the hive for winter so you are not trying to feed a large bunch of bees all winter. The only down side I know about is that they tend to swarm quickly and swarm a lot. Since my experience with Italian Bees was less than stellar I figured I would try a different variety, and see how that works for me. To be honest, I do not think that the type of bees I was trying to keep was the problem, I think it was me. :lol: :roll:
Never doubt that a small group of dedicated people can change the world, indeed it is the only thing that ever has.
User avatar
pa_friendly_guy
 
Posts: 1499
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:24 pm
Location: SW Pa They changed me to zone 6a what ever that is. I still figure zone 5

Re: Keeping Bees

Postby Lollykoko » Wed Feb 25, 2015 5:07 pm

I ran across this short article/video about some beekeepers from Australia who have figured out a new method to extract honey. I'm still in the 'collecting ideas and thinking about it' stage, so this looks like it might be a great option, once they make it commercially available. Pictures and short video are available at the link.

http://www.boredpanda.com/honey-on-tap-flow-hive-stuart-cedar-anderson/
With this brilliant invention by Stuart and Cedar Anderson, a father-and-son beekeeper team in Australia, honey bees around the world can breathe a collective sigh of relief. Their Flow Hive invention allows beekeepers to harvest honey from their hives without disturbing the bees inside.

The clever invention works by providing the bees with a partially-completed wall of honeycomb cells that they then complete with their own wax. After they fill these cells with honey and cap them with wax, the beekeeper can open the other end, allowing the honey to flow out into a tap without ever disturbing the bees. The bees simply reopen the cells and fill them up again.

Honey bees around the world are in trouble from something called colony collapse disorder, and this is highly worrisome because of the honey they produce and the agricultural plants they pollinate. Hopefully, this hive will give weakened hives a much-needed break from intrusive visits from the bee keeper!
User avatar
Lollykoko
 
Posts: 575
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:04 pm
Location: Howard and Miami Counties, Indiana

Re: Keeping Bees

Postby DrewInToledo » Sat Mar 07, 2015 9:22 pm

I don't buy it.... what if the queen decided to lay brood there? A queen excluder would help.. but... For the cost, I could purchase a gajillion frames... Waxing issues? With honey dripping out of the side due to using it, what about robbing?? Meh..... I'll believe it when I see success stories.. but, I'm skeptical... I love invention, though.

On the other hand, I need to publish the fact that the conventional hive in my yard has survived and weathered the sub-zero temperatures with an open bottom. That's right, I have hardware cloth (heavy screen mesh) covering the bottom, and that's it. Nothing more. I do have my hive placed on the east side of my shed to protect from the wind however. And, we've had -15 F mornings!

Man, bees are AMAZING! I know I'm rambling here, but I do believe that there is something to having an open bottomed hive allowing airflow and preventing moisture buildup. With the temperature differential creating condensation and all, maybe there's something to that.. who knows, maybe they have a small RMH in there somewhere?
Do vegetarians eat animal crackers or coconut meat?
User avatar
DrewInToledo
 
Posts: 243
Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 12:34 pm

Re: Keeping Bees

Postby DrewInToledo » Tue Mar 17, 2015 2:54 pm

Hello everyone!

I found someone who has a bee infestation in a garage so after a bit of googling, I found the "bee vaccuum" and decided to give it a go.

The idea here is to suck the bees at very low suction into the initial hive box. One must be careful not to suck too hard and damage the bees--just enough to get them into the hose.
This box is filled with frames and foundation to provide the bees something to stand on.
After evacuating the hive, the inlet tube is removed and then plugged while the vaccuum is still on holding bees in place. Vaccuum then turned off.
After the bees are captured, the comb is removed from the wall and inserted into frames with rubber bands and placed into a second deep.
The top of the vaccuum is removed. Under the top, a screen is framed under a very slight dado so the bees can't escape. At this point, said bees can be taken home.
Next step.. The 2nd hive with comb is placed on top of the first and the screen is pulled out of it's dado'ed channel. This is thin enough so the bees cannot escape.
After the bees are acclimated and tending to brood again the hive is moved to a conventional setup.

Here is the vaccuum that I made over the weekend. I plan to use this on Saturday, March 28.

Image
Do vegetarians eat animal crackers or coconut meat?
User avatar
DrewInToledo
 
Posts: 243
Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 12:34 pm

Re: Keeping Bees

Postby matt walker » Tue Mar 17, 2015 3:17 pm

Badass Drew. Please film this! I imagine you are going to pull it off, but I'm also half hoping for Jackass 7, The Swarming. Kidding, I hope it goes really smoothly. It is a cool system.
User avatar
matt walker
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1801
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2012 5:50 pm
Location: North Olympic Peninsula

Re: Keeping Bees

Postby pa_friendly_guy » Tue Mar 17, 2015 3:59 pm

That is a great set up. I hope it works well for you. Because of the time of year you are doing this you should make some arraignment to feed the bees for a time until the dandelions bloom. If you get the queen with the rest of the bees they should be fine. Good Luck. :D
Never doubt that a small group of dedicated people can change the world, indeed it is the only thing that ever has.
User avatar
pa_friendly_guy
 
Posts: 1499
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:24 pm
Location: SW Pa They changed me to zone 6a what ever that is. I still figure zone 5

Re: Keeping Bees

Postby pa_friendly_guy » Sun Apr 19, 2015 12:25 pm

My Bees arrived yesterday. I drove an 1 1/2 to pick them up. Got all suited up with my hood and gloves, sprayed them with water, smoked them, and dumped them in the hive with the queen. Left the queen in her cage for now, I was told that if you let her out and there is no drawn comb to lay her eggs that she may fly off. So for maybe the next 2 days she will stay in her little cage. Didn't kill too many bees getting them into the hive, when I dumped them in there were some bees left in the package, couldn't get them all out. I figured, what the heck, they will find their buddys , so I just set the package down and watched them for awhile. They all made it into the hive. :D Went up early this morning to check, only 2 bees outside the hive, so I put my ear to the hive to listen. There seemed to be some buzzing, but I wasn't satisfied, so I took off the top cover, there were a lot of bees right under the cover so I put it back with out getting stung. As a matter of fact I did not get stung once during the whole process. 8-) So I guess I am now learning to be a Bee Keeper. ;)
Never doubt that a small group of dedicated people can change the world, indeed it is the only thing that ever has.
User avatar
pa_friendly_guy
 
Posts: 1499
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:24 pm
Location: SW Pa They changed me to zone 6a what ever that is. I still figure zone 5

Re: Keeping Bees

Postby DrewInToledo » Sun Apr 19, 2015 2:34 pm

Good work and good luck to you! The pollen count has been very high around here. The little bugs in the back yard have been arriving with yellow leg sacs for weeks now, way before any flowers were in bloom. I'm pretty sure it's mostly from ash, elm, and maple in this area.
You may wish to supplement with sugar water to help them become established but they'll probably do just fine on their own. I'm goofing around with pollen patty substitues I'm making from "beepro", vinegar and lemongrass oil. I don't feel it's necessary, it's just an experiment.
1-1/2 hours drive is quite a cruise for bees and shows your determination. May I ask what they set you back? What breed are they? I have italians and they are super docile although I have been stung a few times.
I wouldn't worry much about your queen. When I dumped my bees in the langstroth, I pulled the cork on the queen cage during the process. I even sprayed some sugar juice on the sugar plug to moisten it up a bit. I'm sure you'll do good.
Do vegetarians eat animal crackers or coconut meat?
User avatar
DrewInToledo
 
Posts: 243
Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 12:34 pm

Re: Keeping Bees

Postby pa_friendly_guy » Sun Apr 19, 2015 3:25 pm

They were just under $100, last year I had Italians, this year I went for Carniolan Bees. They are form central Europe and build up quickly in spring so that they can take advantage of early blooms that other bees may miss. They are good wax builders, and go into winter with a smaller cluster so you do not need to leave them as much honey. The only problem I have heard with them is that they tend to swarm a lot to reduce over crowding in the hive, so you must be vigilant about that. If they swarm you could get a lot less honey from the hive. It was either these or Russian Bees this year, Russians are a bit more aggressive, they maybe a little more winter hardy because of where they came from, but they do not play well with others. They guy I got the bees from has raised them all and told me that if I went with Russian I could not have other types of bees in the same bee yard, they wouldn't get along. But Italians or Carniolans would live well together in the same area. There is also a Blonde Bee that he has raised, he said they look nice, sort of unusual but they were not as good honey produces, So I went with the Carniolans.
Never doubt that a small group of dedicated people can change the world, indeed it is the only thing that ever has.
User avatar
pa_friendly_guy
 
Posts: 1499
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:24 pm
Location: SW Pa They changed me to zone 6a what ever that is. I still figure zone 5

Re: Keeping Bees

Postby mannytheseacow » Mon Apr 20, 2015 1:29 am

Glad to hear you're back at it, Guy. You're getting to be old pro with those bees! ;) I'll bet having a whole suit makes it much safer and lets you work with more confidence, too. Good luck!
"Knowledge is power. Arm yourself."
User avatar
mannytheseacow
 
Posts: 940
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:40 am

PreviousNext

Return to Garden, Pasture, Forest

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron