Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Early Santa Visit and 2008 Beekeeping Plan/Goals

I was a very good boy too, but first things first. I have to thank my good friend and running partner Patti for the Blog slogan... “Bees give a natural Buzz ……” I actually had been looking for something to use in the blog and as my signature in the forums. I think Patti was just trying to be funny, but I like it and I’m going with it.

How did I get my present so early? Simple …. When you tell the wife you want bee stuff for X-mas she’ll most likely say order it. The trick is to make sure you order some big items. When it comes in just ask her if you can have it now or does she want to wrap it and put it under the tree!!!!!! Trust me, last thing she’ll want to do is wrap that huge box, and first thing she’ll want is the bee stuff out of the house.

It was a good day and a disappointing one. Good because I got my new PLASTIC HIVE STAND/VENTILATED BOTTOM BOARD and a new Beemax super from Dandant. All the parts for my second hive are now in. Here are a few pictures of the base unassembled and assembled. I like the base and trust it to control my number one bee problem – Florida carpenter ants. It has a partial screen board exactly where the bees keep their brood nest. The whole base slopes into the screen area and down into the inspection drawer. The partial screen is made for unobstructed ventilation to help with the hot and humid Florida weather. Personally, I think it has two draw backs, one is correctable.(Picture below is stand from behind with inspection drawer partially out)

  1. The ventilation holes are large enough for some bees to squeeze out of them, when and if the entrance is closed off. Not a good feature if one wishes to move the hive.
  2. The side squirts are not wide enough to hide the moats. Bees accidentally fall and drown in it when they are out bearding, or if they misjudge their approach pattern with a full pollen/nectar load. The problem is easily corrected by gluing or bolting on a 1 inch strip of wood to the side lengths.

(Picture below shows side moats)

Link to more pictures of my stand

Why disappointing?? I have been doing some research and planning on the best method of obtaining new bees to stock the new hive and the TBH. I finally ordered two 3lbs packages from Rossman Apiaries, but I though about it for too long, and my delivery is not scheduled until early May. With a May delivery, I’m going to completely miss the best Florida months for beekeeping. Oh well, live and learn.

The beekeeping goals and plan for 2008:

  • Self sustaining by years end - Two Lang hives, One Top Bar Hive (TBH), and One Nuc to support them.
  • Split current hive by late March, early April.
  1. If I can get a queen via the mail, then re-queen the split, and place above the TBH to stock it. Otherwise…
  2. Allow Nuc to raise its own queen and, if successful, allow it to grow into a full Lang or use it to support the May delivery of packages
  • With the arrival of the new bee stock in early May if Nuc is ready to provide support of drawn frames with capped brood.
  1. Install one package in Lang with 1 or 2 frames of brood from Nuc
  2. Install second package in the TBH

OR If the Split is well on its way to becoming a good colony

  1. Install one package in TBH
  2. Install second package into a Nuc


Helping the Bees said...

Hi Bee Anonymous,

You probably already know this option but you could try to get wild swarms for your hives since your bees aren't coming until May.

On our Resources link we have a link to a National Directory of bee removal experts: http://www.backyardhive.com/weblinks/Bee_Removal_Experts/

I hope this helps,

Bee Anonymous said...

Hi Karen,
First, love your site. It has been in my Internet bookmarks for a long time.

Thanks for the idea. I will look one of those guys up. I'm sure they remove hives that are not HOT with African bees. Wonder if they can sell them to beekeepers in Florida.
I though about baiting a swarm, but Florida really frouwns on beekeepers doing that due to the African bees.
Unless a bee removal expert can make it on location with in hours, the though in Florida is kill a hive or swarm and find out what they are later.
Bees/Beehive on public property are usually taken care by the fire Dept and fire retardant foam.
I see many stories like this during the year http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7006562176

The African bees danger is real, unfortunately good bees are getting caught in the cross fire.

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