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Thread: How are Your Bees Doing So Far???

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Port Orange, Florida, USA
    Posts
    350

    Default How are Your Bees Doing So Far???

    Just am a bit curious about how everybody's hives are doing so far this year? My little bee yard in North Eastern Florida is cranking out honey. I'm up to about 22 gallons from 4 hives and am hoping for another 10-15 by the end of the summer. I picked up a nice sized swarm six or eight weeks ago which is really doing well so my bee yard is up to 5 hives. I don't want to expand any more because I am running out of equipment and room in the yard. How's everybody else doing this year?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    near a lake
    Posts
    2,456

    Default

    A Swarm of Bees in May is Worth a Load of Hay.

    Good on ya, mate!

    I'm in the "contemplating" phase of beekeeping...don't know where I'd keep them...
    Making Mead With TLC since 2010

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Columbia, MD
    Posts
    593

    Default

    Need to sell some of that honey?

  4. #4

    Default

    Our hive seems to be doing OK given the poor conditions we've had in the Western Washington this year. More than 2" above average rainfall. We've got two medium honey boxes on and think we'll need another 1-2 if the weather is good for the blackberry bloom.
    "I've never forgotten anything that I can remember."

  5. #5

    Default

    I have a pair of hives. One is new from a swarm this year so I most likely I will not be get any honey from it. The other one has two med supers and they are working on a 3rd one. I have two more with drawn cone already so Im hoping they will fill those as well.
    Sam

  6. Default Not so hot yet

    This stretch of three days has been the longest without rain in the month of June. The ground is saturated. The mower throws water on the flat parts. Bees have spent more time watching television than working. We need dry weather. This is third wet year in a row.

  7. #7

    Default

    Things have been looking up around here just lately. Still plenty more rain than there should be for the end of June, but there have been multiple sunny days in a single week (!!). Just saw yesterday the blackberries are blooming around these parts, which for us means the only big nectar flow we get is underway now. We'll be doing a hive check later today and hopefully adding another medium.
    "I've never forgotten anything that I can remember."

  8. #8

    Default

    on the other side of the world we are half way through winter and its been very warm till now. bees are in good condition. some areas are pulling pollen in and are very strong.

    bad news is, caught up with other local beekeepers at NBA conference this week and learned that chem resistant mites are here already. so we are going to kick off a organic mite treatment test program this spring.
    hopefully we will be converted to organic treatments before the resistant mites become a big problem.

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hillhousehoney View Post
    This stretch of three days has been the longest without rain in the month of June. The ground is saturated. The mower throws water on the flat parts. Bees have spent more time watching television than working. We need dry weather. This is third wet year in a row.
    I'll trade you some of your water for some of our drought ... as if the summers didnt already get hot enough down here in Austin (aka, northern Mexico), the drought had to start in March, and we've already hit 100F numerous times this summer, so the next 8 weeks aint going to be much fun! Plus, we got an unusual cold snap in February.

    None of my local apiaries had much of anything, and the blackberry picking was weak because of the freeze, and the drought...

  10. #10

    Default

    ...and I spoke too soon!

    We found THREE queens when we got into the hive today! Crushed the two babies (they were obviously fresh ladies), and found the orginal queen still at home too. She was piping, but I think she quit before we were done in the hive. Hopefully we found all the queens, but honestly, I sort of doubt it. There were well over a dozen queen cells in the hive, some vacated, some not.

    Now we're going have to find the original queen again once we've gotten a replacement onsite, and kill her too. I don't think she'd be home still with other queens crawling around in the hive if the news on her health was good. If it were, she should be out the door with half my bees before the new queens emerged.
    "I've never forgotten anything that I can remember."

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    near a lake
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    Quote Originally Posted by icedmetal View Post
    ...She was piping...
    What's that mean, exactly? What's a piping queen?
    Making Mead With TLC since 2010

  12. #12

    Default

    When there are multiple queens in the hive, the original queen will make noises that are somewhat hard to describe. A good example can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kk3Jz6xJufU

    The other queens make a different noise in response to the original queen, which is described as quacking, which can also be heard in the video.
    "I've never forgotten anything that I can remember."

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    near a lake
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    Default

    Isn't Nature interesting?! Thanks for the Bee-Lesson!
    Making Mead With TLC since 2010

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Port Orange, Florida, USA
    Posts
    350

    Default

    We just had our second week of rain after about 2 months of hot dry weather. It looks like there is a large cabbage palm bloom going on which should bring in another honey flow with any luck. I need to get a quick inspection in on all five hives just to see if the flow is on.

  15. #15

    Default

    We managed to keep our hive from swarming all summer, and as a reward, we've harvested roughly 75lbs of honey. Yay! We'll probably make two batches of mead at least, but a lot of the honey is claimed as Christmas gifts this year.
    "I've never forgotten anything that I can remember."

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Port Orange, Florida, USA
    Posts
    350

    Talking

    Pullled another 15 gallons of Cabbage Palm honey off the hives which gives me a total of around 40 gallons for the year . The swarm really started producing and had two shallow supers (5 gallons) just about full. I checked the moisture content in this crop with a refractometer and need to dry out the honey. The moisture content is at 20% so I have it in a closed room with a dehumidifier running trying to dry it out some. Even with the honey being capped it still was wet from the high late August humidity here in Florida.
    I picked up another swarm. While working the hives I left three frames with a little uncapped honey and some drone brood in a box. When I came back about two hours later the frames were covered with a swarm that had moved in. Go Figure, haven't been able to catch a swarm all year and this one fell into my lap. Looks like I'm building more equipment this winter. Six hives is getting to be a bit more work but it is still sweet.
    For mead I started 10 gallons of pear/saw palmetto using local pears off my tree and two 1/2 gallons of honey from the hives. It's the first fruit melomel I have tried in the last three years and it is looking good so far.
    Hope everybody else is having a good bee year.

  17. Default Pulling beautiful honey

    Hello fellow Beeks,
    Just got back from the country of Jordan and had the awesome opportunity to met with a beekeeper who currnetly manages 1,700 hives and runs a honey business. He pulls honey from numerous nectar flows and even has access to the always popular Sidr honey. Sure wish he wasn't on the other side of the world.
    My little ole 10 hives have been cranking out some good numbers this year and have managed to pull 525 lbs of honey from the girls. 7 hives are in south GA and 3 in SC. I like moving the hives around and catching the unique and rare honeys, like Kudzu and Mayhaw.

    Brian
    www.dixiebeeco at Yahoo.com

  18. #18
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    Mar 2011
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    Ellabell, Georgia
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    Ley me know when you have any Kudzu!
    You only go around once in life, but if you do it right, once is enough

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    560

    Default Dry here

    I expanded from 10 to forty this spring. It started off cold and cloudy with drizzling rain until one day it was summer and got hot. My splits were mostly slow taking off or didn't. I also ordered fifteen queens that were due in May and never delivered. Been a banner year! I have some hives on irrigated hayground and the farmer had equipment problems so I am getting the benefit of a long alfalfa bloom between cuttings. They could be producing me a tremendous crop! I basically hope to have thirty worth wintering and that the bees make enough for winter groceries. I am using some of last years crop on a cyser right now. It is over five degrees warmer in the brewspace than the batch I am repeating and it is working very very fast!

  20. #20

    Default Wow!!!

    Hi everyone, just wanted to stop in and say a quick hello. I will be starting 2 new hives this spring, already have registered for my course in beekeeping so that I am certified. I know the first year you pretty much allow your hives to build and don't start to collect your honey until the following year.

    I was just wondering on average since there are so many variables, about how much honey does 1 hive produce per year?

    I know that in my second year my first set of hives will be moved to an apple orchard around the corner from me and I will start 2 new hives on my property. This will be an ongoing thing over the next 4-5 years or until I am running 10 hives in total, a couple on my property and the rest farmed out to local farmers for crop production.

    Thanks for the info, I can't wait to dive into this and take my course. I am also lucky enough to have a friend of mine who helped her Dad manage 25 hives. This will allow me to get my hives going before the course...

    Rosie

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