View Full Version : Beeboy and other BKr's HELP or at least some advice

05-24-2006, 02:27 AM
Well I guess maybe we do need a beekeeping thread here. Anyways here is my sob story.

So I made a split approximately 3 weeks ago? I think. Had two funerals last week and drank alot so kinda lost track of time. Anyways
I am still kind of new at this, and this was my first split. This colony was very strong and already had about 6 supercedure cells, It was also time to reverse brood chambers. So I decided to do it all at once. I took the bottom super full of bees and moved it to a new bottom board. I split up brood,honey, and pollen between the two. I never found the queen but was sure she was there and in the bottom super. I then put a new deep on each one with fresh frames of foundation and closed them up.
1 week later. Everything looks fine. I didn't disturb the colonies to badly I just wanted to make sure that they didn't reform into one colony every thing looked great.
About 2 weeks later, aka yesterday. No brood, no eggs, all but 1 queen cell open. Both colonies took sugar syrup again, before the split they weren't eating any.
So it looks to me that just about every queen just hatched and flew off! Didn't even bother to kill the others. I had flying drones.
Now what do I do. Is it to late for me to order queens? Just wait them out? Hope they requeen as was the original plan?
This was a complete bummer! I thought I was getting out of buying bees this year. Not sure but this colony looked as if it was getting ready to swarm before the split. Thought I was saving myself of a headache of a swarming colony 20 miles away.

05-24-2006, 04:02 AM
Sorry, but I have got to say it.

I guess they are saying that their honey is none of your beeswax. >:D (pun deffinately intended) JK LOL :D

The Honey Farmer
05-26-2006, 12:37 PM
Hi KACE069,
You can still buy queens, some queen breeders raise queens all summer.
Starting June 5 BEEWEAVER will be selling queens to the hobbist. Here's a link, info@beeweaver.com check it out.
Good luck, Dennis
Sorry, that was email. www.beeweaver.com

05-26-2006, 01:29 PM
Thanks Honey farmer

The Honey Farmer
05-26-2006, 01:42 PM
Your welcome Brother Beekeeper.

Dennis 8)

05-27-2006, 01:34 AM
Do they sell queens all summer?

The Honey Farmer
05-27-2006, 09:17 AM
I'm not sure, but I know Heitkam's Honey Bees does. They don't have a web site or email and they don't take credit cards. If you have and account with them they will bill you, otherwise they want payment in advance. If you would like there phone number PM me and I'll send it to you.

Have a good weekend, Dennis

06-01-2006, 10:29 PM
You can still order queens, just got Bee Culture in and here are some apiaries that are advertising queens in the June issue;
Weaver Apiaries in Texas 936 825 2333 www.rweaver.com
Queen Right Colonies in Ohio 440 647 2602
Gardener's Apiaries in Georgia 912 367 9352
Hardman Apiaries in Georiga 912 583 2710
Some of them might still have bees also if you want to build up a hive. There are more apiaries advertising but these are some of the bigger outfits, hope they can help.
Would of answered sooner but the hard drive on my laptop started to do the Macarana and then crashed last week, just got it back but lost all my files, pictures, everything. Real glad I keep all my mead recipes in a note book cause they would of been lost also.

06-02-2006, 08:41 PM
Well it has been about a month now since the split. So tommorow I will go through them again and hopefully they have requeened. I don't know what happened to the original queen. she was laying a nice pattern and got me through the winter with a nice colony. I only did all this to avoid buying any bees. Looking back now I should have just ordered some packages. After buying two queens I am not going to come out ahead. Oh well live and learn.
So if things aren't happy in there I guess I will be buying queens. Yuck. Plus I need to track down a nuc soon if I want to get a 4th colony up and running this year.
Thanks for the help guys!

06-03-2006, 05:15 PM
Sometimes package bees just work out easier than trying a split, when you look at the time frames involved it takes most of the season to get a split up and running while a package can get big fast. The big apiaries have enough hives so if they run into a problem with a split they can add more bees or toss in another queen. Us little guys can have a couple bad hives and really get hurt by it. I'm in the same boat with that one problem hive, tried to requeen about a month ago but she didn't take. Was out checking the hives today and there is no sign of the queen or any brood. This was the hive that had a bunch of laying workers in it and was loaded with drone brood before I requeened it. Slipped two brood frames in from the other hives to keep it going and will try one more requeen this week. Seems requeening this hive is a little more difficult than I thought.
The other hives are doing fine, can probably pull a deep super of honey off of them if I pull a full frame or two from each hive but am going to wait to see if the shallow supers fill up. Really don't like extracting less than two deeps or a deep and two shallows cause of all the setup time that is involved.

06-03-2006, 09:17 PM
Well fortunatley one colony is queen right. The one I figured the queen was in. I guess she took a vacation, meanwhile she has set that colony back a while. So tommorow I will take some brood to that one. The other one is full of drones, but it looks like there is no laying workers, but I still need to act fast.
I got some info from Weaver today and some of their claims about their queens seem hard to swallow. No mite treatment! I am also concerned about getting bees from Texas. I'm sure they won't be AHB, but I'm in Michigan, I'm worried about overwintering bees from such a warmer climate.

06-04-2006, 11:56 AM
Seems most of the bees on the market come from the southern states, don't know how much of a difference it makes on thier wintering ability. I alway had trouble getting hives through the winter when in Pennsylvania, either the hives were weakened a little by mites by August or they just didn't build up as fast as needed. Now you can laugh at me and say that I'm nuts but for the last four years I installed one of those flat bird bath deicer/heater in each of my hives for wintering. The only hive I lost during winter since I started was due to the heater failing. Don't know if you have any power handy near your hives but if you do think about putting heaters in them. I'm advocating doing something that just isn't done with large scale operations but worked for me at a hobby level. I got real tired of loosing hives during the winter so I ended up thinking outside the box. The advantages for the hive are less moisture in the hive, the hive stays warmer so the bees can move around the honey comb easier and the bees end up needing less honey for wintering. I'm assuming that the Michigan winters are a lot worse than any thing that I had to deal with in Pennsylvania so your bees will need all the help they can get. Some of the queen producers tend to blow thier own horn a bit, haven't tried any Weaver Queens yet so can't be much help there.

06-04-2006, 08:07 PM
Well winters should be long and cold here but, wait whats that I hear? Global warming?
We had a rather short mild winter. I think I open my hives one day in January, I think it was 63 degrees out! I really need to start keeping records! Just like with my mead.
I don't laugh at all about the heater idea at all. Its not the first time I have heard it.

06-05-2006, 09:46 AM
Do you guys think it possible to have a hive in a townhouse community? I would love to try my hand, but don't have much land.


The Honey Farmer
06-05-2006, 01:27 PM
I'm also a Real Estate Broker and I would check my CCR's first and then with the county Ag. Dept.

OK all you beekeepers out there, I just purchased two All Stars Queens from Bee Weaver Apiaries. I have two colonies with lazy queens and both colonies have mites that I can't seem to get rid of. I will not use any medication in these two colonies just bee weaver queens and I will post the result.
Mite resistance or not.
Gentle or not.
Good honey production or not.
The queens were a little pricey but if you won't have to treat for mites twice a year you save $20.00 + on meds alone. And just think of all the ORGANIC honey you will have. If what they say is true it will be worth the $49.00 for bees and shipping.
I'll keep you posted, Dennis

06-05-2006, 06:04 PM
Just ordered another queen from Gardener's Apiary for that problem hive, The first queen didn't take so I'll try it again. Don't want to loose the hive, have been able to keep it going for three years so far which is a personal record.
Don't think bees would be allowed in a town house, they don't even like boats in the parking lot so I would guess that bees are a real big no-no.
Let us know how the Bee Weaver queens work out, any little bit of mite resistance is a plus, might try some Russians once I get the hives established, heard that they can control the mites and are gentle. Really don't know how to get rid of mites except by treating for them. I use screened bottom boards which helps a bit, the mites fall through the screen and cant get back into the hive but by late summer the mites are at a panic level in the hives. Has anybody tried tobbacco in the smoker?, heard that nicotine kills mites.

06-06-2006, 02:33 AM
I look forward to the results Honey farmer. Where are you at? Beeboy is in Florida?? I think.
I think geographical location in the country BKr's have different problems and severity. I read on Bee foruums about ppl having problems with Hive Beetles. As far as I know Hive Beetles are not and issue here in Michigan. I don't even know what one looks like., but my mentor has never mentioned hive beetles before.
I would really love to have queens that performed like that. Varroa are definetly a problem here. I don't know to what degree the tracheal mite problem is.

Hope fully I will be fixing my problem hive friday. I should be getting some queen cells that are supposedly ready to hatch. As in that day from Canada. I think it will be $8 and has a 60% chance of taking. So as long as I don't have a laying worker by then or I finally have a queen emerge where there are like 6 cells hatched and all I have is empty brood and 1/2 colony of drones. :(
BTW Farmer. How long do you think it will take before the colony will all be the Weaver queen's brood or are you going to start a nuc?

Anyways I plan on buying a nuc later from this guy and I would imagine they will end up being the Canadians too.
And I might have a chance to buy out another hobbyist out, not sure about the details yet but I am excited.

06-06-2006, 10:09 AM
Yes I'm in Florida, just south of Daytona and have to agree with you on how different locations have different problems with bees. The newest bee pest is the small hive beetle which poses no real problem as long as the hive stays strong. They are little black or dark brown beetles about 1/4 the size of a lady bug. The damage done to a hive is simular to a wax moth where the grub tunnels through the comb. I don't think that they are winter hardy so that is a plus for northern beekeepers.
Hey Honey Farmer, found an article about different things to use in the smoker as mite control. Here's the web address, couldn't get a link to work
Says that grapefruit leaves in the smoker will knock almost 95% of the mites off of the bees in under five minutes but won't kill them. If you have a sticky board set up bet you could clean out most of the mites in your hives with two or three treatments. I've got a medium sized grapefruit tree in my back yard that needs trimming and I'll be happy to send you some dried leaves for the cost of the postage. Let me know if you are interested. Gotta go, just got called by the Post Office and my queen is in ;D

The Honey Farmer
06-07-2006, 10:21 AM
I live in Dolores Co. We are putting the finishing touches on our new house and will be moving in over the next two weeks. Haven't had much time for the forum.
Thanks for the site beeboy, I'll get into it when I can. I'll look for a back issue of Beeculture that talks about smoker fuels, I think it said that tobbaco smoke does the same thing as grapefruit leaves. The guy also said that cedar shavings kills mites. I buy them at our local *Wally World* for $2.50 a bag. I think that might be part of my problem, I haven't had time to work my bees this spring so they haven't had there smokes.
Gotta go meet another sub contractor, Dennis

06-08-2006, 01:38 AM
Well My trouble colony is queen right. All this worrying for nothing. Plus I doubled the yard.
Unfortunetaly my mentor can't get the queen cells after paying money and jumping through hoops for the governemnt to transport them over the border. Bueracracy! What is even worse is that he has 50 queenless nucs waitng for a queen. :(

06-08-2006, 07:13 PM
Good to hear the hives are working out Kace, there are still three good months left for building them up. I'm planning to use some grapefruit leaves as smoker fuel on a regular basis, see if it helps with the mites, probably will dry some grapefruit skins and toss them in the smoker as a experiment. Can't get any real data with only four hives but still can observe what happens with different smoker fuel.
In the middle of a drought down here in Florida, don't know what honey sources the bees are working but they are bringing in honey. Still waiting for the shallows to fill up, beekeeping is almost as bad as mead making with the waiting, can't rush the girls or yeasties, they work at thier own pace :-\.

Muirghein Tarot
06-08-2006, 07:53 PM
Is a drought good or bad for beekeeping? I thought I heard some where that the bees concentrate the honey more in dry years so you end up with less honey but better quality and taste. I'm probably off in left field with this question, what I know about bee keeping would fit on the back of a bee.
just curious,

06-08-2006, 09:33 PM
The drought is preventing the plants from flowering heavy which decreases the nectar flow, at least that is what I've been told. you have a good point about whatever honey is brought in being better quality. The little bit of burr comb I collected had a thick sweet honey in it. Burr comb is the honey comb that the bees make to fill in any large spaces in the hive and can become a problem if not removed.

06-09-2006, 03:42 AM
Beeboy the grapefruit leaves really intrigues me. The tobbacco to if it wasn't so expensive.
I'm not to worried about my colonies now, I started feeding them syrup again and pollen patties. Wow was that a mess today. I figured I will just pop the lids and throw a patty in there no problem, no need to light a smoker, in and out real quick. Yeah right. They must have still been pissed from being opened the day before. Once I got the inner cover opened they were on me like gangbusters. Got hit in the eye, the cheek and who knows how many times in the arms. They chased me off good. So the really weak colony got a patty inside the hive and I have no idea how good the outer got put back on. The not so weak colony got a patty on top of the outer cover.lol While I ran off.
Luckily I am over swelling and all the ill effects of bee stings. I must have been stung 40 times last week working for my mentor. So now its that inital hurt of the sting and its all over.
I agree with your explanation of drought conditions and honey production.
I really need to start learning the local flora.
things look to be shaping up to be a good year here, everything is coming on early, But it got pretty dry here in August last year so, who knows.

I just got my dad's radial arm saw so building some nuc boxes are on the agenda this summer so I won't have such a problem next year with splits. I can't beiliev how much nuc boxes go for! geez there about as much as a deep with a bottom board and covers!

06-09-2006, 03:55 AM
I forgot in my previous post about you mentioning patience with the girls like wiht the mead beeboy. Very true
Sometimes I think of the girls as giant yeast cells. I think fermenting and beekeeping have a lot in common. Both can take care of themselves but they will work better with proper management.
Luckily the yeast don't hurt you when they are mad about their living conditions or we would be in a lot of trouble! ;D

The Honey Farmer
06-09-2006, 03:33 PM
Hi KACE, I forgot to answer your other question from a couple of days ago. You wanted to know how long befor beeweaver brood and bees dominate the colony?
The new queens will be shipped 6-12-06 so I will *pinch* the old queens 6-11-06. The new queens will arrive 6-14 or 6-15. It will take the bees 2 or 3 days to eat throu the *candy* and free their new *mom*. From there it should only take 5 to 7 weeks and the colonies should be about 85% beeweaver.
I enjoyed your last post about getting stung. For some warpped reason we beekeepers find that amusing. That might be a good thing to post. What is the most beestings you've had in one day?
What was the worst place a bee has stung you?
There are a lot of people here on the forum that are thinking of getting into bees and it would be great if they knew what they might be getting into. I'll start with my worst this season. One of my little darlings worked her way into bee jacket and inside of my shirt and proceeded to sting me IN the navel. Try putting out a cigarett in your belly botton. Man oh man that hurt!!!

You know you're a beekeeper when you refuse to mow the lawn because your bees are working the Dandelions. ;D Dennis

06-09-2006, 04:53 PM
The worst stings I've ever gotten was trying to recover a swarm that was in a pine tree. Now remember that I was new to beekeeping at the time and had read a lot of books but had no hands on experience. The swarm was about twenty feet up the tree and out maybe six or seven feet on branch. So I figured that I could climb up the tree with a bucket tied on a stick and just poke the swarm till it fell into the bucket after all swarming bees won't sting, at least that's what the books said ;D. So up the tree I go with a bucket tied onto a piece of 2x3 and procede to poke the swarm, maybe 4-5 pounds of bees, till they dropped into the bucket. Next thing I knew the bees came out of the bucket in a big cloud just like a cartoon, flew down the 2x3 and began stinging me all over the head. Time to get out of the tree fast so I began to climb down till I missed a branch and started to slide down the tree trunk like a fireman on a fire pole. One big difference between the tree and a fire pole is that the tree had branches every few feet which I was snapping off with my feet, elbows and knees. Meanwhile the swarm of really p1ssed off bees was still all over me stinging everything they could. After I hit the ground in a shower of broken branches and bees I ran into the garage to hide. Final count was four or five stings on each ear, three on the face, another half dozen along the hair line and back of the neck and three or four under the shirt. Had to comb the bees out of my hair. I also broke six or seven branches off the tree on the way down. The worst thing about it all was that the bucket half full of bees was stuck way up in the tree LOL. Had to use a ladder to finally get the swarm down and you know that hive was always a mean one. Moral to the story, don't believe everything you read and alway wear a veil. I could of made Americia's Funniest home videos with that stunt. :D

The Honey Farmer
06-09-2006, 06:38 PM
Now that's funny! Thanks Beeboy, it's stories like that, that make beekeeping fun. The guy in the cubical next to me came over to ask what was so funny.
Thanks for the chuckle, Dennis :D :D

06-13-2006, 02:10 AM
Geez the most I have been stung in one day was probably 20- 25 times, after about number 5 you don't count and just think about how sore you will be tommorow. Other than stings in the eye probably the worst is down real low getting a little to close to destroying my sex life for a day or two.lol
I get most of my stings working the commercial yards and rarely get stung by my own bees. I almost never wear a veil while working my own bees, I just smoke them real good.

I work as a welder and some of the other welders think I am nuts for keeping bee's, that it hurts so much to get stung. I say welding burns hurt more and for longer. I will take a beesting over getting a burn from 2000 degree steel any day! Its amazing how a welding spark can bounce down in your boot and not hit you until it lands in between your toes. ouch. The worst burns are the sparks that go up your nose or in your ear. I think a burn in your nose is the worst of all.

Anyone following this thread, don't fear the beesting. Its not as bad as you think. The more you get stung the less it will bother you. It still hurts but only for a minute or two and it is all over. Beekeeping is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done, even if I don't get a harvest. I know that I am doing a great service for everyone within 5 miles of my colonies and you should see your garden when you have bees in the back yard.

Won't mow the lawn cuz the girls are working dandelions..lol

06-13-2006, 02:24 AM
Oskaar <---allergic to the point of having to carry a prescription bee-sting kit until the last couple of years.

Oskaar <---stung once and had a nice ride to the hospital

Oskaar <---thinks bees are cool as long as they don't sting him

Oskaar <---will leave the bee farming to those who are properly equipped and non-allergic



06-13-2006, 02:46 AM
One of my other addictions if flying, if it has wings, I'll try to fly it. So one day, Southern California, middle of the summer a friend and I are happily flying along in a couple of things that most closely resemble lawn chairs with engines attached when he starts flying most erratically, and then down he goes to land on a ditch bank. So I follow thinking something most have gone horribly wrong with his plane. When I get down, there he is right in front of a family out for a quit Sunday nature walk with his shorts off, jumping up and down, waiving them in the air and cussing up a blue streak. The look of shock on the parents faces was unbelievable, yes our friend the bee had found his most private of parts and had inflicted the most damage possible.


06-13-2006, 08:30 AM
Thanks for the laughs guys!! The mental images are priceless!!