View Full Version : Beekeeping - New and exciting additions

03-24-2006, 12:31 PM
A lot of folks have asked for beekeeping info. Well, thanks to HoneyRun Apiaries (http://www.honeyrunapiaries.com) and Tim Arheit, we now have some very *valuable* beekeeping info!

If you mouse over the Beekeeping menu item, you'll see Beekeeping News. Mouse over that, and you'll see we now have a current news feed on the beekeeping world, and a list of upcoming beekeeping events around the world.

Coming soon: A worldwide list of beekeeping associations.

Thanks Tim!

03-24-2006, 02:08 PM
guess I better get to m

04-10-2006, 09:23 PM
Just added three hives to my beeyard, gives a total of four, yipee, major expansion ;D. If anybody needs tips on beekeeping let me know I'm more than happy to talk bees

04-10-2006, 11:17 PM
Hey beeboy how long have you been at it? I am planning on ading two more colonies this year giving me a total of 4 too. My bees made it through the winter and I can't wait to start supperin g in may!

04-11-2006, 10:26 PM
Been a keeper of the bees since the early 90's in Pennsylvania. lost my hives to mites in '96 and got out of it till 2000 when I started up again. have had one or two hives since then. Just moved to Florida in June, brought one hive down and decided to add three more, will need more equipment if I set up any more hives. Wintering is a lot easier on the bees down here even with the mites and small hive beetles. I've been using deeps with nine frames for brood and honey, it is easier to get the frames out without stiring up the bees. Also have a bunch of shallow supers for honey production, a deep super full of honey gets close to 100 lbs which is tough to handle, ended up screwing pieces of 1x2 on the sides of all my deeps for an extra handle. How long have you been beekeeping Kace069?, what type of equipment do you use and where are you located. Luck with your hives and watch out for the mites.

04-11-2006, 11:44 PM
I am in Michigan and I am entering my 3rd year as a hobbyist. Luckily I have met a local commercial beekeeper who has taken me under his wing. So I am learning a lot. I am using deeps with 10 frames but I am going to go to 9 frames for the same reason. Just waiting for the right time to reverse my brood chambers.
Lost my first colony to AFB.
I bet over wintering is easier in Florida, both of my colonies made it through the winter here. No problems with hive beetles here but lots of mites! Actually one of my hives that went into the witner with a pretty bad infestation looks pretty clean right now.
Other than that I am using shallows for honey, which I got my first harvest last year of 35# o well got two established colonies now. All they have to do is draw out comb for honey! Plus I will probably swap out some frames for the new colonies this year. But I am holding out for nuc's, haven't ordered any bees this year so I am crossing my fingers right now that I will get a nuc.
I love keeping bees. Stings aren't as good as a mead buzz, but I will take some stings for some really cheap mead.
Besides my day job is that of a welder, and welding burns hurt more and longer than a silly old bee sting. Got a week old burn healing right now. Probably have another week to go on it.

My boss uses mediums for honey supers and I can only imagine what a deep weighs. I must have moved a 1000 mediums loaded with honey last summer. Literaly.

It is great that I got to meet someone to teach me everything the books don't tell you. I'm really lucky.

So good luck with the girls Beeboy. Gonna get in on some OB in Florida?

04-12-2006, 09:41 AM
Don't know if I'll get any orange blossom, no orchards in the area. I found an old beekeeper who mananages 300 hive a bit south and he says that the big honey flow is from saw palmetto which gives a darker full flavored honey. Sounds perfect for mead ;D. I'll miss the honey from PA, got a nice crop from Tulip populars and a late summer flow of Golden Rod. AFB can be rough, I always lost a hive over winter when in Pennsylvania, mainly from starvation even though there was plenty of honey in the hive. The cluster didn't move around enough and ran out of food. Ended up using the little flat bird bath de-icers as heaters in the bottom of the hives, a crazy idea that worked.
Not worried about stings, a couple can be good for you, as you pointed out if you weld you get burnt, if you woodwork you will get cut, just finished healing up a deep cut on my thumb from a band saw, ouch. Luck with the hives and treat for those mites.

04-12-2006, 09:58 AM
I haven't got any hives yet, but I'm considering doing it this year.

Meanwhile, I'm saving my pennies for a trip to http://www.munrohoney.com"]Munro (http://"[url) Honey[/url]where I'll do an interview with them and get some honey, and then head home to visit my family in Onekama, MI (about an hour south of Traverse City) and pick up some honey from the guy that sells in bulk from my great-grandfather's old apple farm.

Guess I'd better take the pickup.......

04-12-2006, 10:52 AM
Tylosin is a great new anitbiotic for the girls for AFB. The FDA just approved it for bee use, but I know some that have already been using it.It goes under the brand name Tylan and it is in the new Mann Lake catalog. Or check your local vet, the vet down the street from me sells it too. He charges $1 more than Mann Lake but hey no shipping charge. I had my first colony analyzed and the strain of AFB they had was resistant to Terrmaycin. So Tylan should work for a few more years.

Vicky go for the bees, it is such a rewarding hobby, that is if everything goes well.
I got a great picture to show how docile the bees are but I don't know how to post it. Help!

04-12-2006, 11:45 AM
I'm going to do some homework, hook up with my friend Jeff, who is on my Civil War Skirmishing team, and happens to be the Ag agent for honey for NC.....

David Baldwin
04-12-2006, 01:43 PM
As of this morning, I am one of the newest excided additions to beekeeping. I have three hives that we got set up early this week and the packages of bees arrived yesterday.

This morning in spite of dreary weather I was able to successfully install my packages. Well, we'll know in a few days if it was successful. I didn't squash too many of the little ladies, and managed to stay safetly within the protection of my bee suit and goatskin gloves.

My father-in-law stood by with a digital camera. He was only wearing a ballcap, white sweatshirt, and jeans. He tried to take a self portrait of a bee that had landed on his ear. I think it flew off before he got the picture...

I was very surprised by how gentle these bees were - especially considering their treatment over the past few days.

Time to quit before I write on all day.


The Honey Farmer
04-12-2006, 01:59 PM
YeeHaw David, Now you belong to a very strange brotherhood. Welcome!!
Be cool, Dennis 8)

04-12-2006, 03:33 PM
For anyone that doesn't have a good understanding of just how docile honeybees are take a look at this pic.

I like to use this pic on adults who are scard of bees, I say hey look a 10 year old isn't scared and you are? I used it on my new neighbor last weekend when I finally met him. He didn't seem concerned about the bees but I wanted to give him an idea of how nice they are. I showed him the pic then took him out to the hive and opened it up to let hime look inside. No smoker no equipment. So we stood there for a few minutes talking and looking inside the colony. I closed it up with no incident and then told him that it was my mean colony and my other one was nicer.
Honey bees do get a really bad rap and its a shame. Most people think that if it is black and yellow it a bee and they are going to get stung. In most cases what they see is yellowjackets. I have a small yard in town and almost never see any bees unless I go out to the colony. But man are the yellow jackets bad around here.

The Honey Farmer
04-12-2006, 04:38 PM
Nice pics. KACE069, I try to tell people about the difference between bees and yellowjackets too. Looking at your bees, are you useing Italian/carniolian cross? Who do you buy your queens from?

Dennis 8)

04-12-2006, 04:53 PM
Those were italians from what I was told. I bought those ones as a nuc from a local guy. But lost them to AFB. Since then I have bought two packages of italians from Kelley. This year I will be getting nucs (cross my fingers) from the commercial keeper I know. Those will be carniolians. I haven't bought queens, I haven't progressed far enough to start making splits, maybe next year.

The Honey Farmer
04-12-2006, 05:06 PM
Cool dude, Some of the queen breeder's put drone mothers that are carniolian colonies with lots of drone combs therefore lots of carni drones. They raise Italian virgins and cross them with the carni drones so the workers are a hybred hopeing to get the best of both breeds. I guess it works. I buy from Hietkam Honey Bees N. Cal.
Dennis 8)

David Baldwin
04-12-2006, 05:28 PM

Those pics are great. Makes me look kinda silly in my moonsuit. But hey I got through my first day without getting stung. I just got a sheet of prints of the photo's my father-in-law took. It's pretty cool. I'll post some when he gets them to me in digital format.

The three packages I got are Italian's from Dadant.

I was a nervous wreck opening the first package, but was on a roll by the time I wrapped up the third.


04-12-2006, 06:19 PM
Yup, the first package is like that, nerve racking. Congrats on your new hobby, you will love it. I would suggest going out and inspect at least one of the colonies once a week. That way you get to see how the bees work and get used to working with them.
They are really gentle, more than once i have worked my colony in only a t-shirt and shorts. Mind you my two colonies are 20 miles apart, I probably wouldn't do that with 2 or more, I would at least put on some pants. ;)

Here is a tip on the smoker, use pine needles, they are cheap and work great, and you can get your smoker started quick. My books told me to start with little twigs and get some coals going, its nonsense. Pine needles are the way to go.

Here is a link to a bee keeping forum with lots of great info.

There is a lot of information and some links to videos there. My only problem with that forum is that the people there aren't as nice as the people here at GM. I relied on this website alot when I first started, but it always seemed I got really bad attitudes from some with my questions. They don't seem newbee friendly. I have had many talk down to me with my newbee questions. With that said,I rarely visit that site now and they are asking for donations to keep it running. I would donate some money but their attitudes have turned me off to the idea.
I know there is a few of us here and everyone is so eager to help each other out, so let us have all your questions.

BTW more than a couple of the video links are in German..lol some in English, but even if you don't understand what they are saying its a lot of help to see how others work bees.

BTW again..lol When I first started making mead is when I began to take an interest in beekeeping so I went to the library and they had a how to video there, it might be worth checking out your local library. Unfortuneatley I didn't have anywhere to put bees so it got held off for a few years.
Good Luck and have fun!

The Honey Farmer
04-12-2006, 06:49 PM
Hi KACE, just a note here on smoker fuel, there was a guy in one of the mags. that stated Cedar shaveings as fuel kills mites. I buy it at Wally World in the pet dept. I can't say if it really works but it smells nice.
You can sure tell it's spring, the beekeepers are coming out of the woodwork!
Get ready all you Mazers the honey flow is about to start!

Be cool, Dennis 8)

04-12-2006, 08:40 PM
Only a month or so until the first major flow of the season is harvested locally!!!!

04-13-2006, 04:17 PM
The three packages I added were italians, been using them for years. Found a local who was advertising in Bee Cuture. Drove over to his operation two weeks ago and picked them up, saved on shipping, man did he have a lot of hives probably over 100 in that location alone. He does the pollenation thing, starting in Florida and working along the gulf coast for almonds.
Almost ready to super up with the three new hives, boys are they going strong, lots of brood and am still feeding them. The queens look fat and healthy so hoping for a good year. Surprised as to how gentle they are also, have had a couple "hives from hell" in my time so nice bees are a treat. The wife even had her face only a couple of feet from a hive after I opened it up to take pictures and didn't get stung.
Just started using pine needles for my smoker, if I'm gong to be tearing the hives apart I'll stuff a few small pieces of pine cutoffs in on top to keep the smoker going. Read in Bee Culture that sumac leaves in the smoker will kill mites, haven't tried it yet.
Hey David, glade to hear you got hooked up with some bees, you are so right, the first package is downright scary, wait till you have to release a queen and see the workers ball up on her or have the queen fly away.
I only wear my moon suit to do major work on the hives, for regular checking and supering it's the hat with the net, gloves and a light colored T shirt.
Anybody using the screened bottom boards from Mann Lake? I have and like them so far but they seem to need a weekly cleaning. I'll try to get some pictures of my little bee yard posted for everybody's enjoyment. Finally found some people as crazy as me about bees, cool ;D

04-13-2006, 08:12 PM
Yup, crazy about bees here. Especially when they are going to give me some honey for my mead craziness.
I keep seeing posts about these different leaves in the smoker for mites, Varroa or tracheal or both? I don't read any bee publiations although I should, but it seems strange to me that just ths smoke would kill varroa and not the girls.

Don't use any screened boards, they would almost be impossible to switch out in the fall for winter, been using , miticide I think, something my boss gets for the mites.
Since you have been out of the loop for a while beeboy I will mention to you about Tylosin a new anitbiotic for the girls for AFB, it goes under the brand name Tylan and is in the new Mann lake catalog. I used some last year and it worked great.

04-13-2006, 10:06 PM
Haven't had any problems with AFB, used to treat with tetracylin in the fall but started working on the theory that moisture along with weak colonies gives AFB a foothold. Control the moisture level in the hive and reduce the chance of AFB.
Can't see using the screened bottomboards in a large operation, way too much work, but for small scale like my setup they seem to help. I use a piece of sheet metal that I slide in under the screened bottom board and block the opening with a small piece of wood, check the sheet metal for any mites once a week. I treat once a year for varroa mites using Bayer or apistan strips although with the small hive beetle I might need to treat as needed.
most of the stuff for the smoker is to help control the varroa mites, don't know how effective it is, you need menthol chrystals for the tracheal mites, I got my last batch from Mann Lake. It goes under the inner cover when it gets warm outside. If you are storing supers with drawn out frames watch out for wax moths, get the stuff from Mann Lake to control them. Enough for now, gotta try a lemon mead I've been working on ;D

David Baldwin
04-14-2006, 11:19 AM
Last night I opened up the hives and let the queens out of the cages. All three were mostly cooperative and the queens seemed to have been accepted. I didn't see any balling of the queens. In one hive, the bees had started drawing comb around the queen cage, and it was a bit of work to get that unstuck.

I was surpised that each hive had gone through about 2/3 of the quart jar of syrup I had in each. I'll switch to the larger top feeders this weekend.

I'm using the Dadant plastic & stainless screened bottom board - one thing to note is that you'll have to make your own entrance reducers to fit properly.

I had a moment of inspiration on working with the smoker. I lit a charcoal briquette with a propane torch and dropped that into the smoker. Then I piled damp pine needles on top of that. It worked great - after 2 tries getting the briquette lighted. ;D I went home last night smelling like a campfire.

Just after releasing my second queen, I nearly jumped out of my skin to find a man standing next to me in short sleeves peering into my hive. He's a local beekeeper who has hives in the orchard across the street from mine. He was very nice and gave me his phone number and told me to call whenever I needed. He also told me that he'd lost all but 5 of his hives this winter. He has mites too. For that warning I was very thankful.

I think it took him about 2 seconds to figure out that I was a rank newbee - but he did comment on how nice my suit was. ;D

You might be a new beekeeper if:
You find your missing hive tool - in the last hive you worked... :-[


04-14-2006, 02:06 PM
Lol David good one with the fine your hive tool in the last colony.

I have a hive top feeder and don't care for it to much. It is convienient but I lose a lot of bees to it. Some how they get through the screen and drown. Maybe its just my luck, but bee warned.

Its great you met a locla keeper, you should try and develop a realationship with him, see if you can accompany him out to his colonies. One day with him will teach you more about this hobby then if you read every book on the market!
Have fun!

04-14-2006, 10:41 PM
Get hooked up with him, it will be worth it for all the information you will learn, he might have some local contacts for equipment or bees. My new hives are sucking up about a gallon of sugar water every four days. Feeding them a 5lbs of sugar per gallon mix using the plastic feeders that replace a frame in the super. My one established hive is starting to bring in a little honey so I'll stop feeding the new ones soon, already have used 40lbs of sugar. Using a charcoal bricket is a great idea, I've been jaming a propane torch into the smoker right before I pull on the veil and gloves, by the time I'm ready the smoker is lit.
Don't rush the bees, they work at thier own speed, I spend a lot of time watching the girls fly in and out of the hives spotting how many have pollen, you can learn a lot just by sitting still and looking (a chair and a glass of mead next to a hive on a warm afternoon). I once found a 1/2 gallon glass milk jug in a hive, must of been a feeder that was forgotten and ended up being built into the honeycomb. Haven't lost any hive tools in a hive but I did leave one on a bottom board.
Kace, try floating a couple small pieces of wood in your feeders, it gives something for the bees to climb up on to get out of the syrup, had to do it with the feeders I'm using and it helped a lot.

04-14-2006, 11:56 PM
Good idea beeboy. I haven't been feeding my bees anything yet this year but pollen patties so far. But I did mix up some sugar syrup today and will see if they take to it. Both my colonies made it through the winter with a lot of honey so I am letting them feed on it for now. I am just going to use the entrance feeder for now. Still debating on the hive top feeder but your idea is making me think about putting it on. They really have just started to get into the top chamber and I am desperatley seeking brood and have seen none as of yet so I guess I will have to wait until I reverse my chambers. Thats probably a few weeks away yet. It was 76 yesterrday and 73 today and it will bee 66 tommorow with a steady decline in temps. Thats Michigan for you. The other week it hit almost 70 one day and snowed the next.

David, beeboy is right about just watching them come in and out of the hive. I did it for a little while today. They are really brining in the pollen now. They were bringing some in last week and I couldn't figure out where they were getting it from but there are some more flowers popping up now and they are coming in pretty heavey with pollen. If you just sit down to the side of the colony the bees won't even care that you are there, so no need to suit up. I watch for what they are bringing in and what is riding on them on the way out, mites. So far they look pretty clean.
Just sitting next to the colony and watching will really help you get used to being near them. If you get brave you can try taking the outer cover off and take a look in.

I just added some more pics for you, as you can see I progressively got more comfortable with them. All of these were from my 1st year out. If I think about it I will try and get some more current pics. Really need a cameraman for it other wise your camera gets all gummed up with proplis,wax, and honey. You can also see how close the hive is in my yard, I also live in town.


You know your a newbee beekeeper when, you have already planned out this honey crop, in gallons of mead!

04-19-2006, 05:30 PM
Went ahead and supered up the three new hives over the weekend, they already had burr comb all over the inner cover so it was time to give them a little room. My orignal hive seems to be loosing it's queen, lots of spotty drone brood with no worker brood apparent. Swapped a frame of young brood from a new hive into the problem hive last week and am hoping they will draw out a queen cell and requeen themselves. Will be out of town next week so can't order a queen in to requeen the original hive, hope they make it till I get back. Maybe when I get back I should shrink the hive down to one super, add a frame of brood from each of the new hives and then introduce a new queen. Kind of mix the hive up and then requeen. I would rather not loose the hive but extreme measures seemed to be called for. Any ideas would be helpful, haven't had to deal with this problem before and am open to suggestions. Beside that the hives are going strong so am looking forward to a honey flow in a month or so. ;D Got a lemon mead to bottle and a lemon/banana mead started can you tell I love mead and bees and all that goes between.

The Honey Farmer
04-20-2006, 12:26 PM
Good day beeboy, Spotty drone brood? Sounds like you have a laying worker and no queen. Giving them a frame of brood could encourage them to produce a new queen, but by the time they draw the queen cell, hatch the queen, she matures enough to fly and mate, 21 to 25 days have gone by. I would order a new queen when I got home, put in two frames of fresh brood and put her between the brood frames. But befor I requeened, I would take all the frames and bees out and shake the bees on the ground about 10 or 15 feet from the colony and get rid of that laying worker. That is far enough away that she will not be able to find her way back. That's my 2 cents.
Be cool Dennis 8)

04-20-2006, 06:51 PM
Thanks for the tip, I'll give it a try when I get back. Planning to head down to Key West for a couple of days, hope the problem hive will hang in there. The frame of brood I put in the hive last week has a queen cell forming on it but it will take two or more weeks for a queen to emerge, I'll order one as soon as I get back, rather be safe so I don't loose the hive. Spotted my first small hive beetle yesterday in hive #2, the little sucker was hanging out on the tray under the screened bottom board, made a nice crunching noise under my thumb ;D. Guess I need to start treating for them soon. Man beekeeping is nothing like it was when my dad was beekeeping, back then all you had to worry about was AFB and Chalkbrood, now it's mites and small hive beetles along with everything else. Still love beekeeping it just gets complicated sometimes, don't know how the big operations keep going what with cheep imported honey flooding the market. Still worth it for the great honey.

04-24-2006, 01:18 AM
I luckily haven't encountered hive beetles before. My boss hasn't ever mentioned them before either. Maybe they aren't as big of a problem in michigan. Anyone got a link to a pic of a hive bettle so I know what I am looking for.

05-03-2006, 08:40 PM
Just got back from Key West, had a great time but couldn't find any local meads, glad I packed a couple bottles for personal consumption. Saw the southern most tip of the US and sipped on a glass of mead while there. If you are ever in that area and enjoy bugs check out the butterfly conservatory only a couple blocks from the southern most tip.
Looks like my problem hive hung in there, ordered a queen that will be in by the end of the week so will requeen when the girl arrives. I'll try shaking out the bees away from the hive to loose the drone laying workers. Moon Suit Time ;D. The May issue of Bee Culture was waiting for me when I got home. It has a good article about Tylosin residue in honey and how it has been detected in more and more honey samples, up from 5% in '04 to 23% in '05. Seems it is a very stable compound and doesn't break down as rapidly as other AFB medications it also has become the med of choice for AFB. Don't know if I would use it unless there was no other option.
I wouldn't worry about the small hive beetle too much, it doesn't like cold weather so it is more of a problem here in the south. They look a bit like a black pepper corn cut in half and hide in the drawn out comb or small cracks. Let you all know how the requeen works out.

05-04-2006, 01:33 AM
the tylosin isn't breaking down? Even with a few weeks betewwen treatment and supering? I was recommended to use tylosin by a commercial buy. My first colony died from AFB, I sent a sample of bees in and I was told by the lab that the AFB I had was immune to terramyicin. So I am at a dilemma. i have revesred one colony and have another one to do. no mites as of yet. Everything looks fine, So I think I will hold off on any kinds of treatments for now.
I really need to subscribe to bee culture. Is that a monthly publication?
Hoping to do my first split soon, so if you have any advice beeboy I am all ears.

05-04-2006, 09:41 AM
Never tried to split a hive, when in Pennsylvania I wanted as big a hive as possible going into the winter. I do know that you need a second location to move the split to so the bees don't return to the original hive, beside that it sounds simple enough, just take a couple frames of brood and honey, place them in a new super with the queen and a couple pounds of bees and move them to the new location for three or four weeks.
The article in Bee Culture about the tylosin said that it is detectable in more honey samples possibly because it is more stable. The article didn't address the possibility that the comercial beekeepers could be overmedicating thier hives and using it more now that it has been approved. A lot of the commercial beekeepers treat if they need to or not which could be why there is an increase in the detectable residue. After all one of the reasons AFB is tetracylin resistant is because the comercial beekeepers have been overmedicating with tetracylin for years. I think that they are doing the same with the tylosin,if a little is good than a lot is better. When you set you hives up only use the tylosin in the brood supers, not the honey supers and it will be ok, it is when you mix up the equipment problems can occur. When I treat for small hive beetles I need to only treat the brood supers, can't have any honey supers on the hive. Before I switched over to shallow supers for honey production I painted the brood super white and the honey supers tan so I wouldn't get them mixed up. Bee Culture is a great monthly publication, well worth it just for all the suppliers listed. AFB tends to attack weaker hives, maybe the hive you lost had some other problem going into the winter and the AFB took advantage of the weakness. I tend to under medicate my hives and have lost some because of it, mainly to the varrona mite. I'm always hoping that my hives will develope some resistance to them but haven't had much luck with it yet. Hope I don't run into any AFB but I'll keep my eyes out for it from now on.

05-04-2006, 11:49 AM
I am 100% positive that I introduced the AFB to my colony. In my ovezealousness of my new hobby I retrieved some old hives I knew of on some property. They were in horrible shape but I took them home and tried cleaning them up. During the whole cleaning process and melting down wax my bees were all over the old combs. So I am pretty sure that is where they got it.
So I lost the colony over winter and had to burn the frames, I then boiled the rest of the hive. That is what the MSU guy said I could do. Everything seems ok. Lesson learned.

I'm doing the split to avoid buying bees. I have 2 colonies now and equipment to put up 2 more this year. I want to split my really strong colony and only buy 1 nuc. Then my weaker one in my backyard that I can watch closely will be my wax machine. I will have a lot of brrod cahmber to be drawn out and I only have one super drawn out so lots of wax production this year. but I am learning bettter on how to manage the bees instead of standby helplessly.lol ;)

05-04-2006, 12:54 PM
That sounds like a real good plan, don't see any reason why it shouldn't work. Getting all the wax drawn out will take some time but is worth it in the long run. I went thru that three years ago when I switched over to shallow supers for honey. Spent half the summer swapping out supers as the wax got drawn out, didn't get much honey that year but was ready for the next year.
Back about ten years ago I had to burn two hives that had AFB, wasn't fun at all. Think I got a bad batch of bees and didn't know enough to treat them. Oh well live and learn.

The Honey Farmer
05-04-2006, 02:59 PM
Hi guys, Mind if I put my 2 cents in? I worked for some Queen breeders in N. Cal for a few seasons and they had problems with mites and AFB big time. The reasons were: They medicated for AFB every year twice a year. Most of the time they didn't even have active AFB, it was lying dormant waiting for the conditions to be right. When it was right, the AFB had built up an immunity to the Terry. The lesson was, only medicate WHEN YOU HAVE IT. As for mites, they under medicated because of the cost. Four strips per colony at $2.00 a strip, that's $8.00 a colony twice a year and if you're like the Park family with about 22,000 colonies that's a lota bucks. Lesson on that was pay the money and medicate properly. Those are two lessons that I live by today.

Bee cool, Dennis 8)

05-04-2006, 04:28 PM
You got that right, only medicate when needed, I rotate between apistan strips and the bayer strips for mites, use a different type each time. Now with small hive beetles being present most of the year in Florida I need to rethink using the bayer strips which kill both the mites and beetles. There are a couple types of beetle trap that don't use any chemicals, time to start looking into them. All overmedicating does is help the problem build up a resistance to it, same with underdoing it. I'm totally with Honey Farmer on this one, if it doesn't need it don't do it, if it does then do it according to the instructions.

The Honey Farmer
05-04-2006, 05:14 PM
Hi beeboy, yeah, it sure helps to follow directions. All of the big outfits try to cut corners and all it does is create problems for everybody. One of the biggest problems we have is the migratory bee keeper. Every Febuary beekeepers from all across the country head out to Cal. for the almond pollination. You can't blame them, it's good money. But you have all those bees from all the different states mingling. They spread mites, foul brood, small hive beetles, fire ants and who knows what kind of weeds. My beef is that they bring that crap back to there home states and we smaller guys have to deal with it. I don't think I have to worry about small hive beetle here in Co. but the Africanized bees are on there way. I used to worked my bees without a veil, no smoker and in a tank top. Not anymore. Now it's a pollinators jacket and a smoker just in case. Oh well, I still love this hobby and it will take more than the above mentioned to run me off.

Have a good day, Dennis 8)

05-04-2006, 07:14 PM
I'm a little nervous about the package bees I used to set up my hives with. They came from a outfit that does the migratory pollenation and winters here in Florida. Not sure what has been used on them or when so I'm being carefull and monitoring them close for a couple months. We already have the africanized honey bee over on the gulf coast, need to watch out for any hive that goes agressive, it's the first sign of africanized honey bees. If the hive is requeened fast enough they say it will calm down. I've been wearing a hat and veil since catching the swarm from hell up in Pennsylvania, got nailed under my left eye and looked like I went a few rounds with Mike Tyson, even had to call in sick the next day. I don't mind a couple stings but this one made me look like Mr. Potato Head for a day ;). Like you said still love this hobby and plan to be doing it for a long time.
My new Queen didn't show up today, hope it is ok and not sitting in the sun somewhere getting baked. Can't worry about things I can't control, they said it would be here by the end of the week and that's tomorrow. Time for a glass of lemon mead and dreaming about bees. Life is good :D

05-05-2006, 03:01 AM
you guys are really making me think about all the meds. i have been worried about the AFB coming back. My boss uses meda and is now using formic acid I think it is for mites, both types. He learned it in Canada and supposedly they have been using it for years.
I think I will lay off the treatments a bit this year until fall. The books make it seem like it is doomsday for the girls.

Well, tommorow I will be reversing my other colony, but most liekly I will be making a split. i cut a branch off the tree over it the other day and took a peek under the outer cover and wow I am starting to worry abouth them swarming on me. So I'm sure I will post how it went. you guys will be the only ones who care.lol

05-05-2006, 09:24 AM
Formic acid just got approved for mites, don't know where to get it or how to use it. Mites are the BIG problem and the only thing I treated for. The small hive beetle can be controlled by keeping the hive full of bees which risks swarming. That's a little different from the way I am used to running a hive but we all learn new tricks as needed. Plan to treat for mites mid to late summer depending on your area, when you see bees with deformed wings you are already in trouble, already been there a couple times. There are a lot of ways to control mites but it looks like we will never get rid of them so it is a ongoing battle. Gotta run, ;D

The Honey Farmer
05-05-2006, 10:57 AM
Hi guys, Formic acid is used with a fume board. I don't know if it's true but i've been told if you leave the fume board on too long you can burn their wings enough so they can't fly. I use essentials oils to medicate my bees. It's natural and it seems to work. I don't want anything in my honey that I don't want in my mead.
Formic acid can also be used to remove the bees from the honey supers. Just put the fume board on top and the bees scramble out of the entrance. It's nasty stuff!
Well I gotta build a new bee yard this weekend so take care, Dennis

05-06-2006, 03:13 AM
Hey guys, im wanting to start a hive myself. But i have a few questions.

I live in the city i want to put a hive in the back yard. In my backyard is also a small forest, the backyard is about the size of my house.
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houses on both sides of us. Is it legal to keep bee's this close to other houses?

can i point the hive towards the forest or how should i do that? There is a apple tree very close by.

Is there a newbie guide somewhere, or someone with pictures showing me how to build my own hive and anythign it needs? My understandin of what these bee's will require of me is also limited.

Im sure this comes up a thousand times, can someone go into detail about all this? Then we just point all the noobs like me to this thread or w/e.


05-06-2006, 09:38 AM
The first thing you should do is check with the local zoning board to be sure that you are allowed to keep bees at you house. A lot of times bees aren't allowed in a strickly residential area, you need to be in a agricultural/residential zone. If you know somebody who has a farm then you should be able to set up a beeyard out of the way on his property. There are a lot of books out there on how to start a beeyard, can't recall any at this time though. I'm not into building equipment, the store bought stuff is cheep enough when you compare it to buying the wood, cutting it and assembling it. A lot of information can be found at the vendors the supply equipment, try Dadant & sons or Mann Lake. It is not an easy or inexpensive hobby to get started in but can be a lot of fun. Research it first before jumping in and good luck.

The Honey Farmer
05-06-2006, 10:50 AM
Good day Hellbringer,
Beeboy is right, look into your local zoning first! The web sites he gave you are all top notch. I use them both plus a couple of others. I agree with Beeboy about buying your equipment. I made my first 50 hives and had to take them apart and re-cut them just a hair because I didn't have the *bee space* right. Bees are very fussy about *bee space*. Most bee books are good enough to get you started and they will tell you how important *bee space* is.
Hey Beeboy. Have you tried the foam Bee Max hives yet? I switched over to them 3 years ago. My bees over winter much better in them.
Back to weekend chores, Dennis

05-06-2006, 03:39 PM
Haven't tried the foam Bee Max hives yet, been using a mix of equipment I've picked up over the years, most is 45-50 year old Kelly stuff that my dad used, kept it when he died in '91. Lots of problems with bee space when you mix equipment manufacturers. Started to use Mann Lake frames two years ago, a lot heavier that the Kelly frames and should last a lot longer. Even have one of the old Kelly twin frame extractors, a real classic, had to paint the inside of it with food grade epoxy cause of all the rust, besides that it works great. Would like to go to a stainless steel one but just don't want to spend the money on it. A lot of my supers are getting beat up and you can only repair them so much, will try the foam supers when it is time to replace the stuff I'm using.
Just finished requeening my laying worker hive, took both supers out away from the orignial location, set up a new super with two frames of brood from the good hives and the queen still in her cage. Then shook and brushed the bees off the frames about 25 feet from the orignial hive. Ended up shrinking the hive down from two supers to one using some of the frames that didn't have a lot of drone brood. Trying to mix the hive up and then treat it like a package. Scattered some of the other frames into the other three hives. I'll let the bees rob and clean up the rest of the frames before they go back into storage.
Was a bit surprised, the three new hives have already have drawn out most of the foundation in the second supers put on three weeks ago. Even have brood and honey moving up into them, forgot one of my beekeeping rules, when you work a hive bring a bowl to put burr comb in, ended up with a pile of burr comb on a piece of plywood, still tasted great but dripped all over. Will super the honey shallows next weekend, hoping for a good crop this year.

05-06-2006, 04:48 PM
Rotating Frame broodnest -

I thought I'd do some research, because the Beekeeping subject is one I know little about. I was looking at equipment when I ran across this...


Anybody know anything more about it, or if there is an US distributor?

I also found this about a fungus that kills the mites...

I found both articles here...

The more experienced of you have probably heard of both of them before, but these were the two most interesting things I found in a hour of surfing.


05-06-2006, 05:26 PM
Great articles, the rotating brood nest is different to say the least, wonder how you would extract a round frame, all the extractors are made for the standard designs. Every few years a new idea comes across, sometimes better, sometimes worse. All the bee equipment had been standardized by the manufacturers and there is a resistance to anything of a different design. Looks like he spent a lot of time and energy with the idea, bet it works too.
First time I've heard about the fungus, boy we can really use it with the mites. Wonder why there isn't more hype about it.

The Honey Farmer
05-10-2006, 12:27 PM
WOW! I've been off line for a few days so I just saw this post. I'd like to try the fungus on the mites but I don't know about those round frames. Rotating frames???? WOW! Well you'll never know unless you throw.


05-12-2006, 04:17 PM
Honey Farmer,

After quite a bit of digging I was able to come up with the email address of one of the main researchers, I have emailed him asking for any further information he can supply, and asked about the possibility of individual beekeepers volunteering for further trials. I will keep you informed of his reply. The only commercial product using Metarhizium anisopliae was BioBlast and it was used for killing termites, the company seems to have gone out of business. :'( After contacting a pest control company that still has BioBlast listed for sale on their site... they say they sold out about two years ago. I also contacted the 2 different phone numbers for EcoScience (BioBlasts mfg.) both of which are now assigned to completely unrelated companies. >:(


05-12-2006, 06:37 PM
That is really interesting, it means that the fungus has been comercially produced and marketed, maybe not for mites but still the ability to produce it in large quanities have been developed. Sounds like it needs to be approved by the US Department of Agriculture as a mite treatment next. It's got me thinking, hummm

05-16-2006, 04:40 PM
I have just discovered the RFDtv network ondish network. I'm guessing on the bigger channel packages you can get it on cable and other satillite providers.
Anyways my wife caught a show called Honeybees and beekeeeping. i guess it is a series they are running through may and june. Their website has no iformation about the show on it.
anyways another episode will air tonight at 7:30pm.
It is channel 9409 on my satilite guide.

06-01-2006, 10:57 PM
Couldn't find the show on cable, oh well have my own bee keeping show going on right now in my back yard. The problem hive was requeened about a month ago, boy did the lady at the post office give me a real strange look when I picked up the queen. Haven't been able to tell if the queen took but saw some fresh brood on last inspection which is a good sign. The hive still doesn't seem right though, not building up fast. The other three hives are on a roll, supered up with the second deep, honey and brood began filling them up fast so dropped on a queen exclude and a shallow super. Had some problems getting the bees to cross over the excluders so pulled them out for four days to get some movement up to the shallows. By then one hive had already got some brood started in the shallow, didn't expect that, so had to add a second shallow, think that this one hive will be a monster. I'm not sure what the honey source is but the burr comb I was able to scrape off was loaded with a light, almost white honey. Need to get out this weekend and tear down the problem hive to see what is happening. Also need to check the other three to see if the supers need to be switched and check for honey. Work the bees, Drink Mead, Work the bees, brew Mead, Life is good.

06-02-2006, 06:06 AM
After quite a bit of digging I was able to come up with the email address of one of the main researchers, I have emailed him asking for any further information he can supply, and asked about the possibility of individual beekeepers volunteering for further trials.

All quiet on the research front... No answer to my inquiry. :(


06-02-2006, 12:35 PM
I found this *fab* beekeeping website with great stuff including plans for several types of hives....