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document: Easy Bee keeping for hobbyists in New Zealand

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tudor updated [plain]Easy Bee keeping for hobbyists in New Zealand[/plain] with a new update entry:

 

[plain]Next version of Easy Bee Keeping ...[/plain]

 

 

Lots of changes including how to how to draw a few 3/4 frames in a Full Depth brood box before conversion, how to remove the bees when harvesting honey, how to extract kanuka honey, how to handle wet frames after the honey has been extracted, and more !

The next version will cover setting up for winter, and thoughts on varroa treatment as well as wax moth.

 

Read the rest of this update entry...

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Thank you @tudor for sharing your knowledge with us beginners. Your 'drafts' have been a pleasure to read. I was lucky enough to have a mentor tell me right at the start to choose one size box and stick with that alone. I happened to choose 3/4's by chance. I read in books about the FD bottom box as being the brood box and have had trouble matching that with what I see in my excluder less 3 x 3/4 box hives. Your descriptions now make sense to what I have seen over the seasons. I am especially interested in the section on swarming and how to undertake preventative measures. I had 15 swarms from my hives last season a couple of them very big. This coming season I will try to improve my management based on your suggestions. I look forward to further updates.(y)

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Thank you @tudor for sharing your knowledge with us beginners. Your 'drafts' have been a pleasure to read. I was lucky enough to have a mentor tell me right at the start to choose one size box and stick with that alone. I happened to choose 3/4's by chance. I read in books about the FD bottom box as being the brood box and have had trouble matching that with what I see in my excluder less 3 x 3/4 box hives. Your descriptions now make sense to what I have seen over the seasons. I am especially interested in the section on swarming and how to undertake preventative measures. I had 15 swarms from my hives last season a couple of them very big. This coming season I will try to improve my management based on your suggestions. I look forward to further updates.(y)

Thanks for your comments, @Oma , I am developing some parts and doing a re-write, due to be out by the middle of August.

And you don't need to be restricted to 3 x 3/4 box hives, some of mine go up to 6 or 7, and then back down to 3 for winter, so lots of honey taken and lots left on.

:)

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Being a grandma and not that good at weight lifting I have managed to extract quite a bit of honey from my hives a few frames at a time then the wets go straight back in. Much easier than lifting full boxes. We were in Staveley late last summer and saw bee boxes 6 + high and I wondered what sort of management is required to get those sort of bee numbers in one hive. I obviously have not given mine enough room for their liking and they have swarmed again. I am going to put an extra box in between no 2 and 3 to give them more space this spring when bee numbers warrant it and hopefully see a difference to the swarming rate. I have to say that most of my hives are carniolians or a strong hybrid mix with my nearest neighbors being Arataki the plus side is they have a quick build up soon as the weather warms. I still managed to get a couple of boxes of honey off each hive and leave lots on for the girls to over winter.

My most worrisome problem this year was to find my varroa treatments not working and the consequent problems with DWF and nosema. I will be reading your chapters on disease treatments with great interest.

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and saw bee boxes 6 + high and I wondered what sort of management is required to get those sort of bee numbers in one hive.

don't let them swarm.

keeping the hive small will overcrowd them and make them swarm. by keeping them 3x3/4 your not doing the bees or yourself any favors. bees need room, give it to them.

 

my two at home

image002-jpg.12040

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Only sissies use 3/4 :mask::mask::mask:

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So now I need to purchase orchard pruning ladders to attend to my hives? Will ask Opa how our money is going or if he has any scaffolding left from his building days.:eek:

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So now I need to purchase orchard pruning ladders to attend to my hives? Will ask Opa how our money is going or if he has any scaffolding left from his building days.:eek:

:lol

 

its not that bad. you don't quite need the height as in the photo, but you need at least about half that just for the bees.

3 boxes is to small, 4 is minimal, 5 for a decent hive.

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This is 5 boxes of bees not stores ?

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This is 5 boxes of bees not stores ?

yes you have to give the bees some room.

 

they will of course fill them with stores etc

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I had calculated on 4 x 3/4 boxes per hive. So will have to up that number.. but if I don't have so many swarms to worry about I can use the extra boxes I have to increase hive size rather than hive numbers. Should work out can't wait. In the photo of your home hives @tristan is that an escape board? or hive mat on the top of the 2nd box?

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In the photo of your home hives @tristan is that an escape board? or hive mat on the top of the 2nd box?

thats an excluder. i run double 3/4 brood boxes.

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And without an excluder the bees move their "brood nest" usually up as the season advances, and then down as the top boxes are filled with honey as any brood there hatches out, and that is where they store the honey for winter (and what we can steal if they have made enough).

And then the brood nest is in the 3 boxes left for winter, obviously ...

You might use both techniques, some hives with and some without an excluder, and see what works best in your environment. Just remember to keep notes ...

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No excluder sounds more my style.

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No excluder sounds more my style.

Until you need to find the queen in a six or seven box hive

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Until you need to find the queen in a six or seven box hive

shes hard to find at the best of times if she is only contained to two brood boxs you know she there somewhere

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But it's not often that you need to find a queen - and if you find eggs then she's here. And the queen is usually close to where the action is, eggs and polished cells - and maybe not ...

 

And if you really need to find her, such as raising queens, then use an excluder for a while.

 

Or put all the bees through an excluder if you just gotta find her.

 

And I like marking my queens, makes them easier to find, remember that you CAN have more than one queen in a hive.

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Enjoyed reading the update @tudor... will you be able to add more info to the Split and Nucs page(s) in time for the Spring splits? I'm moving to a 3/4 set up as I mentioned and have it clear in my head now thanks...just wondering on the timing in making the move, I still have two hives on a FD "brood" + 1x 3/4 of near depleted stores that have over wintered on a wet yet a tad mild here on the Coast and the splitting those two hives to 4... (y):)

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Looking good @tudor . Thoroughly enjoyed the read thanks

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Maybe an addition @tudor ? I have discovered the joy of planted handles......much nicer than rebated.

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Seems to me it must be getting harder...

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So ... I've just got a question for you regarding honey harvest ...

 

I've been using One Size Boxes without a queen excluder and now I'm a bit confused as to what I am supposed to be doing in terms of harvesting the honey. I know I am a little late in doing so, but each time I have checked on the bees, the top boxes have been composed of both brood frames and honey frames, so I have been holding off. I was thinking that at this time of year, the brood nest would be starting to move down so I could harvest a complete box of honey, but the brood nest is still quite large. Should I wait a little longer, or should I start swapping honey and brood frames out with the boxes below now? I am concerned I am going to be confusing the bees by rearranging their home quite a bit!

 

Thanks.

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I am still waiting until the end of the month, but your climate is different but I think the weather is improving for most of us.

How many boxes are you at now ?

Some years it has been Easy with bees sorting it all out, with the strange weather I have been doing some re-arrangement to help the bees achieve what I think they want.

By now they will usually have the brood down in the lower 3 boxes.

The brood high up is usually "converting" by now with brood cells surrounded with honey - but if there are open and small larvae around the brood in that frame it's developing, I certainly move it down now to the brood nest as it will be nearly 3 weeks before it is cleared - and move up a brood free frame from lower down. Or a honey frame if the hive is very full of honey.

 

As I am sure you know, in harvesting you don't have to take off full boxes, just the capped frames are OK, and you can make up the numbers if there are empty frames lower down which you can take. Or put back the extracted frames ASAP.

 

It helps with varroa treatment to have the brood nest in 2 or 3 boxes. If you are using strips, the strips don't end up in brood-free boxes in a couple of weeks, but are where the action is.

 

Regards.

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