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  1. #41

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    Florida Atlantic

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    Or, you could just fly to Nepal and do this:

    http://io9.com/stunning-photos-show-...hun-1538049319

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  2. #42

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    First package of bees successfully installed yesterday. So far they're still alive.
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  3. #43

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    Marine Corps Virginia

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    Up at 3:30 a.m. this morning and on the road to Hendersonville, NC to pic up my two 'NUCs'. Strapped them in my pickup bed truck and brought them home and installed with the help of my lovely friend (who also happens to be my boss) Jenni. It was a colder day, but I was able to verify my two queens are alive and laying, and got them in their respective hives. Weather warmed a bit this afternoon and they are flying in and out of the hives like crazy. It was fascinating putting them in the hives and seeing all the work they are doing. I think I'm really going to enjoy this. Got a status report SNF?
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  4. #44

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    Not sure yet. The temps at night dropped into the twenties and I think they've been spending most of their time just staying warm. I installed a package into an empty hive with no comb so they have a lot of work to do. The one time I checked they were nowhere near where I expected them to be. I'm leaving them alone for now. I'm not confident that they'll do well, but the warmer weather and sunlight have them a lot more active now. We'll see.

    I did have to protect them from a large group of ants already though. I looked out one day and saw smaller black spots on the front of the hive. When I got closer I saw that they were large ants. I built my hive table out of 2 x 4's, so it was easy for me to put the legs into small containers and set up ant motes with vegetable oil. Now I just have to make sure there's never a leaf or stick bridge across any of them.

    And I agree that the word fascinating applies to all phases of this.

    My second package arrives this week. Definitely warmer, so hopefully they'll get off to a faster start.
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  5. #45

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    Went out today and my bees were absolutely frenetic, flying in droves around the entrance, very busy. This is the first warm, sunny day since I installed them. I cannot do anything about the ant issue with my stand as it's cinder blocks and wood. I was looking at using AMDRO traps or crystals since there's no way of using a physical barrier with my setup, but reviews are mixed (looks like you are as likely to kill bees as ants depending on who you believe). Some say sprinkling cinnamon around your hive deters them, some use borax...not sure what I'll do, just going to keep an eye on things and if I absolutely have to do something, I'll figure something out...
    Last edited by Boone; 04-20-14 at 04:46 PM.
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  6. #46

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    Florida Atlantic

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    Diatomaceous earth? (Sp)

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  7. #47

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    Thanks guys. Good thought on the diatomaceous earth, but I've read the bees will carry it with them into the hive where it can tear them up too. Not sure if pepper would work, but I'm going to try cinnamon if they get too bad. Got my first 'love bite' today...got too close to the hive and one zapped me Amazing a bee will give it's life to protect the hive - or maybe it's not. I was also wearing a black t-shirt, bad idea, as you look a lot like a bear in black, and if there's anything that'll get a hive agitated, it's the site of a bear.
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  8. #48

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    I've also read that cinnamon works well. No impact to the bees. You just have to replace it after it rains.
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  9. #49

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    Going to peek at the hives in another day or two, refill top feeders, make sure the queen is still laying, see if they have started to draw comb on the new foundation, etc...
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  10. #50

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    you should snap some pics
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  11. #51

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    I may try the next time I go in - it's kind of hard to do with a bee jacket, gloves, etc...on. Not to mention being intently focused on 30,000 bees or so
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  12. #52

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    Oh yeah, I guess I didn't think about that....

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  13. #53

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    Received and installed the second package of bees yesterday. They're very active after the rain today. Much more than the first hive is. They may have been this active just after they were installed though.

    It looks like the two or three days they spent with their new queen in the package has gotten them used to her smell. They seem to return to the proper hive. Not that I can tell the bees apart but they are so much more active than the other hive has been, and it doesn't look like there's any robbing activity, so I'm guessing that the bees coming back to the new hive are the new bees.

    I'm going to go out a little later and retrieve the shipping box. I left that by the entrance so that the bees I couldn't shake out of it could get to the hive on their own. I make an adventure out of this by just going out and taking it away, without gloves or a hood, etc. Last time it was fine. What could go wrong?
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  14. #54

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    I've heard they are agitated by rain or incoming bad weather. So the 'more active' you're seeing may just be them not digging the rain, dunno. I have not been in my hive since I installed last Friday. It rained today, so I'm going to let it dry tomorrow and open up the hive when I get home from work and see how things are going.
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  15. #55

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    Yep. Best to leave them alone initially as much as possible to let them get comfortable in their new surroundings. Especially me since mine have to start from scratch.

    I understand what you're saying and I've read the same about agitation in rain. These really don't seem agitated as much as just heavier traffic in and out of the hive entrance. The rain stopped quite a while ago.

    They've slowed down significantly now that its getting darker, but they're still doing enough that I'll just wait until tomorrow evening to retrieve the box.
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  16. #56

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    Inspected the second hive and the queen was released. I never found her though. I'll have to check again in a few days. I was turning one of the frames over to check the other side and a whole clump of bees fell off the frame. I've never read anything that said to be careful of that and I've never seen a hive inspection where that happened. It was all gravity too. I was turning the frame very slowly. I really hope the queen wasn't in the clump. It looked like they eventually dispersed and hopefully made it back in the hive,. They stayed clumped together for a while though, which made me wonder if the the queen was in the clump.
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  17. #57
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    Stupid question here but does a queen bee "stand out"? I'd probably have to paint it or something.
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    “A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week.” - George Patton

  18. #58

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    A lot of queen/bee suppliers will 'mark' the queen with a fluorescent paint spot on her back. But experienced beekeepers (read 'not Boone') can easily pick her out. She's longer and bigger and has an entourage Drones (male bees) are bigger too, but they're kind of fat and have huge eyes (the better to spot the queen to be inseminated with...) while the queen is long and more slender.

    Maybe one day I'll be good enough to spot her without the need for a fluorescent paint job
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  19. #59

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    Btw, going in for my second 'inspection' tomorrow. Hopefully, it'll go better than the last one. Improvements I intend to make:

    1) make sure I prepare my 'smoker' correctly so it lasts for as long as I need it.
    2) verify eggs/larva are present (confirmation a queen is laying)
    3) ID the queen if she presents herself
    4) check and see if the bees are building in the 2nd brood box.
    5) refill sugar water feeders
    6) open up the entrance to a slightly larger version
    7) try and level one of the hives (not sure how well I can accomplish that one without stirring the girls up)

    Wish me luck!
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  20. #60
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    Ah, yeah I'd definitely want a marked one to find later on. Do you rock the whole beekeeper suit when fiddling with them?

    My grandma used to score a mason jar of fresh honey with the Malcomb still in it. Farmers market or something, was so dang good!
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    “A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week.” - George Patton

 

 

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