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Managing Bees #5 Presented By The Ohio State Beekeeper’s Association.

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Presentation on theme: "Managing Bees #5 Presented By The Ohio State Beekeeper’s Association."— Presentation transcript:

1 Managing Bees #5 Presented By The Ohio State Beekeeper’s Association

2 Managing Bees Up to this point We have discussed topics related to honey bees including starting a hive from a swarm or package of bees. Now we are going to look at managing an established hive of bees. This is a nice bee yard with a bench to watch the bees and relax.

3 Beekeeping Management of of honey bees Honey bees lived just fine until man came along and began to capture them. This is called keeping bees and managing them. In the wild they are just wild feral bees.

4 Managing Bees Where a hive/ hives should be located. Some general rules: 1.Your honey bees should not become a nuisances to your neighbors! If they do, you will face problems with their complaints. 2.It is often recommended that a hive of bees face toward the sun and away from prevailing winds. 3.It should be located within a short flying distance to a water source. 4.It should be protected from the heat of the sun during summer months. However, deep shade is not necessary. 5.Easy access to the hives.

5 Good Neighbor Guidelines Being a good neighbor is not building fences as Robert Frost once put it. As a beekeeper our bees don't get fenced in. I always recommend common sense. 1. Place your colonies of bees away from lot lines and occupied buildings. If near buildings, place colonies away from used entrances and lines of traffic. Colonies should be in full sun if possible. 2. If your colonies are near the line, erect a six foot barricade between the bees and the line. Use anything bees will not pass through: dense shrubs, fencing, etc. An alternate solution may be to place the hives on a roof. Anytime bees are flying close to the ground and across the property line of a neighbor, there are potential problems. 3. Bees may be annoying at their water source. If you do not live within 500 feet of a natural water source, or if you live near a swimming pool, place a tub of water in your apiary with wood floats in it. This is to allow the bees to drink without drowning. Change the water weekly to prevent stagnation and mosquito breeding.

6 Good Neighbor Guidelines 4. Minimize robbing by bees, since those which are being robbed become very aggressive. To accomplish this, work your bees only during a nectar flow, keep exposed honey to a minimum, and use entrance reducers on weak colonies. 5. Try to prevent swarming. Though gentle, swarms are a nuisance. 6. Do not keep more than three or four beehives on a lot less than one-half acre. If more colonies are desired, find a nearby farmer who will allow you to keep your hives on his land in exchange for some honey. 7. Do not work your beehives when close neighbors are in their yards. 8. If you have a mean colony that may bother neighbors when you are working it, re-queen it. 9. A pound or two of free honey each year to neighbors bordering on your property often makes bees much more acceptable to them. 10. Please remember: the successful beekeepers' bees are not a nuisance to his neighbors.

7 Management of a colony of honey bees First, make sure all is ready. Do you have your hive tool? Is the smoker going? What about neighbors? Children? Approach the hive from the side if possible. Do not stand in front of the entrance. If you do, you will notice a crowd of bees in a holding pattern behind you. Use your hive tool to remove the top cover. I like to lay the top cover on the ground next to the hive with the bottom side up. Blow a little smoke toward the entrance. Notice that I said a little smoke. You don't need a lot. Next remove the inner cover. Bee have a tendency to glue this down to the inner side of the hive with propolis, so you may have to pry the inner cover off. Keep your smoker handy. Once the inner cover is off the top bars of the frames in the top box (super) are exposed. Bees will start to migrate toward the disturbance and you will notice them coming up between the top bars. You can apply a little smoke to calm them down. A few may become air borne and fly about you. Ignore them.

8 Management of a colony of honey bees What you will see… When the hive is opened the bees will investigate and begin coming to the top of the frames. If the hive is very strong, the entire top will be covered with bees. This is the time to use a gentle blast of smoke directly to where the bees are coming up.

9 Management of a colony of honey bees Smoke is a great help in controlling honey bees. However, don’t use too much. Good fuel to use in your smoker….. Wood shavings Burlap Pulk wood (decaying wood easy found in dead trees. Pine needles

10 Management of a colony of honey bees Work your hive from the side and not the front of the hive. A few puffs at the entrance and a little on the top bars is enough. Too much smoke will cause the bees to begin to run out of the hive.

11 Management of a colony of honey bees Move slowly when working the bees. Fast rapid movement causes the bees to react to your actions. Work bees during the mid day in good weather. If the hive becomes uncontrollable, close the hive and wait for a better time of day.

12 Management of a colony of honey bees Your hive tool is used to pry off the top cover, inner cover and separate the hive bodies. It is used most often to get frames out of hive bodies. The hive tool is held in the hand ready for use.

13 Management of a colony of honey bees What should we be looking for when we begin to work the hive? First, a beekeeper’s job is to do the least amount of damage to the bees.

14 Management of a colony of honey bees It is not necessary to find the queen each time we open the hive! We can tell that she is present if you can see eggs in cells.

15 Management of a colony of honey bees A hive should not be open any longer than necessary to do an inspection. An inspection consist of looking for things that are not normal within a hive of bees. As you gain experience, this will become easier. Hold the frame so that the sun is reaching the frame from over your shoulder.

16 Management of a colony of honey bees You should see: 1.A good population of honey bees. 2.Eggs, larva, and capped brood. 3.Honey and pollen. Hopefully you will not see: 1.Varroa mite that might be on bees. 2.Queen cells? 3.Other things in the hive such as mice, yellow jackets, wax moths, etc.+ We are going to look at each of these.

17 Management of a colony of honey bees What is a good population of bees? If the bees are covering the brood areas of the hive in spring, this is a good sign. At this time of year, there may be only four or five frames of bees.

18 Management of a colony of honey bees Later in the season, you will expect to find bees in all parts of the hive. At times they may even cluster on the front of the hive.

19 Management of a colony of honey bees If you see a large population of bees in your hive, you should be looking for queen cells which indicate your hive may be about to swarm. A large swarm like this will reduce the number of bees in your hive. Would you rather have bees hanging in a tree or gathering honey?

20 Management of a colony of honey bees What to do if the population is large? Add honey supers and check for swarm queen cells! Can you see the difference between these two hives?

21 Management of a colony of honey bees Honey and Pollen? Cells with pollen A hive needs food to survive during all times during the year. It is critical during times of brood rearing.

22 Beekeeping Honey on the hive: If you have managed your hive well and they gathered some honey for you fine. But leave enough for the bees to survive the winter season!

23 Management of a colony of honey bees What you should not be seeing……. What happens if you see no eggs, larva, and some capped brood! You do see what looks like queen cells that have hatched.

24 Management of a colony of honey bees You most likely have a hive with a virgin queen. What do you do? Nothing, just wait until almost all the brood has emerged. About that time the virgin queen will be mated and start laying eggs. Look for eggs and signs the hive has a new queen.

25 Management of a colony of honey bees All brood emerges and you find no evidence of any egg laying in the hive. What do you do? Order a new queen. Install her in the hive. This hive should have a strong population of bees but with no brood, it may develop a laying worker and eventually die out. If you see a frame like this, then you can say, I have a new queen or my new queen was accepted.

26 Management of a colony of honey bees What you should not be seeing……. Honey bees are subject to various diseases. The worst is American Foulbrood. Note the frame shown. The brood pattern is what is called shotgun pattern. Also note that some cells have holes in them.

27 Management of a colony of honey bees American Foulbrood This is a disease that is spread by the beekeeper and by robbing bees. Therefore, you should always work your bees with a very clean hive tool and avoid moving frames from a hive with AFB into other hives. How to detect… The larva dies just as it is to pupate. The larva melts into a brownish glue like substance. It will “rope”-- that is stick to and rope from ½ to 1 inch from the cell when a stick is placed into the cell and pulled out.

28 Management of a colony of honey bees American Foulbrood Every beekeeper should recognize this disease. In Ohio, the beekeeper is faced with two choices… 1.Treat the hive with approved chemicals. Tylan or Terramycin are available. 2.Burn the frames, and bees. The wooden ware such as hive bodies, bottom board, inner cover, & top cover can be scorched to kill the spores. Other treatments can be used as well.

29 Management of a colony of honey bees Queen Cells in a hive… If you see this then you have some management issues to deal with. The bees are raising queens. These cells are located near the bottom bar of frames. They are most likely swarm cells. The cells are located on the face of the comb higher up. Brood on the comb is spotty.

30 Management of a colony of honey bees What you should not be seeing……. Grass, leaves, or other such things in the hive. Or A patch of bare ground in front of the entrance to the hive.

31 Management of a colony of honey bees What you should not be seeing……. 1.Yellow jackets 2.Wax Moths 3.Varroa mites

32 Management for Beginning Beekeepers This has been a quick survey of some of the things you may deal with in your first year of beekeeping………. The next set of slides will cover: 1.Spring management – feeding, requeening, splits, adding honey supers, etc. 2.Summer management – Nectar sources, Disease control and identification, honey harvest, etc. 3.Fall management -- Treating for diseases, getting hives ready for winter, etc. 4.Each subject will be treated individually…..

33 Management for Beginning Beekeepers Finis

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