Presentation on theme: "Ellen Miller 2014. When to start summer management What to look for in your hive Strengthening the colonies Monitoring the colonies – what you should."— Presentation transcript:
Ellen Miller 2014
When to start summer management What to look for in your hive Strengthening the colonies Monitoring the colonies – what you should see When to add supers Swarming
Workers bringing in pollen To and from flying – busy bees Pulling out foundation Laying eggs Enough feed Mild mannered unless disturbed Pattern of brood laying and stores Queen cells Clustering on outside of hive Enough space Robbing Diseases
Bringing in pollen
Busy bees – to and from flying
Smoker: A smoker is used to encourage the bees to stay in the hive, fill up on nectar, and focus more on what they might need to do to protect the colony from fire instead of what you are doing to them. Used mostly in the summer when they are more apt to defend their honey supply Only a few puffs of smoke are needed Apply to entrance and lift top for a couple more puffs Use only safe fuel such as organic material: burlap that hasn’t been treated with chemicals, pine cones/needles, etc.
Pulling out foundation
Pattern of brood Eggs laid Correct position
Clustering around the entrance
Robbing: Signs A weak hive suddenly gets very active Bees fighting on the landing board/entrance Pieces of wax on the landing board Sound more aggressive than normal hive Restrict entrance
Robbing: Deterrents Combine weak hives Monitor honey flow conditions Italian bees Restrict entrance Close hive (providing feed, water, pollen)
Diseases: Will be covered in later session
Weak Hives – 6 frames or less covered with bees at the end of June Strong Hives – 10 frames or more
What is blooming : Depends on the location of your hive and weather. Honey bees will fly up to 5 miles if necessary, but they prefer 2-3 miles. The further they need to fly, the more energy they need to consume Proximity to nectar producing plants throughout the growing season is important for the hobbyist beekeeper -- Access to nectar from April through September
The Honey Flow: The period when most nectar producing plants are in bloom. In our area that is usually the middle of June. Attempt to have 50,000 bees. This is when most of the nectar is produced. The rest of the blooming season will normally only provide feed to maintain the hive.
When your hive has two hive bodies When the second hive body is approx. 3/4 full When honey flow has started Remove supplemental feed Add additional super when other is 2/3 capped Hives in various stages of strength at Honey flow
Swarms: A natural means of increasing the number of honey bee colonies. When the hive is healthy and strong, the workers will decide if the colony is strong enough to split. Occurs usually in late May or June. Workers will make queen cells to raise a new queen for the hive. The original queen will go with the swarm She isn’t fed as much so she will be slim enough to fly with the swarm Approximately half of the workers (especially the field bees) will go with the swarm Most of the nurse bees will stay with the hive to care for the brood
The swarm will land somewhere near their hive. Scout bees will look for a new home which may take a few hours to over a day. Once the location is determined, the swarm will go directly to their new home.
Do you want your bees to swarm? Gives you another hive if you can catch the swarm Indicates that you have a healthy hive and a good queen Reduces the amount of honey you will get Reducing inclination for swarming: Remove swarming queen cells Monitor to ensure there is no overcrowding in the hive, making sure to add additional space as needed Regardless of what you do, it may happen anyway: Watch for signs: production of queen cells, overcrowding, massing on outside of the hive Be ready to catch the swarm; call “swarm catchers”
Catching a swarm: Locating and accessing Shaking into a hive body Getting the last bit (ensure you have the queen) Waiting to see if they go into the box Watching them trooping in - success
Options: Catching swarms can be easy or not so easy. If you can’t catch the swarm, aren’t ready to catch the swarm, or are uncomfortable trying: Bait hives – An empty temporary hive can be used Placement: Easily monitored for activity Volume:.49 cubic feet Height: 15 ft. off the ground Entrance: single 1” hole Orientation: south Swarm catchers – Local bee associations have members who are willing to catch swarms.
What to look for: Weak/Strong Build-up for honey flow Swarms Robbing