Presentation on theme: "Apprentice Beekeeper Class 12:15pm – 2pm (w/break)Fred/Gail Pollard After the bees arrive (nucs vs pkg. of bees) Installing the bees & queen Early care."— Presentation transcript:
Apprentice Beekeeper Class 12:15pm – 2pm (w/break)Fred/Gail Pollard After the bees arrive (nucs vs pkg. of bees) Installing the bees & queen Early care (feeding) What to look for What you might see (Drawing comb) Requeening
Your Start Hive –Accessible by vehicle to transport honey –Pick a sunny spot with air ventilation –Avoid heavy wind areas use wind breaks –Place hive south to east catching early sun –Place hive 4-6 inches above ground –Use of standard size equipment allows interchange between hives (home made?)
Working Bees Wear comfortable clothing light color (PPE) Use a smoker (only if needed) with just enough smoke to control bees Temp should be 55 degrees or warmer Best time of day between 10am & 4pm Move slow and steady as not to trigger aggressive behavior
Buying Bees Types of bees Spring Time – Bees arrive mid-April –One pound of bees is approx 3,500 Equipment – New or used Packages, NUC, or buy used? Inspect any winter colony you buy –Look for diseases –Weak colonies –Poor equipment
Types of Bee: CARNOLIANS Dark bees with gray or brown hairs. Native to the Alps of Europe. –Large dark bees (good for cold climates) –Gentle Bees –Conserve winter stores –A little late in spring raising brood –Dark bees, makes finding the queen harder
Types of Bee: CAUCASIAN Dark bees with gray hairs. –They are gentle –Long tongues –Winter well in cold climates –Finding the queen is a challenge
Types of Bee: ITALIANS This is the most popular bee in North America. Light color with bands of brown to yellow. –Gentle –Good producers –Use less propolis than some darker breeds – Their biggest weakness is that they are prone to rob and drift
Types of Bee: RUSSIAN Due to isolation in Siberia and a century of exposure to mites these bees are hardy winter and resist parasitic mites. –Gentle –Frugal winter eaters –Can be aggressive
After the bees arrive (Nuc vs Package bees) When you decide to get bees, you can obtain your colony in two ways: –A Nuc, pronounced nuke, is a nuclear hive. It is four or five frames from a working hive including a queen. –Package bees come in a screened cage the size of a shoebox. There are three pounds of bees (upwards to 10,500) in the package. There is a can of sugar syrup in the cage and a queen in a box.
NUC: 5 frames = small hive A nuc comes in a nuc box. It is usually a cardboard hive. The cardboard nuc boxes cost around $7. You can get wooden nuc boxes for a bit more.
Nuclear Hive A Nuc is 4 or 5 frames from an existing hive. It is a colony that had been working well for a time and the bees know and are related to their queen. The frames will contain honey, pollen, eggs and larva. The frames were pulled from a working hive. This is the nucleus of a hive. If you feed the bees and keep them happy, they will have a good start Some think a NUC will stand a better chance of success than a package.
Installation of NUC Remove 4-5 frames from hive body Transfer frames from NUC box to hive Add sugar syrup via feeder Close hive body to insure the bees stay and get acquainted with their new home. Seal the hive for 3-7 days
Package of Bees Screened Wood Box Can of syrup (1:1) One Queen in cage 3 lbs of bees / ~10,500 workers
Package The bees are grabbed from many existing hives The queens are raised separately and may not be related to the hive. Store your package 2-3 days, if necessary Empty the package into your hive and let them get used to the queen. If you feed them enough and all goes well, they will all get along and start a colony. In three or four weeks the hive should be established and start increasing.
Install Package Prep - have a cover ready to replace can! Remove can (hive tool) Pull queen cage (PREP) Cover opening Replace cork with marshmallow Locate cage in hive Add bees
Package: Prep Queen Cage Wait for queen to move away from cork Pullout cork Keep hole covered! Add marshmallow Workers will eat marshmallow and release queen
When you Hive Feeding What to look for What you might see Drawing comb Requeening
Hive Package Bees (pg17) Prepare with two hive bodies and a feeder Remove most of the frames from the top hive body Add a feeder of your choice Set the can of syrup drip side down into the space you made (can rests on the top of the frames) Place the queen cage w/marshmallow use the metal tab make a loop, secure to the inside of the hive body Sprinkle a little syrup onto bees through the side screens of package Gently place the package down into the hive body Close the hive, seal the hive for 3-7 days
To Hive Bees continued After 3-7 days open the front of your hive, allowing a 1.5 inch opening Remove top cover and inner covers Inspect the hive, you should be ready to remove the package box, syrup can and queen cage….. Introduce new frames
Early Care of Hive: Feeding Feeding sugar syrup to honey bees helps ensure that bees survive periods when honey may run short, such as new hive or before winter. Feeding syrup is also an important way to ensure bees build up well in spring. Bees should never be allowed to run short of feed. (how long before a bee starts to starve?)
Feeding Hardware External –Boardman –Easy to see level –Refill often Internal –Top Feeder –Holds large amount of syrup –Hard to see level
Feeding Alternatives Small Chicken water bottle Solid patties Pile of sugar Humming Bird feeders
Feed the Bees Feed the bees as necessary, keep a constant supply of sugar water. –Feed until 2-3 frames are full of drawn comb on the bottom hive body –Remember Top feeder (pg17)
Drawing Comb Bees can make the wax comb on anything Plastic wax foundations help keep uniformity for extraction Bees build the comb structure with wax Angled comb keeps the honey inside Comb is caped when full
What you should not see! Dead or Missing Bee’s –What might go wrong?? –What causes loss Lack of water Hive ventilation Insects (ants) They simply left?! Insecticide Spray
What If’s Queen is trapped in cage –Gently release her into the bottom of the hive and close the hive ASAP to keep her from flying away Queen is missing –The queen has left the building Need a new queen ASAP (Who ya gona call?) Queen is dead –Need a new Queen ASAP Add a frame from an older hive, larvae, capped brood,
After 6-7 days Check to see if Queen is laying –Work carefully use minimum smoke, –Queen is usually in the center of the bee cluster If you see brood present then you know the queen is there
What to look for 3 weeks Frames with drawn out comb Caped honey Brood (eggs – larva) Queen Lots of working bees