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natural enemy of SHB.....
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gizmo
Nurse Bee


Joined: 24 Nov 2016
Posts: 33
Location: deland, Florida USA

PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2016 2:58 pm    Post subject: natural enemy of SHB..... Reply with quote

hello,
further education has brought to our attention that the natural enemy to the SHB is the beneficial nematode: Heterorhabditis indica.
these long worms micro in size do not harm the environment, animals or children.
about 70,000 are needed for each hive surrounding....
may be with the beetle traps and nematodes it could be the 1-2 K.O. punch for the SHB here in the south....so you are asking yourself what keeps the nematodes from migrating from the surrounding soil area of the hive? this ? crossed our minds too.....solution well, maybe the use of a plastic kiddie pool with with 4 to 6" of quality organic soil....place the hive legs upon a clay brick or for those without legs use a concrete building blocks....to support the hives....nematodes are dumped into the containment area....still a problem?... with heavy rain filling the cavity and drowning the nematodes....maybe a rain fly over the area....something that will allow sun lite but reduce the amount of rain spatter into the pool....we were also considering just filling up the pool with water to drown the larvae as they fall from the hive into the pool...that way no need for soil or worries of drowning nematodes...also possibly adding a natural solution into the water to assist in the destruction of the larvae like a high concentration of salt.....?
throwing Idea ,... lets brain storm this threat away!! Smile
thanx.
gizmo
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JGW07
Scout Bee


Joined: 06 Apr 2010
Posts: 270
Location: USA, GA, Hephzibah

PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2016 12:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I live in Georgia and SHB were my nemesis until I started using this system in 2013. The beetles have since become a non-problem for me. http://imgur.com/a/3YTzK
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gizmo
Nurse Bee


Joined: 24 Nov 2016
Posts: 33
Location: deland, Florida USA

PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2016 1:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey jgw07,

looks like a good system.......thanx for sharing Smile

gizmo
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JGW07
Scout Bee


Joined: 06 Apr 2010
Posts: 270
Location: USA, GA, Hephzibah

PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2016 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gizmo,

You're welcome. It works great. Plus, it makes it easy to feed the bees, too. No need to open the hive.

Jon
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gizmo
Nurse Bee


Joined: 24 Nov 2016
Posts: 33
Location: deland, Florida USA

PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 12:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JGW07,

our bees will be arriving in march and will make sure we have this idea completed & ready for them. will be removing the three jar feeder from the inside of the hive. makes sense to remove to make more room for top bars. we have incorporated phil chandler's ECO Bottom. i imagine this bottom mounted trap and feeder will work on the ECO bottom too. if not we will use it on our first kenyan TBH that is without the ECO Bottom & is solid bottomed.
hopefully will be able to access the excellent picture tutorial.

thanx again...BTW...our family is from GA. cochran area, bleckley Co.
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JGW07
Scout Bee


Joined: 06 Apr 2010
Posts: 270
Location: USA, GA, Hephzibah

PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, gizmo!
I'm east of Cochran, right outside of Augusta.

I once built two hives with eco-floors and decided against using them because of SHB. Phil doesn't have SHB in the UK, but I think they would love having a space like that to get away from the bees. Instead, I screened the eco-floors off and put DE in one and a tub of mineral oil in the other to compare. They both did a good job of controlling the SHB population, especially the larvae, but the DE became crusted after a while due to the hive humidity and less effective. The tub, on the other hand, was unwieldy to take on and off and used a lot of oil. Since both were passive traps, beetles weren't drawn into them and I'd often find them hanging out just under the screens, out of reach of the bees. Only the clumsy ones were dead in the traps. I wanted something easy to install and work with that would lure the beetles into traps and use less oil. My hives are well sealed, with no spaces, cracks, or crevices of any kind where the beetles can hide from the bees, so they get chased into the screened or chisel lids (I still use both), and from there make their way down the funnels to the bait. If eggs are laid in the bait and larvae hatch out to feed, I always find a lot more adults in the trap. I believe the scent of larvae doing their thing draws them in better than any other lure.

Lastly, for feeding syrup, I've gone to the straight-sided mason jars (instead of the ones in the pictures that flare out after the mouth). There isn't a gap between the jar and the climbing screen if the jar is the same the whole length. With the original jars that flare out, bees would occasionally find their way into the gap and not be able to get back out. Also, having the two kinds makes it easy for me to know which are for traps and which are for feeding. But unlike the trap jars, the light blocking screens don't stay on the feeding jars well, so I've added Velcro to the bottom of the jars and to the sleeves, and now they stay fine.

Hope all this helps.
Jon
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gizmo
Nurse Bee


Joined: 24 Nov 2016
Posts: 33
Location: deland, Florida USA

PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JGW07,

thanx for the continuous dialogue.

question on the jars ??? are you now using the normal "ball" style canning jar? is this what you mean as to the straight sided non-flare jar?

we have one hive which got us started into this hobby building it off of youtube video which, is the small kenyan hive solid bottom. the newer hive is just a typical hive that follows jon peters build closer than any other style except for the ECO Bottom which can be removed....held on my foot locker clasp. no SHB in england....learning we all have to adapt to our local climates and the hazards & challenges each offers. we considered introducing cleaner beetles and other good insects into the environment of the Eco Bottom to control the local natural pests. may be all this kind of thinking is just noobie foo foo.....we will study the photos and have this system ready before march.
we caulked the inside of the hives after reading that the SHB likes crevices.
last question...you use mineral oil to trap the other stuff to attract?
thanx,
gizmo
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JGW07
Scout Bee


Joined: 06 Apr 2010
Posts: 270
Location: USA, GA, Hephzibah

PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2016 2:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ball makes both kinds of jars. I only had the full quart, 4 cup, jars that flare out just after the mouth because I used them for canning blueberry syrup. They worked fine for three years, but last summer I came into the straight kind that are about 3 cups and liked them for feeding.

I agree that all beekeeping is local. Each climate and region presents different challenges. I read about another Florida beek who tried the eco-floor and had her hive overrun with beetles. When it comes to SHB, the fewer hiding places the better.

The lure/bait goes into the bamboo node and the bamboo sits in about 1/4" of mineral oil. Eventually the beetles and larvae all end up dead in the oil. For the first year or so I just used pollen comb, and that worked well as a lure, too.
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gizmo
Nurse Bee


Joined: 24 Nov 2016
Posts: 33
Location: deland, Florida USA

PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2016 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JGW07,

if you would be so kind as to answer some questions.........

concerning the syrup feeders.....the screen is inserted into the jar, than wood chips. are the jars screwed into rims without a lid? we are viewing the bees climb down the netting jump om the wood then when happy fly back into the hive.
what keeps from having beetles fall into the syrup?

also we have no source for propolis except for buying it. is there maybe some other way to secure the bamboo node in place?
thanx..
gizmo
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JGW07
Scout Bee


Joined: 06 Apr 2010
Posts: 270
Location: USA, GA, Hephzibah

PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gizmo,

Yes, the bees have direct access to the syrup. The jars screw into the rings without any lids and the bees climb down the screen to the syrup. The wood floats are there only to make sure that they don't drown if they fall in. The beetles might climb down to feed on the syrup as well, but once you've had traps in place for a while, there will be few of them. When the syrup is gone, remove the jar and slide out the screen and the bees that remain will leave. If you do have some beetles in the jar, just put some soapy water in it, screw on a lid, and shake. Once they're drowned, dump all the contents out and rinse.

As for keeping the bamboo centered over the funnel, you can start with a bit of sand or gravel and press the bamboo into it, but even if you don't use anything, the traps will still work. In fact, most times I don't use propolis myself, I just stick the bamboo in, tilt the jar until I get the bamboo basically centered, and then carefully screw it in place so I don't dislodge the bamboo's position.
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gizmo
Nurse Bee


Joined: 24 Nov 2016
Posts: 33
Location: deland, Florida USA

PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JGW07,

appreciate all your advice. picking up the jars tomorrow and will begin retro fitting .guess the ECO bottom can serve as a window flower box for the bees....
if ya want will send pics when finished.....off topic.... our bees are coming from mountain sweet honey farms, toccoa GA. we bought Carniolan package.
have been reading about russian bees and other that have been bred to be resistant to mites and virus ... the queens are offered as replacement or a package of bees but are about $75.00 or more than what we bought. also been reading les crowder's book, "top bar keeping"......will keep in touch.
thanx again........
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JGW07
Scout Bee


Joined: 06 Apr 2010
Posts: 270
Location: USA, GA, Hephzibah

PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2016 1:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

gizmo,

It's been a pleasure! I would like to see pictures when you're done. I retrofitted my hives by first building a hive that had the system in place, and then rehived bees from one hive into the new one, retrofitted the second hive, and then rehived another colony into that one, and do on.

I started out with Minnesota hygienic bees and that colony lasted six years with no treatments, but they died last winter in a sudden cold snap. The mild winter had caused them to eat all their stores close by the brood and then when the cold hit, they clustered too far from the honey. All my other hives lasted no more than a couple of years before varroa did them in, either causing them to abscond, or weakening them so they couldn't get through the winter. One hive had a VSH queen, and it ended up with DWV and lasted only a year before succumbing. With hive beetles no longer an issue, I decided this last summer to focus on varroa, since I see them now as a much bigger threat, so I've started treating. I did the oxalic acid dribble, but my kids are buying me a vaporizer for Christmas.
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gizmo
Nurse Bee


Joined: 24 Nov 2016
Posts: 33
Location: deland, Florida USA

PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2016 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JGW07,

seems like you had a good run with the minnesota hygienic bees. hopefully the breeders will uncover more genetic clues for breeding a mite resistant bee.
our hives (2), are a hobby and we seek to be as natural as possible. further reading has revealed ; surprised us!, that acid treatments are considered a natural form of prevention for mites.... keep in touch.....you can e mail us if you wish to correspond and/or elaborate on bee experience without clogging up the forum though i'm comfortable using this medium if the moderators don't mind.
keep in touch...your free exchange of knowledge has been a life line to us. have a enjoyable holiday season .........
sincerely,
gizmo
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JGW07
Scout Bee


Joined: 06 Apr 2010
Posts: 270
Location: USA, GA, Hephzibah

PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2016 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gizmo,

I'm just a hobbyist trying to be as natural as possible as well. I'm only adding OA treatments out of necessity. We'll keep in touch. In the meantime, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Jon
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Barbara
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Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1567
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2016 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi

As a moderator, my view is that others in a similar situation can learn from your exchange, so please continue it on the forum.

Regards

Barbara
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gizmo
Nurse Bee


Joined: 24 Nov 2016
Posts: 33
Location: deland, Florida USA

PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 1:47 am    Post subject: pictures Reply with quote

greeting JGW07,


http://imgur.com/borBals
http://imgur.com/a7dP21P
http://imgur.com/8hO6ivY
http://imgur.com/Zjpeac9
http://imgur.com/tEHjMbs
http://imgur.com/UdYgjZM

hope this works...not too savvy at this......

gizmo
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JGW07
Scout Bee


Joined: 06 Apr 2010
Posts: 270
Location: USA, GA, Hephzibah

PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gizmo, looks like you're all set. One thing about the cross stitch cloth you're using in the feeder jars, if it's too stiff to hug the sides of the jar, try just setting it in as a ramp. You don't want it to create gaps where bees can get between the mesh and the glass and get trapped. Another beek who adopted the system uses the cross stitch cloth that way (as a ramp) and told me it works great. Don't forget to use light-blocking sleeves.

Before you add mineral oil to your traps, try adding the chisel lids to a feeder jar of syrup (if you've been feeding and need to switch out an empty for a full jar of syrup, that would be a good time because the bees will already be expecting feed at that particular spot and will try every which way to get into it). Sometimes, extra small summer bees will make their way through, but I never find more than a few at the end of the season. However, if winter bees can get through, you need to reduce the slot sizes. I still use some of my old screened lids, too. Both types have their pluses and minuses. The chisel lids are quick to make, but the screened lids allow debris to fall into the traps. A lot of debris build-up in a jar tells me to inspect because it could mean either robbing or wax moths. Also, the bees will eventually propolise the chisel lid slots, requiring me to open them back up. The problem with screened lids is they're more complicated to make and the plastic breaks down in a year or so.

Good luck! Spring is right around the corner for you there in Florida.
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gizmo
Nurse Bee


Joined: 24 Nov 2016
Posts: 33
Location: deland, Florida USA

PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 4:57 pm    Post subject: bait for traps Reply with quote

hey JGW07,

guess we are getting old,.... thought we asked about bait in the traps ... banana peels in cider vinegar were mentioned previously....we do not have supply for propolis.
is there any other bait for the beetles other than banana peels in cider vinegar?

also was considering using a homemade play'doh for keeping the bamboo nodes in place. it is made of flour/cornstarch & salt,...lots of salt! do you feel that the salt might repel the SHB ? we want them in that trap!

thanx for the suggestions about the stitch cloth. we were unable to obtain the normal plastic #8 hardware cloth from vendors locally and kinda thought out of the box for something that could work in substitute. the pictures don't show how the plastic is formed into a tight fitting cylinder that is stitched long where the ends meet vertically. our main concern was your admonition of making sure the bees could not get behind & trapped by whatever was used in the feed jars. the cylinders fit snug against the inside of the jar bottom and up at the inside of the screw lid.
our covers are double thick black poster board with a piece cut as an insert fitted into the cylinder on the bottom to keep lite from reflecting upward. then the bottom edge is taped over using the aluminum A/C duct tape to strengthen where the sides are cut in triangles & folded over the bottom insert. the covers are longer than the jars so they can be slide up to and pass over the screw lid attached to the hive bottom to block out any opportunity for light infiltration at that location.

we are just sharing how we used what we had available while trying to keep cost to a minimum. this system is amazing and we salute you for the clarity of mind to manifest it and the kindness of heart to share this knowledge with the world of beeks.
one more question about the feed ramp technique...
we are visualizing that the single piece of stitch cloth would need to be set vertical in the jar maybe by splitting the end of the cloth and bending the two pieces opposite each other making a foot to stabilize the cloth in the jar as opposed to having a single piece of cloth lying slanted from top to bottom possibly trapping bees underneath . our reason to entertain this ramp idea we feel it will use less product, & be simpler to produce compared to having to stitch the ends together on the cylinder insert.

thanx for the feed back.......yes,... spring arrives quick in florida...though last nite here in deland.....it was 36' at 5am........probably won't see much cold for any sustained time. the old timers say if there isn't a cold snap by full moon in march spring is here to stay! Smile
thanx again............... gizmo
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JGW07
Scout Bee


Joined: 06 Apr 2010
Posts: 270
Location: USA, GA, Hephzibah

PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Gizmo,

You might try doing an internet search for SHB lures to find what else you can use. I actually started out by using pollen comb from the hives and cutting them up and putting them in the traps with a bit of honey dribbled on it. The beetles love that.

I doubt salt would deter the beetles, especially if it's only being used to hold the bamboo in place.

I'm trying to picture what you described about the cloth. Since I use plastic screen (which I bought in a roll at Lowe's), I'm not sure what issues you might be dealing with. The screen I use doesn't need to be stitched. I cut it so that both ends overlap inside the jar. I keep the screens flat so that when I insert them into the jars, they expand nicely against the glass. The beek who uses the cross stitch cloth said that he places it at an angle as a ramp and adds wood floats. It doesn't sound like the bees get trapped for him. So long as the bees can freely move around the ramp, they'll get out fine, I would think. Adding the foot at the bottom to stabilize the screen might be a good idea, but actually filling a jar with water and trying it out will tell you for sure (although syrup would be better as it would be more accurate, I don't think you need to waste syrup to get the info you need).

Whatever you solution is for the sleeves, so long as they block the light and stay on, you'll be fine.

It's been my pleasure to share this with you. Dealing with the beetles was my biggest frustration when I first started. I hope it works for you as well as it has for me.

Jon
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gizmo
Nurse Bee


Joined: 24 Nov 2016
Posts: 33
Location: deland, Florida USA

PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JGW07 ,
thanx......

we wrapped the stitch cloth into a cylinder shape that fit snug against the throat of the jar & went from bottom right up to the top edge of the jar opening. then wove some fishing line thru the squares on the one over lapping end. even though the plastic screen is fairly stiff we didn't trust it not gap some where and let a bee thru. now am wondering from reading about folks having their first package of bees not take to the hive due to new wood maybe we should torch the insides....
will drop a post after the bees arrive and get them in the hive.......after which we'll retro fit the smaller kenyan TBH for this same trap/feeder system.
thanx again.........
gizmo
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JGW07
Scout Bee


Joined: 06 Apr 2010
Posts: 270
Location: USA, GA, Hephzibah

PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 1:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like you're about ready, but you're right about new wood. I always take a propane torch to the insides of my hives first and then rub in some melted beeswax to the follower board (about eight bars back) just to mask the new smell.
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gizmo
Nurse Bee


Joined: 24 Nov 2016
Posts: 33
Location: deland, Florida USA

PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 1:42 am    Post subject: drowned bees Reply with quote

hey,
JGW07

our bees arrived on Wednesday. started using two 1qt feeders filled with spring syurp the grid & dried oak wood chips cut last year off our property.
covered the jars with the black sleeves....checked later, everything looked good. could see the bees feeding and working their way down into the jar using the plastic grid. tonite we removed the one jar that looked empty......there was about 30 + dead bees lying on the wood chips.....was wondering if perhaps we were only to fill the jar 2/3rds full? it had been full to the shoulder and am trying to figure why the bees drown? we are thinking they just massed themselves into the jar and forced the bees on the wood to become submerged. maybe a double layer of wood chips might prevent this from reoccurring? haven't put the beetle traps in place yet guess will do this once they settle in. am waiting the seven day period advised to allow the queen to be released from cage when the sugar plug is gone. this is our little bump in the road,...everything else looks good. have provided beeswith friendly bloomers around the hive and yard to help them along as well as a water source. any advice will be appreciated....thanx
gizmo
Wink
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gizmo
Nurse Bee


Joined: 24 Nov 2016
Posts: 33
Location: deland, Florida USA

PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 6:45 pm    Post subject: sad day Reply with quote

checked late this morning on the hive...again catastrophic drowning of bees in feeder jars.......noticed a huge amount of grounded bees. so we inspected the hive. there were about five bars with various sized combs already in place...starting with the largest by the queens cage. very well directed combs. saw one SHB and happily sent him on his way to another life. the shock was there were no bees in the hive.....the white comb in places wet with sugar syrup??
a large amount of bull ants roaming in the foyer of the hive, entrance area outside of the follower board and a few ants roaming in side the hive brood area. checked feeder jars that's when we found them full of living & dead bees. dumped both jars with about 11/2 cups each of dead bees. don't know what happened? the remaining bees are all scattered upon the ground /foliage area adjacent to the hive in various throes of death; twisting, acting irregular and confused.
wow! we called a local apiary from whom we had purchased supplies from to see if they still had some spring nucs. we were told packaged bees do not have a very good success rate. they sell five frame nucs with an egg producing queen for about the same price we paid for the package.....am not bad mouthing our original source.....we feel responsible for this out come and concerned about the death of the bees more than the lost of money. hopefully this will be a positive learning experience and the local apiary will still offer nucs ( won't know till wednesday) guess we will just have to learn how to transfer the nuc frame combs onto the top bars when they get well established.....
open to any advice.......
thanx,
gizmo
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JGW07
Scout Bee


Joined: 06 Apr 2010
Posts: 270
Location: USA, GA, Hephzibah

PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gizmo,

So sorry to read about what happened to your bees! I've never experienced that myself, or heard of anyone using my system having that happen. The only thing I can think of is that the light-blocking sleeves didn't block the light well enough and the bees thought they could exit through the feeder jars. We had a cold snap ruin our honeyflow here, and I've been feeding a hive this way all spring and haven't found a single dead bee in the jar when I refill it. You're not using cedar chips as floats, are you?
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JGW07
Scout Bee


Joined: 06 Apr 2010
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Location: USA, GA, Hephzibah

PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As to those bees acting strangely on the ground, almost sounds like poisoning to me.
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gizmo
Nurse Bee


Joined: 24 Nov 2016
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Location: deland, Florida USA

PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey JGW07,
no cedar chips. used dried oak chips for floaters....it was the strangest thing the bees just crammed their way into the jars like a feeding frenzy. the sleeves were made from Black double sided poster board. tested them with an electric bulb. total blockage of lite.
we would find at least a cup full of drown bees in the bottom of the feeder . not blaming anybody or the system...just an experience in learning bee keeping. the fella at the apiary said postal ordered bees have a very low success rate. and even so in an suburb environment the bees are easily susceptible to pesticides used by surrounding home owners......bummer.
bummer about the cold snap that disrupted your honey flow.
we weren't able to obtain a nuc for this season and now have to wait for the for nucs. am wondering how long do the combs have to stay in the langstroth (sp) frames before we can cut them and transfer to top bar? we have another hive our first build kenyan top bat which is smaller than our 44" hive. am planning on purchasing two nucs and using both hives and will probably build a third in the interim.

a few days later we saw a swarm across the street. we donned our gear and captured them! though they only stayed for a few days at best. they just left!

gizmo
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JGW07
Scout Bee


Joined: 06 Apr 2010
Posts: 270
Location: USA, GA, Hephzibah

PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2017 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gizmo,

Sorry for the delayed response. I've been extremely busy this month. When you hived that package that drowned, did you block the entrance? I'm still puzzled about why they would cram into the feeder jar since it had a sleeve to block the light. In four years of using this system, I haven't had that happen to my bees. You had a screen in the jar for them to climb on?

As for doing a crop and chop, I've never done one, but I know Phil has a video about that.

Good luck. Hope the second time's a charm!
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gizmo
Nurse Bee


Joined: 24 Nov 2016
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Location: deland, Florida USA

PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2017 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey JGW07,

the feeder jars were one quart flat side mason jars as @ instruction with those needlepoint grids we found at wally world. we couldn't find the plastic 1/8" screen. the needle point grid is about 1/16".
we suspect what you had already mentioned that the bees may have been contaminated during shipping or from pesticides locally. they seemed to exhibit the strange behavior from day one. they buzzed around the hive entrance but seemed to stick close by. yet can't account for every bee. we are on a waiting list for some fall nuc from a local apiary.
we guess the chop and crop iis cutting the nuc comb to fit onto our top bars?
we hope all is good on your side.
okay keep in touch...
gizmo
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JGW07
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Joined: 06 Apr 2010
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PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2017 11:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gizmo,
I hope your new package does well for you. All is fine here, but I'm still feeding my bees. This spring hasn't been good. A lot of my blossoming plants were killed back and are not yet recovered.

Here's a link to Phil's video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVQ1et2OR50
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Barbara
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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi

Just wanted to make a suggestion that you don't do the chop and crop at the back end of the year as they may well not recover before going into winter. I would recommend keeping them in the nuc over winter and do the chop and crop into the TBH in the spring. Certainly that is what I would advise anyone here in the UK, but I appreciate your climate is somewhat different, so be guided by local beekeepers on this.

As regards the activity of your hive looking strange from day one, it would be normal for them to do orientation flights, which basically involves buzzing around the entrance after installation and because the feeders are inside the hive, the bees have difficulty communicating that to each other, so the best they can do is indicate that there is a source of food very close to home....go and find it....so the other bees buzz about looking for it. I'm not sure what went wrong with your feeders and bees drowning. Could it be that the covers on the syrup jars absorbed heat from the sun and the syrup got too hot or the plastic mesh perhaps gave off some toxic residue, particularly if the syrup did get warm/hot.

Just some things to consider anyway.

Regards

Barbara
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