General Meeting Summary, Jan 2024

General Meeting – 2 Jan 2024

Arthur:

  • Getting bees – packages and nucs
    • End of March.
    • Nuc requires a Langstroth hive.
    • Beginners: get Nucs not packages.
  • Start looking at equipment
    • Hives.
    • Hive types – Langstroth, Top Bar, etc.
    • Strongly consider 2 hives.
  • Time Commitment
    • Peak – once a week.
    • Otherwise every 2 weeks.
    • Initially, commit to 4-5 hours per month per hive.
  • Location
    • Away from traffic.
    • Don’t put in garden.
    • Not in shade.
    • Best in a less traveled area.
    • Entrance facing southeast to catch morning sun.
    • Solid, well secured hive stand.
    • Plenty of room to work around hives.
  • Feeding
    • Feed a new hive for the first month, or until they’re well established.
    • 1:1 sugar to water (by weight) is usually ok around here.
    • In hive feeders can cause a lot of bees to drown. Put some straw into the feeder.
  • Hive Architecture
    • Don’t add a second box until most frames are covered with bees.
    • Typically you use 1-2 deep boxes for the brood (the lowest boxes), then add mediums for honey supers.
    • Queen excluders
      • Optional. Not really necessary.
      • DO NOT use plastic excluders… use only metal excluders.
  • Questions
    • Penny: I have a hive that only has bees on 3-4 frames. Should I move them to Nuc box?
      • It’s difficult with current weather to find a day to make the transfer.
      • Better possible solution: remove extra honey frames, and use a follower board to effectively reduce the size of the nest area.
        • Put all the frames of bees on the sunniest side of the hive.
        • Leave one frame of honey.
        • Insert follower board.
    • Peggi
      • Mysterious condensation.
  • Working On Your Bees
    • Bees sting a lot on rainy or cloudy days.
  • Treating For Mites
    • Do a count with a sugar roll or alcohol wash. If the count is high, definitely treat.
    • Treatments for this time of year
      • Formic Pro can work, but use the longer protocol (use only 1 pad at a time)
  • Existing Hives
    • Do you see pollen coming in? This is a very positive sign.
    • Check food stores. Tipping the hive a bit is a good check.
    • Feeding is good. Pollen sub is good. Dry pollen sub may also work.
      • Pollen patties can attract hive beetles.
  • Stay ahead of possible issues.
    • If there are mites, treat.
    • If your hive needs room, add it.
    • Keep an eye on your bees, and give them what they need proactively.
  • Swarming
    • Difficult to prevent.
    • Give them proper room.
    • Swarming is not necessarily bad.
  • North American Honeybee Expo
  • Western Apiculture Society
    • Great, in depth articles and information about bees and beekeeping

2 thoughts on “General Meeting Summary, Jan 2024”

  1. Brian, Arthur probably has more ideas, but here is what I did.
    Arthur gave me some of his pollen substitute. I put it in aluminum pie tins, maybe 3/8 deep. I turned to empty deeps sideways, next to each other with one “wall” facing the prevailing wind (north). I put a cover and a brick on top of the boxes. All this is sitting on a table at the apiary, maybe 3 feet off the ground. The pollen seems protected from wind and rain. That said, no bees seem to be interested. Its been at least 3 weeks, maybe 4.

  2. I’m trying dry pollen Arthur suggested recently. I have not seen bees on the plate of dry pollen, but it was gone in 3 days. Probably the neighborhood cats or other critters are eating it. Any suggestions for an animal proof feeder for the dry pollen?

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