I keep my bees covered from the rain and off the ground with blocks and a piece of plywood on top of the blocks. I also shade from the direct sun in the summer.
RESPONSE – Both are good bee stewardship – thanks for sharing.
At this time I have had 8 swarms as of 4/7/16. I have caught 5. While out of town I call others to come and they got 2. The 8th seemed to know where they were going and escaped successfully. I now have 10 hives.
RESPONSE- sounds like a lot of swarms. Some years the bees just want to reproduce
Treated my two hives with Oxalic acid on January 10th- 55 degrees day. It was so warm early that my main hive was overcrowded by March. I did a split on April 2 and added a queen cell from a local breeder. Doing well as of April 27th Captured 2 swarms on: April 1st, 2016-viable and doing well as of April 27th, 2016 April 10th, 2016-added mature swarm cells on April 20th from main hive to this queenless swarm. Still active but watching for signs that the cell formed a viable queen and she mated. I have not checked since we have had cold rain for the last 3 days with plunging nighttime temperatures. Feeding syrup
RESPONSE – Mid April for queen mating is iffy some years. With queen cell requeening we should have positive signs (eggs at least) within two weeks, three at most. If beyond that then it might be best to combine (if there are enough bees to make it worthwhile). Thanks for sharing – hope that requeening event went well like the earlier one.
Send results and analysis about why I lost my hives
Response – We will send although it will take a bit of time for analysis as we are something near 300 responses this season. Appreciate your and all others who did respond.
I lost a hive that came from my neighbor’s feral hive that was in a barn for years. That hive also died out in March 2016
RESPONSE: Sometimes we see bees doing well on their own – even persisting for years but then they don’t do well when we seek to transfer them and keep them conventionally. The study of Tom Seeley found that bees in tree hollows are different with respect to handling mites than our beekeeper colonies when we keep them at a higher density in one apiary. Thank you for your comment. Dewey
It has been very costly for us on our farm- losing all 6 hives and having to replace them- but we have made a substantial investment in woodenware, time taking the classes etc……we’re all in, but this is difficult.
Response – Loss of 6 hives is indeed heavy. And you are certainly correct that it is a significant loss of time and money. I trust with restarts, if you elect to do so, the loss rate will be reduced this year. Best of luck with them. Thanks for your comment.
My 2nd year hive yielded nearly 3 supers of honey (65#). No honey was harvested from the 1st year hive. Both were moved to my home after the property they were on was sold. Both hives were active for about 1 month then it was apparent that a very large yellow jacket nest was located across the road in my neighbor’s tree (an 18″ bag). The yellow jackets had invaded both nests and all honey bees were dead. I have started one new hive this spring with 3# of bees w/queen. They are very active and I have been supplementing with sugar water. Their upper box was left intact with 6 of the 10 frames full of last year’s honey.
RESPONSE – There are many other critters, certainly Yellow jackets that want to use the resources of a honey bee hive. Sounds like you were able to get some yourself. WELL DONE. First year colonies are not normally able to supply us with surplus. Trust restarted colony goes well this year.
It is very challenging to be a bee keeper, it is very expensive hobby. I am doing it to help the bees. It is very hard. You lose bees to yellow jackets, robbing …
Response – You are certainly correct that when a colony dies that it is a significant loss of time and money. They are expensive. Trust you have better successes this season. Thanks for sharing
Had my 3 hives since 2014 and left all honey for them over winter of 2014. They were fine and over-wintered well. All survived winter of 2015 but were robbed in March 2015 during warm spell. LCBA meetings are too far and at night. I would LOVE to have a knowledgeable mentor in my area. I am hoping to re colonize with feral swarms, or swarm from neighbor who has 10+ hives. Didn’t have robbing until they moved in. I cleaned and charred all parts of hive boxes and have one screened bottom board, so far. Each box has drawn comb, albeit void of any honey. I want to get going again. Too expensive to buy bees. Thanks for this survey.
RESPONSE – Bees can be expensive. Some years swarms will be plentiful and they are good to restock hive with. Robbing is a problem – last year we did see more of it. Too many bees in one area, or one apiary, might be a factor. With neighbor bees and your own you are likely correct to assume it was perhaps why robbing got started in your colonies. Very difficult to control once it starts. You might contact officer of local group to see if they have someone to recommend as a mentor. We do not have enough for sure. Trust you are able to capture some swarms to reestablish your hives.
Early in survey no place to explain that I was valuably helped by taking a bee class.
RESPONSE – You added into comments at end and that was good. We do have class by an association and by bee supply or garden store as possible answers. When not sure we can get this information in comments as you have done. Thanks for sharing.