How are your bees doing this spring????

Discussion in 'Beekeeping' started by Mutti, May 5, 2005.

  1. Mutti

    Mutti Well-Known Member Supporter

    Sep 7, 2002
    We started 10 new colonies this year plus the two we had. The ten new ones are just a'hummin'--been feeding them every 3-4 days and lots of brood and fuzzy young bees. Nectar and polllen being stored. Pa got one sting but,then,he was in his shirt sleeves as usual! The ones from last year were queenless so they got new queens who are starting to lay. One had raised a queen but,apparently, hadn't been fertilized so we had to kill her.
    Big story on our local news about a beekeeper who usually gets 5000+ lbs. honey a year and last year got about 500# d/t varroa mites. We keep traps on our hives and no sign of problems yet...hubby thinks the drones carry the most and he bumps any he sees. Just his theory. There are no beekeepers withint 20 miles of us which may help although wild bees can be infected,too.
    Busy getting second brood chambers and supers ready. Blackberries almost ready to bloom here; fruit trees mostly done. Lots of dandelions for pollen....we always let them bloom so our orchards are pretty unsigtly!! DEE
  2. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    May 10, 2002
    I wintered over 3 hives.

    One hive is fine and should give me some honey. One hive re-queened itself this spring and is VERY small because it had no laying queen when it needed it the most. And, one queen refused just half of the frames I gave it, so it is ALSO quite small. That hive is just BEGINNING to expand on the fresh comb I gave it.

    A little dissapointing, actually.

    The 2 new packages I installed are settling in well.

  3. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

    Oct 29, 2002
    The hives at our apiary by our house didn't do very well at all. Lost most of the hives. If it is any consolation, basically most people in the area are in the same boat. It's the weather over the winter. Big swings in temperature where it would get up in the 50's and 60's then drop suddenly below freezing.

    The hives at our farm did great. We were down there transferring hives from Nucs to hives and checked the existing hives. We ended up pulling 50+ pounds of spring honey by taking frames from the deeps (we overwinter with double deeps) and replacing with some extra frames with new foundation. I just wanted to give them room. We could have gotten another 50 lbs or so without stretching. Didn't think I would need to bring down any supers this early (silly us).

    Today we will be transferring from Nucs to hives at our house.

  4. Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jun 4, 2002
    West Central Minnesota
    Well, I wasn't very optimistic a few weeks ago. I left 28 hives with a friend for the winter- when we went to pick them up he still had them out on watermelon pollination and had not been feeding them- aargh..... Very weak hives, and most of the queens had either quit or really slowed down on laying. I brought 24 of them home last weekend and discovered that the pallets they were on (my friend's) would not accept my boardman feeders. Sick in bed all week so could not even open the hives until today. Fortunately, there has been a honey flow on here so the queens are all laying again, lots of pollen coming in, and even the weakest couple of hives appear to have at least 5-6 frames of bees. One hive was a deadout, but the rest looked really good. Now I need to get busy building boxes- I need to change them from singles deeps into three deeps for overwintering here.

    The other bummer is that my friend did not pull any honey last fall, then the bees made some spring honey- some of my hives have 5 medium supers full of honey on them. I need to pull that pretty quick. But, better too much honey than none at all!
  5. justgojumpit

    justgojumpit Well-Known Member

    May 5, 2003
    North Salem, NY
    I overwintered three hives from packages. One survived the winter, and is struggling with tracheal mites. I have menthol on that hive now. One hive died, I suspect due to tracheal mites, and another was very weak, with maybe a softball sized cluster of bees, also probably due to tracheal mites. All three hives had k-wings in the fall, and I thought this was due to varroa (I saw a total of three in the fall for all the hives, but you're not likely to see them unless the load is pretty heavy) Apparently, they had tracheal mites too, as some of the bees from the surviving hive have discolored tracheas. I combined this very weak hive with my other live hive, which was less weak, but definitely not as strong as I'd hoped. I'm definitely not happy with the tracheal mite resistance of these bees, and will be breeding queens from four new nucs I'm getting from Kutik's Honey Farm. From the pictures, these looked like some wonderful bees with great laying patterns, and they should also be more resistant to the tracheal mites. I'll use menthol as a regular fall treatment from now on, and do my oxalic acid in the spring and fall. I'll raise new queens on a yearly basis too, just to keep my hives with a young, robust queen. I hope everyone else had better luck over the winter!