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1st day of beekeeping


#1

Hi there!! Today is my very first day of Bee keeping. I live in Coffs Harbour NSW in Australia. I picked up and installed my Nuc this morning! Very strong colony and SO many bees. It was very exciting placing the frames in my hive. A few questions thou. Once the bees are in do I change the corflute from the top to the bottom or does it stay in the top slot? Next question is do I need to supply them with sugar syrup or because it’s spring is there going to be enough food around for them? I live right in the middle of town and the botanical gardens are within 3km to us. Last question - when i went to move the Nuc box once it was empty i notied a couple of small hive beetles running around. I then pulled out the corflute and noted 2 beetles on that… Does this mean my colony that i installed today is infected with SHB?? can anyone suggest what i should do here? i got the bees from a very reputable beekeeper.
Thanks for the help


#2

Hi Stacey, and welcome to the forum. I’m up in the mountains behind Byron, so pretty close to you. I almost did a one year circle with bees by the end of this month, so my experience is as yet limited. For now I went from 1 hive to 6.
There are heaps of experienced beekeepers on this forum, so your questions will be expertly answered soon.
My greatest difficulty has been to follow all advice, as it will differ greatly according to location and personal preference, and which system is used.
In the end, you will find your own way, and there are heaps of great links on here to guide you.
So you had thrown some hive beetles in with your nuc? Never mind, we all got them around here. Even if your nuc would be SHB free, they would have found you by now. Keep your hive busy, covered in bees, they take care of them. Don’t put your super on before your brood box is overflowing with bees.
My personal preference for a new nuc would be the coreflute in the upper position, but take it out to check every week, so they don’t propolise it stuck.
It’s nectar flow on right now, so I wouldn’t feed. Just watch if you have plenty of bees flying out to forage.
Good luck with it all. If you got a good nuc with a good queen, you might be able to harvest in February. That’s how it was for me.


#3

Thank you! It’s very overwhelming with all the information, I just want to have beautiful healthy bees. Very exciting times!


#4

The standard advice is to leave it in the lower slot. I actually keep mine in the upper slot, because I had problems with ants repeatedly building nests in it when it was in the lower position. They were fast too - in 2 days there were thousands of them. The bees were not happy.

I presume you got a 5 frame nucleus? If it was very full of bees and stores when you installed it, I wouldn’t feed them right away. If you put the extra 3 frames on the outside of the nucleus, to make the box up to 8 frames, I would just check those frames in a week or two. If the bees are drawing comb on the empty frames, they probably have enough food from foraging. If the frames are still empty at the first inspection, I might consider feeding them once, to give them a bit of a kickstart.

I doubt that any hives are free of SHB in your part of the world. I have them here in California too. There are a few things to keep in mind when you have SHB:

  1. Be very gentle when you are inspecting. Try hard not to squash or trap any bees, because they are a feast for SHB larvae.
  2. When you open the hive, look under the inner cover right away. Often the bees will have chased the SHB up there, and you can now squash them. I know it sounds gross, but each beetle can lay 200 eggs per day, so it is them against your bees. They actually don’t make a mess when you squash them, so i just do it.
  3. If you clean up burr comb during an inspection, do not drop it on the ground. Again it is free food for SHB. I put it in a ziplock bag and then freeze it until I have enough to render.

I am using a beetle trap inside the hives, but I don’t think this will stop or control the SHB, despite the manufacturer’s claims. :wink: I just use it to get an idea of how heavy the infestation is getting. I have also watered some beneficial nematodes into the soil around the hives. I don’t know whether they will really work, and they won’t reduce the number of beetles already in the hive. They may reduce the number of SHB emerging, which would then be available to go and infest other hives.


#5

Stacey,

Welcome abroad to Beekeeping. Sounds like your off n running already ! Looks like Dawn n Webclan gave you plenty of info n advice … Dawns been around the Horn in Beekeeping so you got some pretty good notes from her.

I’m up here in the Pacific NW in the foothill country SE of Seattle… we are thru our 2017 season n winterizing our bees here for a long winters NAP :sleeping:!

As Web noted … you’ll get a lot of advice. Some us general n good everywhere, some is more regional n some will be personal based on experiences n region. I like mine SBB board in the upper personal in my cooler more northern region for my Flow-hive. All my others (not Flow-hive) usually have only one slot so not choice. Then I work with others nearby me that like n use only solid bottom boards…

You’ll have a lot of thots n questions from time to time pop a note to the Forum n try to find n keep a mentor to pass thots by them. They will have local experience n advice …

Now I need to hit the road up here n repair someone’s furnace. They called last night n their house is cold.

Cheers n ta ta,

Gerald


#6

Hi Stacey, welcome to the forum.
You can do a search in the top right of the page to find some answers.
e.g.
https://forum.honeyflow.com/search?q=small%20hive%20beetle
Here are some examples of SHB traps:

https://forum.honeyflow.com/search?q=small%20hive%20beetle%20trap

Our recommendations for the coreflute slider are:
Two positions
Lower Ventilation and trapping beetles

Upper
When installing your bees
Or harvesting honey

The screened bottom board has two locations for the Corflute slider.
By positioning the Corflute slider in the lower slot:
You increase ventilation in your hive
And you can place a small hive beetle trap on top.

It’s also important to have the Corflute slider in the upper slot when:
installing your bees
or extracting your honey.

The Corflute Slider will also give you an indication of what’s happening within your hive by looking at what falls through the screen.

The thing some people seem to find on the forum is the coreflute slider getting stuck, I’ve been thinking about this. Maybe putting some oil, or natural greasy substance on the side of the coreflute slider where it slides in and out will stop it getting propolised to the base by the bees…??

And just in case you haven’t seen, here are the beginner beekeeping videos:
https://www.honeyflow.com/resources/gallery-videos/beginner-beekeeping-videos/p/192
You’ll get lots of good advice on here too :slight_smile:


#7

Hi Faroe,

I’ve had some stickiiness of the slider in all my hives with bottom sliders. Since I live in the very damp Pacific N.W where it can be wet n rainy off/on Autumn, Winter, n Spring month as well as some summer problems as well. Mine issues are more swollen wood n/or debris that falls getting in the groove. I look :eyes: at mine weekly or every other at most. If I see them getting to nasty (the slider) I pull n take in the house to thoroughly clean n wash. I’ve only had one get so bad I bough new plastic coreflutes n cut a new one. Clean sliders are much easier to spot n see tiny mites, wax moth eggs or larva or other unknown idea.

"[quote=“Faroe, post:6, topic:13280”]“
The Corflute Slider will also give you an indication of what’s happening within your hive by looking at what falls through the screen.”

The thing some people seem to find on the forum is the coreflute slider getting stuck, I’ve been thinking about this. Maybe putting some oil, or natural greasy substance on the side of the coreflute slider where it slides in and out will stop it getting propolised to the base by the bees…??
[/quote]

If any of my sliders really get stuck I grap the back middle end with my “Leather tool/pliers”. Then I can usual exert plenty of pulling force to loosen n draw out. I would guess if I get a Flow or other SBB slider not work after cleaning it’s time for the garbage just like any other damaged or broken bee product. Heck ! :blush: Are we having fun yet ?!

That’s about it from up here in Coalfield.

Cheers n blessings,

Gerald


#8

Thanks Dawn! I have placed my hive within my chicken run which I read was another bonus with the SHB as the chickens love them. Hopefully they help out aswell. Thanks for the advice!


#9

I don’t have any chickens, so I can’t speak from experience. I don’t know if bees will ever attack chooks, however if bees ever did attack the chooks, it would be good if the chooks had somewhere to get away from the bees while under attack.

I made a recent observation about SHB larvae, they predominantly leave the hive during the night while chickens are sleeping. They bury into the ground about 4 inches. Whether the chickens scratch them up or not, I don’t know.

The best strategy for SHB is to not allow them to get to the point where the larvae starts leaving the hive to complete the next phase of their life cycle.


#10

LOL thanks Gerald :slight_smile:
It seems you are having fun :wink:

What’s a fir hive? Is that another type of hive you have there? Or you have given it a personal name?
Good idea about the tool for pulling the slider out.

Have you used a waterproof paint/sealant on your hive to stop some of this wood swelling?


#11

Greeting young lady,

Yip ! Had a great Beekeeping season but crappy/bad harvest … but that’s Puget Sound Beekeeping ! Still trying to meet the challenge of Varroa Mites n Late season squadrons of Yellow Jackets.

As for Fir Hive, Pine Hive, Maple Hive n so on… all my 5-8-10 frame hives are named after local tree species. Much better than just numbers. I choose to use species of trees as my ID names.

As for the swelling of the woods … all my natural cedar wood hives including my flow-hive are treated by Tongue Oils but only on the outside surfaces. Same same with my latex outdoor painted hives. Since only the outside surfaces are treated n protected moisture can easily still cause expansion n contraction of all woods in outdoor environments… I really don’t have major issues. But enough I use my needle nose pliers off/on to pull the sliders. I’m guessing in our very damp Puget Sound region even if I painted in n outside we’d still have swelling issues.

Guess I’ve tried answered your inquirers. At least I tried :blush:

Ooooh … BTW … my 8 frame Flow-hive is named after tree species …, the Wild Swarm I caught Spring 2016 was hanging in a Maple :maple_leaf: tree thus my Flow-Hive is Maple Hive.

Cheers n have a great week !

Gerald


#12

Im NSW Australia, I do have a carpet strip on top of the courflute. Any Beatles or grubs are easy pickings for me to dispatch. I do notice if you do a hive inspection big or small the next day there will be more beetles. to squash. I suspect the inspection just got the girls a little more motivated to boot them varmints out.


#13

For the SHB, if you can get Swiffer pads (unscented) in your area, they work way better than any beetle trap I have used. Cut them into quarters and place two on the top of the frames. The beetles get stuck in them when the bees chase them there. I had an issue and would find 3-4 beetles in the trap, after 2 days with the swiffer pad it caught over 40. I have been also told to salt the ground around the hives and place chips and dust gravel to stop the larva before they can mature. Good luck.