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Happy Busy Bees - 1st Year Hive - Should I Extract Honey or Add Another Super?

Hi Audra, I don’t know what others have said about the mote idea, however I’d strongly suggest that you try a different approach in tackling ants than what you have there. I’m guessing that your hive is hoop pine. I’ve seen first hand, as recently as last weekend how hoop pine doesn’t do well with water. This photo shows the front of a bottom board which badly rotted.


cheers

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50/50 is fine but 5:3 (sugar to water, as @Dawn_SD clarified) is maybe better in the fall

Use refined white granulated sugar. Not sure what color your organic cane sugar is but if it does not have all the molasses extracted then it is toxic for the bees.

The lemongrass and spearmint oils are for you. Overwhelming scents can repel the bees, so there really isn’t an advantage.

As long as it is white sugar, that is fine

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White being the key word.

And also consider the price of the ~50lbs of sugar you may have to feed them - at Walmart 50lbs of white sugar is about $20 - about the same as 6lbs of Florida Crystals raw organic sugar.

The industry term for raw sugar does not mean that it is uncooked, but instead that it contains molasses, which is to be avoided in bee feeding.

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Most feeders don’t fit under the flow hive roof unless you use an eke.

Look for a 1ltr Millar feeder they fit just.

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Mann Lake also has a very clever inner cover, which I love. Depending on the size of your hive, you may need the 10 frame version, but this is the idea:

I use it under my traditional flat roof hives, when I have the Flow super on. It lifts the roof clear of the Flow key access panel… :wink:

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A real pain finding 8 frame langstroth parts in the UK. Only one supplier and very limited products.

I’m swapping out my 6 flow frame hive next season for another 7 frame.

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Hi @JeffH,
Thank you for your photo and sharing your expirience. I appreciate it. I can imagine water would totally rot the wood. I have my hive up out of the water so no water comes in contact with the wood or hive. The hive is up on blocks up above the water a good bit. I have logs down in the water for the bees to crawl up in case they are fatigued or fall in. So far they have responded well to it.

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Your beehive set up looks very cute and i’m sure has become a special feature in your garden. My concern is how practical and safe is it?
Specifically, is it stable? Beehives can be very heavy and dealing with an overturned one, complete with upset bees, is a chore best avoided.
Secondly, I hope that the handles of the wheel barrow have been removed as otherwise you have made inspections very difficult as every time that you remove the super you have to walk backwards with it to find somewhere to place it, before you can access the brood nest. And that’s not safe for yourself.
How often do you inspect the hive? It might be an idea to source a temporary solid structure that you can place to the side of the hive where you can put the super during inspections. You will also need somewhere to hold frames safely until you return them to the brood box.

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Thank you @JeffH for your information. I appreciate your advice.
To answer your questions I inspect a few times a week through the windows and the entrence. Monthly do an internal inapection. I take the super off and it sets on the handles of the wheel barrow, I access the hive from the side of the wheel barrow where I have a stone path, garden is growing on the other side and front of wheel barrow. I have a table I take out to set next to the wheel barrow for if I need to take the frames out of the brood box. I do not walk backwards with any of the bees hive. The wheel barrow is set on flat flag stones not just dirt and is quite heavy filled with water, the cinder blocks that the hive sits up on as a flat surface and of course the hive itself. It is quite stable, as I agree with you an unstable hive or a hive that has fallen over would be a terrible mess and unhealthy for the bees.

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You need to open it up more often, especially during swarm season, and maybe less often other times (certainly winter) of the year if there are no apparent issues or disease concerns.

Inspecting a double deep hive with a nearly full super is another step up in there game and the concern is, like @JimM said, that cute gets in the way of function. I personally grimace to think of doing an inspection the way your hive is situated but if it works for you, I suppose that is the most important thing. In time you may find that the more steps and challenges that you experience when you have to take to do an inspection, the more likely you are to make excuses and not do it on a regular basis.

I think everyone just wants to make sure that design is not interfering. Also, despite a lot of concern, ants are rarely a problem for the bees. Water, as long as it is reasonable close, does not need to be immediately adjacent to the hive. Like I mentioned before, I suspect that you are going to have more drowned bees than average. Quite often, like when the workers are driving out drones, they fall to the ground coming out of the entrance… even if you have the log for them to climb out, you’re making their job harder, and for little practical purpose.

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Hi Audra, that was @JimM 's questions & concerns. My only concern was the wood getting rotten. I guess the other thing that occurred to me while typing is the bees wont be able to beard. Anyway they wont have far to get water during hot weather. Also you need to consider mozzies breeding in the water.

cheers

Hi @JeffH,
Thanks for the heads up on mozzies. I’ll research that! I put fresh water in daily, but I will look into if I need to do anything else. I appreciate all the info!

:grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

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I am a first year Beek as well so I’m doing lots of research on how to get these girls insulated and through their first winter. I also ordered lemongrass bee fondant off Amazon to feed them during the cold months:)

What’s the lemongrass for?

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I’m not sure what the lemongrass does, but my bees are Gaga over it. They thrive with it, so maybe it’s just a fun flavor of candy for them, but they sure like it.

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Lemongrass has almost all of the compounds found in the sent they put off for gathering other bees. For example, when they swarm:)

I had a few options of what essential oils they put in the fondant. I would have chose no oils but that wasn’t an option. Since they use lemongrass oil to attract bees into a swarm trap/hive I figured that would bee the best.

Sorry, my post somehow was incomplete. Yes, lemongrass oil mimics nasonov pheromone but it isn’t necessary or desirable in winter feed.

90/10 fondant or just plain granulated sugar, moistened and shaped into a block is good (and much cheaper).

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I already bought it, so I’ll try it out. Maybe just put some in with regular sugar fondant. Hopefully it’s not bad for winter haha. Thank you for the recipe and insight!

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