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I'm still standing Ya Ya ya! (I love Elton John) and so are my bees!

Hail Flow Forum!

I just popped into say hello to the forum peeps and let you know what’s up. I hope you share from your corner of the world as well.

I came out of winter with 3 strong hives then the US had a quarantine and my bees started swarming. Then Tennessee had a tornado which directed my focus to cleaning up knocked over trees and social distancing. Then a late frost which killed all the early blooms. Then Tennessee suffered high winds and caused a 4 day power out and more downed trees.

My bees swarmed and swarmed and swarmed and I did 2 splits. All that was just to much jelly for my biscuit.

So the current state of bee affairs is thus. I started a new flow 2 in the spring so now my apiary up to 4 hives. But it’s like having 3 new hives in the development stages and one oozing with happiness and well populated.

During my swarm-o-rama 2 of my hives were left with no queen and no eggs. So ordering 2 queens in the covid was another deal al together. One came dead and the other was alive and well. It all got sorted out in the end and my hives are just busy doing bee things now.

I had the hardest time installing the queens and it was a comedy of errors and frankly I’m amazed the bees took to them. I dropped one queen and she bounced out the side of the cage and the bees attacked her and stung her and she lived! So much for all that careful instruction on how to install a queen properly right? Lawd have mercy! The other queen was installed as a wonderful youtube video on the proper way to install a queen. It was a success as well.

I had one swarm which clung onto a branch 50 feet high on a tiny twig and froze in our late frost. They dropped off and hit the ground so I took out a nook and placed it near the clump of bees just to see if they thawed out. BY GOD they DID! Only a few casualties too! Whoop! I called them “the perfect storm swarm” and they live now at a friends house. It was amazing that they all lived and I watched the queen march into a cardboard nook.

Needless to say I need a nap after sharing all that excitement on how the season kicked off for me here in Nashville.

I am doing fine and staying quarantined as I have a 90 year old Mom and 89 year old Aunt which are in my care.

I’m anxious to see how all of you have fared during all the life disruptions.

Peace Peeps, I’ve missed you!

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Love ya, @Martha. I think of you often when I look at my bees. You made some wonderful still photos showing the flight paths of bees. I have no idea how you did it, but it was so fabulous!

We lost 2 hives last year. One to pesticides, and the other to pesticides plus varroa. We did treat for varroa, but they were already so weak that they didn’t have a chance. I wasn’t sure about whether to restart this year, but my husband insisted. Good guy!

Then in February, my mother died in the UK. She had a long term illness, but in retrospect, it could have been a COVID-19 complication. She was very disabled, living at home, dependent on friends and carers and became more and more breathless. She was admitted and discharged twice from hospitals with a few days. She went very fast at the end, and I wasn’t able to be there, but I had stayed with her for a week just a month before, and I chatted with her every day on her phone when she able, so I think that I did what I could for her. Long story, but that is how it goes.

We got 2 new bee colonies in April, but our nectar flow has been horrible. I think we have fed them almost continuously since then. No honey this year, but we don’t do this for honey.

We are keeping ourselves quarantined as we see our local confirmed COVID numbers increase by 15%+ week on week. People are so irresponsible - less than half wearing masks, despite a state mandate. Anyhow, I will just do deep breaths inside, and walk for 30 minutes outside with a mask at dinner time, when everybody else is off the streets!

Keep the faith, you have friends here! :heart_eyes:

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Well that is quite the series of horrible terrible very bad day(s)! I’m glad that you are safe @Martha. And so sorry for your loss @Dawn_SD. You both are good beacons of responsibility and perseverance.

I’ve had less bad things go on, but problems of a different nature. I went into winter with 7 hives (6 flow, 1 lang) and through a comedic set of doing two splits at the same time, a swarm capture from a golf course across the street that was three deeps strong, and then five swarms three weeks later that I caught I entered early spring with 15 hives. And then things got busy! More swarms bringing me to 21 hives. One of the side effects of Covid effecting the supply chain is that most of the big beekeeping suppliers are either in the US or via China, so getting wooden ware and frames proved to be my own hell. I’m still waiting on 10 deeps and 120 prewaxed frames to put in them and have extra on hand— I’ve been fighting with the obscure transport company within Canada (that’s where I am) who has misplaced the entire pallet of what I ordered three weeks ago from a Canadian supplier. And the supplier casually said lets wait til the end of the week to see if we need to ship you another delivery— and I NEED the additional supers in my apiary like two weeks ago. All that being said, it is a good problem to have I suppose— my bee yard has grown big and I don’t want it to get bigger! I took me almost 8 hours to inspect all the hives two weeks ago and that was hard work. I need to do one a day I think going on and just keep that rotation going. On two of my flow hives I had to add lang supers because the nectar isn’t ripe yet— one of them now weighs 178lbs, the next one 154lbs. All the other hives are hovering about 110lbs so I’m going to have a LOT of honey this season I think. Good thing I bought a Lyson 30 frame extractor and an extraction table with a steam knife last fall thinking I would expand the Lang’s a little. On top of all this, my bee helpers (my twin fraternal daughters that are turning 18) are moving away in September to attend two different universities 4 hours away from home so I’m going to be a tad overwhelmed with empty nesting and harvesting around that time, and getting things settled for winter. I work in Michigan but can’t go over the international border, and my employer isn’t planning on opening the offices at least until late September at this point— this is a blessing so I am not dealing with Covid exposure and I get to work from home and monitor the apiary, and spend precious time with the family. Like everyone, I’m very concerned about the next wave of Covid and what will happen to my kids if they move into residence like they plan. We are so locked down in our household let me tell you! We rarely leave, and look like we are mummies the way we wrap up when we have to. Who could of imagined the world could be this disrupted! So much to be thankful for, including this forum and you both as eFriends to help stay sane. Bless you both.

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My condolences about your Mom. :pensive: Glad you made it home! Think the fires killed off to much flora and fawns?

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So glad your in a good place and employed. :grin: you have your hands full with the expansion of your apiary. Have fun.

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Martha, welcome back, I’ve missed ya, you’re so awesome :raised_hands:

What a harrowing spring you’ve had!! Terrible and horrible indeed, and here you are with a story that as usual, just sparkles with your wit and grit :hugs:

Best to you and your elder ladies - I’m sure they must be pretty amazing with how you turned out :cherry_blossom:

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I hope your doing well Eva and your bees are filling up your hive with honey! :smiley:

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I don’t think it was the fires, I am in a very suburban area with lots of landscaping for forage. I think it has just been very dry at the wrong times. Not much nectar flowing when the weather is dry, despite people irrigating their yards.

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Your post has made me wonder about rain compared to artificial watering in regards to a nectar supply for the bees. I have shrubs in my yard that the bees ignored the flowers during the drought when there was about 9 months of no rain although I water the whole yard well in that time. In late February we finally got good rain and within a week the bees were working on the shrubs.
Tap water here is just good enough to keep things green, it keeps the lawn alive but not growing, for example. I wonder if tap water inhibits the production of nectar.? Some water must be better than a drought but it seems that natural rain is so much better than tap water in nectar being produced.
Your thoughts, and from others also? Cheers

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It could be something in tap water, but I think it is more likely to be a question of quantity. When we water our garden with a hose, it takes about 60 gallons. The sprinklers put about 350 gallons onto the garden every 3 days (we have a Flume flow meter, so I know how much is being used). When it rains, there is far more water in the drip trays under our potted plants and the soil is a lot wetter. So I think it is a question of quantity. We are not allowed to irrigate for more than 10 minutes per zone, 3 times per week in this city, and I don’t think that the sprinklers can get it as wet as rain does in that time.

We do have hard water though, so we have to use soil acidification to keep our avocados and citrus trees happy. :wink:

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I’m working on a harvest washable net that’s easy to switch jars.

image

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Here’s what I do. Then jar then up in the kitchen without bees wanting their honey back.
Also have the same set up with 2.5L buckets if I want to harvest frames separately.
Cheers
Ron

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I know that it has been described on other posts but what is the ID and OD of the tubing you’re using?

Maybe this is the thread… https://forum.honeyflow.com/t/collection-tube-size-please/5439?u=chau06

It’s just a 25 mm, or 1 inch, PVC tube that’s available from my local hardware store in Australia. Mitre 10 for any Aussies reading this.
It’s sold by the metre of a roll and fits the flow tube perfectly.

Not sure what an ID or OD is. That could be something used in the US, or I’m not aware of it here.

Cheers
Ron

ronmolnar.com.au

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Inner and outer diameter.

That’s inner diameter.
Outer is 30mm or an inch and a quarter.

ronmolnar.com.au

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That’s great! I simply wanted to go straight into the jar. :smiley:

I so tried the same thing and in US it ia a 1 inch ID. But my tubes kept coming out.
Good job ,