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I've been building bee bombs!


#1

I called this video “I’m Stealing Bees” but I did a poor job of explaining why I was stealing them. See, I cultivated 4 nucs in my apiary with the sole purpose of using them as either emergency stock should a hive fail, I lose a queen, or to strengthen a weak hive. Thing is, I haven’t had any truly weak colonies thus far. Now that may not seem like a problem but it is. Why? Because the nucs are growing in population and they need to be re-hived or they’ll swarm - but I don’t want any more hives right now. 6 production hives and 3-4 nucs are enough.

Rather than migrating my nucs into larger accomodations, I’ve been occasionally stealing brood and then adding the brood to other hives.

As you’ll see, this can create some very populous colonies which really increases honey production as noted here: (https://wasba.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Managing-honey-bee-populations-for-greater-honey-production-Morris-Ostrofsky.pdf)

The giant colony got a 2-frame brood boost early in the season (it was already a strong, overwintered colony to begin with) and the colony on the left was an overwintered, 5-frame nuc that I got on March 18th. I gave them 2 frames. The reason the colony in this video gets three frames is that it had no queen a month ago when I got it, just queen cells.


#2

Hi Bobby, that’s a great strategy to boost one hives population & prevent another hive from swarming, I do this all the time, however I’ve never left the bees on the frames. Did you get any fighting? I’d be concerned about fighting.


#3

I did not see anything that caused alarm @JeffH but if there was fighting, it likely took place out of sight.


#4

Fair enough Bobby, if there was any fighting, you would have seen dead bees outside the entrance. It looks like they accept nurse bees that come with the brood quite readily.


#5

I have found that too, @JeffH. I put the frame of brood and nurse bees on one side in an open box for 5 or 10 mins to let any field bees fly back to the hive. The nurse bees stay on the brood and when they go into the new hive, they seem to be accepted right away. :wink:


#6

Good stuff @Bobby_Thanepohn!!! I like how your colonies echo the background architectural silhouettes in your film :nerd_face::slight_smile:️:grin:


#7

Thank you @Eva!

@JeffH Jeff , there weren’t any dead bees in front of the colony this AM beyond the normal 8-10 bodies so I think nurse bees fare well.


#8

Thank you @Dawn_SD & @Bobby_Thanepohn, I’m going to use that strategy. I like it, especially while wanting to boost a really weak hive’s population. It would be way better than just a frame of brood without the nurse bees.


#9

Please give feedback, @JeffH. I know it works for me, but I always learn from the experience of others. :blush:


#10

Thank you Dawn, I will do that. It’s just another weapon in the battle against the beetles.


#11

Will be trying this strategy too! Thanks @Bobby_Thanepohn


#12

Chao Bobby !

Wow ! Once again love your top-notch video. I’ve been evening out n sharing frames between stronger to weaker colonies.

Last season I used a Nuc like your doing. Does seem to work well. I’d upped that over-winter to another 8 frame hive so when I split my Flow–hive last week with piles of Queen-cells I started another of these resource Nuc’s. I have at least two to three more double or triple 5frame setup ready for splits or swarm now. With that new Nuc I’m up to 7 colonies (I want to keep my winter over apiary about 5 to max of 6 larger main hives. I really don’t want to work harder than that. At near 72 yrs old I want to enjoy my bees not kill myself off. :grinning: … I did move my split off to my daughter house about 12 miles away. I have room there for only two on the hive stand I built …

It continues to be an interesting n learning adventure… Thankz for the great vids n input !

Cheers,
Gerald.


#13

Bobby_Thanepohn, I have kinda the same thing going on and I fail to see the problem. Isn’t one of most beekeepers goals to help the honeybee to make a comeback? Let it swarm naturally or give it to someone you know that would like to get into beekeeping, you’ll have a friend forever.

If you choose to let it swarm naturally into the environment make sure to get the word out that it is not the honeybee that goes around haphazardly stinging people. I think your videos are proof of this. The honeybee Knows that one sting pulls their guts out with their barbed stinger. Unlike the yellow jacket that can sting multiple times and seems to take joy in it or some wasps maybe all, if I could speak clearly I’d ask Seri but me and her are not on very good terms.

The honeybee sting can actually help arthritis, I used to have to take medication prior to getting into beekeeping now I take nothing.

This is a hive that I would like the Flow people to come out with and it would only entail them to shorten the flow up to fit a medium box: I’ve got ideas for a Eco Hive beekeeper box.

5 medium frames 2 flow frames all in one medium eight frame box with built in slanted landing board and 2.5 degree harvesting slant.

Constructed of western red cedar front and sides have windows with rear made to accommodate Flows on sides with Plexiglas sheet in middle of back to accommodate Frames. It would also be nice to have the front entrance covered with moving/robbing screen.
Also includes 4 1x4x24" slats to make base for lime.

For bee health use no treatments and feed no sugar.

I don’t know how bees decide but once hive gets full, nurse bees make a few queen cups, chooses one egg to put in each of them and fills with royal jelly. Soon new queens are born, nurse bees choose whichever best qualify’s and disposes of rest… Or maybe the new queens fight it out and winner gets a breeding flight(?) however this works,… they won’t share all their secrets yet. Just before new queens are hatched and the existing queen is insured of replacement she will take half of the bees to start another hive and that one becomes two becomes four becomes eight and so forth.

Anyway this would have to be good for bringing back the bees. Adding boxes and destroying these queen cups as you are taught is only human greed.

With younger more healthier queens there won’t be as much disease and therefore no need for treatments.

In my view these treatments, germicides, insecticides, pesticide, fungicides, round up and all these other cides that the bees have adapted to have mixed with their toxins and made people more allergic to their stings.

You say wait a minute Things like Round-Up have been proven safe for bees. Let me douse these testers (scientists) and their food in this and you can’t shower it off or wash your food, you let it get in your sheets and your food. We’ll see how you feel in a couple months.

(Sorry, got carried away)
(Back to box)

It would be great to have an Eco hive kit that would include a plain medium 5 frame Nuc to catch your swarms in and someone can just exchange 5 new frames for your next swarm.

Bigger more permanent hives are great once a person gets more experience and is more settled.

Blessings, Mark