Other than removing lid to look in and removing window covers to watch, I do 0 inspections, 0 treatments, feed no sugar except for giving them a jelly jar (have only done once) to clean out and will use no smoke, I feel this only irritates them and looses you honey, maybe even bees, I do not know if they come back after fire goes out or not, they all look the same to me. My bees are very calm as I do not go in hive to see how their queen is doing, (I’d move too if someone came in my house every few weeks and moved all the furniture around to see how me and my queen is doing) I can just look at entrance or in windows to see how she is doing, they’ll take care of any problems, they know better than I do what they need in a queen. Man gets too involved and we are losing the battle, the poison that we use for treatments doesn’t help.
This is only my way, very few, if any agree with me but my Flow Hives are 8 frame western red cedar on 2.5- 3 inches lime base. (Started with 3.5 but it has settled over the years)(Used 2x4 for frame) My hives have screened bottom boards that I leave open except in the dead of winter to allow beetle eggs and any other harmful critter eggs to fall through and the lime will not allow eggs to pupate as earth would. I had a local wood smith install windows front and left side to supers identical to the one on right of super to allow further inspection.
I am an 80% disabled veteran being paid at 100% due to I U (Individual Unemployable) because of a severe closed head injury which has resulted in very slow motor skills, double vision and other vision difficulties. I guess I still feel lucky; I was put in a body bag and announced dead at Commanders Call the next day. Someone saw my leg move I was air cared to Jackson Memorial Hospital instead of the morgue. (I think someone prayed over me) I came to six weeks later but they failed to pass information along so it took 2 years to get any pay or retired so I could use VA yet it only took 1 year for SS.
I started beekeeping with two double deep 10 frame hives (white pine) in 2013-2014 season, lost both hives after feeding sugar and giving pollen patties all summer and fall. Both went into winter in very good condition but both died by spring from SHB. I would have given up on the hobby as it had proven to be too much work for me to deal with except my mentor whom supplied both Nucs felt sorry for me and supplied another to start another hive…
2014-2015 season. In talking he told me that if I used lime under hive it would not allow the critters that killed the other hives to pupate and continue doing harm but he had no proof of this. It just so happened that I had some high lime gravel left over from a previous concrete job I had done so I dumped a few scoops of gravel, placed a frame on it, pulled one of the 10 frame hive boxes along with frames that had been previously built with comb out of the freezer and started another hive. The lime must have worked because it survived the winter in good shape and I hadn’t put near the labor into it.
Later that spring God blessed me with a double hernia… 2015-2016 season It didn’t seem like a blessing at the time but God wanted me to see that His bees would do fine without all mans interference. I wasn’t able to give the attention to feedings and all that I was led to believe they needed so I figured they would die that summer. To my surprise the hive had done exceptionally well and I was even able to pull 27.5 pounds of honey off, it was exceptionally good, didn’t have all that sugary taste.
Earlier that fall of 2015 I got a text from my son that stated I should check out this thing called the “Flow Hive” invention that they had come out with in Australia. I spent several days checking it out and decided it might work in taking some of the labor out of beekeeping and ordered three; I was one of the first owners in this area. By Spring of 2016-2017 I was able to do a three way split of the double stack 10 frame brood boxes built from the Nuc that my mentor had so kindly given to me into three 8 frame western red cedar brood boxes from "Flow. I wasn’t able to do any harvest until 2017-2018 season due to my necessity to experiment have only harvested from hive #2 of 30 pounds.
2018-2019 season I should have all three Flow hives on line, once again creating more work than I should attempt so I am considering leasing the flow frames out for harvest as I have many other Irons I would like to get in the fire.
The hive without the medium box is a hive I started last last year by removing a deep from hive 1. The single deep with a medium did better than the double deep with medium. This year I wii be able to see if single deep without medium is better still.
I hope to be harvesting from all 3 this year, I hope I can handle workload.
I also hope and pray I can afford cameras on my hives so I can put them online. I want to share God’s message about how all these treatments are killing his bees.
I am looking for someone to build me 8 frame medium boxes from western red cedar with identical windows all the way around so I can look into brood boxes and see how they are doing. (Didn’t like western red cedar at first) (Too brittle) ( till used with bees, it has proven so much easier to care for bees as I am having problems with white pine hives, (in thinking I guess I am not really having problems with white pine boxes it is just that the red cedar is so much easier) now it is only wood I’ll use for hive boxes)(Although I have entertained the thought of using eastern aromatic eastern red cedar but wonder if it would be too strong for even the bees, but this would work even better for moths and other nuisance bugs)