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bees

Started by billy rubin, April 17, 2020, 08:09:43 PM

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Tank

I learn so much here!
If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
"Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt." ― Richard P. Feynman
'It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life.' - Terry Pratchett
Remember, your inability to grasp science is not a valid argument against it.

billy rubin

#16
all right, here's an update.

the queen i let loose was killed off by the bees in the hive. those things happen. so i ordered another from georgia.  this little sucker cost me $29, with eight more for shipping. thats a lot of money for a working queen, although artificially inseminated breeders go for several hundred. i used to work with year-old breeders that you could buy for US$50 each. most of those weren't worth the money, IMO.

ohio has a useless government regulatory department that requires health certificates and fees, so queens that come here are expensive. they also levy a dollar per hive annual fee to support themselves. all of it makes queens high in price.

anyway, the queen came in a cage glued to the inside of a cardboard box. i tore it apart to show th epostmaster, who had never seen what was in there. took her to the house, and popped her into the queenless hive along with a frame of open brood from a stronger one of the nucleus hives.  open brood comes with a biunch of adhering nurse bees, the very young ones that take care of the queen. emerging brood would have been better, but i didn't have any of that yet. brood also gives the bees in the queenless nuc an optimistic outlook, because suddenly the inside of the hive smelled like it was supposed to. all that makes for more reliable queen acceptance.

this time i let em alone for ten days, until today when it was warm. took out a frame and there she was, with eggs in the brood frame. so she's doing all right.




these nucs aren't growing as well as i'd like, but it's because it has been stinking unseasonably cold, and they cannot get out to forage. this cold snap should be over in a day or two, and then they ought to accelerate. as soon as the brood from the queens starts to emerge after 21 days, the population size starts to grow quickly.

in the meantime, i've kept two liter soda jugs of sucrose syrup on them continuously, so theyve never been short of food. that's important when you start messing with queens, as the bees ted to blame her for anything that goes wrong.

finally got some veils in the mail that were backordered. up until now ive just been relying on my magical good nature not to get stung in theface when i open the boxes up. i don't mind the occasional stings, but it wears on the kids. since i'm trying to get them interested i gt three veils and a coupple pair of gloves.



more people have been to berlin than i have

Tank

Absolutely fascinating  :popcorn:
If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
"Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt." ― Richard P. Feynman
'It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life.' - Terry Pratchett
Remember, your inability to grasp science is not a valid argument against it.

billy rubin

its supposed to be warm tomorrow. if its nice ill get the kids into the nucs and we ll take some photographs.

the very young brood isnt very sensitive to temperature, but older larvae seem more problematic. the populations in these nucs are still small, as most of tge bees they started with are dying off, and the new bees havent begun to emerge at any great rate. once they get a critical mass thequeen will go nutz on laying eggs and the hives will fill up


more people have been to berlin than i have

Asmodean

So, them manner-bred bees of my neighbor's from a reply far, far above...

Last night it was hailing here, and I went to bed with my bathroom window open. An bee saw its chance for warmth and dryness, so it must have flown in and hid behind some furniture. During the night, I closed the window because... Bloody cold. this morning, I go to the bathroom, do the usual stuff and suddenly, there is an bee walking on foot from a cupboard in the direction of the window. It walks up, heats up the flight engines, takes off and does the insecty-bang-head-against-window thing. I crack the window open and in stead of keepin' on banging, like insects tend to, it darts for the opening and zoom! - gone.

I suspects it either was a drone sent to spy on me, OR my neighbor bred some un-insect-like IQ into his bees along with proper manners. :notsure:
Quote from: Ecurb Noselrub on July 25, 2013, 08:18:52 PM
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Luxembourg trembles.

billy rubin

window glass confuses bees. its odd that yours figured it out right away.

i once pollinated some cucumbers in a one acre glass greenhouse. nobody does glasz anymore. this thing was a relic of a previous age. anyway, honey bees cant navigate under glass and couldnt find their way back to the hive if they left it. they would accumulate on the glass and just die there.

bumblebees do fine under glass but they cozt a lot of money. i remember a bumble bee nuc used to cost $750 for a three week rental, while honey bees were only $20. still, if you were in a greehouse, thats what the market would bear.



more people have been to berlin than i have

Tom62

Fascinating stuff.
The universe never did make sense; I suspect it was built on government contract.
Robert A. Heinlein

billy rubin

beautiful day, mild temperature, little wind, no rain until later

gathered the kids and opened up the nucs to make sure they were all okay.

i have a couple of bales of old burlap onion sacks i use for smoker fuel, but it was down in the warehouse, so i stuffed the smoker with pine needles. anything works. the best smelling smoker fuel you can use are cowchips.



these nucs don't have a lot of guard bees, but i don't like getting stung in the face, so i smoked all the entrances. there's been a skunk after this one. look at the hole dug in the front of the entrance



this frame of brood looked okay. brood starting to emerge in the middle. each frame has some 8000 cells on each side, so one cycle of brood on one frame is 16,000 new bees. the queen lays something like 1000 eggs a day through may.



the brand new bees that just emerge are paler than the older workers, still fuzzy, and move around slowly. there will be lots mopre of these in a few days



queens are easy to spot. solid color, mostly. i like the tiger striped ones, personally. easier to find, and i tend to like a lot of outcrossing in queens, if the drone quality is reasonable. bees are like all other livestock. people get excited about strains and purebreds, when what you really need are good quality in general and then lots of heterozygosity. there's one locus that can have as many as ten or fifteen alleles, and homozygous workers die. since the drones are haploid, what you're looking for is a queen that gets frisky with as many drones as possible, preferably close to twenty. if she does get that many matings, she'' lay frames of solid brood with no misses. too few or too purebred drones, and the brood pattern will be spotty.





one of the nucs didn't like the queen they had, and were making another. this peanut thing is a supercedure cell, containing a worker larva overfed with royal jelly which cause the hormonal changes to modify the developmental pathway from a worker to a queen. they did this once before, but i killed that cell because it was so early there wouldn't bee any drones available for her to mate with. lots of drones now, so i left it alone. when she emerges and mates, they'll kill the old queen and run with the new one.



the one on the end was pretty strong, so i stole a frame of emerging brood from it and gave it to the on ethat i'd put a queen into last week. that nuc had a pretty small population, because there wasn't anything emerging except the single fram of open brood i stuck in when i droped in the new queen. tjhis time i gave them a full frame of sealed and emerging brood, because it would gibve thm new bees right away and the few workers in there wouldn't have to feed anything, like they had to with the open brood. in a week it will be getting pretty full.



anyway, i gave them all a full bottle of sugar syrup to work on so they can draw comb without having to send any bees out to forage. this is super important with small populations and plain foundation. they can't lay eggs with out comb, and they cant draw comb without lots of bees, so by themselves its a slow process. most of my stored equipment is plain plastic foundation in wooden frames, so a strong hive can draw it out. some of the stuff they're doing now is really lousy, but itll do until theyre stronger.



but that'll do for the week. the kids all watcxhed what i did, and next week we'll look in on them again and they can solo.

i may have to do something about that skunk, but i'll put it off until it becomes a problem. if the raccoons start in, though, i'll get the number two son to shoot them. skunks are a mild problem because they just scuttle at the entrances eat a few bees that come out. raccoons tip things over and kill the whole thing.



more people have been to berlin than i have

Tank

This is as good as a nature and travel programme rolled into one.  :cheers:
If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
"Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt." ― Richard P. Feynman
'It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life.' - Terry Pratchett
Remember, your inability to grasp science is not a valid argument against it.

billy rubin

beez are wonderful tbings.

they live in a separate univerze.


more people have been to berlin than i have

Randy

Wow, Billy, this was an amazing read. I'm glad you provided pictures too.

You mentioned Georgia a few times. I don't know that I've ever seen any beekeepers here. From what you've said they seem to be few and far between.
"Maybe it's just a bunch of stuff that happens." -- Homer Simpson
"Some people focus on the destination. Atheists focus on the journey." -- Barry Goldberg

billy rubin

 therez only about a thouzand commercial beekeeperz in the united states. maybe lasz now.

georgia haz some of tbe most well known breeders in the world. but beekeepers dont like publicity, in general, and they move bees at night. you often wont know whats around unless you look specifically for them

georgia is also where a lot of migratory beekeepers overwinter their hivez. in the spring theyll go north through a rental in the carolinas up to the blueberriez in maine, then back down in the fall


more people have been to berlin than i have

Randy

Does it get expensive with all the migration going on?
"Maybe it's just a bunch of stuff that happens." -- Homer Simpson
"Some people focus on the destination. Atheists focus on the journey." -- Barry Goldberg

billy rubin

well, the first year i ran bees in california i worked in some 6 counties and put 30,000 miles on a one ton truck at 7 mpg. but that was all local stuff within a hundred miles or so. some people would take the bees from california to nevada for alfalfa.

one of of my neighbors went back and froth from california to north dakota, and i had friends who went back and forth between california and minnesota. there's a coupple of major patterns, flyways really, and if youre going to nbe doing major migrations you buy p[roperty at both ends and sometimes your own trucks and trailers.

i moved my stuff an average of four times per year, just in a one ton that held 60 hives, and an old two ton that holds 140. thatincludes both pollination contracts, honey locations, and just holding spots between one or another. a standard 48-foot semi trailer holds 256 ten frame doubles, and if you run one and half height insteadof doubles you can cram on 384. i use be boxes that are 14 inches wide instead of 16, so i can get more on a truck. but the only time i ever put my bees on a semi was to bring them from california to ohio. that was $1.40 per mile, some 3500 miles, two trucks. whatever it was, i wrote the truckers a check for $10,000 when they showed up.

rule of thumb is that a beehive can go cross country on a semi at a per mile rate just about equal to the cost of gallon of diesel.



i never added up my fuel bill. no point, as you had to have it. i think i was paying about $8000 per year for corn syrup, and god knows how much for medication. when you get  serious in agriculture the money flies through your hands at an amazing rate. i would bill one almond grower some $70,000 for a five week pollination rental, and he would write me a check for it. i took it to his bank and within an hour i would write checks for 40 or 50 thousand dollars to everybody else downstream from me.

everything is on a handshake basis.



more people have been to berlin than i have

Randy

Quote from: billy rubin on May 16, 2020, 10:11:39 PM
i never added up my fuel bill. no point, as you had to have it. i think i was paying about $8000 per year for corn syrup, and god knows how much for medication. when you get  serious in agriculture the money flies through your hands at an amazing rate. i would bill one almond grower some $70,000 for a five week pollination rental, and he would write me a check for it. i took it to his bank and within an hour i would write checks for 40 or 50 thousand dollars to everybody else downstream from me.

everything is on a handshake basis.

It seems to be a lucrative business. I've never written a check over four figures. Do you still keep bees?

What is the medication for?
"Maybe it's just a bunch of stuff that happens." -- Homer Simpson
"Some people focus on the destination. Atheists focus on the journey." -- Barry Goldberg