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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Bee School - Part 3

Presentation: First Year Management
Speaker: Kent Williams

More tips from Kent regarding your first year of beekeeping.
  • As your bees start filling up the brood chamber (the lower two boxes where the queen lays her eggs) they will fill the center frames on the bottom box and then start moving up to the second box. When the queen fills the center frames on the second box, move the brood in the second box to the outer frames on the lower box and place the empty frames up into the second box. By rotating frames in this manner you get the entire boxes filled with brood more effectively.
  • Over-super in the spring and under-super in the fall. Make sure that your bees have plenty of supers in the spring for filling with honey. In the fall take away any extra supers so the bees make that honey for themself for the winter.
  • If you have to treat a hive with chemicals, make sure you remove any honey supers.
  • Start prepping for next year in August. This means start feeding your bees to make sure they have enough food for winter.
  • Queens will start slowing their egg laying in July.
  • Real pollen is the best protein for feeding bees. (I have seen screens to add to your hive for catching pollen--need to investigate further).
  • In the fall feed your bees a 1:1 water/sugar solution.
  • Do not leave any empty boxes on the hives in the winter time. You want to help the bees consolidate the heat during cold weather.
  • Don't check your hives in the Winter until February; you don't want to let the heat out.
  • During the spring and fall, make sure the bee cluster is in the bottom box.
  • Swarming is caused by conjestion in the brood chamber.
  • If you are working with your hive and smell bananas, your bees are very angry with you!
  • Use smoke or alcohol immediately on a bee sting so as to keep other bees from wanting to sting you at the same location.

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