Commencing Spring Feeding

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Countryboy
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Re: Commencing Spring Feeding

Unread post by Countryboy » April 5th, 2017, 6:20 pm

I spoke a little bit too soon. I said to give it a week or two before dandelion bloom, and that drones are normally at purple eye stage around April 8.

I was finding hives with several drones that have recently emerged.

It got up to 70 today. I saw a field that was pretty yellow from dandelions, and several yards that have quite a few dandelions. It's supposed to be in the high 60's and 70 Sunday and the first part of next week. I'll be seeing tons of dandelions.

I had one yard that the hives built up really nice. I had a couple hives I had to open up the broodnest with empty combs because they were already trying to plug it out with honey. The broodnests were heavy.

I was seeing combs that half the comb was solid pollen of varying colors.

They are calling for an inch of snow on Friday. I know it sounds weird, and beginners don't believe me when I tell them, but they need to be supering up hives right now. The snow won't stick around. 68 on Sunday, 73 on Monday, 67 on Tuesday, and we have a heavy nectar flow going on right now.

I was also surprised how many alfalfa leafcutters were working my pear tree this morning. A few honeybees, but the leafcutters were like a cloud.
B. Farmer Honey
Central Ohio

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cgybees
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Re: Commencing Spring Feeding

Unread post by cgybees » April 14th, 2017, 11:47 pm

I knew there was a reason I keep coming back here. Always something learned...

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Countryboy
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Re: Commencing Spring Feeding

Unread post by Countryboy » April 20th, 2017, 7:21 pm

I had my first swarm on April 18. I found it in the evening right before dark. I set a nuc box with 5 frames right against the swarm. Yesterday morning, the swarm had moved into the nuc, and the nuc was pretty well full of bees. This morning, I transferred the swarm into a regular hive and supered it. 3 or 4 frames were half full of nectar, which gives you an idea just how fast bees can collect nectar, and what kind of flow we are having right now. My pear tree is done blooming. Apple trees are still blooming, and dandelions are in full bloom.
B. Farmer Honey
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Countryboy
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Re: Commencing Spring Feeding

Unread post by Countryboy » April 25th, 2017, 7:41 pm

I had 2 swarms move into stacks of equipment today.
B. Farmer Honey
Central Ohio

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Allen Dick
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Re: Commencing Spring Feeding

Unread post by Allen Dick » April 25th, 2017, 8:23 pm

Lucky you. Saves a lot of work. They do your splitting for you.
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BDT123
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Re: Commencing Spring Feeding

Unread post by BDT123 » April 25th, 2017, 9:21 pm

No swarming here yet! They'd have to shovel their way out ! Yikes, sugar bill is going up!
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Countryboy
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Re: Commencing Spring Feeding

Unread post by Countryboy » April 26th, 2017, 9:32 pm

Allen Dick wrote:
April 25th, 2017, 8:23 pm
Lucky you. Saves a lot of work. They do your splitting for you.
I still prefer to split the hives instead of having them swarm. Too easy for them to fly away.

To be honest, I don't know if these swarms are from my hives or from somewhere else. The hives that are there were overwintered as a single deep brood chamber, with 3 shallow honey supers placed underneath.

On 4/12, I removed an outside comb, and placed a foundationless frame in the center of the broodnest. I put the single deep brood box on the bottom board, placed an excluder on it, and then put the 3 shallow supers above the excluder. I did not see swarm cells in any of the hives, but I did not remove every frame and look at them. (I did look at the bottom bars.) On 4/18 I found a swarm 100 yards away from my hives. On 4/25 I had a swarm move into a deadout 25 yards from my hives, and I had another swarm move into a stack of brood boxes right inside the pole barn 100 yards from the hives.
B. Farmer Honey
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BDT123
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Re: Commencing Spring Feeding

Unread post by BDT123 » April 26th, 2017, 9:44 pm

Good catchin' CB! Hope your luck continues!

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Countryboy
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Re: Commencing Spring Feeding

Unread post by Countryboy » April 27th, 2017, 7:27 pm

I got another swarm today.

I was doing some never-ending yard work about 11:00 or 11:30 and I saw a swarm in the air over by my hives. They flew over and moved into a stack of boxes 50 yards away.

God only knows how many swarms I am losing in outyards. It appears our swarm season is 2 weeks or so early, which means I am late in splitting strong hives.

Better to have too many bees than not enough.

While everyone hates to see swarms fly away, at least it is really early in the season, and hives that swarm still have time to rebuild and make a honey crop.
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Central Ohio

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BDT123
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Re: Commencing Spring Feeding

Unread post by BDT123 » May 1st, 2017, 11:40 pm

CB, do you normally use swarm traps? For a part of the year?
Or count on luck and they land in your vacant equipment?
What I'm getting at is, is swarm catching part of your business plan?
Just interested. Not enough bees in my area to make me think it's worthwhile for me.

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