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Re: [Beekeeping] How many hives?

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  • Stephen Johnson
    Always an advantage to more. You could almost say the more the better
    Message 1 of 24 , Aug 1, 2010
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      Always an advantage to more.  You could almost say "the more the better"

      On Mon, Jul 26, 2010 at 11:27 AM, Dan McFee <danm_bees@...> wrote:
       

      Wm.
        You have to get though the winter and if you are like the rest of us can expect some loss. Bee keeping is not always expondential growth. One advantage of 2 hives that if one survives you can do a split and get back to the desired 2.
       
      Regards
      Danny

      --- On Thu, 7/22/10, stoneridgesheepfarm <StoneRidgeFarm@...> wrote:

      From: stoneridgesheepfarm <StoneRidgeFarm@...>
      Subject: [Beekeeping] How many hives?
      To: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Thursday, July 22, 2010, 11:50 AM


       
      I have a small farm, mostly livestock, but I have a vegetable garden for the family, with fruit trees and bushes. The garden grows from year to year, but I never want it to be too big because of my age.

      I got my first hives this year. I only wanted one, but based on my research accepted the advice to start with two. Now I am reading about people who start small and end up with a dozen hives, 40 hives, etc.

      As I was in the planning stage, another one of the first bits of advice I got was "don't forget to do splits in the spring." As I understand it, a split creates a new hive and that's how people wind up with dozens of hives. So what do I do if I only want one hive (even if I already have two.)

      Is it feasible to keep only one or two hives? Is there a way to manage hives to keep the operation small?

      I'd appreciate your thoughts on this.

      Wm.
      www.stoneridgefarm.com



    • Jorg Kewisch
      I am starting my 3rd year beekeeping. I have 4 hives now and I ponder if I should expand or not. The arguments pro expansion are: - I am getting better at
      Message 2 of 24 , Mar 28 9:29 AM
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        I am starting my 3rd year beekeeping. I have 4 hives now and I ponder if
        I should expand or not.
        The arguments pro expansion are:
        - I am getting better at beekeeping. I spend less time per hive doing a
        better job.
        - More hives allow me to make mistakes without losing all.
        - Like children is a family all my colonies have different character and
        strength. If I try a treatment on one hive and not on the others it is
        impossible to distinguish the consequence of the treatment from other
        factors.

        Against expansion:
        Something like "beekeeper burnout"

        Do you have any wisdom for me?
      • deknow@netzero.com
        Bee fever trumps bee burnout every time. deknow
        Message 3 of 24 , Mar 28 9:41 AM
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          Bee fever trumps bee burnout every time.

          deknow
        • Gary Glaenzer
          Looking at Year Two here Year One was a total bust Of two packages, only one survived That one was hard-pressed to simply exist given the extreme heat and no
          Message 4 of 24 , Mar 28 10:11 AM
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            Looking at Year Two here
             
            Year One was a total bust
             
            Of two packages, only one survived
             
            That one was hard-pressed to simply exist given the extreme heat and no rainfall here May-September
             
            Two swarms caught, neither had time to develop into anything worthwhile
             
            Going to start over, two more packages due mid-April, plus buying 4 colonies from a beekeeper who has to retire due to physical (extreme ! ) problems.
             
            We'll see, I guess.
             
            ----------
             
            I remember ordering packages from Sears for $ 9.95 each
             
            How it has changed, eh ?
             
             
             
             
             
             
            ----- Original Message -----
            Sent: Thursday, March 28, 2013 11:29 AM
            Subject: [Beekeeping] How many hives?

             

            I am starting my 3rd year beekeeping. I have 4 hives now and I ponder if
            I should expand or not.
            The arguments pro expansion are:
            - I am getting better at beekeeping. I spend less time per hive doing a
            better job.
            - More hives allow me to make mistakes without losing all.
            - Like children is a family all my colonies have different character and
            strength. If I try a treatment on one hive and not on the others it is
            impossible to distinguish the consequence of the treatment from other
            factors.

            Against expansion:
            Something like "beekeeper burnout"

            Do you have any wisdom for me?

          • Marie Taylor
            Hehe, I can believe that.  I am going into my second year of bees with both of my hives.  I want to expand to as many hives as I can lay my hands on for this
            Message 5 of 24 , Mar 28 10:31 AM
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              Hehe, I can believe that.  I am going into my second year of bees with both of my hives.  I want to expand to as many hives as I can lay my hands on for this year.  The only thing stopping me so far is I am going in for surgery later in April on both of my feet so I will be a little hampered for a several weeks.  I got both of these hives last June as Nucs and they made it fine so I plan on the same for this year.

              Marie


              From: "deknow@..." <deknow@...>
              To: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Thursday, March 28, 2013 12:41 PM
              Subject: Re: [Beekeeping] How many hives?

               
              Bee fever trumps bee burnout every time.

              deknow


            • Bill
              Where I am, in the city, I can only keep two colonies. I know there are others who live in the city and openly flaunt this law by keeping five to ten, but I ll
              Message 6 of 24 , Mar 29 10:08 AM
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                Where I am, in the city, I can only keep two colonies. I know there are others who live in the city and openly flaunt this law by keeping five to ten, but I'll keep mine at two. The city kind of looks the other way because CCD has been such a huge problem out here, and one needs to keep more than just two colonies going to guard against this. When you deal with losses that approach 40%-50%.... There just isn't much choice in the matter.

                I lost one to CCD or possibly Foulbrood last year. The other across the yard is doing quite well. It's going to swarm at some point. When it does, that will provide me with my second colony, provided the queen stays close at first. I know this isn't a given, but it usually works out like that.

                I find that feral hives are the best at avoiding CCD and other problems. Never had much luck with packaged bees.

                Bill
                Sacramento, CA

                --- In Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com, Marie Taylor <red853@...> wrote:
                >
                > Hehe, I can believe that.  I am going into my second year of bees with both of my hives.  I want to expand to as many hives as I can lay my hands on for this year.  The only thing stopping me so far is I am going in for surgery later in April on both of my feet so I will be a little hampered for a several weeks.  I got both of these hives last June as Nucs and they made it fine so I plan on the same for this year.
                >
                > Marie
                >
                >
                > ________________________________
                > From: "deknow@..." <deknow@...>
                > To: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
                > Sent: Thursday, March 28, 2013 12:41 PM
                > Subject: Re: [Beekeeping] How many hives?
                >
                >
                >  
                > Bee fever trumps bee burnout every time.
                >
                > deknow
                >
              • LINDA PICAZO
                If you split the hive you will not have to deal with the swarm, you will still have another hive   Linda Picazo linda_diana1@yahoo.com   ... From: Bill
                Message 7 of 24 , Mar 30 4:56 PM
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                  If you split the hive you will not have to deal with the swarm, you will still have another hive


                   
                  Linda Picazo
                  linda_diana1@...
                   


                  --- On Fri, 3/29/13, Bill <billbird2111@...> wrote:

                  From: Bill <billbird2111@...>
                  Subject: [Beekeeping] Re: How many hives?
                  To: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
                  Date: Friday, March 29, 2013, 12:08 PM

                   
                  Where I am, in the city, I can only keep two colonies. I know there are others who live in the city and openly flaunt this law by keeping five to ten, but I'll keep mine at two. The city kind of looks the other way because CCD has been such a huge problem out here, and one needs to keep more than just two colonies going to guard against this. When you deal with losses that approach 40%-50%.... There just isn't much choice in the matter.

                  I lost one to CCD or possibly Foulbrood last year. The other across the yard is doing quite well. It's going to swarm at some point. When it does, that will provide me with my second colony, provided the queen stays close at first. I know this isn't a given, but it usually works out like that.

                  I find that feral hives are the best at avoiding CCD and other problems. Never had much luck with packaged bees.

                  Bill
                  Sacramento, CA

                  --- In Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com, Marie Taylor <red853@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Hehe, I can believe that.  I am going into my second year of bees with both of my hives.  I want to expand to as many hives as I can lay my hands on for this year.  The only thing stopping me so far is I am going in for surgery later in April on both of my feet so I will be a little hampered for a several weeks.  I got both of these hives last June as Nucs and they made it fine so I plan on the same for this year.
                  >
                  > Marie
                  >
                  >
                  > ________________________________
                  > From: "deknow@..." <deknow@...>
                  > To: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
                  > Sent: Thursday, March 28, 2013 12:41 PM
                  > Subject: Re: [Beekeeping] How many hives?
                  >
                  >
                  >  
                  > Bee fever trumps bee burnout every time.
                  >
                  > deknow
                  >

                • LINDA PICAZO
                  I now have 1 hive.... Started with my first hive last april, it was a nuc, then did a trap-out with a fellow from the bee  club here andhe ended up with a
                  Message 8 of 24 , Mar 30 5:01 PM
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                    I now have 1 hive.... Started with my first hive last april, it was a nuc, then did a trap-out with a fellow from the bee  club here andhe ended up with a hive and i as well got a hive. the strong one did not make it through this mess of dieing bees ,,, as of today i still have the other one.


                     
                    Linda Picazo
                    linda_diana1@...
                     


                    --- On Thu, 3/28/13, deknow@... <deknow@...> wrote:

                    From: deknow@... <deknow@...>
                    Subject: Re: [Beekeeping] How many hives?
                    To: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
                    Date: Thursday, March 28, 2013, 11:41 AM

                     
                    Bee fever trumps bee burnout every time.

                    deknow
                  • Mike S
                    ... Point 1    Foulbrood.  You HAVE to know if it s foulbrood or not.  If it s foulbrood you need to burn all the equipment inside the hive - frames,
                    Message 9 of 24 , Mar 30 6:00 PM
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                      >>>   I lost one to CCD or possibly Foulbrood last year.
                      >>>    ... going to swarm at some point. When it does, that will provide me with my second colony,

                      Point 1    Foulbrood.  You HAVE to know if it's foulbrood or not.  If it's foulbrood you need to burn all the equipment inside the hive - frames, comb, whatever.  And you have to char the inside of the boxes, the bottom board, and inner and outer cover where the bees come in contact inside the hive.   If you install more bees on equipment that's not been thoroughly heat treated you are going to have another case of foulbrood, loose your new colony of bees, and wasted a season your bees could have used building up.  Get help in determining the cause you lost your lost colony.  Find a really good beekeeper to help you with this determination.  If you have a state bee inspector, see if you can get him or her to help you determine the cause of your hive's demise.

                      Point 2  Swarm.  Don't let the colony swarm.  Don't know what the chances are for you to catch the swarm if it issues from you colony but they aren't good.  Split your colony now.  It's called a walkaway split.  Divide the colony in half with the split even between the two colonies.  Just make sure that if you have swarm cells, you place a frame with swarm cells in each of the new colonies.  If you don't have queen cells, make sure you place a frame containing eggs in each of the splits.  Three days after making the split, go in and look at both colonies.  The one with the queen will have eggs and newly hatched brood.  The one without will have built queen cells.  If there is a mix of capped and uncapped queen cells, tear down the capped cells.  The queens in those cells will have been raised from older larvae than the larvae in the uncapped cells and won't make as good a queen as any raised in the uncapped queen cells.

                      Good luck with your bees.

                      Mike in LA
                    • Bill
                      It s not Foulbrood, sorry. I should have said wax moth. I found a lot of webbing in that empty hive. But I didn t find larvae. Still, I m fairly sure it s wax
                      Message 10 of 24 , Apr 2, 2013
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                        It's not Foulbrood, sorry. I should have said wax moth. I found a lot of webbing in that empty hive. But I didn't find larvae.

                        Still, I'm fairly sure it's wax moth. I'm going to start over with new equipment anyway.

                        Mike, I'm not good enough to spot where the current queen is inside the surviving hive. I know she's in there because she's producing large amounts of new brood. But if I mistakingly remove her from her current hive, I'll destroy one or two in the process.

                        She is not marked. This was a feral hive that survived the fall and winter months.

                        Bill

                        --- In Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com, Mike S <mws1112004@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > >>>   I lost one to CCD or possibly Foulbrood last year.
                        > >>>    ... going to swarm at some point. When it does, that will provide me with my second colony,
                        >
                        > Point 1    Foulbrood.  You HAVE to know if it's foulbrood or not.  If it's foulbrood you need to burn all the equipment inside the hive - frames, comb, whatever.  And you have to char the inside of the boxes, the bottom board, and inner and outer cover where the bees come in contact inside the hive.   If you install more bees on equipment that's not been thoroughly heat treated you are going to have another case of foulbrood, loose your new colony of bees, and wasted a season your bees could have used building up.  Get help in determining the cause you lost your lost colony.  Find a really good beekeeper to help you with this determination.  If you have a state bee inspector, see if you can get him or her to help you determine the cause of your hive's demise.
                        >
                        > Point 2  Swarm.  Don't let the colony swarm.  Don't know what the chances are for you to catch the swarm if it issues from you colony but they aren't good.  Split your colony now.  It's called a walkaway split.  Divide the colony in half with the split even between the two colonies.  Just make sure that if you have swarm cells, you place a frame with swarm cells in each of the new colonies.  If you don't have queen cells, make sure you place a frame containing eggs in each of the splits.  Three days after making the split, go in and look at both colonies.  The one with the queen will have eggs and newly hatched brood.  The one without will have built queen cells.  If there is a mix of capped and uncapped queen cells, tear down the capped cells.  The queens in those cells will have been raised from older larvae than the larvae in the uncapped cells and won't make as good a queen as any raised in the uncapped queen cells.
                        >
                        > Good luck with your bees.
                        >
                        > Mike in LA
                        >
                      • Ruary Rudd
                        Yes the presence of webbing indicates that wax moths have entered the hive, BUT it does not mean that that was the cause of the colony death. Unless you have
                        Message 11 of 24 , Apr 3, 2013
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                          Yes the presence of webbing indicates that wax moths have entered the hive, BUT it does not mean that that was the cause of the colony death. Unless you have definitely ruled it out Foul Brood is still in the running.
                          -----Original Message-----
                          From: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Bill
                          Sent: 03 April 2013 01:20
                          To: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: [Beekeeping] Re: How many hives?

                          It's not Foulbrood, sorry. I should have said wax moth. I found a lot of webbing in that empty hive. But I didn't find larvae.

                          Still, I'm fairly sure it's wax moth. I'm going to start over with new equipment anyway.

                          Mike, I'm not good enough to spot where the current queen is inside the surviving hive. I know she's in there because she's producing large amounts of new Bill

                        • Richard Sullivan
                          You would probably know you had foul brood because it stinks. If it doesn t stink you are probably fine. You don t need to get new equipment just because you
                          Message 12 of 24 , Apr 4, 2013
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                            You would probably know you had foul brood because it stinks. If it doesn't stink you are probably fine. You don't need to get new equipment just because you  have wax moths. Just clean out the webs and larvae and when you put new bees in that box they will clean it right up. 

                            Richard






                            On Apr 3, 2013, at 12:05 AM, "Ruary Rudd" <ruaryrudd@...> wrote:

                             

                            Yes the presence of webbing indicates that wax moths have entered the hive, BUT it does not mean that that was the cause of the colony death. Unless you have definitely ruled it out Foul Brood is still in the running.
                            -----Original Message-----
                            From: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Bill
                            Sent: 03 April 2013 01:20
                            To: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
                            Subject: [Beekeeping] Re: How many hives?

                            It's not Foulbrood, sorry. I should have said wax moth. I found a lot of webbing in that empty hive. But I didn't find larvae.

                            Still, I'm fairly sure it's wax moth. I'm going to start over with new equipment anyway.

                            Mike, I'm not good enough to spot where the current queen is inside the surviving hive. I know she's in there because she's producing large amounts of new Bill

                          • Richard Sullivan
                            You probably don t have foulbrood. You would notice a horrible stench- hence Foul Also you don t need to change equipment because you have wax moths.
                            Message 13 of 24 , Apr 4, 2013
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                              You probably don't have foulbrood. You would notice a horrible stench- hence " Foul"
                              Also you don't need to change equipment because you have wax moths. Just clean up webs and larvae and when you put new bees in the box they will clean it right up. Remember drawn comb is a valuable resource.
                              Your colony probably died as a result of varroa mites. They can't survive unless there is brood so no worries there either.

                              Richard
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