RedBrick....farms? Apiary? Mental Institute?

Fran27

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#21
That is so awesome! That swarm would totally freak me out though... How do you catch them? Do you have to wear a suit or something? And how do you get honey without getting stung?
 
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#22
That is so awesome! That swarm would totally freak me out though... How do you catch them? Do you have to wear a suit or something? And how do you get honey without getting stung?
Swarms are super cool to watch. Swarm 1 & Swarm 3 (the two we caught), were already clustered on a fence when we got home from work. Swarm 2, we were outside and just kind of stood close-ish and watched. It was pretty awesome.

With the two swarms we caught, we put a 10 frame deep box under the cluster, removed 2 frames, and then brushed them into the box. The second time, we got the box in a better position, so they fell into it, instead of beside it, but since it was warmer the 2nd time around, the bees were much more rambunctious. I don't have many (any) pictures of it because there were so many bees out and about, but when I'm back on my laptop I'll see what I can find.

In simplest terms, the hive will go where their queen is, so when collecting a swarm the biggest thing to do is make sure you have the queen. It's pretty fun to watch them march down the fence pole, and into a hive box because that is where the Queen is.

When collecting the swarms, we put our bee suites on. I have a veil, jacket, & gloves. My husband just has a veil & gloves, and then wears a loose fitting, long-sleeved, white shirt. The suites are not a thick enough material that the bees can't sting through, instead they are designed to be worn loose and baggy, so that they sit far enough from your skin that a stinger can't reach you. This means we get stung in our legs, lol. I'm on a search for a pair of short-sleeved, coveralls to wear under my jacket.

We haven't collected any honey from them yet, but when we do, we'll suite up and take the medium off the top of the hive. The bees will be fine. We take boxes off all the time so that we can inspect the bottom boxes.
 

Shai

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#23
Well the ShaiCrew Asylum isn't nearly as populated as the Redbrick Mental Institute (yet), but here's my top bar hive. I tried get a few pictures that kind of show the differences.



So a top bar hive is a single, long box usually with foundationless (as opposed to the foundation in Lost&Confused's pictures) bars across the top, from which the bees build their own comb. The bees naturally build their brood comb toward the front of the hive (toward the left side of the photo) and their honeycomb toward the back. Honeycomb is wider than brood comb, so spaces are inserted between the bars toward the back to give the bees enough space to build the wider comb and still stay centered on each bar.

Here's a picture with the roofs removed:


And a bar that hasn't yet had comb built on it, turned upside down so you can see what it looks like.



The piece on the side of the hive is removable, with a glass window to do a quick check without opening the hive. Helps catch wayward comb building before it gets too far.



Here's a single comb, pulled from the hive. Everything hanging from the wooden bar is comb built from scratch by the bees to their own design, which honestly I find to be completely amazing.





Here's a piece of brood comb. The queen is located in the center, facing 12 o'clock surrounded by attendants. The cells immediately below her are worker brood cells. The bigger ones on the outer edge that look like Kix cereal are drone cells.



Here is a piece of empty comb just to admire the coolness of it, ha. Most of the bees here are workers, but there are at least four drones too: one in the middle right, one in the upper left, one has just his head showing on the left edge, and one with just the left half of his body showing on the bottom edge. They are substantially bigger than the workers, with large eyes that meet on the tops of their heads.



And here's brood comb with uncapped larva (in the cells, the white circles at the bottom). The workers feed the larva until they pupate, then seal the cells closed until the metamorphosed bees chew their own way out.



Last photo, the two torn cells are newly formed worker bees breaking out of their cells.

 
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#26
Shai - I love your observation window. I want a observation hive sometime, they are soo cool to just sit and watch.

xpaeanx - In a year or two, we will scrape some of the frames down to their foundation and have the bees start again. with Langstroth hives, they have the foundation as a guide for the bees, but it does force them to build their comb based on the foundation's specifications - unlike Shai's bees that can build what they want, when they want it. So we will let our bees reuse the comb for a few years, and then have them start over


We also have a few frames that have just a wax foundation so that we can do honey with comb.
 

Shai

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#28
This is pretty much the coolest thread ever. :popcorn:
I really want more hives now haha. Can't poke in any given hive too often. Plus it would be fun to compare hives' progress.

What's one more hive, anyway? And one more after that? ;)

Lost&Confused is leading the way on bee math :)
 

Izzy's Valkyrie

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#29
I really want more hives now haha. Can't poke in any given hive too often. Plus it would be fun to compare hives' progress.

What's one more hive, anyway? And one more after that? ;)

Lost&Confused is leading the way on bee math :)
What you guys start making Mead, let me know. I volunteer to be a taste tester...
 
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#30
I really want more hives now haha. Can't poke in any given hive too often. Plus it would be fun to compare hives' progress.

What's one more hive, anyway? And one more after that? ;)

Lost&Confused is leading the way on bee math :)
haha, bee math. It goes like this -
"well one hive isn't labor intensive at all. Plus I'm helping the pollinators. It would definitely be helpful to be able to compare two hives" ...
"since I've already planted all of these bee friendly plants, I might as well get another hive." ....
"Oh look, a swarm! Free bees!" ...
"Well now that I have a half dozen hives, I really need a honey extractor." ....
"This extractor would practically pay for itself in one year if we had a few more hives and could sell the honey"

then you start finding friends that would like a few hives on their land, ya know, to help pollinate their gardens, and because you've run out of your own land. At that point, you open your own bee supply store because... why not?



And now you guys know my life plan
 

Shai

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#31
Ha! And when Chazzers (read: me) plan a vacation to visit you during swarming season in hopes of bringing home nice northern winter survival genetics :)

What you guys start making Mead, let me know. I volunteer to be a taste tester...
I need to learn how to make good honeymead...
 
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#32
Ha! And when Chazzers (read: me) plan a vacation to visit you during swarming season in hopes of bringing home nice northern winter survival genetics :)
The place we got our bees from is local, but they drive down to GA twice a year (late March & late April) to bring back the packages. I really want them to start offering their own nucs or queens. I know they have been working to place mating nucs out by wild swarms to get a hardier strain of bees.


I need to learn how to make good honeymead...
My husband has been talking about making mead for years now. This will be a good excuse for him to finally do it.
 

Shai

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#33
Yeah, mine are from Georgia too. There are local people breeding queens, though, so I may try to
split with one of their queens and see how it goes.
 

MericoX

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#34
haha, bee math. It goes like this -
"well one hive isn't labor intensive at all. Plus I'm helping the pollinators. It would definitely be helpful to be able to compare two hives" ...
"since I've already planted all of these bee friendly plants, I might as well get another hive." ....
"Oh look, a swarm! Free bees!" ...
"Well now that I have a half dozen hives, I really need a honey extractor." ....
"This extractor would practically pay for itself in one year if we had a few more hives and could sell the honey"

then you start finding friends that would like a few hives on their land, ya know, to help pollinate their gardens, and because you've run out of your own land. At that point, you open your own bee supply store because... why not?



And now you guys know my life plan
I think bee math is the same as chicken math. Cuz what's a few more chickens, or ducks, or geese....
 

Shai

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#35
I think bee math is the same as chicken math. Cuz what's a few more chickens, or ducks, or geese....
Yes, and Multiple Hive Syndrome seem to be a close cousin to Multiple Tank Syndrome (for fish keepers) ;)
 
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#39
Where in GA are these bees coming from? because, y'know.. I am in GA.... lol
I honestly don't know. We buy the packages from a local company. They then put in the order to wherever they get them from.


Guppy math.

Either you need a new tank for fry, or a new tank for something to eat them all.
hahaha. I've heard that some people will take their drone frames, and feed the larva to their chickens.



We did our Sunday hive inspection today. I'll have some fun pictures for you guys in a bit. some larva, a bee emerging from a cell, some queen cells.
 

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