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  Saturday, 18 June 2022
  6 Replies
  517 Visits
Hi there. I know this photo is very blurry but it’s the best I have. It’s from the walkthrough video of our new house, my husband took it when we made an offer in the home.

I’m trying to prepare to take care of this hive Aug 1 and on. It seems like it’s an 8 or 10 frame Langstroth huge, standard or deep I can’t tell, 2 supers deep.

What type of hive do you think this is? It’s good that it’s up off the ground.
I can’t tell it’s condition.

Anything else you notice?

I’m planning on checking it after my suit and smoker comes on the first calm, sunny day. All the way to the bottom super.

If I want to move the bees to a better hive, should I wait until March, feed a pollen patty and try to induce a swarm, and leave a nice new hive nearby for them to move into?

Thank you again!
2 months ago
Thank you so much for all the information. The owners of the home will be going through the hive with me once over before we
Move in. I’ll get the hive registered and start video taping what I see during inspection. We’ll
Have to go from there. The University of Guelph videos? Amazing. What a great resource. Thank you again.
3 months ago
I expect you have a full plate with moving and young children. Just so you know there is a very active Bee Club in Franklin County. This could be a great asset in the future.

3 months ago
Also, are you aware that you need to Register your Hive with the Vt. Dept. Of Agriculture ? $10.00 per year. Now, you might say "why does the State require this"? First of all the VBA several years ago agreed to the payment, providing it was used to help pay for a full time Apiary Inspector. Secondly, if there happens to be a disease within a few miles of your apiary, such as American Foul Brood, then you would be notified. If the Apiary Inspector is not aware of your apiary existence then there is no way to notify. Oh, by the way, AFB is so bad that the cure is burning the hive...a really bad situation. Because of AFB it is recommended to not buy and use old equipment. The AFB spores can live for 50 years or more. Buy new equipment.
The Apiary Inspector, Brooke Decker, is a great person and can also advise you etc. I expect she is very busy right now, but a good resource.
The registration is a "Law" .

3 months ago
It is obvious you have done a lot of reading and research about bee keeping. Nothing wrong with that, but, nothing is more learning than actually opening the hive and getting to know and handle the bees and interpret what you see.

You may not intend to harvest any honey but you need to make sure the hive has ample room, not honey bound. With too much honey and no open cells the queen has no place to lay eggs and will swarm. If the hive swarms too late in the summer then they may not raise a queen, mating etc, in time to recover for the winter. Supers need to be added if honey bound. Also, in time a second hive will allow you to swap resources from one to another if necessary.

Grand Isle has a reputation for not having any bears, so, maybe an electric fence is not needed. Time will tell.

Mite treatment, that is a whole lot of options and advice. Practically every beekeeper has different ideas and methods for treating for mites. Some work some of the time, some none of the time. A lot depends on the method and the time it is used. Learning the breeding habits of the Mites is important to decide what method of mite control is used. A never ending battle.

I know you are concerned about covid but even if you could get a local mentor for a "distance" visit the first time or two opening the hive would be extremely helpful. Or if you could visit a local beekeeper to observe how it os "done".

There are a lot of Utube videos available to view. A great series of videos are from the University of Guelph, in Ontario. Check them out if you get a chance.

Although you may want to someday shed a vail etc., most hives vary in temperament and are not always docile. Heat, humidity, harassment by an animal, skunk, raccoon, may effect the temperament. I can most of the time view my hives from a short distance, just to look, with no problem. BUT, once in a while a guard bee, from maybe 40 feet away decides she does not like me and buzz around, bump, and sometimes stings, for no apparent reason.

Always wear a vail and have a smoker lit and ready.

Once again, good luck with your beekeeping journey, "may the force be with you" !!!!

3 months ago
Sorry! I forgot so many details. It’s a new hive: I’ll be able to access it after Aug 1. It is located in Grand Isle vt with a fence around it; I don’t believe it’s electric.

This is the first year for this hive and the previous owners have not treated for varroa, ever. This is super worrisome since all my research showed they should have been treating since early spring. So…I’m thinking for much acid pads? I won’t know how many notes the colony has until I can do a dawn wash.

I cannot meet with any mentor physically at the moment: both my daughters are under 5 and will not be fully vaccinated (Covid and missing vaccines) until the end of October. I watch them all day: my oldest is 5 and will be examining the hive with me, from a distance, fully suited.

I have been taking at vantage of Scientific Beekeeping, many forums including this one, books such as “Backyard beekeeper”, “Natural Beekeeping”, “Hive Management”….I also have a hive inspection journal to keep track of my findings.

I have no idea how healthy the colony is but I myself am fairly ocd and if they’re not too far gone when I arrive I imagine I will have them in tip too shape in a season or two.

So…young queen from a local colony. No idea if she’s producing or what their food stores are like. I understand first thing to do is:

1.) first inspection with many photos and pictures: is the colony queen right? Pollen stores? Brood? Etc?

2.) mites: need to treat. Formic acid pads?

3.) need to add boxes? Supers?

I’m not planning on harvesting honey this year. I want to make sure the hive has enough to eat through the winter and I’m too darn busy moving in and homeschooling my children at the moment to also add honey extraction to the mix. I’d rather just make sure that the bees are healthy, and work on growing/planting flowering plants so the bees have a bonanza of food as close to year round as I can get in zone 4b.

I have a frame hanger which is good because I’m going to have to examine every inch of this give. Hopefully the bees aren’t too upset with that. I’m assuming it will depend on the health and temperament of the queen and the pheromones she’s producing to keep the colony docile, as well as my own slow, gentle movements. Lord knows I’ve rescued enough drowning bees over the years with my bare hands. Still, I’m planning to wear veil, suit and gloves until I know the temperament of the hive, and my daughter will be suited up completely until she’s calm and able to work gently with the bees. She just turned 5 so I’m thinking the suit is a good idea for her.

Anyways….thank you for the help. Whatever advice you can give me, I’ll take it.
3 months ago
OK, obviously you are a member of the VBA. Now, based on your request I would suspect that you are not yet a beekeeper. You did not state if you currently have other hives...I assume no. Anyway, I would suggest you contact the VBA and ask for a Mentor, or at least a local VBA beekeeper that can answer your questions. What Town is your new house located ?
Also, it appears the hive has only 2 boxes, I assume deep brood chambers or also called hive bodies. The term "supers" is derived from Superior or Superimposed. They are usually medium boxes or shallow and go on top of the brood boxes to allow room and to store additional honey (which the beekeeper harvests).
If supers are not placed soon the hive may get crowded and swarm. (A natural reproductive occurrence, not devestating)
I would suggest NOT feeding pollen patty's. These are only added in early Spring when the hive needs some food and the Queen needs some stimulation to start laying eggs. Plenty of natural nectar right now.
If the wooden ware is in bad shape you can buy new boxes and transfer all the frames into them at the same location. No need to wait until March.. put them in the same order as removed. Once opened you will see if it is an 8 or 10 frame hive.
And, depending on the location you should consider an electric fence to keep bears away.
If you are successful with the hive I would recommend you add a second hive in the future. Either buy a nuc/package or do a split. It is very difficult to know if you have a strong or weak hive without comparison.
There is no guarantee that a swarm will automatically move into a "nice new hive". Better off transferring to new deeps and adding supers, with or without a queen excluder. Oh, so much to learn and so much confusion....we all went through it !!! And, we haven't mentioned the Varroa Mite situation !!!! Yikes !

Hopefully you can make contact with a VBA beekeeper to help with learning.

Good luck!

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