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Hello Guest!
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Keeping bees

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Post  R&R 1011 3/8/2016, 7:45 pm

camprn wrote:I'm going to this workshop on Saturday. http://www.nature-museum.org/upcoming-events/2016/3/12/organic-beekeeping-with-ross-conrad

Ross Conrad has written some good books. Watch the video .
Sounds fun!  Let me know what you think of the flow hive when you see it in person.
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Post  camprn 3/8/2016, 7:45 pm

Its crap.

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Post  R&R 1011 3/8/2016, 7:57 pm

camprn wrote:Its crap.
Hahahaha!  Have you seen one?  lol!
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Post  camprn 3/8/2016, 8:00 pm

R&R 1011 wrote:
camprn wrote:Its crap.
Hahahaha!  Have you seen one?  lol!
I've seen enough. It's a terribly expensive set up and the comb is destroyed when the switch is flipped.
Harvesting honey isn't the hard part of beekeeping.

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Post  camprn 3/18/2016, 9:33 pm

Nhg, are you going to the spring beekeepers meeting tomorrow in Bow?

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Post  R&R 1011 3/18/2016, 10:08 pm

I saw the flow hive in person at our bee meeting.  I think it looks awful.  I didnt look at it up close or hear the guy explain it.  It just looked so unnatural.
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Post  NHGardener 3/18/2016, 10:36 pm

YES! Can't wait. IPM, and Canadian at that. Are you?
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Post  camprn 3/19/2016, 6:48 am

NHGardener wrote:YES! Can't wait. IPM, and Canadian at that. Are you?
Yes! Let's have coffee! Ask the lady (Suzanne) at the Slovenian hive table to point you in my direction. See you later! clap

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Post  NHGardener 3/19/2016, 7:11 am

Hope to see you there! (I'll just ask for camprn Smile )
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Post  camprn 4/3/2016, 12:25 pm

NHG, sorry to have missed you at the meeting.

I am doing a bunch of framework, cutting out old combs and putting in foundation.
Hopefully next weekend it will be warm enough to get into my hives for inspection and reversal. I have a package of Russians coming on 4/22.

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Post  NHGardener 4/3/2016, 12:53 pm

I know! It was so crowded.

Reports I'm reading indicate early swarm buildup this spring. It's a tightrope walk to be warm enough to be able to do hive interventions but be early enough to stem swarming. Next week for reversals would work well as long as there are no more polar vortex swings our way! It's a gamble. I think next week if it's warm enough I'll make sure the brood nest is open and checkerboard if it's not, but I don't think I'm reversing just yet.

I love Russians! I have one Russian queen now and the other 4 are Russian hybrids. Supposedly I have 2 Russian queens coming in July as part of a group order, we'll see.

I hope I'm done with packages. My 5 queens are getting plucked into nucs (as soon as I get bottom boards for the nucs and find some cheap paint for them) and the mother hives will raise their own queens. I like to do this for brood breaks, plus I want to try nucs. It's been an expense to get a bunch of nuc equipment going. At least the gardening spending has wound done to almost nothing. Hopefully next summer I'll be done shelling out on bee equipment.
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Post  camprn 4/3/2016, 2:21 pm

We should be good with the weather.  Have been holding off on unwrapping and first inspection until April because I knew it would get cold again. I bet I have good brood going and the hives were still loaded with honey, I put in pollen patties half way through Feb because I wanted plenty of workers for the tree bloom and good build up. I'm going to try to get them to make some nice comb honey this spring.

In he raffle I won 2 queens from Troy Hall for June pick up and plan on making a few nucs .  Fingers crossed for à good flow!

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Post  NHGardener 4/3/2016, 2:45 pm

Wow! Lucky you with the raffle! 

My intuition is we're going to boom this spring. Man your battle stations, this will not be a passive year.

I have about 100 foundationless frames that need comb, so I'm hoping to get some serious comb building this spring. And some honey would be nice. I broke down and got a 2 frame extractor.
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Post  sanderson 4/3/2016, 2:49 pm

Russian queens. I had to read up on why they are desirable. Sounds promising for the industry.

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Post  NHGardener 4/3/2016, 3:36 pm

I'm sold on Russians. However, queens only last a few years, and when the Russian offspring get mated with local mutt strains, a lot of the beneficial characteristics of the Russian breed disappear, and Russian hybrids can also be a little grumpier than average. There are a small number of certified Russian breeders in the US (you have to be able to control the drone genetics) and if you want to always stay 100% Russian, you have to order queens from them on a regular basis.

So, in my opinion the next best thing is just local survivor stock queens. Some think the queens should be carefully bred to control for drone genetics, but for the most part I'm just going with what's available in my own neighborhood as far as drones go, and the colonies that survive through the winter get to reproduce their queens. Hopefully that will snowball in a positive direction. 

The other issue with queens is their genetics can get inbred, it's a concern. Probably pulling new queens from other areas of the country, and letting their offspring drones reproduce locally, is beneficial. I would really like to get more VSH (hygienic) and California queen genetics in this area, especially as opposed to the southern strains that have been the dominant bee supply for us for so long.
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Post  camprn 4/3/2016, 4:29 pm

I buy my Russian queens from Dan Conlan in Deerfield, MA. He has been a part of the US Russian bee breeding program for many years.

http://www.russianbreeder.org/members.html

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Post  NHGardener 4/3/2016, 5:35 pm

camprn, I could swear that the last time I looked at that list, Conlon was not on there.
I'm familiar with his name as a source for Russian bees, but I could bet the family farm he wasn't a certified breeder before. 

?????

I must be wrong tho! Because there he is. Super weird.

We've been using Brachmann in NY.
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Post  camprn 4/17/2016, 10:49 am

I finally got to do some first inspections. good action by the queens. also of note, drones are present. 

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Post  sanderson 4/17/2016, 1:53 pm

Nice photos! Is there one drone in the top photo. Call me dumb about bees. Embarassed

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Post  NHGardener 4/17/2016, 2:15 pm

That's the queen, Sanderson. Smile

Beautiful photo there, camprn. Is that your cell phone camera? One of these days I'm graduating from my flip phone/no camera option...

Painting nuc boxes today. Boy is that a lot of work. Equipment for 5 nuc hives, medium 5/5's. Migratory lids so they can be pushed together in the fall (or maybe always), bottom boards for each. I got divider boards for some regular medium boxes, but found that I can't stack 2 nucs side-by-side on the divided medium box because they hang over the edge by about 3/4" on either side, and the frames wouldn't be lining up... bleh. 

I've been begging at local paint departments for Oops paint, hopefully in different colors, but it's a little too early for much exterior paint yet. Still, found one gallon so far at Aubuchon, Benjamin Moore which is a good paint. My goal is to get a mass of different colors going, especially so the nuc colonies can easily identify home without drifting too much. 

4 of my hives are doing well, the 5th has laying workers (only spotty drone brood, nothing else) so I'm adding a frame of open brood a week, hoping they'll recover and requeen. We'll see. 

Bottled 4.5 jars of honey in 24 oz. spaghetti sauce jars today. Smile First substantial honey I've gotten! Woohoo!

So much fun.
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Post  camprn 4/17/2016, 3:11 pm

The queen is in the lower center of the pic with a row of bees facing her. 

I managed to get into the hive on the right today. OMG, it was PACKED with surly Russians. The inspection was cursory but is was evident that queen is doing an outstanding job. Simply supered with a few drawn  frames and foundation. I'm tentative about trying to make comb honey with the Russian colony, as I worry they may swarm, though this colony has not yet made any swarming preparations; there are drones out and about.

Hooray on getting some honey! I have quite a few frames in the hives full of capped honey, but I left it on for the girls until the flow really gets going.

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Post  sanderson 4/17/2016, 4:10 pm

No color dot on the queen. Thanks

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Post  Scorpio Rising 4/17/2016, 9:53 pm

I love this. Your queen is very regal. So interesting.....
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Post  camprn 5/3/2016, 7:43 pm

I installed my Russian package on Sunday. We'll see how they go.

http://news.psu.edu/story/276692/2013/05/09/impact/online-beekeeping-course-receives-international-recognition

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Post  camprn 5/15/2016, 9:52 am

My other Russian hive is plotting a coup. Sort if. Darn it!
  /15094922/627]Keeping bees - Page 35 20160510[/url]

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