Posts Tagged ‘Ventilation’

Another PRODUCTIVE Check-up!!

So, as the title states, I went out and checked up on my hive again. Oh, They are doing great!! Right now, I am using a manipulation method with my supers. Basically, I put the new super on the bottom, right above the Brood boxes, so that the bees work on it before they go up into the other supers. So far, it has worked great. When I went out there, I took the top super off so that I could get to the ones beneath. Then, I tried taking the next two off but they were stuck together and I didn’t have anybody else that could help me. So I pulled them off just enough so that I could see into the super beneath.

It was eighty percent full of wax and honey. Doh!! I’m supposed to put another super on when it hits seventy! So I ran into my house and grabbed our last super. I would have put it on the bottom, but as I said before, I couldn’t get the last three supers off the hive, so now the new super is somewhere in the middle. With this last super, I have five supers on my hive. I am so excited to see how much honey we get. With my five supers and my brothers one or two, we should get over one-hundred pounds of honey!!! How in the world are we going to eat that?

So I was sticking everything back on, when I noticed that my inside cover was starting to come apart and that it also had a little mold on it. Seeing how I had a couple of extra inside covers, I replaced it with a new one. Hopefully that will also reduce moisture.

Then, just as I was leaving, a bee landed on my arm and stung all the way through my suit! It caught me by surprise, having a bee sting through my suit. But it didn’t hurt too bad. This is the third time that I have gotten stung by one of my bees. The first two actually stung me through my glove. Who would’ve guessed that bees had such long stingers.

Here is my hive as of 7/14/10.

My inside cover, The dark stuff along the side is Mold

The Other Side of the Cover, with Burr Comb on it.

It’s Been a While!!

Wow… It’s been a really long time since I’ve written on here. I just checked my hive a few days back and it’s doing great!! As we speak (or more like type) my bees are out there working on their fourth super!! Hurray!! That’s already more than I had last year!! When I checked them, the super only had four or five frames left to build. That means I might just have to add another super sometime next week. And I thought buying a couple more supers was over doing it.

Anyway, while I was out there, we decided to put on a screened bottom board. I talked about that a while back in my Ventilation post. It is a bottom board that is mostly screen. It has two main purposes. The first, ventilation. It helps air flow through the hive and help keep it cool. This will help the honey dry faster and let the bees work on other things. It also keeps mold and crap from growing. If it gets too moist in there, the bees get stressed. When the bees get stressed, Varroa mites start to take over. Which leads us to the next reason for a screened bottom board. When mites fall off of bees, they will fall through the screen and to the ground. With a normal bottom board, the mites fall off and just crawl back onto another bee. Now they just fall through.

After I had checked the supers and put the screened bottom board on, I Powder-Sugared my hive. I got a bunch of Powdered-Sugar and sifted it into my hive. You see, powdered-sugar is actually a lot of small crystals. These crystals when dropped on mites, cause a bunch of small cuts. The mite population is injured horribly by this. Some mites die while others just let go and fall through the bottom board. (Good thing I got that screen!!) I went and did it to every box.

Not that I saw any mites in my hive. They seem to be doing great!!! I just wanted to make sure that there weren’t any mites. I mean hey!! What will a little sugar do to my hive, right?

The First Opening!!!!!

I opened my hive for the first time. It was awesome. There were still tons of bees all over. I thought that by now most of them would be dead, but I was wrong. They still had a little bit of honey left in store, and we saw some larvae so the queen is alive. However, there were a couple of things that I saw that I didn’t like.

As soon as I opened the hive, a nasty smell wafted out. The top popped open to reveal a small puddle of water in one of the corners. This spot had grown plenty of mold over the winter. The inner cover and the bottom of the cover had it in the corners. Then we pulled the inner cover out to see that some of the frames had mold on them. So, as I have found out in the past, my hive still needs more ventilation.    I think to get this ventilation, we are going to drill small holes in the side of the hive so that air will flow in and out freely.

We also added a pollen patty to the hive.  We had some Pollen Patty powder stuff where you just add corn syrup.  We made it according to the instructions but it never quite got thick enough.  We thought that it might have to be put in a freezer for a while so we stuck it in.  After about six hours, we pulled it out and it still wasn’t frozen all the way but we cut it in half, put it in wax paper, and put it on our hive.  It still was a little runny.  If any of you have any recipes, ideas, or tips for making pollen patties, please leave a comment telling us how.  It would help a ton if you did.  Thanks!!!

After we put the pollen patty on, we put the inside cover back on and then added a top feeder.  I got it new from Mann Lake this year.  We filled it with sugar-water (with some essential oils in it) and put it in a super.  I’m hoping the bees will start to using it so that they don’t die.  Then we switched out our old Migratory Cover with a new telescoping cover.  We are hoping that will help them survive also.

You know,  I thought that the bees were doing a great job.  I see them out and about every once in a while, and I always am just waiting for a good time when I can go out and see them again.

Now, if you have any tips our tricks that pertain to anything I have blogged about, PLEASE leave a comment.  Thanks!!!!

My Second Year!

Hurray, the second year for my hive has started!  Soon I’ll go check up on my hive and see if I need to start feeding them or anything.  Before I do that though, I’ve decided to invest in a couple more things for my hive.  First,  I definitely want to get a screened bottom board.  As you may remember I a couple problems with ventilation last year.  Now, I want to deal with that by getting a screened bottom board.  Hopefully this will help my hive not get Varroa Mites.  The second thing I want to get is a top feeder.  Last year I just had a frame feeder.  There was nothing wrong with it, we just had to go out almost every week and get into the hive to refill it.  This year, with a top, we can put more in and not have to get into the hive to refill it.  I also have to invest in a couple more supers so that I can build higher.

I will probably get these from Mann Lake.  They seem to work pretty well.

By the way,  If anyone knows of any good plants that I can plant (Flowers, Vegetables, Fruits, etc…) Please tell me.

Beehive Ventilation

As we learned in the last post. My bees are bearding because it’s to hot and humid inside the hive. Bearding isn’t neccesarilly a bad thing, it just means there hot.

So, after a little bit of research, I came up with a couple of ways to ventilate the hive. Here are just a few:
1. You could use an open mesh bottom board on your hive. This will help with ventilation and possibly varroa mites.
2. You could drill a couple extra holes into your beehive to let more air come in and out. This also lets the bees come in and out more freely.
3.You could buy what is called a Solar Powered Ventilator. A machine that will ventilate the hive using solar power. It has a thermostat and a fan that work together to cool the hive.

The BeeCool Ventilator

The BeeCool Ventilator

My research came from a couple of differnt websites:
The Solar powered ventilator.
The open mesh bottom board.

Picture from: