1 hr. 12 nucs and 2 stings, done. In two weeks I'll have a dozen miniature hives ready to place or sale. Costs $1000 and returns $1500. Also, my orchard will be thoroughly pollinated.
Even though I don't currently keep bees I throughly enjoy learning about them
where did your costs come from? nuc boxes and frames?
Costs are from purchase of brood and queens. If I still had equipment costs, it would add 10% to the cost side figuring a 5 year equipment life. I built all my nuc equipment using scraps and salvaged lumber and the frames/foundation also salvaged.
So guess what arrived in my backyard yesterday...
A huge swarm of bees... I wish I had some way to encourage them to stay but I don't have any place to put them and am not able to get into beekeeping just now. I expect they will move on shortly to wherever they are going.
It might take a couple of days for them to find a home. Then they will be off in a swarm.
Really nice swarm bob! I always enjoyed working with swarms because the bees were so docile. I only had trouble once when I hived a swarm at night. I had to use a light some and it seemed to confuse/anger the bees.
For some reason these were a bit ugly... Will go home tonight and see if they are still there. I like when they are on one branch and you can shake them or cut the branch... I don't care for pine trees, bushes, and this mess. You can't see but they are wrapped around and on other large limbs as well. I remember when bees were 35-40 dollars for a three pound package, these are worth their weight in gold at todays prices. BTW... did you do any watermelons?
I got one watermelon growing, I gave it to my dad and he sat it out in his garden, he has more room than me. There will be no other watermelon near it so if I can get fruit the seed should come back true next year.
I captured a swarm earlier this year and gave them a frame of brood and eggs when i installed them. i read online that they won't leave their young and they ended up staying put. i have two open hives so im hoping to capture one or two more.
Well.....here I go.....Beekeeping 2.0! ha As ,many of you know, last year I bought all my supplies and bees and tried bee keeping for the first time ever. One hive failed almost immediately for some reason, but the other one did pretty well all year. But then over the winter those all left and died as well (my fault).
I just got a new package of bees for one of my 2 hives, and I got a nuc for the other one just so I could observe the differences. I put them all in their respective hives 2 days ago and they seem to be doing great!
I do have my first question, though. So far I'm seeing a very dramatic difference in the behaviors of each hive. The one that I put the nuc in has had almost no activity. The bees are all still there when I peek inside, but they are not coming and going hardly at all. THey also haven't drank but a very small amount of their sugar water I installed for them. I have seen the queen and she seems fine and so do all the bees...but they have been in the hive for 2 days without any flying in and out. all 5 frames that came with the nuc were pretty full, btw. Not sure if they were full of honey or brood.
The hive that I put the package of bees in is behaving totally different. There are hundreds of bees flying in and out of it all day long- very active. They also have drank almost a full quart of honey water in the time the muc hive has drank maybe a cup.
One other difference I should mention. The hive I put the nuc frames and bees in already had almost all 20 of its frames (2 boxes) covered with comb build by my bees last year. The active hive where I put the package in has all new frames with nothing but foundation. Not sure if this matters, but I wanted to mention it.
Any ideas why the nuc hive are all just staying inside but the package hive are all foraging all day long> Just curious. thanks
Did you see a queen or young lava/eggs in the NUC?
I can't answer any of your questions Kevin, but I would like to add that I also got a 5 frame nuc a couple of weeks ago. They came from a different farm but were supposedly the same type of bees I had last year, however, they seem much more aggressive. My hive is about 10-15 ft. away from my compost pile and I would work in there all the time last year and never had a problem (what good gardener doesn't like to play in his compost pile?). This year they attack me every time I start working in it. Kind of annoying. If they make a lot of honey though, I guess all is forgiven. . .
i definitely saw the queen. @Chikn told me to make the guy show me the queen before I bought the nuc, so I did. She was even marked and I've seen here in the hive just today and she seemed to be doing well. I don't know about larva/eggs. Much of the nuc cells were capped though. Like I said, all the other frames in that hive were already drawn with comb. I'm just a little worried that all those bees aren't foraging or even eating the sugar water. But they are all still alive and still there. Wonder what gives? THe hive with all the empty frames (with wax foundation) is where I put the package and queen still in her little box. Those bees are all flying in and out like crazy and eating their sugar water big-time. What would be the difference?
@Klondike_Mike . That is a shame about them being aggressive like that. I've heard others here talk about how some are mean like that. You know, I can stand dead in front of my hive with hundreds of bees comming and going and the worse thing they will do is just accidently fly into me but not sting or anything. I've never had them go after me like you are talking about, and I often am doing things right around my hives. I hope yours gentle down! BTW....this was my first nuc. I'm a little worried about them being inactive, but if that works itself out then I like the nuc better than a package I think. Good luck!
If the nuc was packaged during the day, most of the field force of bees were lost. The new field force needs to mature a bit.
You should of given the package some drawn comb so their queen can start laying sooner instead of having to wait for comb to be drawn. That is also why they are using sugar solution faster, to make wax. Check to make sure your package queen is out of the cage and then stay out of those colonies for a week, minimum. Every time you open them it takes a day for them to get back to work. Don't they tell you not to micromanage your city workers? Same with your bees. They know what to do.
Great advice chikn, once again you have shown your expertise with bees, wish I had you as a mentor when I was learning...
Wait....you never mentioned a consulting fee...now I fear I'm going to be getting one h#$ll of a big bill for all the help you've given me! haha. Oh well, it would be worth it. Anyway, thanks for all that new advice. You've told me before to stop opening my hives...I'm a slow learner. And as a newbie I cannot stand not knowing and seeing what is going on. If it matters, most of the time I've just taken the plastic top off and left the wooden one on and simply looked through the long, roundish hole in the wooden top to be sure I see lots of bees. And just so you know, I do tend to micromanage city employees as well. haha Not a good quality, though, you are right.
I am 99.9% certain that he DID package my nuc during the day, so that "field force" probably is the issue.. Thanks for that.
SHould I give the hive that I put the package in some frames with comb now or is it too late? Doing so would, of course, require me to open the hive back up. Also, when I looked inside 2 days ago they had already started to draw comb. So prob best I leave them alone as you just advised?
Thanks SOOO much!