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With your nephew holding down the fort, hopefully you and hubby might get some down time to relax at some point.
 

j.w

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It is so hard to believe what could be in the minds of people that hoard food like that. Something flipped a switch in the brain. Just awful to see all that wasted food and money down the drain. Good thing you guys know how to do all this fix up stuff yourselves!
 
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Where is the condo on the water you'll eventually settle in to ...MD or FL? Nice to have so many options :)
 

addy1

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Where is the condo on the water you'll eventually settle in to ...MD or FL? Nice to have so many options :)
In Md we have our house just sold his rental in Baltimore, still have a rental of his in Pasadena, good renters.

Honey bought condos down here, before he met me, to work on when he came down to check in on his parents.
He has two then his parents house. I bought one, on the water way, sort of a impulse buy. Been renting it out 10 years now. Eventually we will use it as a winter, place. Hard to kick out good renters that pay the rent on time. And we are still pretty busy up in Md to come down here for a lot of months.

I swore I would never be involved in rentals, again, after dealing with them with old hubby. Then end up a lot with new hubby. We are trying to sale one a year now.
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Addy, hope your bees are making it. One of my hives had reduced their size to only about 4 or 5 frames in Oct when they had been close to 1 &1/2 deeps full in summer, not sure what happened there. They were doing okay until the deep freeze of -5* and -25* windchill hit a few weeks back, I found all of them hundled right in middle under hive top feeder, just not enough bees to keep hive warm enough. Other hive had girls coming out at me when I check feeder so there is still bees in that one. I'm going to just see how this year goes with just the one hive, I barely had time with the two last years trying to remodel a home and all my other activities.
 

addy1

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So far so good. I added enough sugar blocks to keep them fed for 3-4 weeks, around 12lbs. We are not home, my nephew is watching over the house, but he won't touch the bees.
We won't really know how well until we inspect when we get home, on a nice warmish day. They all were alive when I left, but that does not really tell you how many bees are hanging out in there.

We had two hives last year that reduced to one frame of bees, a queen and a bit of brood, they came back to be great honey producers. Never thought they would make it, but they did.

It takes a lot of time to care for these little stinging insects. But they sure create good honey!

Split your one hive, or grab some queen cells and a bit of nurse bees, start another hive. We do it a lot grab the queen cells with a frame of nurse bees, stick them in a box and they usually grow a great hive for us.
 
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Not sure if I want to split or even buy a new package. Last year was frustrating with little to no honey even for them so I had to feed most of the year then the fight with the small hive beetles drove me insane.
I have an easier time finding a needle in a haystack versus finding the queen, I only saw them maybe 3 times during the beginning a setup, then I just checked for fresh eggs.
On top of that, I am no longer eating any sugars so my favorite food of honey is a big no no. :cry::cry:
 

addy1

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I never look for the queen. Just go by is there brood or not. Since I quit looking find them more often.

Our flow is 6 weeks last year we got 700 lbs out of 17 hives. The year before 1500 lbs from 7 hives.

Last year nothing but rain. The year before a lot dryer. The rain ruins the nectar flow.

Well if you are not eating it, let them be add enough boxes so they have good brood chambers boxes for honey and let them make it on their own
A strong hive can fight the beetles. Ours are full sun which helps.
 

addy1

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That stuff is so good. Happy you are enjoying it!
 
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Sophomore year is not going good either. Been working long hours and the days I had time to get in the hive, it was heavy raining or too cool. I didn't get my honey super on in time, they started packing it into the brood chamber and pretty sure they swarmed on me. I have about 10 supercedure cells and the night I went out last week, they were pouring out of hive and a lot of bees up in the air above the trees.
I'm thinking about trying to find a local beekeeper to see if they would want to have 2-3 hives on my property, I would give my hive over to them. Want to have the pollinators and maybe some honey, but don't think I'm cut out to be a beekeeper.
 

addy1

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They take a lot of time, we have been fighting swarming, missing queens, supersede cells. Been in the hives almost every other day. My weeds are feet tall. Luckily the pond just runs itself.

To stop a swarm you need to go in, wipe out all swarm cells, add empty foundation, cut frames, then go back in 5 days or so remove any more that they make, usually the 3rd trip they assume they have swarmed. Then you go to the next hive and they start the swarm procedure................geez! We had honey supers on all of ours, a few still started the swarm procedures, but we did stop them.
We add cut foundtiaon, empty foundation, remove excess nectar, pollen frames, open the brood nest, anything we can think of that will keep them home.

If you see only 3 maybe 4 queen cells that is a supersede, 10 is for sure swarm cells. So far we have stopped three swarms, raised three queens from the swarm cells. But I keep waiting for a day I don't need to do bees. Maybe tomorrow...............

When they are pouring out of the hive they are swarming............it is a sight to see. Poof half your hive is gone.

Then you hope the new queen emerges, gets mated makes it back to the hive without being eaten, ow you will be queenless.

I am sure you can find a beekeep that will take over your hives. We have two out yards, More of a pita then having them in the back yard, but we needed to lower the concentration of bees here, and they begged for us to put some there. We give them honey off and on. They love it!

So far with our cool wet spring they are not doing a good job in bringing nectar. We are going to be low on honey stores this year.
 
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I knew they were swarming, it was like pouring out a bucket of bees they way they were coming out of the hive, plus I could hear them from 50 feet away up in the trees. I never saw a the cluster, but it was would've been too high anyway. I was so busy over the winter with work and fixing up out rental for people to move in, I didn't get a swarm box made. I managed them last year, was able to cut out the queen cells early, too late now after swarm, sure don't want to cut out my possible future queen.
 

addy1

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Go in and remove all except 2 or 3 of the cells. Leave the biggest ones. Once a queen emerges she expends a lot of energy killing the excess queen cells. You want her to have a lot of energy to fly and mate and make it back.

if you have a nuc box or even a brood box, take a few frames of nurse bees and a bit of brood, put a few of the queen cells in the box with them and you might grow a nice spare queen. Easiest to do if they are on more than one frame. They are hard to cut off and save, unless you are using pure wax frames. That small box of bees, feed 1/1 sugar water to help them out, they will have few foragers.
Fill the rest of the box with drawn comb or even empty foundation.
We have managed to do it a few times this year.
 
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addy1

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First honey of the season! Beautiful light amber in color, fantastic flavor!

Of course the bees were not happy dear hubby had around 50 stings from one hive, most in his gloves............one big testy hive, I got hit x 3.
The other hives ignored us.
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