Contact us: Beehavin Apiary 225 Douglas Pike Smithfield, RI (401)

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1 Contact us: Beehavin Apiary 225 Douglas Pike Smithfield, RI (401)

2 ! Beekeepers who work towards goal typically have the best success! First Year Beekeeper Goals! Learn new skills!! Master mite counting!! Provide good nutrition to ensure healthy bees!! Prepare the bees for the winter

3 Wintering Requirements 1.! Clean, dry hive 2.! Strong laying queen 3.! 5-lbs of winter bees 4.! Mite-free 5.! lbs of honey 6.! 3-4 Frames of pollen 7.! Sunny, sheltered location

4 When Do You Start Winter Preparation?! The race to get 5-lbs of winter bees! 6-Weeks of brood starting September 1! Mite-free! By September the hive is loaded if you don t take action to control mites

5 When Do You Start Winter Preparation?! Honey! Mid-May & June and 3-weeks in September!! That s 9-10 weeks to gather 52-weeks worth of food!! What if there isn t a fall flow?! Pollen! Usually there is enough goldenrod, but

6 When Do You Start Winter Preparation?! Location, location, location! Sunny, sheltered, and dry!! Did you think about January when you located your hive this spring?! You can easily move hives in the cold wintertime!

7 Management For Winter Starts Now!

8 ! Beekeepers like to divide management up into spring, summer and winter! This works for us as a memory model, but for the bees! Beekeepers tend hives on a touch-base schedule, but the bees are there 7x24! There is only one kind of management!

9 Continuous!

10 ! Let s look at the things we can do now that impact the colony for the long term

11 Definitions! Honey bee apis melifera a single individual bee that is part of a larger social community! Colony the family of bees. They are a social unit and uniquely exhibit social behaviors.! Bee hive the housing in which the colony of bees lives

12 Definitions! Lifespan the beginning and end of the colony! Reproduction the replication of the colony, i.e., a swarm

13 What s your goal?! Honey production?! Pollination?! Bee production?! Backyard enjoyment?

14 1.! Our goal should be to extend the life of the colony for as long as we can by making them healthy 2.! Healthy colonies can achieve any goal that we put in front of them! 3.! Winter is the toughest challenge so we start on wintering in Spring!

15 Take Advantage of Bee Behavior Think Like a Honey Bee! More Definitions! Honey Dome! Elevator Effect! Expansion! Compression

16 Honey Dome! Honey is stored over and around the brood forming a dome over the brood

17 Elevator Effect! Workers store honey from the top moving downward! The queen lays brood from the bottom moving upward

18 Expansion! In the spring and summer the goal is to expand the foraging force to gather the winter s stores Compression! In the fall and winter the goal is to compress into a cluster big enough to heat and sustain life but no so big they eat up all of the stores

19 ! With these simple concepts we can think like honey bees and help them by anticipating their needs! We know the seasons and what to expect! They react to environmental cues only! As a team, honey bees and keeper can work together -- and Live!

20 ! New Colonies! Nutritional needs are in the hands of the keeper and gradually handing off to Mother Nature! Goal is To establish the colony, it s hive and position it for winter survival

21 !! Packages: It takes until about the middle/end of May for there to be enough bees to build out the first brood chamber.!! Nucs are much faster requiring a second brood chamber by mid-may

22 !! When to expand?!! Add a second story when the cluster has expanded to 8 of 10 frames!! Continue feeding syrup & protein

23 !! Chimney Effect!! Occurs when you expand too soon and the bees ignore the outside frames!! Remember that queen behavior is to move upwards!

24 !! When to stop feeding?!! Feed until they swarm! (I m kidding)!! Stop when there is only 3 or 4 frames of foundation left. April 1 5 April 2 0 May 2 1 June 1 0 July 4 First eggs First bees First foragers End Honey flow

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30 ! If you are lucky that you have filled 2- brood chambers and it is still June, you may super April 1 5 April 2 0 May 2 1 June 1 0 July 4 First eggs First bees First foragers End Honey flow

31 ! Put two or three on each time April 1 5 April 2 0 May 2 1 June 1 0 July 4 First eggs First bees First foragers End Honey flow

32 ! Some beehives grow very tall with 4 or more supers! Make sure the beehive isn t leaning April 1 5 April 2 0 May 2 1 June 1 0 July 4 First eggs First bees First foragers End Honey flow

33 ! A queen excluder keeps the queen out of the honey supers! Some say a queen excluder is a honey excluder Not! April 1 5 April 2 0 May 2 1 June 1 0 July 4 First eggs First bees First foragers End Honey flow

34 ! No difference in production in my apiaries! Best reason to use is to combat wax moth! April 1 5 April 2 0 May 2 1 June 1 0 July 4 First eggs First bees First foragers End Honey flow

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36 ! Harvest Honey (not likely in 1 st year)! Expect queens to stop laying! Huge spring population begins declining! Consider ventilation and water sources! Okay to reduce frequency of inspections

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38 ! Mite Control! Population still declining! OK to reduce frequency of inspections! Ventilation, water, weed control around hives

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40 ! Feed 1:1 sucrose syrup on September 1 for about a week (about 1-quart)! This stimulates brood rearing and kick s off the winter brood cycle that makes winter bees! Feed protein patties as well even if they don t take them! Give extra honey supers only after they begin filling the upper brood chamber (compress)! Switch to 2:1 on September 15, if no nectar is flowing into the hive

41 Pest Control! Install mouse guards! Reduce entrances to prevent robbing

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43 ! Count capped honey frames. Figure 6.5 lbs for deep and 3.5 lbs for medium! Subtract total count from 70 and feed the difference in 2:1 sucrose syrup! Figure 11-lbs per gallon of syrup! No need to over-feed! Start October 1 and end October 31

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45 ! Remove extra boxes leaving two brood chambers! You can winter in 1-deep if that s all they have filled out! Ensure that you have lbs of honey or leave that extra honey super!! Remove queen excluder *sigh*! To wrap or not?! Consider installing wind breaks

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47 ! They will survive the winter if they are not sick from varroa infestation or other maladies! Other than sickness, all other common problems are correctable

48 Wintering Requirements 1.! Clean, dry hive 2.! Strong laying queen 3.! 5-lbs of winter bees 4.! Mite-free 5.! lbs of honey 6.! 3-4 Frames of pollen 7.! Sunny, sheltered location

49 January Inspection! In the first 10-days open the covers and check the bees "! You can do this at any temperature, but look for a warm day. Don t put-off if it is cold!! Don t pull out any frames or separate the boxes just look down onto the top bars! Small tight cluster indicates plenty of food!! Large loose cluster indicates lack of food (unless it is a 60+ degree day)

50 ! Mid-Winter Emergency Feeding! Dry Sugar, or Sugar Cake! Lay newspaper over the top bars!! Place empty super over the newspaper!! Pour lbs of sugar onto newspaper!! Replace covers! Sugar cake, not homemade fondant!! 5-lbs sugar mixed with 1-cup cold water!! Pat into a mould such as a cake pan!! Let sit until hardened!! Place chunk or chunks on newspaper as above

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54 Last Note!! Feed protein patties and 2:1 sugar syrup starting March 1 to get the surviving colonies on their feet for the upcoming spring! Second year requires additional skills most notable is swarm control!

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