Hive Placement-Celebrating February 19th

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Jacobs
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Hive Placement-Celebrating February 19th

Post by Jacobs »

If you are new to beekeeping and wondering where to place your hives, current thinking is that you want as much sunlight on them as you can get. If you are in a city that has a bee ordinance, pay attention to your setback requirements and your shadows.

For me, February 19th represents the first day the sun rises on the north side of my next door neighbor's house. This means the start of my bees getting the earliest possible sunlight, given their position on my driveway pad.

Seems like a good excuse for a holiday to me.
Jacobs
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Post by Jacobs »

I consider solstice to be "bee new year" and February 19th as my own "earliest full sun on the bees" holiday. I celebrated a day early when Rick Cockcroft and Tim Goetz stopped by for a little hands on work in the bees doing a couple of brood box reversals (putting the unoccupied deep super above the occupied medium super containing brood). Unfortunately, my best queen from last season (the bee tree queen) has played out, and I will be removing her and combining those bees with another hive in the near future. Sad news, but not enough to dampen my "holiday" spirits.
Jacobs
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Re: Hive Placement-Celebrating February 19th

Post by Jacobs »

Just a reminder for the new beekeepers to pay attention to sun/shadow patterns. Current thinking is the more sun on a hive, the fewer small hive beetles to deal with. Older literature that suggests early morning sun and afternoon shade was written before we had to deal with the SHB.
Jacobs
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Re: Hive Placement-Celebrating February 19th

Post by Jacobs »

Nature's reminder to me that despite the swings in temperature, Spring is coming.
Jacobs
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Re: Hive Placement-Celebrating February 19th

Post by Jacobs »

Once the fog burns off, I can begin my personal pre-spring celebration. Small hive beetle issues have not gotten any better.
Wally
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Re: Hive Placement-Celebrating February 19th

Post by Wally »

73 today. Time to check the hives and see what is needed to boost them till bloom time.
Jacobs
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Re: Hive Placement-Celebrating February 19th

Post by Jacobs »

I plan to spend part of this personal bee holiday fighting the cold and taking a jar of honey to my neighbor who lives 2 doors down. Tomorrow is his birthday--he will be 103.
Jacobs
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Re: Hive Placement-Celebrating February 19th

Post by Jacobs »

Celebrating the "holiday" with spent brewers yeast mix and honey water for the bees. My neighbor turns 104 tomorrow and I will take him another jar of honey to add to the one I gave him a few weeks ago.
Jacobs
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Re: Hive Placement-Celebrating February 19th

Post by Jacobs »

Nancy Ruppert, one of our bee inspectors, said that she was seeing bees that were about 2 weeks ahead in build up/swarm preparation. If you were not at the GCBA meeting Tuesday and did not get the word, you may want to keep up with food stores and spring build up of hives.

My "celebration" will be a bit muted since my neighbor passed away last year at the age of 104. A better part of this "holiday" will be when one of our beginner class members comes to the house at 1:00 pm to get some hands on experience going into a hive or two.

I'm going to cap the celebration by putting my swarm lure hive out this afternoon.
Jacobs
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Re: Hive Placement-Celebrating February 19th

Post by Jacobs »

I won't be opening hives today, but if weather permits, I may go ahead and put up my swarm lure hive today. Even though clusters are not as large as in past years, and blooms have been later to open, "data mining" from our swarms, cutouts, and trapouts section of the forum board tell me to have things ready before mid March. Somewhere out there in the neighborhood, some colonies may be building up faster than mine are and I want to be sure to have a good option available for them.
Jacobs
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Re: Hive Placement-Celebrating February 19th

Post by Jacobs »

My swarm lure hive is already up because I never got around to taking it down. I did check and made sure that the frame of old dark comb (and the frames of undrawn foundation) were still in good shape.

L & B Apiaries helped me with this "celebration" by calling yesterday with a new supply of 5 gallon food grade buckets. I picked them up yesterday afternoon, and GCBA members can call me at 336 740-1703 and arrange to get them for free until this supply runs out.
Jacobs
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Re: Hive Placement-Celebrating February 19th

Post by Jacobs »

I put my swarm lure hive up 2 days ago and yesterday the bees were bringing in a steady stream of pollen to my house hives. Most of my hives at the house are stronger than they have been the last 2 years at this time. I'll see what that means for swarm season.
Jacobs
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Re: Hive Placement-Celebrating February 19th

Post by Jacobs »

I'll be celebrating without going into hives today. It does look like next week will provide good enough weather to open some hives and do a quick check on brood/drone rearing status. My bait hive went up on February 4th--more for something to do than in expectation of swarm season starting as early as it did in 2020.
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