March 12, 2018 at 4:25 pm #11186
I am still looking for a local swarm or nuc, but in the meantime I continue to prepare and improve, and I am looking for treatment-free (as much as possible), locally-sourced beeswax to melt down and coat my starter strips.
Appreciate any information!
Mel?March 12, 2018 at 8:01 pm #11224DennisModerator
Welcome to swarm watch, it can be a long wait. . I have never had one show up and others have virtual parade of them.
For the wax, you can show up to one of the meetings at Barlow and ask there. This month there is no meeting, instead we will be hive building at Dunn-Edwards on the West side.
When I started I used wax from Church candles. I did not have anything else and if it was good enough for God it was good enough for my bees.
No idea how clean it was but it worked fine for me. You will be using very little on any single frame. I would not worry about contaminating your hive. You can keep the amount so small it would be insignificant in the long run.
DennisMarch 13, 2018 at 8:28 am #11225
By the way, Michael Bush (“The Practical Beekeeper—Beekeeping Naturally) urges that bees do NOT need to have wax applied to the comb guide (starter strip) Pg 550 of his book. I never do and the bees build very well.March 13, 2018 at 9:36 am #11226
Thanks for the info, Dennis! I’m actually working with a woman that does rescues, and they are getting lots of calls, so I should have bees soon.
Susan, thank you for that. I actually have that book on my shelf and will go back and get deeper into it. In the meantime, I intend to reinforce the deep frames with two thin vertical bamboo skewers and 2 horizontal lines of fishing line, just for stability in the brood box. As a complete hamfisted newb, I don’t want to destroy fragile new comb with my ineptitude. I would leave the medium honey supers unreinforced.
Any thoughts?March 13, 2018 at 10:05 am #11227
Yes, you may want to subscribe to the Treatment Free Facebook group as a good source for TF discussion and learning. I know some on the site have used the skewers for reinforcement. In my own hives, since I began beekeeping 8 years ago, I have always been foundationless, no wires or any other reinforcements, mostly deep boxes (not just brood boxes) and extract my honey successfully without blowing out frames. I uncap each side of frame, turn the crank slowly to start (unweight each side) turn the frames, spin again, and then later spins can be at higher speed. I do not use excluders either.March 13, 2018 at 10:08 am #11228
By the way, if you get a cutout or a swarm, it is important to look in on the comb spacing every week to make sure they have not shifted out of position, messing up “bee space” This often happens especially with cutouts, so to keep your brood box inspectable, you must catch little wonkie issues before they go on long. With a swarm, you want to catch any curving combs and gently push them back in under the top bar profileMarch 13, 2018 at 12:08 pm #11229
Much thanks again, for all of the info! I will certainly join the suggested group. I’m less concerned about honey harvesting and more about protecting broodcomb during my initial inspections. I only intend to use an excluder when I do my first split. (I already bought my VSH–Italian hybrid queen—for June pickup—to breed into the stock when I do the split, for natural mite resistance and even temperament.)
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