Backyard Farming Forum

Simo's Block
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Author:  Simo [ Fri Jun 27, 2014 6:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Simo's Block

I am getting all excited about bees so I prepared the hive in the tree for a trap out by blocking the entry with some plywood and silicone and made my funnel so I am all ready to go when the time comes. :confused: Just not sure when the best time is, I was thinking start of spring so the bees have plenty of nectar, any one know the best time for year for a trap out?

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Author:  Burnsy [ Fri Jun 27, 2014 8:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Simo's Block

Simo wrote:
Just for you Burnsy, the top bar with a new roof, also gave it an all mesh floor and re caulked this windows.

Thanks heaps, it was a bargain :thumb:

Looks great, exactly what I had in mind for it but never got to. I look forward to following your trap out, I have read up on them but never attempted one - the hardest way to get bees apparently - good to see you are up for a challenge :thumb: .

I reckon you are probably right with spring being the time. I have only ever read of guys in the US doing it. What are you going to do regarding a queen and have you got any full frames of brood/honey to trap them out into? From what I have read you can either requeen or provide frames of brood and let them raise their own queen. Might be a good idea to come grab two or three of the frames from the hive I took out of the topbar hive when you start. At least they are on the right bars and you can slot them straight in.

Author:  Simo [ Sat Jun 28, 2014 11:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Simo's Block

I was going to cut some comb with fresh laid eggs out of a lang hive some friends have, stitch it onto a top bar and let them raise their own queen but if you are offering a frame with comb all ready attached that would be a lot easier and I will take you up on your offer.

I'll hit you up in Spring if you are still keen.

Author:  Burnsy [ Sat Jun 28, 2014 5:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Simo's Block

I want to start replacing the top bars with lang frames in spring and was planning on harvesting from the outer and splitting the brood with the new frames so happy for you to take the top bars with whatever is on them.try and still get the frame of brood to go with whatever I can take out. You may need to trim the comb down from mine to fit the tbh profile as they will likely have filled them out to box size.

Author:  Simo [ Sun Jun 29, 2014 11:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Simo's Block

Great, I'll be in touch come spring. :thumb:

Author:  jayendra [ Thu Jul 03, 2014 12:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Simo's Block

Simo wrote:
I got sick of refilling those small green and white plastic auto feeder and waterers that you get for the feedshops so I built my own supersized versions. The feeders are just made for old 90mm PVC fitting and plastic bins I had lying around and the nipple waterers are fed from a 205L plastic barrel on the out side of the chicken coop that I will plumb gutters into to catch rainwater. There is another feeder and waterer on the other side of the wall in the duck coop.

Brilliant idea !!! this is just want I was looking for with the size and design.

Author:  Simo [ Sun Nov 02, 2014 6:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Simo's Block

Burnsy generously donated 3 brood combs from his hive for me to attempt my trap out so which I did on Thursday, here is how it went.

Donor comb cut to size the placed in the top bar hive.

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Top bar hive moved as close a practicable to the wild hive and a ramp built down to the hive entrance as the bees will only walk to find a new place to off load their cargo not fly.

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Trap out funnel siliconed and screwed down to the hive entrance to ensure the bees can leave but not get back in, bottom of the ramp seen to the right of the funnel.

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Author:  Simo [ Sun Nov 02, 2014 6:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Simo's Block

After a short period of time a lot of bees had left the hive and were buzzing around the funnel trying to get back in, they were no aggressive at all, just confused I guess. I felt like an expectant father as I nervously watched to see if any of them would walk up my ramp to the bait brood comb in the top bar, at most they would walk half way up the ramp then fly off so I took Burnsy's advice and placed a piece of PVC pipe down the ramp from the top bar hive entrance to the funnel where all the bees were gathered, the theory being that once they enter the pipe they can't fly off and are more likely to find the bait comb.

Later that day I noticed through the viewing window that some of the bees had made their way inside but not many.

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I check on them that night and I could see about a hundred bees clinging to the mesh at the bottom of the top bar hive directly under the bait comb and about a hundred gathered around the funnel. I swept these up with a dustpan and brush and tipped them into the top bar hive. When I opened the viewing window I saw this:

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:clap: So far so good, most of they bees from the wild hive now call the top bar home and are coming and going from the top bar entrance, every day there are still a few bees around the funnel which I assume are bees that have only left the wild hive that day and haven't found the top bar hive yet.

Not out of the wood yet as the wild bees still need to raise a queen of their own from the eggs in Burnsy's donated brood comb, so now I just wait for up to four months so to see if new bees are being produced indicating a new queen or if the numbers start to dwindle indicating no new queen.

Wish me luck.

Author:  Burnsy [ Sun Nov 02, 2014 8:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Simo's Block

Good work mate. Have you looked into buying a queen, could be an option?

Author:  Simo [ Fri Dec 19, 2014 12:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Simo's Block

Some people I know that live near by sell small farm supplies on-line and Burnsy recommended them to me for bee keeping gear. I knew that they were keen to see my aquaponics system as they are building a green house and are starting their own set up soon, so I invited them over to show them my system and asked them to bring some bee keeping gear so I could try on for size and see what the quality was like. Long story short I now have a smoker, gloves, hive tool and bee suit with two hoods :joy:

I was so keen to try out my new toys I cracked the hive to have a peek at the health of the colony I had trapped out and this is what I saw.

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lots of bees building a brand new dead straight comb on the next bar along form the brood combs that Burnsy donated :clap:

The bees were nice and calm while examining the new comb on the edge of the hive but when i tried to separate the donated brood combs they got real cranky so I closed it up with out seeing anything. I hope their level of hostility on disturbing the brood area means they are protecting a new queen they have reared since the trap out and the colony certainly appears healthy but it has only been a month and a half since the trap out so I will have to wait a couple of more months to see if they are actively replenishing their numbers or starting to drop in numbers then I will know for sure.

Author:  Snags [ Fri Dec 19, 2014 5:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Simo's Block

Love your work as a fellow bee wrangler I appreciate the endeavour and commitment and excitement.
I caught a hive in my compost bin and rehoused it.
Pretty easy access with a cardboard box on dusk

Your bees tend to be more grey than brown
Do you know what variety this is?

Author:  Simo [ Sat Dec 20, 2014 12:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Simo's Block

:dunno: excuse my novice beekeeping ignorance, I thought all non-native honey bees in Australia were just called the European honey bee? All I know is the moved into my tree and I moved them out into the hive.

To me they look like normal bees, maybe the colour variation is just due to the crappy phone camera I used or the light at that time of day?

Any suggestions?

Author:  Snags [ Sat Dec 20, 2014 9:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Simo's Block

A friend here has a few hives and he has brownish, blackish and greyish
I think he gets queens in from Kangaroo Island maybe they are Ligurian variants ????

I haven't had bees for a long time and cant remember what colour my ones were?(I thought they where all the same)
Google doesn't seem to differentiate.

Author:  Charlie [ Sun Dec 21, 2014 2:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Simo's Block

Ive recently discovered native blue banded bees living in the brick work of our garage. When I get a chance Ill get up in the roof and shine a torch down between the bricks and see whats there. I doubt there is much I can do with the hive but pretty cool all the same.

Love the work your doing with your bees there Simo, very interesting stuff.

Author:  Aussiedownunder [ Mon Dec 22, 2014 7:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Simo's Block

It will be interesting to see if they make a queen because they need a queen to survive

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