mossrose McCoy wrote:Do any of you experienced beekeepers have some good strategies for dealing with hornet attacks? I had a hive wiped out by being attacked by two different kinds of hornets (baldfaces and some little skinny native kind). My hive was doing great, but I was away on vacation for a week, and when I got back it was literally surrounded by hornets. Every time a bee left the hive to forage she would be attacked by at least 10 hornets. For a while the bees were holding their own and successfully driving off the hornets, but the hornets eventually reduced the bee numbers too much, and apparently finally killed the queen.
careinke McCoy wrote:We plan to raise the bees with no chemicals. Next step, find some bees, we are leaning towards Russian bees right now.
Madden Elout wrote:A question about reclaimed wood hives.
Spring is coming and it's time to make plans for constructing hives.
I'd rather use the waste stream and reuse wood for a hive than buy it.
Wood Pallets, at first, seem like an option but there are different types.
Heat Treated (HT), Methyl Bromide (MB), food, grade, plastic, and probably some others.
Pallets usually have specific markings placed on them at time of manufacture to help differentite them, and this is what I'd be looking for when picking them up.
But can any of these be used for hives?
Below are my guesses at the meanings. feel free to give me better info.
HT - heat treatment which kills bacteria before being shipped
MB - impregnate the wood with a chemical fungicide/pesticide to prevent food-borne bacteria from spreading.
FG - sprayed? with MB before use
There are also untreated pallets, but I imagine those would be the most contaminated.
Of all these HT seems best. They are not treated with chemicals, just heated to kill bacteria.
Has anyone noticed any problems with their hives?
If I find HT pallets and do a linseed oil/beeswax coating on the outside, should I worry at all? - me
Dave Bennett wrote: It is helpful if at all possible knowing what was shipped on the pallets. For me that is easy because of where I procure my pallets.
Clifford Reinke wrote:I just finished the first of nine planned Top Bar beehives with my brother in law.
This was our prototype, and we learned a lot. Material costs came to $80.00. They sell on the market for around $350, and for good reason. There is a LOT of milling involved.
We plan to raise the bees with no chemicals. Next step, find some bees, we are leaning towards Russian bees right now.
Dave Bennett wrote:Who suggested mineral spirits? I use orange oil for lots of "stuff."
Dave Bennett wrote:Tung oil is not toxic. I have been using it for decades.
tel jetson wrote:tung oil is toxic until it cures, but only if ingested as I recall. smells a lot better than curing linseed oil.
where do you buy tung oil, by the way? used to be only a few specialty paint stores carried it around here. seems a bit easier to find now, but I'm not convinced the quality is the same. I've never added anything to the tung oil either, but I hear it suggested quite a bit and I could see the advantage of thinning it out for some applications.
back to beehives: any treatment should probably allow the wood to breath as much as possible. that way the bees can adjust things from the inside to their preference. they'll add propolis to seal things up, and remove it to allow more moisture exchange. that's sort of at odds with preserving the wood, but I believe the bees will be healthier. in Clifford's hives, that roof should go a long way toward protecting the wood without any treatment at all. my own preference is to put my hives in a shelter.
Dave Bennett wrote:
I buy my tung oil here: