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Author Topic: What have you learned this season?  (Read 9153 times)

Offline twb

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What have you learned this season?
« on: October 10, 2007, 10:39:19 PM »
I would be interested to know one or two things you learned this season.  Not what you know but what you learned.  For example I learned that when a hive tips over during the night you can(and probably should) wait until midday to tip it up again. That way foragers are out etc.  I thought it would be robbed so I tipped it up before daylight.  Not a happy experience :shock:.  Also I learned that hand sanitizer works great to get propolis off hands in preparation for the next hive inspection.  Get the idea? 
"Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."  Proverbs 16:24

Sincerely,
TWB

Offline tillie

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Re: What have you learned this season?
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2007, 11:17:30 PM »
I learned this year (among many, many things) that if a hive appears queenless, putting a frame of very young brood in the hive will let you know if you have a good queen - whether or not you ever see her - because if queenless, the bees will use the eggs in the frame you add to make their own queen.

Although I was not successful, I began learning (and hope to find the opportunity to do so again next year) to make splits.  I'm going to follow Michael Bush's website step by step next year.  This year I didn't understand how to add frames of bees to the split from other hives and didn't ever add enough bees, but that's in my hopper for learning more about next year.

Oh, yeah, and I learned to keep my camera on a strap around my neck so that I wouldn't drop it and break it in my enthusiasm for taking pictures of the girls!

Linda T forever learning bee stuff in Atlanta
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Offline UtahBees

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Re: What have you learned this season?
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2007, 02:59:39 AM »
I learned that beekeeping is completely addictive, and that there is still so much to learn. I owe half of what I learned to all of you on this board, and the other half I learned from my hive, mentor (brother-in-law), and Beekeeping for Dummies. It's been a rush, literally.

I learned that I shouldn't go see my bees in shorts AND without smoking them. I got stung twice on the back of each leg when I tried to "just peek in".

I also learned that as long as you check your bees regularly for signs of disease and growth, they'll basically take care of the rest. I was a benefactor of 5.25 gallons of honey from them this year - their first year being hived here. A healthy hive is a happy hive.

I look forward to learning more.

Regards,

Scott

Offline indypartridge

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Re: What have you learned this season?
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2007, 07:41:46 AM »
After having some swarming problems last year, I was determined to prevent it this year.
I learned that you can do everything "by the book" and sometimes it doesn't matter because bees don't read books! Or websites, or anything else.

Next spring I'm gonna try swarm traps. If I can't prevent swarming, maybe I can at least catch them afterwards!

Offline Understudy

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Re: What have you learned this season?
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2007, 09:49:15 AM »
I have learned a lot.
Blowers work great on getting bees out of supers.
Shaking frames to get rid of bees is only good if comb is attached well to all four sides of the frame.
Bees can be succesfully raised without chemicals.
Varroa Destructor is the species of mite that has invaded the US
SueBee Honey is a coop
and lots more.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
The status is not quo. The world is a mess and I just need to rule it. Dr. Horrible

Offline BeeHopper

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Re: What have you learned this season?
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2007, 12:49:20 PM »
Re-Queening is not as simple as it seems. :-P
Italian bee venom is nastier than Buckfast bee venom. :shock:

Offline Cindi

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Re: What have you learned this season?
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2007, 12:58:47 PM »
Ha, one of my biggest lessons learned of this year was:  I have learned so many lessons the hard way, I can't even begin to list them, but this is my favourite!!!!!

Never think that the swarm you caught was not yours.  Even though you think that you have been the best beekeeper by preventing swarms, always believe that they came from your place and that you weren't that good after all  :( ;) :) ;)  Have a great and wonderful, beautiful day, love our life we live in.  Cindi
There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service

Offline bberry

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Re: What have you learned this season?
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2007, 01:15:53 PM »
Gee, how can you learn so much in one season and yet still feel like such a total beginner ;)
I learned to drop most of my romantic ideals and put the girls first as that was way more satisfying.
I learned that i really want to care for bees-a lot of them and as often as i can-will expand to six hives next year.
I learned that there is a great community out there in this site full of so much information.
I learned to use my own ingenuity in making things work for me-like using a few taped together chicken feathers as opposed to the synthetic brushes for brushing bees off of frames-they get way less angry with contact from chicken feathers :roll:
I learned to trust my instincts.


Offline Cindi

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Re: What have you learned this season?
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2007, 01:20:24 PM »
bberrry, I like the idea of the few feathers taped together.  I tried to get the biggest  single feather I could find, from the geese, and it wasn't strong enough.  I didn't want to pull one of them out of the bird.  But yes, I will take a few together, so soft for sure, the brush I have is quite rough, it works, but the feathers are even better idea!!!  Have a wonderful and  beautiful day.  Cindi
There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service

Offline dlmarti

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Re: What have you learned this season?
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2007, 03:44:10 PM »
Things I learned in my first year of bee keeping:
1. The less you care about getting stung, the less you get stung.  Its one of the few problems in life that will go away, when ignored.
2. I need an observation hive.
3. Tightly rolled up cardboard makes great smoker fuel, smolders for a long time.
4. It always takes less smoke than you think.
5. The easiest way to learn is to have your morning coffee while sitting down in front of a hive.
6. I need a grip tool for lifting frames.

Offline Old Timer

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Re: What have you learned this season?
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2007, 03:56:29 PM »
>Also I learned that hand sanitizer works great to get propolis off hands in preparation for the next hive inspection.

i learned not to do this a few years ago when i tried it. the bees smelled that stuff on my hands and they really went after my hands. i don't know what kind you are using, but i used purell instant hand sanitizer. i never repeated using it to see if they did it again.

i learned how to use a computer, somewhat.
i think i got more of a refresher course this year than actually doing any real learning.
i did learn that there are some really great people on this site.

Offline tillie

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Re: What have you learned this season?
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2007, 04:21:34 PM »
I also learned not to wear black when I'm just going out to look at the hives (not work them) and not to drink a Coke before working the bees.

Oh, and I learned that bees don't like it when you turn their boxes every which way but the right way....makes the girls mad enough to kill a queen.

Linda T in Atlanta
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Offline dpence

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Re: What have you learned this season?
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2007, 04:54:02 PM »
One thing I learned this season is wood pellets for stoves works great as smoker fuel.  A bag cost less than $5.  Your local farm and home supply probably has them.

Offline Gerald in Ga

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Re: What have you learned this season?
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2007, 08:23:53 PM »
I learned how to get stung. Oh yeah, and how to sugar dust and how to make sugar syrup and how some days the girls are just disconbobulated no matter how gentle you try to be. Oh well, ay least I learned to come here and read before I go and try my hand at getting stung as much. Did I say I learned how to get stung?

Offline kathyp

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Re: What have you learned this season?
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2007, 08:32:05 PM »
twb, hand sanitizer works because it's mostly alcohol.  buying rubbing alcohol is much cheaper.  i get two bottles for a dollar at the dollar store  :-)  it also takes sap off cars!


cindi, what about a feather duster?

i learned that i still have so much to learn, i don't even know where to start.  i learned how to help my hives requeen themselves and it as most satisfying.  also cheaper  :-)
.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville

Offline Moonshae

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Re: What have you learned this season?
« Reply #15 on: October 11, 2007, 09:47:35 PM »
I learned just about everything I now know about hive management. My previous experience with bees 20 years ago was more or less limited to package installation, supering, harvesting, and wrapping. Inspections? What is that?
"The mouth of a perfectly contented man is filled with beer." - Egyptian Proverb, 2200 BC

Offline twb

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Re: What have you learned this season?
« Reply #16 on: October 11, 2007, 10:06:14 PM »
Great fun reading your responses so far.  Thankyou.  I will have to try the rubbing alcohol idea as opposed to the hand sanitizer.
"Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."  Proverbs 16:24

Sincerely,
TWB

Offline Brian D. Bray

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Re: What have you learned this season?
« Reply #17 on: October 12, 2007, 03:16:19 AM »
I learned that despite being 1 of at least 6 (I'm teaching my daughter) consecutive generations of beekeepers, having a mentor who started beekeeping in 1899, and having started beekeeping when I was 11, I still have a lot to learn. These critters never cease to amaze me.
Life is a school.  What have you learned?   :brian:      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!

Offline Cindi

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Re: What have you learned this season?
« Reply #18 on: October 12, 2007, 11:21:10 AM »
Kathy, hmmm...I don't think a feather duster would work.  It has really (well mine does) deep feathery fluffy things, I think the bees may get lost inside it.  I wouldn't use it.  But it was a good thought, soft and all that.

The feathers sound good, not too long, quite soft but at the same time stiff enough that they "flick" the bees off.  Bees should be quickly "flicked", not brushed, they get really eeded off if they are brushed, well, mine do, I flick them quickly and they go flyin'.  If I brush slowly they attack the apparatus.  Have a wonderful and greatest of this great day, Cindi
There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service

Offline bassman1977

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Re: What have you learned this season?
« Reply #19 on: October 12, 2007, 12:01:25 PM »
One thing I learned is that I like hive top feeders a lot better than front entrance feeders.  Sure cuts back on the robbing.  Other than that, I didn't really run into anything out of the ordinary except for the warm start of last winter and quick freeze killed my feral survivors, as the bees were more concerned about taking care of the eggs & brood than they were keeping warm. I am still not sure how something like that can be prevented but I hope that never happens again.

On another note, I am learning queen rearing.  I am excited to learn more and hope to raise my own queens next year for my splits.  My goal is to finish out next season with 20-25 hives.
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