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Author Topic: Another Newbee, This One From Oklahoma  (Read 884 times)
Hopeful
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Location: Central Oklahoma


« on: November 01, 2007, 08:56:35 AM »

Hall,

I just came unto the honey "beeswax" two and half weeks ago. Two years ago I bought ten acres of nice land here in Oklahoma. Since then my wife and I have been deciding what to do with the land. We had considered doing bees and planting alfalfa, clover and blueberries, so I went online to find some info on how to attain bees and hives. On the OBA website, there was an ad from a guy who was selling his hives due to diabetes. He wanted $1800 for 12 hives, a 1 ton Ford flatbed truck, various accessories and a full honey crop of 42 supers. I jumped at it, even though I had no clue what I was doing. I got a copy of Beekeeping for Dummies and read it through, discovering that for a newbee even two hives was considered ambitious. Oh well, too late now!

We took the honey supers from the hives the first week and that was not so bad. The next evening I went to a local beekeeper who has 300 hives and we exracted the honey, which came to about 400 lbs.
This last weekend, we went to get the bees, which were about two hours away. We got impatient and began to load them before it was full dark. The bees did not take kindly to this intrusion and we wee rewarded with several stings. It is amazing how thy can find their way through a fully covering beesuit! After it was fully dark we went to the other locations and had no problem loading the rst.
WE got to my property around 11 PM and because we were tired made major mistake #2. My beeyard is located at the top of my property, about 2/4 mile up a small hill (all the hills in Oklahoma are small). it was a bumpy ride up the hill and that rally stirred-up my "girls". Since we did not have the wisdom to wait for them to calm down before moving them to their new home on concrete blocks, we were attacked without shame and stung several more times. My buddy, who had a veil and gloves but no suit, was stung 24 times total for the day. We decided to take a break. Afterwards, we off-loaded them very carefully and slowly and no more problems.

End, Part 1. Part 2 coming soon.
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"And this is life eternal...." "John 17:3
Cindi
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Location: Grindrod, B.C. Canada


« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2007, 10:01:25 AM »

Hopeful, sounds like you are in for some interesting fun with your bees, yeah!!!  You have found a really good place here on this forum to spend some time, do lots of learning, hear lots of stories of successes and failures with our forum friends and their beekeeping.  Along with the beekeeping forum, there are also many other topics that are also enjoyable.

You are heading off into the fun in the sun.  Keep those stories and accoutings coming on for us to read, it is great to hear of other experiences.  Have a wonderful day, great life. Cindi
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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
Hopeful
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Location: Central Oklahoma


« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2007, 02:40:12 PM »

Thanks, Cindy.

Okay part two.

 IN the coupe of weeks i have been invilved with beekeeping and beekeepers, I have discovered that no two beeks do things the same way. Forexample, te guy wo sold me my bees does not believe in saving honey for the bees. So he took every last drop off the hives and we loaded them into my truck, The way he figures, honey is worth more than sugar, so take the honey and feed the bees.  So my bees went a week with basically no food reserve. The first thing I had to do after moving the bees was to feed them. So  followed  recipe for syrup and made two candy boards for the "super" hives, that had no frame feeders. After doing this I oticed that there was one hive lef that had ot received ood and so I made upa quick gallon and went back to the hive to feed them.

I removed the cover and then the queem excluder. I set them down beside me and poured the syrup into the feeder I had brought. I the realized the feeling of insects crawling up my pant leg. I had set he excluder, which was full of bees, right next to my foot, and the pant leg had not been "taped -up". As I felt the first stig I instinctively grabbed at my ankle, drawng the attentin of dozens more bees! I made a run for it! After a hundred yards or so, most of the bees gave up, but about a dozen or so chased me as far as I wanted to go. Another sting on my ankle, ouch!

Because of this experience, I realized a few things. First, I will save some honey for the bees next year so I will  not have to bother them so often. I am not looking forward to being attacked every week for the next four months. Second, I think I'll simply make up candy boards next year for all of my hives. One visit takes care of them for some time. I also will make sure not leave myself "open" anywhere, especially if I have been messing with them too often. I simply do not at this point understand people who tend bees without protection on. Had I not been protected  no doubt would have been stung a hundred times by now.

BUt honestly, I think as I figure things out, this should slow down some. Maybe the bees will trust me more if I would stop disrupting them so much.

Thughts?
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"And this is life eternal...." "John 17:3
JP
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« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2007, 07:45:14 PM »

Hopeful, hoping the bees will trust you more is wishful thinking. You were in the midst of doing a whole lot with your newly acquired apiary. Once things settle down you will find your routine of doing things. Smoke them before you open them. If they're not that aggressive wear a minimum of a veil with hat, or with jacket, and long pants. If they're really aggressive, requeen. Welcome to our little neck of the woods.
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Cindi
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« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2007, 10:26:20 AM »

Hopeful, you are into the beekeeping world, right, and these will not be the last of the bee stings.....the girls are more protective during the cooler parts of the year, you found that out.  Consider it bee venom therapy and it will do wonders if you have any arthritis stuff (hee, hee).

Keep those stories coming.  I am a story teller and I love to write these events for my forum friends to read.  It is fun for me and fun for them. So.....tell us stories.

You have lots to learn, you will be learning and will never finish learning.  If one ever thinks that they know it all about the bees, then I would suggest that they go get some self punishment and humbling and go into their beeyard in only their birthday suite!!!!  Smiley Sad Smiley  Have a wonderful day and enjoy this great life.
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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
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