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Author Topic: It will happen, just don't freak out!  (Read 5198 times)
JP
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« on: February 11, 2008, 08:07:17 PM »

There will come a time, that your bees won't take your intrusions lightly. You do know this right? As winter turns to spring, those really strong hives that are just bursting at the seams are the ones most likely to give you a dose of their strong medicine. You want strong, virile hives coming out of winter, you want your boxes to be full, but you don't want them to swarm out on you either. So when do you add that next box? When do you make that split? Sometimes its hard to tell exactly, these decisions are based on the weather. You expand or split too early, a hard front comes through, and that hive may be in trouble, they just might starve, clustered together away from food stores, its a catch 22, this is why its so important to ensure your bees have enough food stores, this needs to be monitored, by you. Don't expect the bees to take care of themselves, check in on 'em now and again. You really don't know what reserves they have unless you CHECK your hives. Are they heavy or light?

If you wait too long to give a strong hive room to expand, or if they have too much honey stores above the brood nest, they will swarm out on you. Stay ahead of the game and watch your weather closely!  Remember, swarming is an inate instinct for propogation. They want to sow their oats, if you will, it's a natural thing, but as a beekeeper, our job is to control this natural instinct, this urge they have. The experts say that sometimes a hive is dead set on swarming no matter what you do to alleviate the swarm urge, and so they fullfill that urge and well, swarm.

Now, boy, let me tell you did I take a detour there, did I go off on a tangent, ok, so I did, hope you got something out of my ramblings, now getting back to that attitude issue, and why I am posting this long, drawn out post. Your bees have been pent up, you have been paying attention to the weather and spring is knocking at your door, are you listening? It is time to go in, and do that inventory check. Well, let me tell you, you better have that smoker going good and well, you hear me? Are you listening? Them bees are gonna put up a fight now, it can get down right scary! Are you up for it? Don't freak out when they boil out of that hive, hell bent on destruction. Be patient, don't lose it, don't be a sissy, you're a beekeeper for God's sake!

You got that smoker going good now right? Well let 'em have it, don't freak out and run like a pansy, hang in there, you're wearing proper protection right? No, you better run then, just don't run screaming for your momma, this is not cool, and does not do anything whatsoever to promote good beekeeping.  Go suit up and don't forget the gloves, they love to sting those hands, haven't you noticed?

Now go back in, so what if they're angry, you got your smoker going, you got your cute little veil on, and your in that cute little outfit, show them girls who's the boss!

Now I have first hand knowledge of this, or I wouldn't be talkin'. What you gonna do next, requeen? You bet your sweet bippy!  Wink


....JP
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2008, 08:43:43 PM »

When my bees are in a tizzy they pay no attention to the smoke.
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JP
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« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2008, 08:51:33 PM »

Actually worked one of my hives today that prompted be to post this bit. They were hot! The other hives I worked were no problem, did whatever I wanted with them. The smoke had them going back into the bottom deep, while I was trying to give them some extra room by removing some honey frames. Had 30-40 or so around my face, hellbent on destruction. You could smell those bananas! The smoke definitely worked, but I have seen very large hot hives not respond quite the way I wanted them to with smoking.


.....JP
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"Good friends are as sweet as honey" Winne the Pooh

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Moonshae
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« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2008, 08:55:12 PM »

When I broke into my hives last weekend, the smoke made no difference...they were not in the mood to be bothered, even though it was sunny and warm, midafternoon. I got buzzed right away, and put on my suit. Left out the gloves for dexterity. Got zapped 3x on one hand. First time I've had multiple stings. Overall, I;d say my reaction was better than in the past, but I couldn't wear my wedding band or my watch for 2 days (glad I got them off before the swelling started!). Everything was back to normal in 4 days. I figure, a few more good stings, and the swelling will be minimal. I'm almost considering doing it on purpose to get there.
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randydrivesabus
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« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2008, 09:15:04 PM »

well JP I admire your writing skills. don't let them sting your fingers to where you have to stop entertaining us.
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« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2008, 09:19:38 PM »

And the moral of the story is the smoker can save your but...  I enjoyed that post very much JP.
I agree  with you all the way on using that smoker.
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JP
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« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2008, 09:29:07 PM »

Just having a little fun.  Wink


....JP
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Cindi
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« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2008, 10:00:48 PM »

JP, whew!!!  You took my breath away, you have me freaked right out, just kidding!!!  tongue Wink Smiley.  What a beautiful piece of prose, I didn't realize you could write so well, hee, hee, and nicely descriptive.

You have issued some very good points.  Not a doubt in my mind.  You have actually caused me to rethink my measures with my girls this year.  I said I would like to work them with no smoke (but with smoker sitting within easy reach, of course, that is a given).  True.  But, in pondering your words, I surely believe that maybe I should indeed wait to fullfill this dream (smiling,  grin) until the major honeyflows are going on strong -- and they are not hell bent on protecting their colony and the stores that they have.  That is certainly what they will be doing this early in the season, I couldn't agree with you more.  There is no flow going on now and will not be going on for another two months, the first flow around here is the blueberry and that is in the month of May, then comes the blackberry in June, the two major early flows here.  There are many, many different minor flows which occur earlier, but that is what they are, only minor compared to the big ones!!!!   Yes, JP, so many foods for thought, have a wonderful, great day, love our life here, on our earth.  Cindi
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« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2008, 10:40:15 PM »

One of the fringe benefits of over 20 years of construction is rough hands. Those callouses on my fingertips are very nice. Natural padding.

Sincerely,
Brendhan

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annette
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« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2008, 11:28:05 PM »

Very funny post JP. Just made me laugh and laugh!!!

Annette
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2008, 12:15:01 AM »

When they sting me in the callouses it just leaves a little black dot.
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« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2008, 12:17:05 AM »

[...don't freak out and run like a pansy...]

You post this like you've been seen before....   grin

-Jeff
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Sean Kelly
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« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2008, 05:56:03 AM »

Mmmmm.... nothing smells better than banannas in beehive....  OUCH!!!

Sean Kelly
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PDCambs
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« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2008, 06:41:57 AM »

Go suit up and don't forget the gloves, they love to sting those hands, haven't you noticed?

....JP

They love old, attack pheromone loaded, leather gloves, but if you use disposable latex type gloves you're less likely to provoke the girls.

Funny post JP  Shocked)


Peter
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JP
The Swarm King
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I like doing cut-outs, but I love catching swarms!


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« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2008, 07:49:43 AM »

[...don't freak out and run like a pansy...]

You post this like you've been seen before....   grin

-Jeff

I tell you Jeff, there have been a few times that made me think twice about running. Wink I was talking with Scott Derrick of Swarm Removal on voice chat the other day, you may have been in the room at the time sorry, can't remember if you were or not. We briefly spoke of ahbs and he pointed out one hive he had worked with that was just overwhelming, hundreds and hundreds, perhaps thousands trying to sting through the suit, had him just covered, and he said he thought he was gonna lose it, had to keep his wits about him. Now that is something to consider. Would probably make a lot of people run like a pansy in that situation. Btw, I'm not one of those types that typically freak out in a crisis, not boasting, just stating a fact. I'm the one trying to resolve matters in a crisis while everyone around me are runnin' for the hills. I have a few family members and I have seen others lose their cool in times when one needs to stay focused, and find resolve. Screaming and hollering and running for the exit door never does anybody any good unless, I guess, you're in a fire.


....JP
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"Good friends are as sweet as honey" Winne the Pooh

My pictures can be viewed at http://picasaweb.google.com/pyxicephalus
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My Youtube videos can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=JPthebeeman&aq=f

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Cindi
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« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2008, 07:58:22 AM »

Awe come on you guys.  Don't you know that if you run away from the bees that you are a sure fired target?  When working with the bees one should work as slowly as you possibly can, no quick movements, this really catches the bees' eyes, that fast motion.  Keep it slow, if you think that they are after you, don't run, move slowly, slowly, stand still even, hee, hee, now we are talking.  Like that would ever happen, but that is what the gist of it all is.  Fast motion, they're gonna target ya, slow motion, their gonna target ya, take ball and run with it....have the most awesome of days, love this life we're livin'.  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
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« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2008, 08:20:53 AM »

I run my bees to Oklahoma this past weekend and actually was able to work them a bit before I headed back to KC.  I combined two of my NUCs in Ok.  1 NUC was a dwindling colony and I knew the queen was no good.  It was already down to the size of a 3 frame NUC from a large colony.  I went in and killed her and combined it with another NUC.  That was pretty fun considering I wore nothing for protection.  I only got stung once and that was an after thought.  One of the girls hitch hiked her way in the house on my shirt.  I didnt realize it until she stung my finger...

Oh well.  I sure wouldnt do that with my strong hives though.  I have to keep smoking them everytime I walked past them so they would come out and attack me..... grin
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DayValleyDahlias
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« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2008, 11:46:52 AM »

When we inspected the hive on Sunday last...they were pretty darn tolerant of us...We were suited up and felt pretty calm...then a couple hours AFTER the inspection what when we got hit!  Of course no suit or veil on..POW right in the kisser...but we went up to the hive, they 'freakin remembered us...wow!
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« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2008, 01:21:56 PM »

[...they 'freakin remembered us...]

I can see you working the hives in Ronald Regan or Richard Nixon masks....

Then again, those nasty stings, I don't know if anyone would recognize you  Smiley

Hows day two?
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« Reply #19 on: February 12, 2008, 03:07:40 PM »

Day two, still swollen...not as itchy.  I was offered the day off work, and gladly accepted!  Didn't want to scare any of my patients hahahaha!
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