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Author Topic: Don't Look At This Post, Its Got Pics Of A 15Yr Old Hive With Queen  (Read 6590 times)
JP
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« on: March 20, 2008, 12:01:50 AM »

First off, sorry if I lured anyone in, by mentioning I would be making this post in general. Had to say that to keep order in the forums as I obviously was a bad boy for doing that. Ok.

As for the removal, it was, according to the owner of the house, a 15yr old hive. These were the smallest bees I have ever encountered, they had large numbers, I am guessing perhaps as many as 60-70,000, but who's counting, right?

They were surprisingly gentle for a hive of this age, I figured I would be dealing with a large hot hive but this wasn't the case. I did not take a measurement but the hive was in my estimation between 8 and 9' long.

You can not obviously go in from the exterior to remove a beast like this, so I went in through the sheetrock ceiling, at least that's what the guy told me, and it looked like sheetrock. It was sheetrock, but with plaster underneath, so I had to whack that out as well. Whacking and cutting for like an hour to get the colony exposed.

I started on the opposite end of the entrance and removed the honeycomb first. Besides, I wasn't sure how far past the light fixture the comb had traveled. The comb stopped even with the beginning edge of the light fixture.

Once I had removed about 70lbs of honeycomb (which was excellent by the way) I hit brood comb. I was perhaps 2 hrs into the removal and by golly, I removed a section of comb and there she was in all her glory. Got a few good pictures of her too.

I wound up making two deeps to house them and almost pulled my back out getting them downstairs and onto my trailer. The combs were so old looking that I decided not to use a lot of it. I figure I could have filled four deeps easy on this one.

As an interesting sidenote, I wore this stupid shirt that my sister n law gave me, that has a picture of a squirrel with a nut. The caption on the shirt says, "Protect your nuts!" Well, I should have heeded my shirt's own advice, and protected mine, the left one to be exact. Man did that hurt!
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...JP
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« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2008, 12:36:35 AM »

JP, ah, don't sweat it, we all get in trouble now and then, me too, it is just a learning curve, hee, hee.  Wow, that was unbelievable, a 15 year old bee kingdom, ee gads!!!  So nice that you got it, and that you got so much too, and that queen, yeah!!!!  You must be exhausted by the time the day is done, I can't even begin to imagine what goes into this kind of work and you and others do with cutouts.  It kind of makes my head swim and I certainly don't wish I was there, nope.  Don't think I could ever get off on doing cutouts.  Now catching cute little swarms, that is my baileywick, I could do that all the time, so interesting.  What a t-shirt your Sister-in-Law gave you, she must have some kind of insight, hee, hee.  Best of a beautiful and wonderful day, more to come.  Cindi
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« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2008, 12:47:20 AM »

I really enjoyed seeing these photos of such a large hive. So amazing and I just love that you could find the queen in all that mess.

She is so beautiful

Good evening to you
Annette
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« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2008, 12:55:32 AM »

I really enjoyed seeing these photos of such a large hive. So amazing and I just love that you could find the queen in all that mess.

She is so beautiful

Good evening to you
Annette

Ain't she a dandy Annette? There are a few things that I forgot to mention. One was that the queen had honey on her when I found her. I must have cut a section of comb out, that dripped on her.

2nd thing is that I did most of the cut-out in very poor lighting as the bees were more accepting of my intrusions in the dark. The few times I put the overhead light on, the bees went nuts! Speaking of nuts...

...JP
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« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2008, 01:53:22 AM »

Honestly I didnt even know these posts were in here. I saw the removal button, clicked on it, it took awhile, I saw a map and went back to the main page. Sorry!
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« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2008, 07:40:38 AM »

Honestly I didnt even know these posts were in here. I saw the removal button, clicked on it, it took awhile, I saw a map and went back to the main page. Sorry!

That's the problem with this removal section, the map takes a bit to load (even on a cable connection), it's annoying, and many don't realize there are posts below it!

Oh yea, and JP, cool cut out.....have any frozen peas around?  evil
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« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2008, 07:48:01 AM »

Someone forgot to tell those bees that all the feral bees died...  Wink
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« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2008, 09:09:08 AM »

Someone forgot to tell those bees that all the feral bees died...  Wink

Michael, I wish you and Don could have seen this colony, I thought of both of you when I saw how small they were, tiny! In fact the guy I removed them for got stung last March, cutting the grass, and he remarked how small they were, and that he had begun to wonder if in fact these little honeybees that had been living there, according to him for the last 15 yrs, were indeed honeybees. I never had any temper issues with this hive, remarkably well behaved for a colony this size. He may have just ticked them off on a bad day last yr, cause he told me that was the first time anyone had ever been stung by them.

I will have to take a measurement of the cells, I was thinking somewhere in the 4.4 range. You use a micrometer huh Mike?

...JP
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« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2008, 10:01:17 AM »

Fabulous pictures!  Thanks for sharing them - I've wondered how the cut out looks after it's all over and your pictures tell it all.  The queen is gorgeous. 

At our bee club's last meeting Keith Fielder, a commercial beekeeper who uses no poisons in his hives, talked in the question period about the very old hives people find.  BTW, he is also a county agent for the Dept. of Ag.  In his talk he said that most hives reported to be years and years old really were not.  That in his experience, bees in a tree, say, build upward and when they have used all the space, they swarm.  Then another swarm arrives to take over the tree and start the whole process again, which he says takes about 3 years.

I don't see how that can apply in a colony stuffed between the rafters like this - so they must requeen themselves and go on and on and on and on and on.

Linda T in Atlanta
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JP
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« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2008, 10:22:50 AM »

Fabulous pictures!  Thanks for sharing them - I've wondered how the cut out looks after it's all over and your pictures tell it all.  The queen is gorgeous. 

At our bee club's last meeting Keith Fielder, a commercial beekeeper who uses no poisons in his hives, talked in the question period about the very old hives people find.  BTW, he is also a county agent for the Dept. of Ag.  In his talk he said that most hives reported to be years and years old really were not.  That in his experience, bees in a tree, say, build upward and when they have used all the space, they swarm.  Then another swarm arrives to take over the tree and start the whole process again, which he says takes about 3 years.

I don't see how that can apply in a colony stuffed between the rafters like this - so they must requeen themselves and go on and on and on and on and on.

Linda T in Atlanta

Linda, my queen is 15yrs old, dangit! Yeah, Who knows for sure what number queenie I got there but the bloodline still remains in my opinion.

...JP
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« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2008, 10:59:23 AM »

that's called lath and plaster.  you see it in old farm houses.  it can be a bit** to repair.  it also burns well. 

those pictures are great.  how did you ever find the queen in all of that?
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« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2008, 11:07:46 AM »

That is just friggen amazing.

Now are you going to tell me you repaired all those holes you made?  afro

Sincerely,
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« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2008, 03:02:53 PM »

I replied in a different post about the MAP everyone is concerned about, but please keep in mind that you just need to scroll down the page below the map - this page loads as fast as any other (as Robo said) but it is the map applet that takes time to load. Many posts have been stickied above concerning the use of the map and now the map might end up being in a child forum of this one, or moved elsewhere. My own choice is to keep it here and listen to the complaints, until someone comes up with a better solution. The map remains a growing feature initiated by Robo, it serves a good purpose and it belongs with this forum. Actually, this forum grew around the map, not the other way around.

If you aren't concerned about the map, then just scroll down to the posts. The map is a service to members, where is it suppose to go "other than this forum" is beyond me, I sit here pondering how to make everyone happy and then I remember, that is an impossibility in this life - this is not bliss, it is a beekeeping forum.

It's easy for me to make all kinds of promises, but I'm not the technical type and I have no idea what is involved moving applets around. And the mods and admins have enough to keep them busy, mostly moving posts from General to where they belong  Lips Sealed I'll just shut my mouth, I don't want JP thinking more sexy thoughts about me.  tongue
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« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2008, 03:35:50 PM »

Fabulous pictures!  Thanks for sharing them - I've wondered how the cut out looks after it's all over and your pictures tell it all.  The queen is gorgeous. 

At our bee club's last meeting Keith Fielder, a commercial beekeeper who uses no poisons in his hives, talked in the question period about the very old hives people find.  BTW, he is also a county agent for the Dept. of Ag.  In his talk he said that most hives reported to be years and years old really were not.  That in his experience, bees in a tree, say, build upward and when they have used all the space, they swarm.  Then another swarm arrives to take over the tree and start the whole process again, which he says takes about 3 years.

I don't see how that can apply in a colony stuffed between the rafters like this - so they must requeen themselves and go on and on and on and on and on.

Linda T in Atlanta

Linda, my queen is 15yrs old, dangit! Yeah, Who knows for sure what number queenie I got there but the bloodline still remains in my opinion.

...JP
Holy crap that's amazing!  Can bees really live that long?  And what kind of donkey doesn't know they have bees in their belfry for 15 years!!!   Once you move those bees, will they stay together as a single hive?  Will any straglers try to re-set up shop in the celing? I'm totally enthralled at the fantasticness of bees...
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JP
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« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2008, 03:49:42 PM »

That is just friggen amazing.

Now are you going to tell me you repaired all those holes you made?  afro

Sincerely,
Brendhan



Every last hole Brendhan, ever heard of duct tape, Bahahaahahaahahaah!!! The guy is renovating that room and he said I could demolish the walls ceiling, it didn't matter. He's going back in with sheetrock. Btw, I said I do most all repairs. I don't fool with sheetrock nor plaster, yet.

...JP
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« Reply #15 on: March 20, 2008, 03:56:53 PM »

I replied in a different post about the MAP everyone is concerned about, but please keep in mind that you just need to scroll down the page below the map - this page loads as fast as any other (as Robo said) but it is the map applet that takes time to load. Many posts have been stickied above concerning the use of the map and now the map might end up being in a child forum of this one, or moved elsewhere. My own choice is to keep it here and listen to the complaints, until someone comes up with a better solution. The map remains a growing feature initiated by Robo, it serves a good purpose and it belongs with this forum. Actually, this forum grew around the map, not the other way around.

If you aren't concerned about the map, then just scroll down to the posts. The map is a service to members, where is it suppose to go "other than this forum" is beyond me, I sit here pondering how to make everyone happy and then I remember, that is an impossibility in this life - this is not bliss, it is a beekeeping forum.

It's easy for me to make all kinds of promises, but I'm not the technical type and I have no idea what is involved moving applets around. And the mods and admins have enough to keep them busy, mostly moving posts from General to where they belong  Lips Sealed I'll just shut my mouth, I don't want JP thinking more sexy thoughts about me.  tongue

John, I have tried bypassing the map, by scrolling down rapidly, but sometimes it just goes to this loading thing. I will complain no more about this as you are correct in that the map goes here. It just takes a little longer to load. Sorry about all the fuss. I can live with it. And I always, always want you to know that I appreciate what you have done by creating and running this site. Yes, you are one sexy beemaster!

...JP
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« Reply #16 on: March 20, 2008, 03:59:55 PM »

that's called lath and plaster.  you see it in old farm houses.  it can be a bit** to repair.  it also burns well. 

those pictures are great.  how did you ever find the queen in all of that?

Kathy, I found her because she wanted me to find her. I have no other explanation that would make sense.

...JP
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« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2008, 04:14:44 PM »

Quote from Hellbent: Holy crap that's amazing!  Can bees really live that long?  And what kind of donkey doesn't know they have bees in their belfry for 15 years!!!   Once you move those bees, will they stay together as a single hive?  Will any straglers try to re-set up shop in the celing? I'm totally enthralled at the fantasticness of bees...

My response: This colony has lived there according to the owner of the property for 15yrs. This hive for sure has gone through several queens no doubt, in those yrs. The stragglers will die a cruel and unusual punishment because they would not go in the hive box I had set up for them. Naw, actually they will die Hellbent, but this colony will live on. You can't get every last bee in the box, that's just how it goes, unless you're dealing with a swarm or you can leave the new hive box at the location. I could not with these. Remember also, that bees only live some 45days anyway. Its the queen and her brood that progress the colony forward. I'm enthralled at how fantastic bees are as well. In the words of our very own welcoming committe president, Cindi, you have a truly groovy, mesmerizing, wonderfully enchanting day!

...JP
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« Reply #18 on: March 20, 2008, 07:17:24 PM »

Thats something, JP, about how small the bees were. I dont usually get much out of my trips to the bee club but this past Tuesday the guys was talking about how the bees get smaller every time a cell gets used. So, After time, a hive box that doesnt get cared for and which the bees keep using the same frames and foundation over and over again, eventually will produce littler bees as the cells get smaller from a build up of leftover stuff inside them. So, for once, I pretty much understand what you've written about as far as this 15 year old hive having little bees!
 This is great!

Now, I'm gonna go look at your pictures!
your friend,
john
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« Reply #19 on: March 21, 2008, 03:12:03 AM »

Thanks for the info John. I probably would have continued to wait for the map instead of scrolling down.
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« Reply #20 on: March 21, 2008, 06:40:52 AM »

Can bees really live that long?


The bees done live that long,  but a colony can.   Here is a cutout I did last Spring that they claimed had been there 30 years.  I could see evidence of the colony moving over 12 feet across the wall cavity.
http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php?topic=9430.0
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« Reply #21 on: March 21, 2008, 07:22:54 AM »

Can bees really live that long?


The bees done live that long,  but a colony can.   Here is a cutout I did last Spring that they claimed had been there 30 years.  I could see evidence of the colony moving over 12 feet across the wall cavity.
http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php?topic=9430.0


Hey Rob, that section of triangular comb reminds me of one I did the other day. I will be getting more pics from the home owners soon, so hopefully I can post some of those. I know he took pics through the window of different sections of comb I pulled out including one or two triangular pieces.

I saw this post last yr when you posted it, that's an interesting one you did there to say the least, 30yrs of bees. Whom was living with who?


...JP
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« Reply #22 on: March 21, 2008, 08:45:00 AM »

JP,
 
I have no idea how long they were REALLY there.  The people remember them there when they where kids.  For all I know they could have died off and a new swarms moved in as the house had been vacant for quite a few years.  All I know that there where bees there for many years from all the debris.   

I know you have done a lot more removals than me,  but I still find myself in amazement quite often as to what these marvelous creates are capable of.

Have a good one...............
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« Reply #23 on: March 21, 2008, 08:48:38 AM »

Small educational note for those working on plaster lathe walls. It sucks even more than stucco and wire mesh.

The reason being is that the one tool I use a lot to cut openings, the sawzall, is one of the worst tools to use in this case. A circular saw is better but not by much.

The wood planks in a lathe wall vibrate under the effect of a sawzall of jigsaw and crack the wall or ceiling in areas you aren't cutting. Sections of plaster can break loose many feet away from where you are cutting. You can cause a crack to run the entire length of the wall or ceiling if the vibrations catch it in just the right manner. It can make for a very unhappy homeowner. And I am sure you would not be happy either.

In this case a circular saw is the best choice. However it does not guarantee there won't be any issues.

If you do you need to use a composite style blade because it has no teeth and can cut through the plaster better. You will loose teeth (on your blade) if you use a normal blade. The plaster is the substance you have to cut the the lathe boards aren't very thick so they will cut with a composite blade.

Now for another side note. Using a composite blade on wood creates smoke and smell. if the home has a smoke detector it will go off. Not that I would know anything about that.


Strictly for educational purposes. Your results may vary. Allow 6-8 weeks for delivery.

Sincerely,
Brendhan

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« Reply #24 on: March 21, 2008, 10:18:03 AM »

Small educational note for those working on plaster lathe walls. It sucks even more than stucco and wire mesh.

The reason being is that the one tool I use a lot to cut openings, the sawzall, is one of the worst tools to use in this case. A circular saw is better but not by much.

The wood planks in a lathe wall vibrate under the effect of a sawzall of jigsaw and crack the wall or ceiling in areas you aren't cutting. Sections of plaster can break loose many feet away from where you are cutting. You can cause a crack to run the entire length of the wall or ceiling if the vibrations catch it in just the right manner. It can make for a very unhappy homeowner. And I am sure you would not be happy either.

In this case a circular saw is the best choice. However it does not guarantee there won't be any issues.

If you do you need to use a composite style blade because it has no teeth and can cut through the plaster better. You will loose teeth (on your blade) if you use a normal blade. The plaster is the substance you have to cut the the lathe boards aren't very thick so they will cut with a composite blade.

Now for another side note. Using a composite blade on wood creates smoke and smell. if the home has a smoke detector it will go off. Not that I would know anything about that.


Strictly for educational purposes. Your results may vary. Allow 6-8 weeks for delivery.

Sincerely,
Brendhan



Brendhan, you could not have summed up better what I went through to go through the plaster. I tried the skill saw and it was tough to hold it up to the ceiling and use it without cutting any fingers off, or perhaps a nose, I have other fingers, just one nose, so I grabbed the sawzall. You just reminded me that I need to get new blades, they seem to not hold up that well when cutting through plaster and aged wood runners, that must have been concrete in a past life. Ahhh the smoke! What cut-out would not be complete without a little smoke? If it weren't for the 3mil plastic and heavy blue tarp that was duct taped to the floor, I would swear that after I had finished with this job, the room should have been condemned. The home owner btw well before I bagan this job told me that he was planning on renovating the entire room and that it was perfectly alright to do whatever I had to to remove the bees live. Got to love customers like that. Sure beat the whiny ones that complain you got a speck of honey on their beautiful 1970's green shag carpet, that needed changing out at least two decades ago. Rule #1 on cut-outs, have fun! Yes indeed!

...JP
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« Reply #25 on: March 21, 2008, 12:23:54 PM »

I would love to know what the  mite count is on that hive, since it small cell. It would be very educational and good information for us people trying to regress to small cell.

Annette
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« Reply #26 on: March 21, 2008, 01:49:17 PM »

I would love to know what the  mite count is on that hive, since it small cell. It would be very educational and good information for us people trying to regress to small cell.

Annette

You didn't hear all the feral hives are gone. (MB said something like that with toungue in cheek)

On all the feral hives I have done even those in swarm mode (those have lots of drone cells). My mite count is usually very low. It is hard to do a mite count sine you really can't so a shake off on a feral hive. I do inspect feral hives. I use to be much more critical about it when I first started. All the fear of having AFB, mites or something else come into my bee farm and destroy my hives. But after a while a little light goes on over your head. The feral survivors survive for a reason they are accumulated to dealing with the threats that exist out there.

The worst I see in feral hives is chalkbrood and then very mild instances of it.

The thing is with feral hives if there is an issue. They either don't survive or abscond. That is why when you find those 15 year old hives you start grabbing as much brood larvae as you can feed every last one of them royal jelly and turn into queens and sell them on ebay for millions, thus retiring to Australia a rich man where they have no Varroa. But I digress on mentioning my financial plans.

Most of the feral hives I see have small cell or close to it for their brood. Drone cells, pollen and honey cells vary widely.

Sincerely,
Brendhan

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« Reply #27 on: March 21, 2008, 11:20:20 PM »

Beautiful Pictures.I love ferral bees.I have got six swarms this spring and one cut out.The ferral bees are Booming in Los Angeles
kirko

Oh don't tell the media or the experts the Ferral bees are Booming.Well what do you expect no mitecides no chemicals in the hive natural comb clean wax oh yeah sshh the chemical companies will find out
kirko

keep it on the QT
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« Reply #28 on: March 22, 2008, 12:00:57 AM »

Wow Jp that is huge. Ya the very first colony I remove from that tree and then they drowned were small amd when I measured the comb is was 4.5. And this last cutout I did they are huge and not at all small cell. When I saw the queen finally Yesterday and saw they are drawing out the foundation she is HUGE. I will have to take my camera out there and try to get a picture of her soon she is also very DARK. That was great that you did not have to do the repairs. I dont do mine or wont but if I was getting paid I would do them. Glad you found the queen and they are in small cell comb and you have that genetics which is worth allot.

Angi


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« Reply #29 on: March 22, 2008, 12:05:48 AM »

Wow Jp that is huge. Ya the very first colony I remove from that tree and then they drowned were small amd when I measured the comb is was 4.5. And this last cutout I did they are huge and not at all small cell. When I saw the queen finally Yesterday and saw they are drawing out the foundation she is HUGE. I will have to take my camera out there and try to get a picture of her soon she is also very DARK. That was great that you did not have to do the repairs. I dont do mine or wont but if I was getting paid I would do them. Glad you found the queen and they are in small cell comb and you have that genetics which is worth allot.

Angi

Angi, when you described your cut-out, I felt confident you had got your queen, now you have the proof. Dark queens are hard to spot, especially since the norm seems to be golden on ferals. Way to go!

...JP
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« Reply #30 on: March 22, 2008, 12:16:34 AM »


That is why when you find those 15 year old hives you start grabbing as much brood larvae as you can feed every last one of them royal jelly and turn into queens and sell them on ebay for millions, thus retiring to Australia a rich man where they have no Varroa. But I digress on mentioning my financial plans.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
[/quote]

Brendhan Oh my thoughts for sure. I have been wanting to move to Au for years and years since I was a kid. I want to move to QLD into Brisbane Area. Nice mild subtropical area with no frost and no 100+ degree days. Aaaaa to dream. And on the cutout I did there was no mites. And on the drone brood I did not save I opened them up to find no mites. Hopefully it will stay that way. Next week I will start doing PS shakes on them. JP again what a wonderful job you did. I wish I had money to advertise in the phone book/newspaper about doing this but then again I need to buy more hive boxes lol. As I have to pick up 2 4lb packages on the 31st.


Angi
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« Reply #31 on: March 22, 2008, 12:22:19 AM »

Thank you Angi, and thank you very much for posting about yours, I really enjoyed your stories and your pics. When we tell these stories and post these pics, someone out there is perhaps able to use some of what we have given them as an aid on their next job. Sharing our passion and understandings is what its all about.


...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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