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Author Topic: Year #2 of keeping bees & Packages installed!!!  (Read 1372 times)
Sean Kelly
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« on: April 14, 2008, 01:07:52 AM »

Well I just celebrated my first complete year of keeping bees successfully!  My 1 hive I started with last April had been split only 2 months after package installation and let the new hive raise their own queen.  Because of such an early split, I never had the chance to harvest any honey besides the occasional taste while in the bee yard.  Both hives survived winter as if it were from a text book.

And what a better way to celebrate 1 year of bees than to install two new packages!!!!!!  WHOO HOOO!!!!  What a rush, I forgot how cool it was!  And this time around it was TWICE the fun with two packages.  It definately went faster this time since I knew what to expect.  My best friend from childhood was in town and assisted me (by taking pictures, he wasn't sure about getting any closer).

Last year's install was in the rain (had a makeshift leantoo I threw together of long poles and a blue plastic tarp) and was about 50 degrees.  This year the temp got up around 80!!!!  The hotest day of the year so far (and to think only 2 weeks ago it was snowing)!

80 degree package install is much different.  The bees seemed terribly mad.  When I work with my bees, I NEVER get stung.  Yesterday I endured 3 hits!  One bee found it's way inside my shoe and got me on the side of the foot.  Another somehow got me through my leather bee gloves (must be time to replace them, getting too thin).  And after the installation was complete and everything was put away, we all sat down in lawn chairs in the shade and had some iced tea while watching the new girls get orientated.  While sitting there, out of the blue a bee started pinging my head and was in full attack mode!  I was 50 yards away from their hive and this one was trying to get me a half hour after the install was done!!!  I must have made a bad first impression for them to come looking for me!  lol.  Well I tried to get away but she nailed me right on top of the noggin, the most painful bee sting I've ever had!!!  Couldn't see the stinger so my wife got the oppourtunity to remove her first stinger from her husband's scalp.  lol

Stings aside, it went very well and of course I had a blast.  Today the bees were doing their thing, taking orientation flights and checking out the yard.

I know a lot of you let the queen out right away and I thought about doing this too but went ahead and stuffed marshmellows in the hole.  Think it would be cool to let her out tomorrow after only 2 days?  I'm not going to have hardly any other time next week since I'm going to be working and next weekend I have a wedding in Oregon to go to.  Probably would be alright..... right?

Have lots of pics, cropping them down now.  Will post em in a little while!

Sean Kelly
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"My son,  eat  thou honey,  because it is good;  and the honeycomb,  which is sweet  to thy taste"          - Proverbs 24:13
Sean Kelly
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Location: Buckley, Wa

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« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2008, 01:35:56 AM »

Here's the mess before install:


Say hello to Queen Lady Marmalade III:


Queen Lady Marmalade III in her new home:


Queen Lady Marmalade III's royal court:


Ahhhh.... home sweet home:


And now say hello to Queen Lady Marmalade IV and Sean Kelly:


Welcome to the newly expanded Kelly Bee Farm!
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"My son,  eat  thou honey,  because it is good;  and the honeycomb,  which is sweet  to thy taste"          - Proverbs 24:13
Sean Kelly
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« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2008, 01:08:16 PM »

Did I put up too many pictures?  Lots of views of this post but no responses.  I sometimes forget that not everyone has broadband.  lol

Sean Kelly
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"My son,  eat  thou honey,  because it is good;  and the honeycomb,  which is sweet  to thy taste"          - Proverbs 24:13
beekeeperookie
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« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2008, 01:47:19 PM »

congrats!!!!! on your second year, same here for me.  I am still waiting for my packages to come in....
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Jingles
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« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2008, 01:59:36 PM »

Congratulations!!!

Love the pics (sorry about all the stings, though!)



Love, Marla
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SystemShark
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« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2008, 02:45:40 PM »

Great pix; Very much excited to do this myself soon! How much yard do you need for those 5 hives? I'm looking at some houses and I'll be lucky to get half an acre; gunna start with 2 hives.
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annette
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« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2008, 03:03:05 PM »

I loved each and every one of your photos and I hope they were all ok to post. They made the story make sense.

Have fun with them all.

Annette
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Sean Kelly
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« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2008, 04:08:57 PM »

Great pix; Very much excited to do this myself soon! How much yard do you need for those 5 hives? I'm looking at some houses and I'll be lucky to get half an acre; gunna start with 2 hives.

Half an acre is plenty!  I'm on a 1/4 acre and still have room for more bees + my HUGE vegetable garden + enough lawn that you need a riding mower.  For the bees to forage, we are backed up to several thousand acres of woods and meadows.  On the other side of us there are a couple pumpkin farms and an organic co-op.  Not to mention eveyone in our neighborhood pretty much has a garden of sorts.

Went out and checked the queen cages today and the marshmellows were gone and the queens were no where to be found.  One queen cage has burr comb hanging off of it which was funny since they put all their work into making this instead of trying to draw the foundation out.  Looks neat though.

Sean Kelly
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"My son,  eat  thou honey,  because it is good;  and the honeycomb,  which is sweet  to thy taste"          - Proverbs 24:13
Sean Kelly
Field Bee
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Gender: Male
Posts: 903


Location: Buckley, Wa

I Pick; Therefore I Grin


WWW
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2008, 06:39:11 PM »

Just thought of something else...  when I installed my bees last year they pooped all over everything.  This year the new packages didn't poop at all.  Kinda weird.  Still sprayed them down the same, didn't really do anything different.  Hmm....  Wierd...

Sean Kelly
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"My son,  eat  thou honey,  because it is good;  and the honeycomb,  which is sweet  to thy taste"          - Proverbs 24:13
_Brenda_
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« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2008, 07:17:00 PM »

Great photos. Congrats on the new bees. Smiley
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Brenda
the kid
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« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2008, 09:20:37 PM »

Wecome to the addiction  ,,, I mean beekeeping ,,, the stings come with playing thousands of stinging insects ...  best of luck with your new girls
the kid
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