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Author Topic: 2008 Lessons Learned  (Read 2289 times)
UtahBees
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« on: November 22, 2008, 02:06:21 AM »

So winter is coming (or has come) for many of us. Understudy is putting his long pants on instead of shorts, while us in colder climate areas, turn up the heater and watch the snow fall.

Since switching jobs in May, I obviously have been absent from the board, but not absent from beekeeping. Please excuse my neglect.

There are a few things that I've learned this year, and would like to share. Hopefully we can also share laughs. Post your "lessons learned" from this year as well.

Some Items From My List:

1) Have an epi-pen handy
2.) Don't try to move your hives in un-laced tennis shoes at night (see #1)
3.) Have the right plan for moving two full hives from your home to another location
4.) Bees can come back and aren't happy when you move their hive (see #3). In fact, they get nasty with whomever is around the area, including neighbors
5.) If starting a new hive, and using built-out comb (say from a previous year's hive, or from a sister hive), expect the bees to be able to put that to use much quicker than if they were starting from foundation only. Watch them closely than normal, else they will run out of room fast!

I hope this message finds you all well. I look forward to reading your "lessons learned" from this year.



Regards,

Scott
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Fannbee
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« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2008, 10:05:36 PM »

Plan better for swarm season.  Had a good nectar flow in MS compared to 07 when we it was very dry.  The ladies were bring the nectar in faster than I was used to.

 
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Chuck and Fran
mlewis48
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« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2008, 10:58:34 PM »

 I have to agree with the swarm prevention, first year with Russians.
    2. The Eppi-pen is a plus. My older brother had a reaction to some stings and went down. That was more than I was ready for! Lucky for us, both of our wives are nurses!
    3.  Have more equipment on stand by so I don't have to hussle to catch a swarm or a flow that is heavier than I thought it would be.
    4.  Say "no" to family that has a swarm in the wall that needs removed for the bees and a free lunch.
    5. Start raising my own queens to save money and to choose what qualities that I want.
    6.  Don't bite off more than I can chew!!!!!
 That is just some of the small things that I can think of but Iam sure that I can come up with a 100 more hard lessons learned.
                                                    Marc
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annette
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« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2008, 01:08:38 AM »

1.  If I end up with another laying worker hive, I do not think I will spend all summer trying to save it, but shake them out in front of my other hive.

2. I will remember to place at least one drawn out frame in the center of a super filled with foundationless frames so they do not draw out a mess again.

3. If I move a hive again, I will be more prepared and not freak out when the bees become disoriented for several days.

4.  I ended up with one hive 6 medium supers tall during the honey flow thinking they were building up fine. Instead they had to much room for the population and the wax moths came in. I will be more aware next time when adding supers to check on them more often.

I will stay calm, patient and try not to worry so much about them. I will do the work, but surrender the results.
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UtahBees
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« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2008, 01:35:10 AM »

Excellent lessons! I think we all learned about swarms this season - very interesting!

Thanks for sharing - any more takers?

Scott
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Keith13
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« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2008, 08:34:09 AM »

When someone gives you a free hive do not stop and open them up at your moms house because you thought they were going to overheat go ahead and bring them all the way to the bee yard (poor roofers never knew what hit them)  shocked shocked embarassed

Keith
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bassman1977
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« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2008, 11:45:45 AM »

Next time the state inspector comes out to inspect, I am going to have him come on a weekend and not at 5:00pm on a week day like he did this past year.  That was stupid and all because he was in the area already and didn't want to make another trip.  The bees were not in a good mood at that time.  He got stung a lot and we had to rush the inspection.
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BeeHopper
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« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2008, 12:59:57 PM »

Lessons learned huh

Don't trust the Bees, period.  evil

How many times did this cross your mind:

" Oh Goody, Warm, Sunny and Calm today, I'll just forget the Hat & Veil, the girls will be nice "


A few minutes later, BAM ! Right on the Kisser !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Cry  Cry Cry Cry




I'll never forget that fat lip as long as I live.  embarassed




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utahbeekeeper
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« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2008, 01:35:33 PM »

Yes, beekeeping in the "Bee Hive State" is always teaching the husbandryman.

1.  I will no longer be afraid of a queen excluder.  Not to dis other opinions on their use, but I love knowing where the queen isn't, and not having to deal with medium frames with brood in them at harvest time.  If there is a flow, the supers will fill above an excluder . . . 200 pounds per hive is is not indicative of any restriction in production above the wire.

2.  Encourage wife to don veil when observing even our mild manored bees, with fresh fruity shampoo job on her curly full head of hair.  5 stings but no reaction.

3.  When dog manifests ears red and thick as scones (normally thin like a neck tie) know that it is ok to administer benadryl for her comfort. Vet Facts on human drugs for dogs  I am sure that was mentioned here before, but we did check with our vet as well before giving her the drugs.

4.  Never carry or attempt to carry a super with only 6 or 7 full frames of honey in it.  It does not have to get skewed very much for some of those fat, perfect frames of honey to drop hard to the ground.

5.  Don't eat honey after oh . . . . . say . . . . 4:00 PM if one wants to be sleepy by 9:30 on a work night.  Now on a Saturday night when my wife cooks salmon with honey and lime glaze, and mentions that our 15 year old is sleeping over somewhere . . . . then it is double dose time!!
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bassman1977
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« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2008, 09:05:25 AM »

Quote
I will no longer be afraid of a queen excluder.  Not to dis other opinions on their use, but I love knowing where the queen isn't, and not having to deal with medium frames with brood in them at harvest time.  If there is a flow, the supers will fill above an excluder . . . 200 pounds per hive is is not indicative of any restriction in production above the wire.

I have to agree with you here.  I had half of my hives with an excluder on this year and the other have without.  I didn't notice a difference.  I have regressed hives and they didn't seem to have an issue getting through the wires.  I will be using them 100% from here on out.  I also like to know where the queen is not and also not having to dig through the entire hive to find a full box of honey with no eggs or brood in each frame.  With 12 hives, that gets old.
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Cindi
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« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2008, 09:48:58 AM »

Sorry, off topic, how can Bassman 1977 be a "King Bee" and a "Queen Bee" at the same time, look at his avitar, a man of many faces?  Hee, hee, smiling....have a wonderful and most awesome day, great health.  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
bassman1977
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« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2008, 10:55:26 AM »

Quote
Sorry, off topic, how can Bassman 1977 be a "King Bee" and a "Queen Bee" at the same time, look at his avitar, a man of many faces?  Hee, hee, smiling....have a wonderful and most awesome day, great health.  Cindi

It's a horrible technicality.   rolleyes
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GaryMinckler
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« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2008, 11:25:26 AM »

I'd suggest to always put up an electric fence, even if you've never seen a bear in your area.  Taking a chance without one can really slow you down if you only have a few hives in one spot.
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steveouk
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« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2008, 12:45:48 AM »

Leasons i learnt

1. Dont buy nucs from other beekeepers, buy packages
2. Leave them alone, did i say leave them alone.
3. The first sting hurts then the rest hurt less.
4. Too much smoke pee'd the bee's off the same amount as no smoke.
5. Never use a push mower around the bee's it pee'd them off.
6. Weed eaters never piss bee's off.
7. If you capture a swarm you probably didn't get the queen, so order one or raise your own.
8. Leave them alone, did i mention leave them alone !
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bassman1977
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« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2008, 08:25:07 AM »

Quote
6. Weed eaters never piss bee's off.

Hrm...wish I had the same experience.
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edenviewgarden
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Jane


« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2008, 09:15:41 AM »

When someone gives you a free hive do not stop and open them up at your moms house because you thought they were going to overheat go ahead and bring them all the way to the bee yard (poor roofers never knew what hit them)  shocked shocked embarassed

Keith

Probably because I have not been stung by our girls yet, I found the liberty to find this post really funny. Thanks Keith.
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RogerB
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« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2008, 06:30:24 PM »

Quote
I will no longer be afraid of a queen excluder.  Not to dis other opinions on their use, but I love knowing where the queen isn't, and not having to deal with medium frames with brood in them at harvest time.  If there is a flow, the supers will fill above an excluder . . . 200 pounds per hive is is not indicative of any restriction in production above the wire.

  Excluders work most of the time, but our experience has been to find brood above the excluder once in a great while.

Roger
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Roger
afretired
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« Reply #17 on: November 29, 2008, 11:04:16 PM »

No matter how bad you want the bees, trying to capture them with a trap-out is a lot more work than the bees are worth.
If everyone says to shake out a hive with a laying worker, there is probably a good reason for it. You can't hardly save a laying worker hive.
It's better to combine week hives than to let them die out.
If you get off by one day on your schedule when raising queens it's to late.
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tillie
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« Reply #18 on: November 30, 2008, 02:02:36 PM »

Lessons from this year:

  • A hive without any evidence of a laying queen is not necessarily queenless
  • Catching swarms is FUN and you get free bees
  • But swarms do not necessarily thrive just because you gave them a good home - the smallest most hopeless looking swarm I captured this year turned out to be a fabulous hive and the biggest swarm I caught didn't make it through the summer
  • It's not that scary to enter honey in a honey contest
  • Pouring a great wax block is extremely challenging - even for old well-seasoned beekeepers, unlike my novice self

I'm sure there are more, but this is what comes to mind as I read the previous posts

Linda T in Atlanta

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