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Author Topic: Well, its Official. I'm a Beekeeper.  (Read 3132 times)
Natalie
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« Reply #20 on: April 14, 2009, 05:37:31 PM »

Thanks everyone. I guess it would have to be from the trees like you said, since I can't find anything else in bloom yet.
I only have dogwood and kwanzi cherry trees (that are being very stubborn at the moment)in my yard but the surrounding neighbors have some maples and oak trees.
Whatever source its coming from its a very bright yellow.
Its fascinating to watch them coming and going and they are a pretty color.
They let you sit right in front of the hives without bothering you, they are too busy doing what they do.
These are both Russians, from what I had heard I wasn't sure what to expect but these bees are very mellow.
The breeder told me that he was excited about the queens he produced this year,he said they are from the same stock that he had 4 years ago and they were the best ones he ever had, so we'll see if they do as well as he says to expect.
Since they are getting so much pollen they should be building brood nicely, the russians are known to usually shut down brood rearing when their isn't any pollen.
It will be interesting to note the differences between the different races of bees and how and if they will differ being put into a lang or topbar hive.
We set up the topbar hives today, I am just about finished painting them and they will be ready to be inhabited soon.
Those will be fun to watch and learn from as well.
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Davepeg
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« Reply #21 on: April 14, 2009, 06:15:42 PM »

Natalie (and son),
Welcome to the wonderful world of bees. When my husband started 4 years ago, I was just an innocent bystander.  Well of course I got the bee bug and had to have my own hive (an observation hive which is really neat to have).
I'm glad your son is taking an interest.  Get him his own journal, even if he can't yet write in it, he can scribe to you and add his own pictures.  Sometime for him to show his grandparents and friends.

Have fun, I hope your girls stay gentle always.
Peg
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We love the girls...
Natalie
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« Reply #22 on: April 14, 2009, 10:49:45 PM »

Thank so much, that is an awesome idea. I love the idea of a journal. That will be a great thing for him to be able to share with people. It would also be a nice thing to be able to show at school and to help other children learn about bees.
So many kids just think that bees are something to be afraid of but don't understand how much bees contribute to the world.
He was so cute at bee school tonight, everyone was asking him about the bees and he is so proud.
The other students think its great that a child is so interested in beekeeping, there are 80 people in that class and he knows more people than I do.
Some of the students found out that he raises chickens and sells eggs and they gave him a large order tonight. He was so pleased.
My husband is becoming more interested in it now that we actually have the bees here.
I am the one that decided to take up the hobby and he just kind of tagged along for the ride.
He went to the beekeeping courses as well but he didn't care about reading the books or going online and researching them or anything. He just left it all up to me.
Now that the bees are here he is much more interested in learning about them.
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« Reply #23 on: April 15, 2009, 05:01:26 AM »

So four years into beekeeping without a sting means I'm not a beekeeper?  Good to know!  Wink  Kidding......

your is coming , they just saving them for a all at once catch up  evil ,

Feels good doesn't it Natalie to finally see in person what most are posting about here, welcome to the club!!! now you can go and work your bee's when ever you want to, just remember in honey season you just want to check the action at the entrance and take a peek and see if you need to add another super  Wink , also remember to add the new foundation super under a filled super, it doesn't have to be capped, just watch your supers, they can fill up in no time in a strong flow. if anything I said you need more info on just ask and I will explain unless someone else does first.... congratulations!!!!
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THAT's ME TO THE LEFT JUST 5 YEARS FROM NOW!!!!!!!!

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Natalie
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« Reply #24 on: May 31, 2009, 10:21:50 PM »

So I thought I would update my thread a little about what I have been doing with the bees.
I started with a couple of russian nucs and put them in medium langs on foundationless frames.
All is going well with them.
I have since picked up some ferals, more russians, local overwintered russian/carni crosses and minnesota hygenics from another beekeeper who raised them all on natural comb.
These bees are so small I cannot believe the difference between them and my others, especially the ferals.
Those are in langs and topbar hives.
Today I picked up some New World Carniolans from a beekeeper the next state over.
I drove up and picked them up and as soon as I pulled in my driveway my neighbor came running over to ask me to remove a swarm from his yard. ( I have a thread about that) so I hived 5 new colonies today.
When I picked up the bees today the beekeeper told me he hadn't had a chance to pull frames from his hives for me but told me to go ahead and do it myself while he took care of some other customers. shocked

He apparently trusted us enough to go into his hives and get them ourselves.
I did not have any gloves with me so wasn't thrilled about that but I had my jacket and my husband's in the back of the car which was lucky for us, actually I wouldn't have gone near these hives without a jacket anyway.
We threw our jackets on and opened up the hives and pulled the frames to make up 4 nucs and then he gave us the mated queens.
He has been very good to us on some special orders so I won't complain about the self service. Wink
We joked around about it afterwards. As I was walking out of the bee yard into the main yard carrying a nuc with bees all around me I turned to a woman there who was waiting for bees and told her to go and get them.
She looked shocked and I said, yup I'm a customer too and this is self serve here, the look on her face was priceless.
I would love to say the frame gathering was uneventful but alas these bees did not want to be disturbed and let us know it.
I got the newest New World Carniolan queens that Sue Colby just developed so I am really looking forward to see how they do.
I was lucky enough to get those feral bees from someone last week along with some other bees bred and over wintered here so I have some good stuff going on in my yard and I am really excited to see how they all do.
I'll put up some pictures this week of the hives.


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JP
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« Reply #25 on: June 01, 2009, 08:09:33 AM »

Natalie, your excitement definitely eminates through your writing accounts, you have me excited as well, as if I'm there with you on your adventures.

Self serve nucs, bahahahaahahahaahaha, I would love to have seen the look on that lady's face!

Your guy should put up a sign, "You want bees? Come and get them!"


...JP
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« Reply #26 on: June 01, 2009, 09:47:47 AM »

Your guy should put up a sign, "You want bees? Come and get them!"
...JP
Or "Welcome to the Molon Labe Apiary".  cheesy
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Natalie
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« Reply #27 on: June 01, 2009, 10:25:44 AM »

Thanks Jp. It really was funny to mess with the other beeks there.
Two guys came up to me while I was pulling frames from the hives and they were very nervous and wouldn't get too close.
One of them yelled over, we are here to pick up two nucs, he thought we worked there so I said okay come on over and get them.
He kind of stuttered and said huh? I said come one over and pick which ones you want.
He looks shocked and turns to his friend and says man,what is this?
Just then the beek that owns the place walked by and said come on Natalie you guys are killing me here and assured the customer he would be waited on.
I said why him and not us we had to get our own? It was funny to mess with people but I never realized how nervous or even scared some beeks are of bees.

I am tellling you we had quite the day yesterday but it was all good in the end.
I drove to the next state over to pick up the nucs(after driving to New York for bees last week) and thats when I found it was self serve, today my hand looks like the hamburger helper hand from that commercial. The back of my hand took several stings at that guy's beeyard and its pretty swollen today.
I am suppose to make 3 dozen cupcakes for my son's school later too. Think its okay if I don't actually stir the batter? grin

What is it about the hands? Bees love our hands.
Especially my husband's. Actually they love to sting him. I can be standing right next to him and they will go after him every time.
He put a pair of gloves on at the bee yard and there were a few bees inside them....OUCH.
I am lucky he is so good natured because I literally threw him into beekeeping.
I usually put vicks vapor rub on my hands before I work the bees to keep them away from my hands but I did not think I was going to be working bees at this beeyard so I was not prepared.

When we got back from picking up the nucs I had all these bees plastered to the back window that had been escaping from one of the nucs.
I said to my husband could you see if we got pulled over by the police right now?
Officer: Did you see me trying to pull you over?
Us: No officer we couldn't see you through all the bees on the back window. grin

So I get home and my neighbor runs over to us as we are getting out of the car and tells us about the swarm in his yard.
 Now I never told these people that we keep bees but he must have heard it or seen the hives or whatever so when he first told us about the swarm he asked if we thought it was from our yard I didn't know if he was upset or not so I replied "what would make you think they are our bees?"
I realized trying to act nonchalent about it was completely absurd when I saw him staring wide eyed at my back window that is now plastered with bees.
He is like what the heck you guys look at all the bees in your car.  shocked I just blurted out, never mind that I have to run my daughter to a playdate and when I get back I will get that swarm and jumped in my car and drove away.
Later on my husband kept repeating to me that phrase "what makes you think they are our bees" and laughing.
I drove my daughter in the beeless car, I don't want anyone to think I drove her in the bee filled car.

I knew there was at least one other beekeeper in our neighborhood, I found out about him a couple of weeks ago but I didn't know about this other one until he came over as I was collecting the swarm yesterday.

He said he checked his hive and the swarm wasn't his but there are other beeks in the neighborhood.
So its not inconceivable that there would be and probably will be more swarms in the neighborhood, I'll just have to keep my eyes open for them now.
The beekeeper I just found out about came over afterwards and asked alot of questions and kept saying how impressed he was.
He only keeps one hive and has had it a year and in talking to him I realized that he does not really know much about bees at all.
Everything single thing he said about bees is inaccurate.
He asked if he could come over and help inspect my hives so he can learn, he has never heard of a topbar hive or foundationless frames and he thought the word feral meant africanized(he was upset when he found out I had feral stock and was worried that I would contaminate everyone else's bees) so even though I am new at beekeeping I know alot more than he does so I am going to try and help educate him to whatever extent that I am capable of.
He also seemed really afraid of the bees and kept saying there is a bee on you or there is a bee on your hood, that type of stuff.
I had my protective gear on so I kept telling him it didn't matter.

Today my oldest daughter went out to the car to go to work and came in yelling that there were still bees flying around in the car.
I said there is only a few just go to work they won't bother you.
She actually started crying and said out of all the things you guys have done the bee thing is just stupid.
She has never been thrilled about the chicken raising hobby either.
She refused to get in the car and she was late for work so I told my husband to drive the car down the street a little and get the bees out.
I don't know if that actually would work but it made her think it would and she seemed to feel a little better about it.
 I knew she was still mad when she left though because I heard her mumbling stuff like why can't you guys just be like normal parents as she went down the walkway.
Now why would I want to be like normal parents? That seems kind of boring.
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Irwin
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« Reply #28 on: June 01, 2009, 11:11:52 AM »

Natalie sound's like fun grin
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« Reply #29 on: June 01, 2009, 01:02:03 PM »

What fun and excitment for you Natalie.  I was curious how many hives you have now.



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Natalie
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« Reply #30 on: June 01, 2009, 02:27:49 PM »

I have 10 hives now, but one is a 2 queen hive so I actually hived 2 seperate colonies in it with 2 queens.
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annette
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« Reply #31 on: June 01, 2009, 04:19:34 PM »

Good luck with it all.  That is quite a lot for a new beekeeper. Do you have help with it?
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Natalie
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« Reply #32 on: June 01, 2009, 05:26:36 PM »

I have my husband and the hives are right in my backyard so I can keep an eye on them pretty well.
I can actually see them all from the windows in my kitchen, pantry and a bedroom and they are close enough that I can see if there is activity in front of the hives or not.
I feel fine about it and not overwhelmed but I am assuming its because I spent so long preparing for them.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #33 on: June 01, 2009, 11:21:29 PM »

I have my husband and the hives are right in my backyard so I can keep an eye on them pretty well.
I can actually see them all from the windows in my kitchen, pantry and a bedroom and they are close enough that I can see if there is activity in front of the hives or not.
I feel fine about it and not overwhelmed but I am assuming its because I spent so long preparing for them.


That's neat, having both your bees and your husband in the back yard so you can keep an eye on them.  Do you tie him up like I do my goats?
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Cindi
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« Reply #34 on: June 02, 2009, 11:30:09 AM »

Natalie, go, girl, go!!!  Well, shiver me timbers, a self-service apiary, how cool is that  Wink Smiley.  Good for you.  About the bee stings on the hands, always try to work without gloves if you can, believe it or not, it WILL prevent stings because even if you come close to hurting a little gal, you will feel her before there is harm done.  Another thing that I always keep handy when I am working with the bees is a gallon pail of cold water.  I have heard that if you plunge your hands (and your hive tool too, it makes the propolis hard, so it doesn't get overly sticky) into this cold water frequently, it keeps the pores more closed, your hands don't smell like sweat.  And I know in the hot sun, with nerves flyin' high even, those hands can get pretty ding dang sweaty.  Bees don't like the scent of sweat.  I would think that it reminds them of predators.  And our hands are actually like a predator to them, invasion of their personal space, hee, hee.  Just some thing that I know works for me.  May work for you.  And, it is actually nice to put your hands into cold water when you are hot, it seems to cool down the body temperature as well.  Words from an unwise, smiling.  So good that you are getting hands deep into the bees, yay!!!  Beautiful days, to love and live, to share, with your forum friends here, health.  Cindi
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Natalie
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« Reply #35 on: June 02, 2009, 01:16:06 PM »

 grin You know Brian sometimes I do.

Cindi, thanks for the advice. I usually either wear nitrile gloves or I do without at my own house with my bees.
The day at this guys house though they were so agitated and defensive from being distrubed so much this week that they were just all over us.
I hadn't planned on working any bees at the pick up so when they were landing on the back of my hands I stuck them in my jacket pocket but they were doing their best to get in my pockets at my hands.
These girls were very determined.
I think using the vicks vapor rub works really well if you don't want to wear gloves. It seems to repel them from my hands and cover my scent but I didn't have any with me that day.
I agree about those big bulky gloves, I don't even wear gardening gloves when I garden because I like to feel what I am doing so when I do need gloves with some hives I wear those disposable nitrile type.
Your hands do sweat inside those gloves though if its hot enough, I have been putting baby powder on my hands before I slide them in the gloves if its hot out.
I'll have to remember the cold water trick.
Yup, we are having some adventures this week with the bees.
My 6 year old son is bringing in pictures to school of the swarm we caught the other day, he was so excited about that.
People were pulling over in their cars to watch the crazy people picking up thousands of bees grin
When I came back over to my house with the swarm I caught in my neighbor's yard my oldest son was there and started yelling at me from the doorway to take off my protective gear before his friends drove by and saw us.
He thinks we are the biggest dorks in the world and my youngest son thinks we are the coolest parents in the world. What a difference a dozen years makes.
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MollySuesHoney
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« Reply #36 on: June 02, 2009, 04:12:26 PM »

Natalie,
You are having a blast, and I've been having a blast reading your thread.

a little trick I learned for keeping hands cool and reducing sweat is to use those cold packs that come in first aid kits.  When I have a lot of work to do I keep on in the pocket of my jacket.  Sticking your hands in there cools them down quickly.  It works for me and is a lot easier than lugging a bucket of ice water around.
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Lawrence Underwood

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