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Author Topic: oldtimer learning new tricks  (Read 1156 times)

Offline bill

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oldtimer learning new tricks
« on: March 17, 2005, 07:28:07 PM »
Well I learned last year it was necessary to have bees to farm melons successfully. So I started talking about getting bees at the farmers market where I market my truck farm tomatoes. I visited a melon farm and bought some melons since I didn't grow any last year. and learned about growing them under plastic. The guy told me a bee had to walk over a melon blossom four times to pollenate it.
     Well an old friend that was once a cotton and maize farmer heard me talk about bees and gave me a hive of bees that he had left over when he moved to town. He also gave me a slew of equipment that I would have never been able to afford. Well I have been reading all I can find about bees.I am looking forward to making two nucs in april and I wonder if I can make more later in the year. I have learned that the population must be large enough to get them through the winter I live in the middle of texas and we have a long summer so if anyone can give me some advice on this I will appreciate . this is getting long so I will stop. Hello to all you guys midland texas
billiet

Offline Beth Kirkley

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oldtimer learning new tricks
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2005, 08:35:21 PM »
Hello-
I live in middle Georgia, so we probably have about the same length of summer/winter. You're probably drier though. We get alot of rain here.

What I have experienced here, is that the bees get a good start in the year. Last year they swarmed mid-March. So this year I plan to do a split soon. I don't have enough experience to tell you EVERYTHING about how the year goes in a long season climate, but I'll give you what little I can. I also found that they pretty much settle down by mid-September (slowed down egg laying & very little wax building). At that point you need to have the size hive you want to go through winter. I would say you wouldn't want to try to make any more hives/nucs about end of May. Because it takes 21 days for the bees to make a queen, and that would get them to the end of June - and they should have a laying queen at that time. Then they'd have 2 months to raise up enough bees for a winter hive.

My first hive was started at the end of June (a 2 pound package with queen), and they made a strong enough hive for winter.

My bees only go through 10-15 pounds of honey during the winter.

Right now many things are blooming - dogwoods, bleeding hearts, lilies, honey suckle, wild roses - and some stuff I don't know the names to.

Beth