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Author Topic: My Uncle gave me a bunch of bee keeping equipment and live bees  (Read 4034 times)
daniel-delarosa
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« on: July 15, 2009, 09:04:15 PM »

My uncle inherited an estate and the previous owner kept bees.  He didn't want to mess with them so he gave all of the equipment and bees to me. I know absolutely nothing about bees!
  Here's what I have:  Two live hives, an extractor, a weird knife that plugs in the wall and gets hot, two big boxes of frame pieces and box pieces, tons of mason jars, smoker, bee suits,gloves,hoods and some other things We haven't drug out of the storage building yet.
  I dont have a clue how to use any of it!  I guess I will attempt to keep them, anyone have any advise to a newbie?
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asprince
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« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2009, 09:12:04 PM »

Read, read and read some more. Start with topics on this forum. Ask questions. There are lots of patient experience beeks here that would like nothing more than to answer your questions. Many here will envy your good fortune!

Please fill in your profile information so we will know where you live.

Glad you found us and good luck with your new hobby,

Steve
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kathyp
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« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2009, 09:21:56 PM »

welcome to beekeeping!  it is an addicting hobby.  depending on where you are, you will begin getting your hives ready for winter soon.  that usually does not require much effort on your part except making sure they have enough honey stored.

read on feeding and winter stores.  you can do keyword searches on here, and feel free to ask away.

that funny knife that plugs in is for uncapping frames of honey.  nice that you got one for free!  they are a little spendy.   grin
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2009, 09:27:22 PM »

  I dont have a clue how to use any of it!  I guess I will attempt to keep them, anyone have any advise to a newbie?

Hiya Daniel -- Beekeeping definitely is cyclical with different things to do throughout the year. I would suggest hitting the library/Amazon and curl up with some books over the next few months. You'll want to be ready/prepared for your first bees come early Spring (in your area) next year. Have fun!
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bailey
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« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2009, 09:37:59 PM »

WELCOME TO BEEKEEPING!  you want to read this site well!   start asking questions after you spend some time looking at what the bees are doing.

look at the bees everyday if you can.
read the forum everyday if you can.
you will be up and running in no time.

ask questions

did i say ask questions?   Wink

bailey
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« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2009, 09:58:10 PM »

WOW, that was a great freeby. Ask your uncle if there are any beek books in the estate that you can get started reading on. Sounds like you are set up and ready to go.

Are you close to the hives and can you leave them where they are at or will you have to move them?

check around for other beeks in the area and a beek club to join, they can be great mentors for newbees.

Good luck and ask plenty of questions.

G3
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see my swarms and cut outs at https://www.youtube.com/user/soapy22bullet?feature=mhee

those hot bees will have you steppin and a fetchin like your heads on fire and your @ss is a catchin!!!

Bees will be bees and do as they please!
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« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2009, 10:10:55 PM »

That is so sad.  Do not get interested in bees.  Its all consuming.  Your'e likely to loose your family and friends.  E-mail me, and I will come from Wisconsin and pick up all that junk and those nasty bugs and get them out of there.  Please don't ruin your life!!   Cry
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daniel-delarosa
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« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2009, 10:12:02 PM »

I found a few books and Yes, I will have to move the hives.  He only lives about 12 miles away though. The boxes they are in are a little rough looking, I wonder how hard it would be to put the frames in new boxes?
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daniel-delarosa
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« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2009, 10:12:55 PM »

That is so sad.  Do not get interested in bees.  Its all consuming.  Your'e likely to loose your family and friends.  E-mail me, and I will come from Wisconsin and pick up all that junk and those nasty bugs and get them out of there.  Please don't ruin your life!!   Cry

LOL Smiley
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kathyp
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« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2009, 10:28:24 PM »

in theory, moving the frames to new boxes would be easy.  it depends on what kind of shape they are in, inside.  when you get the chance, have done enough reading and questioning to feel comfortable, suit up and take some pictures.  when you are close to doing this, let us know and we can give you a step by step of what to look for and how to inspect.

even a superficial inspection with some good flash pics of the inside would be helpful.  until you have enough posts, you'll need to ask a moderator to post your pics, but we'll be happy to look at them for you and help where we can.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
daniel-delarosa
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« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2009, 10:40:08 PM »

Im supposed to get them this week.  I have to figure out where to put them though.  My wife is super allergic to bees, she has to carry an Epi Pen in her purse just in case she gets stung.  So Im afraid to keep them in the back yard.  How far do bees wonder away from their hives?
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adgjoan
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« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2009, 05:08:28 AM »

Your wife is in no more danger from a hive of bees than any bees that are naturally in your yard. Have you been interested in bees? Is that why you toke up your uncle's offer? 
Read everything you can get your hands on and join a bee club.  I read this forum every day and can honestly say I learn something every day from it.  Good luck with your new hobby.

Joan
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daniel-delarosa
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« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2009, 10:14:34 PM »

Well, I got the first load of stuff today.  I don't know the beekeeping lingo, so don't laugh at me too hard! Here's what I got:
 8 bee suits, a mesh hood, some long gloves. 
 new pieces to make about 25 small boxes
 5 five gallon buckets of frame bottoms
 One five gallon bucket of frame sides
 A couple old hives
 A couple hive bases?
 8 things to keep the queen in the bottom box
 Few feeders
 50 mason jars

 I haven't even put a dent in the mound of stuff  yet.  I dont know how many posts I have to do till I can post pictures, but I will as soon as I can.
 
 
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kathyp
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« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2009, 10:25:09 PM »

a moderator can post your pics if you need help quickly. 

some things to look for, and you can ID them online if you need to.

1. smoker
2. hive tool(s)

those two things you will need, and they are probably in there.


Quote
8 things to keep the queen in the bottom box

are these the dimension of the hive and wire or plastic slatted?

can you id the type of feeder or give a description? 

also, what are the measurements of the small boxes.  there is not much difference in size between a medium and small. 

do you have the bees yet?  when you are ready to place them, we can give you some ideas about where to put them so that they will be less apt to have an encounter with your wife.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
daniel-delarosa
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« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2009, 11:13:13 PM »



Quote
8 things to keep the queen in the bottom box

are these the dimension of the hive and wire or plastic slatted?

can you id the type of feeder or give a description?  

also, what are the measurements of the small boxes.  there is not much difference in size between a medium and small.  

do you have the bees yet?  when you are ready to place them, we can give you some ideas about where to put them so that they will be less apt to have an encounter with your wife.

they are the size of the boxes and they are wire.
The feeder is a mason jar with small holes in the lid, and a wood thing it sets in.  Looks like one of those auto dog water bowls.
The small boxes are 20x16 1/4 x 5 3/4 tall
I haven't got the bees yet.
One more thing I forgot about getting today, I got some all plastic frames.
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DaveKow
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« Reply #15 on: July 17, 2009, 05:50:16 AM »

I watched a lot of you tube videos before I got my first bees.  It helps to see other people opening their hives and doing inspections.

Good luck.
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G3farms
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« Reply #16 on: July 17, 2009, 11:31:39 AM »

Look around for some of the bee supplier catalogs, they will help identify what you have and maybe give you an idea of how to use them.

Move your bees after dark or at least very late in the evening, that way you get most of the forgers that are out and about. You might need a smoker to drive them to the inside off of the front of the hive. Put some screen wire in the entrance and a staple or two to hold it in. Put a ratchet strap around the hive to hold it together, load it in your truck and get gone. If it is really hot a screen on the top of the hive would be nice to keep them from over heating. How far do you have to take them?

Where to set them up.....how big of a place do you have, in the city or in the country. Full sun would be best if possible, face the entrance toward the south to south-east. Nice if they had some kind of a wind break to the west. Mine are sitting on 4 x 4 which are sitting on cinder blocks. Bees are picky about some things and other things they could care less about.

Sounds like you have everything you are going to need to get started.

G3
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see my swarms and cut outs at https://www.youtube.com/user/soapy22bullet?feature=mhee

those hot bees will have you steppin and a fetchin like your heads on fire and your @ss is a catchin!!!

Bees will be bees and do as they please!
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« Reply #17 on: July 17, 2009, 11:44:20 AM »

I've a lovely spot to place your hives, and I'm sure they would be out of the way of  your wife.  You can put them in my back yard with my hives and I'll see that they are well taken care of...LOL grin
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charmd2
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« Reply #18 on: July 17, 2009, 03:08:33 PM »

Seriously, if your wife is epipen allergic, anaphalactic shock (I really have no clue how that is spelled, spell check no help)   unless you have a very large yard, please don't put them in your yard.  God forbid she is out in the back yard, mowing, gardening, etc, crosses the flight line and gets stung with no one around to help her out.  I would not feel comfortable with that.  I know that before I kept bees my kids, or I could run around all day in the yard barefoot without the fear of being stung.  Now we have to be much more careful not to step on the bees in the dandelions or clover. 

I am aware I could be stung at a nonbeekeepers house as well.  But I get stung more in my yard than I do in my inlaws or my parents yards, neither with bees.  Actually I'm pretty sure I never got stung in my parents yard while I was growing up.  But my kids get stung once a month or so without messing with the hives. 

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daniel-delarosa
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« Reply #19 on: July 17, 2009, 03:23:18 PM »

I found a store that had bee keeping supplies.  I got two new big boxes, frames and foundations.  Im about ready to get the bees now.  the boxes they are in are rotten at the bottom, Im afraid they wont make the trip.  Can I just pull the frames out and put them in a new box??  Or should I just set the new box in front of the old box since it looks like they are fixing to swarm anyways?
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MacfromNS
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« Reply #20 on: July 17, 2009, 03:37:57 PM »

I wished I was closer so I could come help you move them,but I think you should
find some one to give you a hand that has worked with bees before,a club in
or around your home town maybe.
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G3farms
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« Reply #21 on: July 17, 2009, 04:26:57 PM »

are you sure you are up to the task of this? since you have never been in a hive. Not that changing over the frames would be a hard thing.
Why do you say they are ready to swarm for?

G3
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see my swarms and cut outs at https://www.youtube.com/user/soapy22bullet?feature=mhee

those hot bees will have you steppin and a fetchin like your heads on fire and your @ss is a catchin!!!

Bees will be bees and do as they please!
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« Reply #22 on: July 17, 2009, 04:32:26 PM »

nothing like diving into the deep end.  you'll be fine.

do you want some suggestions before you take the leap, or do you have it covered?
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #23 on: July 17, 2009, 05:21:16 PM »

On the books I would read 'Beekeeping for Dummies'  it has helped me out and has a great deal of info. for a new beekeeper.

Congrats on the wonderful stuff. cool

I don't know a lot but I do know is if you get stung not to pull the stinger out with your fingers get some tweezers and grab it at the barb end not the venom sack.  I would invest in some Sting Kill it helps with the pain.  They say after a while you get a custom to the sting but I haven't.  grin
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daniel-delarosa
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« Reply #24 on: July 17, 2009, 06:48:49 PM »


Why do you say they are ready to swarm for?

G3


nothing like diving into the deep end.  you'll be fine.

do you want some suggestions before you take the leap, or do you have it covered?


  One hive is in just a single story box, it is maybe six or seven frames wide too.  A ton of bees are on the outside of it all of the time. 

Any suggestions ya'll have would be great!!   
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kathyp
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« Reply #25 on: July 17, 2009, 07:17:40 PM »

the bees on the outside are probably hot.  they hang out on the front porch when the temp is up.

set your box on your bottom board next to the established hive.  with your hive tool, or small prying tool, gently lift the end of the 1st frame.  watch to see if the comb is stuck to the frame next to it.  in unattended hives, sometimes the bees get messy.  if the comb is attached, use a sharp and long knife to slice the comb apart.  you will spill honey and kill brood, but that can't be avoided.  when you are sure that the first frame is unattached, loosen it from box on both ends and gently lift straight up.  place in new box in same position.  continue with each frame, only now you will be able to slide each frame over a bit after loosening it.  this will help you not to roll the bees and kill them ( or the queen).

 be very careful lifting.  you may find a rotten or broken frame and they can be difficult to remove.  sometimes you need to push them up from the bottom if the top bar is broken. save those for last. your box will be easier to lift.  if you need to place any comb in new frames, use empty frames and rubber bands.  place rubber bands on frames 1st.... 3 or 4 will do.... place comb in empty frame, move rubber bands over to hold comb, and place in hive. 

if there are not 10 frames in the box, place your new frames with foundation, next to the brood. 

if you are not sure what brood, honey, etc. look like, take a few minutes to look at some pictures on the web.

you have a smoker?  smoke them some as you go, but not to much.

leave the setup in the place of the old hive until after dark.  then close it up well and take it on home.  make sure they have ventilation for the trip.  screen the top, or use a screened bottom board and screen the entrance. 

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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #26 on: July 17, 2009, 07:53:56 PM »

Daniel, cybermentors are great but you sure could use a mentor by your side.


Good luck.

Steve
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« Reply #27 on: July 17, 2009, 08:23:54 PM »

My first act as a beek was to transport three hives about 12 miles in my truck.  My big mistake was not strapping the hives together - really created a mess - wish I had an experienced beek with me!  Just be sure an put a good little cinch around each hive so that the supers don't jiggle. 

Oh yea - wear that bee suit, veil and good leather gloves.  25 stings on your first night as a beekeeper is a tough introduction.
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« Reply #28 on: July 17, 2009, 08:46:53 PM »

work slow and deliberate, no fast movements like swatting at the bees. Just remember they are wanting to look at you, just as you are looking at them.

Work your bees during the day when the sun is shining bright, that way most of the foragers are out and about. If it is cloudy, overcast, threatening rain or after a rain I would wait till the next day. If bees can't fly that day they get fussy.

G3
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see my swarms and cut outs at https://www.youtube.com/user/soapy22bullet?feature=mhee

those hot bees will have you steppin and a fetchin like your heads on fire and your @ss is a catchin!!!

Bees will be bees and do as they please!
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« Reply #29 on: July 18, 2009, 06:03:13 PM »

I found a store that had bee keeping supplies.  I got two new big boxes, frames and foundations.  Im about ready to get the bees now.  the boxes they are in are rotten at the bottom, Im afraid they wont make the trip.  Can I just pull the frames out and put them in a new box??  Or should I just set the new box in front of the old box since it looks like they are fixing to swarm anyways?

Welcome to beekeeping!!   I got started the same way.  A friend of mine gave me 2 hives and all his stuff.  If your brood boxes are rotten, your bottom board will be rotten, too, unless it is plastic.  If you replace the bottom boards, get plastic ones--they don't rot!  If you have to do new bottom boards and boxes, just transfer the frames into the new ones.  If you try going with all new stuff, they'll likely swarm.  Leave in the old frames and they'll stay with the brood.  If your hives are as neglected as I expect they are, the bees are turning feral, meaning they will be just like wild bees.  They may be a bit aggressive at first, but will calm down after awile.  (see my response to the earlier post about aggressive bees).  If you can move them without messing around inside first, I would.  That way you can do your inspections and changing out of equipment at you leisure once you get them set up at your house.  Speaking of which, if you can set them facing a hedge, big bush, building or a wall, this will raise their flight path which will lessen the likelihood of an unfortunate meeting with your wife.  You shouldn't need to replace many frames.  If the comb has gotten out of shape or has big holes in it, simply re-foundation it.  If the frames are glued up to the point that you break an end off getting it out, you can buy metal tips to repair them, thus saving the valuable brood.  You'll need to scare up some plugs to block the entrances the night before.  Seal up the hoods with tape or they may have an exit.  Do it in the morning EARLY so you and the bees won't overheat.  Good luck!
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« Reply #30 on: July 19, 2009, 12:27:22 AM »

Well I went and picked up my bees.  It went okay I guess.  I didn't wear my bee suit at first.  But after I took a stinger to the dang ear hole, I put it on.(That was the first time I had ever been stung, by anything.)   Gonna swap the frames into new boxes tomorrow since they are super rotten.  Thanks for all the help ya'll!!!
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« Reply #31 on: July 19, 2009, 09:06:00 AM »

A sting in the ear...............I know that smarts! One of my most memorable stings (among many) was on the ear.

Steve
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« Reply #32 on: July 19, 2009, 10:43:03 AM »

didn't your momma tell you to wear protection?Huh?

do not swap out those frames without at least the face protection.  i know there are plenty of folks who use nothing and that's great, but at least until you have more experience and see how multiple stings sit with you, don't try to go without.

glad the moving went ok.  let us know how the swap goes.  hope you are taking pictures!!
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #33 on: July 19, 2009, 10:56:10 AM »

I haven't taken pictures yet.  But I will.   Ya'll think I have to have a smoker to do the swap?  My uncle cant find the one he had.
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« Reply #34 on: July 19, 2009, 11:01:13 AM »

I haven't taken pictures yet.  But I will.   Ya'll think I have to have a smoker to do the swap?  My uncle cant find the one he had.

Yes, a smoker and a bee suite is a must!


Steve
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« Reply #35 on: July 19, 2009, 11:09:42 AM »

just depends how many stings you want when U do it. no smoker likely more stings, smoker, probly none. Smiley
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« Reply #36 on: July 19, 2009, 12:06:51 PM »

a smoker would be great, and you want to get one.  if you don't have one, you can probably still do this if you are slow and don't jar them around to much.  a little sugar water in a spray bottle may help.  1 part sugar to 1 part water.  a light spritz may keep them busy grooming rather than coming after you.

if you get into this hive and find they get very angry, you may want to wait until the smoker if found.

when you smoke them, make sure it is cool smoke and do just a little at a time.  over smoking can stir them up.

every hive temperament is different. some you can mess with and they don't care.  some get angry when you pop the top.  it will be a judgment call on your part. 
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
G3farms
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« Reply #37 on: July 19, 2009, 12:29:06 PM »

The smoker really depends on the disposition of the bees themselves and the abilities of the beek.

I have worked the same hive with out smoke and was no problem, another day they were a little fussy and wanted to come after you. Flow and weather play a big part on how bees react, unless of course they are just mean tempered to start with.

Wear your veil for sure and at least have the smoker fired up and ready even if you don't use it. If there is that much equipment around, there is at least one smoker somewhere.

Glad to hear you got them moved, sounds like things went good for you. Does not sound like your hive is in such bad shape if it did not fall apart or just crush.

So since that was your first sting of any kind how did you react?? Must not hve been too bad since you you are telling us about it, but still no fun.

G3
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see my swarms and cut outs at https://www.youtube.com/user/soapy22bullet?feature=mhee

those hot bees will have you steppin and a fetchin like your heads on fire and your @ss is a catchin!!!

Bees will be bees and do as they please!
Jim 134
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« Reply #38 on: July 19, 2009, 02:43:44 PM »

I haven't taken pictures yet.  But I will.   Ya'll think I have to have a smoker to do the swap?  My uncle cant find the one he had.


   If you'r goiing to buy get a big one 4'' x 10"

http://www.betterbee.com/products.asp?dept=666 


   BEE HAPPY Jim 134  Smiley
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« Reply #39 on: July 21, 2009, 08:32:46 PM »

Well, I got everything changed out with no problems.  The bees were really calm.  There was a little damage to a few frames though.  I got a piece of honey comb that fell out of one of the frames and took it home.  The honey tasted weird, kinda tasted like how the old rotten box smelled that they were in. 
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foxman
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« Reply #40 on: July 27, 2009, 12:50:59 PM »

if u need any help just hit me up ill be glad to do anything i can to help Smiley
this bee stuff can be a little confusing but after a few hands on experiences ull get the hang of it
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« Reply #41 on: July 27, 2009, 01:08:54 PM »

glad you got them changed out.  that was quite an adventure for someone just starting out.  give yourself a pat on the back.  you deserve it!!   grin
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #42 on: July 27, 2009, 08:05:14 PM »

How about an update on your bees??

Welcome to the beek world.

G3
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see my swarms and cut outs at https://www.youtube.com/user/soapy22bullet?feature=mhee

those hot bees will have you steppin and a fetchin like your heads on fire and your @ss is a catchin!!!

Bees will be bees and do as they please!
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