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Author Topic: What a Year!  (Read 1489 times)

Offline luvin honey

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What a Year!
« on: July 26, 2009, 11:28:33 PM »
I entered beekeeping a bit reluctantly, quite sure that I didn't know nearly enough to start this complicated (yet simple) venture. Well, good thing I didn't know HOW MUCH I didn't know :)

I got 2 packages of Italians, installed them into 2 of the 4 topbars my husband and I built, and they took off! One stalled for a while, the other swarmed, we did a split, taking 3 bars of brood from each hive. The split hive now has a queen, plus queen cups and the possible beginning of a supercedure cell. The swarmed hive has an amazing laying queen, a bunch of swarm cups starting and so much honey that we pulled 4 bars of it yesterday!

What a ride!! I never imagined how much time this adventure would take. With observation windows in each hive, it's incredible that I'm still holding down my job, raising kids and living life :D Even with the reading I crammed in late last winter, I can honestly say I have never in my life learned as much as I have on this forum.

Thanks to all of you who have so kindly and graciously answered all my questions (including the dumb ones). I really appreciate it! I really look forward to hopefully many years of keeping bees. It has been an incredible learning experience not only for me but my husband, both our families, our kids, our friends, our kids' friends and their classes!

Just had to pass on this raving to you all who understand :)
The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Is aristocracy.
---Emily Dickinson

Offline GaryMinckler

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Re: What a Year!
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2009, 07:35:50 AM »
I like your enthusiasm.  It is fun to be part of something so cool.   :camp:

Offline luvin honey

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Re: What a Year!
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2009, 10:48:44 AM »
It has been so much fun :) Before now, who knew that flying drones sound like lawnmowers? I'd never heard the terms supercedure cells, queen cups, swarm cells, brood nest...

What I love about this is that even the mistakes (letting my one hive get too crowded) have taught me so many things and let me experience the awe of watching a swarm take off. How else would I have gotten to see that, 100s of drones, capped queen cells, a queenless hive pounding in the honey, a complete change in hive personality during queenlessness. Then, I got to watch that same hive change back in personality, start bringing in pollen, begin hoping they had requeened and then (just last Sat) go in and see the evidence of a new amazing queen.

Wow!
The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Is aristocracy.
---Emily Dickinson

Offline RyanB

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Re: What a Year!
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2009, 03:09:19 PM »
Great post!  Glad to hear things are going so well!
Currently Fermenting:

Cherry Melomel - 1Gal
Pear Melomel - 1Gal
White Pyment - 1Gal
Root Beer Mead - 1Gal
Mead Cyser - 5Gal

Recently Finished:
Sack Mead - 1Gal, Very Good!
Braggot - 1Gal, Very popular!
Mead Cyser - 1Gal, Wifes Fav!
JAO - 1Gal, Nice, A bit too sweet.

Offline David LaFerney

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Re: What a Year!
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2009, 10:30:27 PM »
How about some pictures?  It's always interesting to see top bar hives especially.
"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." Samuel Clemens

Putting the "ape" in apiary since 2009.

Offline annette

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Re: What a Year!
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2009, 11:52:24 PM »
I love how you expressed the joys of beekeeping.  I am always telling my husband that I live in a secret world that no one knows about except another beekeeper.


You also mentioned how involved beekeeping can become and I understand that as well.  When I started beekeeping, the guy who turned me on to beekeeping told me it would be so easy, "You just add another super when they need it, that's all and then you get about 100 lbs of honey per hive"

Well the reality was much different for me and the trials and tribulations I have gone through over these past 4 years, but with each obstacle, I have learned, and learned and learned. Just as you said.

This forum also did it for me and continues to be an unbelievable support on this continuing adventure, as you say.

Thanks
Annette

Offline luvin honey

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Re: What a Year!
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2009, 12:19:29 AM »
Thanks for sharing in my enthusiasm! I estimate this beekeeping adventure takes about 4 hours per day--most of it in forum time  :-D

I wish I could post pictures--I'd love to show them off. Unfortunately, I'm on dial-up and an almost 10-year-old computer. When I finally get a new one, I'll look forward to posting.

I think my favorite site is a full bar of comb packed with honey or brood and the exact trapezoidal shape of the topbar hive :)
The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Is aristocracy.
---Emily Dickinson

 

anything