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Author Topic: The ongoing tale of a fool and his bees.  (Read 7594 times)
mick
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Location: s/e melbourne australia (-)37.50S 145.0E


« on: November 14, 2009, 11:47:08 PM »

Great to see this new section, hi everyone!

I got into beekeeping about 5 years ago i spose, found a swarm on the doorstep, was going to cost a hunge to keep it or a hunge to get rid of it. Living a mile from Redpaths sealed the deal. They were nice bees, turned out they had swarmed from the back neighbour, I didnt even know he had them.

"Ay mate, you seena my beesa" he asked one day. "Nah mate" says I standing next to a box of bees on the ground.

I found this forum, and away I went.

Until last week I had two hives. The result of losing the original to waxmoth and poor beekeeping skills saw me buy two nucs. One was I reckon queenless and I had to learn to requeen it. So two hives of really nasty but hard working hives was the result.

Last week I was going to get in there and get some hiney, make some room.

I will repeat what I posted in the coffee house last week.

a beautiful spring day to get into the 4 deep hive, make some room, take out some honey. I had cleaned up some frames and fitted foundation, went outside, put my tools on a chair, an upside lid, a spare box. I had a lil trouble sustaining smoke, but nothing unusual.

All went as well as it could, given that this is a evil nasty dreadful hive, always has been, the nuc from the local bee supplies was too commercial, too aggressive, but a good producer.

They started at me from the word go, hello girls, you bleep. Got the first two supers off, checked each frame, hmm so far so good all about 90% filed and capped. Getting a sting or two as I usually do with this hive.

Now I suspected the bottom two boxes to be largely brood, I levered each corner, seemed OK then as would be my downfall, liftred straight up. Unbeknown to me, I had liifted not only the 8 frames in the super at hand , but also the 8 below, straight out of the super! There they were swingng in the breeze, I didnt know, I turned and knocked over the two boxes and the frames I had taken out that were leaning against the boxes. Thousands of bees took to the air with a death warrant for me. I still had the 16 frames in my hands, being stung all over the place. I thought maybe I had one underneath and knocked it off onto the ground, then had to knock the remaing 7 off, more millions of bees,and  my smoker has gone out, I have dozens of frames on the ground. Its not looking good and sounding worse.

I manage to put down the super Ive been holding, by this time my suit has slipped, and Ive copped a couple of hundred stings. Im trying to get the smoker going and now they are stinging my balls. Ive copped a good 4 on each of the crown jewels. Im trying to smoke, run scratch my crotch, pick up and avoid fallen frames and calculate the thickness of the male scrotum when compared to the length of the sting on a bee.  Bud tells me I might get the itches at work tomorrow, sounds like fun. By this time Ive given in, Ive run into the shower fully clothed, bees hot pursuit.

Ive had to shut the back door and headed for the big white medicine cabinet tin the kitchen. It worked pretty well. I waited an hour consoled by Mr. Bud when he wasnt laughing his guts out. He told me that they would be whooped pretty good!

It took me a while to work out what whooped pretty good actually meant. I trusted Mr. Bud, another beer and out I went. As predicted they were not as bad. Im glad I threw the towell in when I did. My hands are worst, then, my face and shoulder. The Aussie Agates have held up pretty well.

I managed to clean up pretty good a full 8 frames of capped and uncapped brood. Above I put a good 8 frames of 80% capped honey. I wasnt looking for the evil queen, slammed the lid on, this one will sort itself out. One new hive, not the easy way and not my initial intention, but another hives a bonus. I think there are not enough bees in this hive, so will have to go back a third time and shake some in.

The other hive is three boxes high. top box looks like brood and honey, the other two Im not so sure about. I think its mainly honey in the bottom and a mixture in the middle. I will have to go back into this tomorrow If i can. Surprisingly my random picking up of the frames has had about 70% of them in the right order next to each other, just not in the same vertical position in the stack.

So here I sit in pain. Id say a couple of hundred stings all up. My left hand is worst, but its overall not so bad. Im lucky I am relatively tolerant of stings.

I hope I killed the queen, I stepped on enough bees thats for sure. I should have photographed my jacket, it has 500 stings in it easily, so a lot of carnage today.

I wont post any pics, because theres only one that would be interesting, and its a family forum folks!

Theres a heap of bees sooking on the outside of the hive that needs organising, they dont like me atm, they will have to wait.

If anyone should ask, it hurts for about 30 minutes. I found drinking a can of beer whilst hanging the aforementioned casualties over a second icy cold can of beer was god, it worked for me.

So a week later I have built and painted another three supers. I extracted 4 frames today from the carnage got about 10 kilos of winter honey, one frame was very hard to make flow, I reckon I only got about half out of it. Ive put these 4 and 4 old drawn frames in a super and placed it next to the hive its going on. This is the unmolested hive that took 2 years to rebuild after its poor start as a nuc. They arnt interested in it as yet or the extractor in the middle of the yard. Too busy hitting the gums.

I will wait until tomorrow to add the supers, wait for the paint smell to go a bit more,

Havent been into the bees yet, maybe tomorrow, leaving them for a week or so before I go in and see whos got the queen etc wont hurt.

In Victoria, down south where I am its going gangbusters. Bee shop has ran out of supers a couple of times, plenty of swarms about they say, lots of new beekeepers buying supers!

The kitchen is covered in honey, wax on the stove, honey filtering in the bathroom. They pay 4.50 a kilo for clean wax, thats not bad!
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SlickMick
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Location: Brisbane, Australia


« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2009, 02:28:58 AM »

I must admit the image of you sitting with 2 cold tinnies, 1 you are sucking on and the other with your goolies sizzling on is worthy of an academy award  shocked

Yesterday I had to go out about 10am. I was sitting in my kitchen about 9am when I noticed a sh?tload of bees flying around my macadamia tree. Bugger it one of the hives is swarming.

So I had some parts to knock up a couple of shallows, 3 shallow frames and 1 deep frame all with starter strips... ok this will have to do. Got them done and dragged out the ladder as they had festooned about 10' up in the macadamia.

Now these bees are gentle bees. I often lift the lid to see how they are going without smoke or veil and I have caught enough swarms to be confident that they are engorged on honey and too dreamy to sting when they swarm.. crap, so up the ladder with a pair of secateurs and gently severed the branch.

Holy smokes I was down that ladder fast with 10,000 angry bees hot on my tail hitting me all over the place.. chased me into the kitchen.. they were in my hair, up my trouser legs, stinging me through the shirt. Fortunately they missed the goolies but I had stings everywhere.. not game to count them. So I had 3 antihistamine tablets just to be sure and so I suited up to go and do battle once again. By now they had all gone back up into the tree. This time I out thwarted them even though they were still attempting to take the piss out of me. Got them into the box and waited to see if they would stay there.. nope they knew where Queenie was and I didn't.. however I noticed a bunch of them.. about 30 or so on a twig so I cut it off and sure enough there was queenie the bleep. All my hurt came out at that instant and I must admit I thought of pinching her head off there and then but then I would  have had a queenless hive with no brood and I didnt want any of the angst that would cause so I left her head on. So like you Mick I am sporting a fair bit of swelling.. a black eye and some sore parts on my anatomy where I sit down.

So much for calm bees

Mick
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On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
   And men of religion are scanty,
On a road never cross'd 'cept by folk that are lost,
   One Michael Magee had a shanty.

Now this Mike was the dad of a ten-year-old lad,
   Plump, healthy, and stoutly conditioned;
He was strong as the best, but poor Mike had no rest
   For the youngster had never been christened,
A BUSH CHRISTENING - A.B. "Banjo" Paterson http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/patersonab/poetry/christen.html
mick
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Location: s/e melbourne australia (-)37.50S 145.0E


« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2009, 02:31:30 AM »

Well I am glad I am not alone, from your own swarm, that has to be a first! Black eye to boot, nice one mate!

This arvo, I put one of the new boxes on the untouched relatively calm hive. The box with extracted frames was next to the hive all day, but not one bee in it. A bit odd but it was very windy, they might not have noticed it or dodnt want it, who knows, even the ferals didnt go near it. I peeked under the lid, perfect tiiming, they had just begun to make comb above the frames. I shut the lid, went and put the jacket on, made a weeny bit of smoke, I even had shorts on. I scraped off the wax from atop the frames and put the new box with frames on and job was done. 1 minute, no aggro. On the weekend I will see if I can get some honey out of the now middle box of this hive.

One down, two to go!
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Lone
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Location: North Queensland


« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2009, 07:09:05 AM »

Oh dear.
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Meadlover
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« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2009, 05:47:24 PM »

Wow, sounds like both of the Micks have been copping a bit of a hammering.
I'm still at the stage where I wear all my gear when I'm at the hives. Maybe I'll get a bit gamer in the future, but I don't like the idea of getting stung in the 'special area'  Cry I feel for you Mick!

ML
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mick
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Location: s/e melbourne australia (-)37.50S 145.0E


« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2009, 02:35:42 AM »

Theres heaps of beekeepers on here from the US that dont wear protection. Most just use smoke and years of experience.

I was able to do that once with the swarm I kept when I got started. they were so tame, I loved them. I guess the old bloke that they flew from had bred them to be like that. Ask Beemaster aka Boss, about the Zen of beekeeping one day!
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mick
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Location: s/e melbourne australia (-)37.50S 145.0E


« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2009, 02:20:07 AM »

All three hives look ok from the outside, very busy. They new one is more active than I thought. I almost suspect it has the queen. Cany wait to find out!
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Cindi
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« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2009, 09:23:24 AM »

Sorry, guys, but I am still laughing  my guts out reading these things, wonder why other person's pain can be so freeking funny.  Sorry.  I always wear a veil, no matter what, that is top notch.  With a veil, I am invincible, no sting or anything can ever bother me because my face and ears are protected.  Rarely do I wear my beesuit.  Beautiful days, lovin' and livin' life, 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
SlickMick
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Location: Brisbane, Australia


« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2009, 04:38:42 PM »

Gotta catch another swarm in my macadamia tree that swarmed yesterday. I'm getting a bit sick of this. No wood ware to stick em  in so I'm going to use a styro box until I can sort things out. Struth I only wanted 4 hives and now I'll have 8

Aside

Now retard, remember your veil and maybe some other necessary protective clothing AND maybe smoke

Mick
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On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
   And men of religion are scanty,
On a road never cross'd 'cept by folk that are lost,
   One Michael Magee had a shanty.

Now this Mike was the dad of a ten-year-old lad,
   Plump, healthy, and stoutly conditioned;
He was strong as the best, but poor Mike had no rest
   For the youngster had never been christened,
A BUSH CHRISTENING - A.B. "Banjo" Paterson http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/patersonab/poetry/christen.html
Lone
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Location: North Queensland


« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2009, 04:52:39 AM »

Are your hives sending out multiple swarms, Slicko?

And don't forget to have someone as a decoy.  Smiley
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SlickMick
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Location: Brisbane, Australia


« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2009, 06:02:01 AM »

Seems like one from each hive. The one yesterday got away. When I went to collect it this morning it had departed for locations unknown. Saved me a job at least.. and perhaps quite a bit of pain.. it was quite a big swarm about 15" deep.. plenty of stings in that lot

Micko the slicko
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On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
   And men of religion are scanty,
On a road never cross'd 'cept by folk that are lost,
   One Michael Magee had a shanty.

Now this Mike was the dad of a ten-year-old lad,
   Plump, healthy, and stoutly conditioned;
He was strong as the best, but poor Mike had no rest
   For the youngster had never been christened,
A BUSH CHRISTENING - A.B. "Banjo" Paterson http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/patersonab/poetry/christen.html
Meadlover
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« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2009, 03:41:45 AM »

Gotta catch another swarm in my macadamia tree that swarmed yesterday. I'm getting a bit sick of this. No wood ware to stick em  in so I'm going to use a styro box until I can sort things out. Struth I only wanted 4 hives and now I'll have 8

Aside

Now retard, remember your veil and maybe some other necessary protective clothing AND maybe smoke

Mick

Mick,

due to those little bastard SHB I have some full depth boxes if you ned to borrow them?

ML
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mick
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Location: s/e melbourne australia (-)37.50S 145.0E


« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2009, 02:54:25 AM »

Im ok for the boxes but thanks anyway.

I went our yesterday arvo and slipped a coupla 4x2s under the newly concoted hive. Had the jacket on but just shorts.       These evil bastards are the bastard children of the evil bleep thats for sure. I spose I should have used smoke, but a lil nudge of the hive and Id expect them to come out, but these know me, where to go, they are old hands. Those stings around the knees hurt a bit for 10 minutes. I cant wait for them all to die off. I haveny gone into this one yet to look for a queen, Saturday  is the day.
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Lone
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Location: North Queensland


« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2009, 03:53:00 AM »

You could try investing in a match, Micko, and even splurge on a couple of dry leaves.
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SlickMick
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Location: Brisbane, Australia


« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2009, 04:00:20 PM »

Yeah, Lonestar and then he could set all Victoria alight  rolleyes

Slicko
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On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
   And men of religion are scanty,
On a road never cross'd 'cept by folk that are lost,
   One Michael Magee had a shanty.

Now this Mike was the dad of a ten-year-old lad,
   Plump, healthy, and stoutly conditioned;
He was strong as the best, but poor Mike had no rest
   For the youngster had never been christened,
A BUSH CHRISTENING - A.B. "Banjo" Paterson http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/patersonab/poetry/christen.html
iddee
Galactic Bee
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Posts: 5771

Location: Randleman, NC


« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2009, 05:45:04 PM »

I mean, what th' heck, Mick, even a good cigar would help...
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"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

*Shel Silverstein*
Lone
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Location: North Queensland


« Reply #16 on: November 25, 2009, 07:44:07 PM »

You wouldn't even need to pay for a match, Micko.  I can just picture you scabbing down the street: "Giss a light, mate". 

Anyway, you want anything in particular included in your epitaph after Saturday?  Maybe along the lines of, "Smoke smoke smoke that hive, smoke smoke smoke and when I smoke myself to death, I'll tell the queen at her waxy gate that she'll just have to wait, till I get this #@%$ smoker alight again.."

Lone
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mick
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Location: s/e melbourne australia (-)37.50S 145.0E


« Reply #17 on: November 26, 2009, 03:41:00 AM »

Ah well once you have had what could only be described as tame bees, you always think they will be nice to you.....eventually! I just long for my original swarm, but I killed em.

Yer I dont do smoke very well. I find dry lawn clippings the best, but my smoker is too small, I have to get a bigger one grrrrrrrrrrrrr.

1. Had a tame swarm land on the bush outside my back door, errr no puns intended!

2. It died out to a queenless 200 bees max, because I was lazy and had it in the wrong spot which I would not realise for years.

3. Purchased 2 nucs.

4. Set one up, it became the feral bees from hell.

5. Other nuc failed, was queenless when I bought it, it was obvious from day one. Added brood and bees from feral hive, made queen cells, saw queens being belted up, heard piping, viola, back in business.

6. Added this to remaining 150 bees. It is only half as feral as the other one. I doubt some DNA from the 200 got in there, so I imagine the tendency is to become less feral over time, not more so?

7. Feral hive makes good honey for 2 years. Half feral hive suffers in the damp in wrong location under the tree.

9. Half feral hive bolstered by 2 frames of brood from feral hive, moved into sun, going gangbusters and still only half feral.

10. I splatter all 4 boxes of feral hive to all corners of the back yard 12 months after I had just got both producing well, and thats the story in short.


On saturday, let it be sunny with a gentle breeze, about 25 degrees and 50% humidity. Im going to put jeans on, then the white pants, tape the ends over the top of the gum boots. Put on the jacket, tape it around my guts with 3 inch packing tape, it works well. I will have a Tshirt, windcheater on underneath. I will persist with the rubber washing up gloves. I like to have feel.

As soon as I wear anything white, a few things happen. The dogs look at me as if I am mental and head for the corner as far from the back door as possible. The neighbours all hit their backyards and the scout bees spot me.

I will place everything in the right place near the hive. They will be hitting me at a 1 in 10 second rate already.

I will make smoke, I will puff the entrance twice whilst being hit en masse already. I will crack the lid, give 2 puffs and retreat. I will go back in, lift the lid and face a STORM OF BEES. I will as usual, try and be nice and give another puff at the entrance, a bit more on top. I will fight through the enemy crawling all over me. I will ignore the ones that have shape shifted and got inside my protection. I will inspect frames, re light the smoker, and then as usual make a bigger cloud as possible of white smoke and fight off the enemy by doing my vortex dance of smoke.

I wil go back in, take off top box, place on cardboard and lid it. I will ignore the 500 bees wanting to actually kill me. I will waft smoke over the middle box, ignore the torrent hitting me, wish I could drink through my hood, and check each frame for anything that looks like a queen and inspect as per usual for the usuals.

I will shove this on the lidded hive and cover it with cardboard. I will force my way through the 2000 bees arriving back and finding home not as it should be to the bottom box. I will persist and despite being stung a hundred times on the hands, which really doesnt hurt much, sweating profusely, trying to make a cloud of smoke, ignoring the wails of bees chewing through my hooded veil, discover that I cant find whatever I wanted, probably the scraper. Yer its in the pouch on the front of my jacket, Ill just shove my bee covered hand in there and rub them around a bit, gee that works a treat. A new source of infection.

I will kill a few more largish things, try and re light the smoker and wonder how much fun one can have in less than 10 minutes.

I now place the bottom hive on the stack, leaving another 1000 on the BB that launch into attack mode. Now I have 4000 bees from the movement and returners all wanting to kill me. I will clean the bottom board. By now I know I am trucked. Im going to kill a heap. I have to do the vortex of smoke trick, and restack them, taking any honey that right to go.

Flames are coming out of the smoker. I have to wait a minute. Gee this is a hoot. On the frames they are ok, but if they are in the air, oh dear.

Each box when moved will add 500 to the mass, the noise is incredible. By now I know the neighbours if they heard it, would freak. I will get it all back together and when I am adding the boxes, I will squash a few hundred. They crawl out as I put the boxes back together like an army of ants (thats a first I claim that). More bees that bite. As I put the lid on, another 50 will get squished. I will be covered in honey and dead bees and bees crawling on me.

NO relief in sight, just bees pouring out of the hive as I try and collect tools and frames and make smoke and start punching on with the bastards

They will chase me into the garage where I have learned to fool them with darkness. I then run to the verandah and try to brush as many off as possible before retreating behind the passage curtain plastic strip thing, hoping to leave maybe 20 on me. I will begin to rip off the tape around my ankles and those bees who have laid dorment on my hair will come to life like that Italian puppet. I will get gear off as qickly as possible, flick out bees if I can or step on them and hit the shower.

As long as that coloured plastic strip hangs at the back door, I am safe.

That is what will happen on saturday. For the life of me, I cant see what I am doing wrong.
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SlickMick
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Location: Brisbane, Australia


« Reply #18 on: November 26, 2009, 04:01:58 AM »

Hey Micko

Are you sure you should be keeping bees  huh huh huh

Slicko
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On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
   And men of religion are scanty,
On a road never cross'd 'cept by folk that are lost,
   One Michael Magee had a shanty.

Now this Mike was the dad of a ten-year-old lad,
   Plump, healthy, and stoutly conditioned;
He was strong as the best, but poor Mike had no rest
   For the youngster had never been christened,
A BUSH CHRISTENING - A.B. "Banjo" Paterson http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/patersonab/poetry/christen.html
Lone
Queen Bee
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Gender: Female
Posts: 1034


Location: North Queensland


« Reply #19 on: November 26, 2009, 04:12:01 AM »

Not enough boy scouts rapping on the door for bob-a-job, these days.  That's the trouble.  You could have paid one a bob to do the smoking* Micko and loaned one to me to muck out my chook coops.

Lone

*refer to above advice re decoy
« Last Edit: November 26, 2009, 04:33:05 AM by Lone » Logged
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