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Author Topic: Greetings everyone! New, (pretty much), beekeeper in Iowa  (Read 623 times)
mysticantiques
New Bee
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Posts: 16


Location: Mystic, Iowa


« on: April 08, 2010, 11:18:10 PM »

Hi all! I just want to say thanks to a couple of members who've given me help in the chatroom. I'm pretty new at this, this being my second year. I still feel like I am fairly clueless. But I've gotten a lot of patient and helpful advice and encouragement from hankdog1 and jack. I sure thank you guys!

I live in southeastern Iowa. I had 3 hives going into a long and bitter winter. I did not want the bees to freeze, so I duct taped styrofoam to the outsides of their hives and mounded snow up on them. Turns out, that might have been overkill, (not to mention it looked pretty hokey), but somehow, they survived. I checked them after each really cold spell. I did not want to risk killing them by opening hives  when it was bitter out to do a physical check. So I listened with my stethescope from outside. They hummed softly all winter.

The first really nice day after winter I was delighted to pull into the drive and discover bees! Thousands of them! All three hives had made it through the winter. One did particularly well. So well, I was getting concerned about swarming, but had no idea what to do to prevent it. I bought several books, read a great deal, did a lot of online reading and found this site, (and I am thankful)!

So now i have done the "walkaway split" to the one hive that came out of winter massive. If this should happen to work, I will now have 4 hives that I don't know what to do with...except steal from...

I am trying not to use chemicals if I can find any way around it. This week I will do a "sugar roll" to see how bad an infestation the little darlings may have of varroa mites. I look forward to pulling fresh honey off them. In the meantime, I was just wondering how often can I disturb them without causing them to move out on me? (Will they do that?)

Thanks for your time, everyone!
Janet

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"When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically. In this context the proponent of an activity, rather than the public, should bear the burden of proof. The process of applying the precautionary principle must be open, informed and democratic and must include potentially affected parties. It must also involve an examination of the full range of alternatives, including no action." Wingspread Statement on the Precautionary Principle, Jan. 1998
Jack
House Bee
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Location: The foothills to the Berkshires, Winchester, CT


« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2010, 08:25:30 AM »

Greetings Janet...why not jump into the forum for advice. You will get an overload of input and you can choose which to follow. Welcome.
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Cindi
Galactic Bee
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Location: Grindrod, B.C. Canada


« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2010, 10:31:20 AM »

Janet, welcome to our forum, so good you found us, nice intro, by the way.  Our forum can provide you with a wealth of information to help out, you only need ask.  Do stick around, we love new members, have that most beautiful and great day, with beautiful 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
mysticantiques
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Location: Mystic, Iowa


« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2010, 11:57:10 PM »

WooHoo! Since my last post, I have now got 6 (!) hives! I have split all three of them. My cousin more or less forced me into meeting the state bee inspector. He, the inspector, said he'd heard of using powdered sugar but didn't realize it was so effective. He found only 2 varroa mites in my colonies and those after having killed 15 drones. The one colony he found those in was the one for which I had run out of screen bottom boards.
Obviously, I'm no pro, (yet), but I really like the screens. I don't know about ventilation or any of the other things I've read on these forums, but they sure seemed to work well for my particular set up. As for winter, we had a 6 day stretch when temps with wind chill was in the negative double digits. It was very bitter. Evidently the screen bottom boards did not pose a problem.
Of course, the hives were wrapped about with styrofoam and duct tape, so I guess I'll continue to do what apparently worked, and it seems, worked pretty well. At the time I was a little annoyed that the duct tape seemed to only stick to itself. Now I realize that was a good thing. I didn't suffocate the poor dears in my ameturish bumbling attempts. Good thing I hoarded styrofoam when I had the chance, hehe!
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"When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically. In this context the proponent of an activity, rather than the public, should bear the burden of proof. The process of applying the precautionary principle must be open, informed and democratic and must include potentially affected parties. It must also involve an examination of the full range of alternatives, including no action." Wingspread Statement on the Precautionary Principle, Jan. 1998
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