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Author Topic: Beekeeping. wow!!  (Read 4407 times)
givemeone
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« on: June 10, 2010, 01:23:28 AM »

We purchased a starter kit several weeks ago from *******.  (******  $159.00)  Pre-ordered a "Nuc"  ..(113.00)  and then we spent approximately $350 on equipment on the day we picked  up our bees.  

Nothing but trouble since.  One of the nuc frames had two ...extra .....nails put into the top because the top of the frame was broken.  Didn't solve the problem because the top bar pulls apart with the slightest pressure/pull while removing the frame.  Anytime you need to pull the frame from the hive the whole top bar gives away.

Two of the "nuc" frames are plastic??  

Hive beetles!!!   Obviously, we didn't order beetles with our hive, but we've seen 4 on two inspections.  I wasn't even looking for them, so I suspect the whole hive is infected.  Our first hive, so I guess the beetles arrived as a bonus?Huh

Ants...We purchased a  hive top feeder.  Apparently, the ants get a greater benefit from these things than the bees.

edited to delete the name of the company....for what became obvious reasons.

Birds.  Swallows???  Attacking the returning/outgoing bees today.  

I'm worried the bees will not get strong enough to survive the winter with all these problems....Huh?
« Last Edit: June 13, 2010, 01:23:19 AM by givemeone » Logged
Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2010, 06:08:45 AM »

Well, equipment breaks and is expensive (I probably shouldn't tell you I wouldn't have bought anything in a beginners kit...) SHB are a fact of life if you have them... they are usually free. Smiley  Feeding always attracts ants.  It often attracts robbers as well.  Feeding is never a simple "good or bad" thing.  I don't see swallows as an issue nor ants, for that matter in my climate.  Bees have been surviving without our help for millions of years...
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Michael Bush
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indypartridge
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« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2010, 07:10:06 AM »

Michael summed it up well. I'd bet that you probably also got some free varroa mites. Dealing with pests is part of beekeeping. I've got some boxes with both plastic and wood frames - no big deal. If one of your frames is bad, you can eventually work it over to a side and then replace it.

The worst thing my bees have had to deal with is my fumbling attempts to keep them. I'd like to think I've gotten better over the years, but I still make mistakes, am still clueless in some situations, but the bees carry on despite me.

Enjoy your bees.
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Scadsobees
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« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2010, 08:01:56 AM »

Ditto on all that!

SHB are in my hives, they're a lot like strep or staph...always around but usually only an issue if the health is compromised.  They haven't been an issue in any of my outdoor hives.

Yup, wood and plastic, got 'em both!  On the bright side, the topbars of the plastic frame won't pull off!!  I've had the wood frame do what your's are doing.  I wrapped some wire around top to bottom (I have frame wire, but other would probably work too), worked like a charm, I think that frame is still working.

I don't use feeders much any more.  Hive top feeders are awesome in the fall.  But if you want to feed now, maybe retire the hive top feeder for now and use jars with holes on top of the frames, a package don't need a lot of feed.

Don't have any advice on birds....
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Rick
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« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2010, 08:23:46 AM »

We purchased a starter kit several weeks ago from Walter T. Kelley.  (Kentucky special  $159.00)  Pre-ordered a "Nuc"  ..(113.00)  and then we spent approximately $350 on equipment on the day we picked  up our bees. 

Nothing but trouble since.  One of the nuc frames had two ...extra .....nails put into the top because the top of the frame was broken.  Didn't solve the problem because the top bar pulls apart with the slightest pressure/pull while removing the frame.  Anytime you need to pull the frame from the hive the whole top bar gives away.

Two of the "nuc" frames are plastic??   

Hive beetles!!!   Obviously, we didn't order beetles with our hive, but we've seen 4 on two inspections.  I wasn't even looking for them, so I suspect the whole hive is infected.  Our first hive, so I guess the beetles arrived as a bonus?Huh

Ants...We purchased a  hive top feeder.  Apparently, the ants get a greater benefit from these things than the bees.

Birds.  Swallows???  Attacking the returning/outgoing bees today. 

I'm worried the bees will not get strong enough to survive the winter with all these problems....Huh?

Welcome to the Wonderful World Of Beekeeping  evil

Find a Local Beekeeper to be your Mentor before you end up buying Goldfish or something.
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Titus
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« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2010, 09:51:53 AM »

I saw other nucs from Kellys this year will ALL the same problems.  They got some bad nucs from their supplier.  If you contacted them soon enough to complain, they worked out a deal with the supplier to make it right.
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wd
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« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2010, 12:02:57 PM »

Goldfish? I like lion heads...

Can you repair the frame? wire and nails, staples a brace?
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greenbtree
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« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2010, 12:20:40 PM »

It's a tough way to start out I admit, but in a way it's good - there is a lot of bad to go with the good with beekeeping, or any endeavor dealing with living things (don't even get me started on horsebreeding).  This is my first season - my first hive dwindled and died.  Tried a bunch of stuff including buying a new queen, nothing worked.  My son's hive we split and both are going gangbusters - we got them both at the same place and at the same time.  If you are uncomfortable dealing with issues it's better to find out now and hundreds of dollars in rather than later and thousands of dollars.  What if you were up to 6 hives and had a really bad winter and lost them all.  Would you be comfortable starting over?

JC
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"Rise again, rise again - though your heart it be broken, or life about to end.  No matter what you've lost, be it a home, a love, a friend, like the Mary Ellen Carter rise again!"
lotsobees
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« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2010, 12:59:43 PM »

We purchased a starter kit several weeks ago from Walter T. Kelley.  (Kentucky special  $159.00)  Pre-ordered a "Nuc"  ..(113.00)  and then we spent approximately $350 on equipment on the day we picked  up our bees. 

If you find that you really enjoy beekeeping over a year or two, I'd highly encourage you to build your own stuff. We're making boxes, lids/bottoms, and frames for about $30 or less total for complete 4-box hive (plus your time if you've got it). Sure beats paying thru the nose for the equipment. To be clear, it took us a year to get things figured out and just right as the boys and I are definitely not mechanically/wood-working inclined. Smiley
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kathyp
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« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2010, 01:25:35 PM »

frames come apart.  did it to two of mine when i check the other day.  it's part of the fun.  wait 'until you do it with one that heavy with honey!  smiley

we find bees crammed in walls, trees, barrels, and (JP) stereo speakers!  they will survive your equipment if they are healthy.  just work the broken, or not so great stuff out as you go along. 

welcome to beekeeping!
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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
Bee Happy
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« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2010, 02:51:08 PM »

I thought dealing with issues and challenges was part of the joy - sorta.
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BeeHopper
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« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2010, 03:42:08 PM »

I thought dealing with issues and challenges was part of the joy - sorta.

It is  Smiley

Some folks just give up too easily in my area, the problem lies in the learning curve and patience. With the exception of a few, every Beek ought to have a local Mentor so that the tiniest of issues do not become overwhelming. The OP seems to have gotten hit with a few right off the bat.  Undecided
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dirtfarmer101
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« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2010, 04:45:35 PM »

Yes...Wow...I also started with two nucs from Walter Kelley Co., probably the same Saturday you bought yours.  I have been thrilled with them. They have grown unbelievably fast. I bought one extra queen to speed up an early split. I cut out extra queen cells to use in even more two-frame splits. I have made all my own equipment except for the frames.  I have sold enough starts to break even for everything I bought.  I now have ten young starts in my yard, with zero invested. I expect they will build up before winter so I'll have ten wintered nucs next spring.  Yes..Some of the frames I received in my original nucs were sort-of crummy, but it certainly didn't hurt anything.  I have not seen any beetles, but I'm sure I have some.  That comes with it.  Beekeeping is just like everything else in life. It's whatever you make of it.
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givemeone
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« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2010, 11:05:09 PM »

Thanks for all the replies, suggestions.  Some of the problems have been self-inflicted.  (accidentally putting 9 frames in a 10 frame box....)   The bees used the extra space to build out the comb...which promptly fell/broke off on the second inspection.  disaster.....disaster.....disaster...spent a lot of time watching it after removing it.  Pretty sure the queen was not on there, but we lost a lot of capped brood, eggs, and larva. 

I can't imagine trying to fix the broken frame with hundreds of bees crawling all over it.   I get more and more comfortable every day, because our bees seem to be very patient with my ineptitude....but they seem immune to smoke.  Little beasts will buzz, but usually not move a whole lot when smoked.  I guess I could "shake" them off, but they seem to have a hard time working themselves out of the grass/each other.

A $113.00 "nuc" should not have a broken frame.  And it shouldn't have hive beetles.  Just my opinion as a newbee. 

I guess the birds are a part of life/etc....  it's just not fun to watch them flying around in the evening and thinking that they are filling up on bees.

I don't think I'll buy a "nuc" again. I'll try "packaged" bees in the spring.  We ordered some bettle traps and a "jar" feeder for our new hives..  Hopefully we'll resolve the ant issue and deal with the beetles.  I really don't want to resort to chemicals.

The bees, on the other hand, really don't seem to bothered a whole bunch about all my worries. 

Activity is up..I need some sort of GPS tracker to figure out where they are going.
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givemeone
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« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2010, 11:12:24 PM »

We purchased a starter kit several weeks ago from Walter T. Kelley.  (Kentucky special  $159.00)  Pre-ordered a "Nuc"  ..(113.00)  and then we spent approximately $350 on equipment on the day we picked  up our bees. 

Nothing but trouble since.  One of the nuc frames had two ...extra .....nails put into the top because the top of the frame was broken.  Didn't solve the problem because the top bar pulls apart with the slightest pressure/pull while removing the frame.  Anytime you need to pull the frame from the hive the whole top bar gives away.

Two of the "nuc" frames are plastic??   

Hive beetles!!!   Obviously, we didn't order beetles with our hive, but we've seen 4 on two inspections.  I wasn't even looking for them, so I suspect the whole hive is infected.  Our first hive, so I guess the beetles arrived as a bonus?Huh

Ants...We purchased a  hive top feeder.  Apparently, the ants get a greater benefit from these things than the bees.

Birds.  Swallows???  Attacking the returning/outgoing bees today. 

I'm worried the bees will not get strong enough to survive the winter with all these problems....Huh?

Welcome to the Wonderful World Of Beekeeping  evil

Find a Local Beekeeper to be your Mentor before you end up buying Goldfish or something.


Not sure what this means.  New to bees.  Studied up before taking the leap.  didn't expect so many problems 2 weeks in...

And I do have a Koi pond.  Heron problem, but I've figured it out.


thanks for all your wonderful advice!  I'm guessing the internet is your friend.

thanks again.
Doug





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Bee Happy
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« Reply #15 on: June 10, 2010, 11:17:47 PM »

Smiley attack the issues one at a time, each issue is (sorta) a separate problem.  if the bad frame is a problem you could cut it out and put it in a new frame with rubber bands, the bees will clean it up.
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fish_stix
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« Reply #16 on: June 10, 2010, 11:46:07 PM »

There are 2 types of beehives; those that have hive beetles and those that will have beetles. Your supplier does not plan on shipping you hive beetles, and he doesn't lay awake at night dreaming of ways to get you into beetle farming. They are a fact of life that you have to deal with. If they don't come with the hive they will arrive shortly after you buy it and take it home. As far as the broken frame goes, fix it. I get broken frames in my hives too. Too bad! This is beekeeping, not kindergarten. You'll be called on to fix many things that you never thought would break.
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BeeHopper
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« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2010, 07:53:48 AM »

We purchased a starter kit several weeks ago from Walter T. Kelley.  (Kentucky special  $159.00)  Pre-ordered a "Nuc"  ..(113.00)  and then we spent approximately $350 on equipment on the day we picked  up our bees. 

Nothing but trouble since.  One of the nuc frames had two ...extra .....nails put into the top because the top of the frame was broken.  Didn't solve the problem because the top bar pulls apart with the slightest pressure/pull while removing the frame.  Anytime you need to pull the frame from the hive the whole top bar gives away.

Two of the "nuc" frames are plastic??   

Hive beetles!!!   Obviously, we didn't order beetles with our hive, but we've seen 4 on two inspections.  I wasn't even looking for them, so I suspect the whole hive is infected.  Our first hive, so I guess the beetles arrived as a bonus?Huh

Ants...We purchased a  hive top feeder.  Apparently, the ants get a greater benefit from these things than the bees.

Birds.  Swallows???  Attacking the returning/outgoing bees today. 

I'm worried the bees will not get strong enough to survive the winter with all these problems....Huh?

Welcome to the Wonderful World Of Beekeeping  evil

Find a Local Beekeeper to be your Mentor before you end up buying Goldfish or something.


Not sure what this means.  New to bees.  Studied up before taking the leap.  didn't expect so many problems 2 weeks in...

And I do have a Koi pond.  Heron problem, but I've figured it out.


thanks for all your wonderful advice!  I'm guessing the internet is your friend.

thanks again.
Doug







The Goldfish comment was basically saying to hang in there , don't give up without at least having another Beek to assist you in person. And if you did give up, Goldfish are easier to handle.  grin

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givemeone
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« Reply #18 on: June 12, 2010, 02:42:11 AM »

Thanks for all the replies.  We are working through our problems.   1 at a time.  The advice/knowledge we get from the forum is very helpful and keeps us from worrying a whole bunch.  The bees seem to be doing well..

I've never done this before, so if the majority thinks it is "normal" for a "nuc" colony to come with broken frames and hive beetles...then...so be it.  If you think it shouldn't be a problem/issue for a complete beginner who has never dealt with bees before...then i respectfully disagree.

Also, although I know little about SHB...(learning more every day)  I think it is very unlikely that we would have had this problem any time soon if they had not arrived with our bees.  There is probably not another hive within 1 or 2 miles of our hive.  I've never seen a creature similar to it in our garden. 
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givemeone
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« Reply #19 on: June 12, 2010, 02:52:14 AM »

There are 2 types of beehives; those that have hive beetles and those that will have beetles. Your supplier does not plan on shipping you hive beetles, and he doesn't lay awake at night dreaming of ways to get you into beetle farming. They are a fact of life that you have to deal with. If they don't come with the hive they will arrive shortly after you buy it and take it home. As far as the broken frame goes, fix it. I get broken frames in my hives too. Too bad! This is beekeeping, not kindergarten. You'll be called on to fix many things that you never thought would break.

Helpful.  I can't believe amazing folks like yourself even exist ....and then still find the time to be so gracious to share all your knowledge.  thanks.



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