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Author Topic: Newbie (or hoping to be anyway), but afraid...  (Read 3473 times)
FRAMEshift
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« Reply #20 on: February 21, 2011, 06:25:07 PM »

Of all advice I have seen on many forums, I think this is either the worst or second worst piece of advice I have ever seen. The only thing I have seen that even compares with it is, "remove all queen cells". One of them has to take the booby prize for worst.
I think iddee is right.  Late in the season, it is hard to buy new queens if you lose yours.  If you don't have a second hive to share resources, including open brood, your season can be a total waste.  Having that second hive is NOT twice as much effort and it can save the day.

But "remove all the queen cells" is probably worse.  grin
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Acebird
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« Reply #21 on: February 21, 2011, 06:42:04 PM »

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Well, you might kill some but even if you do everything perfectly, some hives will die anyway.  That does not constitute failure on your part.

First response to her dilemma...

We all do dumb things as new beeks.  I am sure you were no different thy great one when you were a new beek.

Robo's response was a good response like many others.  But if farmgirl suffers multiple losses on the first attempt it will crush her.  There is no need to double the investment for her first year WITHOUT having a mentor to keep her from having a major emotional blow.

Farmgirl, failure is defined by giving up.  Losing a hive is no big deal all you have to do is get more bees.  Loosing all your hives will turn you off because you will start thinking of all the money you spent.  You said you were overwhelmed right?  Don't make it worse.
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Acebird
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« Reply #22 on: February 21, 2011, 06:54:46 PM »

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If you don't have a second hive to share resources, including open brood, your season can be a total waste.


This is absolute nonsense.  It will not be a total waste.  Her bees will have pollinated her gardens and she will end up with 20-40 pounds of honey which more than pays for another nuc to start again next year.  She will spend time on this forum through the winter trying to figure out what went wrong.  she may find an answer or she may not.  The point is she stands a better chance of sticking with it.

You think just because she has a second hive she is going to know what to do next if the first one fails?  Yeah, right, sure ... let me know if that works.  She is starting out OVERWHELMED.
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iddee
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« Reply #23 on: February 21, 2011, 07:06:21 PM »

If one argues with a fool, others may have trouble telling which is which. Have it your way. I won't argue.
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« Reply #24 on: February 21, 2011, 07:20:27 PM »

I just concluded my first season as a beekeeper and the one piece of advice I wish I'd heeded was to start with 2 hives.   I only had one for the same sort of resevations (will I like this?  I'm not sure about the extra effort, extra cost).   I would have been able to identify a struggling hive much quicker if I had some comparison and been able to swap frames to help out the weaker colony.

I think the worst case scenario is that you end up investing a little more money if indeed you find out this isn't for you.  Worst case of starting with one is that you feel like you spent a whole year spinning your wheels and figuring out what you missed a month too late.  If you've gotten this far, I doubt you'll want to quit after one season, so the risk of two hives vs one is minimal.

That doesn't mean that you cant start with one and things will go great!   But I strongly suggest starting with two hives.

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Countryboy
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« Reply #25 on: February 21, 2011, 07:34:32 PM »

Even experienced beekeepers have hives die, sometimes many of their hives die.  Don't allow the fear of a hive dying stop you. 

If you are worried about the financial investment, I'd recommend trying to obtain local swarms.  Odds are, they will survive better than bees bought from another state.

Honeybees are honeybees.  Descriptions of traits are more stereotypes than what you will see.  You will usually see more difference between two hives of the same strain than in two different strains.  Many people have success with Italians, and even most wild bees (my preference) have a lot of Italian genetics.

Yes, there is a lot to learn in beekeeping.  Yes, it can be overwhelming.  This is why I recommend finding a mentor - someone who will 'hold your hand' and help you find answers to your questions if they don't know the answer.  A good mentor is invaluable in beekeeping, and odds are, you'll gain a good friend in the process too.
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OzarksFarmGirl
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« Reply #26 on: February 21, 2011, 08:34:34 PM »

Thanks for all the great advice!  I bought the honey initially for us to use, as I still hadn't made up my mind on getting bees this year (although I have dreamed of having my own hives for quite a while), but thought if I did, then it might be better than sugar water so was going to give up us eating it for them.  Now I'm glad to hear that we get to eat it all!  grin

As I said, my greatest fear is that I would screw up and kill the bees. It's not that death is a stranger. Anyone that has ever raised livestock has had to face losing animals. I just don't want it to be because of something I did, or else didn't do but should have done. 

I'm not so much as worried about the cost factor, as I've spent more for less such as for tickets to attend renowned operas, and I already have enough budgeted and set aside for two complete hives, allowing extra just in case there was something I forgot that the bees just have to have.  To me, it just makes good sense to start out with a minimum of two hives. Like with livestock, I try to schedule breedings/hatching so that I have at least two due around the same time.  That way if I have a mom that can't raise her baby(ies) for whatever reason, I can foster the young on to the other  mother. But if I don't have another mom ready, things become more difficult.  Somehow I don't think it would work to try and bottle raise bees. grin  But I would like to have enough knowledge to not only see my first two survive, but for them to actually do well enough to divide at a later date.  Oh, and I just found a beek just a half hour or so away that has a few 3# pkgs of Italians each with a Min Hyg queen for just under $100 per pkg!  Although they won't be ready until mid-April. But hopefully that will give me plenty of time to get my woodwork purchased and all set up.  I don't plan on getting the big bee suit and all toots and it's whistles. I think I will do fine with just one of my LS white shirts and my white trousers, and just buy a veil, smoker, a hive tool and a brush.  And if I use gloves at all, it will probably use latex gloves (already have a few boxes of those) rather than buy thick, bulky bee gloves.  And yes, I have epi pens. I guess I'm what people nowadays would call a prepper, what with being prepared for just about any emergency.  Having lived without without electricity or indoor plumbing for a while when growing up (and mentally/physically prepared to do it again if the need arises), I've always just thought of being prepared for whatever comes was just plain ol' common sense and country living.  Getting into raising bees has been a long time in coming and I've been reading everything I can get my hands on them, and putting together a 3-ring binder of notes that I've taken from various posts on this forum and other experienced beekeepers.

I have to say, this is both exciting and apprehensive...like when waiting for kids to be born. And I'm really looking forward to this new adventure!
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iddee
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« Reply #27 on: February 21, 2011, 09:01:24 PM »

If you mess up, the bees will die. If you do everything right, the bees will die. Don't worry. Just raise them faster than they die off. Don't worry. Most of us keep bees for pleasure. There isn't any pleasure in worrying. You will have some live and others die, just like livestock. You will still have bees after winter comes and goes.

Oh, did I mention? Don't worry.
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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"

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« Reply #28 on: February 21, 2011, 09:09:12 PM »

  What I'm afraid of is failure.

Just do it! Don't let your fear consume you.

 I'm afraid that if I buy a hive, I will end up losing/killing them due inexperience and/or sheer ignorance. 

It happens!

 Sad  Even though I have several books on beekeeping and have read them over and over again, I feel totally overwhelmed and even more confused then ever. Some seem to go overboard with the equipment requirements (full suite, gloves, veil, etc.) and a host of medicines .  Undecided   

From my own personnal experience books have their place but don't let them scare you. I think a lot of books are overwritten in terms of things that could go wrong. A novice reads about diseases and other ills and comes away frightened. Give your bees a good home and they will do well. My vet claims things do better with benign neglect then continuous intervention.
Try to find a local bee source and buy from him. If the source has any savvy he will help you get started. You don't need to overdo it with medicines and epipens.

.   Smiley

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Scadsobees
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« Reply #29 on: February 22, 2011, 08:56:18 AM »

The #1 thing that I would recommend:

Find a mentor or somebody who has bees (or friends at a beek club).  Do what the mentor says for a bit.  This is helpful as well because if you only want to start out with one hive, they will often be willing to help you out if you run into trouble.  My mentor saved my hive a couple of times....

Read on the forums, but don't get too tied up with ideas and opinions.  Forums can really confuse issues more than clarify them. My first several years were hard because I was getting 1000's of ideas from the forums, but didn't really know how to implement any of them, and most didn't jive with what the old beek who started me out did.

None of our ideas are gospel.  We're all right and all wrong, it all depends on how you like to work.  Get a hive, get used to the bees, get comfortable with them knowing they may die, and then think about the ideas you can do with them.  If you have issues, ask for help, but then pick the opinion that you think will be best for you.

Rick
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Rick
Acebird
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« Reply #30 on: February 22, 2011, 09:05:53 AM »

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Find a mentor or somebody who has bees (or friends at a beek club). 


If you can find a mentor that will visit your hives and lead you along the way it doesn't matter if you started with one hive or ten hives.  The fact is very few new beeks have this option.  That is why they are here.
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Bee-Bop
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« Reply #31 on: February 22, 2011, 10:08:22 AM »

I see by your location your residence is in ; Hopelessly Lost, were is Hopelessly Lost, in the Ozarks ?

I know there are a lot of hopelessly lost people in the Ozarks !

Bee-Bop
Down Home, Rt.1, Ozark Mts., Mo.
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edward
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« Reply #32 on: February 22, 2011, 04:57:19 PM »

I still hadn't made up my mind on getting bees this year (although I have dreamed of having my own hives for quite a whileAs I said, my greatest fear is that I would screw up and kill the bees.  

Oh, and I just found a beek just a half hour or so away that has a few 3# pkgs of Italians each with a Min Hyg queen for just under $100 per pkg!  Although they won't be ready until mid-April.
  I don't plan on getting the big bee suit
  Getting into raising bees has been a long time in coming  

I have to say, this is both exciting and apprehensive...like when waiting for kids to be born. And I'm really looking forward to this new adventure!


The biggest mistake you will ever do is not to have bees.!!  grin

The minimum amount of hives you should have i a bee yard is two , why ?

If you lose the queen in one of the hives and there is no eggs for the bees too make a queen cell of , you can lift a frame with eggs from the hive that has new eggs into the hive with out and they can make a new queen..

Too late in the fall to make,mate a new queen , ? combine the hives to one , and you will have a strong hive that you can divie the next year.

One of your hives  is a bit slow in developing use the strong hive too make the week one stronger by lifting over  a brood frame that i s hatching.

If you start with  a small hive / or packet bees they and your confidence will grow under your first year as you get to know each other.

STOP DREAMING AND START BEEKEEPING  grin


mvh edward  tongue
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Acebird
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« Reply #33 on: February 22, 2011, 06:30:01 PM »

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STOP DREAMING AND START BEEKEEPING 


If she started with one hive three years ago how many would she have today?
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OzarksFarmGirl
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« Reply #34 on: February 22, 2011, 07:31:46 PM »


Join a Bee Club, find a mentor.

Bee-Bop
Phelps Co. Mo.

We are in the same county! Wanna volunteer to be my mentor? grin

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JP
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« Reply #35 on: February 22, 2011, 08:25:37 PM »

I mentor new bee keepers all the time. I have made mountains from mole hills but without extra moles I wouldn't have been able to make squat.  I usually have resources to reinforce their apiaries but its not always the case.

Find a mentor and start with at least two hives. That way you or your mentor can save the day, if it comes to that, but with bees one must have resources, as the saying goes, nothing from nothing leaves nothing.

Enjoy your journey into the wonderful world of bee keeping!


...JP

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« Reply #36 on: February 22, 2011, 08:30:12 PM »

...  To me, it just makes good sense to start out with a minimum of two hives..., I try to schedule breedings/hatching so that I have at least two due around the same time...for whatever reason, I can foster the young on to the other  mother...

You have the right idea and apparantly all the right experiences to be good at this.

Quote
  Somehow I don't think it would work to try and bottle raise bees...
Ya, and think of all those little bottles to keep clean-a nightmare. tongue

Quote
I've always just thought of being prepared for whatever comes was just plain ol' common sense and country living... I'm really looking forward to this new adventure!

You definitely have what it takes. Go for it.

Isn't it amazing how those with little sense or nerve want everyone else to be just like them.

Once you see what a hive looks like, throw another together from scrap so you have a place to put that swarm someone is going to call you about.
 It'll happen.
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Countryboy
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« Reply #37 on: February 22, 2011, 08:44:31 PM »

and just buy a veil, smoker, a hive tool and a brush.

And a brush?  Why, is your hair messy?

If you want the bees off a comb, give it a hard shake.  Or you can hold it by one end, and give it a good thump or two on the landing board.

A bee brush is really good at making bees really irritable.  If you do use a bee brush, DON'T brush with it.  That just rolls the bees and makes them mad.  Use the brush to flick the bees off the comb with small flicks.
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kathyp
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« Reply #38 on: February 22, 2011, 09:28:46 PM »

if you think you are interested in going after swarms, i'd invest in a good jacket with attached hood.  bees have a way of getting under that veil when they are aggravated. 
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Countryboy
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« Reply #39 on: February 22, 2011, 09:37:19 PM »

Swarms...thanks for reminding me about them, kathy.

If you get a swarm stuck to the side of a building or vehicle, or on a fencepost, a brush can come in mighty handy to getting them into your box.

I do have a bee brush - but it's probably one of the least used bee tools that I have.
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