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Author Topic: What did you learn this year?  (Read 5228 times)
L Daxon
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« on: December 05, 2011, 05:42:15 PM »

OK.  Here is my second annual "What did you learn this year?" post.

This year I learned how to work my hives without out gloves (will never go back to wearing them, unless I get a really hot hive.)

I learned how to help a queenless hive get queenright by giving it a frame or two (or three) of eggs.

I learned I should always keep a nuc on hand so when one of my hives goes queenless in late October i would have had a back up queen handy.  (Will make a nuc as soon as I can next spring.)

I learned I don't need a queen excluder to keep her majesty out of the honey supers.  One of my queens did lay a few eggs in a honey comb but I just put the frame down in the brood box and pulled a broodless frame up. (one of the nice things you can do when you use all the same size equipment.)

But I should have used a queen excluder below the bottom box when I hived a swarm in April so it wouldn't be gone the next morning.  Will always use a queen excluder to keep the swarm queen in until I am sure she is settled in her new digs.

I learned just because I see two eggs in a cell it doesn't mean I have a laying worker--just a new queen who hasn't got her job down pat yet.

I let the girls draw out comb without foundation for the first time and it went well. Won't be using so much foundation in my supers from here on out.

I used an extractor for the first time this fall and found out it was not all that much better than the crush and strain technique I had used my previous seven harvests.  Yeah, I didn't destroy my comb, but I think using an extractor was actually a bit more work for a hobbyist like me.

For the first time in my 10 years of beekeeping I didn't use any chemicals in any of my hives this year.  I'll know how well that worked next spring!

I did a whole lot of reading about bees and hive biology this year but I am not sure the "girls" read the same books I do, so don't know if they will always behave the way the books say they should.  But most of all I hope the girls actually benefit from what I read in the books.

Looking forward to learning even more in 2012.
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linda d
FRAMEshift
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« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2011, 07:39:23 PM »

I learned about Michael Bush's technique of "splitting by the box"  where he deals out the 8-frame medium boxes into two stacks so he does not have to open the boxes to get an even distribution of resources.  I don't use his method because I have only long hives, but it made the top of my list of new things learned because I was REALLY impressed with how clever this is.  If I were a Langstroth beek, I would be splitting by the box.  grin
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AliciaH
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« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2011, 08:32:29 PM »

I learned how to utilize false swarms as a means of swarm prevention.

I learned how to utilize a "basement" to give foragers extra room at night, also as a swarm prevention.

I learned that you should continue placing larvae in a hive while you wait for a new queen to hatch and get mated.  Because, if you have laying workers kick in at the same time a newly mated queen starts laying, the newly mated queen will LOSE.

My biggee, though, was learning that getting stung next to the carotid artery is SO NOT FUN!

I love good lessons!
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MTWIBadger
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« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2011, 09:32:19 PM »

I learned how to make spun honey by using a cheap wine cooler to keep it at 58 degrees.  The time it takes varies on the type of honey. 

I learned I don't like the flavor of dandelion honey and will leave it on for winter feed from now.

I learned a weak hive in the spring will make the most honey by the fall.  A strong hive coming off the dandelion flow in the spring will swarm so I plan on splitting it.

I learned cloudy rainy weather in the spring makes it very difficult to get a queen mated.

I learned the easiest way to insulate a hive for winter is use 2 inch foam insulation and screw it into the sides of the hive with 2.5 inch screws.

I learned four hives aren't enough if three have swarmed and you need frames of eggs for requeening all three hives.

I learned I'm terrible at graftin.  Next year I will just cut out a quarter size area of brood and secure it to a frame instead of taking a whole frame of eggs out of a hive.

Alicia your sting was probably close to the external jugular vein which you can see under the skin on the neck.  The carotid artery and internal jugular vein are pretty deep and covered by muscle. Trust me I'm a surgeon!

 
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beee farmer
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« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2011, 01:08:09 AM »

I learned (finally) after 32 years of marriage that even if your right, unless its really important, its better to keep your mouth shut!
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2011, 03:18:52 AM »

>I learned (finally) after 32 years of marriage ...

Only 32 years?
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Michael Bush
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ShaneJ
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« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2011, 03:48:24 AM »

I learned how to do a trap out. Thanks Iddee. Just need to learn how to finish it now.
I learned that not wearing a bee suit teaches you to be more gentle with your bees.
I learned that you don't really need a bee suit unless you have angry bees.
I learned that getting stung on the eye because you weren't wearing a bee suit hurts a bit.
And finally I learned that skipping the basics and jumping into the deep end doesn't work for long Sad
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Shane
ziffabeek
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« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2011, 08:58:28 AM »

I learned how to hive a swarm, cage the queen and then release her.
I learned how to scoop bearding bees with my bare hands.
I learned how to do a cut out and attache comb to frames
I learned the basics of a trap out (but haven't tried one yet.)
I learned (theoretically) how to graft an egg. and the concepts of queen rearing
I learned that Iddee makes some darn good moonshine.
I learned that Bailey makes some likewise good mead.
I learned how (not) to do a walk away split and how to (it worked in the end!)
I learned what foul-brood looks like
I learned that giving a talk to third graders about bees is fun and frightening
I learned that I do know a bit about beekeeping
I learned that that is a very very small bit. Cheesy

Wow! I learned so much!  Most of it due to Bud's awesome get together and Iddee, my fabulous long distance mentor, and JP and Hardwood and Schawee and KathyP and Frameshift and Michael Bush and everybody else on this WONDERFUL forum!

THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!

love,
ziffa
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Hemlock
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« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2011, 09:22:46 AM »

Learned how to...
  • make Spring Splits, using 2 to 5 frames, for swarm control & apiary expansion.
  • raise my own queens from queenless nucs
  • catch & hive swarms
  • let the bees draw their own Natural comb
  • combine weaker colonies for Winter survival
Oh, and...
  • NOT let a hive go a month between inspections in Spring.  Unless i want to make a swarm machine.
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Larry Bees
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« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2011, 09:43:27 AM »

I learned so much that it would take me an hour to list everything, but one thing not mentioned so far is:

Don't eat bananas before inspecting your hives.

Larry
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AliciaH
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« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2011, 11:30:40 AM »

Alicia your sting was probably close to the external jugular vein which you can see under the skin on the neck.  The carotid artery and internal jugular vein are pretty deep and covered by muscle. Trust me I'm a surgeon!

And I learned that there is a difference between the external jugular vein and the carotid artery (thanks, Badger!) Smiley 
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CapnChkn
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« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2011, 12:01:02 PM »

I learned too much to remember:

  • If you can't find the queen, see how the bees in each side of the split act.
  • Assemble the parts before wax dipping.  They dry out and split on you.
  • Bees in a swarm trap don't necessarily mean there's a swarm in there.  Two weeks, bees going in and out, and when I took it down there were 3 living bees.
  • A breeder queen doesn't always mean Inseminated.

And a bunch of other stuff.
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SEEYA
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« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2011, 02:17:23 PM »

Learned: Physics, Ohms Law, Thermodynamics, Geography, Genetics, Botany, Zoology, Forestry, Climatology, Carpentry, Haploids, Alleles, Large cell, Small cell, Queen cells, Cross comb, Carniolans, Russians, Italians, Hygienic, Supers, Westerns, Nucs, Langs, Longs, Warre, Smith, Regression, Suppression, Hybrids, Crossbred, Virgin Queens, Laying workers, Queen right, Queen excluders,  Splits, Combines, DC & AC Current, AMM, AFB, EFB, AHB, SHB, TBH,  .... Beekeeping? nothing to it:  grin A) put bees in a box, B) take honey out! Nothin to it rolleyes

Beekeeping should be really popular, it's got something for everybody!  jaw drop
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Live long and prosper!
Pren10
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« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2011, 04:16:20 PM »

I learned:
- How to raise Queens with only 1/4 lb of bees. applause


- That queen are lovable sweet little girls that like kisses. Lips Sealed


- How to maintain 5-8 laying queens in one hive. bee  bee bee bee bee bee


- How to make a drone ejaculate rainbow sunflower


- The 1001 uses for honey and pollen 


- That a freshly capped queen cell dipped in honey is a delectable treat! pop


- That most people have very wrong ideas about bees.


- That heating the honey destroys the Invertase and Diastase enzymes as well as screw up its aromatic composition.


- That the US only produces 45% of its annual consumption of honey.


- That CCD mostly affects the Commercial beekeepers who abuse their bees.


- That  a swarm can collect 14 young queens inside  (Found it myself).

                                                                                             jaw drop



I could go on but I do have a very busy day.
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Tommyt
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« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2011, 04:36:51 PM »

I learned:
- How to maintain 5-8 laying queens in one hive. bee  bee bee bee bee bee

Please send me this info so as not to derail the thread

Tommyt
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Hemlock
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« Reply #15 on: December 06, 2011, 05:01:37 PM »

I learned:
- How to.....a very busy day.
Bjorn?!
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Tommyt
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« Reply #16 on: December 06, 2011, 05:56:55 PM »

 rolleyes\\

.

...

lau

Tommyt
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woodchopper
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« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2011, 08:22:55 AM »

I learned:
- How to maintain 5-8 laying queens in one hive. bee  bee bee bee bee bee

Please send me this info so as not to derail the thread

Tommyt
I'd appreciate the info as well. Never heard of anyone doing this.
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VolunteerK9
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Gamecock fan in UT land.


« Reply #18 on: December 07, 2011, 10:06:49 AM »


- That CCD mostly affects the Commercial beekeepers who abuse their bees.
                                                                                             

Abuse their bees huh?
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AliciaH
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« Reply #19 on: December 07, 2011, 10:41:21 AM »

One of the hives I opened yesterday objected immediately to my intrusion.  So...I have also now learned that "dripping" with OA is preferable to "shooting" it at the bees.  It just makes them object even more!   tongue  a.k.a., keep your cool!
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beewitch
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« Reply #20 on: December 07, 2011, 03:30:16 PM »

From second year beek:

I learned I like Carnies better than Italians. But all bees are good... (Though, my "mutt" bees are a little hot tempered).
I knew I loved honey, but having your own is AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I learned I had a lot more friends when people knew I had raw, local honey.
Hopefully I'll learn what it feels like to overwinter bees.  So far so good!
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Stone
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« Reply #21 on: December 07, 2011, 06:19:11 PM »

Can you direct me to where I can find out about Michael Bush's "splitting by the box" technique?  Thanks!
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LoriMNnice
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« Reply #22 on: December 07, 2011, 07:00:30 PM »

I learned (finally) after 32 years of marriage that even if your right, unless its really important, its better to keep your mouth shut!

I learned beee farmer is pretty smart  grin
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Tommyt
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« Reply #23 on: December 07, 2011, 07:13:46 PM »

Can you direct me to where I can find out about Michael Bush's "splitting by the box" technique?  Thanks!


Here you go
http://bushfarms.com/bees.htm
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FRAMEshift
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« Reply #24 on: December 07, 2011, 07:53:36 PM »

Can you direct me to where I can find out about Michael Bush's "splitting by the box" technique?  Thanks!


http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslazy.htm#splitbybox
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Scadsobees
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« Reply #25 on: December 07, 2011, 07:57:50 PM »

I learned (finally) after 32 years of marriage that even if your right, unless its really important, its better to keep your mouth shut!

I learned beee farmer is pretty smart  grin

Not if it took him 32 years!! tongue  I've always known it, just rarely able to practice it. grin
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Rick
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« Reply #26 on: December 07, 2011, 10:25:15 PM »

I learned (finally) after 32 years of marriage that even if your right, unless its really important, its better to keep your mouth shut!

I learned beee farmer is pretty smart  grin

Not if it took him 32 years!! tongue  I've always known it, just rarely able to practice it. grin
Yeah... your right.....good thing I am Good Looking huh?  Practice makes perfect!
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bayouboy
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« Reply #27 on: December 08, 2011, 12:17:56 AM »

I learned when doing your first cutout,have some one with you who knows what their doing.(thanks Schawee)
I learned that when you think all of your bees have left....look in the box.(I'm new)
I also learned that beekeeping is extremely fascinating,and really enjoyable for me.
And that Beemasters is the best beekeeping forum on the web....Thanks guysjavascript:void(0);
Mike
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Mike
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« Reply #28 on: December 08, 2011, 02:28:17 AM »

I learned that there is a whole fascinating world of Beekeeping out there that I can hardly wait to explore...come on SPRING!    bee
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T Beek
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« Reply #29 on: December 08, 2011, 06:13:35 AM »

Wow!  Its hard to pin point precisely (in this hobby one can learn much each season), but what I did learn was really more of an "acceptance of others methods' specifically in regards to insulating hives over winter. 

I'm not yet convinced of 'complete' insulation, but insulating three sides and the top are gonna be SOP for me from now on, at least until I change my mind again Wink

thomas
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PeeVee
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« Reply #30 on: December 11, 2011, 07:30:25 PM »

I learned that when you have a day job there is never enough time to spend on what is important (the bees).
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jaseemtp
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« Reply #31 on: December 17, 2011, 07:50:26 PM »

I learned that keeping bees is fun.
I learned that teaching your children about bees and having them learn with you is something that they hopefully will remember forever.
I learned that stings on the face hurt and swell
I learned that people are crazy for local honey and are not bashful about knocking on your door to ask for honey, even if they dont know you.
I learned that doing cut outs and swarm captures are alot of work and alot of fun.
I learned that I am not alone in my fascination for these insects.
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Country Heart
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« Reply #32 on: December 18, 2011, 02:12:12 AM »

I learned that I am not alone in my fascination for these insects.

Thank goodness! 
It is so nice to have such a wonderful community of folks (even if they are mainly virtual/online) with the same fascination.   Smiley
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #33 on: December 18, 2011, 05:28:18 AM »

>I learned that when you have a day job there is never enough time to spend on what is important (the bees).

Ain't that the truth!
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Michael Bush
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Jim 134
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« Reply #34 on: December 18, 2011, 05:51:28 AM »

I learned (finally) after 32 years of marriage that even if your right, unless its really important, its better to keep your mouth shut!


 
Well beee farmer.........

  You can bee happy or you can bee right  grin



   BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley
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Franklin County Beekeepers Association MA. http://www.franklinmabeekeepers.org/
JackM
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« Reply #35 on: December 18, 2011, 08:54:59 AM »

I learned I want to bee keep and began the learning process.  Spring will test my knowledge!
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beee farmer
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« Reply #36 on: December 19, 2011, 10:04:35 PM »

I learned (finally) after 32 years of marriage that even if your right, unless its really important, its better to keep your mouth shut!


 
Well beee farmer.........

  You can bee happy or you can bee right  grin



   BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley

You got that right!!!!   and never the twain shall meet
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KD4MOJ
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« Reply #37 on: December 20, 2011, 07:54:15 AM »

I learned:

- How to make a drone ejaculate rainbow sunflower


I'm not even going to ask why you would want to do that!   grin Kinda like obtaining TRex urine...   

...DOUG
KD4MOJ


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