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Author Topic: What did you learn this year?  (Read 5269 times)

Offline L Daxon

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What did you learn this year?
« on: December 05, 2011, 06:42:15 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.
linda d

Offline FRAMEshift

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Re: What did you learn this year?
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2011, 08:39:23 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.  :-D
"You never can tell with bees."  --  Winnie-the-Pooh

Offline AliciaH

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Re: What did you learn this year?
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2011, 09:32:29 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!
:)

Offline MTWIBadger

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Re: What did you learn this year?
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2011, 10:32:19 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!

 

Offline beee farmer

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Re: What did you learn this year?
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2011, 02:08:09 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!
"Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do"  Benjamin Franklin

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: What did you learn this year?
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2011, 04:18:52 AM »
>I learned (finally) after 32 years of marriage ...

Only 32 years?
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen

Offline ShaneJ

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Re: What did you learn this year?
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2011, 04:48:24 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 :(
Shane

Offline ziffabeek

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Re: What did you learn this year?
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2011, 09:58:28 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. :D

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

Offline Hemlock

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Re: What did you learn this year?
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2011, 10:22:46 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.

Offline Larry Bees

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Re: What did you learn this year?
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2011, 10:43:27 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

Offline AliciaH

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Re: What did you learn this year?
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2011, 12:30:40 PM »
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!) :) 

Offline CapnChkn

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Re: What did you learn this year?
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2011, 01:01:02 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.
"Thinking is like sin, them that doesn't is scairt of it, and them that does gets to liking it so much they can't quit!"  -Josh Billings.

Offline SEEYA

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Re: What did you learn this year?
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2011, 03:17:23 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:  :-D A) put bees in a box, B) take honey out! Nothin to it :roll:

Beekeeping should be really popular, it's got something for everybody!  :jawdrop:
Live long and prosper!

Offline Pren10

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Re: What did you learn this year?
« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2011, 05:16:20 PM »
I learned:
- How to raise Queens with only 1/4 lb of bees. X:X


- That queen are lovable sweet little girls that like kisses. :-X


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


- How to make a drone ejaculate :rainbowflower:


- 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).

                                                                                             :jawdrop:



I could go on but I do have a very busy day.

Offline Tommyt

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Re: What did you learn this year?
« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2011, 05:36:51 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
"Not everything found on the internet is accurate"
Abraham Lincoln

Offline Hemlock

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Re: What did you learn this year?
« Reply #15 on: December 06, 2011, 06:01:37 PM »
I learned:
- How to.....a very busy day.
Bjorn?!

Offline Tommyt

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Re: What did you learn this year?
« Reply #16 on: December 06, 2011, 06:56:55 PM »
 :roll:\\

.

...

:lau:

Tommyt
"Not everything found on the internet is accurate"
Abraham Lincoln

Offline woodchopper

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Re: What did you learn this year?
« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2011, 09:22:55 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.
Every man looks at his wood pile with a kind of affection- Thoreau

Offline VolunteerK9

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Re: What did you learn this year?
« Reply #18 on: December 07, 2011, 11:06:49 AM »

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

Abuse their bees huh?

Offline AliciaH

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Re: What did you learn this year?
« Reply #19 on: December 07, 2011, 11:41:21 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!   :-P  a.k.a., keep your cool!

 

anything