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Author Topic: Who or what makes us love this?  (Read 3273 times)
Riggs
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« on: April 20, 2012, 11:21:42 AM »

OK, I have a general question. I got interested in beekeeping several years ago just out of general curiosity. I think the first thing I read was an internet article about bees and a hobby farm. I made the plunge last year and of course loved it, so much so that my Dad who retired last fall got into it this spring with me. He installed three nucs this morning and is looking for a couple more.
My question is this, who or what got you into beekeeping? I will say this, I hope my kids pick up the fascination from me, just like their Gramps did.  Smiley
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« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2012, 11:57:58 AM »

My Grandfather raised bees.  I got into it last year to just keep the family tradition alive.  I had NO IDEA what an obsession it would become.  I have a lot of hobbies, but none have ever came close to compairing to the pleasure that I get from being around my bees.  I have a 1 year old son whom I've already bought a bee suit for.  He's either gonna grow up loving them or HATING them! LOL  I'm looking forward to the extra help.   Wink
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gailmo
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« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2012, 11:59:20 AM »

Four or five years ago a small swarm landed in a tree near our house.  I contacted the local bee guys at the farmer's market to see if anyone wanted to come and get them.  No one came....and interestingly, the bees stayed on the branch and built comb right there--in the open.  They remained for several months--until the cold weather set in and they died.   I watched them the entire time....and was saddened by their demise.

Over the winter I started reading about bees behavior and bee keeping...enrolled in a local class in January and the rest is history.

I am still sad that I didn't do more to save the first swarm.....stupid me!  And it is ironic that I now have several swarm traps out trying to capture a swarm because I lost a couple of hives over the winter. 

I really love watching the bees and how they develop.  The "social" aspect of hive operation is totally amazing.  The book Honeybee Democracy says it all for me....a true classic!
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Beeboy01
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« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2012, 12:30:12 PM »

My dad died back in '91 and left three hives in the back yard along with a garage half full of boxes. From the looks of the hives it was apparent he hadn't been in them for many years. I even found a 1/2 gallon milk jug in one hive that had been filled with honey comb. I'm guessing it was used as a feeder when he first set up the hive and he never pulled it out. Since he had been a bee keeper for as long as I could remember I decided to give it a try. The equipment and bees were already there so all it took was some time and effort. After 20 years I still really love it, can't put my finger on why I enjoy messing around with hives full of stinging insects but it is just really fun.
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beyondthesidewalks
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« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2012, 12:57:21 PM »

A friend who I knew through another association was a beekeeper.  I wasn't aware of it until he asked me if I'd like to help him harvest honey.  I agreed and helped rob, uncap and exract.  I was hooked.  He became my mentor and got me started.  We had honey extracting parties at his house where we processed both of our supers.  Another got hooked and then there were three of us pooling our efforts.  The mentor was a widower and eventually remarried.  His new wife was not too keen on bees and he got out of it.  Soon after the other man quit so it was just me.  In the last few years my mentor has gotten into it again with his wife's blessing.  I've moved about an hour away but we stay in touch.  I've really gotten him hooked on swarm trapping.  It's great to have him back and be able to talk bees with him again.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2012, 12:35:36 AM by beyondthesidewalks » Logged
luvin honey
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« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2012, 03:00:43 PM »

I love honey and I love pollinated crops. Now that I have bees, I love bees, too!
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2012, 12:33:56 AM »

I think the bees have mind control.  They take over our lives...
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JackM
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« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2012, 07:57:04 AM »

I had garden failure last year because of no bees.  I am totally fascinated by their actions.  I don't have enough time to watch them enough.  Wife isn't ready for an obs hive yet.
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« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2012, 10:28:29 AM »

I enjoy reading the posts and how we all got started and such.  Anyone on here knows that they are really fascinating creatures.  In some ways very similar to people, and in other ways very different.  I find it interesting to note that for many, if not most bee keepers, were first introduced to the life (not just a hobby) of bees by someone else who loved what they did and wanted to share that excitement and passion and even knowledge sometimes, with somebody else.  What better way to propagate than to get someone else hooked? 
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mikecva
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« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2012, 10:41:18 AM »

My family in southern Virginia, has had bees since mid 1800s (although not for the legal uses most people collect honey for) cheer. Since mid 1950s our family has sold honey at church socials and gave honey to local families. I got into beekeeping after retiring because I like bees. I agree with the bees using mind control idea since they have been around longer then we have and we 'think' we are keeping them.  lau lau lau  -Mike
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JP
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« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2012, 10:56:01 AM »

I like getting stung, especially in the nose. Nothing like that to give you the warm fuzzies.  grin


...JP
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« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2012, 05:08:28 PM »

I like getting stung, especially in the nose. Nothing like that to give you the warm fuzzies.  grin


...JP

OK JP, I think you must be poking fun at your buddy Shawee now ! grin
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« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2012, 05:14:03 PM »

I got started when my readings about colony collaps becoming a big problem. We plant many crops for the wildlife and noticed that there were few honey bees in the fields and realized it is hitting home. So I took the plunge to see if my efforts could help. The girls hooked me and it become my addition.
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dprater
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« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2012, 09:02:36 PM »

I"m new at this, I mean 2 weeks new and I'm just loving it. Me and 16 year old daughter sat at one of my hives and watch for a hr. or more today. Watching witch way they flew when they left. To our surprise they went in every direction. I thought they would mostly bee (ha ha) going to the same source. Drones are huge, and I had a long time beekeeper say he could not tell one bee from another??

Danny
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« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2012, 02:12:02 AM »

I came across a hollow tree with a colony in it in 1982.  Though we had bees for about 10 years before, I didn't really do anything with them.  I saw opportunity to make a few bucks, and tried to get the bees out of that tree without cutting it down.

I came back home after 27 years only to find one lonely, neglected hive out in the barn.  They absconded one day and were on the wall of the barn, so I put them in a top bar hive I threw together and they dwindled away.  The first experience I had with SHB, and something happened to the queen...

I couldn't just leave it at that then.
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« Reply #15 on: April 22, 2012, 02:45:23 PM »

When I was 14 we had a 3 ft long swarm land in a tree behind the house and bend the tree over. I was amazed and hooked. A year later I saw a hive in the paper for $10 and my father drove me over to get it. That was 51 yrs ago. I was fortunate enough to find a bee supply lady in town who was full of advice on what to do. I think the only time I was without bees was when I was in the Navy. I helped start a number of people over the years. I think I enjoy the challenge of keeping them alive over the winter. My kids enjoy the honey as I do in my morning coffee.
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luvin honey
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« Reply #16 on: April 25, 2012, 08:53:56 AM »

I think the bees have mind control.  They take over our lives...
Haha! So true! I cannot believe how many hours I've unintentionally spent watching them. Will the different colors of pollen ever cease to amaze me?
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« Reply #17 on: April 25, 2012, 10:12:13 AM »

For me the question shouldnt be what started me because that is boring granddad did it grew up with at least ten hive in back always.

The question should be why on earth are you so nuts about it. When Granddad died my dad who hates bees burned all his equipment not mean just didnt know what else to do with it. Ten years later I had a garden produce squat so I said I will get one hive and take a little honey like my granddad did every year. Well the last bee conversation I had was before small hive beetles and Granddad new nothing of VDM so that hive lasted 10 minutes. I then decided to just get swarms the next year they died  huh I was now the bee killer of mississippi.

Long story short if I had not had the complete failures so much so I was thing about quiting last year.( I talk about quiting every year) I would have never removed a single hive I would not know anything about queens most likely would have never come to this forum I would have just had 1 to 10 hives and collect some honey every year laugh about how I had bees and known nothing.
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #18 on: April 25, 2012, 01:18:18 PM »

I had garden failure last year because of no bees.  I am totally fascinated by their actions.  I don't have enough time to watch them enough. Wife isn't ready for an obs hive yet.

Do what I did. Build a good looking OB hive. While I was building mine, my wife said, "Your are not putting that in my house". I built it out of Black walnut and put a good finish on the outside. We had a party at our farm and to show it off, I put it on the kitchen table in the farm house. I brought it back to our main house and she asked me where I planned to put it. I put it in the corner of our closed in patio and she watches them more than I do and sometimes adds notes to my log.
Good Luck
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #19 on: April 25, 2012, 01:31:19 PM »

My father had bees for my younger brother after I left for the Navy. Years later, during a party for my daughter, a swarm took off from one of his 5 his roof hives and landed in a tree right next to the front door (my brother lost interest in it but my dad kept it going). My father in law took it home and ended up with 20 hives. Forward 20 years, (3 years ago) I was talking to my wife about getting an OB hive (didn't know you really need regular hives to keep Ob hives going). A month later she gave me 2 bee books that her father recommended and I was hooked. Now have 7 hives, including the OB hive.
Jim
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beewitch
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« Reply #20 on: April 25, 2012, 01:59:55 PM »

The first time I stood over a just-opened hive and smelled that intoxicating aroma of beeswax, honey and sunshine, I was smitten.  I seriously believe I did this in a previous life as there is nothing in my background that warrants this love of bees...  Except loving to garden, and fascination with bugs... Wait...  Duh.
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forrestcav
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« Reply #21 on: April 25, 2012, 02:37:34 PM »

I'm not sure what makes me love it, but i can say what got me interested in it. ALLERGIES!!! I read an article in mother earth news on top bars and got the "bug" I talked to a local beek who loaned and/or gave me two ten frame  deeps, 20 frames, smoker, gloves and a copy of kelly's catalog. I still keep several copies of various supply catalogs in my bag for  work. I love the smell of warm beewax, and the hum of the hive. Or just standing outside and waiting the comings and goings "atlanta airport has nothing on them". Then there's the thrill of seeing your girl start flying in the spring and realizing you over wintered your first hive.  Smiley
My wife keeps asking can we talk about something other than bees?? Naw
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« Reply #22 on: April 25, 2012, 10:06:34 PM »

This is my fourth year with bees and I finally feel like a beekeeper!  I don't know why, but I love my bees!  I love working the hives, I love watching them, and I love it when my 5 year old grandson says" Mamaw, I love these bees".  It's a little bit of an obsession----I wanted 2 to 4 hives and now I have 9.  I think my limit will be 10, but who knows...........
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« Reply #23 on: April 26, 2012, 12:45:21 PM »

I bought a book 13 years ago on beekeeping i got to the part about swarms and i didn't look at the book for another 10 years then i Had some extra money and i got two hives  . I now have 3 hives that made it through the winter and I'm going to do splits and i have 3 nucs coming in may and I'm right now making a secone apiarie  600 sf. i love my bees for sure I've got around 3000.00 warped up in it and i only used maybe 3 frames of honey but i have really good time beekeeping  and have 2 nice bee yards . Plus i want to learn how to make queens . After this year I'll have bees from 2 PA. apiaries  and 3 queens from NY.  to do my splits with this is for life I'm sure.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2012, 02:11:59 PM by GLOCK » Logged

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« Reply #24 on: April 26, 2012, 12:54:10 PM »

I was my grandads shadow, he had kept bees for 50 yrs. My Dad and uncle both agreed the great depression would have been much more depressing without Jeffs bees, they traded honey and bees for other needs. The only time I ever saw him with tears, was they day he decided he could not care for them anymore and sold out. I was too young to be of any real help, but thought some day we'd get them back..dl
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Country Heart
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« Reply #25 on: April 27, 2012, 02:02:28 AM »

My husband liked the idea of keeping bees.   Then...
...I did all the reading, research, planning and purchasing. 

Now he helps me with the hives and the bees are "keeping" us both completely mesmerized and entertained. 
Can't imagine life without them now.    bee
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« Reply #26 on: April 27, 2012, 08:48:55 PM »

it must be love. Had a guy call me from 40 miles away with a swarm he nuc'd. Five freshly drawn frame with three of them with brood. I jumped on them, sight unseen and said I was interested. while I still have traps hanging. my wife's gonna shoot me, no tell her. It's a siren's buzz, it calls to you.
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Riggs
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« Reply #27 on: April 28, 2012, 10:50:25 AM »

it must be love. Had a guy call me from 40 miles away with a swarm he nuc'd. Five freshly drawn frame with three of them with brood. I jumped on them, sight unseen and said I was interested. while I still have traps hanging. my wife's gonna shoot me, no tell her. It's a siren's buzz, it calls to you.

80 mile round trip for a 5 frame w/ brood, yep I'd be there too.
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« Reply #28 on: April 28, 2012, 11:30:22 AM »

In 1946 in Washington DC I was 6 and the apartment complex we lived in (in those days it was families, you played on the front lawn with all the adults on kitchen chairs watching and supervising). Suddenly a huge swarm landed on a little sapling. One of the mom's herded us all into her apartment to be safe & watch. About an hour or so later an older gentleman in a big straw hat drove up in a little black truck got out with a big box, put it next to the sapling, reached his arm up to his elbow into the swarm, pulled his arm out and stuck it into the box and most of the bees went with him. He then bent the sapling over the box and gave it a few shakes After a minute or so it seemed like all the bees were in the box. He waited about what I would guess was an hour, put the box in the back of his truck, gave us kids a wave and drove off. More excitement than TV, oh wait we didn't have TV so how would I know.
This story was brought back to my mind after reading the books of Richard Taylor a couple of years ago-what a delightful and inspirational guy and boy did he love and have a great old time with his bees - so I said why not - and I haven't been disappointed!   
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« Reply #29 on: April 28, 2012, 02:36:25 PM »

My grand dad and dad kept bees when I was a kid.  I remember watching the bees then and enjoying the honey extraction and eating honey while in the comb.  They stopped keeping them when I was in my early teens because they lost them in a hurricane.
Many years later I had a small swarm show up in my back yard on a tree and figured some one was telling me something.  I now have 15 hives and would love to get more.
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« Reply #30 on: April 28, 2012, 05:11:25 PM »

Right around 2003 or so, I was in a chat room and a friend of mine told me that he used to keep bees.  I asked him a little bit about it, and became interested enough that I started doing a little research into what exactly beekeeping entails.  I also found out that the only beekeeping supply shop in my half of the state was in my county, which was fortuitous.

Prior to 2003 I didn't know anything about bees, didn't have any family or friends who ever kept them (that I was aware of).
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« Reply #31 on: April 28, 2012, 07:16:27 PM »

"Can't imagine life without them now."

Me neither.
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« Reply #32 on: April 28, 2012, 07:49:01 PM »

I've always been fascinated by the natural world, and am a biologist and environmental scientist.  You name an animal indigenous to Indiana and I most likely had one for a pet at one time or another. 

I started a new job back in 1990, and there was a guy in my office who had a beehive.  He told me about this little country store in a small town just south of Indianapolis that sold bee-keeping equipment.  I bought my first hive and ordered a package of bees.  I've never had more than five hives at a time, unless you count nucs.  A couple of seasons I've "made" quite a bit of honey, and I have sold a good bit, but I've never really been in it for honey.  I'm just continually fascinated with bees, and experimenting with different ways to do things.

It's sure not as easy now as it was in 1990, but it's no less interesting.
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« Reply #33 on: April 28, 2012, 08:16:46 PM »

The first time I was among the bees with my mentor on a trailer with 20 or so hives on it, I was completely surrounded by bees and all went into slow motion.....that was the mid 80's been in love ever since. I told my wife just a few moments ago "People will tell you not to stand in the bees flight path, I love to stand in the bees flight path....it is like being surrounded by bubbles!"
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« Reply #34 on: June 25, 2012, 02:28:58 PM »

We started our first hive in may. I have always loved watching bees gather pollen in my herb garden. Reading about ccd made me want to try and help in some way. Learning more about bees opened a whole new world of fascination for the little creatures. Im learning so much devouring the posts at ths site.  When i talk to non bee people about our new hobby and get all excited....most of them look at you like..are you nuts???
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« Reply #35 on: June 25, 2012, 04:03:18 PM »

In 1980 my husband and I were visiting the home of a good friend of ours who also happened to be a very successful attorney.  He walked me out into the back yard of his home in a swank part of Tulsa and showed me his 6 hives.  With no smoke or protective clothing he popped the top of one of the hives and pulled out a frame of bees to show me.  I was hooked.

My husband told me he didn't want me to keep bees, we were living in a historic district in OKC at the time, but I ordered a package anyway and told him about it at a party so he couldn't make too much of a scene in front of all the other people there.  Within a few weeks of hiving my first package, he was hooked as well.  Although he has never worked the hives at all, he is proud that I do and, of course, LOVES to eat the fruit of my labor.  One of his favorite shirts is one that has a big bee printed on it and the words:  "My HONEY is a Keeper".
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« Reply #36 on: June 25, 2012, 04:14:29 PM »

My wife kept talking about getting a bee hive.  I really had no interest, mainly because I didn't want to get stung.  I eventually bought her a starter set up - complete hive, with smoker, book, bee suit and gloves.  Then I bought a 3 lb package of bees with queen online for her.  Turns out she was not so interested in becoming a beekeeper, but just rather liked the idea of having bees.  I on the other hand, being a gardener liked the idea of bees as pollinators.  After the first two packages failed, I turned to catching swarms and doing removals and love it.  I now have 8 hives at my place plus one at my friend's house.  He called a month ago to tell me had a swarm in his tree, so we caught it (after chasing the swarm down the street to the neighbor's yard) and I just left the hive at his place - adjacent to the alfalfa fields.  I have definitely been bitten by this bug and love working the hives - getting good honey and all the extra fruit from the better pollination.  The stings aren't so bad after all...

John
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« Reply #37 on: June 25, 2012, 10:49:11 PM »

My dad got into bees for a couple of years.  Not exactly sure what got him interested but I think it was a guy he worked with.  He had bees for about 3 years or so.  He had a good harvest or two but he kept getting his hives destroyed by bears and finally threw in the towel.  I think the last straw was when I was in Iraq.  I remember coming home and looking back on it, I think had some PTSD going on as I was starting every project under the sun to keep myself busy.  Asked if he was still keeping and he was not.  I asked him for his equipment and he gave me what he had.  I think enough for 2 hives.  I still have one or two of the original boxes.  Anyway....I was NOT a bee person.  He took me down to his hives once but I'd rather not have that.  I think when I took over his stuff, I wanted to face a fear.  I guess Iraq wasn't enough.  I needed bees.  So that's how it happened...7 years later (crap!) I'm still at it.
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« Reply #38 on: June 26, 2012, 11:20:03 AM »

Bassman,
Thank you for your service. Sounds like you are doing pretty well now. Enjoy your bees.
Jim
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« Reply #39 on: June 28, 2012, 02:05:43 AM »

As long as I can remember, I have been fascinated with bees. As a child, I spent many hours rescuing honeybees from the animal's water buckets and watching them fly/land on flowers.. Yrs ago,  we had been planting more and more seeds in our garden and getting less produce.. Then, fifteen yrs ago, I spent the summer counting honeybees--- I saw two all summer.--That's right 2 honeybees on a 100 acre farm... So, I began looking in to beekeeping. My husband thought I had flipped my lid (as he does with most of my ventures grin ... I read everything I could find, asked tons of people if they knew any beekeepers and then found our local bee chapter.. I joined and You know the rest of the store.!
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RHBee
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Gender: Male
Posts: 1094


Location: Pinopolis, SC

That's my pooch.


« Reply #40 on: June 28, 2012, 06:52:04 AM »

I have always thought honey bees were fascinating to watch. As a kid I remember catching them in my open hand and then watching them fly off and never for stung.  A couple of years ago a swarm landed in a small tree in front of the admin office of the steel mill where I work. Every one seemed so afraid. I walked up to the swarm just to show others how docile they were. I was mesmerized by just how beautiful they were. I just took the plunge this year. I have four hives Ans soon will have to split two of them. I never figured they would multiply like this but I'm happy they have.
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Later,
Ray
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