Hi, I am Brian Haley from McDonough, GA and in my forth year in beekeeping. I run 3-7 hives, 5 currently. I have added LIVE honey bee removal to my extermination business of over 20 years. Since I don't have time for any more hives than this, my removal bees go to other local club members that are more than ready and willing to take them in.
This is the first year I have any honey since my bees made it through the winter and I have been fairly pro-active in putting pulled out supers on them in time. In the begining couple years I basically killed them for lack of knowledge. I was in the hives way too often. I rolled queens, cut one in half (practicing queen catching), over fed first year bees to get pulled out comb in a dearth (it worked but weakened bees I think), dusted for Varroa, battled insignificant numbers of hive beetles, tried to queen weak or queen-less hives , etc.
I would take all what I learned from short courses, books, internet and bee clubs and try to implement all these things...or at least I thought I had to. I finally figured out that a bee club consists of members that are hobbyists as well as commercial beekeepers and a variety of opinions. In that plethora of diverse information I realized that things important to commercial beekeeping for the most part do not apply to someone with a handful of hives. In the third year it started to click with me. I also have a mentor or two that has helped tremendously. Now hive manipulation is a bit more calculated instead of 'willy nilly' alarmist approach as in the beginning. I am at a stage that I realize I don't know everything, that I can't control everything and do the best that I can with the time and resources I have. So this way, I can enjoy beekeeping and know that there is another year to come.
In retrospect, those first three years of beekeeping idiocy were really very beneficial for me. (not the bees). Though the bees suffered terribly at my hands, I gained a lot of understanding.
Looking forward to learning and sharing with ya'll on beemaster.