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Author Topic: Every though about giving up the hobby?  (Read 834 times)
dprater
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« on: July 06, 2013, 09:49:41 PM »

Maybe its the second year bad luck bee thing. I'm trying to manage 8 hives at different stages. I did take some honey this year (even sold a little Wink) but seems like I'm fighting the whole way. I've got some good advice from lots of yall and some by just searching here. Here are some of the things from this year--Two swarmed and did not leave a good Q's behind (cold spring here in the south may have did this), laying worker in one(shook out), Q laying only drone in one, three I had to give frames with eggs and they made Q's, robbing of a swarm I caught, and now the varroa bomb in 2 hives. Is it going to be like this from now on? Every year?
Sorry for the crying Cry I just cant help myself LOL.

Dan
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iddee
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« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2013, 10:49:28 PM »

Don't worry. It won't be that way every year. Some years you won't get any honey.   evil   grin
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Wolfer
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« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2013, 10:49:57 PM »

No! I struggle too sometimes. For me if everything went perfect I would lose interest. There's a good possibility that I may never get this completely figured out.
Came through the winter with three hives. That's all I wanted. I now have eight but five of them are queen questionable. Meaning queens are between hatching and laying. I was gonna put some on Craig's list this year but never did. My long term goal is to get enough honey for myself, friends and neighbors and sell nucs.
Maybe next year I'll let some go.
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kathyp
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« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2013, 11:10:00 PM »

3 years ago i got a little honey.  the next two the weather was awful and i got no honey + lost 1/2 my hives.  this year has been great and i could have been picking up swarms every day if i'd had time. looks like i'll get enough honey to meet my needs. 

some years are better than others.  some areas better than others.  i don't really do it for the honey so if it's a bad year, i'm happy just to bring the bees through, although that's not quite enough for my granddaughter!   grin  she wants the honey!
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2013, 12:56:30 AM »

I have 18 hives right now. Had a few problems this year due to late cold snaps after a very warm winter but most of them are producing  honey. Even the observation hive has 6 frames of honey that I will have to pull at least 4 frames from to prevent it from swarming.
If I wanted to get out of this business I would have to keep at least 2 for the apitherapy and honey for personal use. For some reason, during my second year, I didn't receive any stings and a problem I had had with my left arm before beekeeping came back. The problem went away again last year after numerous stings and has not been a problem since. My son also uses the stings to control severe pain.
Jim
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BlueBee
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« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2013, 01:10:17 AM »

My bees have been going gang busters for years now and I really can’t keep up with all the bees and honey.  So YES, I have considered giving up the hobby.  Apart from the fine folks here (of course  Wink), I really don’t have anything in common with your average beek.  In fact, beeks usually think of me as the anti beek. angel   
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divemaster1963
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« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2013, 01:15:30 AM »

My partner and I have been building hives now for awhile. we went into winter with 45 hives. by the time spring came we were down to 13 hives. now were back upto 47 hives will have 90+ come fall. with the loses comes destress. the Idea to beekeeping is planning for losses. look for averages of 15-25%per year. try to plan for that. I know it seems terrible. But we are dealing with livestock persay. Are you natural beekeeping or are you using Meds. natural has hire losses but some times but may make for stronger hives in the end. Remember this is part farming you have good years and you have bad years. planning and praying are your to best friends.

someone once told me that the first 100 hives are the hardest to get. after that you are able to except and cover the lost hives and still maintain production.


John
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Better.to.Bee.than.not
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« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2013, 03:52:38 AM »

I really don’t have anything in common with your average beek.  In fact, beeks usually think of me as the anti beek. angel   

wow, when I first came here everyone told me not to mention to you that they all felt that way, and here you've known all along. shows what they know. angel
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RHBee
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« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2013, 09:39:55 AM »

Thought about it this year with all the swarm activities. Got a little down and began to doubt my ability. Then I realized that this is really farming of sorts. I now have 17 colonies in various stages of development. Really putting me to the test considering I have just completed my first year.
But in the real world I came to understand that no one is an expert overnight. I will keep moving forward and try not to take the down times so personal.
Ray
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Later,
Ray
JWChesnut
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« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2013, 10:23:07 AM »

I gave up beekeeping in 1992-3 when the first wave of Varroa+DWV swept through and destroyed all my colonies. Luckily, I kept the smoker and suit, because by 1995 I was itching to try again, and when a neighbor gave me a swarm call I was duct-taping a cardboard box to serve as a temporary nuc.

So yup, I know that losing colonies is dispirtiting and walking away helps with the pain.   

Just now, I have a developed a systemic reaction, and am struggling with giving up beekeeping to avoid life-threatening complications.   This is even more frustrating than the Varroa plague, because, just when I have really mastered the craft, I get stung with this unexpected issue.

I worked in a Bio department bee lab in college (73--76) and as a recent graduate without a home or a place to keep a colony, I would stand in front of blooming shrubs and commune with the foragers, dreaming of my own hive.

So yes, by all means, take a break, let the lessons settle, and know that in our long lives we will come back to the keepers role when the time is right and we are filled with hope and optimism.  I think every break I had made me a better keeper.    ----But always keep your veil and your smoker-- you never know when you'll need to dust them off.
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Oblio13
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« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2013, 01:41:40 PM »

If I gave up the hobby most of the bears in New Hampshire would starve. I don't want that on my conscience.
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dprater
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« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2013, 08:25:27 PM »

Well I can see that everyone at sometime or another have ups and downs with beekeeping and I not by myself to thank about throwing in the towel. I need to remember my glass is half full or better yet my hive is half full of bees HA HA. I'm sure as the years go by if I keep beekeeping that problems and losses will not weight so much as thay do now. Like crashing my first RC plane, after 10 or 12 it was no big deal.

Thanks all
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10framer
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« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2013, 11:39:13 PM »

i found the national honey report somewhere online a couple of weeks ago.  the states in the south east that reported mostly reported a poor year. 
i kept bees in high school and college.  got back into it in the late 90's and kept a hive or two until maybe 05 or 06.
got back in last year.
lost 4 splits because i couldn't get mated queens.  burned 3 hives because of afb (2 were from nucs i bought and one was a split from one of them).
i only caught one swarm this year and happened up on it driving down a dirt road a couple of miles from my place.  missed the biggest local flow due to rain and cold snaps.  have had rain almost every day since memorial day.  i'm sure my bees are eating they're stores. 
i don't like to feed but i'm sure i'll have to this year.  i'm not quitting again, though.
don't give up yet.  next year's going to be better.
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