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Author Topic: Going from 0 to 12 hives in one week!  (Read 1392 times)
Spear
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« on: August 11, 2013, 05:59:01 PM »

I have been rather slow this year in getting started with getting bees and have finally gotten my act together enough to get my first 2 colonies of bees - will be getting them on Tuesday. Then today I get a huge surprise from my step father. He read an advert in the newspaper yesterday for 15 bee colonies + accessories for sale. The old man had died suddenly and the wife and 3 grown sons have no interest in keeping the bees. We drove over today (2 hour drive) with trailer in tow hoping to pick them up only to be told that they need a bit of TLC before they can be taken away. Some of them are queenless or weak and will be joined with stronger colonies to bring the number down from 15 to 10 colonies. This should all be taking place in the coming week. The old man was 2nd generation bee keeper so most of the hives are more than 60years old and are being kept in 2 special "cabinets" to keep them out the weather. I plan to move them all as is for now and slowly "up grade" them to new hives over the next few years. I will try post pics next week.
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GSF
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« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2013, 08:41:29 PM »

Congratulations! I'd check them out good to make sure they're disease free.
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"Life is hard, It's even harder when you're stupid."

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Spear
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« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2013, 12:22:56 AM »

Thanks. It is law here in Germany to have a health certificate for your bees before selling or moving them so they have been checked by the local bee health inspector who discovered the queenless hives and is going to combine them with stronger hives and treat for varoa etc before I can take them "home" with me.
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Finski
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« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2013, 12:57:23 AM »

.
Spear, what about your skills? How many years experience you have?

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BlueBee
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« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2013, 03:32:03 AM »

Congratulations Spear. applause 

Don’t let Finski rain on your parade thunder  Keeping bees isn’t exactly rocket science and the more you have the faster you will learn.
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Spear
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« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2013, 01:32:24 PM »

I am totally new to beekeeping but I have many great experianced beekeepers close at hand to help with anything anytime smiley
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RHBee
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« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2013, 02:17:31 PM »

I am totally new to beekeeping but I have many great experianced beekeepers close at hand to help with anything anytime smiley


With that many colonies having the experienced people around you will be a big plus. You are in the deep end of the pool. Enjoy the swim. I'm cofident you will do well. Enjoy your bees. Welcome to beekeeping and this forum.
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Later,
Ray
GSF
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« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2013, 03:58:37 PM »

Read, read, read.

Ask ?'s, ask ?'s and ask ?'s.

Work the heck out of your friends! and return the favor one day.

Personally, being a new beek I'd be too scared to tackle that many and too opportunist not to.  Wink
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"Life is hard, It's even harder when you're stupid."

John Wayne
Better.to.Bee.than.not
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« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2013, 05:22:04 PM »

Well, you are going to learn really quick now, thats for sure. good luck and good journeys.
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2013, 07:42:46 PM »

Congratulations Spear. applause  

Don't let Finski rain on your parade thunder  Keeping bees isn't exactly rocket science and the more you have the faster you will learn.

And with more hives you can recover faster by sharing resources. Be sure to find out what that old timer was treating the bees with. You will need to do the same treatments that he used. With those old hives, if he used Terramycin, you will need to use it. I hate to tell any new beek to use any treatments at all but most long time Beekeepers have been using that stuff to keep AFB under control and if you stop, it will wipe out those hives in no time.
A friends daughter bought a several old hives and split them and in 2 years the inspector had to burn all seven of their hives. This is the only case of AFB that we have had in this area for quite a while.
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Finski
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« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2013, 02:19:52 PM »



Don’t let Finski rain on your parade

I wonder how it could happen?

Bluebee is much more dangerous to bees than difficult winter.
Take care. He has a secret recipe for "Karl Marx birthday honey balls", with which you can kill all hives without pains.
They are working well in Alaska.

.
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10framer
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« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2013, 05:12:51 PM »

phase out the old equipment as fast as you can.  definitely find out what treatments were used.
once you start using antibiotics you usually can't stop.  i bought some nucs in january and 2 out of 3 had afb by april.  i'd bet everything i have that the guy i bought them from used antibiotics and i didn't think to ask.

finski brings up a valid point.  you are stepping in pretty deep especially since the season is winding down for the year.  on the other hand jim is right about being able to recover quickly if you do have a problem.

good luck and have fun.

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Santa Caras
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« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2013, 02:10:16 PM »

After getting everything "cleaned up' as well as you can, maybe you can combine some of the weaker hives with the stronger hives to get them thru the winter and lower the number you need to care for. That can give you the winter to prepare to make nukes so they dont swarm come spring.
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Spear
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« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2013, 04:19:42 AM »

Picked up my 1st two hives yesterday and will be collecting the other 10 on Tuesday! So exciting!

As far as I know AFB is not very common here in Germany and the old man who had the bees didn't use any antibiotics in his hives, he only treated for varoa. I'll be getting the stuff that he treated the hives with. Over the winter I'll be preparing to start phasing out the old hives in the spring and will be looking for a more suitable place to stand. smiley bee
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Spear
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« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2013, 04:38:23 AM »



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Joe D
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« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2013, 09:08:37 PM »

With the people you have there to help and the words of the ones here, you should do fine.  Good luck to you and your bees.
It is very addictive.




Joe
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2013, 10:31:51 PM »

What part of Germany are located?  I have a son stationed  at Stuttgart he is married to a local German girl and has two kids.
My Great-great-great-grandfather Schmidt immigrated from Germany in the mid-1800's and brought black German Bees with him to the USA.
That makes me a 6th generation beekeeper in the States and I don't know how many generations were beekeepers back in Germany.
I have 55 years of personal experience as of May of this year.

Always glad to see a new beekeeper.   
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Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
10framer
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« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2013, 08:23:30 PM »

What part of Germany are located?  I have a son stationed  at Stuttgart he is married to a local German girl and has two kids.
My Great-great-great-grandfather Schmidt immigrated from Germany in the mid-1800's and brought black German Bees with him to the USA.
That makes me a 6th generation beekeeper in the States and I don't know how many generations were beekeepers back in Germany.
I have 55 years of personal experience as of May of this year.

Always glad to see a new beekeeper.   

brian, do you still have any of that german stock?  i haven't seen any in maybe 15 years and i'd trade several of my queens for one of those.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2013, 10:37:17 PM »

10 Framer,

They didn't make it through the Depression.  My father didn't like the black bees because they were overly aggressive, didn't build up well, and were always stinging him while her hoed the strawberries.  One fine May day one of the Italian hives swarmed with a very large swarm so my father hived the Italian swarm in the black bee's hive.  When all was said and done the Italian swarm was not so large and the  hive of my Great-grandfather's precious black bees were no more.

My mentor and my father were the only two people I knew who  actually worked German black bees.
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Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
LindaL
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« Reply #19 on: August 19, 2013, 03:27:06 AM »

Brian D. Bray small world tell your son i said hi from Denmark.   Smiley
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