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Offline Hi-Tech

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So many questions.... So little time....
« on: April 20, 2006, 11:07:55 AM »
I installed (sorry, I'm in IT and use this term loosely) my first package in my new hive this past Saturday. I read a ton of books and browsed a lot of websites before I got started but I had not yet found this cool source of info. However…. Now that I have read through this forum, I am wishing I had used the small cell foundation right from the start.

Here is my first of what will probably be many questions to come….

I installed the new package 5 days ago. I have not opened the hive for its first inspection yet but I have that planned for this Saturday. Is it too late for me to go to small cell? What do you guys advice?
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manowar422

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« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2006, 06:03:05 PM »
Big job to make changes now :(

When you open your hive, you'll
be surprised at how far along they
are with comb building.

Just add supers from now on with
the size foundation you want.

If you order some quickly, there might
be an opportunity to replace a few frames
in your existing boxes before
the bees start drawing comb on them.
(these frames will usually be closest to the
sides of the box) They typically work these last.

You'll have an opportunity to change frames
that the bees have already drawn out, this fall.
You can use this "larger" comb for honey supers.

What type of frames and foundation
did you start with? If you have all medium
frames, changing can, and would be easier :wink:

Offline Hi-Tech

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« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2006, 10:28:01 PM »
The foundation I am using is 8 1/2” Waxed Rite-Cell Foundation from Mann Lake. I have only one hive body in use right now. Can I put small cell in the second hive body when I put it on? Would that do any good?
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Offline Michael Bush

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« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2006, 08:16:17 AM »
>Is it too late for me to go to small cell? What do you guys advice?

If that's what you want to do, buy the small cell and some frames (and maybe a box to put the frames in), get it ready and swap out any frame of undrawn (or barely drawn) foundation for the small cell.  The sooner the better.
Michael Bush
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Offline Jack Parr

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Re: So many questions.... So little time....
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2006, 08:13:19 AM »
Quote from: Hi-Tech
I installed (sorry, I'm in IT and use this term loosely) my first package in my new hive this past Saturday. I read a ton of books and browsed a lot of websites before I got started but I had not yet found this cool source of info. However…. Now that I have read through this forum, I am wishing I had used the small cell foundation right from the start.

Here is my first of what will probably be many questions to come….

I installed the new package 5 days ago. I have not opened the hive for its first inspection yet but I have that planned for this Saturday. Is it too late for me to go to small cell? What do you guys advice?


IF YOU HAVE READ " A TON OF BOOKS  :?:  :?:  :?:  " that's a lotta books, and, you have probably not read anything on small cell except on these boards.  There was once, many years ago, a Belgiun guy advocating LARGE CELLS :?:

I posed the small cell, top bar hive etc etc to an experienced bee guy and his resopnse was: There are always new ideas coming out in beekeeping, Russian queens, small cells, top bar hives and so on. HE advised " it is best to stay with standard practices " and I agree. The " tons of books  :?: will teach you properly IMO and once YOU learn a little something about beekeeping then it would probably br OK to go in to exotic/Afro style beekeeping.  Ask FINSKY :!:

But I guess it's all about beekeeping for " fun " not profit. :wink:

Offline Michael Bush

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« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2006, 12:33:28 PM »
It's easy enough to follow "standard beekeeping practices" with small cell.  Just buy 4.9mm foundation and use it.

But it's also possible to branch out and do things like natural comb, top bar hives etc.  You can also make your job easier, by going to smaller, lighter boxes or different configurations.

My web site has many of these on it.
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm
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Offline Hi-Tech

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« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2006, 03:28:29 PM »
I read about 25 different books on beekeeping before I got started. Many of them were crap. They were old and out of date but I read them anyway. Most of the newer ones I read seemed to be based in the northern part of the country. They talked a lot about wintering your hives. Our day of winter is THE day you have to wear a long sleeve shirt!

I have not read anything about the small cell. I just saw it for the first time here and was curious. The mite problem seems so bad (so I read) I just assumed that anything that helped would be worth looking into.

I have not decided anything yet....

Still thinking....
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Offline stilllearning

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« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2006, 05:35:08 PM »
Dont give up on the old books.  Beekeeping is like everything else
it was developed on some old ideas.  Most of what is done today
is just an improvement of work done years ago or in other countries
Hive design is one of the most often changed ideas, there is a lot
of expernimtation on the TBH now days they have been used in other
countries for years where our modern hives are not used.  Just remember a lot of things get better with age.. beef   wine  old books
Wayne Cole

Offline Jack Parr

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« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2006, 09:54:02 AM »
Quote from: Hi-Tech
I read about 25 different books on beekeeping before I got started. Many of them were crap. They were old and out of date but I read them anyway. Most of the newer ones I read seemed to be based in the northern part of the country. They talked a lot about wintering your hives. Our day of winter is THE day you have to wear a long sleeve shirt!

I have not read anything about the small cell. I just saw it for the first time here and was curious. The mite problem seems so bad (so I read) I just assumed that anything that helped would be worth looking into.

I have not decided anything yet....

Still thinking....


IF YOU READ all those books YOU should be the declared expert on all bee things. Because, well that's a lotta books for a fast paced I T guy where things happen so fast a persons can't hardly keep up with old I T neva mind new I T.

That being said you should have noticed that most of the beekeeping lore written about is based on observations of hive activity by interrested folks ovah many many years. It's all good and really could hardly be called outdated. There are of course scientific studies, meaning in labs, for specific findings that are of course more than mere observations by someone  just someone hangin' round da hive for a looksee.  Like ya know lookin' at a drone's ahem ting under a microscope :?:  :?:  :P

It's just that the bee subject is soooo fascinating. Old books are good for old folks but more importantly for YOUNG folks. YOU got dat boy :?:  BE NICE NOW.  :P

Offline Michael Bush

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« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2006, 11:36:10 AM »
The old ones talk a lot about bees.  The new ones talk alot about what chemicals to use to poison the mites...  ;)

I love the old ones.  I have four ABC XYZ of bee culture running back to the 1877 version.  I have Langsroths the Hive and the Honey Bee, both an original and a reprint (you can get the reprint at Amazon.com)  I have the text from the 1806 edition of François Huber's New Observations on the Natural History of Bees on my web site: http://www.bushfarms.com/huber.htm plus I have an original 1841 edition.

I love Jay Smiths queen rearing books (Queen Rearing Simplified and Better Queens).  Dr. C.C. Miller's Fifty Years Among the Bees is also excellent as is G.M. Doolittle's books are also excellent.

If you want to know the latest about Varroa or Tracheal mites and their reproduction you'll find the studies in the journals or on the web.  The latest is never in a book.
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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Offline Hi-Tech

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« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2006, 11:38:02 AM »
Most of the old books I mentioned were scientific in nature or about the business side of beekeeping and did not help much in beekeeping in general. Some of the old "Beekeeping" books were good but it seems the biggest problem they had for pests was skunks and bears.

Since I have only just started, it seems like everybody talks about the mite and beetle problem which was not a problem 50 years ago. The older books did not cover any of that. To be honest, I have learned more about mites and different options of treatment in this forum than all of the books I read.

I guess I have to explain how I got into this to make it more understandable.....

My father-in-law is retired and is always looking for ways to make some money. He told me that he had learned from a friend that there was big money in beekeeping. He wanted me to look into it, research it and then since i have a small farm, we would partner up and do it on my place.

Well,  after a lot of books and websites, i told him that it did not look like quite the "Get rich quick" scheme he had thought it would be. But... I had learned enough to get me very interested in doing it for fun....

So... here I am, trying to learn more but seeming to word things wrong and put my foot into my mouth.

Please forgive me if I offend...

Thanks...
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Offline Jerrymac

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« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2006, 11:44:35 AM »
Quote from: Hi-Tech

Please forgive me if I offend...


Now just how do you think you off ended  :shock: anyone?
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Offline Hi-Tech

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« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2006, 07:55:11 PM »
I didn't mean to offend anyone by calling some of those old books crap. Some of them were pretty boring though....  ;)
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Offline Jack Parr

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« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2006, 06:47:09 AM »
Seems to me if Father-in-law ain't figured out how to make money by now he's in poor shape.

That being said, keepin bees is hardly a money making scheme, at all.

About as bad as it gets, money makingwise that is. I'm a father-in-law and believe me keeping bees is not my choice for raking in the bucks, so I call it a hobby, sorta.  

I just find the activity very interesting.  Actually, about as good as it gets IMO.

Swarm capture is exciting to me.  It's just so  8)  to do that.  

I spent yesterday morning, Sunday 23 April going through two hives of cantankerous bees and that was just an enjoyable time. Plenty plenty bees flying round.

The mites and small hive beetle are" new "problems that are of recent date for US beekeeping but there is work going on to deal with it. Meanwhile the bees are probably doing their side of the effort, through evolution and that may be the answer: Takes time however. Also soon at some place near you there will be those" Killer " bees to contend with. THAT will be a challange, no doubt but there are ways to deal with them also.  Maybe too much of a challange; Personally I dunno yet bout dat.

Now with the price of GAS hittin' on high keeping bees could prove to a good pastime to keep us off the road  :D.

Soooo Hi-Tech, forget bout da money, just go fo da honey :wink:

Offline livetrappingbymatt

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« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2006, 02:55:11 PM »
if your father-in-law wants to make money tell him to get a job with mc donalds! that said bees are one of the most interesting subjects i've ever tackled. money is not realy a hive product for me. yet when itried to quit keeping them the sence of lose made me get back at it.so if you want to learn something go do it. it sure is a sweet job!
bob

Offline Hi-Tech

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« Reply #15 on: April 25, 2006, 01:24:11 AM »
I agree with all! I have had my first hive for about 2 weeks now and I am hooked! Everyone that knows me thinks I am crazy for doing this but it has been fun so far...

Of course, they thought I was crazy before this too....
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anything