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Author Topic: Robbing continues, so does teasing of Northern Hempispere Beekeepers  (Read 5488 times)
mick
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« on: December 30, 2006, 11:09:50 PM »

Opened up just now, to check on the stores in the top super. All 8 frames again full. That means they took from the 27th Nov to 31 Dec to draw and fill 8 frames. I would expect the middle super to be pretty much the same, and the bottom one is the brood chamber.

They were less than impressed, had to keep the smoke going, and more than my fair share of bees trying to get at me. I had one wrist taped with masking tape, they left that alone. The one thad had the sleeve pulled down over the glove, they targeted like crazy. They MUST be able to sense your sweat or something if there is the slightest gap in your clothing, or something.

One very persitant one took 5 minutes to get rid of in and outside the house, I was trying to loose him, but he was persistant.

I took 3/8 frames, replaced two with blank foundation and the other I replaced with drawn comb. I wanna measure how long to fill against fill and draw, while there is a good flow on.

Not bad for tem minutes work, nice and fresh this honey, check those cappings, nice and neat!

Left this one in, it mirrors the end frame

Ill take this one

Nice and white, even the ones in the box

And this one another keeper

Out of the way of the bees
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Geoff
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« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2006, 12:31:34 AM »

They are working well Mick. You will find that the bees are not the happiest on these warm humid days like it is at our place today. It is a pity that there is not somebody with an extractor close you. Better leave a message for me when you are ready to take off honey again as we may be able to work something out if it is convenient to get my extractor to you.
Seems they are working real well and you have plenty of flora for them to work on.
   Thunder storm is close by right now so hopefully it will drop a bit of rain for us.
 Geoff.
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Finsky
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« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2006, 02:26:35 AM »


I have too much honey unsold, sorry.

But Mick, keep free combs enough for bees that they can keep on their whole foraging capacity.

Be greedy Mick, it is only way to good beekeeper. No mercy! Extract and return combs into hive. Forget all natural what you have learned from this forum.  600 lbs is a goal per hive!
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mick
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« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2006, 02:39:07 AM »

I get you Finsky. I noticed how much more active they seem to be now they have more frames to fill. If the weather cooperates, I might take the rest tomorrow.
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Finsky
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« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2006, 02:43:21 AM »


If you have brood frames like in the picture, put them topmost. Soon bees emerge and bees fill free combs with honey. You get honey away without excluder.

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Yarra_Valley
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« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2006, 03:15:20 AM »

hi mick, awesome work.

geoff, where is yinnar?
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mick
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« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2006, 03:35:41 AM »

Thankyou boys, I get it Finsky, I will have a look tomorrow for a frame of brood if its not too humid.
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Geoff
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« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2006, 04:48:46 PM »

G,day to the Yarra Valley,
                                   Yinnar is 7 kilometres south of Morwell, close to Hazelwood power station and Churchill.
            Geoff.
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« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2006, 07:53:46 PM »

Quote
Be greedy Mick, it is only way to good beekeeper
I guess I am always going to be a bad beekeeper, I give most of my honey for FREE.
I do not do it for money, (someday maybe) I make enough painting houses.
I do it for enjoyment and peace of mind.
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« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2006, 09:18:10 PM »

Newbee,

I suspect that day is actually quite close. Every painter I know here in MD has long since thrown in the towel due to "competiton" with illegal aliens. I'd start stockpiling woodenware if I were you.
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Scott Derrick
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« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2007, 12:24:51 AM »

Good Day Mick,

Wonderful lookin frames mate. You keep rubbin it in don't cha?  Wink

Can wait to see other photos that you may have as well. I'm absolutely GREEN with envy.

Scott
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Finsky
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« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2007, 12:54:20 AM »


When honey flow is really coming in, beekeeper must be charp, because hive will be full in one week and then swarms come out. When foragers are on three branch, there lays whole year's work too.

I surely speak more than I do really. After all these years beepeeping is often to me a duty, because I cannot be interested all the time on cases what I routine to me.  When honey is really coming  in, only what you can do is extract and arrange that hive has more free combs than full combs. To me that is not interesting at all.  But however it is interesting to find splended pastures. It is difficult. In my cottage yard fields are so well cultivated that there are very few nectar sources.
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« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2007, 04:40:28 AM »

Zoot, we have same problem here in CT.
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Cindi
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« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2007, 09:48:20 AM »

Mick, again I say, keep on with the pictures, very nice to see, I love the beautiful white comb.

I heard that bees DO NOT WHATSOVER like the smell of sweat.  That is why in the hot sun they will sometimes attack a stinky beast, such as cattle or horses, goats probably too (I don't like the smell of a billy for sure).  Now don't get me wrong, I ABSOLUTELY LOVE the smell of horses,to me that is like a perfume, I used to stand beside my horses with my face laying against their neck and drink in their aroma, beautiful.  Oops, where I go again.

One writer who had a particularly beautifully written book said that he always kept a pail of cold water by his hive so that he could dunk his hands in it to close the pores so they did not sweat as much.  Now does that make sense or not? 

I am fortunate, I do not have an overly sweaty body or sweaty hands.  Now my bee pal whose bees I keep at my place is different.  I tell him that he should always shower before he comes to anything with the bees.  He does not come over very often, he is quite old and has a very hard time in the summer with the heat and losing breath.  So he helps a little bit, when he can, when the weather is cooler.

Last summer he came over just to have a look at the bees.  He had been working quite hard on his son's house.  This man is an amazing builder, pipefitter, everything that you could imagine he has done (as far as outside work and building).  He was very sweaty and had a strong odour.  We went up to have a look at the girls and what they were doing.  Well,  you wouldn't believe it if you didn't see it.  Several bees (we were probably at least 12 feet from the hives) came right after him.  I was astounded.  Of course this freaked  him out and he started swatting at them. Oops, more interest from the bees.  He quickly walked away as fast as he could, they turned around and went home.  Guess he was lucky that they didn't chase him farther.  So I can tell you first hand.....the bees don't like the musky smell of someone who is sweaty with sweat. 

It certainly cannot be helped one little bit when it is hot and working the bees, I just know that don't let the sweat build up and then work the bees, or just plain and simply, live with it. LOL.  Great 2007.  Great day.  Cindi
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« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2007, 03:23:04 PM »

I you ever read the Keeper of the Bees you know that the beekeeper in the story always crushed mint or other flowers on his hands before going into the hives.  I've tried it a few times when the bees were extra testy--seems to work.
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Trot
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« Reply #15 on: January 01, 2007, 03:34:42 PM »

I was 12, back home, when first started keeping bees. We had no gloves, wails or smokers. Older keepers, of course, all smoked pipes. I used to roll up an old woolly rag and lite it.
For hand/face protection, we would have a basin of water handy, as Cindi mentioned. Only in that water we would pour a half-cup of cider vinegar. It worked good for us...

Regards,
Frank
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Kirk-o
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« Reply #16 on: January 01, 2007, 06:56:19 PM »

I just try to take my tome smoke them correctly and go about my busines .If they become a hot hive I regueen or devide and conquer per Michael Bush sugested on his web page
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Cindi
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« Reply #17 on: January 01, 2007, 11:17:48 PM »

I you ever read the Keeper of the Bees you know that the beekeeper in the story always crushed mint or other flowers on his hands before going into the hives.  I've tried it a few times when the bees were extra testy--seems to work.
Brian, actually read several of the "Hive and the Honeybee, Spell of the Honeybee, ABC and XYZ of Bee Culture.  All very, very old editions that I have.  They all speak about the lemonbalm, everyone on the forum speaks of the lemongrass, seems they are one in the same.  I grow lemonbalm.  I also read that taking the leaves of the lemonbalm and rubbing them on the hands, right on the hive bodies, on the clothing calms the bees.  It probably makes them believe that they are in the midst of the beautiful aromas that come from these "lemon" essences. I have used the leaves of my lemonbalm rubbed on my hands.  I also made a tea to take with me into the yard.  I honestly don't know that I have felt any difference or not with the lemon scent.  I rarely have been stung on my hands.  Wrists yes, face (capturing a swarm) yes, that is about it.

In the depths of summertime I attend my bees with a veil and always a sleeveless tank top and blue jeans.  I am always working out in the dirt so I wear jeans almost all the time in summer, except when sitting by the poolside, enjoying the shade of our burgundy Beech tree.  It is not hot wearing jeans, as I am usually knee in the dirt stuff.

Hmm..where was I?  Oh ya, I rarely ever go into the bee yard without a veil of some sort.  I know how nosy bees can be.  I do not want any bees even landing on my face, that strikes terror in my heart.  Silly, but that does not matter.  If I am working with the bees, I want to feel 100% confident that I will not have some little lady delight in getting back at me for entering their domain.  Nope.  Not for me.  I never have, never do wear gloves.  A tip that I got from a fellow beekeeper at our club, told me one day when he was helping me to hive a swarm that ventured into my back acreage, to put on the baby powder.  If I am putting my hand deep within, I have a small bottle of baby powder that I sprinkle on my hands.  The bees actually like this stuff.  They land on my hands and I can tell that they are taking a really good whiff.  No idea what is in the baby stuff, but they do not ever sting me.  Perhaps bees know more than we give them.  Maybe they think that some kind of "baby" is around. LOL.  Now that was supposed to be funny.  I do know that (I think it was you Finsky) said we cannnot put the emotions of humans to bees.  But.....maybe we can...now that is food for some thought, come on.!!!!!  LOL.

For example, have you ever watched a foal and another older horse, other than its mother.  The little foal opens his mouth and kind of goes what I could only describe as "ya, ya, ya".  The older horse, no matter how many times I have seen this done, does not bother the little baby at all.  Nor do dogs. If there is ever a puppy that comes to our home (we have 6 adult dogs) (and we have many visitors with all the inhabitants that live on our property), not a single one of the older dogs bears any aggressive behaviour to that little baby.  They all love it to pieces and want to befriend it. 

Oops, got that long-winded thing going again.  I apologize, it just runs away with me and I can't stop it.  All have a great day.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #18 on: January 01, 2007, 11:57:22 PM »

My mentor told me that when I go into the hive without gloves, to take some lemongrass old and rub in on my hands prior to going into the hive. He said it would have a calming affect on them. I have been in my hives without gloves one time and I was nervous as anything. I am not that brave yet. A local pollinator wears shorts and a tee shirt and no veil when he works. He has told me that there are days that he gets "lit up" by his girls from time to time.

I'm just not that brave or comfortable yet.

Scott
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« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2007, 02:55:20 AM »

. I am not that brave yet.

I have worked with pale hands all the time. The best you can do it to get calm bee stock. Sweat filled cloves are a nuisance.

It is better to nurse 2 lazy hives than one good which is angry. When nectar is plenty on fields, lazy bees gather honey away as well as busy bees.
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« Reply #20 on: January 02, 2007, 06:31:33 AM »

>everyone on the forum speaks of the lemongrass, seems they are one in the same

They are not.  But they have a very similar odor.  Mostly Citral.  They both can be used as swarm lure.  I've only used the Lemongrass oil.
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Cindi
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« Reply #21 on: January 02, 2007, 09:56:13 AM »

Scott, I want to give you some food for some serious thought.  This is pertaining to working the bees barehanded or with gloves.  Think about what I am saying carefully and then form your own opinion.

I do not wear gloves anymore, period.  This is for several reasons.  The first and most important reason is this.  If you wear gloves when you are working in the colonies with the bees, you CANNOT FEEL if you touch a bee.  You are taking the BIG chance that you are harming some of them. If you harm them, they get mad, they are on defence.  If they are on defence, they probably will become slightly more aggressive.  If they mad to the point that they need to take on deeper defence, their stinger may be everted, thus then the pheromone that declares war against intruder is initiated.  This scent is distributed throughout the hive and it can move quickly this scent.  You are going to get stung.

Just my view, remember that.

Now if you do not wear gloves.  You may get stung anyways.  But.....you will find that if you are barehanded, you can feel any bee that you may be getting close to, particularly if they have your finger on top of them (LOL).  The likelihood, compared to wearing gloves, that you are going to harm a bee is very minute.  Move slowly when you are working in the hive.  LOOK closely, always, look at what part of the frame you are going to touch and make sure that there is not a bee where you will hold it. 

The biggest thing in my mind of avoiding the sting, is to not harm ONE SINGLE bee if you can help it.  I do know for sure that there are times that one cannot help but squish bees or hurt them, this cannot be avoided at times.  But do your best when your hands are in their to keep your fingers off them.

Take this from where it is coming from Scott, just some pointers from someone who is learning too.  Great day.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #22 on: January 02, 2007, 11:28:09 AM »

To wear or not to wear, that is the question?

For the start, I am of opinion that one can and will do whatever best works for him/her.

Someone in one of the writings said: "There will at least once, come a time, when every keeper will realize that a small investment in a pair of gloves is worth every penny and than some!"

I have worked 32 years in the mines and there wearing, thick rubber gloves, is a must and if caught without-em can have bad, bad consequences...
I won't even go in to realm of "feeling!  One can and does get used to it in an awful hurry. Look at medical profession?!
I wear them all the time and am yet to harm a single bee...

 In the past, I have, on numerous occasions, worked without gloves in a bee yard. Once, I loaded hives on a truck, in the middle of the night and clumsily grabbed a hive on the screen ed off part!
 Result?
Hundred of stingers which I scraped of with a hive tool. All of the next day I had spent ion the gents farm , locating and relocating hives, to gents liking and sudden whims. The stung arm was in this time getting very ugly looking. Being "9 foot tall and bullet proof" that was not of any concern, until the midle of the night, when I awoke with this enormous throbbing pain. I jumped in my truck and draw myself to a hospital.
A few times I blacked out, but being alone on the road, that did not pose much of a hazard. Ha, at the hospital was a different story. One would have thought that I fell strait of the moon. My arm was now ugly black and purple. They told me, that the poison was only few inches from my heart and I had beat death by mare minutes by coming to the emergency ward.

There was a time when I hived a swarm in shorts and tee shirt. Bad idea. And later in life when I tried to hive an africanized package of bees. Had full protection , but they were so hot that they covered me completely black and were so thick on the veil that I could not breathe. Wife called my old mentor and together we conquered that problem.
That africanized hive was in 1986!  Even today they do not admit that AHB are not as near to where they were back than, much less in Canada...

Moral of the story is: "One never knows..."


Regards,
Trot
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mick
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« Reply #23 on: January 03, 2007, 12:02:41 AM »

I am unable to comprehend not wearing gloves. I always have bees wanting to get the the spot between my sleeves and gloves. The one time I didnt smoke them I wore white cotton gloves and copped a dozen or so on each hand throught the cotton.

Its not the bees on the frames that do this, just the buzzing flying attackers that do it.

I tend to get honey on my hands, Im sure this doesnt help.

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« Reply #24 on: January 03, 2007, 09:03:57 AM »

Trot, your stories were astounding.  Now it really makes me think twice about times to use the gloves, for example.

I have not had the "pleasure" of having to move full hives of bees.  Nor will I.  I do not have intention at this point in time to engage in any kind of pollination service that would require moving my bees.  I am just the hobbiest.  My bees will stay with me, in one place only.  Now, if I were to ever move the colonies for one reason or another, I would be inclined to wear gloves for sure.

When I said that I never wear gloves that was speaking of about the 90% times.  There are still occasions where I employ the use of them.  Not many, but now and then.  I find them really far too clumbsy, and if they get honey on them forget it.

I always have a little vile of peppermint oil that I keep at the apiary.   If I am stung, I always smoke the sting with my smoker (I have that always handy), and then sometimes put a little drop of the oil on the spot.  I don't know if this is any form of prevention against further stings, but I have not had ever more than 1 sting in a given location at any time.

Yes, personal preferences.

Trot, your hospital stay when you had the hundred stings in your hand would have been a terrifying experience.  You were close to death, and you probably almost met this when you passed out while you were driving to the hospital.  What an ugly situation.

About the being covered with the AHB, wow, you were indeed under attack.  I would be interested to hear what your mentor told your wife to do (I presume it was she that assisted with the rescue of yourself).  Did your wife get attacked in the process too?  Tell this story.

The last question.  Why did you want to hive some AHB?  That befuddles me.  Ooops, maybe I should clarify the cuestion.  Were you living in Ontario when you hived the AHB, that was an assumption on my part that you were living in Canada at that time.  Tell that story too, stories are wonderful to hear.

Have an awesome day, Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #25 on: January 03, 2007, 02:16:14 PM »

Well thank you for kind words Cindy!

Don't really know where to start?  That hospital thing was only an overnight affair. Was on the job, in the mine, the same day. The worst thing was, my sitting in the emergency ward and taking verbal abuse from everybody and their brother. They all wanted to know why didn't I seek medical attention, after I felt a lump under my arm-pit. ( Apparently one gets that, when blood poisoned?)
I did not have that!?
Funniest thing was, that the cops were searching the books for - how to charge me for endangering public safety, on the way to the hospital. I wiggled out of that one...

About wearing personal protection? This of course is a thing that every keeper should thoroughly examine. Especially in Europe, I find every year more cases, where keepers suddenly go into a shock. One never knows? Some medical professionals are of opinion that a body has a certain limit for venom, and then. . . .
Some are worried about medications and acids and stuff being put in hives? That too can find its way back and bite us in the arse!
On one other occasion I got stung and received a good dose of poisoning when I was gathering dead bees for a test, cause of aerial spraying under the hydro-lines !

Cindi, I did not hive AHB intentionally.  As I have stated many times before, AHB were widely distributed to US beekeepers since the WWII, (drone sperm and queens) when a large number of GI-s took up beekeeping a means to put bread on the table. (this has been lately discussed regarding disappearing bees on eastern seaboard)
So, it was in the early eighties, that I had purchased two packages from my mentor. ( He is the only one in our parts who operates a bee-supply store)
So I hived one with no problem. The second one I hived in a hive which did not survive the previous winter. Of course I cleaned the dead bees and threw them on a garden compost.
I can still see this in my mind's eye. I shook the package in the hive, installed the queen cage, between the frames and was done. While wife is watching, (she doesn't like bees) from the bedroom window, she is frantically pointing at me, behind the safety of the glass. I turned around and the area around the hive and the hive itself was black with crawling bees!  For a while I just stood there with my mouth agape. I did not know what to do?
After a while I got myself a piece of cardboard and a bee brush and I started to sweep the bees together - looking for a second queen. I was certain that the package contained another queen. As fast as I could put the bees in the box - they would just pour out from the bottom entrance.  I gave them food on the top of the frames, I sprayed them with sugar water - but nothing would settle them down.  I even gave up and was resolved, that they can swarm and take off if they wanted to!
After a while they got particularly nasty and they started to visibly attack and sting through the bee suit.  I tried to hide in the cedar hedge, by the garden, but to no avail. By now, all the bees were in the air and had just circled about a meter above the yard. 
What scared me the most was, that in about an hour the school bus was going to drop all the neighbouring kids in front of our house. That would be a total disaster - in my mind...
At the thought of all those little kids, amidst the thousands of bees, almost drove me over the edge. I panicked!
I took the water hose and tried to drown them! But that did not help much. Some got knocked down, but in a full sun, they were soon up and attacking.  The veil was so thick with bees that I had trouble breathing!
I run for the house and wife, in her wisdom, locked the door. If she hadn't - who knows how this would have ended?

I was on my knees by the hive when my mentor arrived, with spare queen, a swarm catcher,  the works. 
He usually works with bare hands and no protection around his bees, but now, he was also decked in full gear.
I tried to explain, as calmly as I could, about the situation at hand. His first reaction was, that this was a swarm that came here, from who knows where! Wrong!
Next was his theory, that I killed the queen while hiving the package? Wrong!
For the longest time we both spend time on our knees, looking for a possible second queen? Wrong!
My mentor tried to tel my wife, behind the window, to call the fire department, to come with a foam and finish off the bees, cause by now we were both resembling the pin cushions.
I did not like this idea, so I told him that I noticed that the bees were congregating mainly over the garden. It would seem that they wanted to settle on the cedar - but for some reason wouldn't!  He wanted to know if I threw there some sugar or honey? No, only the dead bees from the expired hive was my reply.
We both immediately went to the spot in the garden and after a short search, amongst the dead bees, he found the expired queen. Boy, I could hardly tell the difference. It is apparently true that queens shrink in size, when not laying?!
The man laid the dead queen on the bottom board and you people will never believe what happened next?
The bees, like on a command, all landed in front of a hive and calmly walked in - just like nothing was amiss. . . .

About ten minutes later, the school-buss dropped off the kids and I stared at them for the longest time, with misty eyes...

That hive was, for two years, a real pain in my but!  I tried to re-queen, perhaps two dozen times, but they would not have it. When worked, in about a minute, they would just boil over the edges and crawl all over and sting mercilessly.
They steadily produced the biggest crop, but getting it off, was too - another matter.
The third winter, with temp around minus 30, for about a month - they didn't make it.

There you have it, Cindi.  Yes this was here, in Ontario! About a mile from where I live now. And through the years, I and many others, got such hives from Alabama and Georgia. Of course, with coming of varroa, the boarder got closed for US bees and those hot bees are now a thing of the past.
But, they made for a good memories, though. . . . . .

Regards,
Trot   
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« Reply #26 on: January 03, 2007, 05:55:29 PM »

Although i have only been a beekeeper for 2 mths i dout that i will be going anywher near my hives without my veil, jeans(light blue and washed out) and long sleeve shirt. I have read/been told /learnt that they are attracted to dark furry objects. I am dark though not really furry but i think it already puts me at a disadvantage(can i sue for racial discrimination)when dealing with them. So no unscheduled visits fo me althought i usually have my smoker and shirt in the car. i ried with the gloves but it wasn't working out, couldn't grip the frames properly crushed afew bees here and there. it is still nerve wracking but i have been going gloveless.
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« Reply #27 on: January 03, 2007, 07:43:46 PM »

>As I have stated many times before, AHB were widely distributed to US beekeepers since the WWII

http://www.beesource.com/pov/lusby/part17.htm
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« Reply #28 on: January 04, 2007, 01:52:50 AM »

Mike that article is so intense, I wil have to read it at work Wink
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« Reply #29 on: January 04, 2007, 08:30:01 AM »

Trott, now that was a story that I was looking for.  It was long, interesting, to the point and I loved it.  Every picture tells a story, don't it?  I hope that you have a good command of the keyboard, that was a lot of typing and probably took quite a long time if one is a two fingered typist (LOL).   I feel myself very fortunate that I spent years typing research for a company in downtown Vancouver and have the flight of fire at my fingertips, I typed well over 120 words per minute back in those days, maybe not so fast now, but then, maybe even faster, on second thought because it is coming through my mind, not trying to dicipher the handwriting of authors'.  Oops, off the topic, I can go on.

When you were talking about your hive that would not stay within the box, I seem to remember you writing about that some time ago. I remember at that time thinking how strange that the dead queen and bees that you put out in the compost would have this queenless hive attracted to the dead queen.   

I wonder how long the queen pheromone stays active once she has met with death?  Any ideas?  I would think that rotten body smell (I'm sure that bees stink) would prevail pretty quickly.

I got a kick out of the part of your story where the individuals at the hospital thought that you had blood poisoning that you just did not want to bother seeking attention with.  People can be quite ignorant.  And the police....all I can say about that is "WHATEVER".  Don't they have something better to do than to bother with bothering you at such a time.  Hmm....

Thank you for taking the time to create a beautiful place that I went to with my mind with this story of your past experience, these are all nice to enter into and spend a little time in a world of another person.  Great day.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #30 on: January 04, 2007, 11:04:24 AM »

Again, thank you Cindi for the kind words!  Yes, I am a two "finger guy," heee. . . .

You are like my daughter... Meaning: When she types, her fingers are just a blurrrrr to me. I tease her, that those fingers must run ahead of her mind - sometimes?

That about queen pheromones and their duration?  To answer that? It would be just a guess on my part. I would say, that in right conditions, they would be there for some time - past the removal of the queen.
I should mention that the expired bees were dry and not moldy or decaying, as I am somewhat lucky in that department. I mean, I am very particular when it comes to ventilation. Humid or wet hives have never been a problem in my yards... Knock on wood...

Such treatment in the hospitals is somewhat "normal" for mining towns. Perhaps you heard that old saying about miners? "Strong back - weak mind," thing? Not necessarily true, but often heard...
Example:
Co-worker got his hand badly squashed... Doctor,(same hospital) wanted to amputate. The guy is a part-time musician and said if he can't pick his guitar, there is no point in going on. He gets off the table, calls the taxi and goes home. Wife drives him to Toronto where they reconstruct the hand and he still plays his guitar to this day...

Myself. Some years ago, (summer 1988) I thought I had a heart attack. Wife thinks it was heat stroke?
After much confusion, they flew me to the hospital and to this day I have not a clue what was the problem?  (now suspecting a panic attack) They kept asking how much and what I had to drink?!
Even after all the blood tests one would think that they would know if there was alcohol involved? They kept preaching that alcohol and heat is a bad combination. I walked out, but this alcohol thing stayed on my record for many years.
Funny thing is... I don't drink - period ! (I figure that I'm nuts enough without outside help, heeee...)

So go figure?!

Have a great day...

Regards,
Trot
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« Reply #31 on: January 05, 2007, 09:29:01 AM »

Trot.  Oh brother!!!  That poor musician, and to think that he would have lot his hand if he had stayed.  Gives alot of faith in the system now doesn't it?  And you with probably anxiety!!  I believe that anxiety can mimic heart attack pretty closely, only my opinion. 

My husband only types with two fingers too, and man can he go.  It is actually rather surprising.  Good for you guys!!!

Now back to the queen pheromone stuff.  What I find very interesting about it is that the bees know within a very short time (sounds like it is within a couple of hours), that their queen is missing if she is removed.  The pheromone must be distributed throughout the hive in a very fast order, she must be a busy lady with all the egg laying and pheromone stuff.  Great day.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #32 on: January 10, 2007, 02:11:40 AM »

Had a quick peek yesterday, was too hot to do much.

Slipped the 1/2 bee suit over the work clothes for a quick mission. Smoker went out, bees started biting my ankles and attacking my wrists, only managed to get ont frame out, but thats a little more room.

The "new" honey is straining atm. I need to get into that middle super again when weather permits, gunna be a whole bunch of 100 degree days for the next week or so. If there is no smoke from the bush fires on Sat morning, I will try then.

I have to source some of those smoker pellets locally if I can. having trouble keeping it alight. Its either a blow torch, or nothing. Also must get a hive tool and a frame gripper.

All good fun tho!

Quick snap of the entrance, check out the eyes on those two huge monsters!
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« Reply #33 on: January 10, 2007, 08:23:16 AM »

Mick, can't wrap my head around your country being in summer, we are in the midst of winter.  We have had odd weather this past month.  Sun, rain, windy like I've never seen, and today I wake up and there is about 2 inches of snow, not just the fluffy nice snow that we can get, but hard, almost like freezing snow fluff.  It is not nice. 

I love you pictures.  The drones have the biggest eyes imaginable for their size for sure.  They do look rather formidable looking at ya.  Great day.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #34 on: January 10, 2007, 08:49:13 PM »

>(sounds like it is within a couple of hours)

That's pretty much the maxium.  A smaller hive will know sooner.  Sometimes in a matter of minutes you can hear the queenless "roar".
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« Reply #35 on: January 11, 2007, 10:09:50 PM »

I have only heard the "roar" of the queenless hive once.  It was definitely a totally different noise than the happy hum of the bees.  I still find it amazing that the bees know so soon their queen is gone.  Great day. Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #36 on: January 12, 2007, 07:45:27 PM »

Well this time I was prepared. Got the gear on, taped ankles and cuffs, plenty of smoke, 2 screwdrivers this time. Yes I have doubled my tool kit!

Made a proper inspection of top and middle supers, inspected all frames, no queen cells, no bugs.

Top super all honey, 8/10 full. Other 2 drawn and being filled.

Middle super a bit diferent. A mixture of capped honey and a lot of pollen. Some frames had a few emerging bees. Some capped brood at the lower part of the frames, but only a handful. Its really nice to see those little legs and the head poking out of the cells.

This all tells me that the top super is the main honey store, this is good as this was the plan. Middle one is pollen and honey and a few brood, this is overflow nursery and stores perhaps.

Bottom super must be main brood chamber, this was the plan. Didnt have a look in there, no need and I had done enough for one day.

This frame has been in a week, sorry about the pic, was one handed and the cam was playing up, I need a stand!


This frame was put in two weeks ago


Older frame, a month or so.


This is the drawn frame I took, there is some nectar in the bottom of the cells, but only a tiny bit. Is this ok to keep, or should I put it back. I am planning to try and get 8 drawn frames to put away for next spring while this honey flow is on. OK the boys reckon its ok if there is a lil bit of nectar in the bottom. So I will let the bees clean it out, I have no problem with robbers. This frame had only been in for a week.

I need to either buy more frames or extract faster. There are 10 full capped frames that are available for the taking.

Im not complaing, my bees are good bees! well today they were!

Today was a nice suny day, about 70f nice gentle breeze, bees behaved really well compared to the past few weeks when we have had all the smoke from the fires in the air and humidity. Still have the handful of buggers that are trying to get into me to sting me, but that is there job!
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« Reply #37 on: January 13, 2007, 01:17:35 PM »

Mick, you are the great picture taker!! Love it.  Keep 'em comin'.  Great day.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #38 on: January 13, 2007, 06:32:59 PM »

Thanks Cinid, I am wondering if the darker capping were once brood, now used for storing honey?
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« Reply #39 on: January 13, 2007, 10:57:27 PM »

Mick, now that is a good question.  Let's wait to see what answers come from the gurus!!!  Great day. Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #40 on: January 14, 2007, 08:02:07 PM »

Comb gets reused, of course, and old brood has cocoons in it.  Wax gets reused also and if it's old dark wax, then you get dark cappings.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #41 on: January 14, 2007, 08:14:19 PM »

Michael, awesome, good to know.  Great day. Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #42 on: January 16, 2007, 04:08:56 AM »

Took American Geoffs advice and left the frame with the lil bit of nectar out for the bees to clean up.

WoW is there anything as beautiful as a perfectly drawn frame of white comb? Its incredible to think bees did this. A machine could not be as exact!
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« Reply #43 on: January 19, 2007, 06:38:25 PM »

Some pics from this mornings work and some of my finished product. I help run a site for a band called "The Sleepy jackson" www.thesleepyjackson.com. I am giving honey away in our forum for our members, something fun to do, thats why it is labelled like it is.



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« Reply #44 on: February 03, 2007, 06:05:16 PM »

Well I took some drawn frames from the hive yesterday to keep for next spring.

I thought about it overnight and decided to put them back.

I had noticed a frame that had one side of not very deep capped cells. I have concluded that they might not be drawing frames quick enough to store the honey as I had taken 6 drawn frames over the last month or so.

So it will be interesting to see how quickly they fill and cap the drawn frames I have put back in.

Here is an interesting pic of an old frame, 12 months I think, it has a few emerging brood left fighting there way out. I will remove this frame tomorrow when they have all emerged.


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« Reply #45 on: February 04, 2007, 09:27:00 AM »

Mick, you take some very interesting pictures.  The bees look so cute making their way out.

Check this out though.  It looks like there is only a small patch of brood area surrounded by lots of honey/nectar.  I am not sure if that is really what I see, but if it is... I have learned the hard way that it is so important to keep an "open brood nest", so that the queen does not get honeybound and does not have room to lay.  Mick, go and look to see if there is a problem with not enough room for the queen to lay (and a good laying queen too).  I think that is the MOST IMPORTANT THING ever with regard to colony expansion, for many, many reasons.

Not trying to be bossy or nosey.  But like I said, I think that is why I had so many problems and I don't want this to happen to other beekeepers.

I am positive that Idid not provide enough space for the queen to lay, the bees filled up the brood nest with nectar/honey and she could not have enough room to lay enough  eggs.  So the colonies got weaker and weaker (maybe swarmed too when my back was turned as well I bet), and then the varroa took over because the colonies were not strong. 

Failure on my part in many ways was an incredible learning curve in my beekeeping and I need to share these failures so that other beekeepers will learn by them and work hard to understand these important factors in the life of the honeybee.

Keeping uncongested brood nests, lots of room for the evaporation of nectar and good bee health as well.  All so extremely vital to the procreation of the species.  Great day.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #46 on: February 04, 2007, 12:19:56 PM »

>(maybe swarmed too when my back was turned as well I bet)

If the brood nest was clogged and the population dwindled, I think that's a forgone conclusion.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #47 on: February 04, 2007, 03:47:18 PM »

I understand these principles now, but last year I did not.  I was pretty kniave to this bee stuff, but I am learning.  Great day.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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