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Bruce Hanson
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« on: June 16, 2004, 11:30:35 AM »

HELLO BEEKEEPERS                    Hi I'm a beeman from South Dakota  runing about 3500 hives of bees.The bees are placed on clover and alfalfa fields after spending the winter in Texas and California.The bees are shipped to Ca. to pollonate the almound groves   We raise our queens and nucs in Tx.to replace our losses.                   I have been working bees for 32 years,starting when I was 18 so makes me the big 50 ,sounds so old   maybe thats why those deep honey supers are so heavy these days.
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Beth Kirkley
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« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2004, 04:28:58 PM »

Hello Bruce-

Good to have you! We need more "old-timers" in here. I don't mean that as in you're old, but just that you've been doing beekeeping for so long. Smiley It often seems to me that the majority of the forum are new to beekeeeping (like myself) and the experience and background you can offer will be wonderful.

You're not the only old-timer though. Smiley

But, I am wondering something. What brings you to the forum? (To share your knowledge? Make friends?) Sorry to sound so nosey.

A big welcome to you,
Beth
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golfpsycho
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« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2004, 04:39:33 PM »

Welcome to the forum Bruce.  We all can certainly benefit from your experience and I look forward to your input.

I have a question for you already.  When you overwinter your bees in Texas, and California, what steps do you take to protect from AHB?  I recently read that they have reached as far north as the Bay area of California.
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Bruce Hanson
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« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2004, 10:58:44 AM »

Hey Beth.                             The reason I'm here was boredem it has been raining and cold for the last week and can't get out and work the bees,so was killing time surfing the net,and Ithink Ifound what I was looking for.               So far we have been one jump ahead of the AHB ,we used to winter in south Texas but moved 200 miles north to stay clear of them and so far have had no problem with them    all colonies are requeened with our queens also
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Beth Kirkley
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« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2004, 12:55:09 PM »

LOL Now that's honesty! Smiley
I'm addicted to this place. I'm always wandering in here even before checking my mail. In a way it's like a chat room, where we visit, but different too because we get to see what anyone said while we were away. John actually did try to start up a chat room, and still has it set-up, but there was rarely anyone there. We just never got times fixed to meet there. (And anyone out there that wants to get it going, just say something.)

I've been doing sort of the same thing as you. It's been really rainy here, and I want to get in the hives to see what progress they may have made since I made some changes. I've had bees on the brain so bad it makes it hard to sleep at night. Smiley So I've been doing some research about different hive designs on the net, and re-reading my Beekeeping For Dummies book.

Beth
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« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2004, 05:30:47 PM »

Hi Bruce:

Glad to see a commercial Beekeeper (or what is your preferred title) aboard the forum. Sounds fascinating and I have helped (at a much smaller level) with a few hundred hives brought in locally for cranberry pollination and I appriciate the hard work and time consumption of your profession - you have a lot of interested people here who will be picking your minds, but you should feel at home in this forum - it is a terrific group and growing all the time.

I do have a question about Almond honey - I've always heard it is horrible for human consumptions, so I assume (if that is indeed true) that is it primarily beefood - but given your climate I wonder what percentage is consumed throughout the seasons?

Also, is there a market for the almond honey? Is it really that bitter or nasty to humans, or is this exaggerated to the point of bee urban legend???

Just really wondering if it can serve as a sweetener in ALMOND based cakes, etc..

I'm totally at the opposite end of the beekeeping spectrum, collectively I doubt we have as many hives as you in this forum - but our passion for this hobby are real and very important to all of us.

The unsung heroes here are 1) the moderators who are always busy keeping the flow and the pace of the forum always moving forward and 2) the want-to-be Beekeepers who are learning this hobby through interaction within the forum BEFORE spending the bucks to get involved into a hobby that does have a lot of pluses and minuses.

Collectively though, this group is a fascinating vision of beekeeping world wide, letting all of us know how others keep and raise bees in their homelands.

Glad you are with us Bruce, I hope you enjoy a long and interactive stay with the forum - I hope you get to share photos and insight that you have learned through trial and error throughout your decades of high-end beekeeping: we've been awaiting a large scale member who we can learn by through examples and teachings.

Thank you again for joining and a prosperous year to you.
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B Hanson
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« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2004, 01:17:47 PM »

With thousands of colonies in the almound groves any necter that the hives makes goes for feed,bees do    bring in lots of pollon which is    needed for good buildup,but feeding is required because of the   rapid buildup,lots of brood for the bees to feed.Almounds bloom the middle of Feb.untill middle of March then are trucked to Tx.where they are split and given new queens
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« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2004, 01:49:03 PM »

BRUCE:

Looks like you got SNAGGED (as we all have) by the LOG-IN Glitch. Please read this post, it will help you overcome log-in issues. But if you are asked for your username and password AT A POST OR REPLY WINDOW, you are not logged in - look up in the log-in section of the screen -

it should say:
Log out [Bruce Hanson] (this means you are logged IN)

If it says:
LOG IN (you are NOT logged in, it is asking you to)

Here is the FULL ARTICLE - it has a learning curve, but it's easy to get use to:
http://www.beemaster.com/beebbs/viewtopic.php?t=399

The big problem is it USUALLY takes TWO TRIES to get logged in and you need to see that your username logged in right!!!!  

Thanks
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Bruce Hanson
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Location: South Dakota


« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2004, 10:49:38 AM »

Hi from east Tx.,been awhile sense I have had time to write. We had a good honey crop in South Dakota that kept everyone busy extracting untill after Thanksgiving.The bees also had to have a mite treatment and medicated for foulbrood and shipped to California in November.   They will be kept in holding yards untill Feb. then move to almonds for pollination.I sent 6 semi loads from SD.,,so have been busy.          I will spend most of the winter here in TX. building supers and new covers,waiting for the bees to come back from Cal. in March ,we then make up our splits and replace queens.  Then the cycle starts again for another year.
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Jay
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« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2004, 06:44:03 PM »

Hi Bruce,

I'm from the northeast, where the bees definitly cluster up and stay in all winter from the cold ( last night it was 1 degree F in Concord ). What do they do in CA in the winter? Is it warm where you winter them ( I know some parts of CA can get quite frosty in winter ), and if so what's in the holding yards for forrage?
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Location: Illinois


« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2004, 11:27:22 PM »

Bruce, you are living my dream. Maybe I can come out and see you next summer and see your mass production of bees. I will get my license in 3 more weeks so I can drive myself out. Bye
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Ryan Horn
Bruce Hanson
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Location: South Dakota


« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2005, 06:31:06 PM »

Well we finished making our nucs today,made up around 2000 in ten days so been busy ,just have to put in 400 queen cell tomorrow oh my akeing back.Now a little feed and some time and they will be ready for the trip to South Dakota mid May for the honey flow.
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« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2005, 07:53:34 PM »

Bruce:

As always, GREAT to see you here! Please keep us filled in on the frequent going-ons of the commercial business - as Ryan said, many people would love to "Send some time in your shoes" experiencing the business end of this hobby we all share, but in many various ways.

Just wondering, how did the Winter go for you? Sounds like a lot of nucs, just wondering if you build, assemble or start all your own nucs and hive bodies - or just ssemble or even buy preassembled woodworks? and raise the bees to hive bodies from there, or how it all works.

I mentioned a while ago I helped a pollinator for two seasons, and I had a first hand experience at the HARD and EXHAUSING work it can be - thank God (Literally) for equipment that can do MOST of the moving and lifting.

Even nucs get hard to handle after a few thousand pass through your hands as you assembly line your processes.

Thanks for the post - I really hope you can find the time to give us some story line as the season progresses. Best wishes and great beekeeping.

Side note: During that short time I worked with migrational pollinators, traveling a relatively short distance from Cranberry bogs to Blueberry fields, I got to work with about 1400 colonies - I am very humbled by the backache that Bruce must be feeling - it is hard hard work doing ANYTHING large scale with bees.
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Agility Mom
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« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2005, 08:00:31 PM »

How many of you are working to get that many nucs prepared?
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Judy
Bruce Hanson
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Location: South Dakota


« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2005, 09:04:16 AM »

There were three of us working which inclued grafting ,spliting and going back and puting in queen cells in all new splits after they sat for two days.                      I had two semi loads of double deep bees come here to Texas from Calif. after the almond pollination and basicly split them into a strong single and doing away with the old queen and givingthem all a ripe queen cell.So will have to go through all one more time and check for laying queens and replace the ones that did'nt mate or bad layers.                                I had about a 15% loss of bees    wintered in Calif. a lot beter than most,some lost 50% or more.     Still have 4 loads in Calif.that or inthe oranges now and will be shiped to South Dakota first of May. Hope this helped a little to know how us << big guys >> do it.
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Agility Mom
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« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2005, 10:18:18 AM »

It is amazing. Very impressive. Thanks for taking the time to answer.
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Judy
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