View Full Version : Georgia Fat Bee Man Experience
04-08-2006, 09:43 PM
I've meet hobby beekeepers and master beekeepers but no one yet like (Don) Fat Bee Man in Lula,Georgia.
My buddy Little John purchased some Nucs from Don (Fat Bee Man) and I got the pleasure of tagging along to pick them up. We arrived and met Don and started checking Nucs he had set aside for Little John, the weather was cloudy cool and off and on drizzling rain, I thought sure this would be a bad day to be fooling with bees.
Amazingly the bees were gentle even with the poor weather (more gentle than any I've ever seen) So gentle in fact that none of us ever put on a Bee hat or gloves. This wasn't a quick peak into a hive .......Don pulled frames moved bees with his fingers found the queens and even shook frames of bees into Little John's Nucs without any of the normal beekeeper's protective gear, no stinging bees no screaming and running for the truck, nothing but a smoker that he didn't use much.
I was totally amazed and thinking that I had seen it all now by the time we finished placing the frames into Little Johns Nucs. I asked Don for 4 queens and he agreed to let me have them, we walked over to a small Nuc and Don found the queen in the bottom of the box after pulling all the frames. The queen was under a pile of worker bees when he reached in and dug her out bare handed and placed her into a queen cage without getting stung!
A few seconds later he caught attendant bees by hand and placed them one at a time into the cage with the queen. I was in shock by them and trying to catch bees myself ...... lol
Don repeated hand catching queens 3 more times and added attendants each time bare handed without getting stung.
Up until yesterday you couldn't have given me a hive of Russian bees, all the stories I've heard didn't add up to what I saw at Don's. I see the wisdom in his genetic lines and the visit was proof enough for me to come home with 4 queens that speak Russian fluently
Both Don and his apiary are a pleasure to visit.
04-09-2006, 04:27 AM
All I can say is,...It pays to know what you're doing...And it sounds like he does..I've witnessed the same with other master bkpers. It's a pleasure to watch.
04-09-2006, 08:42 AM
I agree buddy experience is impressive; experience and genetics is an amazing eye opener.
I was holding frames bare handed and moving bees with my fingers by the time we were ready to leave. My gentle Italians would have had me for lunch.
We opened a lot of different hives at FB's and I saw the same gentle nature in each one, the bees I saw make a real statement about his breeding lines.
All I can say is I'm impressed.
04-09-2006, 12:17 PM
I talked with Don on the phone awhile back. Hes one of the nicest folks out there, and always willing to help others.
Gotta love the Donald!
04-09-2006, 03:32 PM
I also wonder if it has anything to do with not using chemicals in his hives also. Maybe some of the chemicals make the bees edgy. smile.gif
04-09-2006, 05:05 PM
Thats great to hear about his Russians. I have 2 Russian queens reserved from him. :D
Dick Marron has nothing but good things to say about Don.
04-09-2006, 06:15 PM
thanks for all the good words only trying to do my best in bees and help other beekeepers. as a breeder of queens I think it is a must to help the new beekeepers comeing to this field. I have spent contless hrs helping the average beekeeper to be secussfull.any time I heard good feed backs means I have done my part to promote happy bees and beekeepers====thanks guys
04-09-2006, 09:34 PM
I've emailed Don and got a quick reply.
but my compliments to to his website. It makes me feel right at home with the photos. Nothing fancy or dressed up. Just a fat man with bees. smile.gif
04-10-2006, 06:46 AM
And he isn't really that fat either Waya. Somewhat of a misnomer I'd say. Where he gets off calling himself "fatbeeman" I don't know! Now, I could call myself "skinnybeeman" and get away with it. I'm 5'11.5" tall and weigh 136 pounds soaking wet. I can hide behind a telephone pole. At the doctor's office, they don't xray me, the just stand me in front of a strong light.
04-10-2006, 07:48 AM
lol ..........we could both be skinnybeemen
04-10-2006, 04:09 PM
I can see it now. Family is out to eat. someone says, "hey, George, pass me that knife. .... NOW where did he get off to so fast?"
My Papa and I both graduate high school weight 128. It took joining the army for me to get above 136. Oh, how I miss those days.
04-13-2006, 04:03 PM
I wrote about Don. If we are lucky we may see something in print about him. I spent a couple of days with him. He's a great host. We made foundation one day. He makes his own to be sure of having clean wax.
[ April 14, 2006, 07:49 AM: Message edited by: dickm ]
04-13-2006, 07:19 PM
Don is about one of the nicest people to meet. If you have an interest (as we all do) in bee's....he would help you with all the "dumb" questions that we might conjure up. It is beyond patience... just the love of the art.
It is great to have a mentor like Don around the corner... and since I've came back from overseas, I hope to take advantage of an opportunity that few have.
04-15-2006, 07:38 PM
Does Don "Fat Bee Man " Have a web site????
04-15-2006, 07:41 PM
Yep he does!
04-15-2006, 08:22 PM
Larae,, Thank you, Mark
04-16-2006, 12:18 AM
A striking difference this thread is to the ones that have been running since this time last year regarding a different company. I hope everyone can get their public relations issues worked out and get their companies going. I like to see people prosper in their endevers. It certainly seems that Fatman is prospering, if in no other way than simply making a lot of beekeepers happy.
04-16-2006, 03:52 AM
Wayacoyote,What is Don's website? The one in his profile got me no where. Thanks,Ken
04-16-2006, 04:16 AM
Oops, Missed the one post with it in.Sorry!
04-16-2006, 07:19 AM
Waya I think FB is prospering for that very reason...happy customers, and that's the best kind of advertising one can have.
04-16-2006, 11:57 AM
Don is CERTAINLY the type person we can enjoy having as a friend! BTW he's in beesource chatroom most every nite.
yup, He also enjoys teaching the beekeeping trade also, I know from experience, Appreciate it FB..
04-20-2006, 03:13 PM
I spent a couple of hours following Don around while he marked queens. He had some great advice and was very helpful. I didn't wear a veil or gloves (I was even wearing sandles) and I didn't get stung.
Thanks for all the help Don!
11-16-2006, 07:32 PM
I tried to get to the chatroom tonight to see if Don was in, but I'm also wanting feed back from Nuc buyers....
Any problems with SHB's? My girlfriend is wanting more bees and I hope she gets them from Don, but she doesn't have SHB in her area yet (which is the only reason we haven't combined our apiaries yet.)
Donna Marie Honeybee by the Sea
11-18-2006, 04:17 PM
Hi all. I am planning to order two Italian medium nucs from Don in January. I am so excited about getting his sweet clean bees on small cell foundation in a medium nuc, I can hardly stand it! He will be shipping the nucs to me, which will be my first experience with nucs...all others have been packages.
For those of you who have not visited his website yet, take a look at the photos of his queens, they are gorgeous!
I have one colony on small cell exclusively, am really looking forward to having two more colonies of sweet bees raised on small cell from the get-go!
Cheers Donna Marie
Looks like I have found a new source for bees. His website prices for a nuc are only slightly higher than a #3 package from south Texas. I do believe that this is the way to go.