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Thread: Mentor Stories

  1. #1


    I just read nhbeekeepers post further down on the forum and reminisced a little.

    Even though this is the beginner forum, a lot of seasoned mentors lurk around here just as well.

    Dana, my "mentee" last summer came to mind.

    Never before have I seen a man do so much in his first year of beekeeping as I saw last year. We hived more swarms than I can remember and talked about bees for hours on end. Just like a little boy, he soaked up every word and pondered questions relentlessly as the summer progressed.

    One swarm retrieval was on the eaves of a two story abandoned house. The bees had built a rather large series of combs out in the open and we set about to bring them home.

    Fifteen minutes into the project, the sky let loose with a severe electrical storm, but we pressed on high atop aluminum ladders soaked to bone by the run-off from the roof. With the aid of our flash lights, and a burst of lightning here and there, we were able see the task at hand. Finally, two hours later, as our wives happily chatted in the pickup truck below, the swarm was ours.

    I've helped several fellow beekeepers get started, but never before have I had so much enjoyment as last year.

    How many of you mentors have your new recruits chosen for this year?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    providence, ri, usa


    I love that story- what dedication!

    I just started keeping bees a coupla years ago. I decided to expand from 2 hives last year to 10 this year. It has been an intersting adventure already. I had to move three newly installed hives beyond the three mile zone in about a two second warning (cause of some beaurocratic miscommunication.)

    I had a mentor of mine show up to help on the end ofthe final destination- probably thinking he'd stay about twenty minutes. THen we discovered that I had not released the metal from atop my queen cages and proceed to check all 8 hives at this location to pop off that metal piece and help relaese the queens. God, I was feeling foolish.

    Anyawy, We ended up with flashlights in hand- and doing some beekeeping in the dark! And almost two hours later, I was just blown away at the generosity and patience and dedication of my mentor. I appreciate this so much and the fact that most beekeepers seem to be this way.

    When I decided to expand my apiary, I asked friends and family to help me get started. I recieved a lot of support- in many differnt avenues- one of the best is that I got connected to a woman a little newer than me with bees who has has asked to hang close with me this summer.

    Even though I'm still very very very wet behind the ears- i'm going to enjoy the chance to pass the torch.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Warren County, Kentucky


    Thank goodness you people don't want to hog it for yourselves! I think there are very few endeavors in life where those with much experience are so willing to share what they know so freely.

    I don't know if I have just one mentor or many. I joined two local bee associations six months before I was to actually begin beekeeping.

    But there is one friend who has loaned me his frame nailing device and his foundation device and spent hours helping me wire small cell foundation into frames and come over and checked my hives for me to reassure me. He even took me to pick up my packages when he picked up his. This would be way too intimidating for me without people who are willing to share.

    Beekeepers are terrific people. I'm looking forward to going with somebody to catch a swarm.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2004


    My story is I got very lucky in finding a mentor with many years of experiance . He is now 88 years young and has passed down all his 11 hives and equipment to me . He has done bees since he was able to walk as well as made his living with bees .He worked in South Dakoata for a company that kept 10,000 hives .

    I hope to be able to pass this on to my grandson and anyone else that will show enough interest in the future .

    Some can learn by others mistakes , others have to whizz on the electric fence for themslves .


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