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Thread: Dumb and dumber

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Danbury,Ct. USA
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    1,966

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    What is the dumbest thing you've done lately? Here's mine while it's still fresh. I had 5 frames of partial honey I wanted to distribute among some of 7 hives in one beeyard. I was going to slip out the empty frames and slip in the honey ones. I carried them in a nuc box and left them on the tail gate of my van with the door open. I wanted to check all the hives, install menthol towels and oxamite strips and then go back with the honey to the neediest colonies. By the time I finished the last inspection, I noticed a lot of bees in the air! As I walked gratefully back to the truck I was astonished to see a cloud of bees there! The little ****s had found my honey and were all over it. A look back at the bee yard and all the hives had a swarm in the air in front of them. I'd heard of this but never seen it. I carried the nuc hive a hundred feet away and said OK....clean it out! (On reflection , a mistake I think.) Then I threw a big handful of grass in front of each hive. I've lost my ability to make it rain. Anything else I should have done? I want to feed these guys later in the week but am a little afraid to do so.

    Dick Marron

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    46,763

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    I had some bees that put some random comb in a miller feeder. I recently cut the comb out and set the feeder outside figuring a few bees would find it and clean it out. It set off a cloud of bees at that feeder and a round of robbing in my hives. I guess I should have expected it. What's worse, I put it kind of close to the back door (30 feet or so). I wish I'd put it further away or not at all.

    It's the season that's the cause. There's nothing else out there to gather.

  3. #3
    BILLY BOB Guest

    Post

    Hmmmmm,

    At any other time this would be a easy post to respond to.

    The best I can do for now is:

    Last fall, I was changing out a deep hive box that was showing the years. After removing the frames and placing them into a new box, the inside the old box was still covered with about 3lbs. of bees. Thinking it was no big deal I would "bump" the bottom corner on the ground and pour them into the new box. The bottom board had been stapled to the hive body.

    When I bent over and "bumped" the corner of the box the bottom board popped off, the old hive body was in worse shape than I thought. As you can imagine all 3lbs of bees went right between my feet. I only wear a veil when working my hives so up my pants they went. I started to walk away as soon as it happened, 5 steps later when I looked down it was hard to tell where the blue jeans stopped and the bees started. Ouch!!!! I was walking funny for several days.

    So I never trust bottom boards that are stapled to hive bodies. As for that matter I don't use them any more.

    BB


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Danbury,Ct. USA
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    1,966

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    Billy Bob,
    Thanks for a good laugh. I feel better if not smarter now. Seems like anything that snaps quickly is a bad omen in a beeyard!
    Did I mention that I had to park my car with the air conditioner running for 20 minutes, shoo the bees out AND drive with my veil on.

    Dickm

  5. #5
    BILLY BOB Guest

    Post

    ROFL

    Driving with your veil on. And to think I was the only one! lol

    BB

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Kansas
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    1,262

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    Thats a good one BB> LOL Oh My.

    Well, I took out a frame of honey from the freezer and dropped it.

    Shattered like glass. P---- me off.

    The good part is that I took a bite of the frozen honey comb and Man that's a good chew!

    I put my broken honey comb back in the freezer to take a nip now and then.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Kiel WI, USA
    Posts
    2,368
    I'm feeding a weak hive with a baggie, there were some yellowjackets getting in around the inner cover since I was using a pretty poor super to cover the baggie. So, last time I refilled the baggie I taped the holes up, then noticed some syrup around the entrance, so I figured, hey, spilled a little syrup, and left. Next time I found out the jackets or bees had chewed a hole in the bag, and I had closed the jackets entrances soooooooo, they went in the front, the bees had given up defending the entrance, but not without a heck of a fight judging by the pile of bodies. So now that hives gonna get combined with a mid-July swarm, and I've never been so happy to see a killing frost in my life. Still pretty bitter about the whole thing. (sigh)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
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    5,159
    This is the dumbest yet.

    Last weekend I was going through the last of my hives taking out the empty queen boxes and replacing the frames I removed to make room for the QB's.

    I opened one of the hives and found that they made their own replacement comb for the one PC I had removed. It was beautiful, they made one complete frame sized comb and filled it in seven days. Fresh white comb and the prettiest golden brown honey you had ever seen, it must be goldenrod, perhaps a little soy and alfalfa too.

    I couldn't wait to taste goldenrod honey. I took it home to show the family and announced that I was providing desert that evening.

    Well during the half time of the game, (GO CHIEFS!) I couldn't wait any longer and carved off a nice chunk about 1 x 2 inch square and poped it in my mouth and felt the sweetness ozzing over my taste buds and the pure joy of fresh honey, it was delightful!

    Then the thought crossed my mind. When I requeened, didn't I place an essential oil towel and a grease patty in too? Well it was just one little bite, OH MY GOD, what about the oxalic strip! oh,oh...

    I feel like a canidate for the Darwin award. Oh well, I'm not dead yet, however if you don't hear from me for a while...

    Bill

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Wyoming MN
    Posts
    406

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    Here's one for the dumb and dangerous catagory.
    I pulled a couple honey supers off the other day, then left them in my van overnight. Too busy to haul them in the house. The next morning, 6:00 am, asked my DH to help me haul them in, because it was going back up to 80 degrees outside. Mr. Muscle grabs both boxes and heads for the house. I thought about grabbing the freezer paper that was stuck to the bottom, but didn't. It seemed to be sticking well... Halfway down the steps and the freezer paper fall off the supers, landing on the step in front of the hubby. I called stop, but not fast enough, so I watched in slow motion as the paper fell, he stepped on it, and slid the rest of the way down the stairs. Ended up trapped with one leg under him, so I had to jump over him and lift off the supers so he could stand up. Thank GOD that he wasn't hurt, just a little bruised, but my morning could have gone much different.
    Next time: One super per trip, and lose the paper first. Easier to clean the honey off the floor, than risk an ER visit.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Lexington, KY, USA
    Posts
    504

    Question

    Maybe I did something dumb yesterday. Had two deeps and a honey super. Checked the bees for the last time, I hoped, and found the honey super empty! Took it off and checked the upper deep and found it almost full with only two frames partially drawn. Figured before it gets really cold I would put the Miller feeder on and give them some syrup to fill those frames. Temps rose in the afternoon to 74F and suddenly had the biggest cloud of bees I ever saw here in front of the hive. Robbers!? Well, I put in a gallon of syrup and it was gone in about four hours! The bottom board is dry, no leaks! Can they do that this fast? Question: The temps will stay up for a few more days, should I continue feeding? Should I leave the feeder on top for the winter? Its about 4" high and might give some insulation. The ventilation slot on the inner cover is screened and the entrance is reduced. Please let me know what you would do.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    >Temps rose in the afternoon to 74F and suddenly had the biggest cloud of bees I ever saw here in front of the hive. Robbers!?

    That's my guess.

    >Well, I put in a gallon of syrup and it was gone in about four hours! The bottom board is dry, no leaks! Can they do that this fast?

    They can when there are that many robbers.

    >Question: The temps will stay up for a few more days, should I continue feeding?

    Stop until there are no robbers. Close the entrance down to really small (mouse gaurds are good) I'd shut it down to about 3/4" wide. Then feed them some more and see if they robbers show up again.

    >Should I leave the feeder on top for the winter? Its about 4" high and might give some insulation.

    Some people figure it adds some ventilation. I don't leave them on, but I have a vent box on most of mine.

    >The ventilation slot on the inner cover is screened and the entrance is reduced. Please let me know what you would do.

    Where is the inner cover? On top of the feeder? Is there an upper entrance on the inner cover (a slot or groove in the middle)? Maybe that's where the robbers get in.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Catonsville, MD. USA
    Posts
    251

    Cool

    Since I use Honey-B-Healthy with the lemongrass oil, I've had plenty of experience with robbers. To avoid this,
    and some repeat from above:

    1)Close entrances of hives to be fed to ~3/4 inch. 3/8ths to 1/2 inch for really weak hives.
    2) Feed on top of hive covered with a hive body and NO HOLES. NO BOARDMAN FEEDERS!!!
    3) If inner cover has opening to outside of hive, cover with METAL screen and TAPE it down. Robbers will CHEW THROUGH nylon screen and/or PUSH the screen out. Ventilation is preserved this way.
    4) ONLY feed just before dark after dusk. This allows the bees to clean up spills in their hives when feeder is installed with out attracting roaming robbers.

    Hope this is useful.

    Thanx.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Lexington, KY, USA
    Posts
    504

    Smile

    Thanks all for the information on the robbers. The front is now closed to 2". I will make another closure with about 3/4".
    The feeder has an inner cover on it with a 3" wide ventilation gap but I had it closed with wire screen stapled on, but I will check it again. Talked to a friend about two mile away and he had the same thing happen the same day but had not fed. Oh, well figure. Thanks again for the advice, it's all just so fascinating!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
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    2,781

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    Maybe it was his bees coming back with your sugar water

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Danbury,Ct. USA
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    Here's another thing you never told me Mike. Not to handle menthol soaked towel with my leather bee gloves. Not so bad that they smell and the bees don't like it, but even days later they make your hands smell. That's not all. when you rub your eyes after you take the veil off your eyes start to burn. I had to work this backwards to figure out what was wrong with my eyes!
    Thanks Mike.

    Dickm

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    I've never even attempted to use menthol. But my experience with Mentholatum and Vicks would indicate that it would be wise to keep it out of your eyes.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Evansville, IN, USA
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    Dumb things we do . . . here is mine

    Today, after a week of usual cold winter weather, I checked my hive.

    My hive is in 3 deeps, and every time I have hefted the back of my hive, it seemed heavy but I was able to lift it just off the ground.

    But, today . . . It was REALLLLL heavy. So heavy, that I could not lift it.

    I WAS ASTONISHED

    Then . . . I realized . . .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    It was frozen to the ground.

    ------------------
    Dave W . . .

    A NewBEE with 1 hive.
    First package installed
    April, 2003.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    When you first start off beekeeping, you sometimes think you have a really full super until the propolis breaks.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Bartonville, TX USA
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    456

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    dumbest things:

    first time I got robbed I thought the bees were really bringing in the nectar. didn't recognize they were hauling off over 40 lbs. of honey. I think it ended up in a hive in my neighbors hollow tree. I retired the boardman feeder.

    first package I installed, after about 6 weeks I decided to just peek inside the inner cover one night. since I was just going to peek I didn't figure I needed a veil or gloves or anything more than just shorts and a t-shirt. Was lucky to only take on 6 stings in as many seconds. I put the hive back together the next morning.

    ordering Dadant SMR 4.9mm plastic foundation

    ordering 50 sheets of unwaxed Rite-Cell plastic foundation (gee I can save 14 cents each waxing it myself)

    leaving a super in the garage for 3 weeks before extacting it. I did however get to see what wax moths looked like at all stages of development.

    taking beekeeping for dummies advice and working the hive between 11 am and 3 pm when most of the workers were in the field - enjoying the 100 degree summer heat. I did wear the veil, gloves, double long sleeve shirt, jeans and boots this time for proper protection. about 50 bees clung to my shirt and veil - they were gathering water.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Bartonville, TX USA
    Posts
    456

    Post

    dumbest things:

    first time I got robbed I thought the bees were really bringing in the nectar. didn't recognize they were hauling off over 40 lbs. of honey. I think it ended up in a hive in my neighbors hollow tree. I retired the boardman feeder.

    first package I installed, after about 6 weeks I decided to just peek inside the inner cover one night. since I was just going to peek I didn't figure I needed a veil or gloves or anything more than just shorts and a t-shirt. Was lucky to only take on 6 stings in as many seconds. I put the hive back together the next morning.

    ordering Dadant SMR 4.9mm plastic foundation

    ordering 50 sheets of unwaxed Rite-Cell plastic foundation (gee I can save 14 cents each waxing it myself)

    leaving a super in the garage for 3 weeks before extacting it. I did however get to see what wax moths looked like at all stages of development.

    taking beekeeping for dummies advice and working the hive between 11 am and 3 pm when most of the workers were in the field - enjoying the 100 degree summer heat. I did wear the veil, gloves, double long sleeve shirt, jeans and boots this time for proper protection. about 50 bees clung to my shirt and veil - they were gathering water.

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