Once wasn't enough
Happy to find a place to communicate with beekeepers and people interested in it ( like myself ) and have a place to keep abreast of the ever changing world of beekeeping or should I have said, apiculturist. Any way, it has been 33 years since I left the commercial beekeeping world and have proclaimed all these years, no business, requires more work and effort than commercial, migratory beekeeping. Maybe my veiw was tainted as I was the youngest and took the full load, work all day, drive all night, drive back, sleep a few hours, load and go again..... When I started, we handloaded 600 to 900 hives and worked the Holly/mellaleuca, orange blossom, palmetto/galberry, watermelon pollination and on to the summer yards...then repeat the process.
Now, I am interested in starting over and keep enough to pollinate all the wildflowers and gardens around here. We do have an abundance of sourwood so, I could clean up for one edible crop. Sorry, I prefer the unmixed, table grade, crops.
So, please don't beat up on me too bad.
Worked in the following operations:
Leon Wyrosdick, Archer Fl, his cousins Jeff Wyrosdick, Jeffs father, Uncle Rufus, another cousin of Leon's, Harry Austin in Plantation and Fellsmere Fl and Elgie Brown in Ft Lauderdale Fl. Sold honey to Hubbard in Eustis Fl, Phillips in Lake Wales, can't remember who in Fort Walton Beach, Fl. and made the supply runs to Dadant when it was in Umatilla. Wax from Charlotte........can't remember the last name, and was well known as one of the 2 crazy ponytailed, never shirted, never veiled ( kept one rolled up in my back pocket for the times the face was being attacked too much ) and always in the middle of the yard pulling honey or supering, unprotected. Back in the days of blowing the bees, no acid boards ever, pulling honey. Enjoyed the sweat and the tears. Too long of a boring story, I am done.
John G: applause:
Re: Once wasn't enough
Sounds like you've had a life of it, lots of experience lots of knowledge you could impart on us less experienced beginers. Your experience is very interesting to some of us and this knowledge is why we are here. Thank You.
Re: Once wasn't enough
Thanks for the vote of confidence,
I will tell you a few of the do's and don't's, I will never forget, learned along the way...
Never graft eggs for queens, from a "mean" hive, no matter how much they are producing. This will pay dividends down the road.
Always mark your producing strong hives, especially when they are docile. If they are mean, don't select them for brood stock.
Too much smoke, is an oxymoron. If there was a way to emit smoke in all directions, it would not be too much. If you worked in a haze of smoke, it would not be too much.
Do not even think of opening a hive if it is cloudy or stormy, early morning or early evening.
Move very fluidly when in a bee yard. Quick or sudden movements get you stung. You don't have to move slowly, but it may help untiiiil you are used to it.
Stay out of an unsmoked front door. Front doors have the guard force and if you insist on working ther, you will be punished.
For your smoker, use pine straw, preferably from parking lots, where it has been run over and softened.
Plug your smoker when finished.
Make your own supers, brood chambers, bottom boards, lids, frames and wire the frames yourself. Any handy person can make the proper jigs to do these jobs.
Throw away excluders that are damged. period.