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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Spotsylvania,VA
    Posts
    77

    Default Hello from Virginia

    Hi! I am making plans for keeping bees for the first time. I have joined the local beekeeper's classes and am looking forward to learning as much as possible. I will be keeping TBHs. The bee classes do not teach about TBH and so far I have not found anyone in class who keeps them. I am glad to be part of this forum and have enjoyed reading a great many posts. I know this will be a loaded question but here goes, Should I treat them with FumigilinB upon recieving packaged bees? I really want to keep them as untreated as possible but also realize they may not be very strong right away to fight off Nosema due to the stess they will have gone through. Any advice regarding the keeping of TBH will be carefully considered and appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    7,007

    Default Re: Hello from Virginia

    Welcome, everything you learn is the same for top bar hives. There are even extractors for top bar comb now. Please do not treat your hive. Google EDIS and nosema treatment to see how ineffective FumigilinB is before you give your bees another stress. Remember the last time the doctor gave you antibiotics? It had some side effects like digestive and other things we need. Think yeast infection in women especially. So this little bug gets drugged and its immune system is the propolis in the hive, not internal. Personally I do not pay for the drug companies new RVs. Not because I do not want to waste the money. It is because there is enough stress on the bees without getting them hooked on drugs.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Spotsylvania,VA
    Posts
    77

    Default Re: Hello from Virginia

    Thanks for the advise and I will check out the sites mentioned.

    Since I am starting out with everything fresh and clean I would like to keep the hive as pure as possible. I just don't want to do any harm to them with my puritanical notions. I do not want the bee to suffer due to my ignorance! So I am reading as much as I can. Trying to weed through it all is time consuming though and before I know it the "girls" will be here, so it is great to have found this site. I happened upon it while looking at P.J. Chandler's site.

    Kris

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Augusta County, Va. U.S.A.
    Posts
    102

    Default Re: Hello from Virginia

    Hi, I am also in Virginia. I live in Grottoes, in the Shenandoah Valley.
    This is the beginning of my third year. The first year, I bought 1 package from Rossmans in Georgia. I poured them into my first hive, a Top Bar Hive. I had also placed a mini hive in a fallen cedar tree and 2 weeks later had a small colony in there building away. Another couple of weeks I set those bars, in order into another full sized top bar hive. I fed both hives sugar syrup and in the fall, I fed sugar syrup with a few drops of tea tree oil and then some with peppermint oil. Right before winter I layed in some newspaper and poured some sugar in. Other than the essential oils, NO TREATMENTS. I also took no honey, there wasn't much to take. I was glad I did this when I checked them in the spring.
    They survived winter so in early spring I put in a global patty and fed a little syrup again with the oils. They didn't take much and started building fast. I did a split from the original package and put the split into a Langstroth hive and fed them for about a month but they didn't drink much. Later on in the summer, one hive swarmed and I was able to catch them and started one more Lang. I did take about 16 pounds of honey from the top bar hives in the fall but instead of feeding, I left them their own stores for them to use. I think this is the natural way.
    A week ago, I had 4 live colonies, all working away, cleaning their hives of the dead.
    This year, I plan on expanding more, perhaps another Langstroth and a couple more top bar hives. By the way, The Langs are foundationless and I just ordered some of Kelly's foundationless frames. I used popcicle stick starter strips last year with beeswax on them.
    Stick around and learn here and at phils site but remember when you ask questions, there are almost as many answers as there are bees. LOL
    Robee

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Malabar, FL
    Posts
    1,268

    Default Re: Hello from Virginia

    welcome
    A government large enough to provide everything you need is strong enough to take everything you have. T. Jefferson

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Spotsylvania,VA
    Posts
    77

    Default Re: Hello from Virginia

    Robee , Thanks for your hive keeping info. I live out in Spotsylvania, about 100 miles west from you. I like the way you are managing your hives. Have you ever tried a product called Honey B Healthy? I thought it may also be good to put in water to spray bees instead of smoking them. I am going to be putting in an order this week from Brushy Mount. My list is pretty short thankfully. Veils, Hive tools, bee brush , boot bands and lastly Denver's sting stopper.

    Thanks,

    Kris

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Augusta County, Va. U.S.A.
    Posts
    102

    Default Re: Hello from Virginia

    Hi Kris,
    I have never used honey-b-healthy but I think it is a natural product and should be safe for the bees. I have never heard of using it in a sprayer. Some people use apple cider vinegar and water in a sprayer instead of a smoker. I haven't tried this but think that it may have to do with blocking scents. My first year I didn't need a smoker although the package hive became more agressive through the summer.
    When the package came, My wife picked them up at the post office and as soon as she got home, she sprayed the cage with sugar syrup. I did the same as soon as I got home, and again right before I released them. I didn't veil up and did get a little nervous as I shook them into the hive. They were flying all around and in my excitement, didn't even know that they were landing and crawling all over me untill my wife told me afterwards. oh, and I always wear the veil now, since one tagged me on the lip.
    Robee

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