I agree that new beeks should go in the hive and get educated when necessary and enjoy themselves while they do it. But going in just for fun is detrimental to the bees. While you are laughing and slapping your knees at the ignorant buffoon who is anthropomorphizing his bees you are ignoring some important facts. When you open the hive and disrupt their workings they must now fix it….you only destroy and never rebuild. They may be set back as much as three days putting the hive back together. They don’t have a ready reserve to repair the battle damage so there is a disruption in the gathering of stores. If these three days were major flow days, they missed it. If the three days were followed by rain then they stay home and eat stores… further setting them back. They now after let’s say three events have only enough stores to maybe make it through the winter. But you are going to take the stores for yourself and feed them slop and hope they make until next season. But none of this really matters anyway they are just stupid insects.
Dave - PM me if you are interested in natural beekeeping in Hancock County Maine.
"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see." Henry David Thoreau, Mark B
It always tickles me to here of families sharing the joy of keeping bees. I want to give you the best possible answer to you question. You both have to learn about your bees and what is going on in the hive. There are lessons in life that your daughter will learn from these visits both from the bees and from you. You cannot ignore the disruption that occurs with each visit. If you go in too often the bees will suffer regardless of the claims of others. You will learn this as you go if you are truly interested in the bees. If your bees don’t make it the first year that is ok because you learned and shared this time with your daughter. You will be ahead with the comb already built for next year. During this first year you will be developing a beekeeping philosophy. It is entirely up to you what you daughter learns about bees, life, and her Dad from this experience. There is “crush, kill, destroy” the stupid insects; let nature do what it does and respect these marvelous creatures, and everything in between. Choose wisely Grasshopper!
Dave - PM me if you are interested in natural beekeeping in Hancock County Maine.
I really take issue with some of what you say.
Your first sentence quoted about laughing and slapping of knees.
What a load of bollocks I dont know anyone who even gives this a thought let alone have a laugh fest over it.
Your paragraph quoted in the middle is IMHO also a load of bollocks,
if you do the maths then there would hardly be a beeehive alive if by opening them 3 times in a season they are not going to make it through winter!
And the bit about it taking 3 days to rebuild what you destroyed and in those 3 days they dont bring in any stores that is not my experience and I know of noone who would advocate that.
Lastly to say that the stores are all taken and they are fed "slop" because who cares they are only insects, what the heck is that all about?
You are obviously against opening hives and thats fine I dont have a problem with that, but to post such rot and to put down beekeepers that do open hives is really childish and not helpful to anyone.
I had to change my account name (I was bwalden but I was suddenly unable to post and I can't get a response from the admins so I made a new account). I appreciate all of your responses, we only go in the hive once a week and only on warm days. We keep our visits short to keep the bother to a minimum. we haven't had to work to hard to get into the hive. They are building very straight combs with no cross comb. The bee's have so far been very docile and we have not had to use the smoker (it just seems to piss them off). I am sure we are making mistakes, but we will learn in time. I did not know that it would create such a hubbub. Thanks again for all of your opinions
Last edited by Bill123; 05-20-2010 at 08:55 PM. Reason: my poor spelling
It's been an interesting read thats for sure!
I've often thought over the last few days of reading, Poor ol Bill didn't know what he was letting himself in for! LOL such an innocent post but what strong reactions!
Have fun with your bees and your daughter
Thanks kiwi...I was surprised at the reaction, and me unable to post for a week.
Hi again Bill,
I just wanted to add that I was brought up in a beekeeping family and been with bees all my life.
My Dad and my brother took me under their wing and taught me so much.
Dad is in his 80's now but still raises over 300 queens for us each spring and I have so many special times with him as we work the bees together.
Your daughter will have those memories and special times too and thats a very cool thing!
I also was brought up with beekeeping, and my dad is my partner in our operation. I agree with Kiwi that your daughter will recall and relish the time you have spent with her and these experiences she will never forget. My dad and I get to spend a lot of time together with our bee business and I appreciate every moment I get to spend with him. Have fun and cherish time spent, it seems just yesterday my daughter was born and next month she turns 17...goes by way too fast.
A government large enough to provide everything you need is strong enough to take everything you have. T. Jefferson
Thats what I thought. When we smoked them the one time, the pitch of the buzz increased and it seemed they were fanning the hive to clear the smoke out. However, in recent visits to the hive, we have not started the smoker and the bees remained nice and calm.
Bill you've been putting too much smoke on them they only need a small puff at the entrance and a couple of puffs over the top of the bars when you open them. Just little puffs not billowing smoke
Thanks...I think we will leave the smoker alone for now the bees have not been acting aggressive when we open the hive, Thanks again Kiwi
i'm in the same boat with u, bill. this is my first go-around and i want to know how things are progressing as well as getting my 11 year old son over his fear of stinging insects!
we're 2 1/2 weeks into our 'beekeeping' adventure and have been in the hive 5 times. on the second trip we released the queen manually.the forth and fifth trips were both without a smoker and in short sleeves. he's turned 180 degrees from installing our bee package, where his atttire was veil, gloves, and long sleeves with a comfortable distance from the goings-on!
now he's in shorts, no shirt. he methodically brushes the bees off the the bottom of the feeder, before he fills it, like he's been doing it all his life. thats a long way from swatting at every thing with wings just a month ago.
i'm going to pickup 3 nucs next week, so if we are causing havoc on our first hive, we'll still keep on keeping on!
for the time being, all seems well. got larva in our brood and i see foragers on our cucumber plants, as their in full bloom now. i feel like this is a life changing experience for my boy and its real cool to see the smile in his eyes when he knows he's doing this thing. good luck on ur journey.
Going in without a smoker is a sure sign of over-confidence. You've been very lucky doing it twice....my advice is to not do it anymore! You WILL get attacked by angry bees when you pick the wrong place at the wrong time. I'd hate for your boy to suffer a set-back because he gets stung a dozen times within 5 seconds.
Really, I've been there....don't go in without at least a little smoke.
i wondered if i had the most docile bees ever or was the real deal just kinda.... waiting on me..... like a pissed off ex-wife!!!!!! we're gonna stay away for the next 2 weeks, as bad as we want to look inside, and then we'll see how the next invasion goes WITH a smoker.
thats an education.... without the cost. point well taken and thanks again
I knew we would want to be in there a lot, so I put in an observation window which gets pretty regular use. We try to go in once a week or so, it has been nice to see them building up. Mt daughter has been stung before but she still is very happy to go into the hive. she works in a cobbled together bee suit till hers shows up in the mail (hopefully this week).
when you need a smoker, its too late to light it. same thing with a veil. i get a lot of equipment from beekeepers who got used to docile bees, then one day get 25 stings-in the face. its not a matter of "man-up" or how good a keeper you are. sooner or later you're gonna crack a top and get swarmed before you get it off-guaranteed. just a matter of time.
"Wine is a constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy" Ben Franklin
thanks for the info, mike. i'm definitely gonna protect him better.