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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clay Count, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    819

    Default Name One Important Lesson You Learned in Last Year

    In the past year I learned that it was not a good idea to attempt to winter a hive that lost its queen just before fall after two attempts to requeen.

    I should have taken my losses early and combined that hive with one that had a working queen. I was stubborn and tried to get them to take a new queen twice. I went into winter with old bees in that hive and their numbers were not high enough to move the cluster even with short period of 50 degree weather. If I had combined that hive I may have been able to split them in the spring.
    Try living life with the attitude it's not about what you want to do but what you should do!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    TORONTO,ON. CANADA
    Posts
    174

    Default Re: Name One Important Lesson You Learned in Last Year

    Wish I read M. Palmer post about splitting non producing hives in the summer earlier. Had slow hive with slow queen, barely making any honey, gave it frames of honey from other hives, died early in the winter leaving 7 frames full of honey. I know there are no waranties in beekeeping, but if I split it in July and gave those splits new queens I would have something to hope for.
    ==Northumberland County Beekeeper, Trent Hills, Ontario==

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clay Count, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    819

    Default Re: Name One Important Lesson You Learned in Last Year

    Thanks for the post. I'm hoping others will post about that one event that happened during the last year that they think about all the time. Maybe some "older timers" will post. I'm sure Mike Palmer even learned a lesson and so did the Fat Bee Man.

    I just learned, from you, that I should think about splitting weak hives and adding queens as an alternative to requeening a poor hive.
    Try living life with the attitude it's not about what you want to do but what you should do!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Clinton County, Michigan USA
    Posts
    299

    Default Re: Name One Important Lesson You Learned in Last Year

    One of many lessons learned: make sure that nucs going into winter are jam packed with honey, 11 of 13 gone so far.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    2,497

    Default Re: Name One Important Lesson You Learned in Last Year

    Never try and stick the pin back into a grenade once you pull it. Just go ahead and throw it.

    Oh...you mean with bees?? This year I pulled my supers two weeks earlier and it made a huge difference on the strength of the bees and how much their hives were packed out going into winter. Lession learned... don't be greedy with harvesting your honey...stong hives with lots of stores going into winter will mean strong hives in the spring (usually).
    Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid.” John Wayne

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Elkin, NC, USA
    Posts
    82

    Default Re: Name One Important Lesson You Learned in Last Year

    I learned the value of drawn comb and of having a certain critical mass of bees going into winter.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    OKC, OK USA
    Posts
    2,869

    Default Re: Name One Important Lesson You Learned in Last Year

    I learned what bees with AHB genes looks like and how to terminate them.
    Mike Forbes
    Red Dirt Apiaries

  8. #8

    Default Re: Name One Important Lesson You Learned in Last Year

    I learned to not mess with your bees at night with a flash light! I think I was just feeding them but wow!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Hatfield, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Name One Important Lesson You Learned in Last Year

    I learned that all beekeeping is local. You've gotta' learn what (and when) to expect things in your area like the main honeyflow ... and when to expect it to finish. When is "white wax" season... when is repo cut off... is there much of a Fall flow? It's all got to be tuned to you're particular location. Join a local bee club if you can.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Lexington, South Carolina
    Posts
    261

    Default Re: Name One Important Lesson You Learned in Last Year

    I learned to not pump your smoker to much.
    The bees hate the flames.

    Don't wear plastic gloves when stuffing the smoker.
    They do melt. ouch

    Brooklyn

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    columbus,ohio,USA
    Posts
    518

    Default Re: Name One Important Lesson You Learned in Last Year

    The biggest lesson was to be more vigalent, and southern queens are in large part junk.
    Chris Cree
    Cree's Bees

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Polk Co, NC, USA
    Posts
    201

    Default Re: Name One Important Lesson You Learned in Last Year

    Bees really CAN fly at night. ouch.

    If you just pinched the queen 15 min. ago, don't go lift the hood (without a veil) to see if they have noticed. ouch.

    Don't dump out the mass of bees on the empty feeder in front of the hive~ they may NOT be your bees and it starts robbing. ouch.

    After they have been robbed for days, they are EXTREMELY grumpy. ouch.

    If you are stung enough, you can indeed grow a resistance to stings (no pain, swelling) and your arthritis gets much better! Yeah!
    Last edited by Lauren; 03-06-2011 at 06:54 PM. Reason: remembered more

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,298

    Default Re: Name One Important Lesson You Learned in Last Year

    I learned not to trust Mother Nature, this Winter she snuck in some record-setting cold weather on me. I should have been feeding them enough, so they would have enough stores to get them through any unexpected cold weather. I didn't feed them any more than usual and lost about 2/3 of my nucs because of it.

    In the future, I plan to feed them whenever natural resources become scarce. Keeping them flush -- I can't afford to trust Mother Nature any longer (I'm sure now, I never should have) .
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Orange, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    382

    Default Re: Name One Important Lesson You Learned in Last Year

    Dont put to much into something that seems better than normal

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Deposit,NY
    Posts
    110

    Default Re: Name One Important Lesson You Learned in Last Year

    I learned to keep a close watch on the summer weather, what the bees are bringing in and if they are gaining hive weight, maintaining, or losing. Got very lucky and fed a bit as I thought they weren't building up much. In retrospect I could have fed more and not only to a couple hives; they all would have benefited.
    Cheers,
    Paul VanSlyke

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Jackson, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Name One Important Lesson You Learned in Last Year

    Wear a veil when cutting the grass near the hives, especially later in the summer because they will sting you in the head.

    Bee stings to the head hurt a lot more than bee stings to the hand.

    Bees can find the honey supers you took from them the previous day very quickly in the back of your pick up truck even though you only opened the truck cap up for a few minutes to let the "stragglers" out.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Johnstown, PA,USA
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: Name One Important Lesson You Learned in Last Year

    My important lesson from last year, more smoke is not better. A little smoke goes a long way and lots of smoke just makes them madder.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Stilwell, KS
    Posts
    1,716

    Default Re: Name One Important Lesson You Learned in Last Year

    1 - If you have a hive that goes queenless, the bees will be really mean until they raise a new queen.

    2 - Dont extract honey on the back deck within wthin 100 feet of your hives.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Yamhill Co- Ore-gun
    Posts
    50

    Default Re: Name One Important Lesson You Learned in Last Year

    If you collect a swarm, be vigilant to ensure you have the queen and she survives the move. Discovering a laying worker sucks. Having to shake out the whole hive out after several weeks of trying everything to get them queen right sucks more…
    Visit us at www.farmzee.com for everything related to small farms!

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Beckville Texas,USA
    Posts
    297

    Default Re: Name One Important Lesson You Learned in Last Year

    If you notice something is going wrong, FIX IT NOW! Tomorrow will probably be too late.

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