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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Concho, AZ
    Posts
    23

    Default Why didn't I do this 30 years ago????

    As I noted earlier, I had a LOT of trouble getting my first 2 packages of bees, thanks to UPS shipping/damaging/taking 8 days to deliver on 2 day air, etc.

    I had built two 4 foot long "tanzanian" style top bar hives, so when the 8 day old packages arrived, I put them into half of one hive and built another follower board. Then I installed the final two packages (they got here OVERNIGHT).

    At 10 days out, one of the "fresh" packages built comb on 8 bars - straight and right in the middle of the bars, the other one has 6, but they are off-center to one side, and the 3rd (older combined packages) has about 5 bars, but crammed into one corner. After what they went through, I'm just glad they are doing anything!

    I am seeing bees coming in to all 3 hives with pollen saddlebags!

    I pulled one outside comb out and it had uncapped pollen and what looked like plain water, which doesn't surprise me, this is Arizona, I'm sure they will try to stay well stocked on water!

    I'll bet those bees were shocked, coming from green and humid Georgia, to brown and dry Az!

    Now I have to build another hive!

    My bees are very gentle, I forgot to get a smoker, and installed them in short sleeved shirt, with long pants tucked in to some boots. No veil, no gloves either. I did take a shower, and dust myself with baby powder, since I read that they like the smell of that...

    One sting from a poor bee that got under my upper arm, and stung me when I was squishing him. Not even a mark one hour later, and the sting was NOTHING like the fire ants we have here!

    When I went in to take a look-see at 10 days, I also was in t-shirt, shorts, sandels, and the bees were so busy they never even noticed me. Of course, I didn't pull any bars out except for the last one nearest the follower board, so didn't disrupt them much.

    They are SO COOL! Such busy little critters. Why didn't I do this 30 years ago????

    Oh, and I REALLY need to order a smoker, don't I?
    Any suggestions? (I like cheap but sturdy, lol)

    Oh, one other thing, my DH is scared of bees, and said he doesn't want anything to do with them....curiosity however drew him over to watch me as I was installing them, and he ended up with lots of bees on him too! He followed diections and moved slowly, and just ignored the bees or brushed them very gently away. I think he will come around to "liking" them very soon!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    1,995

    Default Re: Why didn't I do this 30 years ago????

    Hey,

    Bees are a wonderful thing.

    I got a Dadant "professional" smoker - one of the largest ones. It's a lot better than the small ones, and really not that much cash.

    Have fun.

    Adam

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Waveland, In, USA
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Why didn't I do this 30 years ago????

    I know what you are saying. I have thought about it for years and just kept putting it off because of one reason or another. Just start this year with 4 hives and now I am trying to figure out how I can get more. They are so fascinating. They can be trying as well but the rewards far out way the trouble. I bought my smoker on ebay and did not pay much. I am not sure who the maker is though.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Beaaverton,oregon,usa
    Posts
    40

    Default Re: Why didn't I do this 30 years ago????

    I enjoy spending time with my 14 yr. old daughter, just watching them come and go. It takes her mind off boy's.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Greensburg, Ky.
    Posts
    1,148

    Default Re: Why didn't I do this 30 years ago????

    I suggest that you also order a veil along with that smoker! You might not be seeing much action now which is great but eventually when the bee population is close to full strength they just might defend their hive and the first place they go after is the face! Hopefully you wont need one but its always best to have one handy! Good Luck!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Concho, AZ
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Why didn't I do this 30 years ago????

    Quote Originally Posted by honeybeekeeper View Post
    I suggest that you also order a veil along with that smoker! You might not be seeing much action now which is great but eventually when the bee population is close to full strength they just might defend their hive and the first place they go after is the face! Hopefully you wont need one but its always best to have one handy! Good Luck!!

    I know you are right.
    I "had" a veil of sorts, really one of those mosquito net things, and it doesn't close well at the bottom, so I just threw it away since it's way too hot here to wear a coat over it to keep the neck area covered. I need to order a "real" veil along with the smoker.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Concho, AZ
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Why didn't I do this 30 years ago????

    ok, I went to Dadant and have 2 "Alexander" veils with the built in cloth hat and long bottom tie downs in my shopping cart, (2 just in case DH or a friend decides to watch) a long Italian hive tool, and a small domed smoker in my shopping cart.

    Anything else I can't live without before I order?

    Thank all!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Accord, NY
    Posts
    333

    Default Re: Why didn't I do this 30 years ago????

    Since you are at Dadant,
    An inexpensive Hive Tool
    The veil is fine for visitors but for on/off ease and peace of mind I'd get a Hooded jacket A bit more expensive but you'll probably end up getting one later anyway.
    Good luck,
    Aram

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    499

    Default Re: Why didn't I do this 30 years ago????

    Quote Originally Posted by bbuddy View Post
    Oh, one other thing, my DH is scared of bees, and said he doesn't want anything to do with them....curiosity however drew him over to watch me as I was installing them, and he ended up with lots of bees on him too! He followed diections and moved slowly, and just ignored the bees or brushed them very gently away. I think he will come around to "liking" them very soon!!!
    Seen it too.

    It's funny how this happens... it seems the bees just win people over...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Concho, AZ
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Why didn't I do this 30 years ago????

    Quote Originally Posted by Aram View Post
    Since you are at Dadant,
    An inexpensive Hive Tool
    The veil is fine for visitors but for on/off ease and peace of mind I'd get a Hooded jacket A bit more expensive but you'll probably end up getting one later anyway.
    Good luck,
    Aram
    Thanks Aram, I'm ordering the Italian hive tool since it's longer, and my hives are 11.5 inches deep.

    I never wear hoods of any kind, I don't like the restrictions from them, so I prefer the fuller view from the veil.
    As for coats/jackets, well, I've got plenty from cool weather the blizzard, so why buy another?
    But I appreciate your input!

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