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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Maricopa, AZ, USA
    Posts
    7

    Default Hi from Phoenix AZ

    Hi All,

    I'm now four days into the adventure of beekeeping! After several months of reading, learning and planning I now have my first three hives off to a seemingly good start. The install went quite smoothly, the queens have all released and each colony is drawing comb. I have them located on a friend's farm by some alfalfa fields and pican tree orchards.

    The only hitch so far was when my twelve year old daughter got a little too close to the hives without a veil. One of the bees landed on her upper lip, she swatted it and got stung! I put some 'Stops the Sting' on it and she seemed ok but it did swell up. Being twelve years old she refused to leave the house for the entire weekend fearing her social life would be devastated... oh the anguish of adolescence . Of course the swelling did go down, her social life is unscathed and I'm glad to report she isn't holding a grudge toward the bees!

    So I think I'm off to a good start; bees established, daughter still in-tact and now a member of beesource.com!

    -Jeff

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,869

    Default Re: Hi from Phoenix AZ

    Welcome Jeff! You could try ice next time too.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Belpre,Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,277

    Default Re: Hi from Phoenix AZ

    Hello Jeff, and welcome.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    worth,missouri,usa
    Posts
    89

    Default Re: Hi from Phoenix AZ

    Welcome Jeff, I was born in Maracopa co. and still have family there. I know it sounds a little odd but I can't wait for my to boys to get there first stings over with, nice to know there is only a light reaction. I flew through there a week ago and it was 46 degrees at noon? Got to north missouri 80+? maybe I should rethink my over heated opinion of Az. Enjoy the new bees. John Hargrave
    John Hargrave Northwest Missouri

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,719

    Default Re: Hi from Phoenix AZ

    Welcome to the site!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Maricopa, AZ, USA
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Hi from Phoenix AZ

    Ice, that's a good idea. I'll keep that in mind for next time. Thanks

    treebee, I didn't realize missouri was that hot. Still I think AZ wins in the heat category. The second day my bees were in the hive it hit 96. I kept a close eye on them fearing they would melt . Each hive has been drinking more than a half gallon of sugar syrup every day since I got them.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Hi from Phoenix AZ

    Hello and welcome! Im located in southern arizona myself (Tombstone area). I just picked up my first 3lb package from beeweaver this past Sunday. So far so good. Mine are also going through about half a gallon of sugar water per day - might be just the shock of the heat

    They are probably wondering what they did wrong to get sent to the furnace
    Jim Andersen
    Desert Viking Ranch

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Maricopa, AZ, USA
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Hi from Phoenix AZ

    Hi Jim. Glad to hear from another beekeeper in AZ. I would like to keep in touch to see how your beeweaver bees do. I strongly considered ordering from them but ended up going with Koehnen in the Sacramento valley.

    If the bees are wondering what they did wrong now, it'll be interesting to see how they feel when we hit triple digits!

  9. #9

    Default Re: Hi from Phoenix AZ

    I will certianly let you know how things work out. So far I will say that these bees are the farthest thing from "hot" in the sense of aggression. After working with them for only a few days my protective gear seems like an unneeded precaution with these guys. They are very calm and easy to work with, even when I have to move them aside, brush them off or pluck them out of the dust (gets on their wings and they have trouble flying for a bit).

    Ofcourse, as soon as I dont wear my gear I am sure I will get stung

    Any particular reason why you went with Koehnen?
    Jim Andersen
    Desert Viking Ranch

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    St. Paul, MN
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Hi from Phoenix AZ

    Hello from Minnesota Jeff! Our weather is different! ))))

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Maricopa, AZ, USA
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Hi from Phoenix AZ

    My decision to buy from Koehnen was sort of made for me. I had heard good things about both BeeWeaver and Koehnen's. Both places seem to be well established with a good reputation. I was in the process of choosing between the two when BeeWeaver sold old... so I went with Koehnen's!

    I'm very happy so far with my bees. They also seem very gentle (despite my daughter's episode). Four days after installing them I opened the hive and did a quick inspection without using smoke. That's probably not recommended, but I did it anyway and didn't run into any problems. I would like to know if that's just because they're new and not yet defensive or if they'll continue like this. It would be nice to do inspections without smoke as I assume it would be easier on the bees.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Maricopa, AZ, USA
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Hi from Phoenix AZ

    Hi Delaney,

    You are indeed correct, Minnesota weather is different from Arizona! I know first hand as I lived there for a few years (south of Minneapolis in Mankato). One thing the two states have in common is "extreme" weather. I've not personally experienced more harsh ice and wind storms that in MN and the heat in AZ can be quite harsh. It's amazing to me that we can both keep honey bees despite the tremendous weather difference. What kind of bees do you find work well in MN?

  13. #13

    Default Re: Hi from Phoenix AZ

    I was in the process of choosing between the two when BeeWeaver sold old... so I went with Koehnen's!
    Well, that's as good a reason as any!

    Four days after installing them I opened the hive and did a quick inspection without using smoke. That's probably not recommended, but I did it anyway and didn't run into any problems. I would like to know if that's just because they're new and not yet defensive or if they'll continue like this. It would be nice to do inspections without smoke as I assume it would be easier on the bees.
    That's a good question, and I would like to know as well. When I installed my package I had the smoker lit about 4-5 feet away on a railroad tie and never picked it up once. Since then I have yet to even light my smoker, the bees really don't seem very aggressive at all. I removed my queen cage today and it had fallen to the bottom so I went top down and figured I would disturb the heck out of the bees getting to it - nope, they just let me do my thing.
    Jim Andersen
    Desert Viking Ranch

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Maricopa, AZ, USA
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Hi from Phoenix AZ

    Interesting that our two experiences are so similar. I'm thinking I'll continue without smoke either until someone gives me a reason not to or I learn from hard experience that smoking has it's place. I suspsect there's a wide variation in the bees gentleness/defensiveness when opening the hive and we're probably at the gentle end; small, newly established colonies with no brood and warm, calm sunny weather.

    I also have removed my queen cages. The bees had started to build comb around them that had somewhat glued them to the frame. I was able to find the queen scurrying around on the foundation, which was very exciting. The white dot Koehnens put on her was very helpful. Have you seen your queen yet?

  15. #15

    Default Re: Hi from Phoenix AZ

    Sure have - checked on her today. I had Beeweaver put a dot as well. I knew it would be difficult to train my eyes without for the first time. Once I located her I could tell the difference but without it I am all but certain I could have spent hours.

    I only went with one package due to everything else going on with the ranch and thinking I may not have a lot of extra time, boy was I wrong. This is pretty exciting stuff indeed! I am already wishing I had got 2 or 3. Now I will most likely have to wait till next year unless I manage to catch a swarm
    Jim Andersen
    Desert Viking Ranch

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Maricopa, AZ, USA
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Hi from Phoenix AZ

    On the subject of opening the hive without using smoke, I read this today in Beekeeping for Dummies by Howland Blackiston...

    "Don't even think about opening a hive without first smoking it. It's a tempting shortcut that may work when your colony is brand new, small, and young. But after that, it's a shortcut you'll try only once."

    Sounds like sage advice for a newby like me who is feeling more confident than is probably safe!

  17. #17

    Default Re: Hi from Phoenix AZ

    Thanks for the advice. I think I am in the same boat with the over confidence...I will be sure to have my smoker handy during my next inspection.
    Jim Andersen
    Desert Viking Ranch

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