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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Huntersville, NC
    Posts
    92

    Default Fatbeeman - Great Bee Supplier

    I took my first trip to the fatbeeman's apiary yesterday to pick-up 4 nukes. It was a great experience in a beautiful place. He helped my modify my equipment a bit to ensure a safe drive home (3 1/2 hour drive) and of course taught me a couple of things while I was there.

    Having seen his videos I knew how gentle his bees are so I was very comfortable working the bees without a veil. Have you ever worked bees in just shorts and tee-shirt? Now that is a nice way to do it.

    Thanks Don
    Thanks,
    Will

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    JACKSON OHIO
    Posts
    485

    Default Re: Fatbeeman - Great Bee Supplier

    I work my bees in shorts,tank top and no veil. slow deliberate movements and not breathing on the bees is a big help to doing this

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Oakland, CA, USA
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: Fatbeeman - Great Bee Supplier

    I did the no veil thing, no issues with it. But I've stopped after spending time at Beesource. While the odds are very very slim, any individual bee is unpredictable, and its possible to get stung on the eye itself. While I feel comfortable without a veil, it isn't worth it on a risk-reward basis to not wear one and have even a small chance of something like blindness in an eye. At least that's what I got to. I still work them with shorts and a tshirt

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Warrior, Alabama
    Posts
    1,067

    Default Re: Fatbeeman - Great Bee Supplier

    One day you will change your mind about not wearing a veil. I hope the lesson is not too costly.
    Old Guy in Alabama

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Oswego, NY
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: Fatbeeman - Great Bee Supplier

    For safety's sake wear the veil. To me bees are like people or even more---like our pets. They have their good days and bad days. Fatbeeman is a well educated man around bees and I believe that for the amount of time he spends in his apiary, his bees know his scent. I think this is true many hives, as they get used to their keeper. But they do have their days, I would hate to be opening a hive with no veil when they're in no mood to be around humans.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clay Count, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    819

    Default Re: Fatbeeman - Great Bee Supplier

    Quote Originally Posted by Will O'Brien View Post
    I took my first trip to the fatbeeman's apiary yesterday to pick-up 4 nukes. It was a great experience in a beautiful place. He helped my modify my equipment a bit to ensure a safe drive home (3 1/2 hour drive) and of course taught me a couple of things while I was there.

    Having seen his videos I knew how gentle his bees are so I was very comfortable working the bees without a veil. Have you ever worked bees in just shorts and tee-shirt? Now that is a nice way to do it.

    Thanks Don
    There have been a few threads with folks asking if a nuc is a box with bees and a caged queen or a functioning mini hive with a released queen. What kind of nuc did he sell ya? He would sell correct nucs if anyone would.
    Try living life with the attitude it's not about what you want to do but what you should do!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Hartwell, GA
    Posts
    183

    Default Re: Fatbeeman - Great Bee Supplier

    I got my first bees from Don the first of April, four nucs. The man knows his bees. As they have built up they are more defensive, not aggressive, as a rule. I'm careful and work slowly and deliberately and get popped once in a while in spite of how careful I am.They can become upset and, being complementary, Don's Bees can sting just as good as anybodies. It was pointed out to me that Don's bees don't get built up until he's shaking bees for sale and building Nucs. I think it makes a difference, just an opinion. Don's a great source of information and I plan to attend his Saturday Classes when time permits.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Huntersville, NC
    Posts
    92

    Default Re: Fatbeeman - Great Bee Supplier

    Quote Originally Posted by MDS View Post
    There have been a few threads with folks asking if a nuc is a box with bees and a caged queen or a functioning mini hive with a released queen. What kind of nuc did he sell ya? He would sell correct nucs if anyone would.
    I see I spelled nuc wrong in my original post. I didn't by any weapons from Don, those come from other sources

    Don sold me 5 frames with a queen that came from a 5 frame nuc box. Effectively it was a functioning 5 frame hive with a laying queen. I haven't heard of buying a nuc with a caged queen but I a lot of things are happening that I don't know about. Personally if I am going to pay the cost for a nuc I want to get a functioning hive with a laying queen.
    Thanks,
    Will

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Phelps Co. Missouri USA
    Posts
    856

    Default Re: Fatbeeman - Great Bee Supplier

    Quote Originally Posted by MDS View Post
    There have been a few threads with folks asking if a nuc is a box with bees and a caged queen
    I've been around a number of years, started 1961, and never heard of a nuc with a caged queen, always got nuc's with laying queens.

    Course some folks these days can be con'ed into anything I guess.

    PCM

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Reading, Michigan
    Posts
    140

    Default Re: Fatbeeman - Great Bee Supplier

    I bought nucs with caged queens this year just to try the price was right and they seem to be doing better than my packages.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,320

    Default Re: Fatbeeman - Great Bee Supplier

    I have always heard good things about Fatbeeman, and his bees. I only wear a veil occasionally, myself.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,320

    Default Re: Fatbeeman - Great Bee Supplier

    PCM,
    Unless my customers ask for me not to, I have taken to caging the queens in my nucs just as, or just before my customers pick them up. These queens are not foreign to the bees in the nucs, they are the queens that belong there, were usually emerged from their cells, mated and began laying in these nucs - with some rare exceptions (though even the exceptions are all well-accepted and have been laying long enough to have capped brood).

    I cage the queens in JZsBZs plastic queen cages, and pin them to a center top bar - this way if the frames slap together during transport, only some workers will be injured. Since I began doing this, no customer has had a nuc that was queenless on arrival.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Chippew County, WI, USA
    Posts
    650

    Default Re: Fatbeeman - Great Bee Supplier

    I always work my bees in my underwear!

    I also wear pants, socks, shoes or boots, a shirt, and usually a jacket and gloves.

    Its nice to work without a veil but you never know when a colony will be ugly or when they will just go off and I dont want to get stung thirty times when it happens. If it real hot I just wear my veil and if they get moody I go for the jacket (but I really dont like getting popped in the face). I got popped in the face digging a fence post hole the other day and had to grab my jacket. Next day I set posts and got to same hole, thought must have been bad luck, got popped in the face again. I think the hive in front of that spot got a good giggle.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Niota, TN, USA
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: Fatbeeman - Great Bee Supplier

    The nuc Don sold me was a five frame with a caged queen... and a healthy population of SHB. Took me a month to get the SHBs under control.

    The bees were docile in the beginning, but they have gotten more aggressive with time, but not insanely aggressive. I always work them with a veil, but I have long hair and even with my hair pulled back in a ponytail, they still get tangled. It's just less stressful on them and me with a veil, because it's next to impossible getting a bee untangled from my naturally curly hair, I either get stung or they get injured.
    Coffee. Garden. Coffee. Does a good morning need anything else?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Hartwell, GA
    Posts
    183

    Default Re: Fatbeeman - Great Bee Supplier

    I tried the veil on and adjusted the hat band. I can't see a dang thing through the netting. I tried wearing my Ace Hardware reading glasses but that just made the netting look larger. I'll adjust cause it's hard to scrape that stinger from behind the ear with a hive tool.

    I don't think the Fatbeeman is any exception, everyone I talk to around her has some infestation of SHB. I took new hives to Don, never been used, took out five frames and we installed the nuc frames in the center. I had the SHB's show up the first time I looked in. They seemed to multiply very fast. I bought the AJ's SHB trap and installed them between the Bars as instructed. I checked them after a week and not one had a Beetle in it and beetles were running everywhere. I finally got them under control with the homemade CD case traps and a mixture of my own design. It took a week but I haven't seen a Beetle in over a week.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Niota, TN, USA
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: Fatbeeman - Great Bee Supplier

    SHB do multiple rapidly. Upon arrival 3 of the 5 frames where covered in beetle slime, so I tossed them and put in fresh frames and foundation. And I had to resort to using Beetle Swatters with Check Mite along with oil traps to finally get them under control. I really wanted to go chemical free but the infestation was just too much. The queen didn't survive the ordeal, but they requeened themselves quick enough, now I have these quirky looking little black bees that always get comments due to their striking coloration. I still haven't laid eyes on the new queen, but her young are gorgeous.

    Veils do limit your vision! I'm constantly refocusing because my eyes want to focus in on the screen. But my main complaint is the heat...seriously you'd think these things would be cooler!

    Enjoy your new bees!
    -Julie
    Coffee. Garden. Coffee. Does a good morning need anything else?

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Litchfield, ME
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Fatbeeman - Great Bee Supplier

    Think it would be great if the veils had a plastic face shield built into the screen with a section that magnifies, not to heavy as not to pull downward on the front of the veil

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Niota, TN, USA
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: Fatbeeman - Great Bee Supplier

    Quote Originally Posted by stander View Post
    Think it would be great if the veils had a plastic face shield built into the screen with a section that magnifies, not to heavy as not to pull downward on the front of the veil
    Brushy Mountain offers these for wearing under the veil:
    http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com...oductinfo/239/

    Never tried them, so I've no clue if they work.
    Coffee. Garden. Coffee. Does a good morning need anything else?

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Huntersville, NC
    Posts
    92

    Default Re: Fatbeeman - Great Bee Supplier

    Thanks everyone for making this a great thread. I did not intend for it to become so focused on wearing or not wearing a veil but it was good to see everyones' opinion. I never intended to go veilless and do wear a veil but I couldn't resist leaving it in the car while at Don's. It was certainly a lot more comfortable.

    I found no small hive beetles while in Don's beeyard and I have not found any in the nucs that he sold me. I have not seen varoa either but I was not looking closely for the varoa.

    Don does use boric acid to control SHB. He has a youtube video to talks about it. Is using boric acid considered organic?
    Thanks,
    Will

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Niota, TN, USA
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: Fatbeeman - Great Bee Supplier

    Personally, I do not consider boric acid organic. In small quantities it is harmless to humans, but larger doses have proven to be fatal. Long term exposure (including breathing the dust) can cause kidney damage and eventual kidney failure.

    Since it doesn't kill beetles immediately, I would be concerned with the beetles tracking the dust over the comb...thus creating a harmful environment for the bees.
    Coffee. Garden. Coffee. Does a good morning need anything else?

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