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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Decatur, GA
    Posts
    35

    Default Video of the world's worst beekeeper in action!

    Hi everyone, so I made the decision last week that one of my two first year hives was going to have to go from two boxes to one. I didn't get the packages until late May, and though this one initially had a huge build up and seemed to be doing amazingly well, the later part of summer was really hard on them and they've dealt with small hive beetle and then a high-fatality robbing event that (combined with a dry spell and no flow) has left them pretty depleted. Not where I hoped we'd be in September.

    Anyway, I recorded my totally amateur fumbling, edited the two hours of footage down to about 16 minutes, and added a voiceover because... well, the original audio was horrible and I can.

    https://plus.google.com/photos/10657...12907901730946

    Just a note: I really did smoke the bees quite well before both attempts to put the inner cover back on. Watching it, it looks like I'm squishing bees and I'm sure a few were, but for some reason it looks like mass slaughter on the video. In practice, they ducked down and then I quickly put the inner cover on. Hopefully there was minimal mortality associated. Also, I'm definitely open to constructive criticism on my (lack of) technique, but please try to be nice. Amateur. Novice. Figuring it out as I go.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Lebanon, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    104

    Default Re: Video of the world's worst beekeeper in action!

    The reference to mountains of cocaine made me laugh.. and wonder. Good luck with your bees.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Decatur, GA
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Video of the world's worst beekeeper in action!

    Thanks. Got into my second hive yesterday, planning to roll in the well-drawn frames and call it good, and instead had to remove the top box there as well. I suspect this winter will provide me a painful lesson about being inattentive in the good months. Hopefully my lesson won't be fatal for the bees.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,757

    Default Re: Video of the world's worst beekeeper in action!

    Naaa, the google satellite couldn't have caught me when I dropped the hive while changing to my country rubes bottom board. Granted, it was only a 2 or 3 inch drop... Good thing I had a suit on.
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Lebanon, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    104

    Default Re: Video of the world's worst beekeeper in action!

    I'm sorry to hear your second hive was weak as well. You mentioned the Golden Rod pollen coming in so maybe it and other things blooming now will provide them with some winter stores. You might want to keep an eye on them in case they need some of that comb back for storage. We had a very dry late July and August and a dearth, but early September rains ( thank you tropical storm Lee ) brought on the Golden Rod and other yellow weeds, and my bees are again foraging like mad packing away the bright yellow pollen and nectar. I have two hives that might need feeding before cold-weather if this current source of nectar dries up.

    Speaking of feeding, I have no experience with this but have read that confectioners' sugar doesn't work. I think you want to feed granulated sugar or sugar syrup or honey.

    Keep us posted.

    Greg

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Decatur, GA
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Video of the world's worst beekeeper in action!

    I opened the lid on the first hive while I was out there yesterday and saw a happy wall of bees working their way into the pile of powdered sugar, so maybe it's something they won't take if they're well stocked, but beggars can't be choosers. Looked like they'd already devoured about 1/4 of the amount laid down. Combined with the goodies they're bringing in from the flow getting started now, I'm crossing my fingers that they'll scrape by.

    I'm planning on solid feeding until it's too cold to get into the hives, then using a winter wrap along with the other insulating steps to (hopefully) let them break cluster on warmer days and retrieve sugar above them if needed. I'll probably have a moldy mess to clean up in spring, but if I'm lucky, I'll also have some overwintered bees.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,340

    Default Re: Video of the world's worst beekeeper in action!

    Surprised you did not get stung wearing black. Mine go nuts over my brown hair so a whole outfit would be lots of dead bee's.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Decatur, GA
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Video of the world's worst beekeeper in action!

    I was too. First time I've worn that hooded sweatshirt. I have an added complication to my beetight clothing in that I have thick, four foot long dreadlocks. Whatever I wear has to be big enough to accommodate my hair inside the shirt and long enough to cover them so there isn't a gap at my lower back (I'm sure that'd be a great place to get stung when my hair shifted). It's kind of tricky to cover all the bases. I was really happy they didn't panic about the sweatshirt color, since it does fit my needs.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,757

    Default Re: Video of the world's worst beekeeper in action!

    I have found a bee brush to be a great tool for removing bees from frames. But I definitely want a frame hanger like yours.
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Cole County, Missouri
    Posts
    170

    Default Re: Video of the world's worst beekeeper in action!

    I have a bunch of powdered sugar. I heard it was not good for them was never told why. I see you feed that instead of syrup? I would perfer myself powdered surgar a good way to get rid of it

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,757

    Default Re: Video of the world's worst beekeeper in action!

    I used my powdered sugar to dust them for varroa mites.
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Decatur, GA
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Video of the world's worst beekeeper in action!

    I've been using syrup all season, but since our temps are getting into the 50s at night now, I was worried that they might have trouble taking it. Michael Bush says this about dry sugar: "In my experience it made a lot of difference. Most of the hives ate the sugar. Some ate most of the sugar. They did brood up while eating sugar and they could eat it even when it was cold. They don't go as crazy over it nor as crazy on brood rearing, but I see that as a good thing. A moderate build up from stores they can get at even in the cold is a much better survival bet than a huge build up at a time they could get caught in long hard freeze on syrup that they won't be able to get to if it's cold." (http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfeeding.htm)

    As a first year beek, everything is an experiment for me, and this is no different. But so far, it seems that the bees are taking the powdered sugar, though of course re-reading Bush's page, he does say that powdered sugar has solids they can't digest, so I'll change back to standard granulated sugar when I top them off late in the week.

    Did I mention I'm the world's worst beekeeper? Yeah, these poor insects stuck with me...

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    2,497

    Default Re: Video of the world's worst beekeeper in action!

    Did it ever occur to you that by pulling the drawn frames of comb from the top super you took away their storage space for storing that whole pile of sugar you gave them. Good luck with that powered sugar..."Powdered sugar is generally mixed with cornstarch, wheat flour, or calcium phosphate" which is why it isn't recommended as a feed usually. Good luck with the bees.
    Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid. John Wayne

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Decatur, GA
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Video of the world's worst beekeeper in action!

    Yeah, it definitely did. It wasn't an easy decision, but given that most of the frames were basically empty, it still seemed the best way to go. In a month or six weeks, that would just be vacant space where cold air and moisture can accumulate, so under the circumstances, it seemed the least bad of the not-great options.

    And yeah, while I generally consider myself to have decent reading comprehension skills, I totally misread Bush's website on the topic of powdered sugar. If the nighttime temps are okay, I'll feed syrup later this week, and if I'm worried about temps, I'll use dry granulated.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Louisville Kentucky USA
    Posts
    458

    Default Re: Video of the world's worst beekeeper in action!

    stacie, just a couple of observations(not criticism) When using foundationless frames its good to checkerboard some regular foundation between them so the bees can get to the tops to build their way back down. I tried some of those frames with mixed results. Where your at the bees can probably make it through winter in one deep but you might consider putting on a double screen(Snelgrove) board and stacking them for winter. I would mix up some 2-1 and feed the crap out of them till they stop taking it. You have to remember that Mr Bush is in Nebraska(I think) and his climate is a little more harsh than yours. I fed syrup until late October last year in Kentucky.When they stop taking syrup then put on the dry sugar.Maybe find another beek and see if you can borrow some drawn comb to finish off your medium box. Good luck

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Decatur, GA
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Video of the world's worst beekeeper in action!

    Interesting idea - are you saying to use the screened Snelgrove board to stack two complete, queened hives?

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Harrisonville, MO
    Posts
    49

    Default Re: Video of the world's worst beekeeper in action!

    Some of powdered sugar has an anti caking agent that is supposedly not good for the bees

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Louisville Kentucky USA
    Posts
    458

    Default Re: Video of the world's worst beekeeper in action!

    Stacey, You put the smaller/weaker hive on top which allows them to catch some of the heat from the larger/stronger hive.Thats why you use a double screen,with only one screen they will try to kill off each others queen. Or you could combine them and split again next spring.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Cole County, Missouri
    Posts
    170

    Default Re: Video of the world's worst beekeeper in action!

    Hi Stacie,

    I do not feel you are the worlds worst bee keeper I think you are a pretty good one and I really liked your video. It is good to discuss this powdered sugar. I have read many post on different alternative feed source a cool one was candy canes.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    822

    Default Re: Video of the world's worst beekeeper in action!

    From the research that I've done a screen inbetween the hives isn't a good idea. You may cause undo moisture to overtake the above hive. Instead stack them up and wrap them in tar paper or something like that. They'll benefit from the sun heating things up and also have extra "insulation" from the hive above and below.

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