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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA

    Default New KTBH beekeeper in St. Louis, Missouri


    I started keeping bees this year, got my first package the beginning of May but since they were half drowned from the sugar syrup in transit I got a replacement package which arrived on the 16th of May in great condition. I only intend to do this as a hobby, but must admit I'm more hooked than I imagined.

    I noticed the honeybees disappeared from my backyard in the summer of 2008 (bumblebees seemed to go missing too), prior to that my plants and garden were crawling with bees. I started looking into it and learned that the bees had taken a real hit, even though at that time there was a lot of wild speculation as to the cause. I decided to start keeping a hive of bees to try to "help" them stage a comeback (if it is possible to help, not sure we don't harm more than help sometimes when we try to give things a hand), and also because I have several apple trees but almost no apples due to the lack of pollinators. The trees are fairly young, but last year when they bloomed I got zero pollinated and this year I have all of seven (they bloomed early this year due to weather so the bees didn't arrive in time). I hand pollinated to get the seven, although I did see a few bees out a few times early this year on my muscari, one or two with tattered wings like they were old or coming a distance to get here. A bit later in the spring when my May Night sage plants started blooming a few more, smaller and darker, bees showed up giving me hope that a comeback was being staged but my new bees were already on the way so I was diving into beekeeping anyway. It was interesting to see the smaller bee shimmy all the way into the blossoms of my little leaf culinary sage to collect the nectar, when the bigger bees couldn't visit it because they didn't fit.

    A little bit about me? I have diverse interests. I've got degrees in aviation, an A&P license, a degree in fine arts (sculpture major and ceramics minor), and have studied art for a semester in Italy. I work as an Engineer, have lived in Italy for work for a time (no I'm not of Italian descent, just fascinated by the culture and the beauty plus have some awesome Italian friends). I have dabbled in making damascus steel, have had a small sailboat (which got stolen and ended that hobby on me), do a lot of work on my money pit house, and now am trying my hand at beekeeping.

    I hope to not treat the hives or feed sugar syrup but will see how things go. I fed the package honey and pollen, which they seemed to be quite wild about, until they had some capped stores and then I took out the feeder and have let them go. So far they have drawn out 5 combs, have a bunch of capped worker brood, two capped drone cells, a bunch of larva in various stages, and a bunch of eggs. They look like they have stopped drawing comb due to resources to forage and cover the brood but the brood should start hatching by the end of this week so hopefully they will be fine. They seem to have a lot of capped nectar at the top of the brood bars but I am a bit concerned about how much pollen they have stored so I ordered some fresh to feed them.

    I would like to say thank you to Mike Bush if he reads this. Your book has been very helpful. I have a few others that have been helpful too (especially for the pictures) but there isn't much besides a footnote on top bar hives in them.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Alachua County, FL, USA

    Default Re: New KTBH beekeeper in St. Louis, Missouri

    Welcome Colleen!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey

    Default Re: New KTBH beekeeper in St. Louis, Missouri

    Hello! Welcome to the forum!


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