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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Jamesville, NY
    Posts
    273

    Default New potential Bee Keeper from Central NY

    Hello all!

    I happened upon a honey bee nest in my ash tree in my yard this year. Watching it has really peaked my interest and made me start to consider taking on bee keeping.

    I am here to learn, and try to decide if this is the right move for me. I am most interested in pollination, but might pursue some honey extraction with time.

    Currently it looks like the hive in the tree might be getting ready to, or is already swarming (might be due to size restrictions in the tree). I am really looking for advice on how to handle this and would love some advice. I can post pictures but wasn't sure if this was the right place to do that in the forum.

    Thanks all!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    2,001

    Default Re: New potential Bee Keeper from Central NY

    Twenty years from now... Neighbors talking between themselves..."Yes, I remember that fellow from Jamesville, he seemed like a most sane person years ago, then he got bee fever...he's not been the same ever since. Likable fellow, but a little odd at the gatherings...starts to babble about bugs and drones and mites and wrapping his hives. Poor fellow, I wonder what's giving him the hives...could be the mites, I guess? Oh well, he's a little strange but seems quiet happy tinkering among all those stinging bees. His honey sure is good, though!"

    Beelosopher, if you're talking about it, you are in great danger of starting to dress up like aliens and carry around pots of smoke. Life will never be the same for you and your family.....or so I've been told, not that I would know anything about this fine line you're walking.

    Best wishes and welcome to the forum AND to HONEY BEES!!!!!!!!
    Ed

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Jamesville, NY
    Posts
    273

    Default Re: New potential Bee Keeper from Central NY

    Haha -thanks Ed. That is why I am very afraid (of myself). A very similar thing happened when i started brewing beer.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,919

    Default Re: New potential Bee Keeper from Central NY

    Welcome B! Bees and brewing seem to go together a lot lately, well maybe for thousands of years.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    2,001

    Default Re: New potential Bee Keeper from Central NY

    Quote Originally Posted by Beelosopher View Post
    Haha -thanks Ed. That is why I am very afraid (of myself). A very similar thing happened when i started brewing beer.
    Your doomed. Home brewing...next step is mead. I'm just gonna sit back an watch, now....it's all over with for you.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Acra, NY
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: New potential Bee Keeper from Central NY

    I dont think your hive is ready to swarm this time of year.. if they are, they will have a hard time putting up stores and building a house before winter. Contact your local Bee keepers club and go to meetings.. They will educate you, inspire and guide you

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    2,001

    Default Re: New potential Bee Keeper from Central NY

    As Geneh stated, it's really not the correct time of the year for a colony to swarm...it's actually a bad time for them to do it. But, they still can (and will) swarm if conditions (to them) warrant it. The simplest thing would be to set up a swarm trap or two near the bee tree. Do a search here on beesource and you'll find plenty of information on swarm traps. Something as simple as a copy paper box with a little hole in the bottom of it and 2-3 drops of lemon grass essential oil sprinkled inside would do for a temporary trap (it's not weatherproof so it's not permanent but will last a surprising long time is the top is covered with some plastic and it's not allowed to sit in standing water.

    What makes you think they're about to swarm? Swarming is not a visibly long process. It takes time within the hive for the bees to come to swarm mentality, but outward appearances are sudden with the actual swarming lasting maybe 30 minutes (more like 15 minutes in my experienced). After the swarm issues from the hivem they settle on a tree limb or trunk, the fender of a car, or anywhere else they decide to cluster. From just a little while or in several days this cluster of bees will then move on to a cavity that a scout has found. There are times when the scouts aren't productive and the colony will begin building comb on the limb or whatever that they're clustering from. As for bees gathering on the outside of the hive cavity or buzzing around in front of it, these could just be normal activities of bees orienting to the hive, cooling, etc.,.

    Best wishes,
    Ed

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Jamesville, NY
    Posts
    273

    Default Re: New potential Bee Keeper from Central NY

    Thanks for the info on swarming (I am still doing a lot of reading so can use the practical experience).

    So oddly enough they were all piled up on each side of the tree and then we had a wicked storm wind rain etc. It looked like all the bees were gone. I assumed many of them were in the hive, but when I came back they seemed to be less in numbers. Which they certainly appear to be and are not congregating like they were before. Not sure what happened.

    Now their behavior has changed. It seems like during the day the south facing hole is active and buzzing and the north facing hole is dormant. At evening they swith to the lower north facing hole for activity. Now most of the bees are in the hive, and not hanging out on the tree in either location.

    I still haven't found a local bee club, but am trying.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: New potential Bee Keeper from Central NY

    Relax and let them go through the winter in the tree. The temperature has dropped in the last 24 hours and bee activity will match the temp. I bet when it gets back to 80 later this week you will see the bees flying actively again.
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Brown County, IN
    Posts
    2,025

    Default Re: New potential Bee Keeper from Central NY

    Hello and Welcome!

    I'm sure you'll find this forum to be an informative site to learn more about bees and beekeeping. There's a subforum - How to Start Beekeeping - which contains a lot of good tips covering the basics.

    I recommend getting involved with a local beekeeping club. Clubs often offer beginning beekeeping classes, and are great places to find mentors and get connected to nearby beekeepers:
    http://www.masterbeekeeper.org/resources/beegroups.htm

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Jamesville, NY
    Posts
    273

    Default Re: New potential Bee Keeper from Central NY

    Thanks for that list and the additional info!

    I may have found a bee supplier near me with no treatment bees so that is very exciting stuff!

    I am trying to locate a mentor, or at least someone who will let me walk around with them to see some of the hardware and show me a few things.

    Right now there isn't a bee keeping club near me, but someone is interested in starting one so who knows what may happen in due time

    Keth - I know I am acting like a worried mother over the bees when i am sure that they have it under control. I decided that from now on I will just sit and watch and enjoy them until the spring when i get to decide where I am going with all of this

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