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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,260

    Default So many mistakes already

    Hi, All! I'm still new at beekeeping.

    I got desperate! Just jumped right in knowing nothing about honey bees. This summer, I got my 2 hives from an almond farmer after watching youtube for a month. With no suite on, got stung 6 times on my right hand first time picking them up at the farm. Ha, found out I am not allergic to honey bee stings. Now that was good! So I made all the mistakes I can on my first few months. And learn a lot along the way. Cannot find any local beek mentor either. Everyone was busy on the summer months. So learn as I go along.
    Here is what I had learned so far:
    Location: Never set your hive in an ant hill. Ants and honey (bees) do not mix well.
    Yep, lost my weaker but more aggressive hive to the ants in a few short weeks. Figured I still have the gentler hive compared to the first aggressive hive. Yup, one of the bees chased me almost 200 yards into my truck and out trying to sting me. Got the vid to prove too. Full of bees during that time and I thought this second hive is more gentler? I was wondering if I got the African bees so aggressive at chasing me for a long distance. So do I have the Carniolan or the Italian? Maybe a mutt, huh? This second hive also got attacked after a month or so into the Fall by the same ants after the first rain. I put DE powder around the hive floor. Does not seems to help either. There are many other small mistakes that I will share at another day.

    Now I am nursing them back in my backyard with under 100 bees left in this chilly and rainy winter time. I still think I got the Carni though. But a mutt daughter maybe. Surprisingly, the queen bee is still alive. An article on beesource said in the winter time the queen bee still lay eggs in small batch. So this is true! Last week I checked and marked the queen bee also. There are new bees coming out, small quantity of pollen and nectar in the combs. She is still laying eggs and making new bees gradually building up the hive in small quantity. Humm, so much to learn and so many mistakes already.
    What can others share so we can all learn too?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    8,419

    Default Re: So many mistakes already

    Less than 100 bees left, that is not too promising. Do they have any stores to live on and can they fly in your area?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tyrone, Pennsylvania,USA
    Posts
    345

    Default Re: So many mistakes already

    You may want to order a package of bees with out the queen if you're queen is still alive or play it safe and order one with a queen.There are not enough bees to raise brood and keep them warm for this time of the year.I had a nuc one time that only had a handful of bees in the spring and it took the entire year for them to build back up,good luck.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Columbia, Maryland. U.S.A.
    Posts
    249

    Default Re: So many mistakes already

    I'd love to see'm make it, just one box ? top airtight ? insulation ?
    Cheers,
    Drew

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    SNOW SHOE PA USA
    Posts
    1,043

    Default Re: So many mistakes already

    BEE PRO guess your no pro? I did the same thing my first year jumped in with both feet and didn't know a beekeeper and i sure did not join a club and lost both my hive{only had 2} the next year i got three nucs and they made it thought winter no problem{learned alot more the second}.
    Now going into my thrid winter i have 12 hives and 2 nucs i learned to do splits make queens and i now know so much more then i ever tought you had to to be a good beekeeper . I say when you can get more bee's {your in CA. i'm sure theres alot of beekeepers out there}get 3 nucs and read/read/and read come to beesorce there other forums but this is the best one. Go check out fat/beeman on youtube and the other guys you'll learn it will start to click by your third year . I bought every book on beekeeping and got the 2 main Mags. out there only got them for a year not much help but sometimes fun to read.
    I'm still not a good beekeeper but my bee's are alive and i don't have to buy bee's this coming spring and i know more then ever know and still learning everyday hack i got stung over 70 times this year if ya don't loveit you won't stick with it.
    Good luck .
    Say hello to the bad guy!
    year five==== 15 hives==== T{OAV}

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,260

    Default Re: So many mistakes already

    Thanks, all for sharing. Yes, the situation not look too promising. I did put sponge insulation all over the hive. And multiple layers of big plastic bags to cover the sponges from top to bottom. Leaving a small 2 bee space hole for them to come out on a sunny day. I have them in 2 medium with the top one empty just a few combs with honey. The bottom medium has 4 combs right at the center of the hive and both sides have insulated sponges to fill in. Inside the top medium I put a bee patty, big jug of sugar syrup 2.5:1 ratio and a few honey combs with honey. There is a few gap for small air exchanges other than that it is all tightly sealed. Condensation is not a problem because I use manila paper to soak all the moisture inside the hive wrapped onto the sponges.
    On top of the hive I put a very thin cardboard follow by a heat pad sandwich in between the hive cover. The heat pad is on high over 90F I think. The bees live on the top medium and if they don't like the heat then they can go down to the lover level. I just moved them up the top level today and put everything back again.
    Today I checked and the marked queen got the paint off her already. So I needed to repaint her again. This hive is too hygenic I think. We will see if they can get thru this winter. I think order a package of bee is good idea if they are still alive until April when the bees are available for sale.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Roseville, CA
    Posts
    110

    Default Re: So many mistakes already

    BeePro -

    There is a store called Sacramento Beekeeping Supplies. The staff there is VERY friendly and helpful. I would recommend stopping by there and getting to know them. You should join SABA (Sacramento Area Beekeepers Association).......you will be able to find a mentor there.

    You should definately have a contigency plan with your current hive. 100 bees is not that promising, but I wish you the best of luck!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Columbia, Maryland. U.S.A.
    Posts
    249

    Default Re: So many mistakes already

    not looking promising ? how so ?, did u say heating pad !! ?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,415

    Default Re: So many mistakes already

    Hi Fin

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,260

    Default Re: So many mistakes already

    Oh yes, the downtown bee store I frequent there. More than 90% of my bee supplies are from there. Very friendly and helpful ppl. Gotta support local, you know.
    Either way, I have to keep on praying for my little bees. I believe in the power of positive thinking. They will be o.k. come this Spring time. Will find a local beekeeper to get some bees from. This should help with the Spring build up faster. I'm thinking to put some dry pollen granules in there as well. Still have a bit of room for a dish of pollens. Put another frame of honey in there tonight. When I opened the hive they are crazy monkeying around. Look like no rest for them even at night time. Everything look good. So very promising now. See, one day everything changes with beekeeping. What a fun hobby to have.
    And yes, the small electric heat pad blankie. The blue one that grandma and grandpa use to wrap their feet in on these chilly winter nights. The Northern beekeepers all worry about the freezing temps on their bees from reading this forum. One chilly night I was using this same heat pad and a thought came to mind about my poor little bees. Yes, the heat pad works. I got a small pad with 3 different heat setting--low, med and high. I ran it inside 24/7, rain or sun on high heat. It is going to be another chilly week ahead. Now I know why they don't goto sleep at night time. Do bees even sleep in the night time too just like us?
    I'm still learning though. Found out they don't like the 60F at the bottom hive but like the 90F instead. Because they all climb up the top hive including the queen bee where the heat pad is at. The whole thing about warm heat rises to the top, I just flipped it during the winter months. Also true that they use up lots of honey resources when rearing broods. Sucking up honey when they're active but I don't mind. Still have lots of honey for them.

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