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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    Posts
    226

    Default What's the biggest mistake (s) you made starting out?

    I can watch a Million Youtube Videos on "How to" but IMO another important learning tool that many keepers don't post on youtube is their mistakes (some do) when starting out. Everyone seems so eager to show you how well they are doing and how you should do it but what about mistakes? I know people come on forums for help and what did they do wrong and that helps to a point but as a new Bee Keeper (myself or others) sometimes even when we think we understand the basics, we don't always understand. Getting your hands wet, jumping in and all that is fine but I would love to hear some stories of things that went wrong solely for the purpose of learning and trying to avoid making those same mistakes (Learning from others mistakes).

    If anyone is willing to share some embarrassing moments.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    Default Re: What's the biggest mistake (s) you made starting out?

    #1 thing I did wrong, and it cost me my first 2-3 hives, is I gave my first bees I got (from cut-outs) too much comb for them to fully cover/guard. The bees were left too weak, and the poorly guarded stores attracted Wax Moths, Small Hive Beetles, robber bees, and worst of all, the Fire Ants...between them, I almost gave up on beekeeping before I figured out what I was doing wrong!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,487

    Default Re: What's the biggest mistake (s) you made starting out?

    Used a Boardman feeder. Waste of time, they never could build up properly and ended up starving to death. Southern raised Italian queen is also not a good fit for my climate, they eat all their stores raising brood in a dearth.

    Two big fat hives this year from swarms, doing great, will pull splits in a couple weeks or whenever it warms up enough.

    Peter

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    SNOW SHOE PA USA
    Posts
    1,213

    Default Re: What's the biggest mistake (s) you made starting out?

    Mine was ventilation make sure you have ventilation.
    And ware your bee suit the first year your hives are building they get more aggressive as time gos on don't think you become one with your bees it take years. Still lots to learn here.
    Say hello to the bad guy!
    year five==== 31 hives==== T{OAV}

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,246

    Default Re: What's the biggest mistake (s) you made starting out?

    1. feeding (following the advice of others) is totally not necessary in my area.

    2. Offering advice too early. Most of which was taken the wrong way.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Statesville, North Carolina
    Posts
    60

    Default Re: What's the biggest mistake (s) you made starting out?

    A better question for me would be "What did you do right?" The amazing thing is, they survived anyway!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    Posts
    226

    Default Re: What's the biggest mistake (s) you made starting out?

    Edited... Got my answer
    Last edited by trance; 04-20-2013 at 06:57 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    1,262

    Default Re: What's the biggest mistake (s) you made starting out?

    My mistake was increasing colony numbers before I had the knowledge necssary to properly care for them.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Calvert, Md,USA
    Posts
    1,701

    Default Re: What's the biggest mistake (s) you made starting out?

    I thought:
    I could solve the mite problem if I tried every new thing that came along, or, experimented enough
    The bees were not doing what they were supposed to and it was up to me to fix it
    Every book written about Honey bees applied to me and mine

    I'll contribute to this thread in installments LOL
    Rick

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    barry co., Michigan
    Posts
    308

    Default Re: What's the biggest mistake (s) you made starting out?

    #1 mistake - underestimating the destructive force known as varroa destructor (well named)

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    SW Michigan
    Posts
    65

    Default Re: What's the biggest mistake (s) you made starting out?

    Wishing I had heard about using ALL medium supers for ALL my hive bodies when I first got started instead of buying and using deeps/medium/shallow. Would have been so much better for uniformity and ease on the back lifting those deep brood boxes full of bees and honey.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    barry co., Michigan
    Posts
    308

    Default Re: What's the biggest mistake (s) you made starting out?

    The use of all mediums was probably the smartest decision i made (purely by luck)

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Newberg, Oregon, USA
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: What's the biggest mistake (s) you made starting out?

    My very first install ever was a package. In my excitement, I didn't zip up the suit properly and got bees inside. After several stings I took off the suit but by then had the smell on me. Bees followed me and got in my hair. After 3 stings, I got my Warre hive closed up and got far enough away. Note to self: zip up properly.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
    Posts
    1,947

    Default Re: What's the biggest mistake (s) you made starting out?

    I have of course done a bunch of stuff that is instantly recognizable as a mistake. Those kind of mistakes are usually easier to correct and learn from.
    I think the biggest mistake that I may have made is unrecognizable as a mistake now. I'm sure I'll see I once I'm in really deep. Is it box size? The cleats I put on boxes and the goofy lids I use with them?

    An example, I'd like to one day hot dip my boxes there is a few different ways with a few different ingredients. It may take 20 years to know if the method I choose was a mistake.

    If you need one to avoid now....
    Moving strong hives on a warm night without strapping them together or screening them in. That didnt go smooth!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Rigby, Idaho
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: What's the biggest mistake (s) you made starting out?

    Not paying enough attention the second year. Didn't want to disturb them as much as the first year, so ended up losing to varroa. Also lost one this winter due to moisture, didn't get them set up for winter in time. Will be starting again this spring.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,177

    Default Re: What's the biggest mistake (s) you made starting out?

    When I put up the electric fence around my bee yard I didn't take into account that it should be convenient for the lawn tractor/trailer; I've been stepping over a crotch high fence for a couple of years carrying full supers. Sometimes I remembered to turn it off...
    Today, I did the grown up thing and moved it. I can't say that I have not had time to fix it before, but I find myself making stuff I want to make in my shed instead of doing the things I should.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Grayson, KY
    Posts
    274

    Default Re: What's the biggest mistake (s) you made starting out?

    Listening to one of the local experts. He advised me to cut swarm cells out of a hive that went queen less after swarming.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Topeka, Kansas, USA
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: What's the biggest mistake (s) you made starting out?

    Leaking feeder started robbing.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Green,Wisconsin,USA
    Posts
    107

    Default Re: What's the biggest mistake (s) you made starting out?

    This wasn't a starting out mistake, but a mistake none the less: We run about a dozen hives and have never experienced robbing. We heard about it, but never have had it occur. UNTIL...One night in our haste to finish up we accidentally left a top cover slightly ajar. That started it and we ended up losing two hives once robbing got established. And it was a tough habit to break. Moral of the story: Don't rush!

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Indiana, Clay County
    Posts
    565

    Default Re: What's the biggest mistake (s) you made starting out?

    1) Shoulda went all deeps- I dont really move my hives anyways

    2) Shoulda got into using nucs sooner and northern queens, not the generally inferior queens sent in packages

    3) Worry with small cell , and regression. I tried to fix a problem I never had

    Things I did right were, keep a record of blooming plants in my area, and did start using plastic foundation, never wasted money on a extractor, figured out hive condesation problems, and bought a table saw to make some basic beeking wooden ware- oh and Tite bond : }

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