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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    Posts
    226

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

    beepro: I have 2 Bee hives but no bees. I came late to the party this year. My expected delivery date is Mid May for 2 packages. I could have purchased local bees but I went the Hygiene route so I'll see how that goes. Trust me, waiting has not been easy lol.

    I'm sure it would be great to have someone come by and give me a hand/pointers from time to time (A mentor) or help them but I don't really know anyone that well yet plus I'm the type (like my grandma) who doesn't want to put someone out of their way. For now it's reading the forums, watching youtube and going to meetings/classes. There is a class my son and I are signed up for this Saturday so it will give me a chance to ask questions and interact.
    Last edited by trance; 04-22-2013 at 06:13 AM.

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,589

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

    Quote Originally Posted by trance View Post
    plus I'm the type (like my grandma) who doesn't want to put someone out of their way.
    In general, I think you would find a local beekeeper to be more than willing to provide a little guidance, and it's real handy to be able to share resources when needed. You can also offer to assist with inspections, manipulations, or harvesting... Your mentor could be very happy to have some motivated help.

    Don't be afraid to ask.
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    LaGrange; Oldham County; Kentucky
    Posts
    158

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

    1) never inspect a split which is rearing its own queen in 100+ degree weather: I thought I'd wait til evening when it cooled off a little...bees somehow got into my veil, crawled up my neck and into my ponytail... Duct tape now has a permanent spot in my bee tool box...
    2) wear protective gear as a newbie, until you get over your own awkwardness.
    3) move quick enough to get the job done with a purpose but slow enough to not provoke mean tempers.
    4) I assumed my "strong" colony would be the one I didn't have to worry about. It's now dead, having been robbed out by what I thought was the "weaker" colony.

    Thanks for starting this thread.
    Last edited by MelanieWoosley; 04-22-2013 at 06:16 AM. Reason: Typo

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,846

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

    So far it is not being able to keep up with equipment as my apiary grows. It seems that before I can get the boxes and fraems I need now. I need even more. I have spent the last three weeks or so getting 9 med boxes ready. in that time I could have used two more complete hives.

    Other than that is has been to hold onto a dud swarm all last summer waiting to see if it would improve. It is still in my TBH and I am still waiting.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Spicewood, Texas, USA
    Posts
    232

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

    I was such a doof at my first install, I didn't know that you still have to remove a cork on the queen cage for the bees to get to the candy plug. This may have worked in my favor, however, because the bees had plenty of time (more than enough time...TONS of time) to accept the queen while their beekeeper developed one iota of sense.

    I use top bars, and now know I should have ensured that all my hives had the same size bars. I can't switch things around between hives like other beeks can.

    Sondra

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Pendleton County, Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    64

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

    I started with one hive. I should have had two. I started it from a swarm, it produced lots of honey, overwintered well until our erratic freeze/thaw cycle got it and they starved/froze. It has been a pain in the butt having one. I bought a package of bees to replace them, and the queen either died or left. I just had to buy a queen to replace her. Wish I had more than one hive to get brood from and have them make a queen. Fingers crossed the three new packages I just installed take off and do well, and that I can catch some swarms this year to fill some more hives. I don't want to ever been left with one hive again.

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,033

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

    Mistakes I made:
    1. Experimenting with foundation pins and such instead of wiring them up correctly like people have been doing for many decades. Caused massive problems that took years to fix.
    2. Trying to do a trap out without the benefit of an experienced person on hand.
    3. Not learning the mechanics and techniques of expansion early on, being afraid of grafting.



    Things I did right, purposely or not:
    1. Starting out with a whole bunch of hives (20 packages first day).
    2. Starting treatment free and staying treatment free.
    3. Built a lot of my own equipment from the beginning. I have never purchased a lid or bottom board. I have built all my own boxes for a number of years now.
    4. Following an established beekeeper's model until I could figure out how to do things myself. I did everything the way they did it without a lot of trying to do things on my own without any experience.
    5. Getting on BeeSource long BEFORE ordering bees.
    6. Asking questions for years before starting to answer them.
    7. Starting with and sticking with a single size of box and frame. However, I think it would have been better to have started with mediums as now I am switching over, but like I said before, I was following a model. Switching in the other direction I believe would be a bit more painful.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    Posts
    226

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

    I'm not sure I understand this switch to Mediums many are doing. Is it mostly because of the weight of a 10 deep? I also read swapping parts, can't you swap parts with a 10 deep if that's all you have? I think I am missing something here. Can someone clear this up, this has been on my mind but I have not been sure how to really ask.

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,033

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

    Much of the reason for switching to mediums is for the weight, at least for me and quite a number of others with whom I've communicated. It's certainly not for cost savings because if you do the math, per area of comb, it costs a little more. My extractor also handles twice as many medium frames as deeps which increases the honey production capacity of a single spin-out. Other than the cost, another downside is that you have about a third more frames to go through when inspecting or doing other tasks. In my case, I am buying new frames, making some new boxes, selling old frames in nucs, and then cutting down old boxes to medium size.

    A further step would be going Michael Bush's route with 8-frame mediums which are even lighter and offer other characteristics of which you can read about on his website.

    As far as swapping goes, you can put medium frames in deep boxes, but the bees will build comb off the bottom of the frames. And you can use deep frames by stacking up two medium boxes with similar effect. The benefit comes in when moving frames around, adding honey or brood from one hive to another. I don't use queen excluders, so honey/brood frames are already interchangeable. It is beneficial for all equipment to be of the same size and interchangeable so things can be moved around with ease without having to concern yourself with frame size and box size matching.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  10. #50
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,701

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

    You can swap within equipment as long as it's the same size. Medium frames will fit all medium boxes since only the height is different. There are some nuances though and some manufactures spec a little differently so you may get more bridge come etc... but most are switching to mediums for the weight issue and they're a little more compact unit to deal with. For example, 3 deeps equals two mediums, economics says 2 deeps is cheaper but when you look at the use per unit, I believe the bees will use the 3 mediums more efficiently, especially for honey supers. Say you get an ok flow, they will fill and cap one deep, then the second deep will be started and probably mostly uncapped honey, some unused frames. But if you had 3 mediums on there, most likely they would get two mediums fully capped and the third will be mostly uncapped nectar leaving you with more frames of capped honey than a single deep. For brood, I would prefer larger frames, but for making splits etc... the same thing applies, you will have more frames available to use with mediums than deeps.

  11. #51
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    White County, Arkansas
    Posts
    874

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

    Checked hives at night with a flashlight, so they would not bother the neighbors. They didn't and for a couple months I was okay. One night they got a hold of me and that was my last 'night ops'. I was warned but figured I had found a 'Revolutionary New' inspection method. Boy was I red, in more was than one. LOL

  12. #52
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    barry co., Michigan
    Posts
    303

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

    lol! you can use a red light to look in the darkness. Man are they defensive at night though!

  13. #53
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    55

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

    Assuming beekeeping equipment was like anything else and I could order it off the internet and have it shipped to Canada!

    Also up until now, no mistakes... just "learning experiences" that "build character"

  14. #54
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Cache, Utah, USA
    Posts
    61

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

    I'm loving this thread although it is starting to lose its momentum. I'm sure there have been many more mistakes. I'd love to contribute but I don't know enough to know I've made mistakes!

  15. #55
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    lee county, fl, usa
    Posts
    815

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Michigan Hobby View Post
    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.
    Me too.
    "Rule Three of beekeeping...Never cease to feel wonder" Laurie R. King--
    March 2010; +/- 30 hives, TF

  16. #56
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,788

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    4. Following an established beekeeper's model until I could figure out how to do things myself. I did everything the way they did it without a lot of trying to do things on my own without any experience.
    That is a point worth repeating, Nancy Green ( famous Canadian skier in the 80's) is quoted in saying, and Im para phrasing a bit here "she won by doing what the winners were doing"
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  17. #57
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Laurel Hill, Fl
    Posts
    403

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Michigan Hobby View Post
    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.
    I'll second this one....

  18. #58
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Falls pa. usa
    Posts
    77

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

    my biggest mistake was buying everything, before I knew anything. More to come.........................

  19. #59
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
    Posts
    741

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

    My biggest mistake was not feeding my 4 new nucs to help them build up. Once I realized my mistake, I started feeding 1:1 syrup and pollen substitute, and they finally started growing. Three of the hives grew enough to survive the first winter, the fourth one froze/starved before spring when the tiny cluster split in half looking for food.
    --shinbone
    (3rd year, 14 hives, Zone 5b, 5400 ft, 15.8" annual rainfall)

  20. #60
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Greenbrae, CA, USA
    Posts
    325

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

    My list:

    - Opening a hive at night with a flashlight. Just not smart.
    - Not acting quickly enough when I saw ants on my hives in January. Both dead a few weeks later.
    - Not re-queening a mean hive soon enough. I noticed one backyard hive was aggressive in early spring, but it was only when I had to cancel my Mother's Day BBQ that I took action. Hot hives take all the fun out of beekeeping.

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