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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,056

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

    I made many big and small mistakes being a new beekeeper.
    And will continue to do so until I have learn them all. Life is a never ending learning journey for me I think.
    Here is my long list to share as a beginner beekeeper. Hoping others will not make the same mistakes like I did.
    Getting the bees.
    1. Not wearing any protective gear to carry
    the bee hives not realizing that they have multiple entrances. Got zapped 6 times in one night.
    2. Not properly covering the hives when brought them home thinking a breathable car cover will do. Bees flying all over at the farm.
    3. Not having enough people to help carry the bee hives out of my truck while the bees got out by the hours. Another big mistakes there.
    4. Set 2 hives on top of an ant hill. Got both killed my first season.
    5. Sprinkled DE under the hive stand which does not prevent the ants from killing my hives.
    6. Open up the brood nest in late Fall when they should have been building up for winter. Did not know this method is call checker boarding on beesource later on.
    7. Smoking the nurse bees when not needed. Thinking all bees should bee smoked on a hive check.
    8. Dumping the nurse bees on few frames of open honey not knowing they cannot fly but thinking they can clean up the whole mess afterward. What a bad mistakes!
    9. Feeding too much sugar syrup in a big gallon bottle inside the hive. The syrup leaked all over the bottom while some bees got stuck on the syrup.
    10. Punch a small hole on the gallon bottle thinking that will help to get the syrup out faster. A disaster end result.
    11. Releasing another queen too fast into an aggressive hive without proper waiting period. They balled on her alright. Lose queen #1
    12. Releasing a frame of aggressive bees into a queen right hive thinking this will help to increase the population. The poor queen got killed the next week right in front of my own eyes. Lose queen #2
    13. Expanding too fast on splits without enough equipments to support when they grow.
    14. Not feeding enough when it is time for them to grow.
    15. Not keeping my hives close enough for a close monitoring.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Athens, greece
    Posts
    140

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

    My bigest mistake is managing hives without a plan.
    Wanting to increase my hive numbers, and have some honey also.
    Ended with no hives and no honey.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,754

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

    Quote Originally Posted by beepro View Post
    I made many big and small mistakes being a new beekeeper.
    Choosing "beepro" as your username should be added to your list...



    For me, not recognizing robbing was my largest, first mistake. With hives being 22 miles away it wasn't easy to observe.
    BeeCurious
    5 hives and 8 nucs................... Trying to think inside the box...

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Indianapolis IN 46227
    Posts
    285

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

    Quote Originally Posted by DRAKOS View Post
    Wanting to increase my hive numbers, and have some honey also.
    Ended with no hives and no honey.
    I did the same thing last year in the worst drought in our history. Paid the price. Now putting Mann lake feeders with caps and ladders in all hives.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Calvert, Md,USA
    Posts
    1,701

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

    This would make a good Bee Keeping Book. Not based on regional bee keeping. Huummmm,,,,, Let's call it,,,"These Bee Mistakes"
    Rick

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,779

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

    Spending more money on equipment I didn't really need when I should have bought a second hive. Starting with one hive gives you no extra resources and nothing in comparison to the one you're managing. Having a second hive makes the yard almost "easier" to manage. I still have most of that old equipment laying around just waiting to be used someday.....
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Robeson Co, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    147

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

    1.Thought my hives were building up so quickly in the spring that surely I would get a bumper crop, so I left them alone without an inspection. I was wrong, they were building up to swarm in front of me and I didn't know it. After second swarm, that I know of, I started learning something.
    2.With my bees, which tip the scale on the agressive side, any fast movement promotes a prompt response. Had to learn to slow down or deal with many angry bees on my gloves, veil and hive tool. Slow deliberate motions and standing without casting a shadow over them helps. Oh, and never let sweat drip in the hive
    Fines are taxes for doing wrong. Taxes are fines for doing right.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    3,463

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

    1.) Not fully understanding seasonal changes throughout the year and the corresponding shifts in colony goals and behavior. I experienced swarming frustration, lost a lot of honey production, and was sometimes late getting the colonies prepared for winter. It's imperative to know your bloom dates and local weather patterns very well. Once that is achieved you have a baseline to tie your beekeeping management strategy to.
    2.) Thinking that I had enough equipment ready to go.
    To everything there is a season....

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Newberg, Oregon, USA
    Posts
    12

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

    trance - best thread ever! Thank you.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
    Posts
    1,272

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

    This is what I think is the bigest, OR at least the one that had the most profound effect.

    I got started in bees Way over 30 years ago. I was in FFA and a fellow advisor was a beekeeper. Him and I became friends and he shared his bee keeping with me. A few years later he passed away his wife had to sell out, and she gave me his bees, and equipment. Old bob had instilled the interest in me but had not given me near enough education on bees. Suddenly I had 4 hives to take care of. I moved the hives to my place. (the whole reason Karen gave them to me) got them set up. And began enjoying my new girls. I often sat by the hives reading books on beekeeping.. I had placed the hives on a hill in the pasture only 100 yards from a spring fed pond. So my girls would have ample fresh water. When fall rolled around I could not wait to harvest the sweet rewards of my new found hobby. I made sure to leave ample stores for the girls on each hive. Winter came and went. On the first nice spring day my wife and I went to the apiary to check the girls and put on feeders, switch the hive bodies and whatever needed done to get them started for the year. Now mind you this was in the days before varroa mites, and CCD. ALL THE HIVES WERE DEAD!! May heart sank as my wife stood beside me sobbing at the loss of our beloved charges, what happened? What went Wrong, What Have I done? I spent that entire summer bee less. Rather than ruin more colonies, I spent every Tuesday and Thursday at the community collage taking courses on bee keeping, the management, the science, and the marketing. The best $400.00 I ever spent…
    I learned the hill with its north west exposure was not a good choice for an apiary especially for unwrapped solitary hives. The wind simply pounded the hives until the girls could no longer stand it. Thirty years 3000 hives and 30,000 pounds of honey later I still attend every seminar I can, I take mini courses at university extensions and community collages. I have over the years lost many colonies, starvation during hard winters. Poor producing queens, reasons no one can explain. But only 4 to sheer ignorance.
    I share my experiences and the bits of information I have been taught or have scraped out of my experiences with 4-H clubs, FFA members, Boy scouts, and any organization, group or individual that will have me. I do so for the love of bees, for those who will save them, and as pennants for those I killed.

  11. #31
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,744

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

    GETTING STARTED! Now........ I'm addicted. lol

  12. #32
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Washingon CO, AR, USA
    Posts
    32

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

    Really enjoying this thread! Since I'm just three years in, I feel sure there are many more mistakes to be made...but so far:

    1. Starting with only one hive. I started a package in brand new equipment and bare foundation and they absconded shortly afterwards. Felt terrible, but also couldn't find any more bees to buy by then, till our bee club president gifted me with a caught swarm that did great. Would start with two hives if I had it to do over, mainly to be able to compare the two during inspections, also to have a backup if one is lost.

    2. NOT starting with all medium equipment, despite my mentor's suggestion. I've nearly rotated out all the non-med equipment. There's just no substitute for being able to mix/match everything as needed.

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    Posts
    226

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

    Quote Originally Posted by alchemybees View Post
    trance - best thread ever! Thank you.
    Thank you!

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Harsens Island , Mi , USA
    Posts
    241

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

    Sent a check to Russells .

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Calvert, Md,USA
    Posts
    1,701

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

    Mistake,,,sorta,,,,Not finding/using this forum when I got back into beekeeping after 30 years! Books are fine,,,but,,,nothing like a problem stated and a point by point answer, advise, opinion from someone who has been there. It is good to get humbled.
    Rick

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    10,137

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

    Books are one point of view and you have to read all the gobbledy gook wording because they have to reach some quota on word count to get paid it seems to me. That is what I like about beesourse, just spill your guts and get it over with.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    hendersonville nc usa
    Posts
    70

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

    learn that the queen can be any where in the hive, on the lid or on the inner cover look them over closely to start with

  18. #38
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    3,034

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

    Cool story ten bears, I enjoyed reading that post.

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    Posts
    226

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

    I don't have any bees yet but I'm sure I'll make my mistakes but one thing that bothers me (And could lead to mistakes) is watching Youtube videos that are titled, "How to" do something regarding bees and after the video is over and I'm thinking I learned something only to read the comments below that people are making correcting the person in the video. The person in the video who is teaching you "How to" replies, this is my first hive at day 1X. (ERRRRRRRR!!!!!)
    Last edited by trance; 04-22-2013 at 07:20 AM.

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,056

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

    trance, how come you don't have a bee hive yet?
    Do you need help to get it started?
    I got my first 2 hives after watching you tube for almost 3 weeks.

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