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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Chilton County, AL, USA
    Posts
    3

    Default Good morning from Alabama!

    I am brand new to beekeeping. I had a friend who has kept bees for several years give me an established 3-level 10-frame langstroth hive. I had planned on having another month to educate myself and get ready, but he wanted it gone so I went ahead and took it. Getting the hive from his house to mine was an adventure for another post, but my first official purchase is definitely going to involve a bee suit and a smoker! I am fascinated by bees, and I am looking forward to learning more about them. I hope you guys are ready, because I will probably ask a million questions!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Waterville, NY
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: Good morning from Alabama!

    Welcome cornbred. I have a daughter and a grandson living just south of Montgomery....but that's beside the point. Questions are good...especially to this group. Most everybody is knowledgable, friendly, and more than willing to help with any questions or problems you may have. Many have years of experience and provide solid advice. A small number however, are newbees with little experience but present themselves as professionals. You may not agree with everything they say or you may get conflicting advice...that's probably the norm for beekeepers though. One way to help you gain trust in the advice, is to check the profiles of the individuals posting. For example....I have one year of experience as a beekeeper.....so you may not want question my current recommendation....lol

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    1,619

    Default Re: Good morning from Alabama!

    Mmmmm, peach blossom honey....sounds delicious!

    Welcome to the forum, cornbred...I'm south of you a piece...down below Montgomery.

    What depth are the boxes? Now's the time to get the bees as there is a flow on. I would recommend going ahead and getting some more medium size boxes for honey supers...depending on what you have now three would be good along with frames (get a couple of extra frames "just because"). Your decision on going foundationless or using foundation. I've been buying boxes from Rossman but I may try some of Kellys next go'round.

    Smoker...don't get a little one (larger sizes are easier to keep lit). I use dried grass from mowing the lawn as a starter..I roll a "pattie" of it up in my hands the size of a small hamburger, hold it over the smoker and when lit push it down into the smoker with my hive tool. I puff it several times till it flames pretty good then pour in a couple of handfuls of wood pellets and pump it good for a minute it or two and add more pellets....it takes a couple of minutes to get the pellets burning but when lit from the bottom like that they burn very good for a long time. When you get it burning good wad up some green grass/weeds and stuff in the top of the smoker to act as a screen to keep hot ashes from blowing out and also to help cool the smoke down...you and the bees will appreicate it as the bees don't like hot smoke or ash hitting them! A bag of wood pellets from Tractor Supply will last a LONG LONG time and cost around $5. Other folks use other fuels...pine straw has a very strong odor and stinks to me, though, and sadly my beeyard sits at the edge of a pine forest. Something else is to not over-use the smoker. A couple of puffs at the entrance and a puff or two under the cover and then give them a couple of minutes for the smoke to have affect on them and you should be good to go. Later you may need a couple of puffs to run them back down between the frames if they're piling up too much on top of them. Also, when you're closing the hive back up you can use the smoker to run them off the edge of the boxes and down between the frames to keep from mashing a lot of them.

    Add a hive tool to your shopping list. I like the KW hive tool (Kelley sales them and probably other vendors) but it is rather expensive. The arrangement of the sraper and hook really helps in lifting frames. Regular hive tools work well, too. Most people like to have two hive tools as they often "misplace" one of them.

    Moving a hive is very disruptive to bees and they won't be happy about it. You may find that you really don't need a full suit once they settle in to their new home. I don't have a suit (one day I may wish I did, though) but do have a ventilated jacket...I wear it about 50% of the time and simply wear a long-sleeved white shirt and a "Clear-Vue" soft hatted veil (bought from Brushy Mountain) the other half of the time. I've got gloves but have never worn them...people say that nitrile gloves work good if you want to use gloves. The level of protection depends on the bees and the beekeepers comfort level...thankfully my bees are pretty calm bees.

    You should go ahead and figure on battling small hive beetles...be proactive about them...you already have them. The idea is to keep the beetle population low enough that the bees can deal with them. I would suggest adding some of the new version of the Beetle Jail Junior in-hive oil traps (three should be plenty for one hive) to your shopping list. Buy a pint of mineral oil at a Family Dollar Store for $2 to put into the traps...a little apple cider vinegar or with a tiny piece of fruit in the center bait compartment can act as a lure...you could pour some wine in there if you are so inclined....the beetles are attracted to fermenting fruit...melon patches are favorite breeding grounds from what I understand. Oil trays oriented beneath the hives are also excellent tools against small hive beetles. Some beekeepers go "off label" and use chemicals not approved for in-hive use...I tend not Don't underestimate the destruction that SHB can do...they are deadly.

    Feel free to post questions...but be aware that you will very possibly get multiple answers...and they all may be correct.

    Best wishes!
    Ed

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    1,619

    Default Re: Good morning from Alabama!

    Quote Originally Posted by beemilk View Post
    <snip> A small number however, are newbees with little experience but present themselves as professionals. You may not agree with everything they say or you may get conflicting advice...that's probably the norm for beekeepers though. One way to help you gain trust in the advice, is to check the profiles of the individuals posting. For example....I have one year of experience as a beekeeper.....so you may not want question my current recommendation....lol
    I agree with this. This is my second summer with bees, third summer of studying (intensely) honey bees and beekeeping. I don't intend to come across as a professional being as I'm far from being one...I just share what I've experienced and have learned...and throw some opinion in all along.

    My mentor has a saying..."The only thing absolute about bees is that there is nothing absolute about bees."....same holds true for beekeepers and other things.

    Ed

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,042

    Default Re: Good morning from Alabama!

    welcome to the forum cb, and good luck with your bees!
    beekeeping since june 2010, +/- 20 hives, tf

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,437

    Default Re: Good morning from Alabama!

    Welcome!
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Pickens County, South Carolina, US
    Posts
    828

    Default Re: Good morning from Alabama!

    Welcome to the site!

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