Stupid Mistakes
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Thread: Stupid Mistakes

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
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    Sandy, OR
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    498

    Big Grin Stupid Mistakes

    Ok, so it finally happened. I got stung. On the eyelid...and then I realized I hadn't put on my veil. Stupid mistake. Got to lax in the apiary.
    As I was holding an ice pack on my bruised ego last night it dawned on me that some of the resident BS Beeks have GOT to have some great stories of making similar mistakes that may be worth sharing to help everyone learn from your misery.
    Anybody else do something stupid they wish they hadn't only to have the "honies" remind you who's boss?
    Zone 8a - Elev.~ 1,100 ft. Sandy, OR.
    Apiculture: A culmination of animal husbandry and alchemy.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    lafargeville ny usa
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    Default Re: Stupid Mistakes

    45 yeas ago i had mid-nites, nice gentle bees. i was checking them on a nice clear day, a cloud went over the sun and they instantly got mad. i still do not know where that cloud came from, it was dark just a few seconds. i too gut stung in the eyelid pretty good in one eye and some other spots on my face. the next day was a chemistry final exam i had to go to school. it was so swollen i could only see a little out of one eye nothing out the other. i thought i would get some harasment, but no one would come close to me, they thought it might be contagious. i do not skip the veil much.

  4. #3
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    May 2014
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    Castle Rock, Colorado, USA
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    1,700

    Default Re: Stupid Mistakes

    Years ago I headed to a 40 colony out-yard about an hour from home. When I got there I realized I had forgotten my gloves. I found out that cotton backed canvas work gloves are an almost worthless substitute. There were only 2-3 "hottish" hives, but they reminded me who's the boss. I took maybe 50-100 stings on the back of each hand. Luckily I got through the other 37 first.
    After 40 years of beekeeping, I've come to realize that the bees can fix most of my mistakes.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Marshall county, AL
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    3,404

    Default Re: Stupid Mistakes

    Rule #1) Don't lite your smoker while you're standing in knee deep dormant bermuda grass. Ever set a bee yard on fire?

    Rule #2) Don't rush over to reset a hive that a rogue cow just knocked over, before putting on your bee jacket and veil. 19 stings on the bald head.
    The more I learn about bees, the less I know.

  6. #5
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    Jul 2012
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    lafargeville ny usa
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    Default Re: Stupid Mistakes

    about 50 years ago i ordered my first package and hive from the sears catalog. they were real good, they automaticaly saw to it that the hive and the book "FIRST LESSONS IN BEEKEEPING" came about 3 1/2 weeks ahead of the bees. i did not know a beekeeper, no lessons or bee clubs that i knew of, and the internet was not thought of yet even in science fiction. the book did not mention not to pick up the package by the palms of your hands against the screen sides. this was lesson #1 with live bees at the post office at about 90 seconds into owning bees.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Posts
    111

    Default Re: Stupid Mistakes

    Quote Originally Posted by mathesonequip View Post
    the book did not mention not to pick up the package by the palms of your hands against the screen sides.
    The very same thing that I warned my wife and my 4-year-old against, yesterday, after I picked up my first package.

    Great anecdotes everyone! There are always good lessons in them for the new beeks, like myself. Please keep 'em coming.
    “The bee's life is like a magic well: the more you draw from it, the more it fills with water” ― Karl Von Frisch

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
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    Idaho Falls, ID
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    684

    Default Re: Stupid Mistakes

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Bee View Post
    Ever set a bee yard on fire?

    Rule #2) Don't rush over to reset a hive that a rogue cow just knocked over
    Related: When i was a kid my dad had several hives just up the hill from train tracks. One day a train sparked a fire that burned the branches and dead weeds in the area and the hives caught fire. My brother and i happened by and ran over with garden hoses and shovels, then the volunteer fire department showed up and kicked over one of the hives thinking that was how they would stop them from burning before we chased them off with shovels. My dad showed up, no protective gear, walked over to the knocked over hive and stacked the boxes back up. Took hundreds of stings, walked calmly away, then chewed out the fire chief for several minutes while my brother and i watched in awe. I so miss him.........
    -- Joe
    "Make your own decision and embrace the consequences." -- jwcarlson

  9. #8
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    Apr 2015
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    North Pole, Alaska
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    Default Re: Stupid Mistakes

    When I was 13 or 14 we had our hives along our back fence line of a horse pasture about 1/4 mile from the house. It was common for me to duck the fence and hop on one of the horses bareback to ride out and check the bees while the horses milled around at a safe distance and then do the same to return to the house. One day my mom asked me to get some honey from one of the hives ( we rarely did a complete harvest and had run out ). Feeling quite put-out by this "extra" chore ( as kids are prone to do ), I grabbed an empty frame with which to swap and jumped on my horse. Now, as a pretty "wild" country boy I tended to live barefoot and shirtless in only blue jean cut-offs for most of the summer, so arriving at the chosen hive I slid off of my horse and approached in a bit of a hurry. This did not go over well with the bees and as soon as I opened the hive (smokeless of course), they began to boil out, not even slowing down to assess the situation but impaling me everywhere at full flight speed. I dropped the lid and ran like hell toward the horses planning to do a over-the-rump mount and make my escape. The horses of course had a different plan and seeing me charging toward them at full speed with a cloud of bees following close behind made them agree with my initial assessment that getting the hell out of there was a really good idea. So as I got close they also began to run back toward the house with me following and yelling to stop. They didn't. Until we approached the fence at the yard. At this point they had to stop, but I was still running and swatting and yelling and basically not paying attention to anything other than the few bees that were still adamant about teaching me some manners. I ran smack into one of the horses butt and fell flat on my back, knocking the wind out of me. I lay there for a few seconds to get my breathe and senses back (what few I actually had). When I realized the bees were no longer chasing me I started back toward the house while looking around the yard to make sure that no one had seen my display of cowardice while scraping stingers and trying to think up some reason why I didn't have the honey. Walking through the back door into the kitchen, I was startled to find that my entire family, the neighbors, and our hired man had watched the entire fiasco through the kitchen windows and were still laughing so hard as to be unintelligible. They weren't interested in any of my excuses.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Stupid Mistakes

    that is choice vickingjim.

  11. #10
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    Feb 2015
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    Salt Lake City, UT
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    Default Re: Stupid Mistakes

    I was still in high school (c.a. '76) and helping my grandfather on one of his apiaries when I took a sting to the inside corner of my eyelid. I had been stung many times and never reacted, but this one started swelling within minutes and by evening my eye swelled completely shut. There was no opening it. I got teased mercilessly about it at school. It was about three days before the swelling went down enough that I could see a little slit of light, and I had a black eye for about another week after that. After that I always wore safety glasses when I was veil-less around the apiary, still do, but now I do if for a different reason: my safety glasses have magnifiers built into the corners, essential to see eggs and other details now that I'm in my 50s.

  12. #11
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    Jul 2014
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    Oviedo, Florida
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    61

    Default Re: Stupid Mistakes

    Quote Originally Posted by VikingJim View Post
    When I was 13 or 14 we had our hives along our back fence line of a horse pasture about 1/4 mile from the house. It was common for me to duck the fence and hop on one of the horses bareback to ride out and check the bees while the horses milled around at a safe distance and then do the same to return to the house. One day my mom asked me to get some honey from one of the hives ( we rarely did a complete harvest and had run out ). Feeling quite put-out by this "extra" chore ( as kids are prone to do ), I grabbed an empty frame with which to swap and jumped on my horse. Now, as a pretty "wild" country boy I tended to live barefoot and shirtless in only blue jean cut-offs for most of the summer, so arriving at the chosen hive I slid off of my horse and approached in a bit of a hurry. This did not go over well with the bees and as soon as I opened the hive (smokeless of course), they began to boil out, not even slowing down to assess the situation but impaling me everywhere at full flight speed. I dropped the lid and ran like hell toward the horses planning to do a over-the-rump mount and make my escape. The horses of course had a different plan and seeing me charging toward them at full speed with a cloud of bees following close behind made them agree with my initial assessment that getting the hell out of there was a really good idea. So as I got close they also began to run back toward the house with me following and yelling to stop. They didn't. Until we approached the fence at the yard. At this point they had to stop, but I was still running and swatting and yelling and basically not paying attention to anything other than the few bees that were still adamant about teaching me some manners. I ran smack into one of the horses butt and fell flat on my back, knocking the wind out of me. I lay there for a few seconds to get my breathe and senses back (what few I actually had). When I realized the bees were no longer chasing me I started back toward the house while looking around the yard to make sure that no one had seen my display of cowardice while scraping stingers and trying to think up some reason why I didn't have the honey. Walking through the back door into the kitchen, I was startled to find that my entire family, the neighbors, and our hired man had watched the entire fiasco through the kitchen windows and were still laughing so hard as to be unintelligible. They weren't interested in any of my excuses.
    PRICELSS!

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Tampa, florida
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    9

    Default Re: Stupid Mistakes

    I don't have any problems mowing within a foot or two of them as long as I'm careful to keep the discharge away from the hives, I did make the mistake once of mowing past the hives in the wrong direction, and am very pleased my mower has a kill switch to turn it off if the seat is empty... cause it got empty real fast after the first dozen stings. Incidentally, my wife thought it was hilarious.
    some mistakes... I will never forget!

  14. #13
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    Aug 2014
    Location
    Scottsdale, AZ, USA
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    43

    Default Re: Stupid Mistakes

    Quote Originally Posted by VikingJim View Post
    When I was 13 or 14 we had our hives along our back fence line of a horse pasture about 1/4 mile from the house. It was common for me to duck the fence and hop on one of the horses bareback to ride out and check the bees while the horses milled around at a safe distance and then do the same to return to the house. One day my mom asked me to get some honey from one of the hives ( we rarely did a complete harvest and had run out ). Feeling quite put-out by this "extra" chore ( as kids are prone to do ), I grabbed an empty frame with which to swap and jumped on my horse. Now, as a pretty "wild" country boy I tended to live barefoot and shirtless in only blue jean cut-offs for most of the summer, so arriving at the chosen hive I slid off of my horse and approached in a bit of a hurry. This did not go over well with the bees and as soon as I opened the hive (smokeless of course), they began to boil out, not even slowing down to assess the situation but impaling me everywhere at full flight speed. I dropped the lid and ran like hell toward the horses planning to do a over-the-rump mount and make my escape. The horses of course had a different plan and seeing me charging toward them at full speed with a cloud of bees following close behind made them agree with my initial assessment that getting the hell out of there was a really good idea. So as I got close they also began to run back toward the house with me following and yelling to stop. They didn't. Until we approached the fence at the yard. At this point they had to stop, but I was still running and swatting and yelling and basically not paying attention to anything other than the few bees that were still adamant about teaching me some manners. I ran smack into one of the horses butt and fell flat on my back, knocking the wind out of me. I lay there for a few seconds to get my breathe and senses back (what few I actually had). When I realized the bees were no longer chasing me I started back toward the house while looking around the yard to make sure that no one had seen my display of cowardice while scraping stingers and trying to think up some reason why I didn't have the honey. Walking through the back door into the kitchen, I was startled to find that my entire family, the neighbors, and our hired man had watched the entire fiasco through the kitchen windows and were still laughing so hard as to be unintelligible. They weren't interested in any of my excuses.
    I've never laughed so hard in a long time, I have my own bee stung stories, but yours is the ultimate.
    Paul Reyes the author of : Beekeeping-for-Beginners.Com

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Pomfret, MD, USA
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    267

    Default Re: Stupid Mistakes

    My worst day beekeeping. My two hives were kept at a nearby botanical garden, which is a very popular place in my town. It's beautiful and there are huge expensive weddings held there. They wouldn't let me keep the hives out in full sun because of all the foot traffic through the gardens, so they were set up close to the woods, literally in some bushes and in the brush. One day, I went to the hives in just shorts and a t-shirt and a veil. I had not brought any other protective gear with me. I was planning on removing some old comb from the very bottom brood chamber of one of the hives. Just as I had everything torn apart and brood boxes were strewn all over the place, something set them off. I got zapped in the ankles, legs, arms...at least 10 times. I ran into the woods and finally they stopped chasing me. When I looked back at the hives I saw smoke....lots and lots of smoke! In my rush to get away, I had knocked over the bee smoker, and the leaf littered ground around the hives had caught fire. A patch about the size of a man-hole cover was blazing and spreading fast. There was no hose or even a bottle of water to put out the fire with! So I ran back to the hives, and started stamping on the fire and tossing dirt on it, all the while getting stung badly all over again. I got the fire out, and ran back into the woods. All the hair on my legs was singed off, and I had 10 more stings. Of course, the hive was still in parts on the ground. I got 5 more stings running back and forth to the hive to pick up the brood chambers and hurriedly toss them back on.

    Had I burned down that garden, that would have been very, very bad.
    Last edited by wishthecuttlefish; 05-08-2015 at 09:47 AM. Reason: grammar errors

  16. #15
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    Jul 2013
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    Morris Plains, NJ USA
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    691

    Default Re: Stupid Mistakes

    I destroyed four fully drawn frames by storing them in a plastic bin that had a black top; it was in the sun until I found that the drawn comb had all softened and fallen off. The bin is now located in total shade.

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Stone County Ar. USA
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    449

    Default Re: Stupid Mistakes

    My stupid mistake happened just a couple of days ago . We were out of town earlier this week , and the first order of business when I got home was to make syrup and fill the feeder jars . The first hive seemed pretty hostile when I pulled the bottle and I got in a hurry . Unscrewed the cap , filled , then proceeded to turn the bottle upside down right over the hole in the top cover - without a lid . They didn't appreciate that at all , and proceeded to mob me immediately . That was on Wednesday , yesterday when I checked the hives <3 that had virgin queens on the 29th> I discovered there was no queen ... and no hope of one because there is no brood at all . Took most of the afternoon for them to quit chasing me every time I steeped outdoors - a good reason to have the hives out of sight of the house - or at least the front door !
    PS - I gave them some eggs from one of the two that now have laying queens , seems to have settled them somewhat .
    Retired wannabee Hillbilly Farmer in backwoods Arkansas
    Our biggest crop is rocks ...

  18. #17
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    Mar 2015
    Location
    Columbia, MO
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    51

    Default Re: Stupid Mistakes

    Really... you bought a package of bees out of a Sears Catalog. That is awesome... times have changed..

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    West River, MD, USA
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    118

    Default Re: Stupid Mistakes

    Mine came from Montgomery Wards. $8.00 postpaid. Mail lady brought them out to me and stayed to watch me install them. 1966

  20. #19
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    Mar 2015
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    Columbia, MO
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    Default Re: Stupid Mistakes

    Quote Originally Posted by rfgreenwell View Post
    Mine came from Montgomery Wards. $8.00 postpaid. Mail lady brought them out to me and stayed to watch me install them. 1966
    That is a heat story. Thanks for sharing.

  21. #20
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    Mar 2015
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    Columbia, MO
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    Default Re: Stupid Mistakes

    Great story.. Stupid spell check

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