Angry Rant
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Thread: Angry Rant

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Pikeville North Carolina
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    414

    Default Angry Rant

    After 15 years of bee keeping, I am seriously considering quitting. In the past 5 years I have not bottled one jar of honey. I have pampered and medicated and requeened until I think it may be a worthless cause. Didn't even get a swarm call this year.

    They are fascinating creatures, but I think mankind is going to do them in. And that really makes me angry. Not looking for sympathy or anything like that, just wanted to rant.

    Okay I am done.

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Angry Rant

    Your first post. Welcome and goodbye, I suppose.
    I have no idea where you are located but if you haven't gotten any honey in five years and are convinced that mankind is going to do them in....you are probably better off quitting.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Hubert, North Carolina
    Posts
    378

    Default Re: Angry Rant

    I'd like to say that perhaps your 2nd post would be more positive, but it doesn't look like there's going to be one. Happy trails.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Homer Glen IL
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Angry Rant

    Looks like a troll post. Move on nothing more to see here.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Pikeville North Carolina
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    414

    Default Re: Angry Rant

    Not trolling, lol, I can see where one could get that idea. Been a member here for many years, got new PC and lost my log in creds. My handle was Rob-bee. Look me up. Anyway I am not trying to stir things up. Just blowing off steam. Many people I know have that keep, or kept bees are having the same thoughts. I am not the only one that is losing hives. I have tried many different approaches. First ten years, plenty of honey and normal problems. So don't think it is because I am a novice. The bees just are not able to sustain themselves at the level they used to. In my opinion. Like I said, just ranting. I apologize if it came off wrong.

    Guess one of the things that got me going, had a text message from a guy said he had bees swarming at his house could I come get them. Sure I said, give me the address. 30 minutes later he texts back, "nevermind we just sprayed them"

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Lottsburg, Virginia USA
    Posts
    1,759

    Default Re: Angry Rant

    Robert166If you have not had any surplus honey in 5 years you may have a problem! Surely you must be at least 10 miles offshore so that your bees have nothing to feed on or something like that, your bees have nothing to forage on or your bees are too sick to forage. Some locations like mine suck with only 4 weeks of nectar flow this year, still pulled quite a bit of honey but have been feeding syrup ever since so you have to live with what you have or find a better location. Beekeeping is sometimes tough and every year when I pull my honey in late June I sometimes feel like getting rid of my colonies as I have to fight them all the way to March next year before they start behaving like bees again but then if I did that I might just die of boredom but I am still trying to find a better way.
    Johno

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Lumpkin County, GA
    Posts
    873

    Default Re: Angry Rant

    What are your hive specs, Langstroth, Top Bar, etc? How many boxes are you leaving for the bees? How many hives are you working? Have you looked at Google Earth to check out the area you are in? If you are surrounded by monocrop farms, it makes sense why you are "honeyless".
    The devil is in the details and there is a logical explanation why you haven't had a harvest.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Pikeville North Carolina
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    414

    Default Re: Angry Rant

    Quote Originally Posted by ericweller View Post
    What are your hive specs, Langstroth, Top Bar, etc? How many boxes are you leaving for the bees? How many hives are you working? Have you looked at Google Earth to check out the area you are in? If you are surrounded by monocrop farms, it makes sense why you are "honeyless".
    The devil is in the details and there is a logical explanation why you haven't had a harvest.
    Langís, 10 frame, all mediums. Over winter 4 boxes, feed and medication in fall as needed to prepare for the winter. We normally have mild winter weather so I leave a little more honey. Donít touch until spring, feed and pollen patties until itís warm enough in spring, add supers for the flow, which seems none existent lately. Check them again during flow, make sure queen has a good laying pattern. Only open the lid every couple of weeks to look for new wax and drawn comb. Observe the entrance, lots of activities, wash boarding etc. After flow appears to be slowing down, I will pull a few frames and nothing, half filled with honey. So the flow stops broad slows down, hive beetle maintenance begins, varroa treatments etc. I end up reducing the hive size because there arenít enough bees to fill the top super to keep the wax moth and other pests out. Then I wait for the goldenrod to bloom and hope for a fall crop, nope.
    I have a small stream and pond in forging range, plenty of hardwood trees, and farm fields with cotton, soy bean and tobacco.
    Yes I know not much nectar or pollen is gathered from the fields, but 10 years running I get surplus honey. Then like a faucet it stops? Nothing in my area has changed to the degree that I can point to and say, ďthatís why.Ē
    So what conclusion is there? IMHO chemicals, pesticides, systemics. The bees are getting weaker and weaker. Bees have a form of AIDS. And it appears I am losing the battle.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Lumpkin County, GA
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    873

    Default Re: Angry Rant

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert166 View Post
    Lang’s, 10 frame, all mediums. Over winter 4 boxes, feed and medication in fall as needed to prepare for the winter. We normally have mild winter weather so I leave a little more honey. Don’t touch until spring, feed and pollen patties until it’s warm enough in spring, add supers for the flow, which seems none existent lately. Check them again during flow, make sure queen has a good laying pattern. Only open the lid every couple of weeks to look for new wax and drawn comb. Observe the entrance, lots of activities, wash boarding etc. After flow appears to be slowing down, I will pull a few frames and nothing, half filled with honey. So the flow stops broad slows down, hive beetle maintenance begins, varroa treatments etc. I end up reducing the hive size because there aren’t enough bees to fill the top super to keep the wax moth and other pests out. Then I wait for the goldenrod to bloom and hope for a fall crop, nope.
    I have a small stream and pond in forging range, plenty of hardwood trees, and farm fields with cotton, soy bean and tobacco.
    Yes I know not much nectar or pollen is gathered from the fields, but 10 years running I get surplus honey. Then like a faucet it stops? Nothing in my area has changed to the degree that I can point to and say, “that’s why.”
    So what conclusion is there? IMHO chemicals, pesticides, systemics. The bees are getting weaker and weaker. Bees have a form of AIDS. And it appears I am losing the battle.
    My 2 cents is that I would give the bees 3 mediums for themselves and you take anything over that. Four mediums is a lot for the bees to over winter on.
    As a yardstick, I have been doing this for 7 years and have never had a spring harvest and only one fall harvest. My main flow is the sourwood at the end of June through July.
    When do you treat your bees and with what? I treat the first week of August. Since you are a bit north of me, you should be treating about that time if not a few days earlier.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: Angry Rant

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert166 View Post
    My handle was Rob-bee. Look me up.

    The two accounts have now been merged.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  12. #11
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    Mar 2005
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    Pikeville North Carolina
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    Default Re: Angry Rant

    [QUOTE=ericweller;1673299]My 2 cents is that I would give the bees 3 mediums for themselves and you take anything over that. Four mediums is a lot for the bees to over winter on.
    Tried that, didn’t work well at all. Bottom box all pollen, next 2 brood, pollen and honey, top box, mostly honey. In the spring, if we have a really mild winter, I got to feed. So 4 boxes work best.
    Thanks for the advise, as meds go, I try not to use the same over and over. Mite away one year, Aprilife var, the next, etc.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    George County, MS
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    34

    Default Re: Angry Rant

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert166 View Post
    I have a small stream and pond in forging range, plenty of hardwood trees, and farm fields with cotton, soy bean and tobacco.
    Yes I know not much nectar or pollen is gathered from the fields, but 10 years running I get surplus honey. Then like a faucet it stops? Nothing in my area has changed to the degree that I can point to and say, “that’s why.”
    So what conclusion is there? IMHO chemicals, pesticides, systemics. The bees are getting weaker and weaker. Bees have a form of AIDS. And it appears I am losing the battle.
    I would agree you on chemicals and pesticides. Likely a nearby cotton, soy bean or tobacco farmer has changed his methods. Cotton provides a good nectar flow but if pesticides come with it...

    Have you talked to the farmers about their pesticide use and schedule? They know the value of bees and will work with beeks on schedules and notifications.

  14. #13

    Default Re: Angry Rant

    What bee race do you have? Italians?

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    England, UK
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    1,635

    Default Re: Angry Rant

    Something smells very 'fishy' about this ...

    For 10 years all is well, and then - abruptly, 5 years ago - the situation takes a dive. Sounds very much like a change in farming practice 'within range' - what else can it be ? (or a virus maybe ?)

    Are there other beekeepers within your area telling the same story ? I'm wondering if it might be worth taking samples of bees and getting them analysed ?

    Must be very demoralising ...

    Is it possible to move your hives 'out of area' for a season ? That might help to identify whether it's the colony's themselves which are hosting the problem, or whether it's location-specific.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  16. #15

    Default Re: Angry Rant

    For 10 years all is well, and then - abruptly, 5 years ago - the situation takes a dive.
    We had that wax scandal in Germany, when imported wax and therefore the foundations were contaminated with too much liquid paraffine and brood was weak and not able to hatch, pulled out by the bees. Reduced broodnests much.
    This was done in China and by melting old combs the paraffine was accumulating.

    Here on BS I read all the time that despite spraying the bee colonies thrive and beekeepers migrate to sprayed areas to have more harvest.
    So it would interest me very much what is the problem.

    Is it possible to move your hives 'out of area' for a season ? That might help to identify whether it's the colony's themselves which are hosting the problem, or whether it's location-specific.
    A very good advise, LJ

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Pikeville North Carolina
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    Default Re: Angry Rant

    Perhaps a hive move would be an option.
    Not any bee keepers close by me that I am aware of.
    But you guys did jog a memory, the farmer that has the fields around me changed hands. Crops have been the same though, but could the new farmer be using something the other didn't? Was it five years ago when this happened? hmmm cant remember, but maybe...….

  18. #17

    Default Re: Angry Rant

    Surely not the case but my grandpa would break up hives and scatter the resources to other hives on "two-boxers". They never did more than two boxes. Didn't matter the flow or anything. Pinched her head and gave her stuff away. I still go thru looking for those slow, substandard colonies only I just requeen. I'll never forget him muttering, cursing two-boxers. That was in the mid 70's. We still got them. Have you tried getting a good queen from a reputable dealer that is known for honey production. Have you been bringing in new genetics in the last 15 years? I assume the swarms caught were further away from you. Just curious.

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Pikeville North Carolina
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    414

    Default Re: Angry Rant

    Swarms were not close by catches. Down to 3 hives, so breaking and scattering not an option. And yes, requeening has been tried. Leaning towards an outside cause at this point. At this time of year getting them ready for winter is top priority. And not a big fan of stealing from a strong hive to give to a weak one. Plus there is the possibility of spreading disease between hives. But thanks for the comments!

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Catskills, Delaware Cty, New York, USA
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    1,688

    Default Re: Angry Rant

    Robert166, this is my opinion, but I would take a sample and send it to Beltsville; your hives sound like they might have nosema cerana. Deb
    Proverbs 16:24

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    woodland, wa usa
    Posts
    66

    Default Re: Angry Rant

    OK, rant heard. Bye, if that is really your desire.

    My case. Beekeeper +15 years. Didn't treat. Not doing bees for the honey. Just a fascinating hobby I'm willing to throw time and some money at. (Annually) Split any/every hive that made it through winter to rebuild hive numbers, so did no get surplus for "me". And yes, I believe very silly to not treat! I am very aware of that outcome.

    Anyway, treated last fall. (Apivar) Went in to winter with 15 hives. In early Mar this year, still had 15 live queenright hives. 2 then died due to bad weather cooping them up and dwindled just too far to maintain body heat.

    Then we got an early dearth starting before June 1st shutting off our second part of the flow, blackberries, and continued for 4+ months. But I got 11 gallons of surplus. Yeah, I know what the benefit of treating can be!

    Ahhh, dang it. Now I'm feeding, and wondering how many of the 20+ hives will make it through this coming winter.

    Yeah, I could whine, pout, and cry, or even just quit, (and yeah, sometimes is tempting) but hey, no need to do that, I'm a beekeeper, and understand the annual ebb and flow of my hives, and I simply take the good with the bad.

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