The perils of giving advice
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Great Falls Montana
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    7,817

    Default The perils of giving advice

    I am about thru offering advice. A friend with little beekeeping experience and big dreams picked up some queens from a commercial operator and was prevented from immediately using them by cold wet weather settling in. To temporarily bank these queens with no cage attendants or candy, I told him to put a queen excluder on a strong colony and put the queen cages on top of the excluder. This is what he did. But the next morning I was shown this 'queen bank'. The ten queens were lined up in a row against the outside wall of a feeder rim screen up without a bee feeding or protecting them in sight.

    What I meant and do myself is put them screen down in the center of the colony where the bees are thickest. That placement allows them to beg food and get heated from below. No decernable damage done but I doubt they would have long survived there. I moved them quickly to the middle because it was raining and quickly closed up.

    Now my young friend knowing this is not how big time commercial keepers bank their queens got worried about my method and after I left, took a nuc box out with a prepare frame to hold the queen cages, pulled one good brood frame and placed the queen frame, the brood frame and a frame of honey in the nuc box and moved it into his garage.

    I have questions about that arrangement but didn't voice them. Is he absolutely sure the queen did not come with that brood frame? Are there enough bees to protect the brood, let alone the queen frame. In short, I wonder if your best advice actually helps the new beekeeper. Couple that with the ten methodologies offered for any question asked on this forum, how do any of the novices make the leap to successful beekeeper. It is a cold gloomy weekend spitting rain and I have queens depreciating banked on top bars myself. As some ole greek said three thousand years ago, "What is Truth?"

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
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    2,754

    Default Re: The perils of giving advice

    Sometimes the best lessons are learned the hard way, I know that is how it is with me. My father used to say that the best thing that could happen to a bird dog pup was for it to be hit by a car just hard enough to skin it a little and scare it a lot.
    42 + years - 24 colonies - IPM disciple - Naturally Skeptic

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Great Falls Montana
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    7,817

    Default Re: The perils of giving advice

    Worried stiff about my 2 1/2 year old working labrador with no fear of autos! Your points are well taken.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
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    4,155

    Default Re: The perils of giving advice

    Vance, I do hope you are kidding. Your advice and opinions are well regarded. Two old adages come to mind,

    You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.

    And,

    You can't fix stupid, not even with duct tape.

    All the best, hope YOUR queens make it. Your young friend needs to learn the hard way.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Park County, Montana, USA
    Posts
    464

    Default Re: The perils of giving advice

    Vance, dwell instead on the successes your advice has been a large part of. I'll say this as plainly as I can. Without your help early on I'd have probably failed at keeping bees. I'm still grateful.

    Lee
    5 Production colonies, 1 side by side 5 frame nuc for support- 7 working queens is all I want.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    4,985

    Default Re: The perils of giving advice

    Threshold knowledge; until a person acquires this basic he has nothing to build on and virtually no way of sorting good from bad advice. Getting skinned up a bit usually makes them a bit more discerning and less impulsive. Some people though insist on putting their own special twist on any advice they are given and are slick at rationalizing then why your advice was not worth much. They are hard to help!
    Frank

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Scott county, Arkansas, Usa
    Posts
    1,517

    Default Re: The perils of giving advice

    I swear, I think some people ask for advice from a lot of people so that when they screw up a thing they have someone to blame.

    I know how you feel about your dog. I had to buy a shock collar to get my dog to stop attacking my tractor, the tires, brushhog, etc. Better a few shocks than tangled in the PTO shaft. And she didn't know it was me administrating the shocks.

    It didn't take her long to decide she had no business in the apiary. Poor thing looks like a skunk.006 (800x569).jpg
    I hope you get your dog straitened out. Great dogs those Labs.

    Alex
    Ten years of Beekeeping before varroa. Started again spring of 2014.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    10,191

    Default Re: The perils of giving advice

    With ya Vance. On more than one occasion i have had (local) people angrily suggest i should replace their bees, after they have sought advice when their hive was in some perilous situation, such as long term queenless with laying workers, near death by mites, and such. I have offered advice which will hopefully work but without a skilled beekeeper administering it, may not work if they get some part of the process wrong.

    So they do what i said best of their ability, it doesn't work, (maybe the hive was past saving anyhow), and then of course it's all my fault.

    Here's one from just yesterday, at least the hive didn't die in this case. Someone had a hive they believed was queenless but according to them they had given it combs of eggs but it would not raise a new queen. So finally, they had ordered a mated queen, how should they introduce it? I said don't introduce it yet, if the hive has a reason not to build queen cells, it won't accept a caged queen either. I asked more questions to attempt to find out just what was happening with the hive but they were not answered, i think the person just decided they wanted to put the caged queen in.
    Then yesterday they posted on the net that I had given bad advice and the introduced queen had been accepted.
    Looking at what REALLY happened, going by timing and what else was said, it's most likely the hive raised a virgin at the first opportunity but the beekeeper didn't notice, and therefore the bees would not raise more cells. The laying queen was then introduced but was killed, and shortly afterwards the virgin started laying. But to them, it seems like the queen they put in was accepted.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    10,226

    Default Re: The perils of giving advice

    i vote for a moratorium on new beekeepers.

    let's work together to dispell the 'we gotta save the bees' myth.

    (just kidding, kind of)
    'no wise man has the power to reason away what a fool believes' - the doobies

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    Aylett, Virginia
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    Default Re: The perils of giving advice

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    i vote for a moratorium on new beekeepers.

    let's work together to dispell the 'we gotta save the bees' myth.

    (just kidding, kind of)
    WHAAAAAAT? It's a myth? Say it aint so! I suppose next you are going to tell me that alligators are not on the endagered species list. My day just got shot to hello.

    (Definitely kidding.)

    Now what to do with a millon stinging insects...
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
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    2,255

    Default Re: The perils of giving advice

    "In short, I wonder if your best advice actually helps the new beekeeper. Couple that with the ten methodologies offered for any question asked on this forum, how do any of the novices make the leap to successful beekeeper. It is a cold gloomy weekend spitting rain and I have queens depreciating banked on top bars myself. As some ole greek said three thousand years ago, "What is Truth?"

    As a newish beekeeper I can say that YES, your ( and other's) advice helps me become a better, but not yet quite successful,beekeeper. The advice I have gotten here is invaluable. Mistakes will be made by novices intending to follow instructions but not quite getting it. That's the way it is in everything. Yes, there is differing advice on virtually every problem, but if you are a regular here you find the handful of people you pay attention to and then decide for yourself and eventually forge your own way. Keep it up Vance. J

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
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    Bergen County, NJ
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    904

    Default Re: The perils of giving advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Vance G View Post
    ......In short, I wonder if your best advice actually helps the new beekeeper. .....how do any of the novices make the leap to successful beekeeper. It is a cold gloomy weekend spitting rain and I have queens depreciating banked on top bars myself. As some ole greek said three thousand years ago, "What is Truth?"
    Every advice I got here on these forums helped one way or the other, even it did not help AT THAT TIME. I often do something stupid, then remember advice of someone here or idea that was floated.

    Best you can do is share your knowledge. What happens after that is out of your control. Dont look back.

  14. #13
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    Aug 2015
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    Bergen County, NJ
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    Default Re: The perils of giving advice

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    i vote for a moratorium on new beekeepers.

    let's work together to dispell the 'we gotta save the bees' myth.

    (just kidding, kind of)
    :-) One of the first questions I get "are bees disappearing ? so glad you are 'saving' them". I smile and politely them that bees are doing ok.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
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    2,465

    Default Re: The perils of giving advice

    God sent his only son down to give advice. I'm sure he knew most of it would not stick too well.

    Your friend could have killed all ten, and he may yet. Still, stay on your bee mountain top.

    (now about that climate thing)
    It is not true that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks.
    They can learn them, they just can't do them.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Nacogdoches, TX, USA
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    Default

    Don’t quit - it is people like you that offered good advice that kept me from quitting beekeeping several years ago. Just think of all the folks you have helped over the years. I say this partly because I will likely need your advice in the future!😂

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Greenwood, WI, USA
    Posts
    70

    Default Re: The perils of giving advice

    Keep giving the advice Vance. I appreciated and used your advice, pictures and plans for the double nuc bottom boards. Thankyou again!
    Zone 4a

  18. #17

    Default Re: The perils of giving advice

    I take great comfort in the fact that my advice seems to be rarely taken.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  19. #18
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Nacogdoches, TX, USA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    I take great comfort in the fact that my advice seems to be rarely taken.
    Thanks Dan, I needed a good laugh this morning!😂😂 I feel the same way as you.

  20. #19
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Grand Rapids MI USA
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    1,562

    Default Re: The perils of giving advice

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    I take great comfort in the fact that my advice seems to be rarely taken.
    Hahaha! I like it!
    Rod

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
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    3,474

    Default Re: The perils of giving advice

    People three houses down the road asked if I can help them to start the beekeeping...
    I said - sorry, no.
    Done.

    PS: well, I told them up front how much will the proper setup cost them;
    that was the end of it (the "bee saving" talk).
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

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