Intro as well as being treatment free
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  1. #1
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    Jul 2019
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    Ava Missouri USA
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    Default Intro as well as being treatment free

    I am living in Ava Missouri, near the center of town and the bee tree is less than 50 yard from my back door.

    It was about 3 years ago that I saw the first swarm come out of this tree and not knowing anything about bees I called a beekeeper to come and get them. I just happened to be home when he showed up to catch the swarm and it intrigued me so I stood around and watched. probably a little closer that the beekeeper would have preferred but as he was not wearing protective clothing I did not seem to think it would make any difference if I was not in protective clothing either. It was then that I decided if I ever got the opportunity to catch a swarm I would not be calling another beekeeper to come to the rescue.

    April 30, 2019 I caught my first swarm, so I am very new to keeping bees, I caught my second swarm on May 12, from the same tree that is very close to my home. No one has taken care of these bees and I contend that they are treatment free. Even though I have not enjoyed any of the fruits of the bees labor in the past, the two swarms that I have caught are now in hives, Number 1 is in a deep Langstroth box with two medium supers all for brood, and Number 2 is in two Langstroth deeps for the brood. And I suppose that if it is treatment I did feed sugar water 1:1 for about a month, just to give them a head start on building comb, I did add another medium super an quit feeding. I intend to at least work toward being treatment free, and also using foundationless frames.

    I suppose that it is safe to call these the Lords bees as I have the hive set up near the country church that I attend. If I can manage to keep them over winter I intend to share honey with the church next year. If there is any extra to sell that will be just wonderful. I intend to make it a fundraiser for any ministry that the church may choose to use it for. Just to let it make sense to everyone my user name here is Happy Home which is also the name of the church that I attend.

    I have been doing a lot of studying and reading on forums and bee keeping websites, and doing my best to let the feral bees just do their own thing. I will be needing to open the top of the hive to see real soon how they are doing with filling that one super that I have put on each hive, since I have stopped giving sugar water.

    So I guess I am a treatment free beekeeper, for the past 14 years that just has all of three months experience with bees.

    A real learning experience, that I am enjoying beyond my wildest expectations.

    Happy Home

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
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    Default Re: Intro as well as being treatment free

    Quote Originally Posted by Happy Home View Post
    ........the bee tree is less than 50 yard from my back door......
    Happy Home
    Welcome here!
    Yes, you have been blessed.
    I wish I had a per-annually occupied, swarm-throwing bee tree near by.
    None that I am aware.
    Keep that bee tree safe and it will continue giving you some good bees.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    Ava Missouri USA
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    Default Re: Intro as well as being treatment free

    [QUOTE=GregV;1740377]Welcome here!
    Yes, you have been blessed.


    Thank you GregV,

    and I am aware of the blessing. The tree in close to a small stream that was the highest in recent memory at least and I thought the bees may have been flooded and then left. but I did check yesterday, and they are still there. I will have to attempt to get a photo of the entrance and see if I can figure out how to post it.

    Happy Home

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Intro as well as being treatment free

    Your enthusiasm is infectious, you have done well hiving the bees, enjoyed your post.

    Hoping the people of your Church will get to enjoy your honey.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    10,148

    Default Re: Intro as well as being treatment free

    Quote Originally Posted by Happy Home View Post
    I will have to attempt to get a photo of the entrance and see if I can figure out how to post it.
    welcome aboard hh!

    for posting photos:

    https://www.beesource.com/forums/sho...-in-your-posts
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Drexel, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Intro as well as being treatment free

    Welcome HH! Glad to have another voice from Missouri here. I second GregV's remark -- You have indeed been blessed!

    Keep the posts coming. We need as many viewpoints as possible.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    Ava Missouri USA
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    20

    Default Re: Intro as well as being treatment free

    [QUOTE=Happy Home;1740385]
    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    Welcome here!
    I will have to attempt to get a photo of the entrance and see if I can figure out how to post it.

    Happy Home
    Well here goes for the picture of the entrance on the tree that my bees came from. DSCN1058.jpg

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Boaz, KY, USA
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    1,163

    Default Re: Intro as well as being treatment free

    Quote Originally Posted by Happy Home View Post
    So I guess I am a treatment free beekeeper, for the past 14 years that just has all of three months experience with bees.
    Happy Home:

    Let me extend a warm welcome to you here on the forum. I enjoyed your story and I think it is really noble that you are looking for ways to bless others with the proverbial fruit of your labors. I sincerely hope the LORD blesses the hives you currently have and I become more aware every day of what a cultural treasure these tree colonies are.

    Please do keep us posted as to how the rest of your year progresses, and I look forward to reading more about your beekeeping adventure.

    Sincerely,

    Russ

  10. #9
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    Dec 2017
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    Dane County, WI, USA
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    Default Re: Intro as well as being treatment free

    [QUOTE=Happy Home;1741429]
    Quote Originally Posted by Happy Home View Post

    Well here goes for the picture of the entrance on the tree that my bees came from. DSCN1058.jpg
    Hey HH,
    How high away from the ground is the entrance?
    Thanks.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  11. #10
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    Jun 2018
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    Boaz, KY, USA
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    Default

    Happy Home:

    I just had an epiphany- if you live near Ava, Missouri you must be really close to Dr. Leo: https://horizontalhive.com/email-web...-lazutin.shtml

    I expect he would be an excellent (and close) resource for you if you haven't connected with him already.

    Russ

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Kirksville, Missouri USA
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    1,759

    Default Re: Intro as well as being treatment free

    As a fellow Missourian, welcome to beekeeping. You will be blessed, and He will also bless you with trials along the way that you might learn more about beekeeping if you allow yourself to be trained by them. There seems to be a good supply of bees in Missouri that can survive without treatments or minimal treatment.

    I have a neighbor's hive 2 miles away that I tend to sometimes, and it's been going on for 4-5 years to my knowledge without being treated and doing well. I got a swarm from it and that has produced the best offspring queens I have had since for me. The owner had it for possibly 10 years before I came along, but I don't know if it is an unbroken continuation from the point he got them. If they ever did die out, they were still repopulated with the local feral bees around here.

    One thing about the bees doing their own thing is that they don't labor to fill up 3-4 supers of honey for you to take. They will work to swarm to continue the species instead of make you a bunch of honey. You would benefit from learning how to manipulate them to keep them from swarming, and to produce extra honey for you to enjoy.

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Intro as well as being treatment free

    Quote Originally Posted by Litsinger View Post
    Happy Home:

    I just had an epiphany- if you live near Ava, Missouri you must be really close to Dr. Leo: https://horizontalhive.com/email-web...-lazutin.shtml

    I expect he would be an excellent (and close) resource for you if you haven't connected with him already.

    Russ
    I would also beg for a queen or two of his - being this close.
    Surely, he always has some spare queens and such.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  14. #13
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    Jul 2019
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    Ava Missouri USA
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    Default Re: Intro as well as being treatment free

    [QUOTE=GregV;1741529]
    Quote Originally Posted by Happy Home View Post

    Hey HH,
    How high away from the ground is the entrance?
    Thanks.
    The entrance is only about 3 feet above the ground. It was low enough that I was concerned that the recent high water on April 30, which was the largest amount of rain in our area in recent memory covered the entrance and caused the bees to leave. I was relieved that they are still there.

    Thanks

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    Ava Missouri USA
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    20

    Default Re: Intro as well as being treatment free

    Quote Originally Posted by Litsinger View Post
    Happy Home:

    I just had an epiphany- if you live near Ava, Missouri you must be really close to Dr. Leo: https://horizontalhive.com/email-web...-lazutin.shtml

    I expect he would be an excellent (and close) resource for you if you haven't connected with him already.

    Russ
    Hi Litsinger,

    I do not know if Dr. Sharashkin is a member of this forum or not, but I did reach out to him via email, and asked if it would be possible to just visit his apiary.

    I was disappointed to get the reply that I would be welcome to visit for the fee of $450.00. He explained that he did have some other people interested in visiting and if I was interested I would be allowed to visit when they did and reduce to cost to $150.00.

    I explained that I was not able to spend that kind of money for the visit and thanked him for his reply.

    Based on this experience I get the Idea that Dr. Sharashkin is not interested in being any type of mentor.

    Happy Home

  16. #15
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    Jun 2018
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    Boaz, KY, USA
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    Default Re: Intro as well as being treatment free

    Quote Originally Posted by Happy Home View Post
    Based on this experience I get the Idea that Dr. Sharashkin is not interested in being any type of mentor.
    Happy Home:

    Well that is certainly disappointing. I suppose that is his prerogative but is unfortunate nevertheless, particularly given he is your neighbor.

    While I have far less to offer, you are always welcome to tour my apiary anytime you end up East of the Mississippi and have spare time on your hands... and I would charge you a fraction of Dr. Sharashkin (kidding of course)!

    Further, as close as you must be to his operation, you are likely dealing with the same successful genetic material he is so that is an encouraging sign of the potential for your success in a TF context- it seems that genetics is 90%+ of the battle based on what I have read thus far.

    Best of success to you on your new beekeeping adventure!

    Russ

  17. #16
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    Jul 2019
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    Ava Missouri USA
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    Default Re: Intro as well as being treatment free

    Quote Originally Posted by Litsinger View Post
    Happy Home:

    While I have far less to offer, you are always welcome to tour my apiary anytime you end up East of the Mississippi and have spare time on your hands... and I would charge you a fraction of Dr. Sharashkin (kidding of course)!
    I actually do get over in your neck of the woods on a fairly regular basis. Sometimes I have some spare time sometimes I don't.

    I will pm for contact info. and see if I can take you up on the visit. I have absolutely no practical experience in keeping bees. and would love to get the chance to take you up on that offer.

    Happy Home

  18. #17
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    Default Re: Intro as well as being treatment free

    Quote Originally Posted by Happy Home View Post
    I have absolutely no practical experience in keeping bees. and would love to get the chance to take you up on that offer.
    I have but a little more than you do, but can certainly give you a few pointers on what not to do...

    I'd be honored to have you stop in.

    Russ

  19. #18
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    Default Re: Intro as well as being treatment free

    Quote Originally Posted by Happy Home View Post
    Hi Litsinger,

    I do not know if Dr. Sharashkin is a member of this forum or not, but I did reach out to him via email, and asked if it would be possible to just visit his apiary.

    I was disappointed to get the reply that I would be welcome to visit for the fee of $450.00. He explained that he did have some other people interested in visiting and if I was interested I would be allowed to visit when they did and reduce to cost to $150.00.

    I explained that I was not able to spend that kind of money for the visit and thanked him for his reply.

    Based on this experience I get the Idea that Dr. Sharashkin is not interested in being any type of mentor.

    Happy Home
    I can certainly understand - he is trying to make a living best he can (as an independent entity).
    On the other hand, you just may have bee available to you just as good as Dr. Sharashkin's (as Litsinger pointed out).
    Too bad, I am a long drive away, I would love to visit your location and set a trap or two nearby in exchange for some consulting.


    PS: Litsinger - hint, hint.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  20. #19
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Intro as well as being treatment free

    Little surprised at the $450, but it may be the true cost.

    When i was keeping bees commercially a lot of learner beeks made contact wanting to hang with me. I never said no, and usually i enjoyed the company, but i can certainly say that these days were normally not as productive as when i was unhindered.

    Some horror stories were - the guy who after we drove an hour and a half to get to the area we would be working, asked what time we would be home. Don't know, once all the work is done, i said. He looks at me and said he must be home by 3 pm to collect his daughter from school. I said why did you not tell me this before? He said, i just thought we would be home by then. So, didn't get all the work done needed, dropped him back to get his daughter, and i was back there the next day doing what should have been done the day before, and had to work 7 days that week instead of 6 to catch back up, no family day that week. Another horror story was the guy who wanted to know how to graft. Taking the frame of larvae, i showed him the queen, a very important breeder that i had bribed and called in favors to be able to get. A large part of my breeding program for the season was going to be based on incorporating genetics from this queen. For some reason I still cannot fathom, he reached over and touched it with his finger, squishing it's abdomen and fatally injuring it. There are other stories but i won't bore you with them all.

    After discovering the many things that can go badly when taking out learners, what I ended up doing was say that if they came they had to bring their own lunch and water, be prepared to be stung a few times without wanting to go home, and be prepared to put in some hard physical work. Doing things my way could be an issue with opinionated people so i also learned that part of the pre trip discussion would be they had to do things my way, even if they disagreed with the method. Those things whittled numbers down a bit, and made the day go smoother for the ones that came. Had noticed that the time i would have to spend talking and explaining stuff, could be countered to some extent if the person was prepared to work as well, and rather than just fetch and carry i would get them into the hives alongside me, they would do everything i did. Which was good for them, and when i had to speak at a bee club recently a couple of members recounted to everyone that years ago they had come out with me and it was the greatest beekeeping experience they had, which was certainly good for my ego ha ha.

    Just, although i am rather surprised someone would ask $450 to have someone come along, from a purely commercial perspective it's probably about right. It's also likely that for a paying client, he would spend the time and give you a very educational day and you would really value the experience. All the same, you probably were not budgeting on something like that when you started the hobby.
    Last edited by Oldtimer; 07-16-2019 at 03:35 PM.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  21. #20
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    Default Re: Intro as well as being treatment free

    If there is going to be a little one on one education with the opportunity to work along side him, I would say it is worth it. I recently learned that Kirsten Traynor has a queen grafting workshop at her place in MD. The cost was outside my budget at $650 but I did not think it was overpriced. We will spend $200 for a nuc of questionable quality and not bat an eye. So for the cost of two nucs and a couple of hive bodies, you get to spend a day with a renowned expert. Got to keep it all in perspective.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

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