It was the best of times, it was the worst of times- wisdom and folly from 2019 - Page 2
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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    5,592

    Default Re: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times- wisdom and folly from 2019

    Quote Originally Posted by tenleez View Post

    Beekeeping is a journey....

    9. There are 4 levels of understanding:
    a. You don't know you don't know
    b. You know you don't know
    c. You know you know
    d. You don't know you know
    Still trying to figure out what level I'm at when it comes to beekeeping......
    I like this.
    Yes, it certainly is a journey. I think that for most of us we experience all 4 of those levels at some point every season. The trek is a continuous learning experience and we never really "arrive".
    To everything there is a season....

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  3. #22
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Pleasanton, CA, USA
    Posts
    30

    Default

    OdFrank -
    1) Confirmed Africanized bees in Pleasanton - ask Ronni, President of Alameda County Beekeepers Association (ACBA) she had a government document stating where Africanized bees been found - Pleasanton and Livermore is on it. Here’s an article from 2015 stating they’ve been found in East Bay: https://www.google.com/amp/s/patch.c...und-east-bay-0
    It’s good you haven’t heard of it before, definitely don’t want it being announced and causing panic.
    2) I was closing up hot hive for Moon Festival guest. Excerpt from ACBA group discussion:

    At 10pm (70 degrees) I went out to close up hot queen-less hive. When I attempted to switch the hive reducer to a solid piece of wood, they started to pour out of the hive like a tidal wave! They covered my right arm swarming and stinging me through the my gloves and protective suits. I walk out the backyard in full protective gear for two whole blocks, waving frantically trying to shake them off. I wanted to run and scream but knew better than to draw more attention. (They must be Africanized; all my other bees stop following as soon as I reach the other side of the yard). I’ve closed many hives at night before with absolutely no protective gear and never got swarmed/stung. Sometimes several guard bees would come out and buzz at me but that’s about it.

    With bees still flying around me, I’m now traumatized and mad as I can feel my arms burning up. In a fury, I hose down the hive, particularly the front, thinking die bees DIE. And then proceeded to hose myself to get the remaining bees off me so that I can take off the suit. I’m trying to calm down so that I can think clearly.

    What did I just do? Now I have thousands of wet bees, that once they dry up will be flying and stinging my guests. I place the hive reducer bar back as it was before and head back into the house to regroup. I tend to my stings - 8 on my right arm and 6 on my hands, one on the leg. Only the one on my leg was a full sting with stinger as somehow one bee got into my suit, the rest had to go through gloves and protective gear with degrees of venom injected.

    At midnight (64 degrees outside) I go back out (if I failed at midnight I’ll get another chance before dusk). I use marshmallows close out the entrance. Next I killed all of the bees hanging the hive and on the fence. I spent lots of time manually swatting the bees that was attacking the backyard flood light - lost count at 35 - probably got 50 or so. Only when all the buzzing cease, did I take off my gloves to tape up hive, and strap it down like for transport. Didn’t get to bed until 2 am.

    Woke up at 8 (was suppose to be at 6 but Benadryl really knock me out), and
    placed a swarm trap nuc on top of hive with a few frames and honey capping so that hot bees that couldn’t get into hive has a place to go. Lots of movements in the backyard this morning, a few lost bees sniffing around but most of it was from yellow jackets and wasps picking off bees from the ground. Fingers crossed that it’ll calm down as temperatures warm up.

  4. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Byron, Il, USA
    Posts
    375

    Default Re: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times- wisdom and folly from 2019

    Caught a swarm on my front porch, came into a bait hive by the front door. Exciting.

  5. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Winston-Salem, NC
    Posts
    330

    Default Re: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times- wisdom and folly from 2019

    I wrote an article/story about my first year here: https://backyardbeesnc.blogspot.com/
    NCSBA Certified Beekeeper - my Youtube Vlog
    https://www.youtube.com/c/BackyardBeesNC

  6. #25
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Surrey, B.C. Canada-Near Vancouver
    Posts
    44

    Default Re: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times- wisdom and folly from 2019

    1st year with my bees. The likely most important thing I've learned is I probably worry too much about them. The 2nd most important thing is treat for mites. And don't overfeed, I wanted to make sure they had enough for winter and put 7 gallons of 2:1 over the last month and I finally did an inspection yesterday and the whole hive is full of mostly capped sugar honey. Oops. Bottom brood box has a bit of brood left and fair amount of pollen so out comes the feeder. Hoping to split early in spring.

  7. #26
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Boaz, KY, USA
    Posts
    1,298

    Default Re: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times- wisdom and folly from 2019

    Quote Originally Posted by ifixoldhouses View Post
    I wrote an article/story about my first year here: https://backyardbeesnc.blogspot.com/
    Nice article- looks like you have had a good year on the whole. 68 stings- wow was that all at once while installing the package or were you referring to the whole year?
    Ecclesiastes 11:4

  8. #27
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Winston-Salem, NC
    Posts
    330

    Default Re: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times- wisdom and folly from 2019

    Quote Originally Posted by Litsinger View Post
    Nice article- looks like you have had a good year on the whole. 68 stings- wow was that all at once while installing the package or were you referring to the whole year?
    Over the whole year, with no jacket, gloves, mainly from two mean italian hives I have.
    NCSBA Certified Beekeeper - my Youtube Vlog
    https://www.youtube.com/c/BackyardBeesNC

  9. #28
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Sisters, Oregon
    Posts
    139

    Default Re: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times- wisdom and folly from 2019

    Wow fix that was some year. I read your piece. Love your devotion. An excitable hive teaches a lot. I learned to build and use a quiet box with hive cloths this year. That along with using smoke at precise moments helped me to work my busy hive just like the others. Scott Hendricks on youtube shows you how to build one if you’re interested. The box keeps them safe and less flighty and the drapes keep the bees down and calm. Highly recommended.

    Just an idea to explore before requeening.
    I'm smart but at the end of the day I'm still the help.

  10. #29
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Surrey, B.C. Canada-Near Vancouver
    Posts
    44

    Default Re: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times- wisdom and folly from 2019

    Quote Originally Posted by LAlldredge View Post
    Wow fix that was some year. I read your piece. Love your devotion. An excitable hive teaches a lot. I learned to build and use a quiet box with hive cloths this year. That along with using smoke at precise moments helped me to work my busy hive just like the others. Scott Hendricks on youtube shows you how to build one if you’re interested. The box keeps them safe and less flighty and the drapes keep the bees down and calm. Highly recommended.

    Just an idea to explore before requeening.
    Quiet Box:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_g-OHsyfBQ
    Last edited by mamm7215; 11-19-2019 at 01:10 PM.

  11. #30
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Wayne, WV, USA
    Posts
    224

    Default Re: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times- wisdom and folly from 2019

    Management lesson (more than one apiary not needed):
    Stack
    Load
    Move
    Unload
    Unstack
    Repeat

    Feeding lesson: when blue food coloring is added to spring syrup, bees in my location mix it with all the incoming nectar from March through July and all the honey for the year is green.

    Harvest lesson: make sure there isn't any brood in the supers. "Where in tarnation's is all these bees comin' from??"

    Suit-wearing lesson: get gentler bees!

    Mowing lesson: get gentler bees!

    Keeping-smoker-lit lesson: get gentler bees!

  12. #31
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Rib Lake WI
    Posts
    1,715

    Default Re: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times- wisdom and folly from 2019

    worst
    A slip and fall in the bee yard that gave me a trip to the hospital
    best
    meeting new people. https://youtu.be/tOq54olkkag

  13. #32
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Montgomery, AL
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times- wisdom and folly from 2019

    I have really enjoyed this thread. I'm just finishing my third year of beekeeping and this is the year I decided to get serious about learning after having my ***** handed to me the first 2 years. LOL

    The good- started in the spring with 2 colonies and split split split until I now have 12 colonies. And still managed to produce enough honey to sell and......................buy more bee equipment with the sales. LOL

    The bad- I had one huge colony swarm right at the end of the spring nectar flow. I didnt see them swarm but could tell by the activity. Even after swarming, it was still a massive colony. I drug my feet to get in and have a look, but by the time I did the population had dropped so much the bees couldnt defend all the boxes and hive beetles took over. What a mess!

  14. #33
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Claiborne County, East Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    84

    Default Re: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times- wisdom and folly from 2019

    Quote Originally Posted by LAlldredge View Post
    I'd love to see a recap of 2019 from others. This is meant to be light hearted and fun way for us to share what happened. Here's my list-

    Best-
    1) I learned how to buy bees. If you lose them you need to be good at buying them. Found high quality nucs and good queens from local stock. Score.

    2) Caught a swarm. Technically the swarm guy caught it. But I found it and hived it. Apparently beekeeping is more about making a mess and cleaning it up then anything. Swarm guy is now available via instant messaging.

    3) Learned how to buy more stuff- got a great bee jacket after getting stung in the soft part of my arm one too many times. Favorite new equipment- BeeSmart robbing screen, UltraBreeze jacket, Dadant smoker, Varrox wand

    Worst-
    1) Ran from the bee yard- twice. Like a girl. I'm female but seriously, it looked ridiculous.

    2) Lost a caged queen because the cage fell screen down and with no attendants she likely starved or dehydrated and died. I buried her with a little rock marker. Lesson learned.

    3) Worst purchase- pint of Prohealth essential oils. Bees hate it I hate it. Future use as a door stop or to take paint off furniture.

    What's your list?
    Seriously? You buried a queen with a rock marker??? Why?
    Some days it's not worth chewing through the restraints.

  15. #34
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Sisters, Oregon
    Posts
    139

    Default Re: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times- wisdom and folly from 2019

    Quote Originally Posted by fadder View Post
    Seriously? You buried a queen with a rock marker??? Why?
    Out of respect. Beekeeper mistake. She deserved a memorial.

    In hindsight it turned out okay. Splitting a package is a bad idea in my opinion even if its on drawn comb. Packages have enough challenges without making it more difficult with even fewer bees.

    My year after that was all about building healthy new large colonies that can overwinter. I know how to split but deliberately held off in favor of built out well prepared hives. That was the right decision.
    I'm smart but at the end of the day I'm still the help.

  16. #35
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Claiborne County, East Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    84

    Default Re: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times- wisdom and folly from 2019

    Biggest lesson for my brother and I? Never order any bees from Mountain Sweet Honey. We
    ordered from them, got a ship date then they contacted us saying they had to postpone the
    shipment. Fine, things happen we understand that, EXCEPT it seems they were filling and shipping
    other orders while making us wait. This to me is unacceptable and they will never receive another
    order from either of us.
    Some days it's not worth chewing through the restraints.

  17. #36
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Posts
    1,136

    Default Re: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times- wisdom and folly from 2019

    Quote Originally Posted by LAlldredge View Post

    Quote Originally Posted by fadder View Post
    Seriously? You buried a queen with a rock marker??? Why?
    Out of respect. Beekeeper mistake. She deserved a memorial.
    All of my queens go into a small vial of alcohol. The alcohol will absorb her pheremones. I use it for swarm lure. Even in death they continue to contribute.
    Zone 6B

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