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This beekeeping thing is really fun. I wish I would have started years ago. Tomorrow will make 3 weeks since I installed 3 packages and everything is going great. I’ve had a few bumps in the road but nothing I’ve not been able to correct. I’m able to work the hives (both Langstroths and 1 TBH) without gloves or even smoke sometimes. I’ve seen no varroa yet and only two SHB which I managed to squish. All 3 hives have capped and uncapped brood, honey, nectar and lots of pollen. All comb is nice and straight. My only gripe is the bee suit is really hot and it’s not even summer yet. I think beekeeping in a white Tshirt is in my near future (I’ll still wear the veil). It is so neat to watch the bees. Here's a pic from my front porch TBH from this weekend. The girls have built 9 combs and less than 3 weeks. Amazing.
photo.jpg
 

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This beekeeping thing is really fun. I wish I would have started years ago. Tomorrow will make 3 weeks since I installed 3 packages and everything is going great. I’ve had a few bumps in the road but nothing I’ve not been able to correct. I’m able to work the hives (both Langstroths and 1 TBH) without gloves or even smoke sometimes. I’ve seen no varroa yet and only two SHB which I managed to squish. All 3 hives have capped and uncapped brood, honey, nectar and lots of pollen. All comb is nice and straight. My only gripe is the bee suit is really hot and it’s not even summer yet. I think beekeeping in a white Tshirt is in my near future (I’ll still wear the veil). It is so neat to watch the bees. Here's a pic from my front porch TBH from this weekend. The girls have built 9 combs and less than 3 weeks. Amazing.
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Beekeeping is fun! Going gloveless is something I am still working on. A word of caution. As colonies get stronger, they can/tend to get more defensive.

Shane
 

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agree. i told my wife saturday that i wish i had started keeping bees much sooner than i did (in my 2nd year). be cautious around your colony as it gets bigger and gets more stores, especially later in the summer as nectar flow starts to dwindle. they won't be as friendly. i learned that the hard way a few times last year.
 

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I totally agree with you Justin. Just installed 2 packages last week and love watching them. Went into the hive for the first time today to remove queen cage. Lots of activity and drawn
comb, but fortunately no stings to date. I am already thinking of expanding, someday.
 

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but fortunately no stings to date
I thought I was immune to being stung by a honeybee for a while. I grew up barefooted on a farm and had never been stung by a honeybee that I could remember. My false sense of super human powers all came crashing down, early one morning, when a cow knocked over one of my beehives. I can't remember exactly how many stings I got but I think it was 12-14 and they were all on my head. I got 4 behind my left ear. I quit counting soon after that. :)
 

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The honeymoon is over when you start getting too brave and drop your defenses.

Wear protective gear and enjoy the hobby. There is no need to get stung with the nice suits and gloves available today.
 

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I had one of the bees take offense to me checking the level of syrup in the top feeder yesterday. Two things that I wish I would have done differently:
1) I wish I had on gloves
2) Once stung, I wish I would have instantly removed the stinger instead of thinking "COOL! I'll continue one here and leave that stinger in so I can get a picture of it when I am done!" Today it has swelled up pretty good as I must have accepted every last drop of venom!
 

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How fair is it for us to have our way with them. Yet, give them no opportunity to use their best defenses. I like to work my bees in shorts and T-shirt. I keep a veil handy, just in case. But I can't see what I need to see, when I have the veil on. And I would have had many very serious issues from heat and overheating, if I were using any usual bee suits. Even well ventilated suits, aren't practical, when it's over 100F and there is zero air movement.

I have installed a high pressure water fogging system, under the mesquite tree, that is the location of my mating nucs and queen rearing operation. It certainly helps a great deal, but uses lots of water and when there is a strong wind, the benefit is greatly reduced.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Is there a handle on each of your top bars? It looks convenient, but expensive...
Yes and I'm glad I did that. It helps with turning the bar around for inspections and I don't feel like I'll drop anything that way and it prevents me from angling the comb against gravity. Each handle was $2.50 at Lowes x 37.
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I would strap your hive to the porch railing to avoid a tip over with the narrow legs you got. Minimal risk and maximal benefit.

I have taken the same photos of comb, not the stinger though. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I would strap your hive to the porch railing to avoid a tip over with the narrow legs you got. Minimal risk and maximal benefit.

I have taken the same photos of comb, not the stinger though. :)
I've thought about that but it's pretty heavy. The glass window alone weighs a lot.
 

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Jackam--my first sting was a similar experience. Trying to put a new feeder jar on before it started raining. I should have waited. Or worn gloves. I didn't take the stinger out right away--waited til I was back in the house. That's been my worst sting. Twice it's been through clothes so I don't think the stinger got fully planted.

Justin--so glad things are working out. I love standing in my (former) pasture and watching the bees busy at their jobs. Things have gotten a little more real in my second year with four hives to take care of and being willing to make hard choices--just comb removal so far. Please don't let me have to pinch a queen!

I've wanted to keep bees for a long time as well.I can't think of one thing about bees that is not totally fascinating!
 

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The only thing that kept me away from bees this long is those nasty little stingers. But I'm glad I took the plunge. I haven't been stung yet, either, and my smoker wouldn't light very well the other day after heavy rain so I checked the hive without. I'll try not to get over confident. I, too, think they are fascinating but that may last only until my first sting.
 

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I like the idea of the handle on the TBH bars. The TBH is on my "to do" list and its quickly climbing to the top. I'll be sure to use that idea. I'm thinking some very long strong screws (at an angle)so it doesnt pop off while I have it in my hand!!! I'm getting too slow in my old age to move fast.
 
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