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Discussion Starter #1
Time to air our dirty beekeeping laundry: What's the absolute worst advice you've ever followed, and what happened to your bees as a result?

This will be an awesome learning thread for newbees like me. I am particularly gullible it seems. My sister gave me a nugget of wisdom regarding taking beekeeping advice: if the giver only tells you what to do, and doesn't go into detail about what not to do, skip that advice over. The 'what not to do's are hard-earned wisdom.

I'll start: I attempted to checkerboard the frames in a deep brood box on a newly installed package of Saskatraz after the queen had been accepted and released for only 9 days. They had drawn comb on the 3 middle frames, and she had an excellent start. Lots of activity, great laying pattern with eggs/larvae/capped brood/food stores on 2 frames, plus pollen and nectar on a 3rd frame...Not touching the outer 6 frames yet. I saw it suggested on YouTube and it was recommended to get a newly captured swarm, or a new package with a large quantity of worker bees, to draw out comb on more frames faster. What I actually accomplished was murdering the queen by causing her workers to reject her. Like a giant dorkasaurus, I changed their environment too soon during her life with this package. She's gone...Emergency queen cells are being reared, but I ordered a replacement mated queen to attempt a better survival chance for my poor, possibly doomed hive. She's arriving next Tuesday. I tried this because when I picked up my Nuc of Caucasians a week after installing my package, their numbers were pretty low and they were not looking promising. I arrived last in the day, and this was the only Nuc they had left...It was a 5 hour drive, and I had pre-paid the nonrefundable price. So I wanted to donate a frame of capped brood from my vibrant Saskatraz colony. *facepalm*

Alright, I showed you mine, now you show me yours...And...GO!
 

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Re: Commiserate: Worst Advice You've Ever Followed, & Subsequent Disastrous Results

"EFB will go away once the flow starts"
 

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Re: Commiserate: Worst Advice You've Ever Followed, & Subsequent Disastrous Results

Believe it or not, I evaluated every advice before taking action and every result (bad ones especially) were result of my poor judgement or miscalculations. The advice was given with good intentions.

Swarming, losing three hives within days due to weird / unknown cause, losing hives over winter - all results of NOT taking action.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Re: Commiserate: Worst Advice You've Ever Followed, & Subsequent Disastrous Results

Worst advice ever was given by the friend that got me started in beekeeping. It went something like, "you can learn everything you need to get started beekeeping by watching Youtube videos and reading books, you do not need a mentor". The learning curve my first year was very steep, but I learned a lot! His hives subsequently died and he had no idea why.
 

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Re: Commiserate: Worst Advice You've Ever Followed, & Subsequent Disastrous Results

well I came into the year with 15 in that yard, mated out 40 queens to requeen and make increases, saw an issue in a few hives and waited for the flow to start and "clear it up", took a good amount of summer losses(most put down before they colaspiced to stop spreading) and started OTC, that yard went into winter with 24, came out with 6. What's left isn't showing any signs but is building very slowly, OTC standing by if they do
There were a lot of other issues... dought causing poor queen rearing conditions and protein stress etc

I was lucky that I didn't have all my eggs in one basket and have resources in other yards

Ha, youtube
Many of our problems stem from youtubers in clean white beesuits
 

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"Do not put the queen cage in you pocket after you are done with it"
Had like 500 bees on my leg and in my pocket. In reality it was very amazing because I took the queen cage out and wait a bit and they all went to my hand.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
every result were result of my poor judgement or miscalculations. The advice was given with good intentions.

Swarming, losing three hives within days due to weird / unknown cause, losing hives over winter - all results of NOT taking action.
I have found my beekeeping experience so far to contain plenty of guilt, almost like parenting, and a healthy dose of humbling to boot. I don’t think people give advice with ill intentions. I just think the advice I took, I should have known better than to change anything in a hive with a newly accepted Queen. That was my poor judgment...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
and started OTC, that yard went into winter with 24, came out with 6. What's left isn't showing any signs but is building very slowly, OTC standing by if they do
yikes! I’m sorry to hear about the losses, but at least you have a plan of action for the remaining in that yard. Will you please tell me what OTC stands for? Did you have to burn all those 18 hives with the die outs? What type of bees were in this yard?
 

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"Do not put the queen cage in you pocket after you are done with it"
Had like 500 bees on my leg and in my pocket. In reality it was very amazing because I took the queen cage out and wait a bit and they all went to my hand.
they were just following the pheromone remaining in the cage after the Queen was removed? I have never had more than one or two bees on me at once, but I love encouraging them to crawl on my hand so I can watch them up close when they are grooming. I can’t help it-my bees are the cutest ever! 🙂
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Worst advice ever was given by the friend that got me started in beekeeping. It went something like, "you can learn everything you need to get started beekeeping by watching Youtube videos and reading books, you do not need a mentor". The learning curve my first year was very steep, but I learned a lot! His hives subsequently died and he had no idea why.
I have an ex coworker who had total die out last winter, & he has no idea why, but he keeps offering to be my mentor and to give me some of his used equipment. I know he means well, but I keep getting put in the awkward position of saying no thank you because I don’t want to bring something unknown or suspect to my bees, and I want a mentor who investigates, diagnoses, and learns from their die outs. I may have just found one on my introduction thread on this site... I hope it works out, because I really want a mentor!
 

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Re: Commiserate: Worst Advice You've Ever Followed, & Subsequent Disastrous Results

I actually enjoy youtube bee videos but I take their advice with a grain of salt. If you want to read some outlandish advice, visit some of the Beginner Beekeeping facebook groups. I dont know where they come up with some of the advice they offer!

I learned real quick bee keepers have lots of varying opinions on what works and what doesnt.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I actually enjoy youtube bee videos but I take their advice with a grain of salt.
I actually enjoy the videos myself, & do owe them credit for giving me the courage I needed to make the leap into my 1st year of beekeeping this spring. I have read 3 books and intend on reading many more, but seeing others handling their bees & doing hive inspections on YouTube gave me more guts than the pics & print.
 

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Re: Commiserate: Worst Advice You've Ever Followed, & Subsequent Disastrous Results

There are quite a few bees natural inclinations that are quite predictable or at least highly possible. Not quite as firm as the moves of the chess pieces, but if some piece of advice does not agree with those moves you better not bet the farm on it.

Once you get those basic moves under your hat a person can usually reason out a workable course of action. Somebody else may have a more efficient solution so it helps to look over lots of advice given. It is easy to get paralyzed though, in the face of conflicting advice if you have no standard to compare it to.
 

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Re: Commiserate: Worst Advice You've Ever Followed, & Subsequent Disastrous Results

"Bees need ventilation"

Bought quite a few screen bottom boards so my bees wouldn't overheat. Ended up with early queens returning from mating flights and ending up underneath, only to freeze on a cold night with a cluster of bees. Turning point was had a hive blow off the pallet in 25 degree day, dislodging the top. Noticed how the bees used their bodies to shield the wind from getting to the brood. Realized the bee beard my hives no longer showed with the screen bottoms was there, it was just inside. Always had bad ant issues, and hive beetle problems, because with the plastic insert in, there was a place that hive trash collected that the bees couldn't clean. Perfect place for pests to reside.

Now use solid bottom pallets, 6" entrance, they do fine.

Quite convinced that most of the trendy beginner advice causes more issues than it solves.
 

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Re: Commiserate: Worst Advice You've Ever Followed, & Subsequent Disastrous Results

"Bees need ventilation"
And my bad advice was "a netted truck load of hives will never smother". They can and I got in an unfortunate situation where I lost almost 500 hives under a net. I've also had a couple close calls with screened boxes of brood. Bees need ventilation, bees most definitely need ventilation.
 

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Re: Commiserate: Worst Advice You've Ever Followed, & Subsequent Disastrous Results

And my bad advice was "a netted truck load of hives will never smother". They can and I got in an unfortunate situation where I lost almost 500 hives under a net. I've also had a couple close calls with screened boxes of brood. Bees need ventilation, bees most definitely need ventilation.
Definitely talking bout a different level of ventilation. That's a situation I have yet to encounter. Possibly soon enough though...I'll remember this post if I hear that bad advise.
 

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Re: Commiserate: Worst Advice You've Ever Followed, & Subsequent Disastrous Results

As with most things in life, it is the “absolutes”, and the over-manipulation to steer clear of.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
And my bad advice was "a netted truck load of hives will never smother". They can and I got in an unfortunate situation where I lost almost 500 hives under a net. I've also had a couple close calls with screened boxes of brood. Bees need ventilation, bees most definitely need ventilation.[/QUOTE]

What an awful day that must have been! Was the net on to prevent escaping if there was a wreck?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
"Bees need ventilation"

Bought quite a few screen bottom boards so my bees wouldn't overheat. Ended up with early queens returning from mating flights and ending up underneath, only to freeze on a cold night with a cluster of bees. Turning point was had a hive blow off the pallet in 25 degree day, dislodging the top. Noticed how the bees used their bodies to shield the wind from getting to the brood. Realized the bee beard my hives no longer showed with the screen bottoms was there, it was just inside. Always had bad ant issues, and hive beetle problems, because with the plastic insert in, there was a place that hive trash collected that the bees couldn't clean. Perfect place for pests to reside.

Now use solid bottom pallets, 6" entrance, they do fine.

Quite convinced that most of the trendy beginner advice causes more issues than it solves.
The solid vs. screened bottom board conflicting opinions has been a source of frustration for me. I can’t wait until my ultra hygienic Bee Weaver Queen arrives. She’s going to get a solid bottom board for sure.

It must be entirely possible to provide plenty enough ventilation without the screened bottom board because one of my favorite YouTubers, Fredrick Dunn, has only used solid since he began 12 years ago.
 
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