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I would just like to say I think you are all far too worried about your bees. Some things can and do go wrong, but most of them are difficult to predict and difficult to prevent. A lot of the situations you see are just normal.

If you think about what goes on and what motivates the bees most situations take care of themselves. The rare situation that you're not sure of, can usually be INSURED by giving them some fresh eggs and letting them sort it out.

For instance:

You find queen cells all over, middle, and bottom and a queen. What is happening? Probably a supercedure, but if there are more on the bottom I might lean toward a swarm. So what do you do? I find destroying queen cells to be a bad idea. First they may be superceding and I stopped them. Second, if they are intent on swarming they will just keep making more.

You find queen cells all over, middle, and bottom and you don't see a queen. First, this is typical of emergency cells, so it's likely there ISN'T a queen. If you leave them alone they will probably replace the queen. If they get an inferior queen, they will just supercede her and things will go on nicely. If you panic and destroy all those queen cells you may end up queenless.

You find no eggs, no uncapped larvae and no queen, or maybe a small flighty queen. Probably she's a virgin. They are hard to find so just because you see no eggs and no larvae and no queen does not mean there isn't one. I used to panic and buy a queen and then they would reject her and by the time I sorted all that out I would find larvae and realize I wasted my money on the queen. There was already a virgin that just wasn't laying yet.

They aren't doing whatever it is you THINK they SHOULD be doing. Drawing wax, making brood, etc. If they SHOULD be doing it, they WOULD be doing it. Let them sort it out.

About the only situations in need of your interference are actual queenlessness with no queen cells, laying workers, not enough room for the queen to lay, not enough room to store nectar. In these situations you NEED to do something. A lot of swarm cells probably requires some intervention, and pretty much I try to help them do it. Put the old queen and a lot of the bees and brood in another location in another box and let the swarm cells emerge.

Basically if you figure out what the bees want to do, help them. If you can't figure it out, give them the resources (food or brood if they don't have it) and stay out of their way.

"Everything works if you let it" Art Carney in the movie Roadie.
"Anything worth doing is worth doing slowly." Gypsy Rose Lee.
"No one teaches beekeeping quite as well as bees." Michael Bush (with apologies to C.S. Lewis)
 

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Hey Mike,
Calm down killer. This is 'Beekeeping 101' forum. As in beginners. I thought the point in this forum is to ask questions and to learn from them. To say that we all are too worried about our bees is discouraging and nonproductive. I know for me I am concerned about my bees making it through the summer/winter because for around my place, after the poplar bloom which ends in May, there is not much to go on after that ends so I would like to have a fairly strong hive by the time that ends. Last summer after the poplar bloom my hives got weak and got infested with wax moths which totally destroyed my frames and didn't make the bees too happy, hense why I am worried about the same thing happening again. That is why I asked my question. I am sorry you think that I am 'too worried' but I figured it was a valid question.
 

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The only dumb question, is the one YOU don't ask.

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'WHEN WE CLOSE OUR EYES WE ALL LOOK THE SAME' GWPW 03
 

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I don't do 3/4ths of what most people do here in terms of inspections, requeening etc. In fact I have not even looked for the queen or checked her laying pattern etc since I have had the bees. I figure it will either work or I will get new ones. Heck they make it living in a hollow log witout our help. They only thing I do check is for mites and I treat them with with grease patties and OA and vapor rub. My hives are jam packed with bees going into my second summer and everything looks good. I have read everything I can find so I know what to look for if I need to and I can ask questions here.
 

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MB,

Thanks for the encouragement. It helps so much to have your experience and the experience of all the others in this forum at your fingertips. Maybe in another 50 years, I'll be seasoned enough to give similar advice and encouragement.

BTW, My new queen emerged from the cell this week. Don't know exactly when. I figure next week I'll see some eggs. The new hive from the swarm is doing great! The new queen is filling up the cells with eggs and the bees have drawn about 4 frames in a week and a half!

Things happended just like you and alot of others said they would...WHADDAYA KNOW!

Too bad all you guys live so far away...

Hard to drink beers online..
Thanks again.
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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>Calm down killer. This is 'Beekeeping 101' forum. As in beginners. I thought the point in this forum is to ask questions and to learn from them. To say that we all are too worried about our bees is discouraging and nonproductive.

It was not my intention to discourage questions. But to encourage you to trust the bees.

Michael
 

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zeebee
we could all go to chat room and drink beers and type could get interesting especially with some of the spelling.
 

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I can only speak for myself but I really appreciate comments and suggests. Since I know very little I can only learn from everything I read..... My thanks to everyone
 
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I agree. I am FAR too worried about them. I'm trying not to. I am on the 2nd step now...(1. admit there is a problem!)

Being new at it and intensely curious and concerned, I want to know EVERYTHING that they are doing, and WHY. And trying to figure that out is sometimes more destructive than anything.

I think part of being a beginner is the "irrational exuberance" that comes with a new venture (as opposed to the "rational exuberance" that comes with experience). And the questions....

I am learning to trust them. The critical part of that, understanding and knowledge is what I am gaining right here from all you guys and gals and I thank you from the bottom of my heart that you are willing to sometimes answer the same questions over and over. I am starting to understand...

Incidentally, I am now afraid of talking about my bees anymore to friends and aquantances. I've been noticing that look in their eye that says "I have a sock and am not afraid to use it"!

-rick
 

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Michael, I like your philosophy on beekeeping. I check on my bees every now and then, but unless I see something suspicious at the entrance, I usually leave them alone. I find when I check them, I always find something I should (should not) be worried about--like yesterday: one of my hive's brood is in just a very small, baseball-sized circle to the left of center on the frame rather than in a large arc covering the entire bottom of the frame like I'm used to seeing. So right away, I start worrying it's laying workers. I have to remind myself that the brood is in a tight group--if it were laying workers, it would be scattered all over the place, and that it's probably because there were no other clean cells available for the queen to lay in. So I closed her up and I'll check again in a week. I'm trying hard to never be an alarmist--after all, they did well without us before varroa--as long as I keep the mites away, they should be able to fend for themselves!
 

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It is difficult for us 'beginners' when we see quotes like "check on my bees every now and then" and "Just let them be Bees" in one thread and later see quotes like "checking the bees on a regular schedule will assist the beginner in the learning process".

Folks have to remember none of us was born knowing this beekeeping trade (except for the bees
).

The two best ways to learn are watch and ask questions. This Forum provides an excellent place to 'ask questions', however it also provides a lot of personal option. Personal option is a lot like body parts - everyone has at least one.

After 5 years of having bees, I still go through spells of lack of confidence and worry that I am doing something wrong. This especially gets bad after losing a hive to cold, starvation, mites, wax moths, absconding, etc. So if the beginner repeats a question that has been ask before or repeats a question but stated slightly different, have patience- they are just trying to learn/understand.

And thanks for all the advice and options - that is why we are here
.



[This message has been edited by JohnBeeMan (edited April 26, 2004).]
 

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I spend more time watching near the entrance than digging around inside. try laying on your back a couple feet infront of the hive and watch leaving and returning flights it's more fun than the airport at night and a lot less noisy. you might want to wear your veil just incase.
 

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ZEEBEE,

Chatroom beer is OK, but not very filling. Next time your going downie ocean let me know. Can provide a rest stop before you cross the bridge.

Bill

(Package of bees arriving tomorrow :)
 
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