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Discussion Starter #1
This first year has been crazy ... I started with 1 hive from an older couple that have kept bees for 35 years to pollinate their apple orchard.

The bees really wanted to swarm so I've made 4 splits from the original hive: 2 of the splits are still going strong, 1 lost the queen and had a worker laying so it got shook out in front of the others, 1 had AFB and got burned.

Once the split with AFB was found I built all new equipment and shook the remainer of the hives onto new equipment and burned all of the old equipment I inherited from the orchard (watching over 20 mediums and 17 deeps with frames plus bottom boards and misc equipment be destroyed like that was heart breaking).

I've also caught 3 swarms: of which 1 started capping queen cells (couldn't find the queen) so I combined it with one of my original splits, 1 has brood in 3 mediums and a super of honey and another is filling out the second 8 frame medium pretty quickly.

Note: Only my first swarm is on 10 frame currently, I have the other 4 hives on 8 frame mediums.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
This year with our abnormally cool temps and regular rain has kept the ditches from getting mowed down regularly so there has been a ton of extra forage for the bees. normally though, the farmers keep all the ditches and waterways between fields mowed down lookiing like a lawn in town.

I keep my bees about 4.5 miles out of town in the woods to keep them away from the farmers. these guys spray pesticide/herbicide/round-up at the drop of a hat and they don't necessarily want to work with a beekeeper so i can lock the bees up the night before.

I am having a blast though. Just found out a girl scout camp is within a 15 minute drive that sits on close to 500 acres and is away from corn and soybeans. hopefully i can get a bee yard setup there in the spring to over-winter nucs at.
 
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