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My turn!

4147 Views 23 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  hex0rz

YEP! So the day has finally come! My nucleus' were ready to be picked up at the bee place here, locally. Ordered 2 of them. The place was not necessarily too hot about even doing it this weekend and was thinking next weekend. But they decided it was good enough, apparently...

So I get the nucs loaded into the bed of my truck and lightly ratcheted them down. Had a couple other errands to take care of before I came back home. So I was in a store and waiting in the checkout line. Felt something crawling on my neck and instinctively swatted it. HA! The bee goes flying and I start feeling the burn!

I had a bee in the hood of my sweatshirt! I used the hood the best I could to try and get the stinger out. Turned around and asked the lady behind me, "Excuse me, I know this may sound weird, but do you see a stinger in the side of my neck?"

"Wow, its all red! But I don't see anything."

Okay, so I let by gones be by gones with the bee. Got checked out and shes still squirming on the floor. Picked her up and took her outside with me letting her crawl on my hand. I'm sure the people in line thought I was crazy for picking a bee up! lol!

I go back out to the truck and show the wife the bee and told her I got stung on my neck! She gets nervous about it and I get in and sit there to see if anything happens.

Well, it was not too long after, I started feeling shaky and a little cold and somewhat dizzy. It was slightly difficult to swallow. Told the wife I was not feeling good. So we switched and I was contemplating dialing 911. I told her lets start moving and go get some benadryl. So we were heading up to the store and saw a firetruck at a local store. I went in and tracked them down and told them I was not feeling so good and that I just got stung. Told them I wanted them to check my vitals out for me.

Heart rate was 89bpm and 140/60 IIRC. He said that if anything was going to happen it probably already would have. Well, atleast I was near them if I needed an epipen! I think what may have happened was that I was nervous and the adrenaline got going and I started psyching myself out. Because by the time we left the store and had the benadryl, the sting area was a little red. So the localized reaction was pretty mild, but something made me feel not so good.

Took 2 benadryl liqui capsules and it hit me like a ton of bricks! Made me MORE than drowsy! Felt like I had a few beers!

So, I got the bees back to the house and by this time they were cooped up in the nuc boxes in the back of a truck going down bumpy roads, etc. and also got rained on hard. I put them on the hive stand and got veiled up. The nuc boxes were the EZ nuc boxes and I had to figure out how to open their "door". First one I got opened up did not have much of a problem. The second one, MAN! I opened up that door and they started just boiling out of that entrance! They were piiiiiiissed! I even lit the smoker up and smoked them some and it did not seem to even help!

Got the door open, just walked off. Had like 5 guard bees follow me and the wife back to the house and had to fight them off. Finally got rid of them and checked each other over. After the incident I had today, I was very anal about not having any bees on me anywhere!

Just so you fellas know, if you don't already, I'm a total newb at this and these are my first hives. So this is all new experience to me and I do not have anyone to mentor me along the way, except what is online. I did this in just a veil, but they were trying to get under my arm pits and veil and was afraid they were going to get down my shirt on my neck again.

Needless to say, me and the wife are both going to have full bee suits for moments like these! I have to still figure out how to get them into their new hives from the nuc. I'm concerned that with the ride they had and the crappy weather we are having, they are not going to like me messing around with them the following day. The weather liars say its suppose to be good weather, but I dunno.

The guy I got the bees from owns 3k hives and told me that in about 8 days the brood is going to rear out of their cells and the hive should explode with good numbers. So I know I need to get these transfered ASAP. I'm willing to do the transfer tomorrow because of this problem I can face, but I want a full suit, first!

Does anyone see a problem in doing this? I thought I read that I should let them sit a few days after bad weather before handling them...

As well, anyone think I could have had more than just a localized reaction and an actual allergic reaction? Me and the wife are definitely going to see the family doc and telling him we want epipens since we are going to be doing bees...
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Great read right there. Sounds lke they were a little "shaken up" by the transport. It will be a different story in a couple of days.
Reactions can vary from sting to sting and the location of the sting. It may get worse or it may get better as you get stung more often.
It's time to add a bottle of liquid benedryl to the bee box. The quicker you ingest the liquid after the sting, the better. You can also manipulate the doseage with liquid to where it works best for you. Post pics of the install.
Seems like things worked out alright mostly, but, next time, do your errands first. Then get the bees and get them home. Don't even stop for gas. Get gas before getting bees. And when "the wife" has her first baby, if this hasn't already happened, don't stop at the grocery store on the way home. :) Go home.
Keep in mind that it is not necessary to have a bee suit in situations like these... I have a veil and wear a thick work jacket, that I am not concerned about getting dirty/sticky from the propolis and other products of the hive. I don't use gloves, because I sometimes feel the bees before smashing them. I do get stings on my hands, at times though.
Welcome to the coolest hobby on the planet, you are in for some amazing experiences.

Weather looks favorable for you today, I'd get them moved in their new home around noon if possible. Just don't dilly dally too much and be sure to keep the frames in the same positions they are in now. Also, be sure to reduce the entrance down to an inch or two for now, it's still cold at night and your girls aren't yet prepared to defend a a full opening.

As to not having a local mentor, you are not alone, you have hundreds of mentors right here. You are going to be amazed at just how giving this community is, there is nothing someone hasn't seen or experienced. Good Luck!
Set the nucs on top of the hives they're going in and open the entrance. Give them a couple days then install them in their hive. Opening the nucs will allow them to reorient to the new location. Setting them on top of the hive does the same thing also has them in a convenient spot to install them. They'll settle down. If you have had surgery or have been ill your immune system could be temporarily compromised. Reactions to bee sting can very from one person to the next. Be careful and get some liquid Benadry it will work faster for you.
Always light your SMOKER and keep it handy. Smoke them lightly before you try to transfer them into their new home. Keep us posted on your progress. Dale
Next time smoke the entrance area before you do anything. It lets them know you're there and gets them less likely to come pouring out.
Went to the store today and picked up 4 bottles of liquid benadryl, lol! I also would have loved to be able to do my errands first, but it was an hours drive from the house to pick them up and I had to be there first as they were closing.

I thought I would have been confident enough to do just a veil, but the thought of being stung again does not bode well with me. At this point, I'd rather take every precaution to prevent from being stung. I went and picked up some gloves with the arm gators today and looking into the full body bee suit with the zippered veil for both me and the wife. Until we can get confident enough to work them in just a veil, were going to suit up 100%. I do admit, the gloves did feel somewhat cumbersome, so it was a little slower working them.

I did not manage to get my rear end into gear until late afternoon to work them. Got the entrance reducer installed and I made it myself. So the holes are much smaller than a commercially available. I used some straw and got some wood pellets going for my smoker and worked exceptionally. Initially when I came out this morning, they were working the dandelions in the yard and spent some time watching them. Even snapped some pics! These bees seem much smaller than I'm used to and also much more "active". I remember as a kid seeing these bees work a flower seemingly lazy like. These lady's are working the flowers like they're the last in the world!

I smoked the nucs when I first turned around the corner and the foragers were coming and going. They had good amounts of pollen on their sacs, so I've been pretty confident that the area forage is boding well for them. Figured out what 3 miles was from the house and I'm liking the dandelion problem people are having! hahaha!

Initially, I was very apprehensive to working them and was expecting a full assault on me and the wife for touching them, but they were busy tending themselves than us. The guard bees were not much of a problem, so I think the smoking must have worked well.

I've got pics, and I'm working on the video that my wife recorded for me on my phone. I did not realize that my phone could take such HQ video! Its almost 20 mins long and its 4gb in size! I'm gonna work on getting it compressed so I can upload it. Unless youtube compresses it for you?

I got the bottom boards mounted to the hive stand, got the two hive bodies on with the deep frames and filled the rest with my medium frames. Put a gallon of syrup in a zip lock bag on top and put another medium on for the feed bag. Got my quilt boxes together and filled it with wood chip until I can run to the store and get realy pine shaving. Then topped it off with two top covers the bee place let me borrow until I finish mine.

All of the equipment is made by me, so its far from perfect. I've done the best I could to make it work dimensionally for a medium langstroth design. Seems like its working good, so far...

So, should I check the syrup bag in about what, 3 days? Then at day 5 do an inspection? I've got a pretty good strategy on how to rid myself of these deep frames from my medium frame standardization. Unfortunately, I do not see how I can NOT use a queen excluder in doing it though. Would there be a certain size hardware cloth I could use for this purpose instead of an actual plastic queen excluder? If I did not need one for this purpose I would never have one in the first place...

So, until I can get the video worked out and uploaded to youtube, here are some pics of my end of the world:

Hive stand. Thinking about coating the posts with a grease to keep the ants at bay? That'd work, right?

EVEN got to watch a new emerger!

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First off, GREAT PHOTO's. It is good that you have been doing a LOT of reading but don't try to do everything that you read. Only the things that YOU need to do as problems arise. Beginners do this so don't feel bad. You will learn what you need to do as you go along and apply what you have read in the past to different problems as they arise.
You can use one of those White disposable one piece suits that they use for clean up of environmental spills for a suit until you get a Full Suit. I have used them and they work GREAT except they are a little warm.
If you use the Plastic Bags to feed your Bee's don't fill the bags over 1/2 full as they will leak and the syrup will run down over the Bee's and drown them. Hope this helps.
Love your story and photos :)
Well, just trying to make sure my ducks are in a row and don't get caught with my pants down, so to speak! When I did the transfer from the nucs to the hive yesterday, I used a tyvek suit. Actually worked very well and was not hot in it at all!

I went out and just checked on them and they are really active, lots of foragers coming and going. Might have to open up the entrance reducer to the bigger size as they are getting a traffic jam going in front of the hive.

The "hotter" hive is muuuuch more active than the other is. So can I do an inspection this weekend or wait longer? I think they are finding good pollen sources and they are doing good working on some sort of liquid...

I managed to get my video down to 200 some odd megabytes. So I'm not sure if I need to go more to get it onto youtube...
Very good story and photos, Good luck and like others have said welcome.
BTW, when I go get swarms, nucs or packages I put them in the back of the SUV and turn the AC on full blast. My wife has finally got used to traveling hundreds of miles with bee on board.:)
>Had like 5 guard bees follow me and the wife back to the house and had to fight them off.

If you are "fighting bees off" you're going to need to change your view of things...
I guess I am lucky my bees from Pigeon Mountain are fantastic, I can stand right next to the hives and they just do their thing ...and when I did my inspection they were calm and good, and showed zero interesting in following.

IMO, the inspections shouldn't be an ordeal where you get followed like that, maybe one or two but not far.

I guess since I live in AHB country I am super aware of it.

Sounds hotter than anything I would want ...and WOW, love the pics !!!!!
Did you notice that you got a picture of your queen? She is on your third picture of the frames of bees, on right of center a couple of inches! NIce job.
I'm reaaallly hoping these are the last bees I will every have to buy.

Been showing people pics and they seem to like them as well! lol, I guess I'm a good photographer!

...and yes, I do know I snapped a pic of, "betty". :)

>Had like 5 guard bees follow me and the wife back to the house and had to fight them off.

If you are "fighting bees off" you're going to need to change your view of things...
I guess you could say I exaggerated my verbage... Really, they were just landing on me and buzzing me and bumping me.

OKAY, so I'm very curious as to what is going on. Been monitoring them from a distance the past couple days for a little and noticed that during the day the foragers are getting really jammed up. So just got back from flipping my entrance reducer to the larger size. Upon doing this, I was curious to see what they were doing inside the hive. I got on the ground and looked up through the screen bottom board and noticed that on the more active hive, I have a clump of bees on the outside stuck to the screen! I'm theorizing that because of the traffic jam they tried to get into the hive through the screen and got stuck? They are still alive, too! Then I also noticed that there are less than a dozen bees or so that sit outside the hive and on the stand. I push them, and I think they are dead? At first glance, you just think they're sitting there, but its weird, its like they are stuck or something?

I'm thinking I need to remake my entrance reducers. As I think the largest hole on mine is actually probably near the smallest size for a typical reducer. I just was not able to find the dimensions for them anywhere...
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Got the video uploaded! Should be viewable by the time someone gets on here and reads this post...
Your video says it was removed because it was too long. Not sure if you realized that.
We were instructed to pick our nucs up at night, so the foragers would be back for the night but also because the cardboard nuc boxes (Mann Lakes, I think) are suspected to be death traps if plugged up during the day. We closed them for transport with screen over the entrance instead of the plastic plugs. We plopped ours on the hive stand for the night, removed the screens, and let them rest until the following morning. The following morning started rainy and cold, so we waited until the rain passed and the sun came out. Temperature soon passed 60 F when we started. We lifted the first lid and just gently moved the frames into the new boxes. There was so little fuss I couldn't believe it. We were suited up head to toe but I honestly think we could have gotten away with it in shorts and t-shirts. Most of them just clung to their frames and went about their business.

An evening to settle down probably helped. Not hot probably helped too.
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