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Hello everybody. I have spent the last couple months lurking here, reading posts. I have just finished my first 10 hives after spending about 2 months with a 10-year beekeeper, learning the tricks of the trade. I made the hives myself in my garage. They are made out of 1"x12"x16' of pine. I coated the ends in copper green which gives them the green color. I bought 10, 3lbs packages of bees last Saturday from one of my mentor's sources for $48 each. It was a pretty good deal considering everyone here in CA seems to be long sold out of bees.

My location is a 50 acre farm. The only things on the property are a few chickens, some peacocks and a few cattle to mow the lawn. other than that it's about 50 acres of dandy lions with some trees and a stream near which my beehives sit.

Anyway, enjoy the pictures and leave some comments on how you think I'm doing.



http://img16.imageshack.us/img16/9736/p5150333.jpg
http://img412.imageshack.us/img412/5724/p5150381.jpg
http://img704.imageshack.us/img704/6426/p5150383u.jpg
http://img22.imageshack.us/img22/892/p5150366.jpg
 

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WOW! You just jumped right in there huh!?!? Everything looks great and hope the bees work for you.

I would just like to add one thing about the cattle, they will turn over the hives if they are not fenced out (bees or cows, makes no difference).

G3
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It took me about 1 day (5 hours after all the breaks) to cut all the boxes from scratch. I cut 20 8-frame deep bodies in a single day using my woodworking equipment. All the edges of the bodies are finger-jointed as you can see in the pictures. I spent the next day soaking all the edges in the copper green and making the top and bottom boards. There a little drying time with the copper green, 3 days I think. I then spent another day painting the bodies and applying maybe 3-4 coats of paint on just the green edges with the touchup brush just to cover the green. There is still some color coming thru but I'm not worried about it. There is also a primer coat of killz under there.

I did jump right in I guess. It's been a lot of fun so far and I enjoy them. I don't think 10 hives are a big deal. The beekeeper I've been shadowing handles almost 500 hives himself on top of about 18 acres of walnuts and another 30 of almonds. I think I should be able to handle 10 :D

As far as the cows, I didn't think that they would get into the hives but i'll definetly watch them closely. The herd is pretty small, about 10 cows and 6 calfs.

Thanks for the kind words and the tip about the cows. I'll watch 'em closely. Pretty fun project and we were able to save quite a bit building them ourselves. It was a lot of fun working with all the tools again and I'm gearing up to do a more for my divides.
 

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Great pictures. It looks like your are off to a great start. It is also wonderful you have a good mentor. Best wishes!
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
I have more photos!

I went back to my hives today after approximately 6 days away. I was looking for eggs to see if my queens were laying, looking to see if any of my hives were empty, and hoping not to find any overturned hives which may have been the fault of the cows. Here's what I found:






Not a single hive turned over. All 10 of my hives have at least eggs. 3 of the hives have larva already (6 days after installing the bee packages). No dead-outs.

Each hive started with a 3lbs bee package and now holds between 3.5-5.5 reasonably full frames of bees. A couple of the packages seemed a little lighter than others, but at $48 I wasn't about to complain. After 6 days and I have eggs in every hive and know my queens are laying. I am EXTATIC! Everything's going great!

I'm on page 212 of "The Hive and the Honeybee" (1992). I read the "For Beginners" section first just to see what I had learned from the mentor and what I might be missing. There were very few points in the basics I didn't have covered.

***The best piece of advice anyone can get if they want to start a few hives is to find an experienced beekeeper who wants some company and needs some help working their hives. The experience is INVALUABLE!***
 
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