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Just wanted to say that since the start of my fascination with honey bees, and beekeeping, started last summer, I think I've seen with my own eyeballs about six bees ... maybe ten, late last summer. I've read a dozen or more books (some several times), and prepped myself mentally, and feel pretty well prepared, but I recognize that I'm a little unconventional. I'll have my first hive populated in a few weeks, and I'm wondering if many BeeSource members have similar experiences, or have all taken classes or done some kind of internships?
 

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more or less how i did it. I had seen bees at hives a lot of times when i was a kid but when i started my hives last year i probably had only seen 10 or so honey bees over 10 years or so. Kinda figured if i jumped in with both feet i would be less likely to back out... so far so good LOL
 

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With me, it was 1) decide to do bees and then 2) learn, learn, learn. I'm best at doing things and learning as I go. I did attend some field days, etc., after I got my bees which helped out a lot.
 

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My first hive, was cut out from a hive box without any frames in it. A swarm had moved in and hung combs from the top cover. My friend giving me the hive, showed me and we cut the combs and tied them into frames he had with cotton string. He gave me the hive and a hive tool. I was so jazzed! I took them home and in week cut off the string and pulled the combs. Just a hive tool. No other gear or protection, talk about excitement and extreme adrenalin rush! Soon, another person gave me a hive and a smoker. As the year wore on, I got me a bee suit with veil and gloves, and The Hive and the honeybee, Dadant publications. Read it all cover to cover, subscribed to ABJ and got back orders for the previous year, every issue, and read them all. Oh, was out catching swarms too, had 13 hives my second year.
 

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The summer before my first year it was the same for me. If lucky maybe 2 bees. Now on my third year as a beekeeper.
 

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I decided I wanted bees in December of 2008. My wife told me I couldn't order anything for at least a month. She figured that in that time the excitement of the idea would wear off and I would change my mind. In that month we read "Beekeeping For Dummies" together and by the end she was more excited to get them than I was. We got 2 packages in April of last year and have loved every minute of it. I read another book or two and have been learning a lot from beesource.
 

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I got the wild hair in Nov 2008, I ordered three NUC's and forgot about them. You can imagine my surprise when I got the call in late April that my bee's would ready for pickup in a week. I started with three, had one hive take off on me, one starved over winter, and the other made it through. I have 4 more NUC's coming first of May.

I also have read everything I could get my hands on and I go through this site daily and read as many posts as I can.
 

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If you can find a local beekeeping club or beekeeper to mentor you it would be much better. I am sure you have studied thoroughly but it is like riding a bicycle. How do you start pedaling when you have not experienced balance. Now let someone hold on to the seat and you are less likely to crash when they let go. Your bee mentor can get you through a season and even connect you with what you will need to succeed.
 

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About 20 years ago a woman asked me to help her "gather some honey" from a house that was being torn down in Florida. We had home made veils and no idea what we were doing. It was a huge hive floor to ceiling between several beams. We made a muck of it but I recalled how strangely soothing the sound of all those really po'd bees was.
Two years ago another friend had a pacemaker put in and couldn't lift more than five pounds. She asked a group of us if anyone would help her with her hive. I said sure. The next spring she took a job in Colorado and gave me all her equipment. I read everything I could find. She told me all about the Lorain County Beekeepers Association that just happened to have beekeeping classes every winter/spring. Plus they meet right here in my town. It was so much easier to "get" what the books said by seeing it first hand. It was also the first time I got to see the "right way" and the "other way" and "my way" options being debated.:lpf: I went from one hive to two that first year with a swarm. This year I added a third (with bees that survived winter) and have enough equipment for a fourth if I try a split.
I still have no idea what I'm doing but it's a lot of fun. Just have to remember to stop wearing the jeans with the hole when I'm messing with the hives. :eek:
 

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When in seminary I had a student church, went out on weekends. Made a pastoral call on a couple early one Saturday afternoon. She had just hived her package of bees from Montgomery Ward's.... I fell in love with the idea. Monday morning I ordered the bees and starter kit. Started with a book "Beekeeping for Beginners" and the hive, knew nothing. Bought more books, hive swarmed, hived the swarm, had two colonies. This forum makes life so much easier for the beek!
Regards,
Steven
 
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