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What skills do you want to develop this coming bee season. I want to be able to be able to pick up, mark, and clip queens. I've seen the videos I've read descriptions, now like the cowardly lion in the Wizzard Of Ozz I just have to develop some brave and do it. :eek:
 

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Practice all three on drones, it is cheaper that way. I have neuropathy in my fingers and have a heck of a time judging how hard I am holding bees when I make that grab as they run across the comb. I grabbed one and she basically stopped moving. I dropped her on a lid and was practicing saying positive personal affirmations. I watched her apparently gasping her last when she started coming back to life! Since I had no immediate replacement I thought I would just see what would happen. Not advocating pinching queens but she lived and wintered and was apparently not fatally affected. After that I caught and handled drones until I was totally comfortable and I haven't repeated my earlier offence so far.

My new stupid pet trick for the season is going to be attempting to graft queens.
 

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I plan to learn grafting, and successfully putting together a cell builder.

Assuming that part of the plan works out, second part of the plan, delve into marking our queens. As many often say, will start with drones till somewhat comfortable. When I start with queens, I expect to have a few extras in nucs, reference above plan to experiment with grafting. I am ready for accidentally sacrificing half the queens I raise while learning to mark them properly. While it's not actually the plan to do that, I hope to have enough that I can get away with it.
 

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I want to learn to accurately determine loads of hive parasites, particularly varroa, using methods suitable for scientific research.

I also want to try hive instrumentation, including hive weight and temperature.
 

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I want to figure what stuff a first-winter beekeeper has to do when winter is over -assuming my three hives make it.

I would like to learn how to do splits, because I like knowing how to do things.

I am going to learn how to do sugar rolls. And then do them. (Right now I just use sticky boards.)

And this is especially dopey: I would like to actually see a live queen bee. I know they are there because they are cranking out eggs, but I have never seen one, ever. My bees were cut-outs, so even on their first day with me, I never had a chance to identify them.

I am also really looking forward to a whole summer not consumed by anxiety over having the bees in the wrong place on my farm. I finally moved them in December, and I hope they really like their new digs, because that's where they are staying, forever!

Enj.
 

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I want to play around with raising some queens, should be a learning experience either way that it goes!
 

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Raising queens, using the graft-less Oldtimer system.
 

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I want to get strong enough to be able to stand for more than five or ten minutes at a time. It's feeling like this year may be much better, time will tell. I really want to get back into queen rearing more of the season, and I want to be able to manage bees so mites are not killing off all the hives each winter. This means coming up with a treatment system that is not too expensive, as TF just has not worked in this location.
 

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This will be my first year at overwintering Nucs. I'll be on the steep slope of the learning curve trying to manage them through the summer, and then figuring out the best configuration for wintering in my area. Should be pretty exciting.
 

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>"And this is especially dopey: I would like to actually see a live queen bee. I know they are there because they are cranking out eggs, but I have never seen one, ever. My bees were cut-outs, so even on their first day with me, I never had a chance to identify them."

Enjambres, I remember feeling the same about finding the queen my first year. Then I trained my eyes to look for the one "****roach" on the frame of bees instead. (Her long abdomen reminds of one.) As soon as I did that, I could scan the frames and spot her. Maybe it will work for you too.
 

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I'd also like to learn to spot my queens so they can be marked. Get better at Fall colony evaluation. And overwinter some nucs!!!
 
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