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A beekeeping expedition with my son, his wife, and 2 of their children. Gotta train the grandchildren right. :)





Soon as we got there, this happened, he is staying VERY still :D




But didn't take long and he was fine with the whole thing.




And even his normally timid sister started to enjoy. :)





Nobody stung, a fun day for all.
 

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Those are some pretty calm bees.
Good lookin' family!
 

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Thanks Dan, yes all the grandchildren turned out pretty good in the looks department, must be from me ha ha. :)

Doesn't show in the pics but there was a lot of bee activity in a small space so I picked the hive I knew was the super gentle one, luckily it all ran without a hitch.
 

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nice photos ot!

i'm with dan on the calm bees.

i've never thought of my bees as being overly aggressive, but i wouldn't attempt to remove a frame from the middle of the broodnest dressed like that.

very cool to get the family involved, and once again i'm jealous that it's summer in new zealand. :)
 

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Thanks SP, yes it was a great day, bit of sun bit of cloud and not too hot.

For the kids there was that hint of danger to get their attention, but they followed instructions absolutely and all went well.

They are city kids so getting far away from the nearest house was good for them, and they really enjoyed the trip. :)
 

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That's nice OT, they won't soon forget the day.
Sounds like you too cherished it and Look at Mom so pleased in the background.

What kind of tops are those on the hives?
 

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Really nice pics Alistair, nice to get out into the country with your family, I am sure it will be a day the grand kids do not forget for quite a while.
Johno
 

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Thanks for the kind words :)

Those tops are folded sheet metal telescoping lids which are pretty standard over here. They have an inner cover under them which we call the hive mat, and under that is a top feeder which the bottom inch or so can be seen. Each hive has it's own feeder, they may only be used once or twice a year but they stay on the hives year round.
 

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Oldtimer

I guess I never understood the philosophy behind bringing totally inexperienced (or young children) into a working bee yard and allow them to handle bees without a veil or basic protection. Surely a couple of stings, especially to the face would sour them on wanting to be exposed to bees again in the future? Shouldn't the goal be to teach them the basics behind certain fundamental safe beekeeping practices? I don't know maybe your bees over there don't sting? A little surprised Oldtimer.
 

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Oldtimer

I guess I never understood the philosophy behind bringing totally inexperienced (or young children) into a working bee yard and allow them to handle bees without a veil or basic protection. Surely a couple of stings, especially to the face would sour them on wanting to be exposed to bees again in the future? Shouldn't the goal be to teach them the basics behind certain fundamental safe beekeeping practices? I don't know maybe your bees over there don't sting? A little surprised Oldtimer.
When you know your bees, and Oldtimer does, there is nothing to it.
But if you have not experienced what perfectly (I mean perfectly) calm bees are I understand your point Riskybizz.
 

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Very nice!
In your first picture you capture the whole Spirit of NZ: smiling people doing something outdoors and getting around with a ute. Only the dog is missing.
That's a great compliment Juhani and I like to see my country the same way. And of course you are totally qualified to make the statement having lived here and worked for a commercial beekeeper here for 2 years. Plus your later visit when I had the pleasure of meeting you, and your own lovely family.

And Riskybizz, fair comment, and i expect many beekeepers would share your views. Where I come from, is the first commercial beekeeper I worked for back around 45 years ago was unusual among commercial beekeepers in that he liked to work with no veil, and expected his staff to do the same. So for some jobs, such as pulling honey in the robbing season, there's just no way you can work with no veil, and he did not expect that, but some jobs and times of year we worked with no veil. Took me probably 3 months and most likely thousands of stings before I could absolutely read a hive and control it exactly, I've worked with lots of beekeepers since, and always feel how rough they are as they are always in a protective suit.


The kids were at risk of being stung there is no way I could say it was impossible to happen. But I told them they might get stung. My view, is the odd bee sting is part of growing up, and how a child deals with that is about mental attitude, which comes from the adults they are influenced by. Having said that, I have introduced hundreds of people to beekeeping over the years including classes of school children, and people in prison, generally with them not wearing protection and not once I can remember anyone being stung. But I do put people in a veil if I think the need is there, plus I show people exactly how I'm controlling the bees and how it works, so they know they could never try it themselves without me there, unless they have considerable experience first.


No excuses though, I know some folks will think I'm crazy, and I accept that. My own view, I do feel like I can assess the risks and have peoples chances of being stung very close to zero.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
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Should add, I did have protective gear available on the day here's the kids having a bit of fun with it, I would have put them in it if I thought it was needed.

 

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There is no doubt in my mind that those bees and kids were being watched carefully the entire time and the kids determined to not be in any danger.
 

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Great pictures! Looks like you had a fantastic day, and one that your grandchildren will no doubt never forget. Nice Job, and thanks for sharing!!

Looks like beautiful country, I'd really like to visit someday...
 

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Nice OT! You are proud of them. Here are mine: 6D42C261-1B85-460D-847D-743B5F830F42.jpg F6807878-1712-422D-B4E3-9022855E0E27.jpeg BF39306D-DF02-4039-87A1-270659232296.jpeg

Looking through some old boxes of tools from my grandfather I found two of his old hive tools. Bringsback memories. (These pics were taken a few years ago, don’t know why one is upside down.) Your grandkids will remember this always! Deb
 

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Here ya go, enlarged and right way up. :)

Those kids certainly look fascinated :)








 
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