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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
About 30 years ago I started a couple of hives from packages to help pollinate my fruit trees and garden. I dabbled with the bees off & on, mostly off, but managed to capture & bring in a few swarms, etc., & at one time had 4 hives which were mostly left to their own devices and not managed. In time three of the hives died off, but one that had 3 10 frame deep hive bodies and a couple of shallow supers on it, just kept going year after year. My business is on the same 75 acres of mountain side, and a couple of years ago a swarm moved into some old supers stored in a shed next to the business where my employees park their vehicles, and I was "urged" to move them, although the bees seemed quite happy.

Since I'm now trying to be "quasi" retired, I decided to break out my old bee suit & smoker & see what the swarm would do if I gave them a little more room & some fresh foundation & last year was able to harvest more honey than we have been able to use plus giving quite a bit away. This year I hope to make a couple of splits & increase my bee yard to 4 hives.

So I guess I'm a 30 year hive owner with about 1 year's worth of experience. Reversed my supers last weekend & things are starting to boom here!
Crocus and daffodils have been blooming for about a week & winter honeysuckle is in full bloom & full of bees!

Hope to learn a lot from you folks! Looking forward to an interesting spring!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi David. I've BEEN coming to the Cookeville meetings, including the one last week. Thanks for the very informative meetings!
 

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Urged to move them...makes me smile. Good luck with your increases. Do you plan on leaving them alone like you have done in the past? Seems to work for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Urged to move them...makes me smile. Good luck with your increases. Do you plan on leaving them alone like you have done in the past? Seems to work for you.
Well, I don't plan to start treating them, but I'm not going to leave them alone quite as much as in the past.

I haven't been harvesting any honey off them, which is probably one reason the one hive has lasted so long, and since last week I had to replace one of the deep boxes that was beginning to rot down, I reversed the brood boxes while in there. That hive is 3 deeps & 2 shallow 10 frame boxes & still had an almost full deep and a full shallow of honey on it last week. Boy those full deeps are a lot HEAVIER than they were 30 years ago! The hive had lots of bees and I didn't see a single hive beetle. Since they have so much honey left this late in the winter, my plan is to see if I can get one fresh shallow of honey during the spring flow. I also plan to look through the hive a time or two this spring & unless I find some frames with swarm cells, which I will use for splits, other than that mostly leave them alone. I haven't been through the frames in over a decade, so don't know how much trouble I'll have getting the frames apart in one piece, so plans may change as I attempt to execute them.

The hive that I moved out of the shed is the one I plan to make my splits from, but I discovered long ago that my plans & the bee's plans don't always match up.......so we'll see what happens.

Thanks for the nice welcome everybody!
 

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And 25 yrs ago I too started backyard beekeeping in Arizona- AFTER A THIRTY YEAR Hiatus-I having kept bees back in Minnesota as a kid in the fifty's. Attended the Organic Beekeeping Conference here in Oracle Az a couple weeks ago and now am gearing up to expand from five hives to maybe six- seven or more? I caught two wild swarms last spring and now going to stick with the feral type modeling after Dee Lusby of Armado Ariz who has 700 feral hives down here on the southern border with Mexico.
 

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Welcome, Some things have not changed in 30 years.... well the bees still fly !
 
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