Honeybees

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Honeybees

Postby Jeff » Mon Sep 06, 2004 10:38 pm

Are there any beekeepers in this group of Cubbers? Over the last 3 weeks, I've helped a friend collect supers from about 2 dozen hives and loved the experience. So much so that I've decided to get 3 hives myself this fall.

Now the reason I got into this in the first place was because I have a bee phobia. I hate them. Snakes, spiders, lizards, mice I have no problem with, but bees I do not like. Too many stings while mowing I guess. Especially those darn yellow jackets, they hurt worse than any sting I've had.

Anyhoo, I figured I should confront my fears and dive right in. And boy, those honeybees have got to be the best that GOD put on this earth. No Stings what so ever! Smoke'em and rob'em. Now thats sweet revenge. :lol:

Already have a spot in the apple orchard picked out for them. I'll bee moving them in next week.

Any advice from those experienced in beekeeping would bee greatly appreciated. :)
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Postby John *.?-!.* cub owner » Tue Sep 07, 2004 7:41 am

Not experienced myself, but if Virginial has an agricultural extension service, they will have a lot of info on bee keeping.
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My bees.....

Postby Beestingz » Tue Sep 07, 2004 8:29 am

Well... I"m a happy cub owner and also a beekeeper for about 10 years... had my ups and downs along the way but that is normal. I'm up to 9 hives this year and hope they make it through the winter. Been rather rough summer being cooler and wetter than normal. Good luck with your bees... they are addicting
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Postby Dogman » Tue Sep 07, 2004 9:17 pm

New to bees this year 3 hives no honey yet just trying to get them bulit up for winter check out this web site and good luck
http://www.beesource.com/cgi-bin/ubbcgi/Ultimate.cgi?action=intro&BypassCookie=true
and
http://beesource.com/
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Postby Jeff » Wed Sep 08, 2004 10:46 pm

Thanks Fellas,

For the advice. Dogman, these web sites look good for info.

I extracted 5 supers yesterday of the sweet flowing nector and got about 20 gallons. I saved 8 nice looking frames to cut for comb honey.
I remember when my Aunt Lela would put a plate of comb honey on the breakfast table to spread on your toast. Not too many folks have that pleasure around here anymore.

Got heavy rains today from Frances and found out that I need to move the location for the hives a little further uphill. This was the worst flooding I've seen since 1985. Thank the LORD that the dam on the pond held. My wife lost 4 of her chickens. Most got into the coop, 5 got under it. The water came up to the subframe and drowned 4 but 1 made it thru. I don't know how, cause it was under the coop too.
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Postby ljw » Thu Sep 09, 2004 8:32 am

Jeff,
I think that you will really enjoy beekeeping. I kept bees for many years and enjoyed the quiet time while working the bees. It's amazing how docile they are when you make all the right moves. However, sometimes depending on weather, temp, or whatever, there have been times that I had to close up and walk away for a day or two. Maybe things are better now, but it seemed like the mite problem started getting worse and I needed to treat the hives often. I wish you much success! P.S. NEVER use cologne, hair spray, etc. or have beer on your breath. They will kick your butt!
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Postby Jeff » Thu Sep 09, 2004 9:18 pm

Thanks for the heads-up ljw,

I'll keep that in mind. I guess I've had it pretty lucky so far cause the hives we've worked have been pretty relaxed. I'm letting the honey settle for a couple days before we can it. Hope to get about 80+ quarts.

I've been told to sell at $5.00/pint and $9.00/quart. Does this sound about right or would you expect to pay about that price for locally harvested honey :?:
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Postby Merlin » Fri Sep 10, 2004 2:02 am

I think you will like bees. I had 20 hives for quite a few years and enjoyed almost every minute of it. I did a no no with one hive though. It was a mean hive. There was a man at work always bugging me wanting a hive of bees. He had never had bees before, so I relented one day and told him to come over at dusk and I would give him a hive. I layed a bed sheet down in front of the mean hive (he didn't know they were) and we set the hive in the middle of it and wrapped them up. He carried them home and unloaded them. A few weeks later he wanted me to come help him load them up and bring them back. I wouldn't do it and I still regret it till this day. He came in one morning and told me he had doused it with gas and set it on fire. Thats been 22 years ago and I still think about it sometimes. Eleven years ago I sold my place and gave the other 19 hives and my extractor to a local beekeeper. Last year I rescued a swarm, but the mites got in them and they died. All I have left is a empty hive. The last honey I sold was eleven years ago and it was $3.00 a quart with the comb in it.
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Postby Ron L » Sat Sep 11, 2004 7:30 pm

Jeff. you will be amazed with the extra production from fruit trees, berry bushes and your veggie garden with those little critters around. Also, save your cappings.... They make great bees wax candles. Another thing. Getting stung helps with the arthritus!

Note: Did you know the drones have a grandfather but no father!? :roll:
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Postby Jeff » Wed Sep 15, 2004 9:38 pm

Got three more supers Sunday. The fella I'm getting them from said I could have the three double-body hives (and bees of course), all eight supers and frames, one extra deep body, plus all the honey we extracted for $300.00.

I've been working long hours the past few days and plan on canning the honey tomorrow. Wanted to get the hives this weekend, but hurricane Iven looks like it might put a hold on those plans.

Merlin, I liked your story but am hopeful these hives aren't that mean. The couple time I worked them they were pretty laxed. My buddy said that when I get them home we will need to medicate them for those mites and get them ready for winter. He's been a big help.

Ron L, The wife already saved the cappings and filtered it thru cheese clothe a couple of times. She's talking about dipping candles, making soap, and making some hoof ointment for the horses. Not sure about the Grandfather part. Guess I'll have to research that. :oops:

Anyhoo, I'll let ya know how things go.
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Postby Jeff » Sat Sep 25, 2004 11:10 pm

Well, got home this evening(late) with my three hives and got them set in place near the apple trees. Also, got three for my buddy, whose helping me get into all this and got his set up on the side of the mountain he lives on.

I found out tonight that things don't always go like you hope when moving these sweet little flying.....stinging....things :evil: If you don't seal them up realllllllllyyyyyyyy good, they find there way out and attack :o .

Anyhoo, only got a couple of stings and one heck of an aching back, but happy they are finally home :D

I'll keep you updated on my adventures in beekeeping :wink:
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Moving Bees

Postby Beestingz » Sun Sep 26, 2004 6:30 am

Ah yes been there and done that. Have to admit one of my worst moves involved a wheelbarrow. I took the hive from the back of my truck and put it in my uncles wheelbarrow to transport to his lower lawn. The double hive was strapped with a band, nice and tight. While moving down the lawn, the wheelbarrow went into a slight dip and the hive shifted just enough to allow the bees to escape. I stopped long enough to close the hive back up and keep more bees from escaping then finished the journey another couple hundred feet. I didn't bother to suit up seems I had that hive nice and tight. I recieved about a dozen stings around my head and arms. They say we learn from our mistakes.
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Postby Ron L » Sun Sep 26, 2004 1:46 pm

Jeff. Used to move mine at night. Learned real quick not to use a flashlight!!! :shock:
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Postby Jeff » Fri Oct 01, 2004 10:39 pm

My mistake on one hive was pulling it to the back of the truck too quickly and not making sure the window screen stapled to the opening wasn't hung on the hive next to it :shock: . Like Beestingz, I didn't suit-up for this part of the operation. And those flashlights only serve a becons that say "Here I Am" :shock: .

Well, the honey has been selling good, the colonies have settle into the new location and been working the golden rod and astar plants in the next field.
Plan to medicate the hives next weekend. And been watching to see if they try to swarm. I hope they don't pull that on me this soon.

In about 2 weeks I'm going to put the supers back on and let them clean the frames up before storing for the winter. Can anyone tell me the best way to store the supers for the winter :?:
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Super storage etc..

Postby Beestingz » Sat Oct 02, 2004 7:11 am

Its not likely they will swarm this time of year and nothing you can do about it if they do. I had a hive that swarmed several years ago in September and they clug to a popular tree for about a week before they left. Good size swarm but to late in the year to hive it in hopes of getting it through the winter. May is when you should have concerns about swarming.
I put my empty supers back on a few hives for them to clean up and will take them off after a few days or when i get around to it. I either store them up overhead in the garage or out back of the garage under a little bit of protection from the weather. I place queen excluders on top and bottom to keep the mice out and that's all. No honey in them to entice the bees. Although if there is any frames that have had brood in them the wax moths will be inclined to move in. Wax moths have no interest in frames that have only stored honey in them. Storing them outside up here in Maine and being rather cold keeps the waxmoths at bay.
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