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Old 05-08-2014, 08:39 PM   #81
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Mead is OK, but honey beer tastes a lot better to me. And when you serve the unsuspecting a pint of super smooth 10% ABV honey beer it is fun to watch.
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Old 05-19-2014, 11:16 AM   #82
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Well, I went to Lowe's and bought more concrete blocks and 8 foot 4x4's. I will be expanding my little bee yard at the house.

For me it will be easier to do splits and raise queens at the house where I can watch them every day. Not so much for honey but for making more hives. Then, I can take the completed ones out to the farm and we won't have to buy bees anymore. Just have to buy more hives in the future.

We also got a good deal on a couple banged up honey extractors. I will keep one and one will go to one of my friends that has bees.

Life is Good!
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File Type: jpg 3 frame extractors 5-14-2014 (1).JPG (94.2 KB, 16 views)
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Old 05-19-2014, 01:12 PM   #83
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Unlike Dave, I started small with one hive. I am 3 weeks in since the bees were put in the hive and we had snow and 3 days of near freezing temps over Mother's day weekend, so I wanted to take a close look at the colony. They seem like they are doing well. I have capped brood on 4 frames, three more being drawn out, and lots of activity. Based on the timing of the install, I am expecting a population explosion over Memorial Day weekend.

DW snapped some pics which show pretty well what is going on:
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Old 05-19-2014, 02:47 PM   #84
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Hey Brewer...Those bees you have are booming! That's a heck of a good queen. I see lot's of brood on that frame. It will not be long before you will put a second story on. I think your bees are moving along faster than mine did. Keep feeding them.

It does not matter how many or few hives you have. When you are bitten by the bee bug and start to understand how wonderful their society and nature really is you are hooked. I will bet that you will expand and have several hives by next year. That is good because if something goes wrong, you have other hives to rely on to build you back up and be independent.

Just think...If you had gotten into beekeeping while you were working...the bees would have mellowed you about work? I was a nice worker bee till I became retiree eligible and had enough invested. Then I swarmed. Kinda like the bees...Just stirring the pot...
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Old 05-19-2014, 04:25 PM   #85
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Well, my suburban town will let me have up to 5 hives on my 1/3 acre lot, but I think more than 2 would make the backyard a pretty crowded place. If I wanted to expand beyond two I would either have to pick up a suitable piece of vacant land, or find a neighbor that wanted a hive on their property. That said, the whole family is fascinated and what is funny is that it seems like all the "cool kids/parents" at the grade school the kids go to are interested and want to see the hive. As I get more comfy working with a hive and seeing how gentle they are, I am increasingly happy to have people come take a peek. Definitely bit by the bug for sure.

I sure hope I get a second brood box on soon. We go away for 3 weeks in mid-July and I would really like to just be able to put some supers on and hit the road without too much to worry about.
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Old 05-21-2014, 08:14 PM   #86
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20 million bees available. You have to round them up yourself.

Buzzzzzzzz: Truck overturns with 20 million honeybees aboard in Delaware
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Old 05-22-2014, 08:36 PM   #87
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This week I helped a good friend at the hunt club harvest a little honey, and try out one of the extractors we got. Fleming got almost 20 pounds of honey from about 4 or 5 frames. Here's a few pics...first pic is a queen.
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File Type: jpg Honey Flemings bees 5-20-2014 (3).JPG (153.2 KB, 24 views)
File Type: jpg Honey Flemings bees 5-20-2014 (5).JPG (98.9 KB, 20 views)
File Type: jpg Honey Flemings bees 5-20-2014 (10).JPG (134.0 KB, 21 views)
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Old 05-22-2014, 08:40 PM   #88
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And I got stung in the eye area on Tuesday. I guess I will wear my veil more often...many times I don't. On other parts of the body, it's OK. But not around the eye...
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Old 05-22-2014, 08:46 PM   #89
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I got my first sting today. I don't think I have been stung by anything in at least 20 years, so while it hurt it was a bit of a relief not to fall over in anaphylactic shock.

More mortifying is that it was all my fault. Rushing, clumsy, stupidity on my part. Won't repeat it.
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Old 05-22-2014, 08:52 PM   #90
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Well Brewer you need to get stung from time to time to keep your resistance up. Just don't wear shorts and get stung you know where...or around your eyes...
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Old 05-22-2014, 08:58 PM   #91
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I will suit up in the future. I am more worried about the fool dogs. The beagle who is, um, not mentally gifted by a long shot is the only other one in the family who has been stung. She got stung because she was licking the side of the hive. Great nose, wonderful prey drive, but not a mental giant.
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Old 05-22-2014, 09:11 PM   #92
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I will suit up in the future. I am more worried about the fool dogs. The beagle who is, um, not mentally gifted by a long shot is the only other one in the family who has been stung. She got stung because she was licking the side of the hive. Great nose, wonderful prey drive, but not a mental giant.
FOOD. That's what the beagle's about!
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Old 05-22-2014, 09:13 PM   #93
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FOOD. That's what the beagle's about!
Definitely, provided your definition of "food" is sufficiently broad. This is the dog we have to keep from chewing, swallowing and passing rocks.
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Old 05-23-2014, 07:27 AM   #94
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The beagle who is, um, not mentally gifted by a long shot...
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This is the dog we have to keep from chewing, swallowing and passing rocks.
Yeah, but they're cute and good company. That makes up for a lot.
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Old 06-15-2014, 10:59 AM   #95
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No beekeeping updates? Must be a lazy bunch of beekeepers on this board...
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Old 06-15-2014, 11:26 AM   #96
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DD2 and I were in the hive on Thursday. The second brood box I put on a week and a half prior was a bit more than half filled and the bees are taking syrup still. I yanked the entrance reducer entirely.

For the first time since I put her in the hive, we saw the queen on this inspection. DD2 was thrilled, since her big sister has yet to see the queen.

At DD2's birthday party yesterday, one of the moms was very interested in the hive, so I invited her along on a future hive visit (she will fit the adult small suit I bought for the kids). Spreading the gospel...
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Old 06-15-2014, 03:31 PM   #97
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Sorry Masquernom for dropping the ball! Our little hobby and interest has grown with the bees.

That's a really good colony and queen you have there Brewer. Keep feeding them sugar water till you put on a honey super above the two hive bodies.

One of the hives at the farm is not growing as it should. It's a bad queen and she is not laying very well. I have three mated queens on order from a local beek. I plan to bring the bad hive home and requeen it. It's easier to keep an eye on it at home. The other two queens will go towards making two more hives from the fastest growing hives that have filled out the hive bodies. To make more hives...you take some frames of brood, bees and honey, and put them into an empty hive body. You have to make sure the original queen is not with the bees or frames on the new hive you are making. Then you move the new hive, (in my case to home from the farm), and let it sit for a day. If you do not move it away, the bees will go back to their old hive and queen. After a day, the bees will miss their queen. The next day, you introduce a new queen to the queenless hive in a queen cage, (just like when you get a package of bees), and the bees will accept her and let her out of the cage by eating the candy door. And that's one way of making a new hive. Another is just taking bees, brood, fresh eggs, honey and putting them in a hive body or nuc and they will make a queen from the fresh eggs. It takes about a month to make a new queen.
Read more about making new hives here:
Honey Bee Hive Split Q and A

And a few pics...
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File Type: jpg beehives 6-5-2014.JPG (161.1 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg Bees evening 6-6-2014.JPG (162.0 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg Bees at bee bath 6-5-2014 (10).JPG (123.7 KB, 15 views)
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Old 06-15-2014, 03:41 PM   #98
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Good job on getting those five bees to pose like that.
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Old 06-20-2014, 12:55 PM   #99
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Well, I worked the hive today. The other parent in the kids' school showed up with kids in tow and put on the suit for a closer look. he kids stood about 15 feet away and got a good look as well.

The second brood box was just about completely built out, so after my inspection I removed the feeder and slapped on a queen excluder and the first honey super. I will consult with experienced local beekeepers, but I suspect the first entire super of honey will probably have to be left for the hive's winter consumption.

One of the frames in the upper brood box was all uncapped honey. Honey-bound, I believe is the phrase. I will have to do a bit of research as to whether this is a problem.
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My first sting
Old 06-22-2014, 08:20 AM   #100
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My first sting

This is the best thread ever!

I just had my first sting this week too, on my collarbone, right after I took off my veil. Good to get that behind me. It hurt for 5 minutes, then itched for a few days. Unfortunately, I was told the spot where I got stung is not a "bad spot", and "wait until you get stung on your fingertip"...so I guess I will have to suffer that anticipation until the finger-sting happens.

I don't wear a suit or gloves, just a veil. I was freaked out in the beginning, when my instructor recommended this approach. It's second nature now.

My instructor has me "looking for the queen" at every session. He's got 50 hives (on a 127 acre farm), and usually about 20 queens in production, so I am blessed to be getting an awesome learning experience. I can't imagine how you would learn the details of queen identification, let alone queen rearing, without seeing this process in real life.

He showed me about pollen extractors, and I was blown it is amazing to see a "pound of pollen" all in one spot. The variety of colors, the scent, the taste and texture was really stunning. I am SO hooked.
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