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The Lounge>The bee keeper diaries
Iowanian 06:59 PM 02-02-2017
It's a great time to buy stock in eppy pens.

This thread is a repository for bee keepers or those interested.

A couple of years ago, a couple of friends an my brother started puttering with honey bees. I didn't buy off because, well, I've never been a big fan of bees or getting stung by them. Last summer I tagged along a couple of times to check their hives and to remove honey bees from a house, public building and an old garage.

I realized at the end of the summer when I was helping them process some, that it's actually pretty interesting, and fits into my expanding "grow my own" logic. I'm not full blown hippy but I see a lot of logic in the self sustaining food thing and I'm doing some of that too.

That said, this thread is about bees, honey bees, bee keeping and bee fighting war stories.

I'm taking the leap and plan to get 2-3 hives this spring and maybe build some bee swarm traps to make it cheaper or to make a few bucks.

Join me and I'll share the real life lessons of an ameture bee keeper. I'm sure I'm going to learn some things the hard way.
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Iowanian 04:31 PM 05-27-2017
Mixed bag today. Raced a rain storm to grab a swarm this morning that was low to the ground. Checked my hives for the first time this year and they seem to be doing ok.

On the way from my brothers house I saw a swarm in a neighbors tree. I went back for it a little later and it was probably the event some of you have been waiting for...I spread out a tarp under the swarm, cut some limbs from below it. I tossed a weighted rope over the limb and tugged. Yeah...I pulled a rope on a limb with 5lbs of bees directly above my head. About half of they dropped basically how I wanted but far too many went airborne.

So...there I was, in a bee suit and rubber boots, climbing 20' up a pasture scrub tree and hanging on a limb....cutting a 5-6" limb with a folding saw....with bees th at were already mad from shaking them. I got the limb dropped and bees shook off and thought I had most of them in the box....and then I looked up....obviously missed the queen as I noticed the bees boiling out of my box and flying 30' up the tree into a fork I had no chance of shaking them out of.....it was a hot, sweaty, painful...dismal failure.

I atrapped a box into the tree and left to see what would happen.
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Hog's Gone Fishin 05:43 PM 05-27-2017
I can see where this could be addicting. Hard to believe there are so many bee swarms you are finding. really cool.
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Iowanian 05:49 PM 05-27-2017
They are going nuts right now. I literally saw the last one hanging in a tree from the road. We have some cutouts to do lined up...an old camper, a big hollow tree, a tree too high off the ground to be fun and maybe a house or two. I want to avoid houses that aren't being torn down.

I'd you had told me a year ago I would be doing this I'd have said you were nuts. It is addicting...maybe it's an adrenaline thing...but it's strangely calming to just watch them.
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Hog's Gone Fishin 05:53 PM 05-27-2017
Well yeah, something that could ultimately Kill you yet you can lasoo it in and contain it. I think its awesome.
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Hog's Gone Fishin 10:14 AM 05-28-2017

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Iowanian 03:18 PM 05-29-2017
Business is boomin in the bee business lately. Had a couple of swarm calls yesterday and 2 calls for swarms and a cutout today. Wasn't able to do all of them because if the holiday.

This morning something cool happened. I was attending a Memorial Day event at a local cemetery. Just before the 21 gun salute a couple of ladies approached and said there was a bee issue. I had seen a cedar tree with a hive in it 30-40 yards away when we arrived but this was near the speakers and honor guard. There wasn't much to do but after the salute and prayers I walked over in time to see bee swarm boiling out of another cedar tree and they were swarming all around the honor guard...I mean a shitload of bees surrounding these guys who stayed at parade rest. One of them was an old bee keeper and told them to be still....and I pointed to some tombstones near them with a prediction.....the swarm gathered on one of the oldest veterans graves in the cemetery a couple of hundred yards from where my grandpa rests. I left to get my stuff and returned with my daughter to gather the swarm and bring them home.


If this isn't interesting I can not share more, I just thought some of you might like this stuff.
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Hog's Gone Fishin 03:33 PM 05-29-2017
Keep the stories coming , but you know we're all waiting for the attack video where you're running around flailing about. It's good to hear there are so many hives around. I remember several years back the news reporting the Bee population was dying off. fake news I guess.
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Iowanian 03:39 PM 05-29-2017
I think worldwide and nationwide bee death is a real thing. The guys who are helping me all lost several colonies this winter.


I also think we all know that I'm going to get my ass handed to me at some point...and we also know that my history here is to share th agony of defeat as well as the thrill of victory.
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Hog's Gone Fishin 03:44 PM 05-29-2017
Originally Posted by Iowanian:
I think worldwide and nationwide bee death is a real thing. The guys who are helping me all lost several colonies this winter.


I also think we all know that I'm going to get my ass handed to me at some point...and we also know that my history here is to share th agony of defeat as well as the thrill of victory.
www.lidcam.com :-)
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Buzz 05:20 PM 05-29-2017
Originally Posted by Iowanian:
I think worldwide and nationwide bee death is a real thing. The guys who are helping me all lost several colonies this winter.


I also think we all know that I'm going to get my ass handed to me at some point...and we also know that my history here is to share th agony of defeat as well as the thrill of victory.


I just know when I was 2 or 3 years old, I got stung on the thumb and according to my parents almost died. They rushed me to the emergency room with my eyes rolling back in my head. I haven't been stung by a bee but have been nailed by a hornet and a yellow jacket since, so maybe it was just the young age, still, I try to avoid them.
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redhed 05:41 PM 05-29-2017
Originally Posted by Iowanian:
I think worldwide and nationwide bee death is a real thing. The guys who are helping me all lost several colonies this winter.


I also think we all know that I'm going to get my ass handed to me at some point...and we also know that my history here is to share th agony of defeat as well as the thrill of victory.
Oh, it's real all right.
I lost the 3 remaining hives I had wintered. I'm fairly certain it was varroa.
I was able to salvage the honey, but the hives themselves are a total loss.

I started 2 pkg hives this April, and they seem strong. These are the most chill bees I've worked with, I don't even wear my suit most of the time.

Sounds like you've really got it rolling up there, Iowanian. Enjoy the ride and don't forget to do a mite check!
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Buehler445 05:48 PM 05-29-2017
Originally Posted by Iowanian:
I think worldwide and nationwide bee death is a real thing. The guys who are helping me all lost several colonies this winter.


I also think we all know that I'm going to get my ass handed to me at some point...and we also know that my history here is to share th agony of defeat as well as the thrill of victory.
They died over the winter?

My understanding was they die during the year. People were blaming it on insecticide treated corn where the insecticide would get on the talc and get airborne through the vacuum system. (Even though vacuum planters have been around for 30 years and this is a new phenomenon).
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mlyonsd 10:43 AM 06-17-2017
This thread came in very useful. I was just in Florida helping my daughter and SIL paint their new house. They had just taken possession and didn't notice a giant hive in one of their plum trees.

A quick Google search turned up a group of local beekeepers that relocates bees for free.

Thank you sir.
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ghak99 12:59 PM 06-17-2017
I walked by that old tractor with the hive in the rear tire yesterday and thought of this thread and you poking the bear. The whole back tire was one giant swarm of bees that acted like they was looking for some dummy to come play with them. :-)

Also noticed they're constantly pulling water from a stock tank that's up on top the hill in the shade. Guess the fresh rural water is better than the pond they have to fly by to get to it??
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Iowanian 01:35 PM 06-17-2017
Is it honey bees for sure?

They're pulling water to cool the hive.


I've got 5 of my own now. One of my nudes and one of the swarms are my strongest hives. I have a honey Super on one, 2 boxes on three and one of the swarms is a little behind. I'm on track to have honey this year so that's good. Work has been crazy and I'm gone a lot but I've got to get three more cutouts done by July if I'm going to do it.
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