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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 01:40 PM 06-17-2017
Originally Posted by mlyonsd:
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.
Of course they came and picked up the swarm....swarms in trees are really easy to get if they are close to ground. It's like you told them there was a hundred dollar bill hanging there to pick up.

Glad it worked out.
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WilliamTheIrish 01:46 PM 06-17-2017
This thread is awesome. While I don't have the space for bees, I do have a fledgling butterfly garden that seems to be coming along.

But this intrigues the hell out of me. I like the idea of trying to something positive and garnering honey in return.

Well done, IWN
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ghak99 03:46 PM 06-17-2017
Originally Posted by Iowanian:
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.
They're definitely honey bees. I put a board in the tank so the bees who end up falling in can crawl out easier. Seems to have helped as I haven't seen any dead floaters since throwing the board in there. Helps the retarded squirrels get out of the tank too.

I've also noticed when the cows go down and stand around the hive in the shade the bees work their face and eyes. The cows act like they are benefiting from it in some way. I guess the bees would keep the biting flies away??
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Iowanian 07:16 PM 06-17-2017
Pure speculation but maybe there is pollen on the hair of their faces from grazing?

Never noticed it before and have no answer other than that guess
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Dave Lane 10:33 AM 06-18-2017
This has probably been mentioned but the flow hive system almost fished me in again. I raised bees in Overland Park at 12ish and was completely fascinating to me. Well until I got stung 26 times trying to take a super off on a hot muggy day without enough smoke.

Ran for 2 blocks. Damn bonnet came untucked then sleeves, then started running and everything came undone.
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Hog's Gone Fishin 06:16 PM 07-05-2017
We need an update. You been stung yet ?
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Iowanian 09:53 AM 07-21-2017
You all probably wish I had a go pro last night.
It's the temperature of hell in iowania right now...I've been gone and noticed my bees were bearded up pretty bad on the outside of a couple of hives. That's not uncommon if it's hot.

I decided to be nice...I took a bucket of water down and filled a small water thing with some rocks in it 10' in front of the hives. I was feeling brave and wasn't wearing any protective stuff. I'm looking at these bees and how hot they are and decide I should crack the tops on a couple of the hives to allow some air flow.

I take 1 step towards them and immediately get my ass kicked. I was hit 5-6 times before I even knew I was in a fight. It was like a gang initiation.

During the past couple of weeks we did 2 cutouts, one ironically in my parents home. Never had bees before this year. Both of those cutouts ran away within a day.

Just got a call about another one from a dozer guy who was getting his ass kicked by a tree of bees. I think I'm ducking out of that one for another obligation, but at least it's hot enough to grill meat on the driveway...without a bee suit....and bees that are grouchy as hell due to the heat and their tree being knocked over.


I'm still enjoying it and I'm lucky that I don't swell when I get stung. My brother got stung on the lip the other day and looked like Mush mouth from the cosby kids about 5 minutes later. The hot dry weather here has really hurt honey production. The white clover is stunted and not blooming so everyone has less than they had hoped. If I had to guess, right now I probably have 5 honey supers full. I think you figure about 3-4 gallons per super, so I should realistically have 15 gallons plus this year, and if we get some rain hopefully that much more. We'll see.
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Hog's Gone Fishin 02:06 PM 07-21-2017
If you will start a gofundme we'll get the go pro for you. LOL.
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Dartgod 02:49 PM 07-21-2017
Originally Posted by Iowanian:
During the past couple of weeks we did 2 cutouts, one ironically in my parents home. Never had bees before this year. Both of those cutouts ran away within a day.
What does this mean?
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Stewie 03:49 PM 07-21-2017
I was talking with a bee-keeping friend of mine about the decline of managed colonies due to mites, pesticides or other problems. He suggested that it may actually be "intense" bee keeping/farming. Much like the intense farming in agriculture that led to changes decades ago, it might be the same thing.
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redhed 07:36 PM 07-21-2017
Originally Posted by Stewie:
I was talking with a bee-keeping friend of mine about the decline of managed colonies due to mites, pesticides or other problems. He suggested that it may actually be "intense" bee keeping/farming. Much like the intense farming in agriculture that led to changes decades ago, it might be the same thing.
There are more managed hives now than when the start of colony collapse disorder was first described ten years ago. Because of better techniques in pest control and bee rearing/queen production, we have more honeybees now than ever before. Things are def looking up.
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redhed 07:39 PM 07-21-2017
There is a new breed of bees that has been developed by Purdue university that are varroa mite resistant. They're called "anklebiter" because they bite the legs off the mites.
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Buehler445 10:09 PM 07-21-2017
Every time you post about Iowa it amazes me how wet it is there.

How is the corn oooking there? Can you make pictures of burned up corn go viral so the price will go up? I don't have enough hedged.
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Iowanian 12:46 PM 07-22-2017
Originally Posted by Dartgod:
What does this mean?
A swarm of bees found a hole under the roof vent cap and built a hive in the sophet.
We had to tear off some of the trim and the sophet to remove the hive and the bees. There have never been bees in their home before. Ironic they move in when brother and I start doing this.

The bees from that removal flew away the next day from their new hive location. We probably missed or killed the queen. I checked today and the bees are all gone from their home. I'll throw up some pics to show you more.

The week before that we cut a hive out of an old pop up camper. We put that comb in frames and moved the, to a new location and hive. All of those bees swarmed away the next day too. Not sure why. It sure makes all of the work to do it wasted.
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Iowanian 12:47 PM 07-22-2017
Originally Posted by Buehler445:
Every time you post about Iowa it amazes me how wet it is there.

How is the corn oooking there? Can you make pictures of burned up corn go viral so the price will go up? I don't have enough hedged.

Northern Iowa is getting pounded by rain, hail and wind. Flooding in some areas. We are in a pretty bad drought in my area. Rains keep missing us by 30 miles
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