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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.
Attached: IMG_0418.jpg (67.1 KB) 
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srvy 06:23 PM 09-04-2017
Really have enjoyed this thread thanks so much keep it going.

Also when I was a kid mom would bring a jar home from the store with a chunk of the honey comb in it. You dont see this anymore I think it was Su Bee. For some reason she liked that. She said her Dad my Gramps who kept bees always jarred with a bit of the comb.
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WilliamTheIrish 06:24 PM 09-04-2017
Seriously this is incredibly fun. After reading this thread I discovered I work with two folks who keep bees. So I'm kind and helping them out when I can.

I mostly get in the way, but haven't screwed anything up. Yet. I'm learning a lot and only got stung a few times. It's fun Tom do and socialize with others who do it.

Good on ya, again IO
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jspchief 06:36 PM 09-04-2017
Very interesting stuff. I have to say I'm surprised at how often you guys appear to get stung. I would have figured gear and technique would practically eliminate that.

Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
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Buehler445 06:49 PM 09-04-2017
Originally Posted by Iowanian:
So far I've learned that like most of my other farm related hobbies, bee keeping has turned me into a magician.

Take $1500 and say the magic word..."bitch better have my honey" and Poof! It's now $400!!!!


No...it's not about the money.. it's interesting and I find it calming and relaxing to go watch and screw with my bees. It's also been a great ice breaker conversation topic. It helps our farm, orchard, garden and I get to tell hippies that I'm a deplorable who does more hippy earth shit that's they do. Bonus.

Thanks for watching. Tune in next spring for a game of "did any of them survive the winter"
That's hilarious
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lewdog 06:56 PM 09-04-2017
Great stuff.

I rank honey right behind money as one of my true loves.
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mlyonsd 07:05 PM 09-04-2017
Any bugs in my shop are usually dealt with complete and utter destructive force.

Yesterday I noticed what initially looked like a fly on the shop bench. As I was cocking the fly gun getting ready to sight him in I looked closer and discovered it was a worker honey bee. Just crawling around on the bench acting all confused. I slid a piece of paper underneath him (I'm no he man Iowanian) and took him to the door. As soon as he hit the open breeze he took off with what looked like an instinctive plan.

Gotta admit, me previously following this thread saved his life.

Wasps on the other hand...they could shit hundred dollar bills out of their ass and I'd still kill everyone one. They scare the hell out of me. Only animal that does.
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Iowanian 07:32 PM 09-04-2017
Originally Posted by jspchief:
Very interesting stuff. I have to say I'm surprised at how often you guys appear to get stung. I would have figured gear and technique would practically eliminate that.

Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
The truth is we don't get stung that often. I've had more trips with nothing bad happening.

Usually when we get stung it's during cutouts when we are cutting into their homes and tearing out comb by comb. The gear is good and saves you most of the time. Maybe I'm too rammy and not calm enough, maybe I don't use enough smoke to calm them down. A lot of people don't use gear at all, but I've gotten my ass kicked about every time I've been near them.

Usually everything is fine and you're taking your gear off and one hits you in the face when you take the net off, or one is behind your leg and you squat or sit on them in the truck seat. A lot of times it's on the neck when you work over your head....if you get stung through a suit it's usually from pinching them.

Other times I'm sure it's dumb things....moving too fast, getting cocky in a hot day when they are grumpy and taking your hats off near the hives and sipping a beer....that's how my brother took one to the lip....they don't like beer.

I'm not s pro and I'm sure I make mistakes. Usually I just tell people that bees are a good judge of character as proven by them coming for my face every time I get near a hive with no net. It's a fact that they come after some people more than others. It's either because they think my manly smell is bad, im ugly or I'm so macho they think I'm a grizly bear. I'd go with ugly since you've seen me.

Though the gloves is usually a half sting...small bite. Truth is, Most of them don't hurt too bad....the end of the nose is the worst place I've found so far, but I don't pee near the hives.
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Iowanian 07:35 PM 09-04-2017
Originally Posted by srvy:
Really have enjoyed this thread thanks so much keep it going.

Also when I was a kid mom would bring a jar home from the store with a chunk of the honey comb in it. You dont see this anymore I think it was Su Bee. For some reason she liked that. She said her Dad my Gramps who kept bees always jarred with a bit of the comb.

One of our guys sells quite a bit of honey and he sells some with comb in the jars and some straight pieces of comb.

This is why I'm thinking of getting s top bar hive or two....so I can sell comb honey for an up charge.

Most guys don't sell comb because you don't want to screw up the comb in your frames. If you start with built up frames next year the bees start making honey quicker because they don't spend time building new comb. More honey-mo money.
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Iowanian 07:38 PM 09-04-2017
Originally Posted by WilliamTheIrish:
Seriously this is incredibly fun. After reading this thread I discovered I work with two folks who keep bees. So I'm kind and helping them out when I can.

I mostly get in the way, but haven't screwed anything up. Yet. I'm learning a lot and only got stung a few times. It's fun Tom do and socialize with others who do it.

Good on ya, again IO

That's how I got started....an old timer wanted out of the business and a friend started talking to him....the other guys got a couple of hives....I started helping them and boom. I'll wager you have 2 hives next year based on my history.
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Iowanian 07:44 PM 09-04-2017
Originally Posted by Buzz:
I was caulking the side of the house about 3 weeks ago and was standing over a bush that just so happened to have a yellow jacket nest underneath it. I got nailed on the knee and knocked that one off pretty quick, the one that was going to town repeatedly stinging my ankle had me doing the funky dance across the drive. Later that evening I went out and dumped some gas in the hole and dam if I didn't get nailed in the palm. That shit hurt for a good week.

Wasps and yellow jackets aren't bees....they are satans asshole.

I think I shared around fall last year I mowed over some by my pond and took 30-40 hits from those bastards. After they stung me 4 more times when I went down with wasp spray...which just pisses them off.....I ended up dealing with them with a couple of gallons of gas and the business end of 2lbs of tannerite. F yellowjackets. I hate them.
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Dave Lane 10:03 PM 09-04-2017
Really cool thread, I've been thinking of doing this again. Seeing the pictures makes me remember how fun most of the experience was.

I'm gone a ton from my farm in the summer due to photo related travel. My big concern is that I return to a hive crash. The recent fragility of bee populations concern me if you aren't going to be in the area for 2-3 weeks at a time.
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Iowanian 08:32 AM 09-05-2017
I'm taking a "Get tough or die" approach. That said I was annoyed by hive beetles when we were processing and might try to spray a vinegar and salt solution under my hives to kill those larva and I'm not above fogging for mites with oxcelic acid and grain alcohol to handle that if needed.

A weak hive isn't going to make it, a strong one probably should. While I'm not an expert by any means it seems to me the only times they really need much baby sitting is early in the spring when you need to do some supplemental feeding.

If you're concerned about mites you can always fog them when you are around or detect an issue.

One of the guys did lose some hives this summer and we aren't sure why, but it seems like most of the losses from people I talk to happen over the winter. Once you're set up, I'm finding it's pretty easy to find bees.
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Dave Lane 10:03 AM 09-05-2017
Originally Posted by Iowanian:
I'm taking a "Get tough or die" approach. That said I was annoyed by hive beetles when we were processing and might try to spray a vinegar and salt solution under my hives to kill those larva and I'm not above fogging for mites with oxcelic acid and grain alcohol to handle that if needed.

A weak hive isn't going to make it, a strong one probably should. While I'm not an expert by any means it seems to me the only times they really need much baby sitting is early in the spring when you need to do some supplemental feeding.

If you're concerned about mites you can always fog them when you are around or detect an issue.

One of the guys did lose some hives this summer and we aren't sure why, but it seems like most of the losses from people I talk to happen over the winter. Once you're set up, I'm finding it's pretty easy to find bees.
Just one of those sugar water bottles inserted in the entrance?
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Iowanian 10:25 AM 09-05-2017
There are options, the entrance feeders, top feeders will hold more juice.

Basically, what I was told was to supplement with the sugar water feeders until I see dandilions and white clover. Once those pop, they're ok.

That's what I've been taught anyway.
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Dave Lane 10:29 AM 09-05-2017
The top feeders must be new. Course I was doing this 40 years ago so I'd expect some changes. Should set the hives on a concrete slab or?
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