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Aha moment!

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Gee, what if there was a way for someone who read one of my posts to be able to look and see how many hives I have, what problems I've had in my area in a timeline sort of fashion. So I get on here, and I go to my profile, and lo and behold I have a blog I can post on. Iddee thought of this already!

In June 2010 some fool or pest removal company removed a feral hive from a renthouse that had been unoccupied for 5 years around the corner from me. I didn't see another tomato after that until about November. Reckon he poisoned the honey and every pollinator we had took a bite. If I wanted a garden, I would have to get bees.

Got my first hive on March 1st 2011 from a local well-advertised but not on forums beek, paid $300 for deep plus super, used frames, home made telescoping cover and bottom board, and the deep was full of bees from a cutout that she had had about a year. And of course, it came with a Boardman feeder. Which periodically leaked. Beek had me set it up under my giant elm tree. Sunny in winter, no sun hit that spot from April 1st til November 1st. Of course the bees were gone long before then. The bees spent the end of April 2011 chasing me off my lot, I was getting stung once every other day. So I was kind of relieved when that giant swarm made a football on my tree, and I just let them go. (my beesuit came about a week later and I had NO CLUE what to do about it. When a friend suggested a bucket and a stick I went "duhh")

Saw some ants on the hive a couple of weeks after that. Put cinnamon on it. While I now had a suit, and I had a super the beek told me to order and put on, I opened it once, put the super on, and carefully backed away from the hive. I was scared. Smoker? old one, didn't work very well. Lot of that was me.

I was so sad when I discovered the bees had died out (actually absconded) at the end of July that I just cried. The beek took pity on me. In exchange for her equipment that I'd removed several pounds of wax moth and shb larva from, she gave me a beatup (holes in all corners) deep and super, old plasticell frames, and 2 frames of bee that did have a queen. When I went to pick these up, I saw that she was feeding her bees. She had told me to stop feeding mine a month before. Anyway, I took my bees home, swearing faithfully to her that I would put them in the shade. And set them up where they'd get at least 6 hours sunlight a day. I later moved them to a 9 hour a day spot.

And I got out on forums and asked stupid questions and learned. By the time my lost swarm came back to rob them out on October 4th, I had that hive up to 7 frames and a varroa mite count of zero from powdered sugar dusting. AND I could build a non-boardman feeder and spot the queen. I was comfortable pulling frames and in a suit despite the hottest summer on record since 1980. (did a LOT of 6 am and 10 pm beekeeping)

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  1. PerryBee's Avatar
    I think reading other folks stories about their beekeeping experiences is the next best thing to...................................actually keeping bees.

  2. Iddee's Avatar
    Enjoyed the article and hope to see many updates, but can't take credit for the blogs. They were thought of and set up by Charles.
  3. efmesch's Avatar
    It sounds like such a nice series of start-up experiences. As you gain experience and bees, you'll treasure your memories of how it all started.
    Thanks for sharing your story, even if it was only the "tip of the iceberg".
  4. tecumseh's Avatar
    thanks for sharing your story. I myself often suspect such stories provide a better/truer glimpse of what most new bee keeper will experience than anything us 'old hands' might say or suggest.
  5. riverbee's Avatar
    gypsi, enjoyed reading your story, thanks for sharing your new beekeeping adventures!
  6. Marbees's Avatar
    Gypsi your article just confirmed what riverrat already said in his signature line - if beekeeping was easy everybody would be doing it.
    Richard Taylor in his book The Joys of Beekeeping had a following line:It must be emphasized that in apiculture, as in faith, many are called but few chosen.
    Then he writes about many people who tried beekeeping and have stopped. Persistance, passion and love for bees are must, to be a beekeeper. Fighting obstacles is a big part of it, and you described it nicely.
  7. Gypsi's Avatar
    Wow I have comments! Thank you all. There will be an update. Probably after I finish my 2011 taxes and see how this "hive balancing act" of mine works out. So far so good, both hives, (one with a dearth of foragers, and one with too many) were getting oriented to a couple of hours ago.
  8. Gypsi's Avatar
    Looked in the hives today, and took them some fondant. 4 out of 5 are going strong. The 5th one requeened themselves a bit late in the year, after I killed the hot queen, and they just didn't start with good numbers. Moved the strong hive next to them over a foot, hoping they will pick up returning stragglers.

    It is, of course, the hot hive that booted the Italian queen. It is also my only hive without a full screened bottom board, but it has a 2 or 3 inch diameter hole in the bottom board screened with #8 hardware cloth.