by, Aug 16th 2012 at 12:53 PM (1490 Views)
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)