a winter's tale....

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by tecumseh, Sep 27, 2012.

  1. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    A long time ago I worked for a commercial beekeeper who's primary help was a fellow by the name of George. a large jovial fellow who was originally from a beekeeping family in Minnesota but for the past 20+ years had worked for several large North Dakota beekeepers. I spent two spring time seasons tagging along behind George working the opposite side of the pallet from him while we split 800 hives into 2400 each spring time. in our spring time journey in 'that smelly old bee truck' George certainly relayed a lot of his beekeeping knowledge and experience.... some related to his childhood upbringing in Minnesota working with his father and some much later as his former employee had been one of the first beekeepers to go to the almonds in California. His very much varied experience certainly had a dramatic influence on the 'options' I began to recognize relative to the bees and beekeeping.

    This is one of George's little child hood tale....

    Now Georges father was a side line beekeeper who maintained about 300 hives and overwintered the hives in Minnesota. During the fall of the year his father would loosely wrap hives with black roofing paper typically using recycled baling wired to keep the stuff together and he would then fill the void with leaves he had collected from neighbors in the local community who regularly raked their yard, bagged the leaves and haul these out to the curb to be hauled away.

    One year as winter was quickly approaching George and his father were out one weekend doing their rounds tossing bags of leaves on the truck when one of the town folk came out of the house and approached George's dad. The fellow started some small conversation with George's dad explaining to him how he had watched their seasonal activity and kind of figured he knew what they did at most time of the year but he was confused as to what purpose they collect the leaves. George's father (with a cold stone expression) explained how the collected leaves were for providing some winter comfort for the bees and he would take these bags of leaves and dump them directly outside the hive. Then when the weather turned cold the individual bees would march outside, grab themselves one leaf, haul this single leaf back inside and when the temperature got really really cold would wrap themselves in the leaf like a blanket. As far as George knew his childhood neighbor went to his grave thinking that was how you wintered prep'ed a hive in Minnesota.

    so for all you YANKEE beekeepers here is not only a beekeepers tale but also another means to prep your hives for the 'winter is coming'.

    and the best to ya' all and may the spring time find all your hives to be flyin'.

    tecumseh.... a panther passing in the night....
     
  2. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    :lol: :thumbsup: :mrgreen:

    Mine go out after the first snow and pile it up against the outside of the hive for added insulation. :wink:
     

  3. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    That's one of the oldtime tributes I miss. Men would use that kind of response often. Made life interesting. Thanks for the reminder.
     
  4. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    Great read, thanks! I got a good laugh and some knowledge out of that one. Now, not only my garden, but my hives will benefit from all the leaves. I thought about putting paper around my hives and that leaves are great idea I would not have thought of.
     
  5. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Great story, thanks!! :D
     
  6. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    "George's father (with a cold stone expression) explained how the collected leaves were for providing some winter comfort for the bees and he would take these bags of leaves and dump them directly outside the hive. Then when the weather turned cold the individual bees would march outside, grab themselves one leaf, haul this single leaf back inside and when the temperature got really really cold would wrap themselves in the leaf like a blanket. As far as George knew his childhood neighbor went to his grave thinking that was how you wintered prep'ed a hive in Minnesota.

    so for all you YANKEE beekeepers here is not only a beekeepers tale but also another means to prep your hives for the 'winter is coming'.

    and the best to ya' all and may the spring time find all your hives to be flyin'."


    :lol:
    we YANKEE'S are, btw, this works in wisconsin as well........be cleaning them leaves off the landing board come spring. :lol:

    tecumseh, best back to ya, and your hives a flyin' as well come spring, thanks for the great story!
     
  7. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    I think somebody is lying in this here story.........................there ain't no way there was trucks that far back when tec was a young man :lol:

    Good story for sure, I like to hear them all!
     
  8. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    great story thanks for sharing tec.
     
  9. Daniel Y

    Daniel Y New Member

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    We are starting tonight on making 160,000 quarter size quilts. We are going to have the best wintered bees in the country.