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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi
Just stumbled across this forum & am looking to looking at it in more depth
I am the Beekeeping instructor for the Moonshine Beekeepers ( Really that's the name ) in Franklin Co. Va. & am always looking for more sources of info both for myself & my students. Please look for us & " like " us on Facebook
I currently have about 35 hives mostly to support Queen rearing I have been raising & selling them for about 4 years
I started making Queens to replace the package queens of my students that were not accepted or died or the 100s of other reasons they fail looking forward to the day that packages will be a thing of the past
I feel that a Queen is better if she is locally adapted & is always accepted if she has gone thru at least 1 brood cycle ... Yup that makes them expensive, get over it, it is a proven queen not a queen to be, before you ask no I don't ship ( that regional thing ) plus I won't pull a Queen till you show up at my yard
I am a little funny that way but my bees are important to me & I don't make a living at it so I don't have to sell them in any kind of quanity just good Quality
Enough ranting.. gotta go check my bees
Jeff
 

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Welcome Jeff.:hi:

So you are one of those beekeepers into bees for the sake of bees and other beekeepers and not just for money. You'll find a LOT of friends here in your category. We even have "moonshine beekeepers" here (right now, I have a gallon of mead bubbling away in my back porch) so we expect to feel at home with you and hope you feel the same way with us. :grin:
 

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Welcome Jeff, looking to hear more of your queen raising and other bekeeping duites. Petty new to this myself.

kebee
 

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Welcome and hi Jeff. You get to mold impressionable young minds, (well young to beekeeping). In a perfect beehive in a perfect world this is how its done! Know welcome to reality. the more we know about bees the more they mystify us. Ask 10 different beekeepers how to do something and you will receive 12 different answers. But to start of with a good understanding of the basics. Priceless!
It's nice to see that you support after the course so the newkeepers are successful and don't become discouraged. Nothing worse than having queen troubles and not having excess to other hives, bees and brood to be able to address and fix the problems. When I first started the old time beekeeper told me to always have at least two hives, so you have a comparison and you have backup support for the other hive if needed. Great Advice!
 

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welcome aboard...

I rear a few queens myself and on occasions work for folks (I would guess most folks would recognize them straight out???) who rear them in great quantity. the difference in queens (or almost anything else I can think of right here off the bat) in regards to quality can be significant. the financial and physical input required to produce queens given the marked differences in scale is not so much different although the blend of inputs certainly is different. at the end of the process the person (if knowledgeable... which can be a really really large if in todays world) catching the queen and saying yes or no to whether she is acceptable is really the difference in how good a queen turns out to be for a customer. in the most simple language how severe a 'culling process' the queen catcher or queen breeder employs the better quality of the end product.

I myself don't give much weight to the 'locally adapted' sales pitch. I suspect this is for me more a matter of prior education and understanding of what such terms mean academically (evolutionary/genetic sense of the term). I myself suspect 'locally selected' might be a more accurate term. I would hope most folks rearing queens 'get beyond' any unitary selection criterion.... which is to say there should be a long list of qualities that queen rearing folks should consider in the selection process.

you might wish to provide a link to your facebook page...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I agree that the locally adapted thing just might be " smoke & mirrors " & the quality of the few queens that I produce might be a result of being a little ruthless in the culling process or just making sure that the starter hive is properly fed, I just don't know . I am new enough at this that I am still experimenting.
Package queens are failing, being superceded, or are not accepted 50% + of the times & while a advanced beek can overcome this, a newbee can fail & never try again & that is just a shame. The more beekeepers we have out there the more awareness on the various environmental problems that man is creating for bees. I would rather have 100 beeks with 10 hives each than 10 with 100, many soft voices will carry more volume than a few loud ones
I agree that one of the perks is molding " New " beeks but it is important to give all the options / choices & recognize those students that need to be " Told " what to do, all the while convincing them that this is just the start of their education.
One problem that we face every year is the lack of mentors. Every year I have to beg, plead whine, bribe, threaten & a few hundred adjactives & I still end up with a few too many myself.
I find that the students teach me as much as the bees do asking questions that make me think.
I find that my strongest asset is being willing to say " I don't know " & then look for an answer
I wasn't looking to be a beekeeper it is something that my wife started & I had to take the class too ! Someone had to do the heavy lifting ... well the bees just sucked me in
Ask me about Welding / Scuba diving / these are sciences, Bees ... Voodoo comes to mind
Sorry no link I am new to Facebook & the Moonshine Beekeeping Association isn't my page ( yes I helped start the club ) should be easy to find along with mine just search Jeff Jenner I do post pictures of cut outs that I do that are public
My wife & I are building a large house ( 6 years & counting )together ( were doing all the work ) & my wife ( who no longer want's anything to do to the bees ) thinks I spend far too much time on bees & beekeeping students... well too bad
JJ
 

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For your second post, that was great!
I wanted to highlight a few things you mentioned but it would have taken too long! :thumbsup:
Glad you found us (or maybe the other way around) :wink:
 

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good post and a snip..

Package queens are failing, being superceded, or are not accepted 50% + of the times & while a advanced beek can overcome this, a newbee can fail & never try again & that is just a shame. The more beekeepers we have out there the more awareness on the various environmental problems that man is creating for bees. I would rather have 100 beeks with 10 hives each than 10 with 100, many soft voices will carry more volume than a few loud ones

tecumseh:
I absolutely agree. The real trick in building our little club (Brenham Texas <home to Blue Bell Ice Cream and ZZ Top.... now ain't that a combination?) is to put enough time up front in those people who want one or two hives (many simple to pollinate a garden plot) till they feel somewhat comfortable and then see if they stick. many do 'stick' which then seems to promote our spring time bee school (last year we had about 400 folks show up and pay for our one day school). for those 'students' close by (and several some distance away) a good number of these then become club members. Brenham Texas does have a odd mix of characteristics that does seem to make this all work.

I have heard folks mention (several times in a bee convention type environment) that for some reason package bees and queens going into Virginia does seem to represent a problem. I havin' been reared in West 'by God' Virginia (western most edge of the Washington Plantation to which I am also some genetic connected) would like to lay the cause on them poor blue blooded FLAT LANDERS down in Virginia but really suspect a more logical call is the origin of the hives from which these products are derived. after some time you do put two and two together when you find out where the big boys move their bees and which friends they tend to hang out with at conventions.
 

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Hi and Welcome to the forum Jeff :) . I agree with the others about what you've written. Great posts!

I agree with you about package bees. The queens are mostly useless. In my location we get packages shipped up from norther california. Same problem, over 50%+ queen failure. Very frustrating! The ONLY hope with packages is that the queens make it at least 2 months-----long enough until local queens (from small-time queen rearers on the mainland) have queens available. We can then requeen (if the package isn't already dead from queen failure) with good mated queens. The small time producers care about the quality and not the quantity!! Keep up your good work!!!!!!:thumbsup:
 
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