New to Beekeeping and This Forum

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Slowmodem, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

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    Hello!

    I live in Meigs County, TN, about half-way between Chattanooga and Knoxville, on the eastern shore of Watts Bar Lake. I have 5.5 acres, and it's mostly woods and fields of wild flowers (mostly goldenrod now).

    Around the middle of August, a coworker told me that he had too many bees, and that if I would get a hive, he'd give me some bees to start my own colony. So I got a 10-frame deep and all of the necessary equipment and went to his place. I gave him five new frames, and he gave me five of his "active" frames with comb, eggs, bees, etc. He told me they'd make a queen and that everything would be ok. Got them home ok and all seems well. I've been feeding them with a hive top feeder. I started out feeding 1 to 1 but have since upped it to two to one. They are going through about 3 gallons a week.

    I tried to read a lot about this before getting the bees, but sometimes the material doesn't really click until you have the bees in hand and actually see what is going on. I know it's late in the season for some of this, but I really hope I can get them in good enough shape to make it through the winter. If nothing else, at least I am getting some experience this fall so hopefully I'll be more prepared next spring.



    PS: The screen name comes from only having dialup internet access. Most days it's 26.4 kbs. So it's a great day if it's 28.8!
     
  2. ShaneVBS

    ShaneVBS New Member

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    Welcome, youve come to the right place. It will take about a month before you get a laying queen. Do you have eggs yet?
     

  3. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    IMHO, I don't think he did you much of a favor. It will cost you about as much to feed them through the winter as it would to buy a queenless nuc in the spring. Now you have the work of tending them all winter, with questionable chances of survival. A nuc in the spring would be about the same cost, or less, and twice or more chance of survival.

    Since you do have them, we will try to help you get them through the winter. First concern, Did they make a queen, and is she laying properly? Do you have eggs, larva, and capped brood in a fairly solid pattern?

    Secondly, is it gaining weight? Lift the back of the hive an inch at least weekly and determine if it is getting heavier. Learn what the weight feels like, so you don't have to open the hive to know what stores they have.

    Keep us posted and we can take it step by step, as needed.
     
  4. ShaneVBS

    ShaneVBS New Member

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    Good point Iddee, I misread post. But the main question is how many bees you got, are they covering all the frames? I guess taking three gallons a week you must have at least 10 to 20 thousand. We are told around here you should have 30000 or more, and moslty winter bees, if not they will not survive
     
  5. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

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    Thank you for the warm welcome! :)

    I think I'm doing ok. The bees seem very happy. I have seen the queen, so that's a relief. They were filling up the frames, so I added another 10-frame deep, and they're filling that up as well. Of course, they're being well fed (from what I can tell). The bees are coming into the hive loaded with pollen, and the weather has been warm (highs in the 70s to low 80s).

    I have made a few decisions, though. Next year, I'm going to 8-frame mediums. The last time I went to open the hive, I pulled my back muscles and was laid up for a few days. But, that's how you learn.

    I have some questions, but I'll put them in the appropriate topic.

    Thanks again! :)
     
  6. Americasbeekeeper

    Americasbeekeeper New Member

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    Welcome, medium supers are lighter than 10 frame deep.
     
  7. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Hello Greg and welcome to the forum. I am not too far from ya.

    Good luck with your bees, keep the feed on them and when the days cool off pull the syrup and replace with dry sugar. Moisture inside of the hive will also kill your bees out. Most bees will starve out when the first signs of springs come around, think around early to middle March.
     
  8. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    Welcome aboard Greg..

    of course the alternative response to Iddee comments above (that's my job after all) is that you can place some $ value on the sugar water you have fed the bees but the education you have received in actually having bees early may be priceless. already you have determined how you will do things differently in the future, so this experience must have some value.
     
  9. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Yeah, you better get in here and pull your side of the wagon, Tec. :D
     
  10. Zookeep

    Zookeep Active Member

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    welcome, this a good place to hang and learn so read like crazy thats what Ive been doing and come spring if the hive makes it theres alot you can do and have fun with it :Dancing:
     
  11. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    Iddee writes:
    you better get in here and pull your side of the wagon

    tecumseh:
    yep I don't want my old friend accusing me of gold bricking...