Beekeeping forum: I keep bees also

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Name: Al
Michigan
trailtwister
Jun 13, 2017 6:13 AM CST
Got my start with bees in a tree that came down in a storm. Kare said she had seen a PBS show that bees were bad off and that was a long time ago so we attempted to save them.
Failed in that but had the equipment so bought a nuc, they didn't make it thru the first winter. Joined a newly formed club in my area and bought two packages. Had a older long time beekeeper come and do the first inspection with me and both colonies were sick with some thing so the old guy said if I burned every thing he would give me two colonies complete with hives frames and bottom boards and covers.

When winter came I had 5 colonies because another member gave me 3 swarms he caught. I scrambled for a while making boxes and building frames and installing foundation.

We were up to 150 colonies in 12 bee yards in two counties in 2009 when Nosema Creana Hit Michigan. No one in the USA had any Idea how to deal with it. Thankfully a friend had a Canadian friend who gave him contact information to Guelph university in Ont.
They got us on the right tract to save the remaining colonies, yet we lost 63% our selves. Friend lost over 80% of 500 colonies.

We slowly built back up and I learned how to raise queens, make most of all my wooden wear and all that.

I am a old fart and knees were worn out, decided to have total replacement surgery 2016 so we sold off all of our colonies since I could not care for the girls as they should bee.

I just had a swarm move into a stack of hives behind the honey house so I am back into the bees with no cost today.

Some day they will allow me to post pictures I believe.

Green Grin! Al

You not dressed with out a smile.
[Last edited by trailtwister - Jun 14, 2017 4:09 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1472982 (1)
Name: Heath
sevierville TN (Zone 7a)
Composter Beekeeper Houseplants Region: Tennessee Bee Lover Frugal Gardener
Vermiculture Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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plantcollector
Jun 13, 2017 12:40 PM CST
That's quite a journey.150 colonies did you sell honey or bees or both. I only have one hive I had two last year and they died over the winter I was hoping to get some swarms this summer but none yet. Go luck with your new bees and keep us posted.
Name: Al
Michigan
trailtwister
Jun 14, 2017 4:22 AM CST
Yes we sold honey some but I made more selling wax and Nucs.

It is best to start with at least two colony's as you can compare the two to see they are doing well and borrow frames from a strong one to boost a weak one.

If you had one colony make it thru the winter split it Now, Don't wait for it to swarm.

I love catching swarms, or should say I like to gather swarms when people call me.
I have gotten two from the local Home Depot one from inside the garden center and one from a shrub in the parking lot.

Green Grin! Al
You not dressed with out a smile.
[Last edited by trailtwister - Jun 14, 2017 4:25 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1473896 (3)
Name: Heath
sevierville TN (Zone 7a)
Composter Beekeeper Houseplants Region: Tennessee Bee Lover Frugal Gardener
Vermiculture Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
plantcollector
Jun 14, 2017 2:38 PM CST
I started with two hives last year but since they died over the winter I didn't have enough money to get two this spring. If I can keep this hive alive all winter I'm going to spilt it in the spring.
Name: Al
Michigan
trailtwister
Jun 15, 2017 11:04 AM CST
You using two deep hives or deep and a medium for the brood boxes.

Green Grin! Al
You not dressed with out a smile.
Name: Heath
sevierville TN (Zone 7a)
Composter Beekeeper Houseplants Region: Tennessee Bee Lover Frugal Gardener
Vermiculture Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
plantcollector
Jun 15, 2017 1:11 PM CST
Last year I had 1 with two deeps and one all mediums. This year I'm just using the one with the mediums I want all my stuff to be mediums I don't really want the Deeps
Thumb of 2017-06-15/plantcollector/d673f9

Name: Al
Michigan
trailtwister
Jun 15, 2017 4:45 PM CST
When I started out I experimented with different set ups. Decided that here in Michigan 2 deeps minim are needed to over winter or 3 mediums I chose the 2 deeps.

Hated looking thru 30 frames when doing an inspection and shuffling boxes in the spring too. Early one my boss had to see the queen during inspections so many times it meant every frame was pulled and transfused to a different box.

With the deeps I only had to look at 20 frames to find the queen.

Surprised your not doing screened bottom board, and how tall is that stand.



Green Grin! Al
You not dressed with out a smile.
Name: Heath
sevierville TN (Zone 7a)
Composter Beekeeper Houseplants Region: Tennessee Bee Lover Frugal Gardener
Vermiculture Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
plantcollector
Jun 15, 2017 5:23 PM CST
I can understand not wanting to go though 30 frames. My thought was everything being the same and interchangeable. That was the first stand I did and I hit solid rock when I was diging the hole it is to tall I will need a step ladder when I add another box D'Oh! The good thing about it being so tall is that it is a screen bottom board and I can look under it and see all of my girls. Green Grin!
Name: Al
Michigan
trailtwister
Jun 29, 2017 4:44 AM CST
I can post pictures now. Our back yard hives with mother natures insulation on them.

Thumb of 2017-06-29/trailtwister/c5e815

One of my Karenoloina queens. Yes I raise our own queens with the cell punch method. Works better for my old (70yrs) eyes than using a grafting spoon and dipping that tiny little C out of a cell.

Thumb of 2017-06-29/trailtwister/4b30bb

Thumb of 2017-06-29/trailtwister/82cd41

One of my helpers.

Thumb of 2017-06-29/trailtwister/b24c46

Green Grin! Al
You not dressed with out a smile.

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