Bees

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Bees

Post by ShineonCrazyDiamond » Wed May 08, 2019 4:49 pm

So this year, me and the wife are setting out on some new adventures. About 3 months ago she asks "Babe... how would you feel..."

Now, that's usually when the fighting starts.

This time however it was "...if we got bees?" I had pondered it before and said sure. Now, it doesn't matter if you are stilling, keeping bees, smoking meat, or learning to play an instrument. Any hobby is a commitment of months of learning. That never stops. After all the books, the seminars, the club joining and meetings, and the seemingly standard $1,000 hobby (any) start up investment... our bees came today!

I don't know where this path will lead us. But I feel ready, confident, and I'm positive it will end with mead :). That's another thing to learn. But a couple hundred pounds of honey a year... what's a guy to do :)
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Re: Bees

Post by acfixer69 » Wed May 08, 2019 5:11 pm

Oh my god that;s jumpin in to a new hobby. If your nabor's are like mine look out. Taking the honey bear to a new level..RandymarshCT must have made quite an impression He did a maple one and a honey drink. That's for you young fellas. Best of luck and big yields :thumbup:

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Re: Bees

Post by fizzix » Wed May 08, 2019 5:31 pm

Noble hobby, too, what with the world's honey bee decline.

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Re: Bees

Post by MichiganCornhusker » Wed May 08, 2019 6:33 pm

Happy, wife, happy wife! :thumbup:
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Re: Bees

Post by contrahead » Fri May 10, 2019 12:13 am

ShineonCrazyDiamond wrote: I don't know where this path will lead us. But I feel ready, confident, and I'm positive it will end with mead :). That's another thing to learn. But a couple hundred pounds of honey a year... what's a guy to do :)
That sounds like a lot of honey. I hope you're not counting your chickens before they hatch. I'd love to have enough honey to make a batch or two of mead. I once drank a bottle that was made by a Welsh brewery and it was excellent.

I have a colony of bees living in my house. Outside the house actually, but underneath a deck between the first and second stories of this big old adobe house that I live in. I leave them alone and they leave me alone. Last week they were swarming again as they have usually done from year to year in the past. Probabbly means that the colony is dividing.
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Re: Bees

Post by jonnys_spirit » Fri May 10, 2019 3:07 am

I’ e done a couple batches of honey shine and it’s most excellent white or on oak.

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Re: Bees

Post by fizzix » Fri May 10, 2019 3:37 am

No apiary should be without...
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Re: Bees

Post by ShineonCrazyDiamond » Fri May 10, 2019 6:36 am

contrahead wrote: That sounds like a lot of honey. I hope you're not counting your chickens before they hatch.
I just want honey, and pollinators for my garden. I ain't counting nothing :lol:

However, I've done alot of research. This is the 2 answers I get over and over.

"Each hive of bees can produce anywhere from 20 to 60 pounds of honey on average per year (depending on a variety of factors such as geographic location, weather, temperature, pests, local flora, and more). Some hives can produce much greater amounts under ideal management conditions."

"In order to produce 1 pound of honey, 2 million flowers must be visited. A hive of bees must fly 55,000 miles to produce a pound of honey. One bee colony can produce 60 to 100 pounds of honey per year. An average worker bee makes only about 1/12 teaspoon of honey in its lifetime."

So, I definitely won't get that this year. And they say to expect none the first year. But I have 2 hives, and plan on maybe fluctuating between 2 and 4 hives, with swarm management techniques. So not really unheard of to think a a hundred or two lbs of honey in a year.

As far as mead, I plan to make it to drink as wine, not really distill. I mean, if I get to much.... :)

Basically every mead recipe I have seen calls for 15 lbs of honey, for 5 gallons of mead. That's not alot of honey from that potential couple hundred, considering it makes 20 bottles of wine. Now, that also includes an abv of 15%, so basically a pound per abv point. At 15%, though, it leaves residual sweetness, but also headaches. My initial intention is to keep it at 10lbs, or 10% abv, and back sweeten as desired, and killing the yeast. Although typically I like my dry meads, and will most likely be like honey champagne in my kegerator.

Today, though, i don't know anything. All I know is today I just want my queens to be accepted, and that hopefully by next summer I will have enough honey to eat, make mead, and pass along :thumbup:
"Come on you stranger, you legend, you martyr, and shine!
You reached for the secret too soon, you cried for the moon.
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Re: Bees

Post by Saltbush Bill » Fri May 10, 2019 7:20 am

Wiifm has two hives , you know were to find him I think, had his two for 12 months , last I heard he's yet to get honey.
I think hes learned a thing or two about what not to do in that time and probably has answers to any questions you have.

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Re: Bees

Post by Fruit Squeezer » Fri May 10, 2019 5:57 pm

Fostering a hive is a great hoby to have considering honey bees are on the decline. The local farmers and orchards will love you for it. Plant a patch of clover to make em happy.

Also, say goodbye to allergies.
Regularly consuming local honey helps curb allergies because it's made from the same pollen and keeps your tolerance up.

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Re: Bees

Post by dukethebeagle120 » Sat May 11, 2019 3:16 am

ShineonCrazyDiamond wrote:So this year, me and the wife are setting out on some new adventures. About 3 months ago she asks "Babe... how would you feel..."

Now, that's usually when the fighting starts.

This time however it was "...if we got bees?" I had pondered it before and said sure. Now, it doesn't matter if you are stilling, keeping bees, smoking meat, or learning to play an instrument. Any hobby is a commitment of months of learning. That never stops. After all the books, the seminars, the club joining and meetings, and the seemingly standard $1,000 hobby (any) start up investment... our bees came today!

I don't know where this path will lead us. But I feel ready, confident, and I'm positive it will end with mead :). That's another thing to learn. But a couple hundred pounds of honey a year... what's a guy to do :)
Stupid question ,but where do you order bees
Always wondered that
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Stupid question here
But where do you order bees from
its better to think like a fool but keep your mouth shut,then to open ur mouth and have it confirmed

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Re: Bees

Post by LWTCS » Sat May 11, 2019 7:45 am

Awesome.
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Re: Bees

Post by goose eye » Sat May 11, 2019 10:18 am

Was a time when they would send em thru mail.
I'd go ahead an get a queen castle .
Learn how to use a chewed on wood toothpick.
Get a epi pin


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Re: Bees

Post by HDNB » Sat May 11, 2019 2:22 pm

most fun!
in the summers i worked the honey house i never wore a fancy costume like that...and never got stung once. There was bees everywhere but my uncle went out and got the hives cleaned out most of the bees before bring them to me to uncap and extract.

dunno what you call a hive, but his hives were about 5 or 6 boxes high. each box had maybe 9 frames in it an each frame weighed 6-10 lbs.

the epi pen is good advise, my aunt ended up allergic to them, she got stung so much from the stingers left over in his coveralls and such...just handling the clothes and washing them.

tell us more about chasing the bees out the boxes, how that goes and what you do with them when you take their box away...i never saw that part of the operation, my life was just sun up til sundown in the 100* honey hot house.
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Re: Bees

Post by ShineonCrazyDiamond » Sat May 11, 2019 7:12 pm

goose eye wrote:Was a time when they would send em thru mail.
I'd go ahead an get a queen castle .
Learn how to use a chewed on wood toothpick.
Get a epi pin


So I'm tole
Got them through mail. Mann lake, Duke. Most respected big name.

Yep, got the epi pen months ago. Don't even know if my own kids are allergic, let alone a guest.

Goose. I don't know what the chewed up tooth pic is about, would appreciate education on the matter.

Get around to raising queens just as soon as I know I can can keep 'em.
"Come on you stranger, you legend, you martyr, and shine!
You reached for the secret too soon, you cried for the moon.
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Re: Bees

Post by ShineonCrazyDiamond » Sat May 11, 2019 7:20 pm

Well, today was release the queen(s) day. Hive was well fed and making comb I'm n the last 3 days. Got ther kids involved, too.

HDBN, I do regular inspections in just my street clothes. But if I get into the queen frames, I smoke em and suit up.
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Re: Bees

Post by goose eye » Sun May 12, 2019 2:42 am

What ole boys used graftin. Back before all that grafting stuff out of China. Requeen every year.
A book. Called queen rearing.or get sue Colby tool.
Think she will give you a class on how to use it. Artificial insemination. Think it called.
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wanna look like a one of them space track klingons.
Scrap a stinger out don't pull. If you feel epi pin not workin use one of them asthma inhalers an benadrill.
Have extra hardware cause you can figure double your hives in swarms won't all make it but you gotta put em somewhere. A 4 deep box of bees makes more than 4 1 deep box of bees.

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Re: Bees

Post by Truckinbutch » Sun May 12, 2019 5:48 pm

Very rewarding hobby . Was getting strong into it with a best friend when he developed life threatening allergy to bee stings . That put the kibosh on that venture . Had to go into a 20 hive enclosure one weekend to rebuild all the hives a black bear had wrecked . Walking amongst millions of pissed off bees was an adventure I will never forget . Took us a day to reset the hives .
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Re: Bees

Post by HDNB » Sun May 12, 2019 7:51 pm

the suits seem a good idea for wading into the fresh boxes...what kind of smoke is used? do you just chase them out and let them go where they go, or is another box set up to give them somewhere to go? like when you are getting the frames for extraction i mean.
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Re: Bees

Post by goose eye » Mon May 13, 2019 3:25 am

You have 2 bee keepers an you gonna have 3 opinions.
Smoke is to disrupt scents. You ain't trying to fog em.
You smell banana shut it up an get.
Ole boys used pine niddles or ole bacca sheets. You want it to smolder not burn.
Ole boys used migratory lids. Easyer to pack on a trailer.

Ole boys betting that 1000 is a bit low. An it only the tip.
Go a head an get you a big deep freeze. Good at killin what you ain't seein.

Do what works best for you an not what some book says.


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Re: Bees

Post by ShineonCrazyDiamond » Mon May 13, 2019 3:50 am

Yeah HDNB, there's a couple reasons. First, as goose said, it disrupts scents, or signals. Guards use pheromones to let the other bees know im there and be prepared to attack. Smoke cuts the phone line. Also, it simulates a forest fire. When you're working the hive, you're not trying to get the bees to leave the hive. That will never happen. You just want them to go lower, and gety inside deeper in the hive. In nature when there's a forest fire, bees go into the hive and start preparing to evacuate. Much like when they swarm... they go in the hive to stock up on honey for the trip to a new home. So, you blow some smoke around the hive... they go deeper in the hive and that allows you to work the top box.

Between looking for their queen ( you disrupted the pheromone they use to track her), not being able to communicate, and preparing for a potential emergency swarm, you keep em pretty busy while you take care of business.

Used cotton with rum heads to gety it lit. Pine needles fir the smolder and smoke.
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Re: Bees

Post by contrahead » Mon May 13, 2019 9:01 am

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When British settlers brought over bees, some swarms escaped into the wild and spread slowly in every direction until they hit natural obstructions (like oceans, Canadian winters or the Great Plains). States that are now west of the Great Plains never saw any bees until a couple of centuries later. It seems wild bee migration was halted because of the lack of trees – especially hollowed out trees on the open plains for the bees to hive in.

Why do you see an unusual beehive shape on the background of Utah state road signs?

I just learned that beekeepers in early colonial America would either use a hollowed out section of gum tree or weave together a straw “skep” for their bees to use as a hive. But it is not very sanitary and you have to destroy it to get the honey out. The skep is a traditional symbol of beekeeping. The Later Day Saint movement (Mormonism) began in the 1830s in upstate New York. Like other Owenites the Mormons embraced communalism and co-operative labor and that's why they adopted the beehive symbol and call Utah the beehive state.
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Re: Bees

Post by bilgriss » Tue May 14, 2019 2:08 pm

It has been a few (like 15) years since I last kept bees, but it's a great hobby. I ended up having a hard time keeping them alive, several years in a row, and soured on it. Been thinking it might be about time to give it another go.
At the time, I was dead set against using strips for mites since they contain pesticides, but with proper management, I think they're probably safe.

Made some really great mead back then. Definitely better from raw honey, and arguably from your own.

I never did the suit though; just wore long pants and sleeves. Very rarely did the bees get through, and honestly if you stay calm while you work with them, they don't usually get very riled up.

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Re: Bees

Post by ShineonCrazyDiamond » Tue Nov 26, 2019 2:52 pm

Well, first year in the books and it's about time I updated.

I suppose it can be summarized as the Tale of Two Hives. We ordered 2 hives, as per the advice I wisely chose to follow. It lets you learn what is normal, by the ability to compare. Both installed the same, and for a few weeks were on the same path. Now, as you get into your research with bees, you learn about mites. You can choose to ignore them, or you can choose to raise bees. You can't do both. There are many ways to go about it, but if you do nothing, your bees will die. That's it. Some people use natural methods of drone trapping, and screen boarding (ineffective, really), but most people settle on some sort of medication.

Most the time people monitor the mite levels and apply medication when needed. This can range from natural to chemical. Everyone has to choose their plan of attack, and I settled on mine. I chose to use natural and soft chemicals, avoiding harsh chemicals, but I chose to medicate at least twice a year, regardless of mite count (with an emergency application if needed in late fall). The first of these applications is a product completely derived from hops. Apparently the salt from the hops can be concentrated and kills mites, but is a more natural substance. I applied this for 2 weeks to each hive, after they were established in the spring. The idea being one in spring to stall the mite population, then one in late summer before the winter bees come around (a different product, of course to minimize resistance) to really kill them.

Well, hive 1 did great. The medication was applied, and the population exploded over the summer. The second hive, however, lost it's queen. It could have been alot of things, but I think I either unfortunately rolled her when applying the strips, or she got to irritated and left (or they capped her... she was weak from the start). In any case the hive went queenless. I did my weekly inspections and noticed, but by that time the bees built a few queen cells up around some larvae. So, being the experimental type that I am, I decided to let them raise their own queen instead of ordering a new one. Turns out, bees don't need us anymore than than enzymes do, haha :lol: . They raised a big ol fat queen that put out well.

The requeening set back hive 30 -40 days. They never got to the population that hive 1 did, but they were able to fill the 2 bottom boxes with comb, honey and pollen for the winter. All in all, that's great news. I fed them a little, but they should be fine for the winter.

The second hive... holy Christmas. They had a kick ass queen and never looked back. They got so large, that by July I couldn't even open the lower boxes and find the queen. They had larvae, full chambers, and a commanding presence. I put a super on this hive late flow, and left it on through the fall flow.

The rule of thumb is you need 60lbs in the hive of honey to get through the winter. This is basically two deep brood chambers full. Now, the first year, they say you don't expect to get anything. I understand why. The package of bees start late, and they have to use nectar to build comb on the frame. Their population is small. They are fighting for survival for the winter. The first hive was successful. Thre second one, was remarkable. Turns out, I was one of the lucky ones to be able to have the bees produce their winter food, plus filled a super for us.

We found us a motorized 2 frame extractor for less than 200 bucks, and made the investment. We are so happy to have bees buzzing around the yard knowing that they are helping life around us. They are fun and fascinating. We are official bee keepers :thumbup: .

All in all, the super gave us 22lbs, which is just shy of 2 gallons of honey. We are super grateful for the bees. It is the thickest, darkest honey that has a little bit of the entire season. From clover, alot of sunflower, down to the buckwheat. We generally use 3 quarts, or 9-10 lbs a year, so it more than took care of us. And once in a while, on a warm winter day, the little fuzzy butts will pop out for some cleaning flights and shave just a little cabin fever off of us, telling us to hang in there, the spring will come again.
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You reached for the secret too soon, you cried for the moon.
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Re: Bees

Post by acfixer69 » Tue Nov 26, 2019 3:14 pm

I was thinking about you and the bees the other day when you posted about starting essential oil project. Glad your bees are doing well and will get a good healthy start this spring. :thumbup:

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Re: Bees

Post by bilgriss » Sat Nov 30, 2019 12:52 pm

Whoah, motorized. Mine is an old crank model, shared with a friend. The kids loved to help crank it when they were little so it worked out well.

I've been considering starting up again, but let another year go by.

SCD, time for some mead.

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Re: Bees

Post by HDNB » Sat Nov 30, 2019 3:57 pm

nice, that dark honey is where it's at. In Canuckistan all the honey is that pale golden yellow. I love the dark stuff, some of the best i've got my hands on was from the arizona desert, just south of las vegas.
the local flavours that come through in small batch honey are awesome.
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Re: Bees

Post by Tummydoc » Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:11 am

A coworker has bees. She gives me honey, and I give her honey whiskey in return. Half gallon honey is traded for half gallon of honey whiskey. And we each feel like we got a good deal!!

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Re: Bees

Post by The Baker » Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:01 am

Might make some Drambuie one day.

What sort of flowers would produce a honey similar to Heather honey? (I have never tasted heather honey).

Or anyway a honey that goes well with whiskey and herbs to make a nice product even if it is not the same as true Drambuie?

Thanks,

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Re: Bees

Post by ShineonCrazyDiamond » Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:24 am

In the summer when I get a much bigger crop, I am definitly making mead. I think I will do just honey water and yeast, and let it natural go dry, with a potential of 10-12% instead of the normal 15%. Then, put the 5 gallons in my keg and carb it up. Basically honey champagne :lol: . After that I'll look into traditional bottle meads and play around.

As far as spirits... I'm going to make this in the summer as well for next winter. I found this deep in the HD forum one day, and only saved the story link. But the word Krupnikas is pretty unique, and you can find the 3 threads pretty easy.

I had a drink with this in it a while back and was going to ghost a thread after I validated the results. But since you asked :)...

http://globaltableadventure.com/recipe/ ... krupnikas/
"Come on you stranger, you legend, you martyr, and shine!
You reached for the secret too soon, you cried for the moon.
Shine on you crazy diamond."

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