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Beekeepers and enthusiasts.


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#1 BillyThKid

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 11:11 AM

I had a thread for beekeeping last year and it had 5 or 6 pages. Instead of worrying about that i decided o make a new one with updated info on my hives and for all our new and returning members. this thread is for talking about bees, beekeeping, techs to raising bees, or any relative subject

 

 

Let me start this by saying i have been a beekeeper for more than 12 years, i remember being a child in my little bee suit going out with my father to take care of our hives, my teen aged years full of hours of observation of the hives and journals written on the stuff i saw. 

 

 

Anyway, Two years ago i had a total of 22 bee hives on my property and close to that number for the past 6 years or more. i pulled thousands of gallons of honey from my hives and made lots of mead, but disaster struck two years ago.

 

I lost all but two of my hives back in the fall of 2012/spring of 2013, thats right i lost 20 hives just like that. I did not lose them to mites, disease, pests or weather. I lost my bees to mankind. Bees fly for 5 square miles around their hive in search of food, they found a farm nearby that had just opened up, this farm was a subsidiary of monsanto but i forget the company name. The use GMO crops, pesticides and a lot of other nasty stuff.

 

When my bees worked that farm they picket up tons of poison and brought it back to the hive. Over the winter while they were eating on the honey laced with poison they slowly died. only two hives survived.

 

Sadly those two hives are dead now as well with the same issue.

 

 

GOOD NEWS THOUGH! i checked my hives a month ago and i caught a swarm of bees. I know for sure i had no bees before as i tore down all my hives and put a few back up to try and catch a swarm and i must have! my guess is that these bees may have been from my bee hives at one time. They probably swarmed from my hives a year or so ago and were in the area, they swarmed again but this time back into an old home.

 

so i have one hive that is going really well, and that farm is not doing so well. for some reason all their crops died. Looks like someone spread chicken urea and fertilizer around a hill above the farm and the run off killed all the plants from being super concentrated. 

 

I very thankful to that person :P

 

 

 

On another note about the "Waggle dance" which is supposedly how bees communicate distance, location, and other info concerning flowers and where to go to harvest them. They do this by buzzing and waggling their bodies all over the place in all directions.

 

The problem with this Theory which is all too accepted in the bee community is that bees use pheromones for communication in every other area of the hive life. each hive has an individual smell to it bees from that hive know as their, bees have attack pheromones, breeding pheromones and tons of others. so if bees use pheromones to communicate in every other area of the hive WHY THE HELL WOULD THEY DANCE TO TELL WHERE FLOWERS ARE!

 

Thats what set me on a study that lasted for 3 years. 

 

this is what i found: a single honey bee will go to a flower and if it is good they will return to the hive to tell others about it. due to the VAST number of bees in a hive a single bee can easily be unnoticed. but when the bee does its "waggle dance" it brings much needed attention to itself in order to let other bees know about the flower.

 

over the years i observed and marked thousands of bees by using organic based paint to mark their backs during the study to keep track of some of them. when a bee does the waggle dance its not just to bring attention to itself, it is also to let out pheromones and spread them for the bees near by to smell. these pheromones have a smell to them which is faint and somewhat floral in smell, but this is also due to pollen on the bees which i have come to believe the bees mix with the pheromones.

 

The purpose of mixing the pollen and pheromones is to give the other bees a smelling trail back to the flower. I believe the bees find the flowers the original bees told them about by following flight trails market by smell. Makes a lot more sense than dancing to tell directions.

 

I can expand on this more if someone wishes but this is enough for now.

 

these are two external links to a blog thing i have where i posted videos of my bees and plants. these are two videos of my bees.

 

http://instagram.com/p/nvTrQixkDL/

 

http://instagram.com/p/ngr1mcxkA_/

 

 


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#2 Skywatcher

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 12:37 PM

Would it be unreasonable, to hope that these bees have a stronger resistance to the toxins that gave you such grief last year? I am so glad to hear you have bees again. They have found a safe haven with you.



#3 BillyThKid

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 01:02 PM

Would it be unreasonable, to hope that these bees have a stronger resistance to the toxins that gave you such grief last year? I am so glad to hear you have bees again. They have found a safe haven with you.

Considering That these bees were within 5 miles of me to end up swarming into my hive that means they are probably within range of that farm. Though like i said the farm is gone as of this spring so no more worries about it for now. But it does stand to reason that IF these bees survived the 2013 summer and fall of that farms existence that they may have been more resistant to its poison.

 

I do not think that is the case though, its possible that these bees came from the opposite direction to the farm and were further away from it and did not visit as much or at all. Without knowing where these bees came from exactly i can only guess AS to why they are alive in this area.



#4 Myc

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 06:39 PM

I'm just chiming in to support the idea of a new thread.

I didn't get to follow the old one - if you could please do me the favor of linking it in a post in this thread so we can have a cross-reference. Most appreciated.

 

I am - going to be a beekeeper.

Been fascinated by "bugs" all of my life. I still like to observe ants - even in my older age.

Ants and bees have always caused me to watch and sit still - sometimes for hours - observing their behavior.

I can't explain the compulsion or the desire. It's like hypnotism - or like a child seizing upon a trinket or bauble with keen interest.

I feel that their organization and self-less contributions to the colony are impressive. Something after which to attempt to model one's own actions.

Bugs are teachers too.

 

I'll be watching this thread more closely.

If I recall, in the last thread, you were demonstrating how to make hive boxes.

I have access to several high-end wood shops so I can easily construct my own. In my imagination, I'm going to get all fancy and use "old school" joinery techniques - dovetails, mortise and tenon.........hand crafted for maximum longevity and resistance to accidents and abuse.

I'm getting so excited I think I'm babbling a little. LOL


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#5 BillyThKid

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 07:01 PM

I'm just chiming in to support the idea of a new thread.

I didn't get to follow the old one - if you could please do me the favor of linking it in a post in this thread so we can have a cross-reference. Most appreciated.

 

I am - going to be a beekeeper.

Been fascinated by "bugs" all of my life. I still like to observe ants - even in my older age.

Ants and bees have always caused me to watch and sit still - sometimes for hours - observing their behavior.

I can't explain the compulsion or the desire. It's like hypnotism - or like a child seizing upon a trinket or bauble with keen interest.

I feel that their organization and self-less contributions to the colony are impressive. Something after which to attempt to model one's own actions.

Bugs are teachers too.

 

I'll be watching this thread more closely.

If I recall, in the last thread, you were demonstrating how to make hive boxes.

I have access to several high-end wood shops so I can easily construct my own. In my imagination, I'm going to get all fancy and use "old school" joinery techniques - dovetails, mortise and tenon.........hand crafted for maximum longevity and resistance to accidents and abuse.

I'm getting so excited I think I'm babbling a little. LOL

https://mycotopia.ne...?hl= beekeepers

 

We posted several really nice links in there about building hives and such. the whole thread is a great read.

 

I think the love of observation of ants and bees you have is a form of hive mind. you are allowing yourself to become a part of the hive for a short time by whatching them and experiencing what they are. ants and bees are almost the same bugs anyway.

 

i have spend many many hours watching my hives over the years, i have half a hundred note books full of personal notes, theories, and all kinds of things. Keeping a beekeeping journal is a very good choice.

 

interesting info for you  about honey bees: almost all the bees in the hive are female. Not only that but they all have the ability to lay eggs. However worker bee females cannot lay eggs that produce other females. When a worker bee lays an egg it is ALWAYS male (called a drone). A drone is only there to mate, they cannot sting or even feed themselves, a worker bee must feed a drone for it to live



#6 Alder Logs

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 08:16 AM

I lost all my bees years ago. A few to mites, but most to my ex-best friend and business partner. He has all my equipment too. We have only wild swarms here now.

We had a big storm a few years ago that broke a high top from a Lombardy Poplar. I was cleaning up the brush in the middle of winter and noticed the broken top of a forked log about ten inches in diameter was hollow and filled with comb. That log was about twenty feet long. I went down to where the log was twenty inches thick and found a small hole. I put my ear to the hole and was elated to hear the buzz. I dug a hole in the field where the morning sun would hit and stood the log up in it with my tractor loader and tamped it in solid. It became known as our "bee tree."

This was just about the time I heard of CCD. Sure enough, in the second year we lost the bees from that tree. But, before the summer was over, we caught another swarm in it. Lost them the next spring. The next year another swarm moved in. None of them lasted very long. I don't know where they were finding the poisons that were wiping them out. Mostly timberland around here and no commercial non-organic farms. But the timber companies love to spray tons of herbicides from helicopters. We've had the wild bees disappear repeatedly. Eventually the tree remained vacant and has now rotted through and fallen over. There was a year about five years back when we thought we'd never see another honey bee. No bees in the fruit trees. I've made some nests for the few mason bees we have around.

Over the past three years, a swarm moved into a huge old American Chestnut tree and they seem to have created a strong colony and our fruit trees have maybe 40% of the bees we had ten or fifteen years ago. So, there is some kind of comeback of the wild honey bees, in the chestnut tree and around locally. I think I will make some Russian style round hives from alder wood and set them up to catch more wild swarms. I don't eat honey and not interested in selling any. I just love to have the bees around and like to hang out around their hives.

Edited by Alder Logs, 17 May 2014 - 09:57 AM.

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#7 Spooner

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 10:11 AM

 I don't eat honey and not interested in selling any. I just love to have the bees around and like to hang out around their hives.

 

 I don't eat it either, but somehow I always seem to have enough friends to eat whatever does not get made into mead.

 Both my hives made it this year, but my Doctor lost 3 out of 5 hives.  Need to get more supers, I like to have strong colonys with lots of room.


Edited by Spooner, 17 May 2014 - 10:13 AM.

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#8 BillyThKid

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 10:57 PM

I lost all my bees years ago. A few to mites, but most to my ex-best friend and business partner. He has all my equipment too. We have only wild swarms here now.

We had a big storm a few years ago that broke a high top from a Lombardy Poplar. I was cleaning up the brush in the middle of winter and noticed the broken top of a forked log about ten inches in diameter was hollow and filled with comb. That log was about twenty feet long. I went down to where the log was twenty inches thick and found a small hole. I put my ear to the hole and was elated to hear the buzz. I dug a hole in the field where the morning sun would hit and stood the log up in it with my tractor loader and tamped it in solid. It became known as our "bee tree."

This was just about the time I heard of CCD. Sure enough, in the second year we lost the bees from that tree. But, before the summer was over, we caught another swarm in it. Lost them the next spring. The next year another swarm moved in. None of them lasted very long. I don't know where they were finding the poisons that were wiping them out. Mostly timberland around here and no commercial non-organic farms. But the timber companies love to spray tons of herbicides from helicopters. We've had the wild bees disappear repeatedly. Eventually the tree remained vacant and has now rotted through and fallen over. There was a year about five years back when we thought we'd never see another honey bee. No bees in the fruit trees. I've made some nests for the few mason bees we have around.

Over the past three years, a swarm moved into a huge old American Chestnut tree and they seem to have created a strong colony and our fruit trees have maybe 40% of the bees we had ten or fifteen years ago. So, there is some kind of comeback of the wild honey bees, in the chestnut tree and around locally. I think I will make some Russian style round hives from alder wood and set them up to catch more wild swarms. I don't eat honey and not interested in selling any. I just love to have the bees around and like to hang out around their hives.

Herbicides are terrible for bees. If they were air dropping it then it spread everywhere. Even trees and such that it does not kill will contain it within their flowers and nectar making it toxic to bees. Not to mention it gets all in the soil and as it rains it spreads even further. CCD is partly caused by herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides all of which are very toxic to bees.

 

Im happy for the wild bees that have come to you more than once, sad they died/left off and on. I have never seen bees die off like this in my 12 years of beekeeping and my grandfather said he never saw it in his forty years of keeping. We are on the edge of the world, If bees go most everything else will too and at the current rate of bee death i say they will be gone no later than 2030 if things do not change. If we ramp up the toxic shit we keep dumping onto the planet it will kill them even quicker.

 

I like honey, i use it with my teas, herbal extracts and a lot more. i also make Mead with it, some damn fine mead too.


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#9 Spooner

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 11:31 PM

I hope that enough bees survive in various spots and slowly adapt to the trash humans put in their environment.  Every habitat whether a log gum, Lamgstroth hive or other suitable home helps, thanks folks.

 

Sugar water with mint oil spread on walls inside hives sometimes helps attract feral swarms.

 

http://news.national...se-epa-science/

Bees are back in the news this spring, if not back in fields pollinating this summer's crops. The European Union (EU) has announced that it will ban, for two years, the use of neonicotinoids, the much-maligned pesticide group often fingered in honeybee declines. The U.S. hasn't followed suit, though this year a group of beekeepers and environmental and consumer groups sued the EPA for not doing enough to protect bees from the pesticide onslaught.


Edited by Spooner, 17 May 2014 - 11:43 PM.

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#10 BillyThKid

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 08:08 PM

I hope that enough bees survive in various spots and slowly adapt to the trash humans put in their environment.  Every habitat whether a log gum, Lamgstroth hive or other suitable home helps, thanks folks.

 

Sugar water with mint oil spread on walls inside hives sometimes helps attract feral swarms.

 

http://news.national...se-epa-science/

Bees are back in the news this spring, if not back in fields pollinating this summer's crops. The European Union (EU) has announced that it will ban, for two years, the use of neonicotinoids, the much-maligned pesticide group often fingered in honeybee declines. The U.S. hasn't followed suit, though this year a group of beekeepers and environmental and consumer groups sued the EPA for not doing enough to protect bees from the pesticide onslaught.

That is a big step for beekeepers and the world as a whole. im so tired of seeing bad news about bees that it is a really cool thing to see legal action being taken to protect them


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#11 Spooner

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Posted 24 May 2014 - 12:08 PM

Just lost both my hives,   A month ago they had survived the winter and were starting to build up for spring, No sign of disease.  Not sure if the farm across the river sprayed or if the cane sugar feed was adulterated with beet sugar, but both hives died same time.  It just took a couple days and they were gone.  No swarm cells, the bees just disappieared.  Got replacements on order, $270, pick up on Wednesday. Damn, I don't even feel like getting drunk, just want to hear their happy humming again.

 

Eat bite suck fuck gobble nibble chew,

Shitty rats ass fuck eat cunt screw.

 

(if you know what I mean)



#12 Juthro

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Posted 24 May 2014 - 12:33 PM

Just lost both my hives,   A month ago they had survived the winter and were starting to build up for spring, No sign of disease.  Not sure if the farm across the river sprayed or if the cane sugar feed was adulterated with beet sugar, but both hives died same time.  It just took a couple days and they were gone.  No swarm cells, the bees just disappieared.  Got replacements on order, $270, pick up on Wednesday. Damn, I don't even feel like getting drunk, just want to hear their happy humming again.
 
Eat bite suck fuck gobble nibble chew,
Shitty rats ass fuck eat cunt screw.
 
(if you know what I mean)

That sucks my friend, sorry for your loss. I hope your new bees arrive healthy and stay that way. My wife likes honey a lot, I personally am not a big fan. I do use it sometimes in a homemade BBQ sauce I make. I do like a glass (or more) of mead though.

For the record, I do know what you mean, I know that song.
Wishing you well my brother.

Juthro
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#13 Spooner

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Posted 25 May 2014 - 03:56 AM

Has anyone else heard of beet sugar or other sugar contamination problems related to spring buildup feeding?  Might just be a red herring, but a bee supplier suggested it as a possible contributing factor to me.  Sure glad I don't eat much sugar myself.


Edited by Spooner, 25 May 2014 - 03:56 AM.


#14 BillyThKid

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 05:25 PM

Has anyone else heard of beet sugar or other sugar contamination problems related to spring buildup feeding?  Might just be a red herring, but a bee supplier suggested it as a possible contributing factor to me.  Sure glad I don't eat much sugar myself.

Sorry to hear about the bees, but it sounds like they swarmed away to me. If you dont see tons of dead bees laying around thats probably what happened.

 

a different possibility is that one hive robbed the other hive out and then left to find a new home. kind of like when towns and countries would burn their crops behind them when they retreated so the invadeing country would get no food.

 

But im going with they swarmed, it is the right time and its peak season for it. And just because there were no queen cells does not mean they did not swarm. in fact a whole hive can and will swarm, it happens plenty. They dont always just split in half and one half leaves and the other stays. sometimes they all leave.

 

as for the beat/cane sugar i have used both without issue. back before i knew what GMO was or before anyone really knew what it was i was using beat sugar. And i know it was GMO beats then too.






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