Author Topic: question to the first or second year bee keeper...  (Read 12382 times)

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Offline tecumseh

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question to the first or second year bee keeper...
« on: February 14, 2015, 06:33:52 pm »
On a different thread I ask the 'old hands' about how to simplify the instruction and or teaching of beekeeping.  So to take a different view of this question to those a bit new to beekeeping what aspect of your early education into beekeeping made things easier to understand and/or what made it seem more confusing.  again any input from beekeeper old or new is appreciated.

ET Ash

Offline kebee

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Re: question to the first or second year bee keeper...
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2015, 06:48:16 pm »
 I am thinking a mentor is the best way to be taught, for there is nothing like hands on to learn about anything, that is the best way for me anyhow. I had still remember a lot when my dad had bees and I was only 10 years old but with so much disease of bees and pesticides around takes it up a notch or two for sure.

Ken

Offline kingd

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Re: question to the first or second year bee keeper...
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2015, 07:07:22 pm »
Going into my 2nd year.Still confused but getting better.

  Doing a one day bee school was confusing to me, also all the information was overwhelming.

  Meeting and going with my mentor to work his hives (100 plus) has really helped clear things up.

  Hands on made a huge difference, I learned more from him in two hours than all day at bee school.

Offline Perry

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Re: question to the first or second year bee keeper...
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2015, 07:10:42 pm »
I'm not all that new, but I would agree that a mentor is worth their weight in gold. Nothing beats being "shown" verses reading.
I also want to put in a "plug" for forums when I first started. I know this pertains to another time and "name", but I learned a ton of stuff off of a forum. I learned how to do cut-outs and trap-outs, I learned the value of fondant as an emergency feed, things like that. I've learned a lot of stuff by just "listening" to others questions (that perhaps I was afraid to ask at the time). There is comfort in knowing you can ask a question and not have a room full of people snort at you.
I think videos have made a big impact, you can punch up pretty much anything and there is a video about it (swarming, wash-boarding, robbing, extracting, you name it.
Of course all of it must be taken with a dose of caution, not everything you see or read is necessarily correct.
"It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor."      
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Offline tbonekel

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Re: question to the first or second year bee keeper...
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2015, 09:22:23 pm »
Going in for a second year here. Honestly, I didn't have a "physical" mentor. This forum, youtube and a few books have given me an amazing amount of information. The one thing I would want a mentor for is the local ways of raising bees. This forum is great, but some of the information may not work for your particular region.

Offline rwlaw

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Re: question to the first or second year bee keeper...
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2015, 09:30:40 pm »
Although I didn't have have a mentor (other than the bk that helped me cut out my first hive)s when i started out, I was lucky enough to always find out one way or the other to figure out what to do(thank gawd everthing on the internet has to be true :laugh:). I try to mentor to whoever wants advice, but with the caveat, there are many ways to get to where you want to go, mine is only one. Hopefully, that way they'll always be of the opinion to learn and my way is not set in stone. I've been at it long enough to know that you have to be flexible and what works with me and my hives might have marginal results with theirs
It's not a honeybee, it's a honey bee. Whateveer!

Offline kebee

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Re: question to the first or second year bee keeper...
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2015, 07:24:01 am »
 Tec I know we are not giving you the info needed and I cannot write or spell worth a hick but I just want to say that I would be honor if I had a couple days with you at the bee  college, I know than your new students would be over whelm with the questions I would be asking.

Ken

Offline Papakeith

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Re: question to the first or second year bee keeper...
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2015, 08:05:07 am »
I wish I could get a physical mentor to come out and help show me what is what.  After asking numerous times I kind of gave up.  I rely heavily on the forums and conversations online.  Apparently I seem like I know what I am doing (I don't)
I'm starting to think that the bees are keeping me...

Offline iddee

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Re: question to the first or second year bee keeper...
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2015, 08:11:57 am »
Since you said that, papa, I'll say something I have wanted to say for a couple of days.

I would never remove the snow from the hives when the temp is below 40 F.
“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
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Offline Ray4852

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Re: question to the first or second year bee keeper...
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2015, 09:23:47 am »
Iddee

Sorry, but I don’t agree with you. Every hive needs a little ventilation air coming in moisture going out the top to survive. You guys down south have no idea how to keep bees in the frozen north. If you get 2 inches of snow you probably shut down your state. I keep my bee hives cleaned out because I know what mother nature can bring here. March is coming. Its probably the worst month of the year for weather. Beekeepers probably loose 50 percent of their hives during the month of March all from beekeeper errors. 

Ray

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Re: question to the first or second year bee keeper...
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2015, 09:50:35 am »
Almost done with my THIRD year of Bee HAVING!
I wish I had a mentor!

Micheal Bush: The Practical Beekeeper
"Rule 1: If your not making mistakes, your not learning anything."
"Rule 2: If your not confused, your not learning anything"
I followed these rules to the limit, as far as being confused and making mistakes.

IMO: (I apologize, in advance, this not aimed at any of you!)
Beekeeping is such a complex art/science, with so many variables, that a simple, cookie cutter, instruction won't work. I own about 20 beekeeping books, and NONE covered ALL the basics.
The forums are a great SOCIAL network, and there is a lot of good information. There is also a lot of bad, confusing, opinions and clutter.
YouTube has some great visual help, along with a lot of garbage. Is had been the closest to a mentor I have.




Offline kingd

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Re: question to the first or second year bee keeper...
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2015, 10:01:50 am »
I wish I could get a physical mentor to come out and help show me what is what.  After asking numerous times I kind of gave up.  I rely heavily on the forums and conversations online.  Apparently I seem like I know what I am doing (I don't)

   Maybe offer to help them work their bees, Sometimes that gets you in and they usually love the free labor.
 Does not always work but it helped get me access to other old bee guys that have specialties in other areas of beekeeping.

  Kinda like being in some secret club where everyone looks out for each other.

Gypsi

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Re: question to the first or second year bee keeper...
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2015, 10:11:28 am »
never had a personal mentor come and look at my hives or have me help go through theirs. State inspector did come out and help me go through mine when I registered the apiary. But vital to have a single person to ask who can look at a photo via computer. whether asking by email, or phone. I have one local guy who I contact by phone and had an out of state mentor on a site for a year or so.

Offline tedh

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Re: question to the first or second year bee keeper...
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2015, 10:23:19 am »
Hi Everyone,
  My son Josh attended a few classes of a beekeeping course, he missed a couple as his job got in the way.  This was last February.  During the course he received some handouts (printed papers) and a copy of of the book, First Lessons In Beekeeping.  We went over the handouts and read the book.  We also joined this forum.  The handouts showed us what we would need as far as wooden ware, smoker, veil, etc..  The book was helpful in that it showed us how to install packages.  I will say I found the last part of the book a little intimidating, it dealt with bee diseases, maladies, cures/corrections thereof and also the topic of queen superceedure, swarms, queen cells, etc..  The book DID give me the confidence to at least give beekeeping a try.  When we first joined the forum I began going thru the posts.  Man oh man, that spooked me!  I recall at that time I was still trying to keep the names of the different hive components straight.  On the forum I was reading things that were WAY out of my league!  It's kinda funny looking back on it. 
  Through this forum I met up with LazyBkpr.  The book and the handouts gave us the ability to get started, Lazy gave us the confidence to keep at it.  I'm not sure we have a strict mentor student relationship.  The idea of that may freak both of us out a little.  Possibly because we're both a little on the independent side.  I can say for SURE that other than "getting the bees into the box" Lazy (or at least another beekeeper) has been the biggest learning tool we (Josh and I) had and continue to have.  It's not just that we've learned things, important things, by being around another keep, but also the reassurance that everything will be okay.

As an example:  Ted says, Oh man, I think I've killed my queen and I'm sure it's all over now!
                           Scott says, I've got queens if you need one or you can....  Don't worry.

                          Ted says, What if I end up with 600 pounds of honey?  Where will I put it?  What will I do with it all?  It's all over now!
                           Scott says, Don't worry my friend, you'll sell it faster than you thought possible, or you can...... Don't worry.

                          Ted says, Josh's hive swarmed and I don't think it's going to build up enough for winter!  I'm sure IT'S ALL OVER NOW!
                          Scott says, I'll send some bees home with you if you need them or, I'll give you a nuc, or you can.... Don't worry.

So, the initial info from a book (very basic) got us to try, the guidance and friendship of another keep has sustained us and helped us to understand the rest of the book, that had intimidated us so in the beginning.  Bottom line for us?  Hanging out with another keep, going through his hives with him, and the questions he answers has brought us to the point where we not only WANT to expand but maybe even have the knowledge to do so.  Thanks for asking Tec.  Ted
Share that which you have an abundance of.  In doing so both the giver and receiver are enriched.

Offline Ray4852

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Re: question to the first or second year bee keeper...
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2015, 10:29:05 am »
  I'm starting my 7th year beekeeping. I learned the hobby by reading watching you tube videos and going to club meeting talking to other beekeepers. I stick to basic beekeeping methods. I never had a mentor. I’m very independent person. I believe trial and error is the best way to go for some people. Beekeeping is common sense.

Offline kingd

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Re: question to the first or second year bee keeper...
« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2015, 10:37:05 am »
  I believe trial and error is the best way to go for some people. Beekeeping is common sense.

  My mentor says the same thing, He says he is still learning and screwing up,and he has been doing this for 50+ years.
I have learned a lot from the forum and videos,even shown my mentor a few new things I have seen/read online.

Offline iddee

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Re: question to the first or second year bee keeper...
« Reply #16 on: February 15, 2015, 11:43:33 am »
Ray4852, Here is a quote from papa keith.

"There was actually a small hole that was melted in the snow at the edge of the box.  The front including the entrance had an air-gap between the hive bodies and the snow."

I think you will find this to always be the case. The bees will make the ventilation they need.

As for my southern stupidity, I started keeping bees in 1976 in Illinois. My mentor from Wisconsin kept around 7000 hives. Maybe you are right. I might not know what I'm talking about, but I doubt that be the case.
“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
― Shel Silverstein
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Offline tefer2

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Re: question to the first or second year bee keeper...
« Reply #17 on: February 15, 2015, 11:50:38 am »
Since you said that, papa, I'll say something I have wanted to say for a couple of days.

I would never remove the snow from the hives when the temp is below 40 F.
I've been known to take a shovel and pile snow over them.  :P

Offline iddee

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Re: question to the first or second year bee keeper...
« Reply #18 on: February 15, 2015, 12:49:02 pm »
Ted is a forever optimist.   :D
“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
― Shel Silverstein

Offline DMLinton

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Re: question to the first or second year bee keeper...
« Reply #19 on: February 15, 2015, 02:55:08 pm »
In terms of frustration, forum threads that cannot stay on topic have been one of my major frustrations.  Similarly, bee club meetings where there is always just enough jibber-jabber and wobbling heads going on that one can never quite catch what the speaker is saying.  Finally, experts that never actually answer the question or worse, answer a different question, would rank about third in my list of frustrating experiences.  I have now managed to resolve all these frustrations by generally avoiding the forums, neither buying a membership or going to bee club meetings and not asking questions.

In terms of things that worked, having my own bees has to rank number one.  Using my own head ranks a close second.  Learning to "separate the wheat from the chaff" in the forums and other Internet resources is probably third and probably took up over half of the 10 months of study I did before my first bees arrived.

While there are four or five beekeepers in this world, a little over half of them on this forum, whose wisdom I am always interested in hearing, I cannot imagine a mentor being helpful to me.  I feel an anchor tugging at my neck even thinking about it.

Regards, Dennis
First bees installed July 1, 2014..