Author Topic: Should, Woulda, Coulda?  (Read 822 times)

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Offline Perry

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Should, Woulda, Coulda?
« on: December 03, 2017, 07:51:19 pm »
In another thread the discussion came up about outer covers, migratory verses telescoping. I started with telescoping and am so far in it doesn't make sense to switch at this point. It brought to mind a question I thought I would put out there:

  :-\ If you had to do something over again (regarding bees only please :P ) what would it bee? Going to a bee school first? Getting two hives instead of one, or maybe five ;D ? Buying nucs instead of packages? TBH instead of Langstroth (or the other way around)?
"It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor."      
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Offline Jen

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Re: Should, Woulda, Coulda?
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2017, 11:58:30 pm »
I got my first small hive on such a whim without the vaguest idea of what to do with it, I brought it into the backyard without any idea of where to place it even. I bought it to learn bee venom therapy. I didn't even know there was such a thing as a queen bee... LOL... For three years I made so many mistakes, you just can't believe.
 
So for me, it would have been so much better for the bees if I had some bee classes first. Or, even a mentor. Or this forum, but actually this forum came alive after my three year mistakes, And Just In Time Too!

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Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Should, Woulda, Coulda?
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2017, 05:31:52 am »
I would have started with 8 frame instead of 10.  Loaded supers, that are stacked taller than my head, are a challenge (almost impossible) to pull.  Doing hive inspections, in the middle of the summer, when the colonies are loaded with food stores is almost impossible too.

Offline Mikey N.C.

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Re: Should, Woulda, Coulda?
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2017, 09:19:09 am »
Mine would've been to follow a couple of successful beekeepers for 2 yrs and learned hands on how to overwinter, make splits , prevent swarming,  feeding and treatments. In my area. And in that time stock up on woodenware and equipment needed instead of jumping in head over heels an finding out you don't have enough equipment and you don't have a clue what your doing.

Offline efmesch

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Re: Should, Woulda, Coulda?
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2017, 11:25:54 am »
I would have invested in a radial extractor.   Both of the extractors I've owned over the years were given to me for free, and as they say , beggars can't be choosey, so I took them with a smile.  The first was with a galvanized cannister and about 12 years ago was replaced by a stainless steel one.  Both were four framers and manually operated.  Since I've reduced my holdings over the past several years (only 5-7 hives) and only distribute (don't sell) honey, it wouldn't be practical, (at my current age) for me to invest in a motorized radial extractor.  But, when I think about it, if I had had one in 1972, when I first started with bees, it would probably have made my life a lot simpler and even increased my yields.

Offline brooksbeefarm

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Re: Should, Woulda, Coulda?
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2017, 12:43:33 pm »
Was't a Bee school around here in 1965, bought a beginners Bee book, ordered 3 packages of Mid-Night Bees,3 deeps,3 med supers from Sears&Roebuck Store, (Langstroth) didn't know what a Top Bar Hive was? Next year ordered a two fram galvanized hand crank Extractor. Should have bought a Bee Suite, Overalls, Flannel shirt, Straw hat, and army surplus Mosquito net. and Army boots. did not work out well ;D. One thing for Sure, i would not have taken my Bees up by the Big Sac river where my mild mannered Mid-Knight bee's could mate with the German Black wild bees :no: Jack

Offline Perry

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Re: Should, Woulda, Coulda?
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2017, 01:10:19 pm »
I think perhaps my biggest change would be to not have missed a golden opportunity that was there but went completely unrecognized for almost 30 years.
As an early teenager, my last step-father had a brother, "Uncle Leo", who was a large commercial beekeeper in Vernon BC where I was born and raised. From time to time I would go up to Uncle Leo's to visit as unlike his brother, he was a pretty nice guy. I was always intimidated by all the bees at their place, but I liked it there. It never once entered my thoughts that beekeeping would have been something I would ever be interested in though.
Leo Fuhr was a long time president of the BC Honey Producers Association, and in fact his son Ernie would also go on to be president for years as well.
I guess looking back, I wonder what might have been. I didn't (re)discover honeybees until I was 40, after many years of turning a wheel for a living. I wish I had paid attention much earlier. That said, I am glad to have discovered it and not missed out entirely.
"It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor."      
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Offline Mikey N.C.

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Re: Should, Woulda, Coulda?
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2017, 04:57:26 pm »
At least we all , caught the bug, sooner or later. It's a good thing.  Just wish. I'd seen it yrs ago.

Offline Noise Maker

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Re: Should, Woulda, Coulda?
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2017, 11:42:11 pm »
Like Jen, I got into bees without any idea what I was doing, except I knew hives were made out of wood and I was a carpenter for most of my working life. I used to look at life like my gas tank is half full instead of half empty. Now I look at it like the needle is on empty, but hey, the engine is still running.

I guess the the thing I have learned in hindsight, is not to put off preparing for tomorrow, or in my case next spring.

In the process of building a hive in hopes of getting a split or another swarm, there are so many things I see now that I wish I knew when I built my first hive. However, because this build is not being rushed, what I am learning now would have taken 10 times longer to learn if I just followed existing plans to the letter.
I don't know what I'm doing, but am doing it with confidence.

Offline Jen

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Re: Should, Woulda, Coulda?
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2017, 12:22:01 am »
Hey Noise Maker, my hives are by far not perfect. Some are purchased, some we built 5 years ago, some lids fit some boxes some don't, some are painted some are not. I just keep the tower as straight as I can and leave the rest up to the bees. So far they don't seem to mind  :) ;) 8)
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Online neillsayers

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Re: Should, Woulda, Coulda?
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2017, 12:23:56 am »
I only wish I'd have gotten into this 30 years ago. It appears crazy to outsiders and in reality it is. I'm crazy about these little bugs. :)
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Offline Perry

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Re: Should, Woulda, Coulda?
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2017, 06:53:56 am »
I only wish I'd have gotten into this 30 years ago. It appears crazy to outsiders and in reality it is. I'm crazy about these little bugs. :)

 :yes: :yes: :yes: :yes: :yes:
"It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor."      
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Offline Some Day

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Re: Should, Woulda, Coulda?
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2017, 01:27:53 pm »
I wish that I would have started out with over wintered nuc colonies instead of southern package bees.  I would "bee" way ahead in both money spent in the long run and number of hives living today.

I am not the brightest bee keeper in the world.  After 3 years of listening to the local bee instructors instructions and buying package bees from them only to have 20% survive through winter, a light went on in my head.  All of the feral bee hives we caught and the splits with local queens survived.  I started to see a pattern develop.

I think one of the instructions for package bees I liked best was to add drawn comb, honey frame, and a frame of brood from another hive to the package to give it a boost.  When starting out I thought, "That is really great advise, but as a new bee killer I only have wax coated plastic foundation frames.  This is like making nail soup."

Offline brooksbeefarm

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Re: Should, Woulda, Coulda?
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2017, 12:24:18 am »
Some Day, You ment Plastic foundation, didn't you :-\\. ;D Jack

Offline Some Day

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Re: Should, Woulda, Coulda?
« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2017, 11:24:33 am »
Some Day, You ment Plastic foundation, didn't you :-\\. ;D Jack

Yes, I meant plastic foundation. It was supposed to be wax coated, but I think when it was made they just looked at the blocks of bees wax and did not apply any.  It's kind of like making a dry Martini, where you just stare at the vermouth bottle and never touch it.

Offline Jen

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Re: Should, Woulda, Coulda?
« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2017, 11:58:34 am »
Mmm, dry martini  ;D  Think I shall have one with my venison dinner tonight  ;D
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Offline Mikey N.C.

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Re: Should, Woulda, Coulda?
« Reply #16 on: December 08, 2017, 02:33:21 pm »
Some Day,
Did you treated bees this yr. ?

Offline brooksbeefarm

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Re: Should, Woulda, Coulda?
« Reply #17 on: December 08, 2017, 03:09:29 pm »
Thanks Some Day, The plastic foundation stays colder in the winter also. :yes: There is a fellow on here that uses plastic foundation and lives in the far North that would have enjoyed you picking on Wax foundation. I wonder how he would like plastic bed covers?

Offline Some Day

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Re: Should, Woulda, Coulda?
« Reply #18 on: December 08, 2017, 05:04:28 pm »
Some Day,
Did you treated bees this yr. ?

Yes, Mikey.  I treated with OAV in late winter.  In late August of this year I used Apivar strips in brood nests which I removed after 43 days. I also began feeding 2:1 syrup in August.  We had no rain from the last day of May until August 7, which made for pretty slim pickings for the girls this summer. In the next week or so when we have a 40 degree day I will treat with OAV again.  None of these hives are from packages this year.

Offline Mikey N.C.

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Re: Should, Woulda, Coulda?
« Reply #19 on: December 08, 2017, 05:59:57 pm »
I'm on board with the nuc boxes, this year.  Just didn't know exactly how. But I'm learning.