The Forestry Forum is sponsored in part by:




TimberKing Sawmills




Toll Free 1-800-582-0470

LogRite Tools



Forest Products Industry Insurance


Norwood Industries Inc.


Sawmill & Woodlot Magazine



Your source for Portable Sawmills, Edgers, Resaws, Sharpeners, Setters, Bandsaw Blades and Sawmill Parts

EZ Boardwalk Sawmills. More Saw For Less Money!

STIHLDealers.com sponsored by Northeast STIHL


Woodland Sawmills

Peterson Swingmills

 KASCO SharpTech WoodMaxx Blades


Turbosawmill

Sawmill Exchange

BRUTE FORCE Authorized Dealer

Woodshax Outdoor Vending Solutions

FARMA


Council Tool

Baker Products

Forestry Forum Tool Box

Author Topic: Bees from Santa  (Read 5140 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Phil

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 78
  • Age: 44
  • Gender: Male
  • I have the heart of a poet...It's in a jar on my desk.
    • Freelance Writer
Bees from Santa
« on: December 27, 2002, 07:53:11 am »
Hidy do, y'all.

My wife got me some beginner's beekeeping equipment for Christmas.  Now, I'm thinking that either she's developed a creative way to cash in on my life insurance policy or she expects me to become pretty handy at bee wranglin'.

Any beekeepers hereabouts?

Phil

Offline dan-l-b

  • Full Member x2
  • ***
  • Posts: 229
  • Age: 61
  • Gender: Male
  • I edited my profile!
Re: Bees from Santa
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2002, 08:50:51 am »
The only bee "keeping" experience I have is keeping them away! ::) Dropped a tree for stave bolts a few years ago with my dad present.  Looked like one of the limbs was big enough to get a stave out.  I began sawing and saw my Dad waving and swatting.  Soon realized the situation and ran. I got away without a bite.  Dad didn't run as fast, go bit seven times  :( but he was OK ;D.  Went back a day or two later, in very cold weather and got some the best tasting honey ;D ;D.  A few neighbors are bee keepers and sell honey.  No fatalities...yet. ;) ;)

Offline Tom

  • In Memoriam
  • *
  • Posts: 25854
  • Age: 75
  • Location: Jacksonville, Florida
  • Gender: Male
    • Toms Saw
Re: Bees from Santa
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2002, 03:28:55 pm »
Yep, I've kept bees.  Got started because some of my Old Timers do it and my Granddad did it.  I wanted to do it and have kept about four hives until my schedule disallowed it. It's not that they are time consuming, it's that when they need to be tended to you have to drop what you are doing and be a beekeeper.  My sawing schedule kept me away from home when I should have been treating them and checking the hives. Mites, moths and now beetles will kill a hive before you get turned around good.   American foul brood is tough too.  It's hard to set fire to a hive that you've worked so hard to produce.  

Honey builds up quickly though and I've got enough honey for my own consumption for a lot of years.  What I don't have is the honey to give to my customers anymore.  That was always my excuse to go visiting and they always looked forward to it.

Bees are fun and I'll do it again. Your best bet is to find a beekeepers organization in your area because there is a lot of knowledge that needs to be gotten in a very limited time frame.  Most Hobby beekeepers who have more than 10 hives will know what to do and be glad to pass on the information.

Check out your county agent.  He'll know if there is one or can introduce you to an inspector or beekeeper.
extinct

Offline Norm

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 7659
  • Age: 61
  • Gender: Male
Re: Bees from Santa
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2002, 04:39:45 am »
We used to have a couple of hives ourselves but lost them to mites. They are a lot of work but having your own sugar makers is pretty cool. The book that I used to have was called Beekeeping from A-Z if I remember right. Your local library will probably have a copy. Have fun.

Offline Phil

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 78
  • Age: 44
  • Gender: Male
  • I have the heart of a poet...It's in a jar on my desk.
    • Freelance Writer
Re: Bees from Santa
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2002, 06:11:58 am »
I'm pretty sure our county has a beekeeper's association, so I'll plan on getting in touch with them.  My father-in-law and my grandfather-in-law (who are my neighbors) both have experience with bees.

I bought and read a book on beekeeping a few years ago.  I had planned to get into the hobby then, but other things got in the way.  I can't remember the title, but I still have that laying around here somewhere.

A friend told me a good way to combat mites is to mix together sugar and Crisco.  While the bees eat the mixture, the grease coats and suffocates the mites.  Does this really work, or is it just a rural legend?

Phil


Offline Tom

  • In Memoriam
  • *
  • Posts: 25854
  • Age: 75
  • Location: Jacksonville, Florida
  • Gender: Male
    • Toms Saw
Re: Bees from Santa
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2002, 10:11:03 am »
I've heard tales like that too.  Beekeepers will experiment with anything mixed with sugar to try to get rid of mites.  The only thing I think that really works is the "correct" application of a miticide.

Be a concerned Beekeeper when you use chemicals so that you don't get them into the honey.  There are accepted periods of time that must be observed between the application of strips and honey flow to make sure that the honey remains pure. :P
extinct

Offline RobK

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 39
  • Age: 44
  • Gender: Male
Re: Bees from Santa
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2002, 11:13:48 am »
My grandfather kept bees for awhile. He also grew tobacco. Ever had tobacco flavored honey? Unless you really, really like tobacco, you won't go back for more.  :(

-Rob
-Rob

Offline L. Wakefield

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 1285
  • Age: 66
  • Location: Hollis Maine
  • Gender: Female
Re: Bees from Santa
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2002, 05:40:33 pm »
   I kept bees for about 9 years in WV, and about about the same length of time here in Maine. I was much more successful in WV- it was pre-varroa mite, and I had more time to invest. At least I have managed to keep one hive going here that seems to be able to fight off the varroa mite for about 3 years now. But to get back into production of honey as opposed to just providing the fertilizing function- 'twil take more time than I've got right now. But bees are wonderful. lw  
L. Wakefield, owner and operator of the beastly truck Heretik, that refuses to stay between the lines when parking

Offline ARKANSAWYER

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 3048
  • Age: 56
  • Location: Wamego, Kansas
  • Gender: Male
  • Poor white Southern trash
Re: Bees from Santa
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2002, 05:48:07 am »
  My wife and father-in-law keep bees and have 6 hives right now.  I was in the woods last spring and found a swarm and they went and collected it.  It was a very good hive till the fall.  They got very aggressive and down right mean.  Think they had some killer bee in them.  It got so bad that even in a suit they would not work them.  We started a fire in a barrel and I in the cab of tractor dumped it on the hive.  The other hives are doing fine and the honey is sure good.  I do not mess with them.  They do come down to the sawdust pile and work it in the winter on warm days when I saw pine and cedar.  Not sure what they are doing but we let them have it.
ARKANSAWYER
ARKANSAWYER

Offline L. Wakefield

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 1285
  • Age: 66
  • Location: Hollis Maine
  • Gender: Female
Re: Bees from Santa
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2002, 06:41:53 am »
   Bees do the honey and wax thing- but they also collect resins and produce propolis. It's a very interesting substance. They use it to glue the hives together and seal cracks. They will collect turpentine sometimes, and paint thinner- I bet they would like the pine..hadn't previously heard about the cedar. ?They do like the popple resin that I go after from balsam poplars. It has a similar scent to propolis, and burns similarly. Pry off some propolis from a hive sometime, and see if the scent of it burning reminds you of the old sticks of sealing wax. That stuff was way harder than beeswax. I don't know what they made it from.  lw
L. Wakefield, owner and operator of the beastly truck Heretik, that refuses to stay between the lines when parking

Offline Linda

  • Full Member x2
  • ***
  • Posts: 209
  • Gender: Female
  • "In God We Trust"
Re: Bees from Santa
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2002, 06:43:40 am »
My father has several hives, 2 of which I help him tend at our place.  He has had several hives as long as I can remember.  I think he started them when my brother was in Boy Scouts.  It was a nice family hobby.  

I've noticed the bees at our place like the fresh cut edge trimmings off of several different species of wood.  I always wondered what they were up to.  I assume they are after the moisture in the sap.  The saw dust is warm and moist.  Maybe they are warming up and getting a drink.  They hover around the kiln vent too (warm and moist).

I have been keeping an old garbage can lid full of water with a knob of pine sitting in it, so they can get a drink. They don't like deep water holes so you have to water them like bird in a nice shallow pan. On dry summer days I have a swarm of 50 or more bees buzzing around my head when I get them fresh water.  When that is available to them they don't usually come around the sawdust or edging pile.

The kids and I used to get accosted when we went swimming in the summer.  It was kind of fun having several bees land on you to get a drink, but it's kind of hard to get any swimming done if you have 20 bees trying to get a drink.  I must mention that they never stung us.  

Honey bees aren't aggressive, just protective.  A lot of times we go to the hive with only shorts and short sleeves.  They won't sting unless they think they or their hive is in danger.  They lose their life when they sting.

Well, I guess I better stop goofing off and get to the taxes I am trying to avoid! :'(

Linda
Wood-Mizer 2012 LT50HDE25

Offline Phil

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 78
  • Age: 44
  • Gender: Male
  • I have the heart of a poet...It's in a jar on my desk.
    • Freelance Writer
Re: Bees from Santa
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2003, 08:12:40 am »
We have a creek about 100 feet or so from where I'll keep the hive, so I'm guessing that should solve their water needs, although our neighbors' swimming pool is almost as close.  (I can hear the complaints already  :D )

I'm wondering, too, about sunlight.  Being in the "head of a holler," we've got full shade, partial shade and about a 30-foot-wide strip of full sun.  Is there a preference for which of these three the hives should be situated in?  My father-in-law said that, up north, they recommend that you paint hives a dark color to absorb sunlight, but in the south, you should paint them white to reflect sunlight.  Therefore, I'm assuming the same kind of geographical differences would apply to shade vs. sunlight???

Oh, by the way, here's a conversation on beekeeping that I remember from "Cheers:"

WOODY:  Back in Indiana, I used to keep bees.  You know what people used to call me?

CARLA:  The moron covered in welts and flailing his arms?

WOODY:  Nope.  Woody the Beekeeper.

And here's another one I remember from some short-lived sitcom whose name I don't remember, but which starred John Laroquette.  (I watched a lot of TV growing up  :-/ ):

OTHER GUY:  John, you need a hobby.  Take me, for example.  I keep bees.

JOHN:  But you live in an apartment.

OTHER GUY:  Yeah, I keep 'em in my closet in a shoebox.

JOHN:  Don't they suffocate?

OTHER GUY:  Nah.  I punch holes in the box.

JOHN:  Don't they crawl out the holes?

OTHER GUY:  Nah.  The box is inside a plastic trash bag.

JOHN:  Don't they die?

OTHER GUY:  John, it's JUST a hobby.

Phil


Online Jeff

  • Fearless Leader
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 44958
  • Age: 56
  • Location: Harrison MI
  • Gender: Male
  • Proverbs 13:20
    • THEE Forestry Forum
Re: Bees from Santa
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2003, 08:38:31 am »
Phil,

I concider myself as being "Up North" and all we have, or at least all I have ever seen is white hives. My brother-in-law and his dad kept bees for years. We use to have honey all the time.
Just call me the midget doctor.
Forestry Forum Founder and Chief Bottle Washer.

Offline L. Wakefield

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 1285
  • Age: 66
  • Location: Hollis Maine
  • Gender: Female
Re: Bees from Santa
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2003, 09:22:38 am »
   There is quite a difference though, north vs south. In the south it's important to have the hives in at least partial shade. In the north, on the contrary, full sun is important, and shelter frrom the wind. Some beekeepers up here go the extra step of bringing the hives in closer in the late fall and insulating them with hay bales (some few put them in the cellar- that would NOT be me). I've noticed that the hives that winter over and survive up here are the ones on higher gorund. I think there's quite a difference in minimum temp between my upper gardens and my lower, judging by hardness of frost. They definitely DON'T like bowls where the cold air can pool.  lw
L. Wakefield, owner and operator of the beastly truck Heretik, that refuses to stay between the lines when parking

Offline Tom

  • In Memoriam
  • *
  • Posts: 25854
  • Age: 75
  • Location: Jacksonville, Florida
  • Gender: Male
    • Toms Saw
Re: Bees from Santa
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2003, 02:11:36 pm »
I have kept mine in the swamp and also out in the open on the hill.  Doesn't seem to make much difference except the ones on the hill are a lot easier to get to.  When it gets too hot, the bees fan the hive.  They like it warm anyway and air movement lets them keep it at the temperature that they like the best. They also have to get the water out of the honey and this fanning turns the hive into a semblance of a kiln. I think it is harder for them to handle a "too cold" hive than a "too hot" one.

I used to use white paint on everything but ran out once and had a bunch of pastel stuff left over from the wife's decorating spree.   I kept the brood chambers white but painted the supers with pinks, yellows and blues and mixed them all up.  It really looked cool and I don't think the bees minded at all. :D
extinct

Offline Linda

  • Full Member x2
  • ***
  • Posts: 209
  • Gender: Female
  • "In God We Trust"
Re: Bees from Santa
« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2003, 05:58:24 pm »
Phil,

Ever think about a career in acting?  You must have a good memory, hasn't Cheers been off the air for a long time?  I'm not sure I could quote that much from a show I watched last week! :-/

As for the color of bee hives: White is usually used, because it is supposed to have a calming effect on bees.  That is why the beekeepers clothing is usually white also.  If you think about it though, "wild" bees  often make use of old hollow trees as a home.  I know my Dad has used up different colored paint on hives.  I like the idea of pastels!  :D

Bees do like warm & hot much better than cold.  If I remember right, they make special covers for the winter.  I know Dad prefers putting his bees in sunny areas for warmth (they survive the winter better) and also because the bees have a "longer day" they actually produce more honey every year than the ones he has in the shade.  :)

Linda
Wood-Mizer 2012 LT50HDE25

Offline Phil

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 78
  • Age: 44
  • Gender: Male
  • I have the heart of a poet...It's in a jar on my desk.
    • Freelance Writer
Re: Bees from Santa
« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2003, 07:22:19 am »
Linda,

Since I don't have TV in the house anymore, I have to sit around in my living room with my eyes closed, replaying shows I saw long ago.   :D

Jeff,

I'll tell me father-in-law he's wrong, but he won't believe it.  ;D  It won't be the first time, either.

Tom,

You should paint peace signs on those hives, too.  With a few Clinton campaign stickers here and there.   ;)  

Phil

Offline ARKANSAWYER

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 3048
  • Age: 56
  • Location: Wamego, Kansas
  • Gender: Male
  • Poor white Southern trash
Re: Bees from Santa
« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2003, 08:38:21 pm »
  Did you know that some bees do not have a daddy? :P
ARKANSAWYER
ARKANSAWYER

Offline Bud Man

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 609
  • Gender: Male
  • "MAKE EM HAPPY WHILE YOU MAKE A BUCK & EN
Re: Bees from Santa
« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2003, 04:30:28 am »
Another factor of shade or sun placement is wakeup call to the bees. Eastern exposure and available morning light gets them out a little earlier and when your talking 30 to 100+thousand workers time means production.  There are strains being introduced supposedly more resistant to the varroa mites ( Russian ) Also In the past I've found that the more shade the more tempermental they are.  Never used anything but white or natural colors.  After a while you build up an immunity to the sting so if the first stings don't kill ya the stings will become less affective. Fascinating Hobby but very addictive  !!  Enjoy !!
The groves were God's first temples.. " A Forest Hymn"  by.. William Cullen Bryant

Offline Bud Man

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 609
  • Gender: Male
  • "MAKE EM HAPPY WHILE YOU MAKE A BUCK & EN
Re: Bees from Santa
« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2003, 04:36:34 am »
P.S.  If your gonna paint, they need to be painted a month or so before you introduce your package of bees to cure properly. Bees are generally ordered in the winter for spring delivery, don't wait for april to order or you'll come up empty unless you catch a swarm in april to may !
The groves were God's first temples.. " A Forest Hymn"  by.. William Cullen Bryant