Advice wanted

Discussion in 'Beekeeping' started by 6e, Dec 19, 2006.

  1. 6e

    6e Farm lovin wife Supporter

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    We will be getting our very first bees this spring and I was wondering, what are the best bees to get for temperament? My husband wants to put the hives down by our pond because there's a lot of wild flowers that grow down there, but the kids fish down there too and I want a type of bee that easy going and laid back. Any suggestions? How close to hives can you get before bees start to get upset? There's some kind of honey bee that hangs around our house all the time and they're always around the sweet feed and they're very docile bees. We can scoop them out of the feed and **** them away and they just fly off a bit. No one has ever been stung. Is this because they're not near their hive or is this how some bees behave? My in-laws have a hive inside their barn wall right beside the barn door, it's been there for years, and you can walk all around there, go in and out of the barn door and they never bother any one. I'd love to get those bees but we know nothing of bee removal and I would be scared to death to try.

    Any tips on bee types?
    Thanks
     
  2. dcross

    dcross Well-Known Member Supporter

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    <<Is this because they're not near their hive or is this how some bees behave?>>

    Foragers away from the hive are very tame, pretty much have to crush one to get stung.

    I would recommend Italians or New World Carniolans, and point the entrance of the hive away from human activity. Any commercially raised bee should be fine, but they can all be unpredictable. Russians are known for "head butting" but aren't supposed to sting anymore than others, I've heard.

    Also keep an eye out for skunks and possums bothering the hive at night, that will rile them.
     

  3. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper keeper of the bees Staff Member Supporter

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    You don't need the bees right at the flowers as they will forage an advrage of 2 miles any way. I would look for a place with a north and west wind block, all of our 52 colonies are in full sun all day long and do fine. we have 7 is some afternoon shade and they do fine too.

    Itialians are gentile bees as are the NW carnies. I have heard the Minnesota Hygenic are gentil too.
    Our SMR carnies are friendly and greet you face to face when the lid comes off the hive, not stand offish like the Itialians and NW Carnies.
    Some days you can sit right in front of the hive entrance drinking your morning tea while the bees are busy doing their thing. Some other days you don't want to get with in 10 feet of that same hive.
    Fellow who got me keeping bees said you can work bees buck naked if a flow is on and it is a sunny day. :dance: No I havn't tried that yet.

    :D Al
     
  4. 6e

    6e Farm lovin wife Supporter

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    So it would probably be unwise to put the bees down where the kids play and fish wouldn't it? We could put them toward the back of the property, but we wouldn't be able to keep an eye on them back there..........
     
  5. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper keeper of the bees Staff Member Supporter

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    I would not go so far as to say it is unwise, just that they can be another place and still get use of the flowers there. As I said look for a place with a north & west wind block. Need not be a lot, a pine tree for a single hive, a building, even shrubs work.
    We have made our own wind block with straw bales at some of our out yards. Here at home I built privcy fences in the back yard.

    We have 15 bee hives in our back yard 35 yards from the door. We have another 15 in the front yard about 50 yards from the door. They are not a bother, in fact :nono: they keep those pesky door to door preachers and salesmen in their cars :help: and not at our door.


    :D Al
     
  6. dcross

    dcross Well-Known Member Supporter

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    <<we wouldn't be able to keep an eye on them back there..........>>

    Don't worry, you'll find a reason to check in on them:)
     
  7. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper keeper of the bees Staff Member Supporter

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    I also have to add that just because there are flowers by the pond where the kids play and fish does not mean the bees will work them.
    It also should be knowen not putting bees there won't keep them from working those flowers either. in either case the bees and kids will be just fine in the same area but they (kids) may step on a bee and get stung, they will live.

    :D Al
     
  8. 6e

    6e Farm lovin wife Supporter

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    Thank you for all the responses.

    All the kids have been stung at one time or another so that I'm not worried about. This is going to sound silly to you long time bee keepers I'm sure, but what I worry about is they get to close to the hive and get stung 100 times or something like that. I've heard stories of people with bees getting too close to the hive and have the whole hive come to "greet" them.
     
  9. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Bees are a little more hot near the entrance of the hive. They tend to be pretty mellow otherwise.

    A bee who is foraging has one thing on her mind - nectar or pollen - and they tend to ignore humans as being NOT nectar! Unless, of course, you step on her or do something similar.

    If a hive is too hot, a change in queens should take are of things. A hive is hot because of genetics: if you change the queen you change the genetics.
     
  10. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I have heard that Africanized bees behave like this, but it is very rare up here in Kansas. Beekeepers tend to re-queen hives that are mean. That means that queens that carry the gene for viciousness are killed and replaced.
     
  11. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper keeper of the bees Staff Member Supporter

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    OK ya made me do it. this is a SMR Carnie colony. As i said they are very friendly and will meet you face to face when you remove the top cover. But you can still sit beside them and drink your morning coffee.

    [​IMG]

    :D Al
     
  12. buzzboy

    buzzboy Well-Known Member

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    Wonderful picture AL!!!!
    My wife said that it is the spitting image of me in a few years(okay..I'm only 29 but I have the same beard and hairstyle!)
    peace.
     
  13. 6e

    6e Farm lovin wife Supporter

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    Thank you so much for the picture Al!! Are all honey bees like that or only that particular strain? I'm not sure I've even heard of a Carnie. My husband was leaning toward these bees that are mostly black with a yellow spot. I forget what they're called. He wanted them so that they were easy to spot in the garden and such since all the native bees are striped.
     
  14. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper keeper of the bees Staff Member Supporter

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    Carnie's short for Carnoloina's. There are 3 strains that I know of. The SMR as the ones are in the picture, dark bodied with some yellow on them, the New World type which are dark with a grey hued strips. and the normal straight breed that are real black with a little bit of yellow strip. All those colors will very a bit due to the breed and the genes of the drones the queen mated with.

    80% of the US bee keepers keep Itialians for their gentileness being the biggest trait.

    :D Al
     
  15. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I believe it is spelled Carniola. I think! I have heard that they are gentle also, but I have never had any so I am not sure!
     
  16. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper keeper of the bees Staff Member Supporter

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    Spelling is really ::::: CARNIOLAN

    NEW WORLD CARNIOLAN
    PRODUCTION QUEENS
    "Time Tested, Industry Proven"


    Yes they are gentile but not like the Itialians.
    Very friendly as I have said at your face when you open the top cover. Itialians for the most part are stand offish in that respect.
    :D Al
     
  17. the kid

    the kid Well-Known Member

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    I normaly dont post but this I have to say
    you ask if all bees are like that there just like us mostly good days but a bad one now and then you know if they are cooped up on a rainy day with the kids and you come to mess with them , they will show you what they can do .. that you only do once..
    but on the other hand when I was 4 5 years old I can remember catching honey bees and bumble bees ,,,,, yea bumble bees in my hands after you learned how to hold you hands they didnt bite I liked to hear them bussss ... at times we did this to pass the time ..more time then money.. my 5 kids did caught them like that to.. they thought it was fun and dad showed them how .other parents didnt think it was funny when there kids tryed it ,,, no scents of humer....now there are few honey bees and bumble bees around now .. now that I have bees mybe my grand kids will start learning the hand catching thing bees are not that bent to bite AND yes this year I will have epi - pens both adult and jr pens
    It makes me laugh when you tell someone you have bees and all they think is HOW MUCH YOU WILL GET BITE I have got bite more by wasp in ayear then by honey bees in twenty years .. they think nothing of the wasp nest out back

    this is why I dont post to long winded any way thats my one cent now Im broke for the next week.....
    the kid