well, I did it

Discussion in 'Beekeeping' started by shorty'smom, Apr 27, 2005.

  1. shorty'smom

    shorty'smom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    267
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2005
    Location:
    northern Oklahoma
    I got a beginner beekeeping kit and a hive and have my bees on order. I'm a little scared because I've never done this before, but I've always wanted to. My grandpa used to keep bees and it always seemed so neat to me. I never got to help him with the bees though, just eat the honey.

    So, what do I do now? I'm a little worried because all of the books I've been reading say that I should start with drawn combs for the bees and give them a frame of honey and a frame of brood. If I knew where to get that stuff I wouldn't have had to mail order everything. How do those authors expect us to get a frame of brood and honey? I got this book about beekeeping and it is about 4 inches thick and talks about a lot of stuff for commercial beekeeping. I just want honey for my family. I think I've finally boiled it down to what will be good information for just a hobby at beekeeping, but I still have worries about getting this 3 pound package of bees and putting them into a brand spanking new hive with nothing but foundation to live with and sugar water instead of honey.

    Will my bees be ok?
     
  2. shorty'smom

    shorty'smom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    267
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2005
    Location:
    northern Oklahoma
    my hive is just two deep supers (or brood chambers) with the stand, bottom board, with interior and exterior hive covers. There are 10 frames of foundation in each box. I plan to let the bees keep everything they make this year. Next year do I need to then add a queen excluder and a super above my two brood chambers and honey stores for the hive? Do the bees need that much room for storing their own honey and raising brood, and/or is that enough room for them?
     

  3. shorty'smom

    shorty'smom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    267
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2005
    Location:
    northern Oklahoma
    There is a well established colony of wild bees on this 40 acres also. Will they bother my bees? The bees aren't agressive, so I doubt that they are africanized, though the africanized bees are working their way up into OK these days. We have a picnic table within 50 feet of the colony and didn't even know it was there for 2 years. We found them last summer because the bees were in my garden all over my corn gathering pollen. Hundreds and hundreds of them. We trailed them back to the hive and were really surprised at how close they were to an area where we go to play. I have as much corn planted this year. I hope my bees will get some of the pollen. I could grow more corn, but I still have corn in the freezer now from last year. I don't really need more corn. We have a field of soybeans close by. I don't know if bees pollenate it or not. Maybe. Next year we rotate to wheat again. There should be plenty of pollen to go around then. We try to grow fruit trees, but the goats keep getting into the orchard. You can guess how that turns out. There is an alfalfa field nearby too. I hope the bees can get to that. It's almost 2 miles away. will they go that far?
     
  4. justgojumpit

    justgojumpit Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    North Salem, NY
    Your bees should be fine. I, too, have started a hive on just foundation and sugar syrup. The will draw out the frames with remarkable speed, and store that sugar syrup you are giving them almost faster than you can supply it. It really is amazing what these insects can do. I would, however, recommend that you get at least one or two honey supers in case we have a really good year this year. You don't want to find yourself in a situation where both deep hive bodies are filled to the brim, and the bees have no room to expand. This is a sure recipe for swarming.

    About queen excluders... I hate them, and others swear by them. You see, queens will rarely (I didn't say never) walk over either open or capped cells of honey or nectar. And because of the way that bees fill the frames (brood in the middle, surrounded by pollen, and then honey) there will be a "cap" of nectar over the top of your upper super. The result of this is that you will have a natural barrier between the brood chamber and the honey super that the queen is not inclined to cross. Besides, if the queen does lay some eggs in the honey super, after the brood hatches, the bees will quickly fill these cells with honey. A queen excluder does keep most queens out of the honey supers (they can cross through an excluder, but would much rather not), they also slow down the workers, and if there is no drawn comb above the excluder for them to work, they will have no desire to go through the excluder and into the honey supers. Just my two cents.

    justgojumpit

    Enjoy your bees!
     
  5. connie in WV

    connie in WV Site Admin's Boss

    Messages:
    481
    Joined:
    May 13, 2002
    Location:
    West Virginia!
    Your situation sounds exactly like mine. I am waiting for my first #3 of bees to come this week. They are supposed to be shipped today.

    I had to mail order everything too. Folks on the forum recommended "Beekeeping for Dummies" and that book has left me feeling like I can handle it! I had my hive all set up, but after reading the book I realized I had it all backwards! I too had a book for commercial honey and felt like I was in way over my head.

    I have 2 deep supers set up with a top feeder ready to go. Like you, I will add an excluder and shallow supers later. My frames and combs came in the mail and I hope they are what my bees will need to get their stores started.

    Keep us posted on how you are doing. I'm quite relieved to know that there is someone else out there starting out like me!

    Good luck!
     
  6. indypartridge

    indypartridge Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
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    Oct 25, 2004
    Location:
    Indiana
    I'm a beginner as well. My bees should arrive within the next two weeks. I attended a beginning beekeeping class in January, and regularly visit a couple of beekeeping boards online. Make sure you hook up with any local beekeeping groups in your area - it helps to know a few real, live people that you can call if need be.
     
  7. justgojumpit

    justgojumpit Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    North Salem, NY
    hey! We're real and live! but I know what you mean. It is nice to get to know a group of people in your area, with the same weather conditions, etc. who can give you advice as needed.

    justgojumpit
     
  8. HilltopDaisy

    HilltopDaisy Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
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    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2003
    Location:
    New York
    Another brand new beekeeper here. I'm starting with 2 hives, and I pick up my bees on May 7th. I'm excited, I can hardly wait. I also bought the Dummies book, it's a great tool to have.
     
  9. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Mar 21, 2004
    Location:
    deep south texas
    you might try spraying them down with sugar water when installing try putting a few drops of vanilla into the water it takes away the smell if needed, the africanized from what we seen ,are only bad when they are overcrowed in the hive, theres about 18 hives of the ones my brother has that are that way(africanized that is)just take it slow and easy . the sugar water is 5# of sugar to 1 gal of water heat the water to disolve the sugar, and let cool,as it takes alot of sugar water to make comb. What type of feeder are you going to use??