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Dam Guide
New Orleans Saints Fan
Nooga
Member since Sep 2005
11514 posts

re: Anyone here keep Bees?
I've always thought bee keeping would be fun. Honey collecting looks like a pain in the arse though. I kinda want to get a knockoff flow hive on Amazon. Would be fun to collect my own honey for my mead making. Just don't have the room for it on my property.


BallsEleven
LSU Fan
Member since Mar 2019
155 posts

re: Anyone here keep Bees?
Keep the updates coming everyone.

This whole process is fascinating and I hope one day to dive deep into this hobby so I’m soaking up all the knowledge I can!


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jimjackandjose
Member since Jun 2011
3856 posts

re: Anyone here keep Bees?
One give can make 8-10 gallons of honey and requires very little real estate

The collecting honey part is the fun part to me.

Catching swarms has been fun too although I’ve only caught one


Bee Man
LSU Fan
Hester, LA
Member since Mar 2018
149 posts

re: Anyone here keep Bees?
I agree. Catching swarms is pretty exciting.


highcotton2
Auburn Fan
Alabama
Member since Feb 2010
5517 posts

re: Anyone here keep Bees?
quote:

Catching swarms is pretty exciting.


A guy that works for me will get 2 or 3 swarms every year about this time. We will be spraying a field or even just driving down the road and he will notice a swarm. He just caught one about 4 days ago while we were spraying cotton fields.
He doesn’t wear a bee suit or anything and I have never seen him stung. The last one he got he just raked them off of a limb into an old chemical box. It was about 3 pounds of bees and he got $90 for them.

I saw him reach up into a hole in a tree one time and break off a piece of comb and walk back towards me eating it and did not get stung. Really is one of the craziest things to watch.


Bee Man
LSU Fan
Hester, LA
Member since Mar 2018
149 posts

re: Anyone here keep Bees?
I’d never stick my hand in a wild hive like that, but bee swarms are typically very docile. It’s becuase the colony doesn’t have honey / pollen stores or brood to defend once they have swarmed.


BallsEleven
LSU Fan
Member since Mar 2019
155 posts

re: Anyone here keep Bees?
I know Roundup is bad for bees but is it an absolute no go when you have a hive. Even around fence lines and concrete?


jimjackandjose
Member since Jun 2011
3856 posts

re: Anyone here keep Bees?
Ive been using round up. Probably why one of my hives is struggling


Bee Man
LSU Fan
Hester, LA
Member since Mar 2018
149 posts

re: Anyone here keep Bees?
I have sprayed roundup around my hives for the last four years. I don’t treat for mites or small hive beetles and have only lost three hives out of 18 this past year. There is one study out there that shows glyphosate (active ingredient in roundup) affects the digestive tract of bees over time, thus weakening the hive. I’m not sure that I believe it or not. People are so against Roundup that they will “alter” the studies to get the results they’re looking for.


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11
Bee Man
LSU Fan
Hester, LA
Member since Mar 2018
149 posts

re: Anyone here keep Bees?
I went to a bee club meeting a couple years ago and there was a guest speaker from the US Bee Lab in Baton Rouge. Their studies show that most beekeepers lose hives and assume it was from pesticides, small hive beetles, wax moths, starvation, etc. when the vast majority of time, the colonies weaken and die from varroa mites.


BallsEleven
LSU Fan
Member since Mar 2019
155 posts

re: Anyone here keep Bees?
What is the best way of preventing that? I remember reading a lot about it and how some species are more susceptible than others. Something to do with grooming habits?


Bee Man
LSU Fan
Hester, LA
Member since Mar 2018
149 posts

re: Anyone here keep Bees?
That’s a tough question. Varroa mites are the number one killer of honey bees in the US. Most beekeepers treat their hives with oxalic acid. It kills mites but can kill bees as well.

I refuse to treat my hives. Eventually there will be a strain of bees that can coexist with mites.

One thing that I have tried with good success is VSH (varroa sensitive hygienic) queens. They are a strain of bee that was originally developed by the USDA Bee Lab in Baton Rouge in the late 1970’s. They have the ability to smell the capped brood that have mites, chew the capping off, pull the infected larvae out of the cells and throw them out of the hive. This breaks the life cycle of the mites.

Over the years, this strain of bees has improved from making little honey, but being really good at removing varroa, to being good at removing varroa and decent at making honey. They may make a little less honey than typical honey bees, but they can survive the mites.





jimjackandjose
Member since Jun 2011
3856 posts

re: Anyone here keep Bees?
Ive hesrd hopguard 2.0 works great for the mites

Ive had a few hive beetles but dont believe i have had mites yet.

Good news is my little swarn i caught seems to be doing well. Seeing much more in and out activity


Bee Man
LSU Fan
Hester, LA
Member since Mar 2018
149 posts

re: Anyone here keep Bees?
Placing your hives in full sun helps with mite as well.


WeagleEagle
Auburn Fan
Folsom Prison
Member since Sep 2011
1207 posts

re: Anyone here keep Bees?
Any updates? Down to three hives out of four. One got wrecked by hive beetles. Any advice?


cave canem
Mississippi St. Fan
pullarius dominus
Member since Oct 2012
9066 posts

re: Anyone here keep Bees?
I recently added beetle traps as just a preventative measure, have not seen any yet.

For some reason the girls were a bit stingy this afternoon and lit my arse up then I went in the hives today.

I am really experimenting a bit and have a lot going on, added a super and divided all the frames with comb and added foundationless in between in both supers to one hive as the wife wants cut comb.

Added a super full of plastic double waxed Pierco frames to another today and could not believe how much they liked them, this may become my go to.

Ebay flow hive is lagging badly at this point and I understand why I was advised to skip this route but am hard headed so......

3 months in and learning a lot, if anyone wants to chime in on frame spacing this is my next topic to address.


Columbia
Houston Astros Fan
Land of the Yuppies
Member since Mar 2016
1999 posts

re: Anyone here keep Bees?
Got my first swarm yesterday. Was pretty pumped about it.

Video

I use screen bottom boards and put swiffer pads in top of hive for Beatles. Haven't has many yet though.


jimjackandjose
Member since Jun 2011
3856 posts

re: Anyone here keep Bees?
Im hoping yo catch a couple more swarms. Have only got one so far and it was a small one. Struggling


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CoachDon
Kentucky Fan
Louisville
Member since Sep 2014
7815 posts

re: Anyone here keep Bees?
It's strange that you just don't see many bumble bees at all anymore. I can't remember the last time I actually saw a bumble bee.


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cave canem
Mississippi St. Fan
pullarius dominus
Member since Oct 2012
9066 posts

re: Anyone here keep Bees?
Out of curiosity why did you put it in a nuc rather than a 10 frame.

Asking to learn not question your methods.


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