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Thread: New Hobby

  1. #1
    Moderator kennymo's Avatar
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    New Hobby

    If you can call it that. Maybe a sideline? Anyway, I’m splitting my first two hives off a couple of these bad boys over the next week or so. If I can make all the extra work fit into my schedule, I’m buying some fresh hives next Spring and starting down the path to a serious apiary. I haven’t worked bees in twenty years, but it’s time to start laying out some alternate paths to spending the rest of my life working construction.

    B8CCA71E-5BCC-4DF2-B173-0379F4FFB5DC.jpg

    They’re a little dirty with the smears of pollen and dirt on the front, mostly from pulling off the winter wraps earlier today. Bees are going apeshit for the maple trees, which just popped over the last couple of days.
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  3. #2
    The Gunsmithing Moderator blacksmithden's Avatar
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    Very cool. I have no interest in keeping hives myself, but I do watch The 628 Dirtrooster youtube videos with amazement....not sure why. His buddy Jeff Horchoff (sp) (aka Mr Ed) does some good ones too. Very educational.
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    There’s a hive style that is a wagon. Access racks from the inside. Apparently the wagon air and buzzing is healthy and meditative. Which has turned into some being a cabin rental at times. Probably some deep Eastern block style.

  5. #4
    Go Canucks Go! lone-wolf's Avatar
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    Well, I'm jelly cause that is something I wanted to try out
    Being right next to a farmer's field, I wonder if my backyard might get oversprayed with chemicals that'd kill bees so that is one thing making me hesitant.
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  6. #5
    Moderator kennymo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lone-wolf View Post
    Well, I'm jelly cause that is something I wanted to try out
    Being right next to a farmer's field, I wonder if my backyard might get oversprayed with chemicals that'd kill bees so that is one thing making me hesitant.
    The photo is at my parent’s small/hobby farm. The neighbours are big into grain/canola/corn, the first year they kept bees they had a few hives with a die off from spraying. It won’t wipe out a strong hive, but it sets them back when a bunch of their foragers drop dead suddenly. Anyway, they went and talked to them about it, and asked that they let them know a day ahead of time before they spray within a mile so they could close up the hives overnight. Instead, they switched their whole operation over to bee friendly pesticides. Good neighbours.
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  8. #6
    Moderator kennymo's Avatar
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    Split hives this afternoon, and pulled the Apiguard mite strips from the rest. Couple crazy strong hives in the yard, just bursting at the seams with bees and brood. We split five in total, bringing the yard up to fourteen.
    Splitting involves stealing a box of bees and brood from a strong hive and relocating it across the yard. Just need to make sure both halves of the split have a sufficient supply of eggs and brood. Whichever half winds up without a queen will raise a fresh one from an egg over the next 14-16 days.
    There’s also one weak hive in the yard, either it didn’t winter well or they lost their queen early in the spring and had to raise a new one. We stole a brood frame out of the strongest hive and stuck it in there for a little pick me up.

    Of course I left the phone in the truck and have no pictures....

    Fresh batch of bacon seeds arrived though.

    4BE41F9F-D492-44AF-996A-AD2EEB82DBCC.jpg
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    Señor Member Dewey Cox's Avatar
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  12. #8
    Moderator kennymo's Avatar
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    News from the farm. The splits are all active, looking like 100% success rate so far, nobody abandoned the brood and went back to their old hive. Just need to check and make sure they all managed to hatch new queens in a couple weeks.
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  14. #9
    Bladesmith
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    I'm close to getting into bees. I have a couple acres of haskaps that need pollination from bees. My biggest hold up is I don't know anything about bee keeping

  15. #10
    Moderator kennymo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad View Post
    I'm close to getting into bees. I have a couple acres of haskaps that need pollination from bees. My biggest hold up is I don't know anything about bee keeping
    Honestly, I’ve been reading Beekeeping for Dummies to brush up on my rusty memory. Starting when I was 18 I worked three summers for a small commercial beekeeper, but I didn’t do a lot of the finesse and management work. I was the heavy labour and got to see the small stuff if there was time. The book is pretty good, obviously geared to the beginner and small apiary, but it’s a handy refresher for me.

    I’ve been spending some time on YouTube as well, there’s a guy from Miami MB that goes under A Canadian Beekeeper’s Blog. He’s running something like 1500 hives and rearing queens and nucleus hives for sale, not everything he does is pertinent to the smaller beekeeper, but seeing what someone in the same climate I’m in is doing is nice.



    He deals with bees more like they’re livestock than pets. I don’t care for the ‘save every bee’ attitude from some of the YouTube beekeepers I’ve watched. Wasting a whole summer trying to nurse along a hive that’s probably just going to drop dead over winter isn’t a great practice...
    Last edited by kennymo; 06-03-2020 at 05:58 PM.
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