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Thread: First Hive

  1. Default First Hive

    We have installed our first package of bees yesterday afternoon.

    In pouring the bees into the hive, of course
    I got stung.

    It was an interesting experience.

    Now when do I get my honey for more mead

    What do you mean next summer.


  2. #2
    The Honey Farmer Gotmead Visitor

    Default Re: First Hive

    Welcome to the wonderful world of bee keeping!


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI

    Default Re: First Hive


    Congrats! Welcome to the Band of Beekeepers! (Sounds like a B movie title...)

    Hey, you learned the very first lesson in beekeeping. Which end is the pointy one - and why you should avoid it!

    They'll probably drive you crazy with worry your first year, but you will find them to be an amazing and fun hobby.

    David Baldwin
    Michigan Meadery LLC


  4. #4

    Default Re: First Hive

    Band of Beekeepers and appropriate B rated title, it should also have a cult following.

    Welcome to the club! It is a great hobby. But don't kill off all your bees by letting them sting you. My mentor says I am cutting into his profit margin when I kill them like that..lol

    I suggest after the queen gets settled in, to go visit your colony once a week or so. It is important to get comfortable handling them. The more comfortable you are handling a box of 60,000 bees the less likely you will be stung. Its kind of overwhleming your first year at the peak of the season.

    David is right about worrying about them your first year. It will be much like your first batch of mead. Luckily the bees take care of themselves pretty well with little intervention from you.

    A word of caution. I never had a problem with bee stings. But my at the beginning of my 2nd year of beekeeping, my third sting of the season caused me an allergic reaction. I just broke out into hives (no pun intended) nothing to serious. I did end up going to the ER and then seeing my family docotor. My doctor told me that it is possible to become allergic to anything at any point in your life. Several hundred bee stings later I haven't had another reaction. But the first few stings of the season keeps me on my toes. I would urge you to pick up an epipen for your first year out, until you are sure you aren't going to have a violent reaction. Also, if the bees are in your yard, you may want to keep an epipen around for an emergency, like a visitor who gets stung and has no previous allergens to bee stings. You just never know.

    Good luck and have fun.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Port Orange, Florida, USA

    Default Re: First Hive

    That's great that you have got a hive together, get use to checking them once a week or so and watch the bees entering the hive. try not to rile them up too much, if the girls are agressive one day close the hive up and check them another time. If you are worried about a allergic reaction to a sting keep some benadryl handy. My primary doctor wouldn't give me a script for an epipen, he said I needed to show an allergic reaction to a sting before he would write the script. It is a real catch 22, to get the epipen I need to have a reaction to a sting but by then it would be too late. If you want any type of honey crop the first year plan to pull what you can mid summer and then feed them to build up for the winter. With bees you need to plan at least two months ahead. Welcome to the club.

  6. #6

    Default Re: First Hive

    Wow, had a problem with the doctor for a scirpt for an epipen.

    My doctor was more than happy to give me a script for a 2 pack epipen. He also told me about how important it was that I got rid of them after the expeiration date. He told me the story of a local teenager who died from a peanut allergy after he had hit himself with and epipen. The epipen was outdated.

  7. Default Re: First Hive If interested ... link to pictures


    wow there are a lot of bees in that package

  8. #8

    Default Re: First Hive

    So who was the brave camera man?

    I read somewhere that there is about 3,500 bees/pound with a 3# pacakge which I assume is what you got, that is about 10,500 bees and a good package company will shake some extra in there to compensate for what die in transist.

    I got one question though. Whats with the zip lock bags of water in the colony? I haven't heard of that before and if I have I forgot about it. It worries me a little but it would also depend on where you are at. At this point of the season I wouldn't want that in my colonies, it gets way to cold at night still and with spring here, or starting to show up, there should be plenty of water for them to get at. But technique has a lot to do with location. My worries may be unfounded.

  9. Default Re: First Hive

    Wolf and cat took turns with bees and camera ...
    Wolf freed queen and shook bees.
    Cat placed frames and put up bridge and other things.

    The beginners class told us that since we have wax foundation and no comb, the bees need to build out the comb. We should put two 1/2 gallon FREEZER
    bag ... and only FREEZER bags of 1-1 sugar water on the frames with 1/2 teaspoon of Fumugillin mixed in.

    You cut a 1 inch hole where the airbubble in the
    bag is for the bees to feed.

    You want the bees to not spend time hunting
    for nectar,water and pollen, but to work on building out the comb. In fact they pretty
    much told us to leave the zip locks on most
    of the summer. This is in place of a hive top
    feeder. Our bee yard is only about 100 Feet away
    from a county park pond, so they have lots of
    water and in one of the parks known for its
    abundance of flowers.

    The local bee club in NorthernVA has a bee
    wrangler that drives down to GA twice a
    spring to get 450 packages each trip.

    He helps shake the packages and they but in
    about 3.5 lbs or about 13,000 bees.

    Then he jumps into his truck and drives
    like crazy to get the bees here. Most of them
    have been in the packages less then 20 hours
    when we, the ppl, get them.

    We are told to hold the bees about 3 days to let
    them get to know momma and then put into our

    We checked on them yesterday. It was about
    50 degrees with 40 mph wind. Saw three on the
    landing pad. Very little activity.

    Will check again on Saturday.


  10. #10

    Default Re: First Hive

    I didn't even think of feeding. I thought it was just water. Wish I could have attended a class when I started out. Would have saved a lot of headaches.

  11. Default Re: First Hive

    Hi everyone,

    Went to see bees on Sun 4/29/07

    Saw something weird. Called mentor to come
    look. It was disorganized comb building...

    She didnot seem to concerned. Said we would
    watch how they build out the foundation over
    the next month.

    With her help we finally found the blue dotted
    queen. Yes we have a queen.
    We also have larva, sealed brood
    also pollen and nectar being collected.

    We should be getting a nuc in about 10 days
    Queen was installed on friday.

    That will give us two hives

    And YES ... did not get stung this time
    and used no smoke

    She wants us to practice handling drones with
    out gloves

    So that we can feel the bees, that way next
    year we can raise some queens and mark them

    Practicing on the boys instead of the queens

    Seems kind of prejudice to me ... practice on the boys ...not the girls ...

    I know ... cheap drones ..expensive queens

    Put on second hive body with foundation.

    Pictures added on the above link for
    anyone interested in looking at all
    AND I MEAN ALL kinds of bees.


  12. #12

    Default Re: First Hive

    I would imagine she has you handling drones because they don't sting.
    You plan on going into queen production?

  13. Default Re: First Hive queens??


    about queens... our mentor wants us to know how
    to do it.

    she has already scheduled a bee club class
    april 19 08 to have a queen instructor come in

    she wants us to requeen in the fall of 08

    Since we know so much
    about bees ... our hive has been up for
    2 weeks now

    we have no idea about raising queens ...
    it might be intereing ... esp for breeder

    i hear they go for 1k each ... i could do
    1K each for a single queen bee

    why do i think 15 dollars is more like it


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Port Orange, Florida, USA

    Default Re: First Hive

    Always keep an eye on you queens and how they are doing. Out of the three hives I started by packages last year one requeened itself after tossing two small swarms, one collapsed last August and was lost because of queen failure and only the third hive had a queen that lasted over a year. My fourth hive was requeened mid last summer and is still hanging in there. I've an extra queen coming in next week to start a nuc with so I will have a backup for late summer. The good news is that I checked the hives over the weekend and have over a full deep honey super on each hive so I'm looking at moving three or four 100 lb supers. Should get an easy 10-15 gallons of honey this time and the Florida season has just begun. I plan to use the big 6 gallon primary buckets to store the honey in till I bottle.

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