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General => Miscellaneous => Topic started by: billy rubin on April 17, 2020, 08:09:43 PM

Title: bees
Post by: billy rubin on April 17, 2020, 08:09:43 PM
just got off the telephone with the local guy who's receiving a truckload of package bees tomorrow. they're on.

i've got four three-pound packages coming up from georgia. dunno who from. most of the breeders i know are from the west. i'll have to see.

anyway it's an adventure for the kids. we lost our bee outfit some 15 years ago, so they don't remember sitting in the car seat at midnight moving bees in and out of the orchards in a two-ton flatbed.

i'll see if i can delegate one of them to take some photographs.
Title: Re: bees
Post by: Tank on April 17, 2020, 08:15:40 PM
Loving this. Looking forward to the pictures.
Title: Re: bees
Post by: Asmodean on April 17, 2020, 08:17:13 PM
My neighbor keeps bees. They are actually quite nice in that they leave me well enough alone. Have not been stung or even mildly annoyed by them yet.

Can you like... Breed them for manners, like they did wolves back in the loincloth age?
Title: Re: bees
Post by: billy rubin on April 17, 2020, 10:31:22 PM
Quote from: Asmodean on April 17, 2020, 08:17:13 PM
Can you like... Breed them for manners, like they did wolves back in the loincloth age?

lol

i live way, way out in the country. unless i hear the mail carrier up the road, i'm often still in the loincloth age. or worse.

but yes. you are absolutely correct.

i used to breed bees commercially for sale. my eyes aren't good enough for grafting larvae anymore, but i have kids. most small beekeeping operatins have the 12-year-olds do all the grafting.

behaviour is heritable in bees, in several aspects.

you can breed them to be nice, in that they won't go apeshit on you when you open a hive. i used to pollinate seed crops in areas where the teenagers would mess with my hives, run them over with the pickups, do gang initiations inthe bee yards, and so on. if i had a mean hive, i would mark it. the next time i needed some beehives in a high-risk location-- rigfles, autos, pesticides, spit, whatever-- then that is the location that would get the hives i was prepared to lose.

you can also breed them for disease resistance. i had problems with some strains with chalkbrood, which is a fungius. had miscellaneous virus problems from time to time. you can breed them to be hygenic, which means that they will clean out diseased or parastized larvae before they infect the rest of the colony. and of course, you can breed them for honey production, wax production, proplis gathering, or anything else you need.

mostly what i did was start with good quality working queens from suppliers i liked. i'd buy two or three hundred queens in the spring, then evaluate them over the year in working colonies for heterozygosity, disease resistance, pollen and honey gathering, and general fecundity. i'd pick the best ten or so and then use those to graft larvae from the following year to generate queens for sale. at the same time i'd make sure i had drone colonies in abundance to supply the other half of the gametes so that the half-sister clans would have maximum heterozygosity.

homozygote honey bees hold recessive lethals. heterozygoites do okay. generarally speaking.

by themselves, inbred bees tend to get meaner and meaner. if you've ever been stung by a bee, imagine what its like to stand there in a bee suit before the sun comes up and have literally hundreds of angry bees attacking your veill so deep that you cannot see to walk. thjose bees are mean, and are the ones that get marked for replacement. ive had to work through that without a bee suit on occasion, nd its not fun.

but good quality bees a re a joy. the angels of agriculture. if you have never owned bees and then get some, you will always wonder why you didn't do it sooner. a beehive takes maybe six hours of work a year. here in ohio one hive can generate well over 100 pounds of honey per year, ten  pounds or so f beeswax, and maybe a pound of propolis. as much natural pollen as you want to gather.

and endless time for meditation.
Title: Re: bees
Post by: billy rubin on April 18, 2020, 07:15:50 PM
so my day began at 0415, when my dispatcher woke me up.

kevin, you coming in today?

no. im off today. i need to pick up bees up north.

hmmmm. nobody took you off the schedule. why am i not surprised . . .

so i went back to sleep until 0800--way late in the day for me -- and then packed up all the kids currently at home and drove 100 miles north, to where they had unloaded the bees the night before.

usually you shake bees on thursday, put em in the cooler until friday sometime, and then drive up to deliver on the weekend. this way they don't stay in the packages longer than a day or two. even 2500 miles from california to wisconsin is a 26 hour drive, straight through. thius time its only like 600 miles, but they were still probably shaken on thursday. no reason to go crazy. it doesn't pay.

so we got to the place,  and i gave the camera to a teenager and said

take pictures of everything.

(later, i asked, did you take lots of pictures?

no, there really wasn't anything to take a picture of.

(read, i was too embarrassed . . . ))

anyway, we drove up to this little skinnyl piece of property off a paved road, cool, and under a lot of trees. there were people in orange vests directing traffic, for crying out loud, and a line of cars onto the lane going into a U and leading out past the road. it was a zoo, full of morons who parked in the way and where i couldn't get my absudly overlarge 3/4ton pickup around them

]i didn't want a six pack  truck, but my wife told me

you want the kids to race morotcycles 1100 miles awy? you ll buy a truck with a back seat.

so i did. i hate arguing with her, especially when shes right.

so anyway, we drove into the beekeeper traffic jam.

(https://i.imgur.com/n0GmZBnl.jpg)

the last time i picked up package bees i 500 miles in the little one ton and loaded up 200 two-pounders. some US$8000, it was. this time i only wanted four, although they were hellishly expensive, like $115 each. a zoo, it was.

(https://i.imgur.com/WY7lzQPl.jpg)

but the pattern was easy, drive to the head of the U, get out, walk inside the honey house and give the two little old ladies my name, and they would give me a receipt i would trade for my four packages on the road leading out past the [pile of packages under the tarp. there was a an ancient woodman 30-frame extractor in there that i would have liked to buy, if it was for sale. my equipment right now is pretty bigger, and while it extracts a lot of honey at a time, it isn't flexible for small operations. i sold all my little stuff when i left california, and i wish i hadn't. any way, ill call the guy up later on.

so we managed to make the U- turn in the six pack three quarter ton, and scooted up to the pallets with all the bees. they'd showed up the night before from georgia in a horse trailer, and then had set all night under a tarp. two guys were taking receipts and handing out packages.

(https://i.imgur.com/05LlR3tl.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/UDGBBWJl.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/KmNwQ4wl.jpg)

we got our four an d i took thenm to the truvck, stuck them in the back seat between a couple of my non-photographers for the ride home.

(https://i.imgur.com/X4ej63Yl.jpg)

when we got them back, i took them into the kithen sink and gave them all a drink, pouring the water through the screemns. they had gotten thirsty in the truck and were getting agitated, but a good long drink calmed them all down.

(https://i.imgur.com/qq1ZceMl.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/DaXiaQ5l.jpg)

then down into the cellar and turned out the lights, and they;ll sit there until this evening. i haven't so much as picked out any boxes to put em in. got to mix up some syrup as well, so ill have to dig out a barrel.

but that part is easy.

so i'll see whether i can get my camera-shy teenagers to take more pictures this evening when we dump the packages. after that it will be up to the bees themselves. its cool--there was snow this morning, and no flowers to speak of for pollen.

dunno how it will go/.

im off to the warehouse  now to dig out some nuc boxes to put em in this evening when it gets cool and darker.

Title: Re: bees
Post by: billy rubin on April 18, 2020, 07:44:06 PM
heavens i'm as bad about bees as i am about motorcycles.

talk talk talk.

lol
Title: Re: bees
Post by: Dark Lightning on April 18, 2020, 09:19:43 PM
We'll have to start calling you Candy Man.  :P I saw that movie a long long time ago.
Title: Re: bees
Post by: billy rubin on April 18, 2020, 09:48:10 PM
candyman?

i didn't know that there was anythiung by that title except the old sci fi novel by vincent king.

which was a story i have never forgotten

Title: Re: bees
Post by: Dark Lightning on April 18, 2020, 11:16:28 PM
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Candyman_(1992_film)
Title: Re: bees
Post by: billy rubin on April 18, 2020, 11:43:54 PM
dumped em

a bir early in the evening but i hav eto go to bed.

(https://i.imgur.com/zU3iTYsl.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/VmTizKsl.jpg)

not too many stings, but a few

(https://i.imgur.com/iGh8S14l.jpg)

ill leave themn this wy with the lids off until after dark, and then the kids can put the lids on when the bees have sucked down inside

(https://i.imgur.com/VX7kviBl.jpg)

and there we are. half an hours work

(https://i.imgur.com/Ss1sGtol.jpg)

nice bees, too

(https://i.imgur.com/y2jzQbAl.jpg)

drone

(https://i.imgur.com/JTHmalBl.jpg)


i mixed up  about three hundred pounds of feed while i was waiting for the evening, so i'll see about filling up some cans for them tomorrow.

in the meantime, we're back in the saddle again.

after about 15 years.
Title: Re: bees
Post by: Magdalena on April 19, 2020, 12:20:26 AM
This is a cool topic.
Thank you for posting those pictures, billy rubin.
:popcorn:
Title: Re: bees
Post by: Dark Lightning on April 19, 2020, 12:58:31 AM
Last time I got stung by a bee I was 16. My hand swelled up like an over-inflated latex glove, and I couldn't even flex it. Bees are incredibly important to agriculture, but I have to stay away from them.
Title: Re: bees
Post by: Tank on April 19, 2020, 08:16:43 AM
That was absolutely fascinating BR!

Thank you for making the effort and sharing :)
Title: Re: bees
Post by: billy rubin on April 19, 2020, 09:28:04 AM
more to come. theres always something to do. got to feed them and then leave em be until they releaze the queen. shes locked into a cage in there now. usually couple three days or so.
Title: Re: bees
Post by: billy rubin on April 23, 2020, 01:23:48 AM
check ed that theyd released the queens. in a package the queens come in a little cage, a block of wood with a screen over it. theres a hole filled with sugar candy that the bees slowly eat their way through. when theyre done, voila, the queen is loose. three of the cafges were empty

(https://i.imgur.com/Q84NEWPl.jpg)

on of them still had the queen in there, but the bees were treating her correctly so i popped of the screen and just dropped her in.

i've got two-liter soda bottles on them now with sugar syrup, so they can sit in there stress-free while they all ddcide what to do .

supposed to rain tomorrow so i wanted to open them up and check today. bees can be touchy with new queens, and theres no sense in making it worse.

Title: Re: bees
Post by: Tank on April 23, 2020, 08:19:16 AM
I learn so much here!
Title: Re: bees
Post by: billy rubin on May 12, 2020, 11:50:20 PM
all right, here's an update.

the queen i let loose was killed off by the bees in the hive. those things happen. so i ordered another from georgia.  this little sucker cost me $29, with eight more for shipping. thats a lot of money for a working queen, although artificially inseminated breeders go for several hundred. i used to work with year-old breeders that you could buy for US$50 each. most of those weren't worth the money, IMO.

ohio has a useless government regulatory department that requires health certificates and fees, so queens that come here are expensive. they also levy a dollar per hive annual fee to support themselves. all of it makes queens high in price.

anyway, the queen came in a cage glued to the inside of a cardboard box. i tore it apart to show th epostmaster, who had never seen what was in there. took her to the house, and popped her into the queenless hive along with a frame of open brood from a stronger one of the nucleus hives.  open brood comes with a biunch of adhering nurse bees, the very young ones that take care of the queen. emerging brood would have been better, but i didn't have any of that yet. brood also gives the bees in the queenless nuc an optimistic outlook, because suddenly the inside of the hive smelled like it was supposed to. all that makes for more reliable queen acceptance.

this time i let em alone for ten days, until today when it was warm. took out a frame and there she was, with eggs in the brood frame. so she's doing all right.

(https://i.imgur.com/FkapBZcl.jpg)


these nucs aren't growing as well as i'd like, but it's because it has been stinking unseasonably cold, and they cannot get out to forage. this cold snap should be over in a day or two, and then they ought to accelerate. as soon as the brood from the queens starts to emerge after 21 days, the population size starts to grow quickly.

in the meantime, i've kept two liter soda jugs of sucrose syrup on them continuously, so theyve never been short of food. that's important when you start messing with queens, as the bees ted to blame her for anything that goes wrong.

finally got some veils in the mail that were backordered. up until now ive just been relying on my magical good nature not to get stung in theface when i open the boxes up. i don't mind the occasional stings, but it wears on the kids. since i'm trying to get them interested i gt three veils and a coupple pair of gloves.

Title: Re: bees
Post by: Tank on May 13, 2020, 01:46:13 AM
Absolutely fascinating  :popcorn:
Title: Re: bees
Post by: billy rubin on May 13, 2020, 01:52:39 AM
its supposed to be warm tomorrow. if its nice ill get the kids into the nucs and we ll take some photographs.

the very young brood isnt very sensitive to temperature, but older larvae seem more problematic. the populations in these nucs are still small, as most of tge bees they started with are dying off, and the new bees havent begun to emerge at any great rate. once they get a critical mass thequeen will go nutz on laying eggs and the hives will fill up
Title: Re: bees
Post by: Asmodean on May 13, 2020, 09:03:04 AM
So, them manner-bred bees of my neighbor's from a reply far, far above...

Last night it was hailing here, and I went to bed with my bathroom window open. An bee saw its chance for warmth and dryness, so it must have flown in and hid behind some furniture. During the night, I closed the window because... Bloody cold. this morning, I go to the bathroom, do the usual stuff and suddenly, there is an bee walking on foot from a cupboard in the direction of the window. It walks up, heats up the flight engines, takes off and does the insecty-bang-head-against-window thing. I crack the window open and in stead of keepin' on banging, like insects tend to, it darts for the opening and zoom! - gone.

I suspects it either was a drone sent to spy on me, OR my neighbor bred some un-insect-like IQ into his bees along with proper manners. :notsure:
Title: Re: bees
Post by: billy rubin on May 13, 2020, 10:32:24 AM
window glass confuses bees. its odd that yours figured it out right away.

i once pollinated some cucumbers in a one acre glass greenhouse. nobody does glasz anymore. this thing was a relic of a previous age. anyway, honey bees cant navigate under glass and couldnt find their way back to the hive if they left it. they would accumulate on the glass and just die there.

bumblebees do fine under glass but they cozt a lot of money. i remember a bumble bee nuc used to cost $750 for a three week rental, while honey bees were only $20. still, if you were in a greehouse, thats what the market would bear.

Title: Re: bees
Post by: Tom62 on May 13, 2020, 06:43:17 PM
Fascinating stuff.
Title: Re: bees
Post by: billy rubin on May 14, 2020, 10:17:28 PM
beautiful day, mild temperature, little wind, no rain until later

gathered the kids and opened up the nucs to make sure they were all okay.

i have a couple of bales of old burlap onion sacks i use for smoker fuel, but it was down in the warehouse, so i stuffed the smoker with pine needles. anything works. the best smelling smoker fuel you can use are cowchips.

(https://i.imgur.com/enx0hLrl.jpg)

these nucs don't have a lot of guard bees, but i don't like getting stung in the face, so i smoked all the entrances. there's been a skunk after this one. look at the hole dug in the front of the entrance

(https://i.imgur.com/txf9cUKl.jpg)

this frame of brood looked okay. brood starting to emerge in the middle. each frame has some 8000 cells on each side, so one cycle of brood on one frame is 16,000 new bees. the queen lays something like 1000 eggs a day through may.

(https://i.imgur.com/E9EFwBOl.jpg)

the brand new bees that just emerge are paler than the older workers, still fuzzy, and move around slowly. there will be lots mopre of these in a few days

(https://i.imgur.com/BHGPWDol.jpg?1)

queens are easy to spot. solid color, mostly. i like the tiger striped ones, personally. easier to find, and i tend to like a lot of outcrossing in queens, if the drone quality is reasonable. bees are like all other livestock. people get excited about strains and purebreds, when what you really need are good quality in general and then lots of heterozygosity. there's one locus that can have as many as ten or fifteen alleles, and homozygous workers die. since the drones are haploid, what you're looking for is a queen that gets frisky with as many drones as possible, preferably close to twenty. if she does get that many matings, she'' lay frames of solid brood with no misses. too few or too purebred drones, and the brood pattern will be spotty.

(https://i.imgur.com/g2S2gORl.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/jDjyeZVl.jpg)

one of the nucs didn't like the queen they had, and were making another. this peanut thing is a supercedure cell, containing a worker larva overfed with royal jelly which cause the hormonal changes to modify the developmental pathway from a worker to a queen. they did this once before, but i killed that cell because it was so early there wouldn't bee any drones available for her to mate with. lots of drones now, so i left it alone. when she emerges and mates, they'll kill the old queen and run with the new one.

(https://i.imgur.com/gie2MyYl.jpg)

the one on the end was pretty strong, so i stole a frame of emerging brood from it and gave it to the on ethat i'd put a queen into last week. that nuc had a pretty small population, because there wasn't anything emerging except the single fram of open brood i stuck in when i droped in the new queen. tjhis time i gave them a full frame of sealed and emerging brood, because it would gibve thm new bees right away and the few workers in there wouldn't have to feed anything, like they had to with the open brood. in a week it will be getting pretty full.

(https://i.imgur.com/XuDndLfl.jpg)

anyway, i gave them all a full bottle of sugar syrup to work on so they can draw comb without having to send any bees out to forage. this is super important with small populations and plain foundation. they can't lay eggs with out comb, and they cant draw comb without lots of bees, so by themselves its a slow process. most of my stored equipment is plain plastic foundation in wooden frames, so a strong hive can draw it out. some of the stuff they're doing now is really lousy, but itll do until theyre stronger.

(https://i.imgur.com/QVemoIHl.jpg)

but that'll do for the week. the kids all watcxhed what i did, and next week we'll look in on them again and they can solo.

i may have to do something about that skunk, but i'll put it off until it becomes a problem. if the raccoons start in, though, i'll get the number two son to shoot them. skunks are a mild problem because they just scuttle at the entrances eat a few bees that come out. raccoons tip things over and kill the whole thing.

Title: Re: bees
Post by: Tank on May 15, 2020, 12:18:14 PM
This is as good as a nature and travel programme rolled into one.  :cheers:
Title: Re: bees
Post by: billy rubin on May 15, 2020, 01:47:44 PM
beez are wonderful tbings.

they live in a separate univerze.
Title: Re: bees
Post by: Randy on May 15, 2020, 11:14:04 PM
Wow, Billy, this was an amazing read. I'm glad you provided pictures too.

You mentioned Georgia a few times. I don't know that I've ever seen any beekeepers here. From what you've said they seem to be few and far between.
Title: Re: bees
Post by: billy rubin on May 16, 2020, 10:32:58 AM
 therez only about a thouzand commercial beekeeperz in the united states. maybe lasz now.

georgia haz some of tbe most well known breeders in the world. but beekeepers dont like publicity, in general, and they move bees at night. you often wont know whats around unless you look specifically for them

georgia is also where a lot of migratory beekeepers overwinter their hivez. in the spring theyll go north through a rental in the carolinas up to the blueberriez in maine, then back down in the fall
Title: Re: bees
Post by: Randy on May 16, 2020, 09:52:32 PM
Does it get expensive with all the migration going on?
Title: Re: bees
Post by: billy rubin on May 16, 2020, 10:11:39 PM
well, the first year i ran bees in california i worked in some 6 counties and put 30,000 miles on a one ton truck at 7 mpg. but that was all local stuff within a hundred miles or so. some people would take the bees from california to nevada for alfalfa.

one of of my neighbors went back and froth from california to north dakota, and i had friends who went back and forth between california and minnesota. there's a coupple of major patterns, flyways really, and if youre going to nbe doing major migrations you buy p[roperty at both ends and sometimes your own trucks and trailers.

i moved my stuff an average of four times per year, just in a one ton that held 60 hives, and an old two ton that holds 140. thatincludes both pollination contracts, honey locations, and just holding spots between one or another. a standard 48-foot semi trailer holds 256 ten frame doubles, and if you run one and half height insteadof doubles you can cram on 384. i use be boxes that are 14 inches wide instead of 16, so i can get more on a truck. but the only time i ever put my bees on a semi was to bring them from california to ohio. that was $1.40 per mile, some 3500 miles, two trucks. whatever it was, i wrote the truckers a check for $10,000 when they showed up.

rule of thumb is that a beehive can go cross country on a semi at a per mile rate just about equal to the cost of gallon of diesel.



i never added up my fuel bill. no point, as you had to have it. i think i was paying about $8000 per year for corn syrup, and god knows how much for medication. when you get  serious in agriculture the money flies through your hands at an amazing rate. i would bill one almond grower some $70,000 for a five week pollination rental, and he would write me a check for it. i took it to his bank and within an hour i would write checks for 40 or 50 thousand dollars to everybody else downstream from me.

everything is on a handshake basis.

Title: Re: bees
Post by: Randy on May 16, 2020, 10:26:09 PM
Quote from: billy rubin on May 16, 2020, 10:11:39 PM
i never added up my fuel bill. no point, as you had to have it. i think i was paying about $8000 per year for corn syrup, and god knows how much for medication. when you get  serious in agriculture the money flies through your hands at an amazing rate. i would bill one almond grower some $70,000 for a five week pollination rental, and he would write me a check for it. i took it to his bank and within an hour i would write checks for 40 or 50 thousand dollars to everybody else downstream from me.

everything is on a handshake basis.

It seems to be a lucrative business. I've never written a check over four figures. Do you still keep bees?

What is the medication for?
Title: Re: bees
Post by: billy rubin on May 16, 2020, 10:53:44 PM
lol

agriculture is not lucrative. my last year in california i grossed 150k, and lived in a condemned cinderblock bunkhouse in a cotton field because a friend let me stay for free if i fixed it. no water, no electricity, no pump in the well. you could lie in bed and see the stars through the roof at night. i couldnt afford to buy anything. farmland is worth more if you plant condominiums.

seriously, farming in america is a fragile paradigm. youre alwayz one seasons failure from ruin, and going cutthroat corporate is the winning ticket for modern us agriculture.

figure a dairy that grosses 400k annually will need about 360k reinvested. that 1/10 profitability is about standard.
Title: Re: bees
Post by: Randy on May 16, 2020, 11:56:17 PM
Quote from: billy rubin on May 16, 2020, 10:53:44 PM
lol

agriculture is not lucrative. my last year in california i grossed 150k, and lived in a condemned cinderblock bunkhouse in a cotton field because a friend let me stay for free if i fixed it. no water, no electricity, no pump in the well. you could lie in bed and see the stars through the roof at night. i couldnt afford to buy anything. farmland is worth more if you plant condominiums.

seriously, farming in america is a fragile paradigm. youre alwayz one seasons failure from ruin, and going cutthroat corporate is the winning ticket for modern us agriculture.

figure a dairy that grosses 400k annually will need about 360k reinvested. that 1/10 profitability is about standard.

Well that bites. I wonder how the agriculture industry will fare after the COVID-19 pandemic is over? :query:
Title: Re: bees
Post by: Icarus on May 17, 2020, 06:25:17 AM
Soy bean farmers are in deep trouble on account of Trumps tiff with the Chinese. Dairy farmers are dumping a million gallons of milk every day.  Cattle ranchers are not doing so well either.  Much of our produce comes from Mexico or Chile, or Peru.  A huge proportion of our orange juice comes from Brazil.  The American farmer is in deep trouble.

Farming is already a colossal gamble. But the big time farm corporations are the ones who get the bulk of subsidies. The small farm industry is screwed. On top of all that there is the problem of harvesting things like lettuce or tomatoes and so many other things that the "illegals" do. Dammit Donald Trump, we need those people. They are important to us because they keep our dinner tables adequately supplied. .
Title: Re: bees
Post by: billy rubin on May 17, 2020, 10:59:09 AM
beekeeping too. lots of the central california bee outfits are manned at least partly by illegals. the men and boys from certain villages would come north together every year to work the same ranches. everybody i worked with except one guy was illegal. i azked him once, and he told me

la migra es mi amiga!

but the rest had to stay away from the police. i have no idea how theyre doi g now. not well i imagine

randy i missed your queztion abiut medication. bees get bacterial infections, viruse, fungal disorders and parasites. some are introduced from overseas and the bees here have no tolerance or immunity. and the pests evolve resitance to poorly thought out treatments pretty quickly.

i treated with antibiotics for brood disease, heavy duty pesticidez for mites, menthol crystals for endoparasitez, and changed strains to stay ahead of fungus.

if yore doing honey or queens you have to juggle medications with schedules in order to keep the hivez clean of chemicals during the appropriate period.

foreign honey, especially chinese, is not subject to the same standards as american. there have been some serious snafus with honey from china. not a good source.
Title: Re: bees
Post by: Randy on May 17, 2020, 02:28:54 PM
Who knew that beekeeping was so involved? Obviously you did. As for me, I'm finding the subject quite fascinating. I'm glad you started this thread, Billy.
Title: Re: bees
Post by: billy rubin on May 17, 2020, 02:49:16 PM
its like everything elze. more to it than you know unlwss you do it.

itz where food comes from in america, but people think of beekeeping as if it was run by happy old men and women spending zunny afternoons in their backyards.

its not. itz 3000 hours a year, trucks, forkliftz, diesel, and range wars.
Title: Re: bees
Post by: Randy on May 17, 2020, 03:52:42 PM
It isn't related to beekeeping exactly but I found this article worth a read: https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/16/us/florida-blue-calamintha-bee-trnd/index.html
Title: Re: bees
Post by: billy rubin on May 17, 2020, 11:04:54 PM
heres the problem:

"It's one thing to read about habitat loss and development and another to be driving for 30-40 minutes through miles of orange groves just to get to a really small conservation site," Kimmel said. "It puts into perspective how much habitat loss affects all the animals that live in this area."

most of our orange juice now comes from china and brazil, as concentratez. i think the fresh orangez are still mostly american.

orangez are excellent for honeybees, but clearly not for this little zucker
Title: Re: bees
Post by: billy rubin on May 27, 2020, 02:51:37 AM
there i was at about ten in the morning,  minding my own biusiness and working on a motor, and i hear a bunch of scouts messing around in the stacks of supers over by th edoor. so i go look, and theres a bunch of em checking it out. so i say, swarm coming.

and then lat in the day, like seven PM, they came in. thats way late in the day for  swarm

Title: Re: bees
Post by: billy rubin on May 27, 2020, 02:48:04 PM
here it is



i love swarms. swirling clouds of life and optimism
Title: Re: bees
Post by: Randy on May 27, 2020, 03:12:54 PM
How often do you get stung?
Title: Re: bees
Post by: billy rubin on May 27, 2020, 03:48:54 PM
from a swarm, almost never, literally zero. that one i think i got stung two or three times, which surprised me.

that one was a dry swarm, clearly they'd been hanging in a bush somewhere for two or three days and were getting desperate, running out of the food they'd brought along with nowhere to store anything they could bring in. when that happens they get more and more unhappy until they find a place to live

when i was running bees commercially i think id get stung two or three thousand times a year. some days, not at all, sometimes if i made a mistake forty or fifty times all at once.

getting stung ceases to be a big deal when it happens a lot. the unpleasant part is driving them around for two or three days straight in the spring with no sleep
Title: Re: bees
Post by: Icarus on June 25, 2020, 09:42:23 PM
http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20180319-are-lithuanians-obsessed-with-bees
Title: Re: bees
Post by: billy rubin on June 25, 2020, 09:56:32 PM
fascnating

i did one of my graduate degrees on silurian invertebrates form lithuania, but i didn;t know that honey bees were interesting to them.

estonia, latvia, lithuania, and the official nordic states are all viking. probably the most important thing about bees was that you could ferment honey to brew mead

i inadvertantle left a comb out f one of the beehives last week, and the bees drew out wild comb in the empty space. i was going to cut it out and put a frame in there but it was too late in the day and the weather is gloomy. they were not happy to see me and made sure that i knew it and so i had to close the box back up
Title: Re: bees
Post by: Tank on August 08, 2020, 12:27:01 PM
A new AI system to protect hives from a devastating pest has bee enthusiasts buzzing (https://www.createdigital.org.au/new-ai-system-protect-hives-devastating-pest-bee-enthusiasts-buzzing/)
Title: Re: bees
Post by: hermes2015 on August 13, 2020, 07:09:26 PM