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Old 02-24-2013, 10:42 AM   #26
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Very cool Boog! We're looking forward to hearing about it.

Yesterday we went to a seed swap and ran into a beekeeper friend who filled us in on the local club info and gave us the number of a keeper/supplier who lives on the same mountain we do!
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:57 PM   #27
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DH posted a thread on his bee forum and I couldn't resist sharing some of it here.

One of his family lines comes out of Cades Cove in the TN side of the Great Smoky Mtn. Park. Part of the community was preserved by the Park Service when they took over the land, so some of the houses, cabins and barns can still be seen today. In addition to pictures taken by and of community members over the years, the Nat'l Park Service also took many photos to document the area before they destroyed most of the buildings. The following pics are either from private family collections or from the archives of the NPS.

Beekeeping was big business in the Cove and many families kept at least a couple of hives. There were extensive orchards in the Cove, especially during the period of 1860-1890. A lot of the fruit was taken by wagon to Knoxville where it was sold, giving the Cove residents a cash crop. But a good portion of the fruit, and some of the honey, went to making brandy. From all the accounts that I've read - it was some damn fine brandy!

These 3 pics are my favorites. All are people that are related to DH in one way or another, so at least we now know that he has a good excuse for his bee mania!


This pic was probably taken in the 1930's and is labeled: Bess Myers robbing hives, the local term for harvesting honey. Note that there isn't a veil, suit or gloves in sight!!




This pic is of "Uncle" Dan Myers standing next to his "bee gums". Although he also had box hives, he always kept some bee gums. I think that DH is interested in trying this too.




This last pic was taken in 1912 and shows the apiary of the George Shields family. I can hardly imagine the amount of work involved in maintaining and harvesting this many hives. George only had 4 children, an unusually small family by Cove standards, so his free labor force was pretty small. But they must have eaten pretty good!

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Old 02-27-2013, 10:52 PM   #28
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Catbird, that is so stinking cool!!!

I just got up a portion of what was covered at the Michael Bush thing, on the blog here: http://speedkin.com/2013/02/27/micha...t-beespeakstl/

I'll have to do the rest another time. The kids were so far up my butt today while I was trying to decipher my notes and type. Sheesh. And, man, I took a lot of notes. I'll probably have to split into another couple of posts at least. Good stuff, though.
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Old 02-28-2013, 12:02 AM   #29
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Thank you so much for posting those pics Catbird!! What an awesome heritage!
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Old 03-01-2013, 09:47 AM   #30
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Have you beekeepers heard about this?





Monsanto buys leading bee research firm after being implicated in bee colony collapse



http://www.naturalnews.com/035688_Mo..._collapse.html
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Old 03-01-2013, 10:27 AM   #31
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Hmmm the page has been removed, imagine that.

---------- Post added at 08:23 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:22 AM ----------

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/richar...b_1470878.html

---------- Post added at 08:27 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:23 AM ----------

From the link above:

Quote:
This is the conclusion of three recent studies which implicate a class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids, or "neonics" for short, which coat a massive 142 million acres of corn, wheat, soy and cotton seeds in the U.S. alone. They are also a common ingredient in a wide variety of home gardening products. As I detail in an article which was published by Reuters last month, neonics are absorbed by the plants' vascular system and contaminate the pollen and nectar that bees encounter on their rounds. Neonics are a nerve poison that disorient their insect victims and appear to damage the homing ability of bees, which may help to account for their mysterious failure to make it back to the hive.

This was the conclusion of research which came out in the prestigious Journal Science during March. In another study conducted by entomologists at Purdue University the scientists found that neonic-containing dust released into the air at planting time had "lethal effects compatible with colony losses phenomena observed by beekeepers." A third study by the Harvard School of Public Health actually re-created colony collapse disorder in several honeybee hives simply by administering small doses of a popular neonic, imidacloprid.
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Old 03-03-2013, 04:38 PM   #32
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Part 2 of my report on the Michael Bush thing is posted here now. Will have one or two more parts yet to post when I get time.

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Originally Posted by Cactus Az View Post
Have you beekeepers heard about this?





Monsanto buys leading bee research firm after being implicated in bee colony collapse



http://www.naturalnews.com/035688_Mo..._collapse.html
Yep. They also are now "partnered" with Dadant, one of the biggest beekeeping supply companies. I seem to remember a couple of other similar stories within the last year or so as well but can't remember the details offhand.
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:19 PM   #33
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We're going to our first bee club meeting this evening!
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Old 03-05-2013, 05:24 PM   #34
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Part three posted here.

So how'd the meeting go, BG? Going to order some bees?
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Old 03-05-2013, 07:06 PM   #35
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The meeting was great!! Lots of experienced bee keepers there and lots of newbies like us. The most experienced keeper has 34 hives and lives less than 2 miles from us! He and his wife also sell supplies. How cool is that? They are the primary contact in the area called to collect swarms and we are second on the list. They said they get so many calls they have to turn swarms down so I think we stand a good chance on getting our bees in before the nectar flow. We asked if they would be willing to look over our hive and give us some guidance about getting ready for our first bees. The club decided to buy an extractor (and keep it at the experienced bee keepers house ) Of course, we probably won't need it til next year but but it will be nice to have it so close. Also the same couple is going to be scheduling "demos" as they work through their hives so that a few members at a time can come out and get a first person look see.

One of my clients use to have bees and has offered us his equipment. We have no idea what he has but we'll be visiting him as soon as he gets over the bug he has.

In the mean time we are scouting out the area where we want our hives. Looking for a place that gets afternoon shade in the summertime, is somewhat protected from the winter winds and is in a place where we can keep an eye on them. We're leaning toward the draw just NE of the house. We'll keep in mind the idea of leveling the hives as per your blog. BTW thank you so much for taking such great notes and presenting them so well. I really like what I'm reading!

If we use that location we'll be able to see the hives from the dining room window. We like that idea.
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Old 03-05-2013, 07:17 PM   #36
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Thanks for sharing that blog booger. I passed the links on to DH. He'll enjoy reading it too.
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Old 03-05-2013, 07:23 PM   #37
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I'd like to compile a list of bee keeper's flowers.

I found this link interesting:

http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/l...052191326.html

They sing great songs about borage

http://www.pacificcrestapiaries.com/id34.html
Quote:
Alyssum, Ornamental Strawberry, Marigold, Zinnia, Bottlebrush, Lavenders, Valerian, Buckwheat, Salvias, Eucalyptus Ficifolia "Red Flowering Eucalyptus", Native Eucalyptus, Wild Mustard, Flowering Plum, Flowering Pear, Sage, Toyon, Escallonia, Cotoneaster, Orange tree, Lime Tree, Lantana, Ceanothus, Hibiscus, Albizia Julibrissin "Silk Tree", to name just a few.
an interesting link found during the search:

http://www.themelissagarden.com/beekeeping.html

http://davesgarden.com/community/for...#axzz2Mi6sM9Z1

Clover and alfalfa

another interesting link with lots of info:

http://www.proflowers.com/guide/the-beekeepers-guide
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Old 03-06-2013, 03:47 PM   #38
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Dadant's 150th anniversary celebration is almost here. Finalized agenda here.

Kid #3 and I will be going up Friday morning and touring all three locations, as well as staying for the evening banquet and presentation, then going back for the all-day Saturday presentations.

Anyone else going?

I've got one more batch of MB notes to get up on my blog. Gonna try to kick that out later today.
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Old 03-06-2013, 03:52 PM   #39
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That looks like an awesome conference Booger. We're looking forward to hearing about your adventure!
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Old 03-10-2013, 04:00 PM   #40
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Finally. I got part 4, the last one, up on my blog here: Michael Bush presentation
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Old 03-20-2013, 07:06 PM   #41
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Here are some pictures of the bee keeping supplies our friend GAVE to us today. Its suppose to be miserable weather the next few days so we brought it all into the living room so we can figure out what we have. It will be a good rainy day project:
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Old 03-20-2013, 07:07 PM   #42
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The stacked hive to the left in the first picture is one Max already had.
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:29 PM   #43
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Oh boy - how many hives could you end up putting together based on those lovely, donated goodies?
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:39 PM   #44
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Sue, I haven't a clue. Best guess is 3 or 4. We'll have a better idea in a few days. We have so much to learn!! Its exciting though isn't it?
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:45 PM   #45
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It IS exciting & if it works - all that lovely, lovely honey you get too!
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:04 PM   #46
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Nice haul to get started with and it looks to be in great shape! The best thing of all, after learning & getting a feel for the basics, will be finding your own personal beekeeping style. That's where it really gets fun!
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:27 PM   #47
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booger, I know nothing about beekeeping. I had no clue there were different 'styles' & I'm not sure I know what you mean by that.
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:59 PM   #48
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Boog, some of this really needs a good cleaning. Got any suggestions on how to handle it. Also there are some old foundation still in the box. Do you think they would be ok to use?? I know you don't have to have it but I'm just not sure how to go about not using it. I figure it will be a bit of a compromise, maybe every other frame. So much to think about!
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Old 03-20-2013, 11:34 PM   #49
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booger, I know nothing about beekeeping. I had no clue there were different 'styles' & I'm not sure I know what you mean by that.
Just as with gardening, there are many different "styles" you can work as you grow in your knowledge & experience. Neat & tidy rows of veggies, grouped by types vs. willy-nilly, interplanted wide rows of raised beds. That sort of thing. With bees, it's standard hives vs. top bar and standard deep brood boxes & medium or shallow supers vs. all mediums or deeps, foundations vs. foundationless, conventional treatments & feedings vs. completely natural.... On and on with so many in betweens from which to choose. It's finding what you're comfortable with and what works for you & your bees in your particular environment.

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Boog, some of this really needs a good cleaning. Got any suggestions on how to handle it. Also there are some old foundation still in the box. Do you think they would be ok to use?? I know you don't have to have it but I'm just not sure how to go about not using it. I figure it will be a bit of a compromise, maybe every other frame. So much to think about!
There's nothing wrong with old equipment as long as you know it's disease free. Something like foulbrood, everything should be burned. Something like nosema, some say it's fine while others say burn it.

Assuming it's disease free, just scrape it down, give it a scrubbing if you'd like, air it out good, and let the bees clean it up to their liking. The stuff still in the box should be fine. I'm assuming it's been sitting empty for quite some time so the used stuff should not bring any pests with it, such as hive beetles and wax moths.

One thing I can tell you to be on the lookout for with handmedown equipment is its sturdiness. I can promise you that you don't want to find that a box is wobbly one fine summer day down the road when you pick up a super full of honey & bees and have it fall apart all over you. Just make sure it's all still nice & strong and toss in a few nails to shore things up where needed.

Catbird, am I missing anything?
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Old 03-21-2013, 12:02 AM   #50
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Thanx boog - that makes a lot of sense.
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