New beekeeping with AZDuffman

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May 1st, 2015 at 10:12:40 PM permalink
petroglyph
Member since: Aug 3, 2014
Threads: 12
Posts: 2119
Quote: AZDuffman
'

No, worker bees are all infertile females. Drones are males and do virtually nothing until mating. The queen will mate with several who die immediately after. A certain amount of drones are always around but near the end of fall the women decide they are not needed and will eject them from the hive.



Worker Bee



Drone


Oh how times have changed. It wasn't that many years ago a guy would have playboy bunny's pinned up on their mancave walls. I can just see it now with AZ having bee photo's adorning the walls. lol

Super cool endeavor AZ! What a great barter item for TEOTWAWKI

I have always somewhat admired Morgan Freeman; http://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/arts-culture/blogs/morgan-freeman-is-now-a-beekeeper
Everyone gets thrown from the plane to maintain altitude
May 1st, 2015 at 10:51:08 PM permalink
petroglyph
Member since: Aug 3, 2014
Threads: 12
Posts: 2119
I am so impressed with your endeavor I want to share an experience I had.

I had an old house with "soffet's" [ a flat space looking out from the siding of my house to the facia], looking out my bedroom window I marveled watching yellow-jackets building a large cone shaped nest. Odd that I would enjoy it so much as I am deathly allergic to bee stings but wtf? So the nest got big about like a large cantaloupe. Paranoia set in. I watched the local nickel adds and there was a guy who advertised to come get any kind of wasp or bee nests. I didn't want to spray and risk bleaching out something, so I called this guy. He really impressed me.

He had 4 gigs that kept him throughout the year and his occupation followed the seasons. He came to the house and he had a bee keeper outfit, a ladder and a special vacuum cleaner he adapted. In the suction hose, he had cut in a trap. It was about two feet long, one end went to the vacuum, the other end had a flapper in it that would close when the vacuum stopped. A flapper valve, easy to imagine.

My hornet nest was on the flat part of my soffet. He had on his outfit and went up the ladder and ran the vacuum for a while. He said the route that the bees took was a round trip of around 20 minutes, so he was there for a little while, sucking up wasps, each getting trapped and when the returns to the nest really slowed down he turned off the vac, the flapper closed and he had a lot of bees trapped. He said my nest which was about average contained about 700 bees.

Next, he the took a 5 gallon bucket without the lid, and cut off the bottom. Over the bottom he slid a sturdy black garbage bag and the part where it slid over the bucket he put bungee cords around the bag, keeping it on the bucket. He went up the ladder and put the open end of the bucket over the nest and just slid the contraption rapidly, dislodging it from my house, the nest slid through the bucket, hit the bottom of the garbage bag and when it hit, it pulled the bag off the bucket and the bungees's collapsed the top of the bag and he had the nest safely enclosed in the bag with the remaining bees.

He said the stragglers would die at night when they didn't have any nest to go to or friends to keep them warm.....The good part. He takes them home and throws the bees in his deep freeze and freezes them to death. The next day or whenever he separates the females and sells them to some anti-venom making pharma company. He [in the 80's] was getting about 2 dollars for each bee. I guess it's the females that have all the toxin?

He went on to say that each year there was one bee or another that was really in demand, different years different shortages. I wished I had known earlier, I had to burn out a nest of black wasps. They are territorial and will attack like killer bees. Great story, great gig. I think you are a person that may like multi-purposing tools, maybe bee suits? He wasn't at my house for a full hour. Just something to consider, I thought it was really cool.
Everyone gets thrown from the plane to maintain altitude
May 2nd, 2015 at 3:42:57 AM permalink
AZDuffman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 103
Posts: 6774
Quote: petroglyph


Super cool endeavor AZ! What a great barter item for TEOTWAWKI



It is, and amazing how many people use that or a similar term no matter how much I try to avoid using it even if I am thinking it.


Quote: petroglyph


He had 4 gigs that kept him throughout the year and his occupation followed the seasons. He came to the house and he had a bee keeper outfit, a ladder and a special vacuum cleaner he adapted. In the suction hose, he had cut in a trap. It was about two feet long, one end went to the vacuum, the other end had a flapper in it that would close when the vacuum stopped. A flapper valve, easy to imagine.


He said the stragglers would die at night when they didn't have any nest to go to or friends to keep them warm.....The good part. He takes them home and throws the bees in his deep freeze and freezes them to death. The next day or whenever he separates the females and sells them to some anti-venom making pharma company. He [in the 80's] was getting about 2 dollars for each bee. I guess it's the females that have all the toxin?

He went on to say that each year there was one bee or another that was really in demand, different years different shortages. I wished I had known earlier, I had to burn out a nest of black wasps. They are territorial and will attack like killer bees. Great story, great gig. I think you are a person that may like multi-purposing tools, maybe bee suits? He wasn't at my house for a full hour. Just something to consider, I thought it was really cool.


Thanks for sharing. The 4 gigs thing is where I seem to be redirecting my life. Not to go too far off on this, up Face's way there is a pest called a cluster fly. This may be embellished hearing it secondhand, but being in the business I find it believable. To get rid of these things takes a major spray job in fall. Most PCOs have a hard time with them because there is a "use no chemicals" mentality in the world and when you do spray like this you need an experienced person doing the gig. So they said this woman had a small pickup and spray rig and worked like a dog the last month of summer. Netted herself around 5 big dimes a year in early 2000s. Those spray rigs need to be maintained and she either didn't know or want to do it so she just laid out $500 or so every other year for one. Amazing. Another time I had an old PCO truck and found a note asking me to sell it. I did sell the ladder rack and some pesticide I had to a guy. He had a simple yellow page ad in bold and wanted to just do some work in retirement. His complaint was he got too many referrals! Too busy!

As to selling them, that is a nice hustle! Yes, males have no venom because they do zero except eat and mate.

Back to the guy, the older I get the more I realize this is such a great way to live if you can. I do have that "bee guy" thing in the back of my mind, get a few hundred to keep a hive for rich folks like the aforementioned Morgan Freeman. Set it up so I can take it for pollination once or twice the season. Keep the wax, give customer the honey or at least most of it. Tell the customers how I can take care of other stuff on outside of the house like wasps. Yuppie guy gets the frantic call from the wife while at work on those and he will pay anything.

Quote: Fleastiff


I understand that Strawberry growers are the ones most desperate for renting bee hives and instead of a few hundred dollars will sometimes be paying up to three grand for the required pollination. So you might indeed be looking at some dollars for a sideline.


If I can build up some hives I would do this. I have a few fellow MAWGs who I could hire on a green-money-pay basis. It is sick how many hives are needed for almond pollination. The big money, though, may be in CA and I do not know if I want to deal with that. Maybe if I had 30-40 hives paying the least $1K a piece I would do it in FL. Get a friend, buy a decent F-350, load up, break balls to get there, set up, rest, break balls to get back. Six months income in three weeks?
The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it
May 3rd, 2015 at 9:28:14 AM permalink
Face
Administrator
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 61
Posts: 3157
All the stuff about shrooms and knives and worms have been split into the Side Hustle thread. Carry on there for any way to make a buck. Leave this one for the bees =)
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
May 3rd, 2015 at 12:35:31 PM permalink
AZDuffman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 103
Posts: 6774
DAY THREE UPDATE

The ladies are acting like a hive, coming and going. Was going to check on queen release today but the book say wait one week, so will see what weather is like Wed/Thurs as well as my travel needs. One day should not matter much. One thing that is encouraging is when I looked this morning they were coming back with full pollen sacks. They are on the hind legs:



This should mean they are storing food for some brood when it happens. If I am really lucky the queen is already out and laying.

Doing the keeping gets various reactions. I have a niece/godchild who is barely 2 and seems she asked a few times if I will be OK doing this. Many were amazed at the honey is not honey article. Was something new to talk about.
The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it
May 3rd, 2015 at 1:23:51 PM permalink
Fleastiff
Member since: Oct 27, 2012
Threads: 50
Posts: 4814
Do you have one of those kettles that make smoke to calm a hive?

I'd like some Baileys and Cream to calm me.
May 3rd, 2015 at 1:31:14 PM permalink
AZDuffman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 103
Posts: 6774
Quote: Fleastiff
Do you have one of those kettles that make smoke to calm a hive?

I'd like some Baileys and Cream to calm me.


Smoker? Yes. Came with the starter set.
The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it
May 4th, 2015 at 3:01:45 AM permalink
odiousgambit
Member since: Oct 28, 2012
Threads: 73
Posts: 1571
my thoughts and 2 cents:

*A#1, this is totally awesome, AZ.

*The fake honey thing. I was shocked and looked into it a little. What it comes down to is somebody paid for a study that indeed did show that "store honey" typically has no pollen these days, and you aren't supposed to be able to sell something as "honey" if it contains no pollen. The Picasso Dreams people are hyping this to make it seem as though that honey is totally fake, but don't worry they sell honey and theirs is for real. Demerits for them. They no doubt sell some really authentic stuff sold the old fashioned way. Kudos for them. Further investigation shows that for some reason the big brands want to filter out the pollen in order to "help delay crystallization", see links below. Demerits for them; they are skirting the rules about selling honey. Shelf life is better, Kudos for them? Not sure. The people hyping the "no pollen" thing go on to some scare tactics claiming various dubious things such as Chinese poison honey with pollutants from air and water, etc. is being sold. Demerits big time in my book, your feelings may vary. Overall, probably no harm done and if it means the little guys get to sell more honey, can't be all bad, and I too never fully trust the big guys. Just don't like the scare tactic stuff.

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/04/national-honey-board-honey-is-made-from-nectar-not-pollen/#.VUdMzfDw-jI
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2011/11/25/142659547/relax-folks-it-really-is-honey-after-all

*One take-away from all the above: it is certainly a canard to claim that the store honey is "fake"

*Wasp elimination: see my blog for a story.

*I do buy into the idea that one attack on the bee population comes from people bringing home the flowers from Home Depot etc that have been treated with insecticides. My wife was doing that and I kept finding bees that were dying. I would think "hey, the bees have that disease or mites or something" but now I have to think it was the damned flowers she was buying. To give her credit, she find out what was happening on her own and will no longer buy such crap, she makes sure they are untreated. Guess what? The local small businesses are getting her business.

*Diabetes. To avoid type II, it's not so much about sugar. They have studied why the Indian reservations etc. are full of diabetics and the consensus is really about diet generally. Too much fat of the the greasy fast food variety looms big, not just the over processed carbs. Getting overweight by means of a bad diet is what it is in a nutshell. My 2 cents ala fleastiff style LOL.
The light at the end of the tunnel is often a freight train coming the other way! per Fleastiff
May 4th, 2015 at 7:10:06 AM permalink
AZDuffman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 103
Posts: 6774
Quote: odiousgambit
my thoughts and 2 cents:

*A#1, this is totally awesome, AZ.


Thanks!


Quote:
*One take-away from all the above: it is certainly a canard to claim that the store honey is "fake"


There is one important thing on the pollen/nectar thing. There is a movement out there to take local honey instead of or in addition to allergy shots if you have hay fever. Plus if I do sell it I will have the various colors and ask how on earth is what you buy always the exact same?

But thanks for the rebuttal article. I do not want to sell using false scare tactics, though I will mention both sides and let people decide. People want to be told what to do so bad they will listen to anything.
The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it
May 4th, 2015 at 11:10:26 AM permalink
TheCesspit
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 23
Posts: 1929
Quote: Fleastiff
See there! Fleastiff can come up with good ideas!

Upthread someone mentioned Colony Collapse...and for some reason Monsanto does not admit its solely the effect of Round Up.

I understand that Strawberry growers are the ones most desperate for renting bee hives and instead of a few hundred dollars will sometimes be paying up to three grand for the required pollination. So you might indeed be looking at some dollars for a sideline.


Locally, the beekeepers on the island don't get paid for the pollination services of their bees, but they do get to put their hives on farmers fields for free and produce great honey.

On the mainland, hives fetch 400-500 a time for hiring their bees out, and the keepers reckon they can get 2 cycles a year, for different vegetables and fruit. I forget which ones they named.

I have a small set up of mason bees here for my balcony vegetables and the communal garden. First season had about 4 emerge after winter, which isn't great, this years set up looks to be going well though. I'll take the tubes apart in August to check the cocoons are all safe.

No honey from Mason Bees, of course, but they are industrious little buggers.
It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die.... it's called Life
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