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Old 10-24-2015, 12:44 AM   #1
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Bee Keeping

This has nothing to do with boats but I thought you might find it interesting.
I'm trying to learn how to keep bees and I've joined a bee keeping club. Today one of the experts invited a bunch of us to watch him do a "trap out".

There was a hive in the wall of a building that needed to be removed. The bees were entering the building through two small holes in the wall.

The expert had a cone of hardware cloth fastened to a board. The cone had a small opening at the tip and was open through the board.

He fastened the board over the main hole and taped the smaller hole closed. This forced the bees leaving the building to go out through the tip of the cone.

When they try to return they don't know to use the small hole and try to find their way into the base of the cone which they can't do.

Over about a months time all of the bees will have left the hive and been unable to return.

The bee keeper mounted a small hive box near the exit of the cone. If all goes well the bees will move into the box and the bee keeper will have another hive.
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Old 10-24-2015, 12:47 AM   #2
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This photo shows the bees clustering at the base of the cone trying to figure out how to get back in.
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Old 10-24-2015, 12:51 AM   #3
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This photo shows the hive box mounted near the cone.
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Old 10-24-2015, 02:46 AM   #4
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We kept a pair of hives for many years in our yard. Always got a fair amount of honey from them. Been too busy the last few years to keep it up but plan to resume in another year or so. Very interesting hobby.
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Old 10-24-2015, 06:05 AM   #5
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Have two friends who keep bees. Lot goes into keeping bees. Set an empty can of Raid wasp killer spray on top of one of my friend's hives with my business card. It took a while for him to appreciate the humor. Still get a bottle of honey each year from both of them.

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Old 10-24-2015, 01:40 PM   #6
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This is really interesting to me. I have often thought about trying to start up a hive, but since my wife is very allergic to bee stings, that is probably not a good idea.
A couple questions though:

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Over about a months time all of the bees will have left the hive and been unable to return.
What about the Queen -- does she leave?


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The bee keeper mounted a small hive box near the exit of the cone. If all goes well the bees will move into the box and the bee keeper will have another hive.
If the original Queen stays in the old hive, will the bees appoint a new queen?
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Old 10-24-2015, 03:42 PM   #7
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Bees are amazing.

As a letter carrier I keep an eye on them from year to year. For some reason here on BC's north coast I haven't seen a domestic European honey bee for a couple summers, but there are gazillions of bumble bees; at least three species that I can tell.

Remember an interview with somebody researching the 'dance' workers do when returning to the hive to let other workers know where a new source of food is.

One of the researchers had the brilliant idea of putting a feeding station on a boat in the middle of a lake. They marked a bee, then let it return to the hive. The marked bee did its dance, and not one bee went back to that feeding station.

This means somewhere in the cluster of cells bees call a brain they have a complex and accurate map of their home territory...the others must have thought it was nuts suggesting there were flowers growing in the middle of a lake!

Can't remember if the marked bee went back despite the rejection, or if it gave up a sure meal because of negative 'peer pressure'.
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Old 10-24-2015, 03:50 PM   #8
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When a hive divides the old queen usually is the one to leave along with a contingent of the workers. All the workers are female and they can create a new queen from an egg by feeding the larvae differently than they feed a worker.

The only males in a hive are the drones. They exist only to fertilize the queen, and the end of the summer or in the fall they are physically thrown out of the hive. It's pretty dramatic to watch the workers dragging the drones, which are considerably larger, out of the hive and pushing them over the edge of the bottom board. Drones cannot feed themselves so they soon starve. The next season new drones are created.

The "dance" the foraging workers do when they return to the hive is conveying where sources of nectar, pollen and water are. The directions that are being given are keyed to the position of the sun.
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Old 10-24-2015, 05:04 PM   #9
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Traveler, I asked that very question. The queen usually stays and dies. The hive box put there to attract them has a couple of frames from another hive that have eggs, larve, honey and some adult worker bees. The displaced bees join the other bees and create a new queen from the larve. Marin has accurately described the process of making a new queen. The food they feed the larve to make it a queen is called Royal Jelly. They usually make several queens so they've got a back up if one doesn't develop or dies. The first queen to hatch kills the others.
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Old 10-24-2015, 05:17 PM   #10
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My wife started two hives this year for the first time. They are amazing creatures, and a good reminder about how little credit we give to animals for their sophistication. It's really our ignorance and arrogance that keeps us from seeing all that they are.
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Old 10-24-2015, 05:22 PM   #11
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Hi All.

My mate is a hobby bee keeper and I have 4 of his triple hives in my yard, the interesting thing that I have learnt is that no bee in the hive other than the Queen is older than 8 weeks, seems that is as long as any of them live, or so I am told by Bob.

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Old 10-24-2015, 05:45 PM   #12
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They live to serve the Admiral. :-)
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Old 10-24-2015, 07:16 PM   #13
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Because of the Colony Collapse Disorder that is responsible for a very high mortality rate among entire hives in at least the continental US, the City of Los Angeles has passed an ordinance permitting SFR-zoned properties to keep a few hives. Sounds like it would be lots of fun.
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Old 10-24-2015, 09:57 PM   #14
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Because of the Colony Collapse Disorder that is responsible for a very high mortality rate among entire hives in at least the continental US, the City of Los Angeles has passed an ordinance permitting SFR-zoned properties to keep a few hives. Sounds like it would be lots of fun.
What are SFR-zoned properties?

At least in the North East, the bees are recovering nicely. Apparently Round-up has been lined to the collapse.
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Old 10-24-2015, 10:02 PM   #15
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What are SFR-zoned properties?

At least in the North East, the bees are recovering nicely. Apparently Round-up has been lined to the collapse.
Single-Family Residence (not condo, not town home, not apartment), but lot sizes can be very small.

Its good to hear that the bees are doing better. The thought of loosing all the bees had me more worried than global warming.
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Old 10-24-2015, 10:07 PM   #16
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Wifey B: Total Insanity. They fly. They sting. Did I say they sting? And fly? No, no, no, no....
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Old 10-24-2015, 10:17 PM   #17
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They fly and have the ability to sting. Bees are some of the most gentle creatures on the planet, only sting when threatened. I had 14 hives a few years back, could sit and watch them for hours. even when harvesting honey I would not get stung. Only time I got stung was when a bee landed near the corner of my eye and I blinked. Boy did that smart, wore a veil after that for a couple months. then back to just tucking my pants into my socks and no veil. People fear what they don't understand
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Old 10-24-2015, 10:21 PM   #18
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Wifey B: Total Insanity. They fly. They sting. Did I say they sting? And fly? No, no, no, no....
But pretty much all plant life depends on them, doesn't it? And without plant life, well, we are pretty much screwed...

And they really are very gentle. My wife is at the point now where she handles the hives without any protection. Not something I would do, but for some odd reason she doesn't listen to me.....
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Old 10-24-2015, 10:25 PM   #19
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But pretty much all plant life depends on them, doesn't it? And without plant life, well, we are pretty much screwed...

And they really are very gentle. My wife is at the point now where she handles the hives without any protection. Not something I would do, but for some odd reason she doesn't listen to me.....
Wifey B: Necessary but scare the beejeebies out of me. Snakes even I'm fine with. They crawl. Bees dive bomb you or get buried in the grass where you can't see them but step on one barefoot and you'll find out. I'm glad there are beekeepers, but not for me.

And why can't they just do their plant thing, without the whole stinging thing.
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Old 10-25-2015, 12:23 AM   #20
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I'm surprised at how much I can intrude on a hive without suiting up and still not get stung.

Wifey B, I have a hard time coming up with names for all of my ladies. Would you mind if I named one Wifey Bee?
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