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You know you're a beekeeper when...
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DJ    Posted 03-26-2002 at 21:12:03       [Reply]  [No Email]
You know you're a beekeeper when...

By John Caldeira, with contributions from many others.

The windshield of your vehicle has at least two yellow dots on it.

You have answers ready for questions about Africanized bees and the value of local honey in preventing allergies.

Year eagerly await the phone call from the post office asking you to please come pick up your bees.

You check out all the honey labels and prices at the supermarket.

You've gone through the supermarket checkout line buying nothing more than a big load of sugar, and maybe some Crisco.

You've estimated just how much money you spent to control mites.

You pick up matches at restaurants, even though you don't smoke.

Your friends and neighbors think you are the answer to every swarm and bees-in-the-wall problem.

You are keenly aware of the first and last freezes of each winter.

There is propolis on the steering wheel of your vehicle and the bottom of your boots.

There is a bucket of something in your garage that can only be good for smoker fuel.

You are called "the Bee Man," or "the Bee Lady" by a lot of people who don't know your name.

You know the bloom period of more local flowers than the state horticulturist.

You welcome a rainy weekend if it will stimulate nectar production.

You don't mind driving home with a few honey bees inside your vehicle.

Your family and friends know exactly what they're going to get for Christmas.

You don't mow the lawn because the bees are working the weeds.

You drive down a road and find yourself evaluating the roadside flowers for their honey-producing potential.

You pull over and check the bees on the wildflowers just to see if they are YOUR bees, AND -- you can tell the difference.

You come home smelling like a camp fire, and you haven't been camping.

You saw Ulee's Gold and didn't think there were enough shots of the bees.

You overhear your 9 year old daughter explaining to her friends how to tie a trucker's hitch.

The school principal calls to ask that you never again let your child take a drone tied with a thread to school for show and tell.

You never stop marveling at these wonderful creatures.


Excerpts from the above list were published in American Bee Journal (December, 1998), which prompted the following responses from readers:

You know you're married to a beekeeper when...

You spend at least one day a week on your hands and knees with a sharp knife scraping wax and propolis off your kitchen floor.

You've ever used bee boxes as furniture in your house, for coffee tables, chairs, night stands, and storage boxes.

You mow around mountains of bee equipment that never seems to make it to the barn.

You plan weddings, child birth, surgery and funerals around honey extracting time.

When buying a new truck, your spouse checks weight loads and measures the bed to see how many hives he can fit in it.

You get stung by the bee that was clinging to your husband's bee suit when you picked it up to wash it.

rhudson    Posted 03-27-2002 at 17:22:02       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I once got some pretty hard looks going through the grocery store checkout with 400 lbs of sugar for bees. we're in moonshine country

he he he nt    Posted 03-28-2002 at 05:20:02       [Reply]  [No Email]

Tom A    Posted 03-27-2002 at 02:28:06       [Reply]  [Send Email]

Thanks, got my morning started off right! I guess I must bee one... :-)


DJ    Posted 03-28-2002 at 05:53:22       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hey Tom, we are going to try it this year. Hubby and I bought the hive (super?) and ordered three pounds of bees that will be in next month.

I've been doing a lot of studing on this. I've been told not to expect much honey this year but the fella we bought our supplies from said this wasn't neccessarily so. We could have lots of honey........

There's an aticle hosted on the Jeff Rense site that says the wild honey bees are virtually extinct. Have you heard about this? Does this mean that more people should take an interest in the subject?

Do you have any views on this?

Tom A    Posted 03-28-2002 at 11:28:32       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Hi DJ:

Congrats, you'll love it.

Yep, most wild honeybees are gone now, killed off by one of two imported mites. They've been giving managed hives a problem lately, too...they're developing immunity to the approved miticides. Last winter (when most losses occur) Maryland beekeepers lost about 1/2 their hives.

You have about a 50-50 chance of getting a honey crop the same year you start a hive. If you are starting them on wax foundation (i.e. don't have pulled comb already), then you can help them a lot by feeding them during the first few weeks/months. It takes about 8 lbs of honey to make 1 lb of beeswax, which is what the comb is. If you feed them while they're producing the wax, they can put all their energy into pulling comb rather than searching for nectar. Make sense? You can probably figure on feeding 5-8 gallons of sugar syrup before they'll pull the comb totally out. After that, I personally rarely feed them. If you steal too much honey at the end of the season, you'll have to, but otherwise they'll do just fine.

Depending on where you live, you'll have to leave more or less honey for their winter use. Here in Maryland I always try to leave 40-50 lbs in the hive as they go into winter, but that'll really depend on your weather.

Good luck. If I can help, just hollar.

Hogman    Posted 03-29-2002 at 03:42:37       [Reply]  [No Email]
We hav'nt seen any wild or domestic for that matter in a long time here.I see a few hives here and there, but nothing like it used ta be.

At tha supply house North of Us I noticed They have stocked hives,supers etc but would guess it's for people wantin ta get started with purchased bees. Expect semi urban type folks tryin ta get back ta nature.

More power to em, We realy do need BEES!And lots of em! Part of tha problem here is tha way We farm,it's all grass for Beef so theres nothin for bees ta feed on even if They had not been killed off by tha mites.

Honey and fruit was My Grandads main cash crop along with Gramaws butter'n eggs. He always had clover and buck wheat left to bloom plus His orchard to feed em and They in turn kept tha fruit trees well polinated. Thats what Ya call one of them win-win things.

Tom A    Posted 03-29-2002 at 04:08:46       [Reply]  [Send Email]

The *only* things that pay any profit at my place are the bees and the chickens, like your Granddad's. We're hoping to expand both this year, but I'm even having trouble finding bees to buy!

Tom A

DJ    Posted 03-29-2002 at 22:35:22       [Reply]  [No Email]
Tom, we have plenty from our supplier. I decided since I listened to the program to buy to orders and go back and get another super. He said we should have two hives so I'm gonna do it.

I drove by the house of the only bee keeper I know and they weren't home. I want to ask him to show me his set up and help me to be a good bee keeper.

I know he'll help me. It's an older couple and he'd love the company. I sure hope I can get time with him before my supply comes in.

I hope more people will try to raise honey bees. I know without them, we are in serious trouble.

Heres the program    Posted 03-28-2002 at 06:09:15       [Reply]  [No Email]
Click on Program from Feb. 21

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