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Getting Back into beekeeping

I began beekeeping back in 2005 with 2 Langstroth hives stated with 2 over-wintered 5 frame nucs from a local beekeeping suppler. I did as much reading as I could before, attended a beginners meting at the bee suppler and found a local beekeeper association. They connected me with an experienced beekeeper that was very helpful.
My 2 hives were robbed of brood by a strong yellow jacket colony in the attic of my house. I could watch them fly off with magot stage bees. It was like watching your pets being stolen and being helpless. By June they were very week. My beekeeper friend took me on a removal and offered me the bees in exchange for the work. He didn’t need anymore colonies. The 2 hives thrived, and I harvested 2 each full supers of honey and wax by late September. The hives had full storage of pollen and honey from goldenrod flowers by the end of October. Things were great for the winter.
Spring came and the over-winter hives were doing great. Then the colonies collapsed. The bees abandoned everything. A few weeks later I looked out at the removal collection box I had left in the yard. It was going like crazy. So, I set it up in one of the hives and it took off, but it was mid-August at this time. It was to late for the bees to build enough brood and store enough honey and pollen. They managed to get trough the winter with help from me feeding them.
The next season family and work and life became overwhelming, so I was unable to keep bees.
Now I am back with one Langstroth hive that I plan to start with package bees on foundationless frames. I think foundationless is natural for bees it’s what they want.
Give the bees what they want and they will give you what you want. No, I am not looking forward to the first sting. I don’t like bee stings they hurt and itch and swelling is no fun. Yet it is part of beekeeping.


Good on you for giving it another crack - you’ll find lots of helpful folk here who are happy to offer tips. Wishing you a thriving colony.


Hi Joe, I have a couple of suggestions for next time the yellow jackets start. First suggestion would be to take the hive to a new location. The second one involves a bit of time. We don’t have yellow jackets in Australia, so forgive me if my idea sounds ridiculous. You could block the entrance before daybreak, then as soon as the yellow jackets arrive, suck them up with a vacuum cleaner. You could also make a trap-out for the yellow jackets. You can suck the ones that get trapped out with the vacuum cleaner as well.

I would have killed the yellow jacket hive if I could have reached it. I didn’t have a ladder tall enough reach. Lucky you don’t have yellow jackets in Australia. We also have ground nesting hornets. When you step on the nest entrance you are suddenly stung several times and the only thing you can do is run. It is awful! I should have reduced the bee hive entrance, but so much activity I was afraid.

Let’s hope this doesn’t happen again.

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