Newbees and old Beeks

Just want to point out a little something obvious here, this is a online club :slight_smile: I guess you can change your stance now


Hi Marty, I agree. The thing about this club is: your getting points of view from all over the world. I first joined this forum because I thought I had some experience with beekeeping that I thought would be helpful to new beekeepers, however I’ve learned so much myself from being on this forum over the past 12 months.


Wow, I have read every post in this segment and asked myself “…where do I fit in at…” and no bones about it …newbie wantabe beekeeper. I have been studying and researching, meeting, discussing, and mentally storing tons of info since last summer.

I have made the step into getting a standard hive (brood box only), built my own swarm trap/transport box, and many associated tools and equipment. I find it easier to build my own parts & pieces for boxes and frames from this point on and just completed my tool and machinery inventory at home.

Short term goals…

get upto 10 hives (colonies) hopefully before winter from swarms and possibly abandoned hives.

Learn from my local bees habits, actions, reactions, and needs by climate and food sources/water.

Prep hives (how ever many) for winter and get ready for spring (we have short winter cycle in temp and moisture.

Have new boxes and frames on hand for year management of hives.

Long term goal:

Setup for honey sales local, farmers market, and available mail order.

Blanket local agriculture with hives for crop enhancement and nectar flow cycle from spring and first growth.

answer bee swarm calls in 100-200 mile area to help keep bees from being exterminated because of human inconvenience ( swarms around people) .

Even though some of these goals are simply stated, there are many different sub items that are involved in each and everyone. I have not completed a business plan or anything like that, yet, but I am developing an operational plan because the more this grows, the more time cycles and maintenance procedures will become a daily/weekly/monthly/seasonal schedule.

Even though this is kind of a hobby I want to really make a difference for the bees in my area, and for myself. Getting set to retire from my current job (at a young age) this will be a nice prospect to manage and get off the ground before that time comes. I see many different prospects in bee keeping to make a little money, not going to get rich, but making self sustaining money seems very possible… 100% on the bees and me. Ok, barring outside disasters, extreme weather events, poisonings, and vandalism.

Just my thoughts and desires. I am optimistic and very excited. I have 2 swarm calls this week to go look at and get busy… they are on the move!


Hi Bob, your on the right track. Being handy with your hands is a big help. I like your short & long term goals. You may, in time, review your 100-200 mile radius to answer bee swarm call outs. It would be ok if the bees were stationary, as in an upside down flower pot or a compost bin for example. However swarms can move on, resulting in a wasted trip. I’ve done a few wasted trips myself.

I recently went to one swarm call out, luckily not far away. The bloke told me the swarm was the size of a football. That sounded alright. I was all mentally prepared for a good size swarm. When I arrived, it wasn’t much bigger than a tennis ball:) Not even enough bees to completely cover one frame. Anyway we were able to make something out of it with a little bit of help from one of my other hives. Here’s my video of the event. Cheers

I’ve learned so much being a new beekeeper from this forum it is absolutely amazing. My local be club also is amazing but it only meets one time a month for about 4 hours. Lots of input presentations conversations. All of that is great and I would not turn it down but my digestion rate is sometimes quite a bit slower. Meaning I hear it and there’s 20 questions I’ve got, I asked one that I have 20 more. This forum allows me to digest it slowly and I’m grateful for all the people that are on here and willing to give constructive input not criticism. And certainly dislike those that clearly state their way is the only way those, I ignore for the most part


Hi Marty, one thing you’ll find is: the more experience you get, the easier it will become to absorb the information. By working your own bees & making mistakes & learning from them, that’s when you’ll find what works best for you.

The beauty of this club is, if you can call it a club, is you can come & go as you please. You can turn up in your pygamas, if you like. The down side is we don’t get together to share each others cooking after the meeting. I’d love to show off my banana & black cherry muffins.

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YUM!!! Although I shouldn’t eat them, I probably would! :smile: Likewise I would love to show off David’s 4 “war wounds” - he chose to enforce his will on the bees and got stung 4 times. By the way, he now believes in toothpaste on the sting, thanks @Faroe! I worked slowly and tried to go with what they were communicating - zero stings for me… So far… Not complacent, I will be stung, but I haven’t been yet this year. :blush: My First Aid kit is ready!

I found this thread really interesting. As an accountant, I can definitively say that running a financially success business and being a dedicated and successful beekeeper require completely different skill sets. There are many fiscally viable commercial honey businesses that are actually lousy beekeepers; sad, but true. The bees are treated solely as a commodity. There are many more examples of beekeepers who love their bees, the community and may even make a little money in the end products, but never turn a profit.
If you want be both, bottom line is you need to learn and master both skill sets.


Hi Dawn, thank you:), well I’m definitely going to give tooth paste a go. That’s something new I learned today. cheers

Sabine I would encourage you not to get defensive. Valli was not asking you to do it her way. But just saying dont get involved with bees unless you are willing to educate yourself. That isnt fair to the bees. As Marty shared it can cost them their lives. Valli just shared knowledge. And lots of it. What I would give for her to bee next door!! The things she listed as essential are not up for debate. They are fundamental. What a great service she is providing. For free!! Cause she loves bees and loves to help. You go girl and thanks so much. You are a live saver!!

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I suppose Facebook is a club too, then:grinning.

Not sure if you meant to tag me here Dawn. But I’ll accept the thanks anyway :wink:

I remember using toothpaste many years ago after being bitten from random insects in Australia. Sometimes you just gotta use what you got :slight_smile:

Yes, deliberate tag - I thought I read a comment from you about toothpaste on stings some time ago - maybe 4 or 5 months ago. :smile:

Actually it wasn’t you though. It was one of your colleagues… :blush:

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I love the technique for switching the bees so that they filled the new box. Seems to be a stress free way to do things.

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Hi Shawn, thank you. That works well if a colony is critically low. In the case of my video, I had to remove some brood (two frames from memory) out of the hive that I moved because I was worried that there wasn’t enough bees left to guard all the brood against SHB infestation. It worked out well because that hive had lots of hatching bees & nurse bees.

Another option that works well (in good weather) if you have 2 sites well spread out is to take an empty super with 2 sheets of newspaper taped to the bottom & a ply cover taped over that. Take one or two frames with bees out of the honey super of strong hives. You can take say, 2 frames out of 3 hives & intermingle them in the box. Fill the outside gaps with empty frames, then fix a vented lid with masking tape. Take that box to the weak hive, remove the ply cover & place the box on top of the weak hive. Check in 24 hrs. to make sure everything is ok.

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Well my adventure has begun. I have a few bee calls and been to 3 sites already. Set a bee trap box at one hoping they will find the box a better home than in a porch runner. The one I visited today is under an abandoned mobile home with no skirt. The cone pattern is about the size of a basketball. I got just about 20 feet from the cone and the game was on. Those girls came at me with all kinds of attitude! They were so mad at me getting to close to their home a swarm on me was awesome. I could smell the pheromone as the number of bees steadily increased.
I am going to remove that one next week when I get some boxes ready. The bee trap I hope will take, if not, I will open the patio floor and pull them out. Those girls were very calm and mildly interested in me poking around their temp home. :slight_smile:

I only came across this post yesterday, and there is something about it’s tone which isn’t very helpful.
I have noticed that there have been a few single posts made by people who are obviously starting out & have little experience, seeking all sorts of advice, & yes the person with the bees in very poor condition was upsetting. I am perhaps wording this awkwardly, if advice/opinion is given in the manner it is above it is not conducive to people returning for more or for them to seek the education or information you are so strongly urging them too, it comes across quite aggressively. These are perhaps the people that need to be made feel the most welcome, so that they can learn how to remedy poor decisions.
Spending a vast amount of money on something is not indicative of ones commitment to a project nor is it a requirement for being adept in beekeeping. Further, ones extended interests or personal beliefs/values do not make one more proficient.
One of the joys of learning a new skill is becoming further aware of the many connections it may make to other aspects of our lives & the world we live in. But we all learn in different ways & in different time frames.
Everyone has to begin somewhere, people have been applauded on this forum for their transparency & honesty in revealing their ongoing journey learning to keep bees, encouragement will always have better results than a rap over the knuckles. Passion is one thing, experience another. Part of learning is making mistakes, surely Valli you have experienced this yourself.
In regards to people wanting to make money from bees…well you yourself have been talking about & selling products?


Part of the problem @Kirsten_Redlich, one or 2 older beeks were treating newbies like they are not good enough, not giving credit where it is due and not allowing the conversation to admit new ideas.

With out new ideas, research and information the Flow hives would never have been invented.

Some of the older Beeks think their way is the only way, but what they seem to forget - this may have been the way they were taught and it may have worked for them but science, research and development, are showing that not all the past practices are sound - they may work but are perhaps not as efficient or kind to the bees. If a practice is fundamentally floored, we need to seek out better more effective resolutions, part of that is keeping up with current changes and seeing where the changes would benefit.

What some of the died in the wool beeks will not do, is admit when there could be a better, kinder and more scientific way to do things.

I have come to the conclusion that some methods have developed due to circumstance, geographic location, types of forage and locally accepted practice based on legislation or regional requirements. There is no one cap fits all.

Becoming a member of a local bee club has taught me that even regionally here in the UK certain practices vary and can be attributed to location, forage and season, also the uncertainty of the weather day to day has a big part to play.

For me the more I read, study, and research seeking out new developments the more holistic the bee Keeper needs to be. Looking at the pros and cons of advice and some ways need a big pinch of salt where as others are universal.


:wink::sunglasses: ! What brand of tooth paste is BEST ? Or does it matter … ? It must be some active ingredient … Right ? Gerald ! :smile:

@Gerald_Nickel Generally Carb Soda