Bee Body Care
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People from all walks of life become beekeepers. City dwellers, suburbanites, weekend farmers, and country folk can enjoy and benefit from bees. The young, young at heart, and those in between all can keep bees. It used to be that ‘grandpa’ was the beekeeper in the family. Today sisters, daughters, mothers, wives are taking up the hive tool more then ever before. Our “tongue in cheek” films focus on Skip, a city dweller with little country experience, whose daughter would like a bee hive… and he is willing to give it a try… well maybe! He heads to the farm and ‘meets the Weavers,’ and before you know it he is seriously thinking that bees aren’t such a crazy idea after all. No matter who you are, or how little you know about bees, you can successfully manage a bee colony.
Skip, our fearless new beekeeper you met in Episode 1 (Is Beekeeping For You), is ready to learn the basics. Danny Weaver introduces Skip to the gear he needs to work the bees, and helps him get started. From lighting a smoker and cracking into a hive and checking on the bees, Skip gets his first real peak at a hive…. and so do you. Danny shows Skip the basics of hive manipulation and the components that make up the hive. Skip gets a hang of the lingo and learns what to do ‘when the bee stings’. He also learns some beekeeping basics, and so do you.
After meeting the Weavers in Episode 1 (Is Beekeeping For You) and going over the hive basics with Danny Weaver in Episode 2 (Meet A Healthy Hive), Skip is ready to get started with his first bees. Binford Weaver has a couple three pound packages and hives ready to go. Binford has worked bees since he was a boy, and Skip is truly learning from a pro. There are several ways to hive a package (and several types of hives), but the method Skip (and you) learn is one of the best for success, especially for a beginner beekeeper.
Binford Weaver talks about the Weaver family’s beginnings with bees.
Bee Breeding for Survivor Chemical Free Stock – Daniel Weaver Part-1
Bee Breeding for Survivor Chemical Free Stock – Daniel Weaver Part-2
Being able to light a smoker and keep it lit during hive inspections is vital to good beekeeping practices. Materials needed: bee smoker, hive tool, match/lighter, newspaper, twigs, and wood chunks. Get that fire roaring, close the top, and it will smoke for a good while before you need to add more fuel.
Small Hive Beetles or SHB are hive killers and honey destroyers. My knowing what they look like and mashing them when possible you will be helping your hive defend themselves against this nasty intruder. The hive tool has so many uses…
Just ordered your first queen and wonder how she will be shipped to you? The most common method is for the queen to be caught and placed in a 3 hole wooden cage, 5-7 attendants are added to the cage to feed and groom her along the way, and then she is ready to be shipped!
Honeybees don’t walk around calmly on the comb and then suddenly start stinging. Typically they give you a sign they are feeling defensive before they ever take flight. Watch for them to put their stingers in the air and fan their wings. They are spreading alarm pheromone and it is time to smoke the hive and/or finish up what you started and close them back up.
Make sure you have a happy hive by looking for 3 important attributes. Every hive needs brood, pollen, and honey (remember that brood will be decreased or non existent during the winter months). Identify it quickly, and know all is good!
Sometimes during a hive check you will need to hold a queen. Pick her up by her wings carefully – do not squeeze her abdomen. This could damage or kill her. Queens do sting but their sting does not hurt humans, only other queens. They can also sting multiple times, unlike their daughters.