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Old 03-30-2013, 03:10 PM   #11
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That is fascinating. Please post more of your videos.

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Old 03-30-2013, 03:27 PM   #12
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What's that picture you posted? Is it a wild hive? Because that doesn't look like a conventional hive

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Old 03-30-2013, 05:25 PM   #13
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What's that picture you posted? Is it a wild hive? Because that doesn't look like a conventional hive
The picture is inside a top-bar hive (the same type as I put the swarm into).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Top-bar_hive

What you are calling a "conventional" hive is probably the Langstroth design- this is the most common design used in the US.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Langstroth_hive

Keep in mind that the term "hive" is only used for a "kept" colony, and describes only the equipment a beekeeper keeps their bees inside of. Think if an apartment building for bees. Among many Beeks (beekeepers) the hive/colony terminology is like the clip/magazine terminology in the gun culture.
A colony is an active family of bees working together collectively with a queen, thousands of workers (all females) and some drones (males). The colony also has comb built in it, some is brood comb which also has some pollen and honey stored in "pantry" cells, and some is honeycomb which is strictly used to make and store honey in.

Here are two pictures of combs from a top-bar hive. The top one is brown and is brood comb, full of capped brood cells with larvae inside that will emerge as adult bees, the comb on the left is upside-down, the one on the right is as they built it inside the hive. Notice the gaps all around the sides and bottom. The comb is only attached to the top bar itself. The other one is honeycomb, also only attached at the top bar.
topbarbroodcomb.jpg   comb-bar1.jpg  
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:03 PM   #14
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Well I'll bee. I gotta say I'd be dousing them with that long-distance shooting bug spray -- the stuff that seems to kill them instantly on contact! That would bee the end of them beehind my house. Beesides, you have to feed the darn things?

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Old 03-30-2013, 06:20 PM   #15
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That is neat . Is there a difference between the top bar hives that you use and the big white box hives you see in the fields ?

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Old 03-30-2013, 07:43 PM   #16
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Do you feed them sugar water or artificial nectar or what?

There was a tree with a hollowed section in the yard next to mine when I was a kid; there was a bee colony in it as long as I remember. They seemed interested only in the azaleas lining the paths in the area. I remember standing maybe ten feet away watching them buzz about for long periods without being bothered.

Have you ever had bear damage to one of your hives?

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Old 03-30-2013, 08:18 PM   #17
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Well I'll bee. I gotta say I'd be dousing them with that long-distance shooting bug spray -- the stuff that seems to kill them instantly on contact! That would bee the end of them beehind my house. Beesides, you have to feed the darn things?
Where is the "Dislike" button?

Wasps and hornets I am OK with killing. There is no logical reason to kill honeybees. Educate yourself and you will agree with me. Don't kill honeybees.
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Old 03-30-2013, 08:20 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Vikingdad

Where is the "Dislike" button?

Wasps and hornets I am OK with killing. There is no logical reason to kill honeybees. Educate yourself and you will agree with me. Don't kill honeybees.
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Old 03-30-2013, 08:26 PM   #19
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Where is the "Dislike" button?

Wasps and hornets I am OK with killing. There is no logical reason to kill honeybees. Educate yourself and you will agree with me. Don't kill honeybees.
What if they have been "Africanized" by those illegal immigrant bees from our neighbors down south?

Generally though, I am with you on that. My sister has an epipen in case of close encounters, but they are uncommon.
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Old 03-30-2013, 08:43 PM   #20
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That is neat . Is there a difference between the top bar hives that you use and the big white box hives you see in the fields ?
Its really a matter of choice on the Beek's part. I have used the Langstroth hives (the box style) for years (there are some of mine seen in the videos that are painted light pink, white and blue) and only recently had my Dad build me a couple of Top-Bar hives to try them out. I have heard reports that they are more productive in them, both in terms of beeswax and honey. I am using mine to produce "comb honey", which is a premium delicacy if you will. The comb honey produced in a top-bar hive is all natural with the bees producing all of it. In a Langstroth hive you set up frames with a thin beeswax foundation in it, but that foundation is much thicker than natural comb built by the bees. My theory is that I can get a good supply of comb honey, to be sold at a premium price, and the bees do 100% of the work without any further investment by me beyond building the hive and installing the colony in it.

Incidentally, the wax itself is produced from a special gland on the bees abdomens, this from Wiki:
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Production

The wax is formed by worker bees, who secrete it from eight wax-producing mirror glands on the inner sides of the sternites (the ventral shield or plate of each segment of the body) on abdominal segments 4 to 7. The sizes of these wax glands depend on the age of the worker and after daily flights these glands begin to gradually atrophy. The new wax scales are initially glass-clear and colorless (see illustration), becoming opaque after mastication by the worker bee. The wax of honeycomb is nearly white, but becomes progressively more yellow or brown by incorporation of pollen oils and propolis. The wax scales are about 3 millimetres (0.12 in) across and 0.1 millimetres (0.0039 in) thick, and about 1,100 are required to make a gram of wax.[1]

Honey bees use the beeswax to build honeycomb cells in which their young are raised and honey and pollen are stored. For the wax-making bees to secrete wax, the ambient temperature in the hive has to be 33 to 36 °C (91 to 97 °F). To produce their wax, bees must consume about eight times as much honey by mass. Typically, for a honey beekeeper, 10 pounds of honey yields 1 pound of wax.[2] It is estimated that bees collectively fly 150,000 miles, roughly six times around the earth, to yield one pound of beeswax (530,000 km/kg).
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Do you feed them sugar water or artificial nectar or what?
I no longer feed my bees, but yes, when a Beek feeds it is sugar syrup, sometimes with some supplements or medicines in it (lemongrass and wintergreen essential oils are the only additives I use in my hives on the rare occasions where I will feed, and I will use cane sugar or if I have some surplus honey I prefer that). Many of the huge commercial Beeks will use corn syrup. They buy it by the tanker load. Corn sugar is bad stuff for bees (and humans too for that matter). Poison.

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There was a tree with a hollowed section in the yard next to mine when I was a kid; there was a bee colony in it as long as I remember. They seemed interested only in the azaleas lining the paths in the area. I remember standing maybe ten feet away watching them buzz about for long periods without being bothered.
Watching bees working is very relaxing. Having a hive in the garden is a powerful presence. Hard to describe it. When people ask me what to do about a colony in a tree or some other natural location I usually advise them to leave it be and adjust their activities to avoid crossing their flight paths.

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Have you ever had bear damage to one of your hives?
Never. We live in a bear-free zone. The last time I can recall a bear in this area was back in the early 70's. I know guys up in Mendocino and Humboldt Counties who have problems with bears. They build these fortified areas and put their hives inside. Speaking of the North Coast counties, I have always wondered if honeybees would collect any nectar from marijuana plants, making pot honey? That would be a pretty unique varietal! I keep asking pot growers if they ever see bees on their buds but nobody has noticed any yet.
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