How to Grow Tobacco

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 Post subject: I'm a beekeeper by love and trade
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:31 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 08, 2012 8:54 am
Posts: 82
So I mentioned I'm a beek in the grow log section so if anyone has questions about bees i'll answer then here. I am also on the bee source foroms under the same name, chillardbee, and have been posting there for awhile though not recently. I've been a beekeeper for 25 years. I ran a father son operation (180 hives) with my dad (i got him into bees) from 1990-2001 and have been runing my own bees since that time to now (100 hives and growing). I worked for a honey producer who taught me almost everything to now about bees and honey production through the 90's (he ran 250 hives), and I worked for a commercial pollinator who ran 2500 hives from 2004-2008 (i think that many hives is too many to really enjoy the bees.

Anyway, I hope to hear from other beeks here and gardeners, homesteaders, ect, ect. and of course, tobacco growers.


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 Post subject: Re: I'm a beekeeper by love and trade
PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 10:33 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2009 10:50 am
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Location: NW Arkansas, USA zone 7A elevation 1561 feet
I got my first bee hives in July 2012. I got 3 hives and 2 colonies. I wanted an extra hive to hopefully entice some wild bees to move in.

I managed to let the bigger stronger hive starve to death during the drought last summer. I had been feeding the smaller colony to help them grow faster, and unknowingly saved their lives.

I have continued to feed the bees all winter.
How do I transition to the bees feeding themselves? How do I know when they can? I don't want sugar water honey!

Daffodils are starting to bloom here.

Bees have been harvesting pollen on every nice day all winter, no idea where they are finding it. But they arrive with their leg pouches full.

Upon inspection of the hives, there is always lots of pollen, but the only liquid in there is found only when I feed sugar water.


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 Post subject: Re: I'm a beekeeper by love and trade
PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 11:31 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 10:16 am
Posts: 798
Location: near Rising Sun,Maryland USA
Been doing bees 15 years now. Raise my own queens too, and this probably should go without saying but I also make the best Mead in the world!


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 Post subject: Re: I'm a beekeeper by love and trade
PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 7:18 pm 
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Ozark lady, your hives must be brooding now with all that pollen coming in, keep feeding until a natural source of honey comes in. I'm not familiar with your areas flows and timing so i would suggest that you just monitor the bees until you see them storing more honey and putting white wax around the edges of the burr comb and capping honey. it's good to keep 3-4 hives so that if 1-2 do die you can replace them by making a nuc from your living hive.


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 Post subject: Re: I'm a beekeeper by love and trade
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 9:55 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 10:16 am
Posts: 798
Location: near Rising Sun,Maryland USA
Ozark Lady... Where you been? it's been awhile!
Anyway, Call your local Ag Extension and ask to talk to someone in the bee department. They should be able to tell you when your honey flow starts, as well as what specific pests you need to monitor or treat for. Another valuable source, until you feel comfortable would be to locate and attend a few bee meetings in your local area.


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 Post subject: Re: I'm a beekeeper by love and trade
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 4:07 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2009 10:50 am
Posts: 1624
Location: NW Arkansas, USA zone 7A elevation 1561 feet
I pop in with a comment, from time to time.

I bet you just missed some of my posts.

I am getting gardening fever, and gardening always means tobacco too!

I opened the hive today, for a few minutes, boy they have been building comb... everywhere, but where it should be.

They have definitely increased in numbers over the winter! They got an attitude and I didn't want to chill them, so I didn't go into the bottom box. I just put food in and looked at the top box and removed a frame to look below. The new comb was stuck on two frames, I will have to fix that on a warmer day. It was 57F when, I went out there to look and feed them.


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 Post subject: Re: I'm a beekeeper by love and trade
PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 8:01 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 08, 2012 8:54 am
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So, from the 38 hives I had in the spring I'm now up to 87 and hoping to be around 75 here after everythings settled from the nuc making spree I went on. all the queens are getting mated, the black berries are coming out, and the clover is just around the corner and I still have to extract the spring crop, where does the time go.


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 Post subject: Re: I'm a beekeeper by love and trade
PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 7:11 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 10:16 am
Posts: 798
Location: near Rising Sun,Maryland USA
Boy you're a sucker for punishment aren't you? I built up to 12 hives once and it was just enough work to take the "fun" out of beekeeping. Now I only maintain 2 or 3 hives. It's much more relaxing and I still get more honey and wax than I need, although I always sell out of honey rather quickly.

I take it the small hive beetle has not found you yet?


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 Post subject: Re: I'm a beekeeper by love and trade
PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 4:54 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:02 am
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Location: central coast of Kalifornia
Jitterbugdude wrote:
Been doing bees 15 years now. Raise my own queens too, and this probably should go without saying but I also make the best Mead in the world!



ROAD TRIP !!!

:-)
rc


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 Post subject: Re: I'm a beekeeper by love and trade
PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 11:10 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 3:51 pm
Posts: 208
Location: Washington State, USA
I started keeping bees when I was 13 years old... that's 43 years ago. During high school I kept 30 to 50 hives and worked for a commercial beekeeper on summer break. I currently keep 2 to 4 hives.
We've had mild springs here the past 2 years which has caused a problem for me similar to Ozark Lady. The bees bring in a lot of pollen but little nectar so they'd rather swarm than draw foundation in April. Since then blackberries et have bloomed so my hives are loaded with honey now. Our next and last major honey flow will be Fireweed.
Be sure to face your hives north or south preferably south to help them keep their combs straight. I use "Easy Frames" which are the molded plastic frames/foundation sold by Dadant. I love them because they are indestructible in the extractor and if the comb gets destroyed I can clean them and reapply a thin layer of wax with a sponge roller to encourage the bees to build. If I don't face my hives south the bees build comb erratically.


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 Post subject: Re: I'm a beekeeper by love and trade
PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 11:28 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:02 am
Posts: 5539
Location: central coast of Kalifornia
That's really interesting about orienting the hive, Roy... never heard that before.
but I am not a beekeeper.... and I should not tke on any more projects! lol
Best
rc

...even though the bees will work so hard for you!


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 Post subject: Re: I'm a beekeeper by love and trade
PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 1:52 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2013 5:33 pm
Posts: 11
I'm a beek down under in NZ , i've been at it for a few years now, and i'm going to increase hive No's in the next couple of years ^ 100+
what sort of quantity are you getting / hive
how's varroa, any new treatments ?

robbie


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