alleyyooper
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Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2017 5:21 pm

From none to over 100 bee colonies.

We have lost many, well nearly all our Ash trees to the Emerald Ash Bore. I heat our home 100% with fire wood so I have been for many years cutting up dead trees for this. I leave them standing till I need them but some will blow down in the wind and with a dead root system several have fallen roots and all. So I have one that has came down but landed into a near by maple tree. October came and I start working on it to get it to come down and when it did I start cutting it up. All a sudden I have stuff coming off the end of the chain saw bar, when that block of wood fell off There is honey bees and comb. I know nothing about them and go to the house and tell Kare about them. She had seen a PBS show about the plight of the honey bee a year or so ago so wanted to save them. We drive into the county extension office and they didn't know any thing either, We then went to the local USDA office who knew just what we did NOTHING. They did how ever have a list of bee keepers who collected swarms. I call the first number and got is this a joke he has been dead for 5 years, second one only keep bees to pollinate his grapes and make candles to sell did I want to sell some wax. Next one said they didn't keep bees any longer and said since it was fall and cold to forget it they were probably dead by now any way having fell to the ground.
The inter net is a new thing we our selves had only had our computer about a year so we could e mail our college kids. I had been told you could find things on the internet so got to work searching for ways to save the honey bees.

On the internet I found the Western Michigan Bee Keepers with several officers E mail addresses sent off emails asking for help and got one replay from one who said he didn't know what I could do but was forward my e mail to another guy who might know as he was a big commercial keeper.
Soon I got an e mail back and he said to stand the log up to start with and cap off any open end but also drill a 3/4 inch hole in the log so the bees had a Entrance. Told me he was taking his bees to Florida for the citrus pollination and over winter them.
So that was phase one and I some how managed to loose his e mail address.

:D Al

alleyyooper
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Posts: 24
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2017 5:21 pm

Re: From none to over 100 colonies.

Step two starts in the spring, As I said I had lost the bee keepers e mail address who had helped me in the fall. Back on the internet I met many bee keepers some who were helpfull and some like Mister Michel Bush that posted buy two books and search the actives for answers. One fellow in Missouri took me under his wing and told me to set my Christmas present hives up over that standing tree trunk and let the bees move up into it. Even sent me a frame of drawn comb to help with it.
Well one day in early May there were no more bees around that log or in the hive body.
Now I have equipment but no bees. again the fellow from Missouri came to the rescue with the phone number and address of a fellow here in Michigan that still had Nucs of bees to sell.
I called and found out he was about 2 1/2 hours away and we could buy a nuc still.
Made arrangements to go pick them up and brought them home and installed them in my hive bodies.
I had bought a book so I worked those bees during the summer from that book by John Vain. Fellow in Missouri disappeared too No more e mails nor snail address mail answers returned. He had told me he was not feeling well.
In the mean time I had found the E mail address of the fellow who had helped me in the fall. Kare had also read in the local news paper a bee keeping club had started up in our area. That nuc of bees didn't live thru my first attempt to over winter bees in Michigan.

I reserved 2 three pound packages of bees from a bee supply house in southern Michigan for a May pick up. I also continued to go to those bee meetings and learned thru them there was another near by club we joined and went to meetings then joined the south east Michigan beekeepers club.(semba.org). Also learned the bees in the original tree had most likely came from a bee keeper about 3/4 of a mile from us, who's health was failing but tried to pass on all his knowledge to me. He came and did the first inspection with me and said my bees were sick with some thing so would call some people he know and see if there was some thing we could do. Called me the next morning and told me to kill those bees, burn the frames and he would give me a colony of bees and a swarm he had just caught. No one knew what was wrong with the bees so didn't want to chance spreading it. He gave me that swarm and colony and another member gave me 3 more. I went into winter with 5 colonies. Billy was sick and in the hospital and had his wife call me and ask me if I wanted to buy a out yard of his that had 7 colonies. From there I learned how to make splits and from Billy again in the 2 short months before his death learned how to raise queens..

I love catching swarms also.

:D Al

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Re: From none to over 100 bee colonies.

Hey Al,
Thanks for sharing about your journey with bee keeping! :)
and I some how managed to loose his e mail address
.

I hate when that happens. Have you tried searching your "sent" file? I often have success searching there.

Welcome to our community! Looking forward to reading more of your posts and thank you sharing your knowledge and experience!

Roger

alleyyooper
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Posts: 24
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2017 5:21 pm

Re: From none to over 100 bee colonies.

Yes I sound that fellows E Mail address before that year ended. even though we live several hour apart we have met at Many a bee conference over the years. It is now his responceabilty to tell my bees I have passed away, Yes it is in the will. It is also my responceabilty to tell his bees he has died if he were to go before me.
We found out we both are Nam vets with disability's, we were there at the same time also.

I consider Jim one of my best friends one of my oldest to, still living.

:D Al

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