old timer losses

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Drone Bee
May 12, 2009
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went to collect an old timers last bees today, 2 hives and bits of kit, he is now 80 and has been keeping bees for 40 years, the sad thing was when I went to close the hive up it just seemed too quiet for me - on inspection they were all dead

supers rammed with stores too, he seemed ok and he felt the reason was that its been so cold and an inability to move about the hive

felt sad for him really
Thats horrible to read,its such a shame but then we all get old in the end.
Its nice that he has kept working bees for this long.
Is there any way you could keep a colony at his place and look after them for him? it sounds like he would have loads of stories/knowledge to pass on after 40 years.
Very nice idea, Admin.

Maybe there are a few ex-beekeepers (with bad backs) that would provide somewhere for newer beeks to have hives.

Sort of an apprenticeship . . .

Spent a lot of time with him over the last 4 months and it turned out he once ran the now defunct local BKA, he is a great guy - character. I am keeping in touch and have invite him to come over and meet the family in late Spring and see my setup, so yep I am trying to keep him involved over this season at least.

We got talking about swarms today and he talked about using knotted ropes that have been placed in melted wax then hung around the apiary, in effect they are like magnets to new swarms. He then mentioned how he had 5 swarms appear in just one day many years ago……hmmm I thought. I asked he what swarm control method he used “naaaaaa, never really bothered” :) old school.

The guy has lived an incredibly active life too, puts me to shame (most I suspect).

My mentor was 78 when I first began to help him with his bees.He needed an apprentice to help with the lifting. He died recently at 92, pottering with his bees until 2 years before.
I learnt SO much about handling, honey, swarm collection etc but NOTHING about swarm control or disease management. Had to teach myself that bit.

It was a brilliant and valuable experience and I'd definately recommend it.


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