What did you learn on your first day as a beekeeper?

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Aug 4, 2011
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Levenshulme, Manchester UK
Hive Type
Number of Hives
2 - and steward of 8 others.
20 things learned in the first 8 hours as a beekeeper.

1) A nuc transit box is remarkably unprepossessing
- so no dramatic drive home in a bee suit. Dammit.

2) You get the smoker going, dress up, open the nuc and...........
nothing much happens.

3) A smoker is child's play if you were in the Scouts.

4) Not much continues to happen - then, suddenly, an hour later, you realise there's a hell of a lot of bees flying around.

5) Some of these little beggars don't know how to fly!

6) There's a lot of bees in a nuc.

7) The temperature of the base of a smoker is slightly higher than the melting point of the lid of a wheelie bin.

8) Cloud of bees in my garden;
over the (high) fence, there's nary a sight of a bee in nervous next door neighbour's garden - phew!

9) None of those clever clogs on the Forum, pointed out that an absolute essential piece of kit, is a garden chair.

10) A bright sunny day with frequent fluffy clouds doesn't half mess with the bees' heads.

11) Pollen comes in such pretty colours.

12) Three hours, four hours - no time at all.

13) A feisty cat needs lots of reassurance when she realises there are bees in her garden.

14) Yes, if you look carefully, you can see which bees have what jobs.

15) Six feet away from the hive and you're interesting;
eight feet away and you might as well not exist.

16) Aviva Premiership Rugby v bees?
Close one - but a half of rugby is only 40 minutes long.

17) 1 : 1 syrup tastes nice.

18) Going solo - transferring bees/frames from nuc to new hive - isn't as scary as it might be. You know, I might be able to do this!

19) One hive looks so lonely.............

20) The smile on a new beek's face, is just as stupid as the look of someone who's just completed their first open water dive.

What did you learn on your first day?

My wife soon discovered that a flimsy summer dress and flip-flops were not the best things to be wearing, to watch slightly perturbed new residents being ensconced in a hive!

Swiping at an inquisitive bee is just plain stupid (remembered after twenty odd years) :iamwithstupid:
I wasn't the only one to do this then... and I received a jab in the eye for doing so...

Two actually , I was inspecting my one and only colony for the first time . My Ukrainian mentor was with me . I was bare handed and well in charge of the job, when out of the corner of my eye, I spotted two foragers returning at speed . I instinctively gave them a back hander and receives two stings in my little finger :), My mentor thought this was hilarious ! He was in tucks :D
I learned

that a big job interview, before a panel of four bigwigs, was a doddle compared with the knowledge that I would be transferring my first bees into their hive, on my own, aided by a very small beekeeping book, later that day.

I got the job and was thrilled to find how calm and easy to handle the bees were. Still a relief once it was all over.
my first day with bees started at about 5 p.m. one day, when I got a phone call about some free bees! I had to collect these bees from deep in a blackthorn hedge, which was on top of a nettle covered 3 foot high bank.
that was 'interesting'
I think on day 1 I realised that I wanted more than 1 colony!
Day 1 was scary though as my first set of bees were not very nice.
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Day one, Mmmm,
1. Leaving your newly aquired second hand hive set up in the drive may be misconstrude by bees as a vacant des-res (yep, swarm moved in with 2 hours!).
2. Purchasing a bee suit ahead of a hive would have been a good idea
3. Newly moved in bees are too busy laughing uncontrollably at an 1diot in a fleece and scarf to bother to sting him......
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What a swarm looks like - they were swarming the first time I went to see them, just as I arrived. Also that I feel very guilty if they sting the nuns.
That when you suddenly realise you have more bees inside your cheap veil than there are outside you make several decisions quickly,
A) stop breathing
B) run up the garden ripping all your gear off
C) your face is a very vulnerable area
D) Your wife insists on hosing you down with the garden hose before you are allowed in the house
E) grown men cry
F) this memory will live you for your next 30 years of beekeeping
G) it can only get better
H) sod it.....should have spent money on a good bee suit
I) there will be good bee times and bad bee times as long as I keep bees
J) the good outweigh the bad!!
K) one day....maybe around 2012.....if we have such a thing as computers and forums I may be able to give help to other beekeepers!
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Nosema is a killer !

Losing a colony is tough but learning from your mistakes is vital if you don't want it to happen again.
Can we "sticky" this for new beeks. There are some important lessons in amongst the hilarious mental images and laughter!
I learned that bee like to sting to eye.
Second day I learned that it like to sting the second eye too.

Love with first sight!