BBKA Forum

British Beekeepers Association Official Forum 

  • Best and worst aspects of beekeeping

  • General Q&A, Bee chat and only Bee chat please
General Q&A, Bee chat and only Bee chat please
 #5526  by AdamD
 19 Jan 2020, 10:47
I enjoy my beekeeping but with too many colonies it can become a bit of a chore. These are selected highs and lows:-

Best bits
Queens start to lay - always a pleasure.
Actually predicting correctly what the bees are going to do when you're not sure.
When beekeepers ring up wanting a queen bee and I tell them they don't need one yet and they call me back a week or two later after their queen has started to lay to say thank you!

Worst bits
Extracting honey - esp dealing with OSR.
Collecting a swarm from one of my hives because I hadn't had time to inspect them a few days earlier.
Faffing about with wax.

Annoying bits
People ringing up wanting bumblebees removed and having to be polite.
Dealing with spamming attempts to join the forum - often from Russia. (Patrick and I deal with these all the time!).

Any others?
 #5528  by Patrick
 19 Jan 2020, 11:31
What a great one!

Best bits
Snap, new queen coming into lay.

Someone you have helped start getting their first jars of honey

Starting the season with spare equipment ready and cleaned. This is entirely conceptual obviously..

Worst bits

Sunny third weekend in May when swarm calls are coming in faster than I can respond and no one else is answering their phones (I wonder why..).

Trying to do what should take three leisurely pleasant hours in the one hour I have available.

Annoying bits

People who don’t even keep bees themselves telling me I am doing it all wrong when they don’t actually know what I do.

Making the same stupid mistake for the umpteenth time with the same result as all the previous times.
 #5529  by AndrewLD
 19 Jan 2020, 13:15
Best bits:
Doing an inspection when the bees take no notice of me whatsoever
That deep sense of calm and satisfaction when all the colonies are busy and well
Chatting to people about bees at our honey stall

Worst bits:
A colony where some of the bees have decided they really don't like me, come at me from 20 yards away and make the garden unusable (fortunately rare)
A colony that has a problem and I haven't yet worked out why or what to do (sleepless night ahead)
Culling a colony
 #5530  by Alfred
 19 Jan 2020, 13:54
Doing something even as simple as putting a new frame in and a week later seeing they have responded to it.
Looking at a hive part on sale for eyewatering sum of money then going home and making one of equal quality from offcuts.
Finding lots of materials for the hobby already in the cupboard under the sink and in the garage.
Just sitting back and contemplating what ingenious, industrious,selfless loyal creatures they are.

The first sting from a grumpy box.You know it's coming but it still makes you jump.Puts a damper on the rest of the session like the first cold trickle down your neck when walking in the rain.
Just sitting back and contemplating what ingenious, industrious,selfless loyal creatures they are
And why I pay a third of my income to benefits spongers to lay around playing Xbox games all day
 #5532  by Chrisbarlow
 19 Jan 2020, 18:15
Best bit
Queens rearing in general

Worst bit
Overwintered losses

Annoying bits
Knowing one day I'll die and then not be able to Beekeep :D
 #5533  by MickBBKA
 19 Jan 2020, 22:32
Best bit. Just watching the front of the hive on a warm sunny day in mid May.

Worst bit. Seeing a colony die from CBPV.
 #5534  by Alfred
 20 Jan 2020, 16:33
The aroma of wax and pine when making up all-new frames on a sunny morning.
Then back indoors for hot tea and bacon butty.

Countered by the sight of wax flakes showering from comb after the moths have tunneled though it.
 #5538  by Japey Edge
 21 Jan 2020, 10:10
For me...

How I managed to get away with only one sting on a swarm collection (own fault) with a jacket that rode about trouser levels and just a pair of nitriles.
Rearing a queen from a queen cell in a mini mating hive
Successfully requeening a hive
Getting my own honey from my back garden colony
Seeing them build from my brand new frames with foundation
Getting sound advice and learning from experienced beekeepers who really think about their advice

Being stung on the same hand twice within seconds during a routine inspection (while being gentle!)
Wasps terrorising colonies
Getting thick smoke in the eyes and lungs after a random wind change
Being taught things you suspect are just tradition rather than the correct thing to do