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Beekeeping...
Old 02-01-2014, 05:34 PM   #1
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Beekeeping...

Do any of you have bees?

Well, with my recent retirement, I'm getting back into the hobby after more than 30 years, and learning all over again. I think I will have the time now and feel like a kid, again. I mentioned beekeeping to a good friend and he said he wants to get some bees and learn also, and have them out at his farm. Then, I mentioned it to another good friend and he said that he is interested, also. So, the three of us will bee learning beekeeping and getting stung together over at Eddie's farm. Hopefully, the second year we will do better and probably bee expanding into more hives, too.

I ordered a starter kit and a few more things from Dante and Sons this past week. And they came in, yesterday. See pics. The package of bees are ordered from the local bee association. They should bee in late March. There's a few more things I need to order for the future, too.

Are any of you folks interested in the hobby, too?
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Old 02-01-2014, 06:04 PM   #2
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I am planning on getting started this spring. I have registered for a beekeeping class at the local botanic gardens and will try a hive in the backyard when the weather warms. Probably won't get bees until April or May ,given the way our weather is.
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Old 02-01-2014, 06:20 PM   #3
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I have been entertaining the thought as I love mesquite honey, and have Velvet and Honey mesquite on the ranch. I find honey cones hanging in the trees, and have tons of bees. I also can't keep the bears out of the hummingbird feeders, and so I doubt that hives would last.

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Old 02-01-2014, 06:38 PM   #4
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My friend managed beehives for years and we are possibly getting into such; there are beekeepers on the island.
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Old 02-01-2014, 06:41 PM   #5
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That's great Brewer and Grasshopper! Kahn you are lucky and can pick your friend's brain.

About bears...you can set up an enclosure with electric fencing/wire to discourage the bears. Fence chargers have a battery and solar panel for remote locations. It's done all the time where I used to live in South Georgia where there are bears.

If you guys are interested in bees...This guy has some of the best utubes on his beekeeping hobby from the start...I recommend watching a little along when you get the chance...
Start with Part 1, then go to Part 2 and go on down the line...The next parts are located on the right side menu bar of Utube. They are fairly short and you will learn a lot...It's neat because he starts knowing just a little and grows with each installment.
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Old 02-18-2014, 12:09 AM   #6
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I'm allergic to bee stings so probably not a good hobby for me but I was interested enough to watch all the you tube videos. Very interesting hobby.
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Old 02-18-2014, 10:01 AM   #7
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Just curious, will you rely on whatever local flowers are available, or plant something so you have some control over what the bees mostly collect?

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Old 02-18-2014, 12:25 PM   #8
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A, (unfortunately now deceased), neighbor of mine on the BC Gulf Islands would take his hives over to Vancouver Island for the summer where the bees had access to Fireweed.....great honey!

(One day I was out in our front garden and had this eerie/ominous 'Twilight Zone' feeling......looked around and there was a huge cloud of bees behind me.......I watched the direction they went, told my neighbor, and he subsequently caught them in a large garbage bag and transferred them to an empty hive........apparently a new queen and her followers.)
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Old 02-18-2014, 06:04 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by grasshopper View Post
I also can't keep the bears out of the hummingbird feeders, and so I doubt that hives would last.
I used to keep hives in the yard, until bears hit the hives multiple times in one week. I generally enjoyed it as a hobby.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redbugdave View Post
About bears...you can set up an enclosure with electric fencing/wire to discourage the bears. Fence chargers have a battery and solar panel for remote locations. It's done all the time where I used to live in South Georgia where there are bears.
A good baited electric fence is supposed to keep black bears away. Once bears actually hit your hives you may need a better baited electric fence.

After the first time I was hit by bears, I did get a low-end fence. Unfortunately, after about two years it failed without my realizing that it had failed until the bears started visiting, frequently. I then priced out a higher-end alternative and decided I could buy a lot of honey for that much money and gave my remaining bees away.

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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
Just curious, will you rely on whatever local flowers are available, or plant something so you have some control over what the bees mostly collect?
The bees will collect from the best (quality, quantity, and distance) nectar sources, which actually changes over the course of a day, and even more dramatically over the course of weeks and months. Most honey is simply whatever the bees happened to find. They will actually travel miles if necessary to collect nectar and pollen. However, they give preference to the closest sources.

The honeys listing a primarily flower species such a clover are normally collected during short blooming periods, usually by professional bee keepers who are paid to move their hives into the middle of a field of that species for pollination purposes.
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Old 02-18-2014, 10:09 PM   #10
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For 3 years when I was a teenager my family had a 50% stake in a beekeeping business with 500 hives. I learned all about the business and have an enormous amount of respect for these amazing creatures. They work incredibly hard (the females) and while they live all through a winter, they work so hard they only survive 30 days during the summer season. If you take good care of a hive they will thrive and produce 200 pounds of honey between spring and fall (at least they did for us in central Canada).

Try drizzling some fresh honey onto ice cream, or scrape off a piece of honey in the comb and chew it wax and all. You'll love that.......kinda miss all this.

Good luck with your foray into beekeeping and enjoy!!
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Old 02-19-2014, 10:30 AM   #11
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Well, since I last logged in here, I ordered more empty hives and more other odds and ends in preparation. Even ordered more bees. One hive apiece is not enough. So, now we each will have two hives apiece, plus a couple empty hives with supers to expand if we catch any wild swarms so they will have homes, too.
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:41 PM   #12
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Very fascinating hobby, and one I wouldn't mind getting in to someday, if I had the time and space (although getting stung kind of scares me).

For the people that have/had more than one hive...does each hive have its own queen? Do the hives have to be a certain distance away so the bees from one hive don't try to "attack" a neighboring hive?
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Old 02-19-2014, 01:24 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redbugdave View Post
Well, since I last logged in here, I ordered more empty hives and more other odds and ends in preparation. Even ordered more bees. One hive apiece is not enough. So, now we each will have two hives apiece, plus a couple empty hives with supers to expand if we catch any wild swarms so they will have homes, too.
So, if you don't mind my asking, how much money have you got into it right now?
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Old 02-19-2014, 01:33 PM   #14
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Very fascinating hobby, and one I wouldn't mind getting in to someday, if I had the time and space (although getting stung kind of scares me).

For the people that have/had more than one hive...does each hive have its own queen? Do the hives have to be a certain distance away so the bees from one hive don't try to "attack" a neighboring hive?
Yes, each hive has one queen, and the bees don't attack other hives. That's why you see them stacked alongside each other. In fact, you can take the brood, (or larva in the comb), and place it in another hive. The bees will accept them as their own. That's one way to build up a small hive. And if you have a bad queen, (she can be mean, making the worker bees mean, or not laying enough eggs, etc), you can replace her with another queen. If a hive loses a queen, a worker bee can lay an egg which will be tended and fed a special food to make that egg turn into a queen. All eggs that worker bees and queens come from are ferterlized eggs. A drone comes from an unferterlized egg and layed be a worker bee. A queen will fly out of the hive and mate with several drones in the air after she is born and will return to the hive and start laying eggs. She will lay an egg about once every 10 seconds and never have to be ferterlized again. She may live 3 years or so. And I can't spell ferterlize worth a darn. An average worker bee may fly 3 miles out from the hive to get nector or pollen. Sometimes further. The queen does not tell the workers what to do. All she does is lay eggs and set the hive's temperament. The workers figure out what's wrong in a hive and do what needs fixing. They all work together. The drones do nothing but eat and mate. They do not forage and cannot sting or protect the nest. When times get tough the workers kick many of the drones out and they starve. I think it is a more perfect society than us human beings have...I could go on...I am just fascinated with them, and have been all these years.
Now I have more time to follow my passions!
https://vimeo.com/64370008#

What can you add or corrrect Bams or Kraft?

Add to: money...To get started under $500 for a hive and accessories. Veil, etc. Cheaper if you can find used stuff. You need to buy the bees. About $100. After that, a hive will be much lower in cost and if you know what you are doing you can catch a free swarm or split colonies to make more. Here's the starter kit we got:
http://www.dadant.com/catalog/produc...roducts_id=827
The other hives I got are much cheaper, (from Mann Lake Bees), and come unassembled and unpainted. I would guess all together with plastic frames inside about $70 a hive(?), maybe less I haven't added it up. I just paid the money and got them. And once you have them, you will always have them.

Ya wanna give it a try? Spring's the time! We can give more links and advise. And there's bee forums, too!
http://www.beesource.com/forums/forum.php
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Old 02-19-2014, 02:03 PM   #15
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I took a beekeeping course in college and then my dad got into it. Had bees for probably 20 years. Amazing how the flavor can change from season to season and from year to year.
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Old 02-19-2014, 02:13 PM   #16
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How cool is that!

I have been thinking about getting into bee keeping. Have been watching the paper for announcements on local bee keeper clubs.

I'm surrounded by acres and acres of knapweed which I hear makes for good honey
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Old 02-19-2014, 05:15 PM   #17
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Redbugdave - Fascinating info. Thanks for posting all that.

As a kid, I used to love insects and bugs, and catching them. I had one of those clear plastic bug catcher things with a cone shaped thing on the top that you caught them in, then you could shake them down into a bigger thing at the bottom.

I'd catch dozens of bees, including some big bumblebees in the flowering bushes around our yard. Then, I'd take the thing to the middle of the yard, shake it up, and then take off the bottom of it, and they'd all come buzzing out. I don't remember ever getting stung, even though I'm sure I deserved it for pissing off all those poor bees

It's sad how they've declined over the years. I'm glad to read about more people getting into beekeeping. Hopefully the population will rebound over the years.
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Old 02-21-2014, 09:28 AM   #18
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The rest of my bee stuff came in. Several boxes, I nailed a few hives together while it rained this morning. Boy, it's nice to be retired! And it's nice to have puppy help when working on stuff. Painting all the stuff is next. The bees won't bee here for another month...
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Old 03-05-2014, 06:25 PM   #19
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Painting some of the hive bodies...
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Old 03-05-2014, 08:53 PM   #20
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We have a beehive in our back yard. It is purple, and it belongs to a guy who lives several streets away. He periodically comes by to tinker with it and occasionally we get to look in the hive while he is here. It is really quite fascinating to see. We enjoy having the bees about. I'm sure they help our tomatoes.
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