Author Topic: Any beekeepers?  (Read 2217 times)

Offline tubercle

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Any beekeepers?
« on: November 16, 2009, 09:02:26 AM »
  Tubercle has got in his mind he is going to raise honey bees.

 All I know about them is what I have read online and watching youtube videos.

 I'm sure there is a lot to go wrong. Anybody got any experiences to share?
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Re: Any beekeepers?
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2009, 11:53:31 AM »
It hurts when they sting you.  :'(

Offline akr71

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Re: Any beekeepers?
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2009, 12:13:56 PM »
Family friends just got into the bee/honey business this year and didn't seem to stressed by the new sideline.  They are blueberry growers/harvesters (harvest other growers fruit who don't have the industrial harvesting equipment) and it was a natural extension of the business.  Now they don't have to rely on someone else to supply the beehives for pollenating the plants.

Sorry, I don't have anything relevant to add  ??? but I do have nearly 20lbs of honey waiting to be turned into mead  ;D
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Offline BrewArk

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Re: Any beekeepers?
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2009, 01:02:05 PM »
I looked into it a few years back (hopeful to get a free source of fermentables).  There are two downsides: 1) initial cost $100-$300 and 2) the fragility of the bees now.

By fragility I mean that there are two kinds of mites that have decimated almost ALL of the feral colonies, and in the last couple of years, something called "colony collapse disorder" that has an unknown origin where all the bees will sometimes just die over the winter.

Do your research before going down this path.  :'(
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Offline pinnah

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Re: Any beekeepers?
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2009, 01:57:06 PM »
I want to. I think bees are super cool...and to be able to harvest honey?
Awesome.


Had a swarm in the yard this spring, but I was not ready with a hive...dangit.
a beekeeper from down the road came and got it.
 
Are you going to build your own hives?

Offline tubercle

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Re: Any beekeepers?
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2009, 02:24:22 PM »
I have heard of the colony collapse disorder and that is one thing that got me thinking about this.


  Build my own hives? Don't know yet. I'm sure if I could if I knew the particulars. I am pretty sure plans could be found in cyberspace somewhere. Might be best (cheaper) to give it a shot.

 There is a place about 35 miles from here that sells bees and queens I just recently found out about. I need to go visit and see what I can learn.

  BTW, already got the go ahead from the Mrs. ;D
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Offline brandt99

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Re: Any beekeepers?
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2009, 09:05:15 PM »
Been keeping bees for about 7 yrs, mainly to make mead. It's cheaper and easier to buy hive boxes, but some things like feeders, escapes and others are better to build. CCD is mostly in the commercial arena caused by a combination of several factors. Backyard keepers mostly have to deal with normal things like varroa, nosema and tracial mites. It's a great hobby, but might be cheaper and easier to just buy honey from a reputable seller (local) if you just want mead and honey for brewing. Lots of info on the net and through local bee keeper groups.
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Offline dimik

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Re: Any beekeepers?
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2009, 09:16:12 PM »
Not to highjack the threat or anything, but do you beekeepers sell your wax?
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Offline mtbrewer

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Re: Any beekeepers?
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2009, 09:31:04 PM »
My folks have bees for their orchard. At the end of the season, the bee keeper comes and removes the bees, extracts the honey and gives them a percentage. The orchard has benefited greatly, and the honey is awesome. I hear it is a real process to extract the honey from the hive. I would get in touch with a local apiary and see what they can do for you.

Offline tubercle

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Re: Any beekeepers?
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2009, 06:15:14 AM »
Been keeping bees for about 7 yrs, mainly to make mead. It's cheaper and easier to buy hive boxes, but some things like feeders, escapes and others are better to build. CCD is mostly in the commercial arena caused by a combination of several factors. Backyard keepers mostly have to deal with normal things like varroa, nosema and tracial mites. It's a great hobby, but might be cheaper and easier to just buy honey from a reputable seller (local) if you just want mead and honey for brewing. Lots of info on the net and through local bee keeper groups.

 I agree its probably cheaper to buy honey for mead and other home uses. I just want to raise them as a hobby. I would probably give the honey away like all the wine I make every year. I just do it for the enjoyment.

  I live out in the boonies with thousands of acres of cultivated land in all directions so there is plenty of pollen to be had.

  Thanks for the replies and advice. We'll see what happens.

  I guess it would be best to start a colony in the spring?
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Offline scottyb

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Re: Any beekeepers?
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2009, 01:25:15 PM »
You should find your local bee keeper organization, they often sponsor what is called a "short course" for folks who are thinking about keeping bees.  These usually happen late winter/early spring in time for the upcoming season.  There is a lot to learn, most importantly about mites/dieases and how to treat the bees for them.

I took a short course a few years ago but then found out that I have a female black bear with a den less than 1/4 mile from my back yard where I would put my hives.  Needless to say I am putting the bees off for now.
 
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Offline 1vertical

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Re: Any beekeepers?
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2009, 08:42:13 AM »
I kept em for some years Tuber...and winters up here are brutal.  After losing hives, and having to replace the residents...

I learned that it is a lot less work to take the hive replacement money down to the local guy that does it for a living and

#1. Purchase fresh local honey...

So...It is a lot of work to keep bees
It is even more work to keep bees properly to where they are happy and productive for you
It is tough to harvest and you will want/need specialized equipment
It is hard to clean up after your harvest
It has it's rewards knowing that you Can accomplish the task...however I recommend that you
See #1 Above...
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Offline punatic

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Re: Any beekeepers?
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2010, 07:12:34 PM »
I kept em for some years Tuber...and winters up here are brutal.  After losing hives, and having to replace the residents...

I learned that it is a lot less work to take the hive replacement money down to the local guy that does it for a living and

#1. Purchase fresh local honey...

So...It is a lot of work to keep bees
It is even more work to keep bees properly to where they are happy and productive for you
It is tough to harvest and you will want/need specialized equipment
It is hard to clean up after your harvest
It has it's rewards knowing that you Can accomplish the task...however I recommend that you
See #1 Above...

Late to the party again but,
With a bit of editing I'd like to make a point about beekeeping as a hobby...

I learned that it is a lot less work to take the beer replacement money down to the local guy that does it for a living and

#1. Purchase fresh local beer...

So...It is a lot of work to brew beer
It is even more work to keep yeast cultures properly to where they are happy and productive for you
It is tough to brew beer and you will want/need specialized equipment
It is hard to clean up after you brew beer
It has it's rewards knowing that you Can accomplish the task...however I recommend that you
See #1 Above...

I am a beekeeper in Hawaii.  Out of all of my hobbies, beekeeping gives me the most enjoyment.  It's kind of like keeping salt water aquariums, except you can't make mead with aquarium water .

The best part about beekeeping for me is my "girls" help me to see what's happening in nature; they make me aware of things I didn't notice before they came to live with me.  They really keep me in tune with the rhythm of the seasons.
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Offline capozzoli

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Re: Any beekeepers?
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2010, 04:26:55 AM »
OK Im officially gonna stop reading these threads cause I am by nature a copy cat and there just isn't enough time in the day.
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Offline phillamb168

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Re: Any beekeepers?
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2010, 04:39:51 AM »
OK Im officially gonna stop reading these threads cause I am by nature a copy cat and there just isn't enough time in the day.

+1

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