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Author Topic: Bee Keeping .  (Read 4436 times)

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Offline Firewoodtroll-

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Bee Keeping .
« on: July 28, 2011, 11:16:48 AM »
 Hello all,

      I would like to be a bee keeper and produce some honey,what do I need to start with and
          how much would I need to invest at first ? I have wanted to do this for a long time. I am
      thinking 4 hive houses,a bee suit,a smoke tool, and what else ?and is this something hard to do ?
          Do I need to purchase a Queen bee to draw native honey bees ? I have a open field about
       3 acres in size filled with clover and apple trees near by.Thank you.

                                                  Paul  :)
Those That Perfer Safety OVER FREEDOM Deserve Neither.

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Offline Tom

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Re: Bee Keeping .
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2011, 11:27:31 AM »
Paul, buy a book!!!!   Dadant used to have a good one.

To start, one hive is sufficient, but you will enjoy two better.  It won't be long before you will be splitting hives and creating new ones.  You can make the Supers, floors and tops or buy kits.

You will need foundation, a heater to mount the foundations, and all the tools asoociated with it.

You will benefit by visiting a library and should really start by hanging around an experienced Bee Keeper.  You have to Keep bees, not raise them.  You have to be there when they want something done. 

http://www.dadant.com/
http://www.kelleybees.com/CMS/CMSPage.aspx?organizationId=3&pageName=default


http://www.beekeepingstarterkit.com/

lots of info if you Google Honey Bee Equipment

You won't get bees by putting out a box and have some appear.   You buy a nook of bees.  It's a little hive.  Or, you can capture a swarm and hope they stay with you.   I favor buying the nook or hive and then propagating them from that.
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Offline Reddog

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Re: Bee Keeping .
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2011, 12:49:20 PM »
http://agnic.msu.edu/hgpubs/modus/00000158.htm

Marquette County Extension
184 U.S. Highway 41 East
Negaunee, Michigan
49866
United States

Email Address: msue52@msu.edu
Phone: 906-475-5731
Fax: 906-475-4940

Offline Autocar

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Re: Bee Keeping .
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2011, 02:18:33 PM »
Tom what do you mean when you talked about a heater ? Something to keep them from fezzeing solid in the winter ? Bees in my part of the country is hard to find all the older fellows are dying off and the bees just disappeare not sure who or where they go. I would like a hive at my place but the native bees here in trees are almost a thing of the past with that mite that kills them.
Bill

Offline Reddog

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Re: Bee Keeping .
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2011, 03:10:32 PM »
Not only is the mite hard on a colony, current farming practice is worse. If you have soy beans planted with in a few miles your hives will be hard pressed to survive.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pesticide_toxicity_to_bees

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colony_collapse_disorder

Offline chain

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Re: Bee Keeping .
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2011, 03:36:12 PM »
Would be of great benefit if you had a mentor because just like practically anything else that needs management you need experience, especially beekeeping.

There should be  a few beekeepers in your locality, most, I bet,  would be more than willing to get you started and may have spare equipment to help your  budget out the first couple of years. Do plenty of  :P.

I began in highschool with a observation hive, a two sided- glassed wooden box that held one foundation frame or brood frame. My FFA teacher was one of the best apiculturists around these parts, he donated to me a thousand or so bees and the brood frame of which contained the queen egg and worker larvae.

 Probably the most satisfying hobby I've ever developed, watching the queen come out and workers surround her and do their little dances and feeding the eggs. The bees traveled through a clear tube bout 1/2" dia.X 3' that led off from the hive and through the window frame, the hive was actually inside our glassed-in front porch at mother's house. Outside I affixed a small wooden landing tray at the entrance of the tube; it was amazing to watch the workers traveling to and fro, those coming in with golden or orange-yellow pollen balls on their legs, others with nectar. You will love the hobby, but do it right.

The good 'ol U.S. Army ended  my bee keeping yet, in our forest farm, I've managed to find two bee trees and here on our crop-farm we allow a apiculturist to station his hives throughout the summer on our field borders, then he pulls them[some 150 hive boxes] and moves them to Florida each winter....oh, to be a honeybee! :)

Offline Tom

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Re: Bee Keeping .
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2011, 03:48:48 PM »
Heater for the foundation.

There is a tool made that generates a small electric current through the wires on a frame to heat it enough that the foundation is melted just enough to stick to it and hold the wax in the frame.

You can make one very easily by using the output of one of these small utensil battery chargers or transformer/rectifiers that create DC output in the milli-amps and attach it to opposite ends of the frame wire through a switch or just manually touch it.

There are special tools like this associated with Bee Keeping that are derived from other tools.  One is the Hive tool.  A Beekeeper should keep one within reach all of the time.  It is nothing more than a scraping tool used by carpenters too.   It is about 10" long, has a 90° scraping edge on one end, a straight scraping/prying edge on the other and hole in the handle for pulling nails.

Nails used in Beekeeping equipment are special.  They are thinner than normal nails and of differently varying lengths.

Hammers used for maintenance are your regular claw hammer and the small "tack" hammer.  Some have a magnetic end for setting the nail or tack.

Wax foundation is usually purchased, but you can melt your bee wax and sell it back to the people who make foundation.

One or two hives will make more honey than you can eat.  It makes good presents for customers though.  If you get as many as ten, or more, hives, you will need some way of getting the honey from the comb.  There are machines made that will do that. (Extractors)   You will also be looking at filling 50 gallon drums with honey.  So, you might look into the proximity of a honey bulk house, wholesaler, who will buy your honey by the pound.
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Offline chain

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Re: Bee Keeping .
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2011, 03:58:51 PM »
Not only is the mite hard on a colony, current farming practice is worse. If you have soy beans planted with in a few miles your hives will be hard pressed to survive.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pesticide_toxicity_to_bees

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colony_collapse_disorder

Cotton insecticide did in my last remaining beehives. I remember the airplane spraying for boll worms one morning and I nearly ran to my hives that were located in a small grove of trees adjacent to the field. Worker bees that had been out in the cotton blooms began coming in ..crash landing and out of control, some made it into the hives but the next morning thousands and thousands lay dead outside the hives as the worker-bees not affected by the spray drug them out to clean the hive.

We have laws now to protect bees from the spraying of agriculture fields near hives. Most hives here now are near soybean fields.

The worst honey bee disaster I ever saw was about one hundred hives with supers go up in flames...blue flames.. as the wax and honey burned hot, the bees[possibly a million or more] actually formed a small tornado above just upwind to try pulling the fire away. Complete loss.

Offline Norm

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Re: Bee Keeping .
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2011, 04:49:35 PM »
We routinely have a local bee keeper set his hives near our soybean fields. If we are going to spray for soybean aphids we do it early in the morning to lesson the accidental loss of bees. This is the only insecticide that is sprayed around here anymore and is pyrethrum based.

Online thecfarm

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Re: Bee Keeping .
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2011, 07:15:39 AM »
I had a guy that wanted to set a hive up here. He wanted me to get into it. I have way too much going on here to get started with bees. Must be someone close by to help out. This guy would of gladly helped you.
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Offline WildDog

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Re: Bee Keeping .
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2011, 06:12:56 PM »
It would be a rewarding hobby, we have an apiarist that drops us in tubs of honey if we don't allow others to run  bees on our farm. Our livestock guardian dogs put a stop to others putting bees on this place anyway.

Bees are big business in our area. At work we have 100's of miles of Livestock Travelling Stock Routes that have bee/apiary sites marked every mile and a half, each year the bee guys pay $75 a site to renew their permits. Most times we have no dramas, occassionally someone encroaches on anothers site or sets up near a gateway where the drovers want to lock cattle up for the night....Bees and sweating horses don't mix well ;) 

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Re: Bee Keeping .
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2011, 09:39:42 PM »
I, too, am interested in obtaining some bee hives.  I am not interested in the work.  Maybe a small amount of honey would be nice. ;)  I am hopeful that I can find a bekeeper that wants to expand his holdings, using my land and his effort to help replenish the honeybee population.
My father once said, "This is my son who wanted to grow up and become a doctor.  So far, he's only become a doctor."

Offline Jeff

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Re: Bee Keeping .
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2011, 09:50:21 PM »
We will have some honey in our door prizes at the pigroast. My Physical Therapist is a bee keeper. He is also the son of a forester.
Just call me the midget doctor.
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Re: Bee Keeping .
« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2011, 09:53:09 PM »
No wonder your shoulder is doing so poorly! ;D ;)    Kidding.......just Kidding!
My father once said, "This is my son who wanted to grow up and become a doctor.  So far, he's only become a doctor."

Offline Patty

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Re: Bee Keeping .
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2011, 09:12:16 AM »
The guy who set up the hives on our place is just getting started in bee keeping. I see his hives on several farms in the area. He said the bees will travel about 2 miles to collect pollen. On our place the hives are set on the edge of an alfalfa field, next to the cemetery, and across from the neighbors corn field. Next year that corn will be soy beans, so I am curious as to whether he will move the hives or not. He joked that the cemetery was perfect for the constant supply of fresh flowers.  :)

His honey is like none I have ever tasted, it is so sweet and mild. The honey I am used to often has a bite to it, and is not so sweet.

I love having the bees on our place. So far they have not bothered us at all, and I am always out in the garden, or among the fruit trees, or messing around in the flower beds.
Women are Angels.
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We are flexible like that.

Offline chain

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Re: Bee Keeping .
« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2011, 10:48:41 AM »
At times during the summer, especially in heat-drouth cycles, bees will come out and search for water if not available around their hives. We've had trouble with bees in our dogs water bucket, also around someone's swimming pool and such.

My mentor always searched out the clover and alfalfa fields as he felt the honey was clearer, lighter, and more mild tasting.. there he placed his hives. But now, our resident beekeeper has most of his hives near the soybean fields and levees; I'll testify the soybean honey is a very rich tasting, dark golden honey. We love it, great for basting ribs, or substitute for sugar.

We ordered some 'stingless' bees way back when Sears-Roebuck handled orders for bees. The thing about those stingless they are actually a very lazy non-agressive type honey bee; therefore, they would never make much excess honey. One year about the fourth year we had them they suddenly became very aggressive and would come out and attack anything within 30' or so. I moved them to an isolated area, but I asked our 'pro' about them, he stated that the hive became weak and probably lost the queens of that particular line of bees and mixed with some of the wilder bees in the area. Ouch!

Offline Patty

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Re: Bee Keeping .
« Reply #16 on: July 30, 2011, 01:23:53 PM »
This morning while in the garden I noticed the little honey bees all over our watermelon vines' flowers. That should make for some interesting honey!

The bees use our pond for water. The bee guy says they love to be near a good water source, just as Chain said.
Women are Angels.
And when someone breaks our wings....
We simply continue to fly ........
on a broomstick.....
We are flexible like that.

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Bee Keeping .
« Reply #17 on: July 30, 2011, 03:26:17 PM »
I buy 1 kg tubs of it in the store, but it comes from a keeper in Moncton,NB. My cousin also kept bees for years. I use honey on cereal and in my herbal tea and my bread making. Good stuff. :)

I had an experience a couple years back where I had to eradicate a bunch from my chimney, right near the top of it. Yup honey combed hive was built on the inside wall of the flu. Smoked bee and honey anyone? ;) Got no idea where they came from, had to be a bunch of escapees. No one keeps them around my area anymore.
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Offline chain

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Re: Bee Keeping .
« Reply #18 on: July 31, 2011, 03:15:12 PM »
Don't forget! Get some honey for you medicine cabinet; according to a study in the "Archives of Surgery" is found that honey[the bee kind] is capable of destroying almost all strains of most common wound-infecting bacteria!

Always heard beestings aided healing of arthritic joints...I'm gonna have to hurt a little bit more before I try that remedy! :o

Offline Patty

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Re: Bee Keeping .
« Reply #19 on: July 31, 2011, 03:30:13 PM »
Yesterday the neighbor with the corn patch across from the bee hives had his field sprayed for fungus with a spray plane. I am real curious to see if the spray drift will affect the bees in any way.
Women are Angels.
And when someone breaks our wings....
We simply continue to fly ........
on a broomstick.....
We are flexible like that.


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