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Thread: Starting a Bee colony / hive ??

  1. #1
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    Default Starting a Bee colony / hive ??

    Seems like a good place to as, lots of varied knowledge here, so ...

    I have been thinking over the last couple of years that I want to establish a hive or colony of bees in the back yard. Give them lots of food, with my yard and the others nearby, and a safe place to do their thing.

    Anyone here have any recommendations / wisdom on how to go about this?
     

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    Default Re: Starting a Bee colony / hive ??

    No...but...one of our neighbors has a hive located against their house. It is alot less work than I thought and you'll have alot of new friends. The local honey is insanely good.

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    Default Re: Starting a Bee colony / hive ??

    Quote Originally Posted by TMB View Post
    Seems like a good place to as, lots of varied knowledge here, so ...

    I have been thinking over the last couple of years that I want to establish a hive or colony of bees in the back yard. Give them lots of food, with my yard and the others nearby, and a safe place to do their thing.

    Anyone here have any recommendations / wisdom on how to go about this?
    My dad's been a beekeeper for about 30 years. Look for local experts willing to help. It's really helpful to be able to watch someone do it in front of you. See one/do one/teach one!
     

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    Default Re: Starting a Bee colony / hive ??

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Tall View Post
    The local honey is insanely good.
    This is the truth. We had a bee problem at my last house and a local bee keeper came to take the colony. I thought I was going to have to pay for a removal service and instead he gave us a bunch of honey as a thank you for all the bees he got. That honey was so insanely good. It's now one of my favorite foods/snacks/condiments and we always have some around.
     

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    Default Re: Starting a Bee colony / hive ??

    To be honest the honey wasn't even the driving force in my thinking, it was more along the lines of everything in the garden will do better and we keep hearing about problems in bee populations, etc....

    There is a local honey producer about a mile where I live and I suspect if I went and talked to them they would look after that end of it. This is where I buy all my honey, and I buy a lot of it.

    I don't get the grocery store honey thing, sure it tastes good but the more local the honey you consume, the better it does at keeping allergies and sensitivities at bay. At least so I have been told, and the local honey is really good, so I choose to believe it.
     

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    Default Re: Starting a Bee colony / hive ??

    See if there's an advocacy group in your area like these folks. My uncle is a beekeeper and my middle kid has been working with him over Summer breaks. Pretty fascinating if you ask me and the beekeeping community always seems to look out for each other.

    Burgh Bees
    rw saunders
    everything is connected

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    Default Re: Starting a Bee colony / hive ??

    So I really know nothing about it, and have no interest in doing this myself, but I remember seeing something on FB about a system where you could harvest the honey without disturbing the bees, and you didn't have to suit up or anything. Something on the outside of the hive that you cranked over and it broke the grid where the bees deposit the honey, then after it was harvested, you crank it back and they start over...
    DT

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    Default Re: Starting a Bee colony / hive ??

    New threats to honeybees put U.S. food supply at risk | Star Tribune


    Bees at the Brink
    4 part series the Minneapolis Star Tribune ran earlier this year. It is fascinating how modern agriculture is a desert of green
     

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    Default Re: Starting a Bee colony / hive ??

    If your state has a agricultural university extension service, they can hook you up. Beekeepers are generally enthusiastic about sharing what the know. Most states have a beekeepers association. Some of these are very commercial, but most have outreach programs. Also, there are a ton of local beekeeping clubs around the country. Some states have a state Apiariest office.

    Bees are awesome. My HS Latin teacher kept them in his house. Ive been threatening to add a hive now that we have enough shade.

    Nick

    “If today is not your day,
    then be happy
    for this day shall never return.
    And if today is your day,
    then be happy now
    for this day shall never return.”
    ― Kamand Kojouri

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    Default Re: Starting a Bee colony / hive ??

    Quote Originally Posted by David Tollefson View Post
    So I really know nothing about it, and have no interest in doing this myself, but I remember seeing something on FB about a system where you could harvest the honey without disturbing the bees, and you didn't have to suit up or anything. Something on the outside of the hive that you cranked over and it broke the grid where the bees deposit the honey, then after it was harvested, you crank it back and they start over...
    You are describing a recent Australian invention that went gangbusters on one of the crowdfunding sites*. It's called the Flow Hive.

    *They put a target of $70k which they reached in under eight minutes, eventually raised close to $10M.

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    Default Re: Starting a Bee colony / hive ??

    Also check with some of the local producers to see if they would place a hive on your property. My Dad had someone put a hive on his place. All the benefits of having bees plus he gets free honey a couple times a year.
    Frank Beshears

    The gentlest thing in the world
    overcomes the hardest thing in the world.

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    Default Re: Starting a Bee colony / hive ??

    Quote Originally Posted by TMB View Post
    Anyone here have any recommendations / wisdom on how to go about this?
    My family have been commercial beekeepers since right after WWII. I might be able to answer some specific questions as they come up, but generally I think we do things so much differently than hobbyists that some stuff just doesn't translate.

    I think the suggestion to see if a local hobbyist would mentor you a bit is good. There's no substitute for seeing it done. I'd also want to find out what bees are best for your climate before buying a package.

    For reading, The Hive and the Honeybee is a classic. I'd guess places like Mann Lake and Weaver's have other how-to books.

    Good luck!
     

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    Default Re: Starting a Bee colony / hive ??

    TMB, where are you located? My grandfathers on both sides were Beekeepers, they were friends and usually kept 50-60 hives between them. Pap, passed away 2 years ago and I still have most everything. I have donated/traded away about half the boxes and still have 30 or so.

    If you look at the Epicurean thread, you may have seen our garden. We also have a decent little orchard. We have a neighbor that takes care of 3 hives here. I guess we share them, however she does all the work. The bees keep my plants/trees producing noticeably so much better. The honey is just a sweet reward.!!

    I would love the idea of beekeeping myself, but with so many other responsibilities, I am lazy as shit about it and let her and the bees do the work.

    I have some knowledge, am no true Apiarist but could answer some simple stuff.
    ‘The Earth is not dying, it is being killed, and those that are killing it have names and addresses-‘ Utah Phillips

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    Default Re: Starting a Bee colony / hive ??

    Also, my buddy and long time bicycle racing compadre Jim is a beekeeper in nashville. He built a glass hive that comes into his living room. It is the most bad ass thing.! He can sit in his chair and watch bees do the thing. He basically cut a hole in his wall and put a glass cube.
    ‘The Earth is not dying, it is being killed, and those that are killing it have names and addresses-‘ Utah Phillips

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    Default Re: Starting a Bee colony / hive ??

    Quote Originally Posted by rowdyhillrambler View Post
    Also, my buddy and long time bicycle racing compadre Jim is a beekeeper in nashville. He built a glass hive that comes into his living room. It is the most bad ass thing.! He can sit in his chair and watch bees do the thing. He basically cut a hole in his wall and put a glass cube.
    That must be so effing cool.
     

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    Default Re: Starting a Bee colony / hive ??

    Or, if you really want to see what's going on, build one of these. (but not stone throwing allowed inside)

    I also found some where they have a tube that leads from the outside of the house to the hive area. I assume these guys did something similar, but they don't seem to show the passageway.


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    Default Re: Starting a Bee colony / hive ??

    If you are ever in Beechworth, VIC, the local honey producer has one of these in the middle of their shop. Well worth a visit.

    While you are there, make sure you ride the Beechworth / Myrtleford / back of Stanley / Beechworth loop and have a beer at the brewery afterwards.

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    Default Re: Starting a Bee colony / hive ??

    Quote Originally Posted by rowdyhillrambler View Post
    TMB, where are you located? My grandfathers on both sides were Beekeepers, they were friends and usually kept 50-60 hives between them. Pap, passed away 2 years ago and I still have most everything. I have donated/traded away about half the boxes and still have 30 or so.

    If you look at the Epicurean thread, you may have seen our garden. We also have a decent little orchard. We have a neighbor that takes care of 3 hives here. I guess we share them, however she does all the work. The bees keep my plants/trees producing noticeably so much better. The honey is just a sweet reward.!!

    I would love the idea of beekeeping myself, but with so many other responsibilities, I am lazy as shit about it and let her and the bees do the work.

    I have some knowledge, am no true Apiarist but could answer some simple stuff.
    I am in southern British Columbia, it's a mountain desert climate here.

    Have got in touch with he local honey producer where I buy my honey (about a mile and a half away) and am meeting with them next week.

    She is going to help through the start up and make sure I get the hive positioned properly and learn what I need to learn. I have told her she can have whatever honey is produced, I just want to give some of the little guys a home.

    This should be fun.
     

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    Default Re: Starting a Bee colony / hive ??

    When you finally get your bees, you have to name them.
     

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    Default Re: Starting a Bee colony / hive ??

    My dad kept bees and you do need to keep an eye on them and add boxes or take honey because if they think they're running out of room they'll make a second queen and swarm. One time I spent the better part of a morning squirting a big ball of bees with water so they wouldn't fly off from the tree they stopped on while my dad hurriedly built up another hive from scratch. It is cool brushing a bunch of bees into a box and it is totally random until you get the queen and then they all just go woosh in there and ball up again.
     

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