Any Bee Keepers out there?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Dragonfly Ranch, Dec 17, 2009.

  1. Dragonfly Ranch

    Dragonfly Ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2009
    Happy Valley, CA
    Each year we try and add another farm project. This year we decided on bees. Husband got bee hives and set-up yesterday (Christmas present). We have 6# of bees/queens on reserve for April and will be doing two hives. So just wondering if there is any other bee keepers out there to ofter your advice and experiences. FYI -We live in Northern California, on 8 acres with a pond, fruit trees and berry patch.

    Sandee
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2009
  2. SamG347

    SamG347 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 4, 2007
    PA
    Did you say bee-keepers? About time someone start up another honey bee thread. I'm also a beek and you can see some pics and learn more about my apiary if you got to my website.
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  3. Dragonfly Ranch

    Dragonfly Ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2009
    Happy Valley, CA
    Sam

    Very nice website and nicely written articles. We are excited to get started this spring. We did buy a suit (guess we are chicken) and have ordered Italian Queens since we are told that they are not as cranky as some of the other breeds. We are trying to think of where to put the hives. We have an open pasture at the front of the property but have some reservations since it is closer to the road and don't want the hives to go missing. So may put them in the berry patch where they would be out of site.

    Look forward to chatting with you about our bees when we get them.

    Sandee
     
  4. herefordlovinglady

    herefordlovinglady It Is What It Is

    Jun 23, 2009
    Georgia
    I hope one day to explore having bees. I think it is so interesting.
     
  5. SamG347

    SamG347 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 4, 2007
    PA
    Put the hives where they will get as much sun as possible. A little afternoon/evening shade is fine though too. Italians are known for their gentleness...but it really isn't so much the breed as it is the individual queen. Since you got them from a package supplier there is a good chance they could be the best queens for every trait. Or the complete opposite. I have worked with gentle placid Italians like mine. And what many would consider mean/aggressive Italians like a lady I know who I help wuith her hive. I really don't work with pure strain bees though. I'm working on Survivor Stock bees so the queens are a mix of whatever is floating around. I find these usually though to be some of the best. They are very mite resistant, gentle, and good honey producers. I keep right now all natural comb. But will be adding wax foundation into the mix next year. Since I'm adding some Langstroth hives mostly just for the ease of Queen rearing...and honey production. I still will never treat any of my hives with chemicals and only add supplemental feed in terms of sugar syrup when needed.
    Good Luck beekeeping is a fun hobby/buisness and I feel like I learn something every day.
    Learning to read your hive will be the biggest step for you. But once you do everyime to get into the hive will be easier and easier. You have to move more like a liquid with slow but smooth steps.
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  6. SamG347

    SamG347 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 4, 2007
    PA
    And I don't consider anyone chicken who uses a Bee suit. It is all about personal preferance. People see that I don't wear and suit and their first question is always how many times have you been stung. This year was 9-10 times. Each time I blame myself not the bees. They know if they sting you they will die...so with each sting I look for what I could do differently to avoid the situation and consider it more of a learning moment then a painful one.
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  7. Dragonfly Ranch

    Dragonfly Ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2009
    Happy Valley, CA
    Sam

    What you do about mites? Like you I would like to not use any chemicals. The person we are getting bees from suggested that we put our bees on a stand since we have a lot of ants on our property. Is there a favorite reference book that you could recommend.

    Sandee
     
  8. biddyboo

    biddyboo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 27, 2008
    Ashland, Missouri
    We used to keep bees, had twelve hives at one time, some on our small acreage and others on some farmland nearby. Your set up with pond, berries, and so on sounds grand for bees. We had to end our bee keeping when our eldest son who did most of the keeping became extremely allergic to the bees' stings, requiring medical intervention to avoid seizure. We hated to see them go, but his wellbeing made it necessary. We are still fascinated by all things bees. You'll find many informational books to guide you in your new undertaking, but wonderful insightful reads are two by Sue Hubbell : A Country Year: living the questions and A Book of Bees. You'll see bee keeping in an almost philosophical way after reading these, and you'll learn lots more about the natural world as well. We envy you your journey into the world of bees-best wishes and may you enjoy time spent with the tiny creatures and savor their sweet honey for many years to come. ~G
     
  9. poultryhaven

    poultryhaven Addicted to Seramas!

    Jan 19, 2009
    Ocala, FL
    Ok I have a question, I live in the city( not realy a major city but just near houses and i live on like 1/2 an acre) Would it be a bad idea to raise bees here? Also, would the bees bother my chickens, dogs or birds? I really like the idea of raising the bees but am extremely nervous to do it where there is people around [​IMG]
     
  10. Reinbeau

    Reinbeau The Teapot Underground Premium Member

    There are many beekeepers here on BYC, we've got hives in three locations. We did quite well with the honey harvest this season, almost 500 pounds from six hives - doesn't sound like much but this was a terrible season and most around here didn't get enough to pull!

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    We use no heat to extract, and filter minimally. It is delicious stuff!
     

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