Bee keeping, I have questions

chickenlittle21

Dakota the witch dog
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So I might start keeping bees, not for the honey, but to keep bees from going extinct. I want keep bees like this, so first question: where do I find the special boxes where you only harvest some of the honey? Second question: where do I get all the stuff for bee keeping and what do I need? An other tips and advice is appreciated!
 

ConnieA

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Mar 9, 2015
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So I might start keeping bees, not for the honey, but to keep bees from going extinct. I want keep bees like this, so first question: where do I find the special boxes where you only harvest some of the honey? Second question: where do I get all the stuff for bee keeping and what do I need? An other tips and advice is appreciated!
Depends on where you are. We have a local beekeepers supply store, but our local Orscheln farm store has also started selling beekeeping supplies. Otherwise, most supplies and bees are sold online.

You might try to find a local bee club. Most are no-cost to join, and have lots of beekeepers who are generous with their time and advice.

The American Beekeeping Journal has a list of state associations that might help you find a local group.
https://americanbeejournal.com/tiposlinks/beekeeping-associations/

Good luck! I have found beekeeping a very enjoyable hobby.
 

CluckerFamily

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Feb 14, 2016
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We have a farm store up here and Tractor Supply has supplies.
I would some day love to be a bee keeper.
For now, my mission is to make my 2 acre yard all perennials. I'm a quarter of the way there :D I had an amazing find last summer, a bumble bee hive in my yard! That was neat to watch!
 

MarkJr

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If you’re into housing bees and not so much producing honey, look into horizontal top bar hives. They can be built on a budget and allow you to remove bars of honey and brood if/when needed.

These days of letting bees be bees (lost me at vegan beekeeping in the article) isn’t very feasible. Varroa Distructor (Varroa mite) has to be knocked down to keep the colony alive. My go to is a natural acid found in rhubarb, kale and other bitter leafy greens. Oxalic acid is heated up and the vapor is permeated through the colony. Not easy on bees. But not deadly either. Done right, there’s very little colony loss.

I treat right before honey flow in spring. 3 treatments 7 days apart. Then treat again in fall dearth as they are kicking out drones.
 

MarkJr

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I would also advise to not keep bees unless you intend to treat AS NEEDED. I have one out yard that doesn’t seem to have a wild bee population around it. I have had zero mite counts for four years at that location. I still alcohol wash each colony at that yard twice a year to look, but haven’t found any.

Drones are the spreaders between colonies. You have varroa, then your varroa infested drones can (and do) visit colonies within 2-2.5 miles of parent colony. Mite hops off, starts laying eggs. Circle just got bigger.
 

MarkJr

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Further, I suffered through that article.

Bees don’t ‘work themselves to death’ because they have such a huge hive to fill. Bees just work. During the busy times, bees life can be as short as 5-6 weeks total. During dearth and winter, it can be 3-5 months. If they don’t have enough room in their current box, they split themselves and swarm. It’s the honey bees way of spreading their genetics. When you steal their byproducts, you are in fact suppressing their ability to procreate.

Steal their honey, give them too much room, or let them swarm as is their natural tendency..... the lifespan doesn’t change.
 

chickenlittle21

Dakota the witch dog
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Further, I suffered through that article.

Bees don’t ‘work themselves to death’ because they have such a huge hive to fill. Bees just work. During the busy times, bees life can be as short as 5-6 weeks total. During dearth and winter, it can be 3-5 months. If they don’t have enough room in their current box, they split themselves and swarm. It’s the honey bees way of spreading their genetics. When you steal their byproducts, you are in fact suppressing their ability to procreate.

Steal their honey, give them too much room, or let them swarm as is their natural tendency..... the lifespan doesn’t change.
We have a farm store up here and Tractor Supply has supplies.
I would some day love to be a bee keeper.
For now, my mission is to make my 2 acre yard all perennials. I'm a quarter of the way there :D I had an amazing find last summer, a bumble bee hive in my yard! That was neat to watch!
Depends on where you are. We have a local beekeepers supply store, but our local Orscheln farm store has also started selling beekeeping supplies. Otherwise, most supplies and bees are sold online.

You might try to find a local bee club. Most are no-cost to join, and have lots of beekeepers who are generous with their time and advice.

The American Beekeeping Journal has a list of state associations that might help you find a local group.
https://americanbeejournal.com/tiposlinks/beekeeping-associations/

Good luck! I have found beekeeping a very enjoyable hobby.
Thanks everyone! I have a couple more questions: what type of bees do I get and where/how do I get them? Also, I live in Florida, so will the hot weather all year long affect the bees?
 

MarkJr

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Local swarms are going to be your most hardy. They are familiar enough with the climate to be efficient enough to pack away enough stores to swarm.

Second best is a local person selling nucs or packages.

Last option is ordering package by mail. Try to order from someone who’s climate is as close to yours as possible.

If you’re paying money for non local bees, make it easy ones to deal with to start. Carniolan or Italians will do nicely.
 

MarkJr

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The hot weather all the time won’t be an issue for the bees. Growing and dearth cycles will be learned and the bees and beekeeper will adjust to the local-to-hive environment.
 

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