Bee keeping

Pinckney

Chirping
Dec 6, 2016
55
78
91
Pinckney, mi
I did bees 2 years ago. Lots of work and expensive ($500-600?)! I went to a local bee school to learn as I went. It’s pretty fascinating when you dive into your hive. Start with 2 hives as you will probably lose one- $150ish each, you can buy packages (kind of like a box of loose bees) or already in kind of a mini/box hive with frames. These sell out soon so you’ll need to find your source and pre-pay. My instructor did not recommend the top bar, but I think that may have been from an equipment perspective? Not sure why people think the traditional hive is fancy??? There are some wonderful traditional decorations different cultures have added to them-the Hungarians in particular.

If you can find an experienced bee keeper and work for them for a season you’ll not make the expensive mistakes most make.

There is a bee conference in Kalamazoo MI in February that is supposed to be really good. I think they may sell bees too? The supplier matters! My local feed store is selling bees now but no idea where they are from.
 

Ninjasquirrel

Crowing
May 11, 2018
1,812
4,332
286
Northwest Indiana
I'll bee ;) honest I haven't read the whole thread but I wanted to ask a question of all the beekeepers. I heard of an old victorian era custom and I was wondering if it still existed today: tell the bees! I read that if any important event such as a marriage, baby born, death etc. In the household you were supposed to tell the bees lest they leave or something horrible happens. Victorian people actually used to drape their bee hives because they were 'mourning'. Does anyone still practice this?
 

Birdinhand

Crowing
May 23, 2016
1,100
1,649
267
Pacific Northwest
went to my first puget sound bee keepers alliance meeting last week. I was told if I wanted to get into bees this year I should get an order in now for a "nucleus" an established queen and workers, which is said to have a higher success rate than ordering a queen separately and trying to combine it with a new set of workers. it was good timing, there were several local keepers taking orders at the meeting and lots of info. there are used set ups available that are much less expensive. I decided not to go with two hives and just take my chances with one for now. I've got a lot on my plate on our urban homestead already, 2 kids, 4-H, chickens, rabbits, reptiles, rodents... I'm planning to see how the first year goes, maybe even have enough success to share some queens next year with friends. I have some wonderful memories of my father and his bees. on my 10th birthday, he handed me a massive bit of honey comb and told me that if I wasn't scared, that they wouldn't sting me, so I took the big piece of comb and the bees crawled all over me. fortunately they didn't sting, though it was an epic experience. I want my kids to get exposed to some of these things even though we live in the burbs. being connected to life is a nice balance to all the screens in their lives.
 
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