honey bees?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by amazondoc, Apr 15, 2008.

  1. amazondoc

    amazondoc Cracked Egghead

    Mar 31, 2008
    Lebanon, TN
    Hey all --

    I noticed in another thread that at least a few BYCers have bees.

    I've been thinking of getting a hive myself, now that I'll have land for it. BUT I don't know much about beekeeping.

    I know the very bare-root essentials about the hive and harvesting the honey. But, overall throughout the year, how much work does it take? I'm not afraid of bees or getting stung, so that isn't an issue.

    Thanks for any input!
  2. GwenFarms

    GwenFarms Songster

    Feb 26, 2008
    There is a book called "Beekeeping for Dummies". Yes, I know that most of the "for Dummies" books are jokes, but this one is actually invaluable. All you have to do is look around onlike at beemasters' sites and you will see its the #1 recommended book.

    We don't have our hive yet either, but we are preparing for it. You will also want to check with your local extension. Bee clubs and groups meet frequently, even in very rural areas, and they always welcome folks to come in and learn more. Look around at your local stores and copy down who is growing the home grown honey. You can give them a call and, I"m sure, you'll get an invite to come out and check things out.

    If you are going to get bees you need to be aware that pesticides, including organics like DE, will destroy your hive. If you have nearby crop dusting, or neighbors that won't be willing to work with you, you might have to rethink things. You will also want to talk things out with your neighbors and let them know your bringing in bees. You'll most likely have to tell them the benefits of having bees and ease their fears.

    There are some good sites online I'll try to look up later and link to for you.
  3. Reinbeau

    Reinbeau The Teapot Underground

    The Dummies book is actually a very good book for beginners! Also check into a local beekeeping club, you can learn a lot and gain a mentor. Check the =http://www.tnbeekeepers.org/locals.htmTennessee Beekeepers Assocation website for a club near you.

    The cover picture on Beekeeping for Dummies was shot by the guy who runs the Beemaster forums, one of the best places to learn and share all about beekeeping. I've posted in the Farming and Country Life forum many times about BYC, and so have others - no competition there, so I hope this link is ok.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2008
  4. seismic wonder2

    seismic wonder2 I got mad ninja skills

    Feb 3, 2007
    san diego ca
    Growing up in Alabama, my Dad had lots of bees, I was responsible for 10 hives behind the house.

    Once everything is set up and the hives are established, not much work is envolved day to day.

    You should keep the area around the hives clean and cut down any weeds etc. regularly.

    Youll open the hive to check for pests often, I'd say weekly more or less.
    We had a rule, at the first sign of disease, burn the hive. Don't mess around with mites, or brood rot or anything. It can spread from hive to hive faster than you think. DO NOT buy used equipment from ANYONE!!!EVER!!!.

    Never EVER work with your bees without full body protective gear!!!! Your bees will have moods. Some good days some bad. If they are in a bad mood, jeave them alone for the day, or try again later in the day. If they are in a foul mood, quite a few bees will come after you, you may even smell the feremone (a bit like ripe banana) THat's bad news, just stop and close the lid.

    If you walk up to the hive and the whole thing empties and they come after you, wait until night and burn the hive, they are Africaniezed (killer bees) They can take over a hive farely quickly.

    They are no more venomous than any other bees but they are extremely agressive and are really easy to agitate. They attack in shear numbers and will not give up their attack even after whatever they are attacking is dead. They will follow you for about a mile before returning to the hive. Nothing to mess around with.

    Speaking of protective gear, don't wear black Socks, gloves, pants, shoes, etc.... wear white, or very light colors. Bees hate black and will sting it, don't know why...they just hate it.

    If there are no flowering plants for a while you'll probably want to feed your bees sugar water.

    Other than that they are sort of low maintenance until harvest time.
  5. Guitartists

    Guitartists Resistance is futile

    Mar 21, 2008
    Maybe they hate black because of bears???
  6. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    We are learning as we go. I have 2 packages of bees coming May 10th. I have wanted bees for so very long! Just a little more time until the dream is realized. My DH is building our hives.
  7. Reinbeau

    Reinbeau The Teapot Underground

    Quote:Instead of destroying the hive you can simply requeen with a well-bred queen. Within two brood cycles the bees will be much calmer. Aggressive bees are not to be tolerated, but you can manage them.
  8. amazondoc

    amazondoc Cracked Egghead

    Mar 31, 2008
    Lebanon, TN
    Thanks guys, that is great info to start on!
  9. newchickwi

    newchickwi In the Brooder

    Jan 13, 2008
    Butternut, WI
    Quote:Thanks for the links! We're checking into the "bee thing" and have found a bee club fairly local (even in very rural northern WI!). We need to wait to start up until next year so we can spend fall and winter building our hives, frames...

    The people at the bee club have been very helpful and love seeing new people getting involved. Our group here is very friendly and we felt welcome when we went to their Spring meeting. They are a great resource for beekeeping in your local area; for example, for us having extremely long, cold winters, our timetable is adjusted for our specific weather and growing conditions--a bit different than the book resources that I had read.

    Good luck!
  10. justinszoo

    justinszoo Songster

    Mar 24, 2008
    NW Ohio
    Quote:Where did u get ur plans for the hives? I was just looking at beekeeping stuff last night. It sounds like fun.

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