I have read numerous articles and sources on beekeeping and to be honest the information at first can seem quite overwhelming. My question is, when you actually start is it as overwhelming when you just "do it"?
I know that sounds strange, but if you pick up a good book on beekeeping, you'll read about the mites and illness and complications of things that could go wrong, so I've always wondered if it is as overwhelming as reliable sources seem to make it?
I have recently joined a local beekeepers associate to look further into the subject. Grand people, just like poultry keepers, always happy to introduce, demonstrate and share!
I'm finally getting bees this spring also! I am looking into buying some local nukes instead of buying bees commercially. There is a growing movement in the beekeeping world in which folks are trying to get stronger hives by natural selection.
Sort of like I am trying to make my chicken flock stronger by not using meds, vaccines, culling undesirable traits, etc., these folks are not treating for varroa mites or other parasites or bacteria in any way. They are not supplementally feeding in the winter, they are not using powdered sugar to encourage better hygiene.....they are letting nature choose the strongest bees.
At first they suffered losses.....but the bees that survived were resistant to disease and parasitical invasions. And they split off and made more. Now these types of beek operations are thriving, getting more honey production than ever and not going through all the complicated processes they used to go through to insure their hives survived and produced.
I want to register with my local extension agent to become one of the people who collect and remove wild swarms of bees for people. It is an easy and cheap way to get some hives going. My sister went from empty boxes to 5 full hives this spring by doing just this very thing.
How about you guys? Any plans for what types of hives, bees, etc. you plan to get?
I was interested in bee-keeping a few years ago after reading an article about a woman who treats people who have severe rheumatism by stinging them with a few of her bees.
Anyhow, after reading books about bee-keeping and elaborate hives, I was discouraged.
Then the farmers brought their boxes of bees and placed them in the fields to pollinate the cantaloupe. The bees couldn't have done their job because they spent all day at my faucets, sucking on the mineral deposits. For three or four weeks, the kids couldn't play near there. The dogs couldn't drink from there. Then the bees disappeared with the boxes. That got me wondering: Could I steal some bees next time by having a hive already set up near a faucet? I don't think I can without their queen coming. Anyone know?
(My name is Hebrew for bee, so that makes it okay to steal bees)
But...you may ask this person who has the bees if they can help you get started.
I agree that all the info seems daunting but I think it's like Wolf-Kim says....probably easier if one just gets some bees, hive boxes, equipment and goes for it! My parents did this when I was growing up and we had the best honey ever. Dark, thick and sweet.
There are a hundred different ways to raise bees, according to all the info out there, but the bees have been making honey the exact same way since the beginning of life here on Earth.
You guys can check out my fave beek place online for any other questions: