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Author Off the Grid/Homesteading Skills: Previous Topic bee keeping Next Topic  

danyel
True Blue Farmgirl

349 Posts

Danyel
Robertsdale PA
USA
349 Posts

Posted - Jan 05 2014 :  07:16:39 AM  Show Profile
Looking to possibly try bee keeping, I have checked out articles. websites, and talked to several people who have done so in the past. This is not spur of the moment I have looking into this for 3 years. Is there a good resource? On one hand it does not sound that difficult, then the next article makes it sound like extremely expensive and more complicated. What actually is considered a varied diet? How do you keep your bees from leaving. do they leave? I think I need more information.

Thank you
Danyel
farmgirl sister 4202

edlund33
True Blue Farmgirl

1480 Posts

Marilyn
Renton WA
USA
1480 Posts

Posted - Jan 05 2014 :  7:27:42 PM  Show Profile
If you are interested in getting into beekeeping I suggest taking a beekeeping class from your local extension office or joining a beekeeping association. This will help you understand the details relevent to your particular area of the country and gives you hands on experience. I also recommend finding a nearby beekeeper who can mentor you for the first couple of years until you get the hang of it. I won my bee setup at an auction but it came with a year of training and I'm still in touch with the man who got me started. It really helps to have someone to help answer questions and point you in the right direction if you run into any trouble. They can also help you make choices about the different kinds of hives and supplies available and which is the best choice for you. If you haven't done so, looking at beekeeping supply catalogs from Betterbee, Dadant, Brushy Mountain, Mann Lake ,etc is also helpful and most of these suppliers offer free catalogs. There is also a great online resource called Beesource that has been a valuable resource for me. Go for it and have fun educating yourself about beekeeping!

Cheers! ~ Marilyn

Farm Girl No. 1100

http://blueskyanddaisies.blogspot.com

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
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danyel
True Blue Farmgirl

349 Posts

Danyel
Robertsdale PA
USA
349 Posts

Posted - Jan 06 2014 :  2:59:04 PM  Show Profile
Thank you so much I will check with the local extension office, and I will also check with a local bee keeper, actually the one I purchase my honey from. And I will try to get my hands of the supply catalogs you mentioned. So excited!

Danyel
farmgirl sister 4202
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AFinkberry
True Blue Farmgirl

310 Posts

Ally
Kalama Washington
310 Posts

Posted - Jan 06 2014 :  5:48:30 PM  Show Profile
Danyel, I've also been really wanting to start! There's a couple of beekeeping associations in Portland, and I'm going to go to a meeting next month! I was pleasantly surprised when this months MJF mag featured an article about backyard beekeeping! I've been thinking about this for a year also! Good luck!

Ally
Farmgirl Sister #5672

"There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies. My brain and my heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness." ~His Holiness the Dalai Lama
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windypines
True Blue Farmgirl

3283 Posts

Michele
Bruce Wisconsin
USA
3283 Posts

Posted - Jan 07 2014 :  04:48:56 AM  Show Profile
There were no bee keeping classes when I started out. Learned off the internet and books. I also emailed with one guy who always told me that bee keeping was not rocket science. My favorite site is Michael Bush. Bush farms I believe it is. He also has a book out that one day I am going to get. Do lots of reading and use common sense.


just a girl farming in WI

Michele
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texdane
Farmgirl Legend Chapter Leader Chapter Guru

4648 Posts

Nicole
Sandy Hook CT
USA
4648 Posts

Posted - Jan 07 2014 :  12:02:26 PM  Show Profile
Hi Danyel,

Please check out a post I did on the Suburban Farmgirl blog. You can access this particular one here:
http://sfgblog.maryjanesfarm.org/default.asp?Display=117

It's a "how to" of sorts for the beginner beekeeper. You might find some helpful info/links there. Let me know what you think. I am doing mine this spring, too. Ordering hives next month.

Farmgirl Hugs,
Nicole


Farmgirl Sister #1155
KNITTER, JAM-MAKER AND MOM EXTRAORDINAIRE
Chapter Leader, Connecticut Simpler Life Sisters
Farmgirl of the Month, January 2013

Suburban Farmgirl Blogger
http://sfgblog.maryjanesfarm.org/
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danyel
True Blue Farmgirl

349 Posts

Danyel
Robertsdale PA
USA
349 Posts

Posted - Jan 07 2014 :  5:58:27 PM  Show Profile
Good luck to each of you either new to bee keeping or an old hand at it. I hope this year turns out a bountiful honey crop. I had a chance to quickly scan the link that Nicole shared, thank you. it was presented so nicely. It was reassuring to see the younger helpers with the bees. Kind of makes me think I can do this. I am still learning and I do not want to make a major mistake just starting out.

Thank you
Danyel
farmgirl sister 4202.
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texdane
Farmgirl Legend Chapter Leader Chapter Guru

4648 Posts

Nicole
Sandy Hook CT
USA
4648 Posts

Posted - Jan 08 2014 :  4:58:18 PM  Show Profile
Danyel,

My friend suggested I start with only one hive, no more than two, the first season. I also found out that near me you can rent the major tools one needs for honey harvesting very inexpensively, such as the spinner, so you might check to see if you can do that from somewhere near you, too. Have fun!

Nicole

Farmgirl Sister #1155
KNITTER, JAM-MAKER AND MOM EXTRAORDINAIRE
Chapter Leader, Connecticut Simpler Life Sisters
Farmgirl of the Month, January 2013

Suburban Farmgirl Blogger
http://sfgblog.maryjanesfarm.org/
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doll58maker
True Blue Farmgirl

2259 Posts

G
TX
USA
2259 Posts

Posted - Jan 25 2014 :  08:55:31 AM  Show Profile
You can also get tons of info on Pinterest using the search words bee keeping. Each photo posted leads you to a blog or website. Good luck.

Also the latest issue of MJF magazine has a great article.
hugs to all my sistas
Gypsy #3534

Edited by - doll58maker on Jan 25 2014 08:58:15 AM
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laurentany
True Blue Farmgirl

3259 Posts

Laurie
Patchogue NY
USA
3259 Posts

Posted - Jan 25 2014 :  6:30:47 PM  Show Profile
I too am looking into starting my own hive this spring. In fact I just went to the library today and took out several more books. Hoping to read as much as I can and am also looking into local beekeeping association to learn hands on and take some classes.
It's very exciting!
I have read in more than one place that it may be wise to start with 2 hives so that you have a "backup" safe place if you have a problem/ need to move them. I've only scratched the surface of reading, I have SO much to learn. And I do think having a mentor and taking classes is the way to go if you can.
Happy learning ladies!
Let's keep this thread alive with what we learn and our progress!
Hugs,


~Laurie
"Little Hen House on the Island"
Farmgirl Sister#1403

View my New Blog:
http://simplesuburbanpleasures.blogspot.com

Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you plant.
~Robert Louis Stevenson
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danyel
True Blue Farmgirl

349 Posts

Danyel
Robertsdale PA
USA
349 Posts

Posted - Jan 27 2014 :  11:08:12 AM  Show Profile
I agree with trying to find someone who is willing to mentor in my area. Still in the learning stage. I am thinking maybe one more season of learning then try next spring. It sounds like I would need to order the bees in February, (is that the only time you can start?) and just would like to "watch" the process to be a little more comfortable. I do not want to start, and end up with dead or moving bees. There have been so many articles in the last month that are about the bees, colony collapse and the added benefits of bee keeping. So,. I definitely want to start, I just need to make sure I have the time to do it right. Thank you each for your input and added enthusiasm.

Danyel
Farmgirl sister 4202
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Red Tractor Girl
True Blue Farmgirl

5412 Posts

Winnie
Gainesville Fl
USA
5412 Posts

Posted - Jan 28 2014 :  07:16:44 AM  Show Profile
Danyel, Mary Jane had this blog post about Mason Bees and I have been reading up on them to give it a try here in Florida this summer. They are easier than honey bees but don't make any honey to keep. For starters, the Mason Bees are much easier and they are also gentle bees. Check out the website Mary Jane posted www.crownbees.com to learn more. I think it best for me to start easy and see what is all involved before tackling something more difficult like honey bees. The website listed here has lots of quick videos too to learn all about how the Mason Bees work. I will let you know more as I move forward. Apparently, the LeafCutter variety is recommended for where I live and work June-August. I am getting kinda all excited about the project! Perfect for this Urban Farmgirl just taking it one teeny step at a time. I got the apron wearing down pat, raising a few veggies in a tiny garden out front, canning jams/pickles, increasing knitting skills and moving on now to bees.

Winnie #3109
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windypines
True Blue Farmgirl

3283 Posts

Michele
Bruce Wisconsin
USA
3283 Posts

Posted - Jan 29 2014 :  2:35:04 PM  Show Profile
Danyel, depending on your part of the country ordering bees in Feb is usually when you do it. Acutally I just ordered mine yesterday. You got to get on the list before they get sold out. Both my hives died out this cold winter. You want your bees ready to start gathering as soon as the weather is nice. Things happen,so you probably will lose your bees. I had one hive make it two years, but that is the longest they have made it. They are so fun to watch and such hard workers. Hope you can get started with bees, they are great.

just a girl farming in WI

Michele
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Mamagoat
Farmgirl at Heart

6 Posts

Maggie
Ellis Grove IL
USA
6 Posts

Posted - Mar 19 2018 :  12:24:05 PM  Show Profile
I have been researching bees for awhile, as I used to work in an insect zoo and we had a glass hive where we could watch them do their bee thing. They are fascinating little buggers who can dance better than I can. And they have a human characteristic, the females of the species work harder than the males. I am hoping to get a couple of hives this year. I'm probably going to go for the Russian Bees as they are more resistant to the varroa and trachael mites that can devestate a hive. It's hard to control those mites once your hive gets it, pesticides may work for awhile but then the mites become resistant and the chemicals can contaminate the hive. They make just as much honey as the Italian bees, if not more, the only drawback is I may have to learn Russian to communicate with them.
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