Im very interested in getting into the bee hobby but first I have a few question. Thank you for any help.
1. I would like to build my own bee box. Where can i find easy to follow plans?
2.Is it possable to start a new bee colony from a colony that exits in the wild on my land?
First I'd like to say Welcome! You have come to the right place. Plans to build your own can be found here: http://www.beesource.com/plans/index.htm Next you can do either, but I will let others with more experience answer that specifically. This is my first year and I started with packages I bought over the Internet from Rossman Apiaries Inc. back in May.
Their site is here: http://www.gabees.com
Building your own boxes is great.I am not to sure about the wild bees.Just for the sake of maybe getting some mean and nast bees from the wild. You dont need to start out with a bad expieriance. then maybe later if you want to add more hive you could go after the wild bees. good luck
Greetings and welcome!
In addition to the link Scott gave above, I, as a newbie starting my first hive this year, highly recommenc Beekeeping for Dummies. There are some additional plans in there and TONS of easy to digest useful info. There was a discussion re: building vs buying awhile back, and many felt that was it was almost cheaper to buy hive parts from dealers who mass produce them and then you assemble and paint etc. As it is a bit late to start a NEW colony this year, you would certainly have lots of time... I am experimenting with making some parts I do not have and though fun, it is not efficient and is somewhat frustrating as well since many measurements have to be very accurate to keep the bees happy and not have them make a mess. There is LOTS of experience here on the forum!
good Luck! BS
You may be able to start a hive from wild bees, but there are only a few ways to do this. You have to either be able to get into the combs and cut out the combs out and find the queen. Most trees don't have a large enough opening to get to them. If you can catch a swarm (which require remarkable luck to show up at the right time) you can hive them. But probably you best bet is to start studying now, build your equipment and have it ready for next spring and buy a package mail order or a nuc from someone local.
I too am a beginning beekeeper and I started on a dare from an oldtimer who told me that I could not build any of the equipment. Well, that lit a flame and so far I am more satisfied with my own than the commercial stuff. Of course, you have to have the right equipment. I have a radial arm saw, a table saw and router with bits. I found making the finger joints for the supers did not work for me because the shaft on the table saw was too short for the dado blade. So now I dovetail all the supers and it works great but it would not be the thing for a commercial operation. The frames are another story, they are much better bought from a supplier. Yes the dimensions on the boxes do have to be accurate and there can be no gaps as I found out with my feeder, but that too can be overcome. All in all, I am retired and doing the beekeeping and the woodworking is a lot more fun than watching the "Dumb and the Senseless" or as the "Stomach Turns" etc.
Have fun, says Alex in Kentucky
if the shaft on yout tbale saw is too short for your dado, don't fret.
Go to home depot and get a dado blade made for bench-top table saws, which it sounds like you have. I wobble dado (which works just fine for the wood your building hives out of) is about $25.
When your building the hives, make a bunch of each part at one time to save time and saw setup. I found myself constantly going back to the workshop to frantically build more supplies to keep up with the expanding colonies.
You live in one of the states that we almost chose for our home and fell in love with, but the company that wanted me there and was run by a bunch of old friends was bought out at the last minute.
I will try to talk to Home Depot, however, like I said, I like the dovetail joints and they are just about as fast and there are no nails in my supers. I am still trying to figure out what my bees are trying to do as there are about 50 or so on the front board and look as if they are trying to do some cleaning. The upper super is now full with bees and they are busy working. I have not dared to pull any frames and disturb them as I just want them to get strong for the winter. We will be in Florida in the winter but it is really funny because my neighbor who is afraid of them, and said he would look after them, wanted to see them this afternoon again. I told him that I would put the screened hat on him and would smoke them but he thought that was not necessary and so we watched them and opened the outer and inner cover and all was just great. Right now I am working on an inner cover that I made where the bottom is flush so it fits on a Miller Feeder that I also built. The first cover just had about a 1/4" gap and some of the bees did get past and promptly drowned. So now the flush bottom closes the gap but I also put a couple of windows in to see the level and a couple of holes with little covers for refilling. My neighbor thinks that is the berries. Of course I realize that this is all hobby stuff and would not work for a commercial operation. Nonetheless it still is fun to see the progress and when you can solve a problem.
Enough of that, y'all have a good evening,
Alex in Kentucky