I have been reading through the forums here quite a bit, and, after some phone calls and the like, find that there is little likelyhood of someone wanting to come and get the bees in the wall. Should I kill them, or, should I consider trying to capture them myself and setting up a hive? I like on a fair sized lot, relativly out in the middle of nowhere. I have been told there are few bee keepers in this area. If the general idea is to capture the bees, would anyone be willing to help me do so, and would anyone be willing to loan me equipment for doing so?
I work part time, and only have about 50 - 100 bucks a month free for anything. I can't aford the upfront costs for a beehive, and the needed equipment. I am willing to work to pay for equipment though.
I really need your honest advice on what would be good to do with thies bees. It just seems a shame to kill them, and that seems to be my only option at the momant.
Removing bees is a tricky operation. It's hard to recommend someone unskilled as a beekeeper take it on. On the other hand, I did that when I started. But I quickly got tired of getting stung and bought a beesuit with a zip on veil and I kept getting better at it. But bees can start out quite docile but the longer it takes and the worse you are at it (and a beginner is always bad at setting off the bees) the more furious they will get until finally, they are all trying to sting you at once. Believe me, if 10,000 to 100,000 bees are all trying to get in, some of them will.
If you can find a local beekeeper to help you out, it would be a real learning experience.
If you can't, it will still be a learning experience, but a lot more traumatic.
This web site has plans you can download to build a hive or you can buy a complete one for about $50.00 from a bee supply store. I would get a white ty-vek coverall or a light pair of cotton ones. I went to wal-mart fabric area and bought a few yards( $1.00/yard) of fine netting material. I then stapled it together to make a veil that sits on top of a baseball cap. I then duct taped my wrist/ankles and the veil to the ty-vek suit I used. My bees were very calm even when removing the wood siding. They only got mad then I started cutting and removeing the comb.
I recommend starting your own hive and see if you like it. If not then you can always give the bees/frames of comb to a local beekeeper.
It is quite an experience removing the bees and it wasnt that hard to do either. I had a cardboard box about 18x12x12 and put the bees in that until I could get them to my hive.
Last thing I did before closing the top of the cardboard box was to pick it up and give it a quick bang on the ground. This knocked the bees to the bottom so I could close the box top
Well, a little luck just showed up, I got my tax return, all 300 bucks of it. Half has to go to car repair, but, the other half I can use to buy stuff for dealing with the bees. I was thinking of getting the beginer kit from Dadant. That seems to have all the quipment thats needed. I really like the idea of building my own hives, but, sadly I do not have any of the tools that would alow me to do so. I have a hamer, a drill, and a few diferent types of saws. I have no way of doing rabits but by hand. I am not sure I would be able to do a good job. Still, I may give that a go instead of droping all that money at Dadant. Still, if I buy, I will be able to move ahead a lot faster.
Things dont have to be perfect. Buying a hive would indeed be easier but building a hive has some satisfaction. All in all I guess I would buy the first, make templates of the hive and build the rest.
I am sure that rabits make the hive last longer.
That being said, I started out last year with home-made, and I did not use rabits. I don't have the skill for rabits.
Then, I got an opportunity to buy used boxes last fall, and I did. I am using the home-made ones too, of course. They may not last as long, but they are fine for now.
I DID buy new frames to put in the hive boxes, which cost about $1 a frame.
Buying a hive would be easyer though. But, if I can forgo the rabbits, it does not seem to be all that difacult. I would have to buy frames and such, but, that also is not that major an expence.
I was suprised at how afordable most of the equipment actualy is. Unless your stuck getting it all at once, its very resonably priced, and very doable. Its just getting everything at once. I did learn a while back, when getting protective clothing, blow as much as you can and get the good stuff. Was not for bees, but, the lession has remained.
so, i can't answer for you whether or not beekeeping is something you'd like but i can tell you for me, a new beekeeper, it's been a tremendous amount of fun so far. these bees are incredibly fascinating to learn about. every day i learn something new and i'm surprised on a regular basis about something they do or why they do what they do.
if you have kids as i do, it's a great hobby to share with them. the great part is you can start out small and either get out of it if you don't like it or grow it if you love it.
one thing i would suggest if you can pull it off...and that is get an observation hive...they are way too much fun. i have one right inside my living room with an entrance to the outside world. it's been great to watch them do their thing. you can see pictures of my observation hive on my website at http://www.honeybeesonly.com/index.p...acc35631741843
bottom line...if you enjoy nature and learning you'd probably really enjoy beekeeping.
Check me out at: http://honeybeesonly.com
Have a look in the Top Bar Hive(TBH) section of this forum, there is another way.
I only started beekeeping this year, and instead of an expensive hive, I made my own TBH for very little money -- and I can't even woodwork, all I have is a drill.
The bees are well happy in their new palace and it doesn't have to cost a fortune
ps.: some links to look at:
good site for TBH intro: http://fire.prohosting.com/topbargu/
(also check out his resources link -- plenty more links there to get inspiration from)
my hive: http://f2.pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/hex...bein/my_photos
I'll be strait up with you before someone in here influences you to the hospital try and find one of the beekeepers in your town. if all else fails call your local exterminator and ask them if he has a beekeepers phone number also your local police station may have an emergency beekeeper phone number.
Look I am ex. but thats a big task your considering-plus you dont just tear the wax out of the wall and drop it into a box you have to wire it into a frame. Some beekeepers can even get your bees out of the wall without even ripping a board off (this is a timely method though.) If you decide to do this we can all talk you through it I guess! best of luck
Your landlord may froth at the mouth if you tamper with his building.
Then again, he MIGHT pay you to remove them. Maybe, anyways.
Something to think about.
Before you go buying or building hives.....call a local beekeeper and ask about purchasing used equipment. Especially a commercial beekeeper. They usually have all kinds of used equipment laying around, and would be willing to help someone getting started. When I first started helping my dad out 18 years ago, we found a commercial beekeeper. He offered us a pickup truck load of old equipment as a gift to get started. I will never forget his generosity.
The equipment doesn't have to be pretty just functional.
I can't imagine that there isn't a beekeeper around your area that wouldn't be willing to help or at least give you some pointers. I am just getting back into it myself and trying to recapture old memories and learn new ideas. Local beekeepers are invaluable and usually incredibly eager to help newbees!!!
[This message has been edited by dtwilliamson (edited May 25, 2004).]
If you don't go with the top bar hive, I would not recommend jumping into beekeeping. The simple fact is beekeeping can be very time consuming and expensive. I think your scare resources might be better spent in other areas since your not sure about beekeeping. If your interested in it hook up with a local club or local beekeeper to at least learn more before you go off and spend a bunch of money on equipment.
You might want to consider a Top Bar Hive. They are cheap and easy to build. My hives cost me at most $40 for one. Then you can spend the rest of the money aloted for the bees to getting a good bee suit.
Go to the Top Bar Hive forum to learn more about top bar hives.
Scot Mc Pherson
Foundationless Small Cell Top Bar Hives
Actualy, I have been giving a lot of thought to the idea of a TBH. I have gone through 2 diferent web pages that focus excusivly on that design, and, thay very clearly show a lot of good with the idea. My only concern was, well, to be honest, how you would get the honey out of that type of hive. That was rather well explained on one of the web pages. Its not as neet and easy as the traditional hives, but, it does work, and, I think it would work good for me.
Another advantige is that TBH hives seem to be more resistant to mites, wich would be a plus.
I have, I think, found a local bee keeper. Sadly, he was not home today, so, I will try again later this after noon, or tomarrow. At the lest, he had several stacks of old hive bodys in his yard besides a shed. One good thing about living in a relativly rural area, you can see things like that.
>My only concern was, well, to be honest, how you would get the honey out of that type of hive. That was rather well explained on one of the web pages. Its not as neet and easy as the traditional hives, but, it does work, and, I think it would work good for me.
I think it's much easier (and much cheaper) to crush and strain comb than it is to buy an extractor, uncapping tub, uncapping knife, cappings scratcher, cappings melter, and learning to uncap and extract.
>Another advantige is that TBH hives seem to be more resistant to mites, wich would be a plus.
Beacuse of natural cell size? Perhaps. When starting with large bees (as are typically in a package) this will take some time and probably at least one turnover of comb before you will be to the point that you can rely on it to control the mites. If you start with a swarm you will get there more quickly, depending on how regressed back to natural size they are.
>I have, I think, found a local bee keeper. Sadly, he was not home today, so, I will try again later this after noon, or tomarrow.
Sounds like a start.
[This message has been edited by Michael Bush (edited May 25, 2004).]
Getting honey out of a top bar hive is much easier than in a langstroth using "traditional" methods as you said. I think traditions is a little incorrect myself, believing that although TBHs are today's alternative, they are more traditional than a lang is.
In a tbh you have to options. Cut and Eat or Cut Crush and Eat.
You don't have to sue a press to get the honey out. You just cut the combs, press them through 1/4" hardware cloth, they get caught by a screen, and drip through a fine screen below that. The crushing takes about 5 minutes for a whole hive's worth of combs, and you let it sit overnight. The next day you will have yourself several pounds of honey. You can then render the wax into brick for use later, such as candles or foundation or whatever you plan on using it for.
Personally, I've always found the "manual" method to work well. Take the combs and mash them into balls of wax with your hands and let the honey run between your fingers into the double bucket strainer. Then drop all of that in the double bucket strainer. Repeat until you think what's left to drain in the top will fill the bucket underneath. Then start on another bucket.
Thats a whole lot easyer than I was expecting actualy. It sounds very resonable, and sounds like there would be little real waste eather.
I think MB's method will work fine if you have the comb very close at hand and can keep yourself from dripping honey outside of the bucket. The crushing through a hardware cloth is just as messy, but the mess stays on your palms for the most part and you can just wipe it off on the hardware cloth screen itself.