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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Hirschbach, Bavaria, Germany
    Posts
    643

    Post

    Hey Everyone,
    I'm so new to bees green can't even come close to describing me. First I am currently reading everything I can get my hands on. Here is my situation: I am a active duty soldier who found paradise here in Germany. I live in a one street light farm town and have been studing bee keeping since the beginning of the year. I am surrounded by fields of crops, orchards, and wild flowers. My grandfather kept bees and I was always interested. I obtained permission from the local farmers to put bee hives anywhere I wish. My delima is two fold 1 when to start and should I try to obtain wild bees (Germany does not allow the import of foreign bees. This is only the first of many brain picking sessions I plan. Also I orderded a copy of bee keeping for dummies book. I observed the local bees working, they are docile and jet black in color. I will look for the stripes later today. Also need to let you all know I am ahead of EST by 6 hours. Any advise wil be greatly appreciated

    ------------------
    Gary

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,889

    Post

    >Here is my situation: I am a active duty soldier who found paradise here in Germany. I live in a one street light farm town and have been studing bee keeping since the beginning of the year. I am surrounded by fields of crops, orchards, and wild flowers. My grandfather kept bees and I was always interested. I obtained permission from the local farmers to put bee hives anywhere I wish.

    Have you considered what you will do with the bees when you come home? You may want to make some contacts with people who would be interested in buying them. I would just keep a couple for a hobby and not get too serious because you may have to just walk away from them.

    >My delima is two fold 1 when to start and should I try to obtain wild bees (Germany does not allow the import of foreign bees.

    How to get bees in Germany would be a good question for Axtman. He understands beekeeping there. Also, there's no telling what all the regulations are there. Germany is worse than Colora and California (sorry those two are now the same, at least on the front range) on regulations.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Hirschbach, Bavaria, Germany
    Posts
    643

    Post

    I was thinking of working one hive next year just to see what it all entails and if successful gradually increasing. I checked the stats for Germany and bee keepers and honey production are down from last year. I have 10 years to retirement and I am looking for a hobby that with time may generate a supplemental income. Is this a good plan.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    1,262

    Post

    I lived in Germany for a couple of years. Loved it there.

    I started keeping bees last year, green as a gourd. I had not researched the plight of the honeybees before jumping in. I bought packages and placed them on the large foundation. I wish I hadn't done that now.

    It's a constant battle with mites and secondary diseases. My heart breaks for the plight of the honey bees.

    There is not much money in keeping bees starting out and it takes a long time to get an apiary going. Although I could sell every last drop of excess honey, there is not much excess honey.

    If I had it to do all over again, I would have studied how to help bees get back to feral size and use the proper equipment for that purpose starting out. I still can do this but it's labor intensive. Much time is needed to work the bees back to normal size.

    I'm using this time to learn the basics about them and hopefully after this, I'll get busy working to get the bees regressed in size. I don't foresee making money from honey anytime soon.

    I wonder if grants are available to help defray costs of working their beeyards back to feral size?


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Hirschbach, Bavaria, Germany
    Posts
    643

    Question

    Daisy
    Your right it's one of the most beautiful places on earth. I intend to devote my retirement to keeping it that way. I think I will walk the woods untill I spot some wild bees and try to capture them (I still have studing to do before attempting this). I was trying to get Axtmann's E-mail but he did not include it in his profile. Does anyone know how I can contact him.

  6. #6
    BILLY BOB Guest

    Post

    "Supplemental income"? Well yea, it can be, but You need to think of the time and money you have to put into it. The more hives you have the more time you will have to spend with them. Hives and bees cost alot, but can pay for themselves by the second season, if everything goes as planed (not too much rain, not too dry, not too cold, not too hot ect). Beekeeping is considered farming. Not somthing that should be taken lightly. You work twice as hard for half the money. Lets not forget the area you need to keep bees. 30 to 40 hives in one area is all you can have for honey production. Give yourself a year working 5 to 10 hives then you should know if you want to realy dive in.

    And Daisy you may not get a grant for working your beeyard back to feral size, but most states have grants for small farmers and for beekeeping overall.

    BB

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    1,262

    Post

    Thank-you Billy Bob,

    Where do I apply for it. We have a small farm.

    I want to increase my apiary and I think I'm just about ready for it.

    ;0)

    Where do I sign?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bradenton, FL, and Davenport, IA, USA
    Posts
    930

    Post

    MIKI,
    You might want to consider a Kenyan Top Bar Hive as an alternative way to start out. Much cheaper than buying a full langstroth hive and the necessary consumables and extras.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Hirschbach, Bavaria, Germany
    Posts
    643

    Post

    Thanks all,
    I down loaded the plans for the top bar hive along with others and will for sure try it out. I plan to build these myself carpentry is another hobby. I have 10 years till retirement. I think (hope) this will be plenty of time to gain the experience I need. I just want to start out as a hobby. As far as space goes picture this; Step out of your front or back door and for as far as the eye can see are rolling feilds of sun flowers, soy and orchards with an occasional farm house, and I have permission to use it all. I'm just trying to figure out how?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    1,262

    Post

    Miki, Are you in the military? I recall they had wood working shops on the bases. If so, you can make your hives and have them all ready to go by spring.

    I would make them all the same size. Believe me, you cut out a lot of bull if all the boxes are the same size.

    I will never do two sizes again.


  11. #11
    BILLY BOB Guest

    Post

    Sounds like you have a great place to put your bees. The best of luck to you and happy beeing!

    I'll start a new post for grants. Something everyone can share in.

    BB

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
    Posts
    830

    Smile

    Hi Miki

    We have 4 towns called Hirschbach in Germany so I have no idea where you live here. The easiest thing to hold bees and get bees here is, meet a beekeeper club in your area. We have some regulations but that’s not a big problem. As a member from a club you would have to pay a few Euro to the club that’s include a insurance and you get the medication for your bees free. You also can have labels for your honey jars. In almost every clubs older beekeeper give lessons to the greenhorns each month during the meeting what they have to do with the bees. It is very helpful and can save you disappointments. If you can read and write German go to the website http://www.imkerforum.de/index.php you will find many helpful friends.

    You should not wait for the wild bees; it can take you a very long time. As soon as there is a swarm someone will call the next beekeeper and that’s it.
    I’m sure you can get a colony from a beekeeper for the beginning.
    I wish you luck and lots of fun with the girls.


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Hirschbach, Bavaria, Germany
    Posts
    643

    Post

    Axtmann,
    Thanks my German is not so good this is why I was looking for you, your english is great and a beekeeper to boot! My wife is alergic to bees.....need I say more. I will take some German courses on post which is near Vilseck and Amberg to narrow down location for you. Things in the military are slowing down here for me now the past few years have been pretty non stop. I will try to find a local beekeeper when I can speak better German this is something I can't put off any longer.


    Michael,
    I did not understand what you meant when you said what would I do with the bees when I came home.

    This is home for me I am not comming back to the states. My wife and I agreed that this a better place to raise kids for many reasons, remember I'm a cop. Don't get me wrong I love my contry thats why I stayed in the military.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
    Posts
    830

    Post

    Hello Miki

    You shouldn’t wait until you can speak our language. Many Germans learned English at school as a second language. I give you a few addresses for beekeeper clubs in your region. If the older guys can’t understand you, there kids can, I’m sure.

    1. Imkerverein Vilseck u. Umgebung . This club has the 120 anniversary on November 30. It’s a Sunday and they celebrate at Gasthof Ströll. I’m sure you know where this is, you will meet many beekeepers from the whole aria.

    2. Imkergemeinschaft Freihung-Langenbruck. Here is the Name, address and phone number from the beekeepers president. Eugen Suttner, Dr.-Fitzthum-Str. 18, 92249 Vilseck. Telephone 09662 / 6054.

    3. Imkerverein Hahnbach. President is Alfons Rösch Dürnsricht 13, 92256 Hahnbach. Telefon: 09661/51289.

    4. Imkerverein Freihung-Langenbruck. President is Friedrich Kreuzer, Wiesenstr. 4 92271 Freihung.

    I wish you all the best.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Hirschbach, Bavaria, Germany
    Posts
    643

    Post

    Thanks Axtman,
    This is just what I was looking for! All these people are just around the corner from where I live and I did'nt even know. Should I ask to volunteer as a helper before I jump in?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
    Posts
    830

    Smile

    MIKI jump in if you like bees and beekeeping. Look for a good book and ask a beekeeper if he allow you to look over his shoulder during the first two-year or so. Steal with your eyes what ever you can get, in the beginning there is lots to learn. Even I’m still learning and I have bees almost 30 years.
    See if you can buy a colony or better two. One to play with and you can look death and one for your first honey. Some beekeepers made more splits during the year than they need in the next season and so you can get your bees.

    If you have bees and the questions coming, here is one of the best places on the net to ask and to get a good answer, here is one with the most patience I ever found, his name is Michael Bush.

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