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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    DE
    Posts
    2

    Question

    Hello Beekeepers:

    Recently I've gotten this bee in my bonnet that I may enjoy beekeeping, but before I pursue gaining more knowledge about this hobby I first want to know:

    1.) Is beekeeping a full-time job? or can one do beekeeping on evenings and weekends?

    2.) I love to travel and wonder if beekeepers can leave their hives on their own for 2-3 weeks at a time a year? Do bees need care everyday?

    Before I invite these fascinating creatures into my life I want to make sure I can give them the kind of care they need.

    Your advice is appreciated.

    BeeKind,

    Celeste



  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Fremont, New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    695

    Smile

    1.) Is beekeeping a full-time job? or can one do beekeeping on evenings and weekends?

    Most beekeepers fall into the hobby category.

    Depending on the time of year, you may have to visit a hive once a week.
    Time ivolved is usally quite short, a matter of minutes per hive.

    2.) I love to travel and wonder if beekeepers can leave their hives on their own for 2-3 weeks at a time a year? Do bees need care everyday?

    Yes, you can go on a vacation. The bees will be fine. In fact, the less you mess around with them, the better they seem to do.

    Before I invite these fascinating creatures into my life I want to make sure I can give them the kind of care they need.

    Suggest that you go to the local library or book store and read up.
    They are lots of fun, interesting and if done right you'll have more honey than you know what to do with!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    parker county, tx
    Posts
    7,923

    Post

    When I started beekeeping, it wasn't even that I was interested in it as a hobby- I just wanted my garden pollianted, and there were no bees in the area except the occasional bumblebee. After I started beekeeping, I found that I love it. I am now more into beekeeping than gardening, and that is coming from an avid gardener. The time invested it really minimal if you have just a few hives (5-10). If you just have two, it's even easier. I found, in the beginning, that I was much more interested in messing with the bees than the bees needed. They don't need much human intervention in reality, but if you're planning to go into it for commercial purposes, it's more necessary to be more involved in what's going on in the hives. If you decide to keep bees, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do and have.

  4. #4

    Post

    I got into bees because of my alergies. My 80 year old friend told me to buy local honey and it would fix me right up. guess what, no local beekeepers could be found. I started with two hives took honey off the first year and never had a hayfever problem again. I know have 25 hives and still growing. It really is the coolest of hobbies to have. You will find that it takes very little time.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Pensacola, Fla
    Posts
    55

    Post

    Celeste: Do not know where you are located but there are areas where the small hive beetle is so abundant that it makes even keeping one hive a tremendous problem without resorting to heavy chemical control.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Drums, PA, USA
    Posts
    331

    Post

    Celeste:

    It is a great thing. Your first year, you will want to mess with the bees alot, to learn. It helps if you have an idea of what people are talking about. I suggest you read some books to get an idea of what it takes. If you get into raising queens, that is a different story. There are time tables involved, and you need to be there. As for a hobby, if you make sure things are right, you can leave 2-3 weeks.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Lineville Iowa
    Posts
    66
    yes bee's unless you are a commercial beekeeper are a hobby .
    but not a very time consuming one .
    if you are going to start with bee's
    get at least 2 hives .
    and i agree with Hook you will learn the basics
    by reading a lot about bee's .
    the 2 best books i.m.h.o. are the AbC AND ZYX OF BEE'S and THE HIVE AND THE HONEYBEE.
    both of which can be found on e-bay .
    Good Luck,
    Zeke

  8. #8

    Big Grin

    Celeste
    you need to just jump in there its not hard to learn don't be afraid to make mistakes.
    been a full time beekeeper for 48 yrs now always loved every minute of it. there is always someone around to help you on your way
    bees will always be faithfull to you .
    Don

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    kent county, delaware
    Posts
    8

    Post

    I see that you are from DE you can go to the USDA in dover for some info.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,458

    Post

    >1.) Is beekeeping a full-time job? or can one do beekeeping on evenings and weekends?

    One of the fun things about beekeeping is you can spend as much or as little time as you like. If you never mess with them at all (past dealing with mites) the downside is they might swarm. Not that big of a deal.

    >2.) I love to travel and wonder if beekeepers can leave their hives on their own for 2-3 weeks at a time a year? Do bees need care everyday?

    It's one of the best things about them. You can leave them anytime and they fend for themselves because basically they are wild by nature.

    I would suggest starting with an observation hive. You can do this simultaneously with a regular hive or you can just move them out into a regular hive when they outgrow the observation hive. It's a real kick to watch them.


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    DE
    Posts
    2

    Wink

    Thanks so much for all of your encouragment! It does look like that beekeeping may be a possibility for me here in Delaware.
    I've been reading "A Book of Bees: And how to Keep Them" by Sue Hubbell and it has been an enchanting story that highlights the wonders & beauty of bees and also teaches some beekeeping skills. It has given me a new perspective on the humble bee and also the art of beekeeping.

    There's lots to learn and I'll definitely dig into some more books on the topic. I also want to contact our Beekeeping association (I got a contact from this site)and see if I can see some beekeeping in action.

    Thanks again. Bee people sure are helpful and friendly too!
    Celeste

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Neodesha, Ks
    Posts
    619

    Post

    Celeste, A Book of Bees, That was sure an interesting book wasn't it. I couldn't put it down after I got into it and I had laying around for 20 yrs. Guess the time just wasn't right. Have fun with your BEES. Dale

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    parker county, tx
    Posts
    7,923

    Post

    I started A Book of Bees a week ago, just reading here and there. It's a well written book that just makes you want to move to the Ozarks and keep bees for a living. Much more interesting than bee keeping manuals for someone who actually enjoys reading. Celeste, (hope I remembered your name since I can't see it on the screen now) I hope you go ahead and give the bees a try. I have found it to be a relaxing and fascinating endeavor.

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