Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 55
  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Bend, TX USA
    Posts
    69

    Post

    Just courious. I'm sure this topic comes up in one form or another. I was just courious how/why you started and how many years you've been doin it.
    My dad had a few hives when I was growing up. That was back in the day when you could get bees from anywhere. In fact, correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Sears sold bees. I know they sold bee supplies. Anyway, they were always very interesting to me. Ironicly, I don't like honey all that much. But I like the bees. Well, his bees died one year and he never got anymore. Acouple of years ago, I was cutting hay one weekend for my cousin and I saw a swarm in a tree. The bees left before I finished cutting but it lit a fire in me. I dusted off Daddy's equipment and set out capturing swarms and feral hives. Due to the on-going mite problem and the hives didn't get well enough established by winter, they died. So I broke down and bought a couple of nucs and have really been enjoying it. Wife calls it obsession.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,320

    Post

    I started studying beekeeping in 1972 but didn't have the money or a place to put a hive. I started keeping bees in 1974. I was hoping to be more self sufficiant by raising my own sweetner. Then I got addicted to the bees and the honey was just the icing on the cake.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Wheatfield, IN
    Posts
    2,068

    Post

    Started keeping bees with my Dad when I was 12 years old. I helped him for about 8 years until he moved and I was in college and away from home without a place for bees. We managed as many as 50 hives (or so) for a pollinator that gave us the honey for manipulating his hives. He was just interested in the pollination money I guess. We never had more than 15 of our own.

    I'm 31 and just got back into it last year. I have 3 booming hives and hope to be at 8-10 within a month. I'm glad I'm back....and you don't forget as much as you think you have!

    >>Wife calls it obsession.

    It is!!!! But I just use a different name! FUN!

    Dan
    Dan Williamson
    B&C Honey Farm http://www.flickr.com/photos/9848229@N05/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    231

    Post

    To make a short boring story out of a long boring story:

    When I was younger I always wanted an ant farm, don’t ask me why I just did. Years pass and I enroll in to a Computer Science program at a local high school. A little while in to the curriculum one of the projects is Conway’s Game of Life. This got me interested in simulation using principles of life. Once enrolled in to the Computer Science program in the college of my choice, I had an opportunity to take a simulations design class. While there I simulated the basic workings of ants (falling back to my previous interest) that in theory could be translated into a great deal of garbage that is too confusing and boring to talk about now. I did research on ants as colony structure to base my simulation on, however the outcome was just not quite right to my liking. After the class, and there by that simulation project was over, I continued my research in to colonial organisms in order to possibly base more research or design on them. This study naturally leads to the study of honeybees, which by the way may have given me more appropriate results on my original simulation and research. Because I was already on this honeybee kick, and I just enrolled in to an animal behavior psychology class, honeybees were my basis of study in that class, leading to more research and more reading. Finally a few years have passed, I just graduated in December, and now I have my first hive of bees.

    If I break any spectacular grounds by using bees as autonomous agents within a colony simulation I’ll be sure to break the news here first [img]smile.gif[/img]

    Oh, and I really like honey too.
    -Robert<br /><a href=\"http://photos.bobsbees.com\" target=\"_blank\">Photos and Such</a>

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Cheshire, Oregon, USA
    Posts
    56

    Post

    My interest in bees started when I was a teenager and growing up on my families small farm. Had alot of timber on it and in my exploring I found 2 bee trees. 1 old growth that had a huge colony in it that an older neighbor who had lived in the area for years said it had been there as long as he could remember. I can remember I could hear the tree hum 50 feet away. I always wanted to get inside that tree and see what was happening and how much of it they were using! That did it!! Ever since than I have dreamed of keeping bees.

    I am 31 now and it was not until last summer that my dad gave me a 5.5 acre parcel of that land that I grew up on that I have had the room for bees. On old friend and beekeeper told me I needed to put some hives out there. Within a month I had 3 hives, and yes, I am hooked. Just made 2 splits so I have 5 now. Would like to have 8-10 at some point.
    Love the bees, "honey is just the icing on the cake" as Michael Bush put it!

    Husband calls it obsession!!

    Lori
    Bee Happy!<br />Lori<br /><br />\"You know, You never can tell with bees\". (Winnie The Pooh)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    waco, tx
    Posts
    528

    Post

    I had bees for a couple of years long ago; just a couple or 3 hives. I'd bought all the necessary equipment used including the established hives. Enjoyed it but the theory ran rampant that the "killer bees were coming to (or maybe had just come to) Texas" & everyone feared that all the hives would be "invaded & overcome" by them. Ran across a guy that wanted my equipment; was willing to give me what I'd paid for it so I bailed out.

    Back in January (iirc) a good friend of mine found a colony that had taken up residence in his shop; I helped him find them, etc. & decided to get some of my own again. Got a feral hive back in January; it turned mean so requeened it a couple of weeks ago & also set up 2 more hives at that time.

    They're currently at his place 130 miles away; local "city fathers" say they have to bee 300' from nearest residence. This was the last straw; waiting on response to offer on a place outside the city limits! Hope to be moving soon!

    Lew in Waco (BTW where is Bend; haven't found it on the map)?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    estevan, sask, canada
    Posts
    185

    Post

    I started in 1967.Had to take agriculture or learn french in high school.Coming from a small mixed farm,I took up a hive of bees,darn things kinda get to ya.
    B. roger eagles

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Round Top, New York - Northern Catskill Mtns.
    Posts
    1,895

    Post

    11 years ago I help my neighbor move 5 hives to his orchard. It took us 3 nights to move 5 hives because the hives had been an older keepers who passed, and the equipment was weathered.
    It took the bear 2 nights after we got everything moved and setup to find them. So my first year lasted 5 days.
    I asked my wife if she had a problem with me setting up a hive or two in the fenced in garden that we kept (50 x 230) so that the bears could not get them and help our neighbor, who has help us since we bought our place. Before this I had never really thought about keeping bees.
    I think her answer may have been different if she know that 11 years later there would be 22 hives in front, with hives at other yards. My plan is to have 40 to 50 hives by the end of May, we are at 31 now. I have 3 more hives to split, 5 packages coming, a colony to remove, and we will see how swarm season is.
    The funniest thing is that the equipment that the original keeper owned went to another local keeper, who when he retired, handed it down to me. I have an old Woodsman extractor that I finally had to reverse the shaft on as it was so worn. It belonged to the father of the guy who retired, my guess is that it is at least 50 years old.
    To top it off, I have a yard at the same location that we moved the original 5 hives from 11 years ago.
    My sons (21 & 6) both help with working the bees, and I have helped 3 friends and their sons get started.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Central PA
    Posts
    144

    Post

    About 5 years ago, some honeybees took up residence under my siding. I enjoyed watching them & never gave a thought to any damage they could be doing. We had a huge ladybug problem at that time, and against my normal chemical-free tendencies, I had the ladybugs sprayed, which also got rid of the bees. I missed them and decided to take the local beekeeping assn's short course.

    The course promoted 'medicines' & I was really turned off. Decided that I was not getting bees if I really had to use all that stuff, so I started reading about other options. 2 years ago, I started 2 packages on small cell. They did great and my only disaster was realizing I couldn't pick up a full deep without leaning it against my body, which resulted in bees inside my veil and an unpleasant experience. Made plans to go to all mediums next year.

    Year 2, both hives came out of winter strong. Got 2 more packages, which arrived way late. One absconded into hollow tree, the other ended up being drone layer. To make along story short, I kept trying to prop up the bad bees with frames from the good bees til I eventually weakened the & had a lot of robbing from the tree bees. the good hives were weakened enough that they froze out in Jaunary.

    This year, I'm starting over, with lots of new insight into how NOT to do things. I have drawn small cell comb, 2 new packages, nucs coming soon, and a good feeling.

    Diane W

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Worthington, Pennsylvania USA
    Posts
    1,848

    Post

    I was fascnated with a couple farmers raising bees when i was a kid long ago. One was an old german fellow that I truly admired and watched his bees with him for hours,butchered, smoked hams,and tinkered with old clocks,hunting, fishing etc. My brother bought a place that had six or eight bee gums on the property when I was around 15 or 16, then the fascination waxed and waned for years until the mid eighties when i bought out a beekeeper that retired--one live hive and lots of equipment.
    Now that I am 63 years of age the bees seem more important--almost an obsession. My son in law and grandkids are now interested as well as two sons and my wife is reading sections of "the hive and the honey bee", and that makes it worthwhile. We are putting hives at his garden site for better polination this year.
    "Younz" have a great day, I will.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    SW Michigan
    Posts
    65

    Post

    The year was 1979, Chiangmai Thailand. We had been there since 1974 as missionaries. Had a close friend who began raising bees who learned from local Chinese. He showed me the "ins and outs" of bee keeping and where I learned to fight mites before they even got to the USA. I had two hives there. Moved back to the USA (Michigan) in 1982 where I had 3 hives for a couple of years.

    Then last year I got the fever again and purchased a couple of packages. Hope to have around 18-20 hives by this fall with splits, more packages and swarms. Guess I'm getting ready for retirement and a GREAT hobby to keep me busy.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Charleston, WV
    Posts
    172

    Post

    I started 3 years ago with a colony given to me by a guy at the local assosciation. I just got a wild hair and decided to go to the meeting to see what they did. I had heard my grandfather and grandfather-in-law talk about having bees when they were younger. I was fascinated by the way they talked about their bee experience. So, anyhow, I went to the meeting hoping someone there would let me work with them and just be around bees a little to see if I was "into it". One guy told me to come over. I drove my truck over and by the end of the evening, I was loading one of his hives into my truck. Now I have 6 hives and I talk to my grandfathers with a few of my own tales. It is a great thing to chat with them about...usually leads into lots of other awesome stories of growing up in the olden days. I am definitely hooked and my kids (11,5,2) are starting to catch the fever too. They walk down to see them about every day with me. I love to watch the bees and I love the honey. I think the best thing is that it helps my blood pressure. It is really relaxing to sit at the entrance and just watch them...ah, heck, I love it!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Bismarck, ND USA
    Posts
    512

    Post

    First got involved with bees in 1988 when I got a Summer job as an inspector for the ag. department. Started with a few hives in 1992 and gradually grew to the present number of 400+.
    Gregg Stewart

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Texarkana, TX
    Posts
    166

    Post

    Howdy GDS and all --

    Present age 83. Started with first handmade
    hive (all simple hand tools) in 1934. With bees
    all time except 3 years in WWII and 6 years in
    veterinary college (Texas A&M)

    While in high schoool,worked with S.E. McGregor - Federal Entomologist - doing experimental work with different strains of bees and their resistance to American Foulbrood. Two
    more summers with H.E. Graham of Cameron, Texas.
    He was weakly commercial with about 3,000 hives.
    No reason for him to go all-out because in the middle of the Depression there was very little
    money to buy honey.

    I am just as eager and enthusiastic about bees as the day I started, and learn something new ever year. Congrats to you younger enthusiasts.
    Best of everything to you.

    Doc

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    McMinnville, TN, USA
    Posts
    716

    Post

    My dad had hives while I was growing up. I loved standing in the flight path with the bees buzzing around me(only got stung a couple times). I learned early on bees only sting when provoaked(sp). So during recess I would find honeybees on a flower and would "pet" them for lack of better term. It shocked the other kids and just made me do it more. In 1981 we moved to my parents home town in TN and where I live now. Dad was reading all the jurnals about the mite problems spreading fast so he sold the hives instead of trying to move them south. Well I learned that carpenter bees(some call them bumble bees but the ones that drill in wood) that had the yellow spot on their head were drones. I would catch these and play with them and even take them to school and put them in teachers desk drawers. That made class real interesting. Dad did hive a swarm in a wax coated cardboard box about 5 years later. He was just going to let them pollenate the garden and such and was not planning on managing them. They stayed for about a month and left. I took the box and cut the comb out. After that I was totally set to get me a hive going. Well a job and college then a wife and kids kept putting off me getting hives. The cost of the start up was way more than I could afford.

    3 years ago I got my first bees. I got 2 packages from R Weaver with buckfast queens. It was kind of bad timing as I purchased my hives in late summer. August 12th, about a week after ordering my hives, I fell at work and messed up my back. I was still determed to put bees in these boxes. I hived the packages in mid April and found out I was going in for back surgery mid June. So they were not fed properly to get them to draw the rest of the comb as I was laid up most of the summer. Both hives made it through the winter and were split and split and split some more. Along with collecting swarms and removing bees from buildings I was able to sell a few nucs and purchase more equipment and ended up making alot more equipment. So I made it to 11 hives going into winter. All came through winter great. I now have 26 colonies. I hope to get to 50 hives by winter. Next year will be a total honey year with few splits. It is a shame a beekeeper has been buying honey for 2 seasons. I set 2 hives aside for honey production this season. There is my history to date.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Springfield, VA
    Posts
    17

    Post

    This is just my second season, but I did come to this in an unusual way.

    My hobby for years was backyard gardening. I was very BAD at it, but very enthusiastic. Sort of like Charlie Brown trying to kick the football every year.

    Right after 9/11, I was diagnosed with acute leukemia and was a bee-hair's breadth away from dying before I had a life-saving bone marrow transplant in July 2002. One of the many restrictions on my lifestyle now is "no gardening" or digging in the soil. Something about the microbes getting into my weakened lungs and causing life-threatening pneumonia. So in Spring 2003 I went absolutely NUTS because I couldn't rake, mow, pull weeds and especially cultivate the soil. And I was driving my dear wife nuts, too.

    During the summer of 2003, my wife and I went to a country inn for a weekend and it rained continually so I found a copy of Sue Hubbell's "Book of Bees" on a pile of dusty books. After 20 pages, I was intruiged. Then I visited my 88 year-old uncle who's been keeping bees since Methuselah was a tot and he took me out for a demonstration. That did it. I called my docs in Seattle to see if this was a safe hobby and they surprised me by telling me that they had full-time beekeepers who had recovered from their transplants and returned to work with no ill effects. So I spent the rest of 2003 reading up, assembled the woodenware that winter and my two packages arrived on April 19, 2004.

    Funny, a lot of really gratifying things have come to my wife and I because of leukemia, and the bees are part of that. And then we adopted a beautiful baby girl. My cup runneth over! And my hives runneth over, too...one of them swarmed Thursday

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Alpine, NY (near Cayuga Lake)
    Posts
    107

    Post

    I was the kind of kid who liked ant farms and "sea monkeys." In fact, as an adult, when I had an aquarium, I started raising those "sea monkeys" again (brin shrip) to feed my fish.

    I also keep red worms for composting. I just like watching these little things do their thing. It fascinates me. So when I bought my house on its 10 acres a few years ago, I was casting around for something to do with my land. I'm too busy for large animals, much as love them.

    A couple of years ago, I was chatting with a neighbor who was thinking of keeping bees. Thought we'd take an extension course together. Well, that didn't work out, but it must have planted a thought in my head.

    About a year ago January, I started reading up about bees. First on the 'net, and then I found a book on bees at the local mega bookstore--John Vivian's Keeping Bees.

    It was still winter, so I read and read, and bought more books and so on. Bought some equipment, found some nucs in June of 2004, and started. I'm up to five hives now, so I guess I'm hooked. [img]smile.gif[/img]
    Lesli<br /> <a href=\"http://beeyard.blogspot.com/\" target=\"_blank\">http://beeyard.blogspot.com/</a>

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Kennebunk, Maine
    Posts
    203

    Post

    I first got interested in bees when I was in the third grade. I was interested in all types of bees and wasps. I used to collect the paper wasp nests that I found and watched them hatch. I read every book about bees I could find in the school and town library.
    In the sixth grade I was obsessed with the idea of getting an observation hive. I met a local beekeeper who helped me obtain one and stocked it with a frame of his bees for me. He let me watch him work on his hives and got me enrolled in a beekeeping course the following winter.
    I got my first real colony of bees in the spring of 1975. My father put it together for me and assisted in hiving the package. This hive swarmed the following spring. With the help of my beekeeping mentor's wife and my neighbor we got the swarm down from a tree and into a barrel. I now had two colonies which I kept until 1981 when I abandoned beekeeping to pursue other interests.
    I forgot all about bees until I bought my first house. I once again started with an observation hive in the summer of 2001. The bees quickly outgrew the observation hive and absconded. I caught them and transferred them into a regular hive. Luckily we had a very mild winter that year and the bees survived with only 8 frames drawn. The following summer that hive produced 160 pounds of honey.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Stoughton Wisconsin
    Posts
    9

    Post

    I started by helping Grandpa! My mom has said that he had bees for as long as she can remember. I remember vividly the day that my dad had one hive put on our land. My dad, uncle, and grandpa went in together to sell honey. My cousins, brothers and myself mainly provided young, fresh arms to crank the extractor. Our second purpose was to help grandpa when he checked hives, captured swarms, went on calls to exterminate the "bees" (mainly yellow jackets) terrorizing homeowners, or whatever other jobs he had for us. My dad has done most of the beekeeping as grandpa grew older and died a year and a half ago.

    Three years ago I began my personal adventure by suggesting to dad he could put some hives by a friend of mine. (Dad lives about an hour away.) Year one was not good, I lost both hives. Last year I extracted about 120 lbs from two hives and almost wintered both over. One survived and I have a second package to start with and plan to expand and work closely with dad and his hives.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,361

    Post

    OK Lesli, sea monkeys?! Your're dating yourself. As for me I spent all my free time from 4 yrs old to now (46) finding an excuse to be out in the woods, fields or wading through creeks and swimming in ponds. A friend gave me the equipment for a hive 14 year ago and ever since I have been hanging onto the tail of this ever expanding excuse to be out in the forest, fields and creeks(you know, on a really hot day in the beeyard, spaluge). I hear the same thread through out, addiction, obsession, what a wonderful high though to be out in the beeyard on those perfect sunny days when a million bees are humming all around, or when a thunderstorm is rolling over the horizon, or a swarm steals your mind for trip over the next mountain!! Now my dad and my son(14) are both hooked! My wife just thinks I'm nuts!!

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads