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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    mountain home, ar, usa
    Posts
    378

    Post

    Like many above, my father kept bees when I was a kid and helping him I learned to love it. I didn't start keeping my own until four years ago. I decided I would throw out every existing beekeeping practice and experiment with what works on my own. (Many things which worked well during my fathers generation don't necessarily work now...) Anyway, I'm glad I did 'cause I do things a little different than most.

    I have a degree in Chemical Engineering and have worked as an engineer for 12 years, but was laid off last April. I've decided I'm burnt out on engineering so I'll just help my wife with her business and try some sidelining in bees. I'm up to 60 hives now, and would like to double each year for several more years. Hope we don't have any more years like this last one honey-wise... it was slow. Maybe I'll move my bees to soybean fields during summer in East Arkansas if I can ever find a grower out there willing. Oh ya, I'm 39 and have 4 young kids.

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Beulaville, NC
    Posts
    10

    Smile

    Michael,

    <Click on the pictures for more detail and explanations.>

    Thank you so much, I had seen your pictures
    but didn't realise I could clicky on them.

    <If you'd like info on TBH there is a thread under the equipment forum.>

    I had been searching around in here for info, I should've just asked you to begin with. This is wonderful. I'm up and can't sleep, listening to George Noory on the radio. Looks like I've got a lot of reading to do.

    Thanks much,
    Carol

    [This message has been edited by Bee_Charmer (edited October 29, 2003).]

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Arnold, Peoples Republik of Maryland
    Posts
    31

    Post

    wishthecuttlefish wrote;

    >I live in Maryland, which is one of the worst states for honey production, and have lived here most of my life.

    Sad but true. I didn't find that out until after I got started with my first hive this past spring. (The info. coyote provided a while back showed Maryland dead last in virtually every category of honey production.)
    Fortunately MD is still fortunate to have a number of very experienced and helpful beekeepers and beekeeping organizations.

    My name is Bill Stoffel, I'm 54 and spend my weekends in MD with my wife and daughter, the rest of the time in lovely South Philly. (Got relocated in the last round of federal base closures.) Makes keeping bees a bit more challenging but we got through our first summer OK. (Except for going queenless once, still don't know why.) No honey prodution, but I think stores should be adequate for the winter. If all goes well I hope to be ready to add one or 2 more hives next spring.

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Falconer, NY
    Posts
    206

    Post

    I started Beekeeping when I was 14 years old. Have had at least 1 hive every year since. For a total of 30 years.

    I was setting at the dinning room table in the sparse tenet house an older brother occupied as part of his job as a farmhand. In this house my brother had three things to eat. A can of fresh (straight from the cow) milk, a hand full of Oreos and a jar of store bought honey. The Oreos were for his mice. No, not caged little white ones, but large gray ones that roamed freely through the shack. As I dined on milk, honey and Oreo's I stared at the picture of a honeybee on comb on the label of the honey jar it occurred to me that I wanted to keep bees. Until this time I had never seen a real bee hive and my experience with them was being stung walking in bare feet.

    With money I had earned in various after school and summer occupations, I ordered everything I need to start beekeeping from Montgomery wards. Including the bees.

    My Dad got interested in the bees so it became a family project. From that time we have kept anywhere from one hive to a high of 25. In thirty years I would guess the average was 10. Right Now I have 7, 6 were packages this spring; my dad has one, my nephew 3 (or 4?).

    Several years back work and kids got me too busy and I let my beekeeping slip, regretfully. I always had a hive or few, just did very little with them. During this time is when mites came into the area; my dad got really frustrated and cut way back on his operation. Now I am at a point where I want to do more I find my self behind in educating myself on things such as mites and other new fangled developments in the industry. Hence my search for help and finding this place.

    I wouldn’t say I ever made money at this game. Any profits made go in to equipment upgrades, new packages etc. I feel in the long run we have broke even, maybe even a little better, but no real profits. A lot of enjoyment though.

    My parents sell honey in quart mason jars out of their house. I am too far off the beaten path to sell out of here. Word of mouth no real advertising. Small sign in the front yard. This year, for the first time my nephew made some comb honey and sold some quarts and pints through a farm stand that he seen had no honey products. Seemed to work good.

    We just raised the price from $4.50 to $5.00 per quart.

    I have never invented anything.

    I am not sure what you mean by "contributions".

    My dreams are my own………

    As far as "etc", I live in the boonies with my wife and 3 kids. I am a pipefitter / plumber by trade. Proud to be union. I have been called a hippie, a redneck and a hillbilly all at the same time. (The hair fell out so I haven’t heard hippie for many years). It was once rumored that I was Amish, but I'm not. In addition to beekeeping I like to hunt and cut wood. Firewood, logs and a few bolts of ash that go to the ball bat factory.

    Additionally;

    I use sumac for smoker fuel, tried other stuff, sumac is for me.
    I like Italian bees, tried others they didn’t make the cut.

    Once again I used chemical treatment, I hope to get away from that.

    The three hardest things about beekeeping that I have found are mites, pesticides and western NY winters.

    I would like to thank every at this site it’s the best beekeeping resource that I have ever found.

    tom



  5. #45
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    1,262

    Post

    Jack Grimshaw. I really enjoyed your post... LOL

    I wish you'd post more often.

    I have to admit a thought. "were you talking about me when you talked about the many posts full of bs?"

    I thought so.....

    LOL

    Post more, that was fun..

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Bartonville, TX USA
    Posts
    456

    Post

    >I'm probably arrogant generally but I try to hide it.
    >"Some of these arrogant people with thousands of posts..."
    > I don't think anyone on this site is arrogant I welcome any advice however I can get it.

    Ain't nobody round thats got George Imrie beat, god bless him. bout as cranky and smart and knows it for real as any of them. Would never call it arrogant. Conviction yes. Don't know his fate but I miss his posts.

    PS Dadant bill came today. boy is the wife pissed. I think her words were 'unsustainable'. i'm hooked, just go out and get a few stings and I'll get over it.

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Birmingham, West Midlands, UK
    Posts
    751

    Post

    I started beekeeping three years ago; the idea had been growing on me, and it was a potential way of getting off sugar onto something a bit more healthy. I promptly found that there was more to it than I'd realised. My first hive was seriously nasty; there were times when they'd chase me into my shed and then patrol outside the door waiting for me. The second generation were a bit better but still not very nice. By that time I'd started taking stings for granted. The trouble was, they never produced much honey, queens only lasted one season, and there were annual problems raising queens; we were having a series of bad summers and they just didn't seem to mate. Last year was particularly awful, and finished them off; they all died out during the winter.

    So I was left with several boxes of small comb, and no bees. I'd been wanting native bees anyway, so I got a couple of nucs and tried swapping them onto small comb. I lost one in the process, but the other has requeened itself and seems well established. They're much better to work with, I no longer use smoke, and rarely get stung. they sem to make more honey too, though its a bit early to be dogmatic.

    Apart from that, I teach, look after things at my local Methodist church, try to keep up with Biblical Studies, garden and collect ancient coins.

    ------------------
    Regards,

    Robert Brenchley

    RSBrenchley@aol.com
    Birmingham UK

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,319

    Post

    My first taste of beekeeping happened back in the 70's when a family I knew decided to start up beekeeping. They were readers of Mother Earth, Organic Gardening, and other periodicals of similar genre. I was in my mid-teens at the time. They worked up to about 60 hives and I remember being around their home a lot and seeing the bees and their operation and learning the basics of beekeeping. At that age, I had a lot of other interests going on in my life.

    It wasn't until the early 90's that I decided to get some hive equipment I had in storage, down from the garage attic, and get them full of bees. I started with two hives. Ordered a 3 lb. package of bees from Georgia for one, and a nuc from a local commercial beekeeper for the other. I enjoyed the package bees much more, watching them start with nothing and ending up with 20 deep frames of comb and stored honey, set for the winter.

    This was also the same time I really got interested in computers (thank you Mac, having been turned off previously from buying a pre-windows dos machine a few years before), Internet, and web design. Having a lot of experience in construction and cabinetmaking and noticing there were few websites on beekeeping and none where you could find drawings for making your own equipment, an idea was born and a website was created. After about 2 years, I decided to create Beesource. By then, I had met other beekeepers who challenged me in my conventional beekeeping ways (Lusby's, Wenner, Rodriguez, etc.) and realized that because it was different from the party line we were hearing from a lot of the scientists and researchers, it was not getting out to the rest of the beekeeping community. I expanded the scope of the site to include space and forums for these people and their views.

    I keep a handful of hives, primarily for testing and research. I left chemicals and drugs 4 years ago and will not go back. I enjoy my TBH and may do away with all my conventional equipment and keep only TBH's. I've gone through the conversion to small cell in all my Lang's but still feel the bees are showing me there is still more to it than one cell size.

    I have made some very good friends through this medium. Some I've met many times, others I'm still planning to meet face to face. Dennis keeps sending me his weather so all I have to do is call him up and get my forecast 2 days in advance.

    I'm a single dad who has five kids that are gifts from God. Apart from Christ, they are first in my life.

    Regards,
    Barry

  9. #49
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Sebastopol, CA, USA
    Posts
    29

    Post

    Daisy,

    I'm 57, live in northern CA and have had bees on and off since I was about 25. At one time (before varroa), I had 150 hives, a home built forklift and wanted to go commercial, but came to realize I couldn't make a living at it unless I had 1000 hives and wanted to drive trucks all year long. (Even then you couldn't make any money at it.)

    I was a contractor for 15 years and owned my own software business which I sold 2 years ago. I'm now retired and getting back into bees for the fun of it. My goal is to have 100 hives and make a little money from them, but if I don't it won't matter. I have 20 hives started from packages this year. They did well and I will split them in the spring.

    I'm just finishing a loading boom for my flatbed truck (building it myself) because I don't want to ruin my back. I built all of my own equipment, but am going to buy supers and frames in the future since they can be had for less than I can buy the lumber for.

    I've had the good fortune to travel some recently and visited beekeepers in India and Scicily recently. I think this forum is great! It really helped me orient to management with varroa.

    Dan the beeman




  10. #50
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    156

    Post

    I a first generation Canadian, with the rest of my family still in Germany. I moved to the USA 10 years ago for medical school (I'm a naturopathic physician) and never went back - even though I really miss it. After my second year of residency I started having babies and followed my husband to the East Coast for his schooling. We now live on some shared land in Portland, try to eat organically and sometimes get referred to as hippies.

    For the last 5 years friends have been keeping bees on our land and I have been watching and learning. This year no-one else was doing it so I decided it was time for me to start. I took an evening beekeeping class, ordered some packages and was off! In 6 months I've learned more than the last 5 years combined. I now have 3 hives and will probably stay here until the boys are older and can really help me. My 4 year old has a bee suit and inspite of several stings pre-bee suit, still loves working with them and has no fear (he decided it was a good idea to catch some bees in a tea strainer - when he let them go they let him know they didn't like that one bit ) !

    Before I found this forum I thought I was all alone in trying to do it drug-free. I'm glad there are so many others out there - and not just lefty-hippies either!

  11. #51
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    1,262

    Post

    Dan and Louise, I took some honey this year and use it in my coffee and tea. I use it in my fresh sqeezed lemon aid almost daily with a cayenne capsule that I made myself. Bought the #10 hots and dried them in my vegetable dryer, powdered them and stuff em in caps... What a BOOST! Along with a B combo and I'm alive again! (well too I stopped using the cell phones because it was having deleterious affects upon me brain caused by electromagnetic radiation)

    Anyway the girls brought home the chocolates from trick and treating. I ate some and had an aweful reaction. My legs were jitterin, I could of danced the jitterbug for an hour.

    I realized that since I began using honey for all my sweetness, my body had cleansed itself of the poisonous affects of white sugar. I had not realized how bad it could be on older folks like me. Anyway, my stash of honey won't last till next July Aug when I'll hopefully collect some more honey. I will have enough beehives because even if all my hives died out this winter, I will buy packages, so anyway, I'll have to buy honey because I'll run out of mine.

    My bees don't have commercial chemicals in them. Oils yes. I don't mind this for our family.

    I really enjoy this place. All the folks here are just as genuine and unique as they come.


  12. #52
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana USA
    Posts
    9

    Big Grin

    I'm Rob Green, a backyard beekeeper and speaker and sometimes teacher of beekeeping. I'm a director in the Indiana State Beekeeping Assn, and the publicity chair of Heartland Apicultural Society. I run the Indiana Beekeeping School, with two classes in January coming up.

    I'm a business consultant, computer tech, Advanced Master Gardener, radio show host.

  13. #53
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Camarillo, Ca. USA
    Posts
    17

    Post

    Hello everyone,this is my first post on a great site.My name is Wayne Scott,mid 40s and I am a beeaholic once again. Had about 40 hives back in the 70s and early 80s in and around Ventura County, Ca. Ended up giving all my bees and equipment to friends. I Just did'nt have the time I guess.

    But then 15yrs later, I boxed up a swarm this Aug, what can I say. I'm starting from scratch once again, and boy have things become more complicated. Just where did all these mite thingies and beatles come from?

    The only real problem we had out here was fires,floods,earthquakes and mud slides LOL But these darn mites seem to be everywhere! I'm confident that in the near future these pests will be less of a problem, and without the use of chemical controls, but with proper selective breeding.

    I hope to have a minimun of 25 or more hives next year. I still have all my good locations, most of the other keepers are gone now, it's more wide open. What the heck, I can't wait till next summer!

  14. #54
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    1,262

    Post

    Welcome SoCal

    I started keeping bees last year without a clue with regards to bee mites. I learned about the situation for dealing with them here.

    Great Source, Beesource.

    Hmmm a New Moto perhaps?

    LOL

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