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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,327

    Default Develop an FAQ/intro to Beekeeping, the Basics

    I read this sort of statement here fairly often:

    "Quite frankly I love this new hobby but am haveing difficulty sorting through this endless amount of info."

    I believe a source of information such as a bulletin board can become quite overwhelming to the beginner beekeeper. Is there anyone interested in taking up the task of sifting through the archives and putting together an exhaustive document (FAQ sort of thing) that sticks to the basics of beekeeping that we could have posted here in a permanent spot? It could include links, photos, etc. I'm sure if we all gave input to it, we could really create a great piece of information. I don't have the time to pull this together, but perhaps one of you would like a project! Or it could be a collective projective where a rough draft is presented and then it is posted for all to add, tweak, change, etc.
    Last edited by Barry; 02-16-2008 at 09:11 AM.
    Regards, Barry

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Evansville, IN, USA
    Posts
    2,837

    Default

    Great idea!

    But . . . .

    I've been "recording" the "basics" for several years now, and have a "computer full" of just basic stuff.

    Where do you think "we" should begin?
    How loooong should the FQO list be?
    Who's ideas, links, info are we going to use?
    How "basic"?

    But . . . , I do think this is a good idea.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
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    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    9,327

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave W View Post
    Where do you think "we" should begin?
    Hi Dave -

    The way I envision it, why not put this question to the membership? We could start a separate thread and ask for a list of topics that should be covered. I know there are books that cover this, but sometimes someone will start their journey into beekeeping right here. We could skim several books to get an outline and order of topics to cover. I think it needs to be the very basic, leaving out all the "custom" ideas and practices we all do. We could easily provide links to these within the document if one wants to get into them, but that should not be the primary goal here.

    How loooong should the FQO list be?
    I'd say put no limit on it at first. Once we got further down the road, it should become more obvious if editing and pruning is needed.

    Who's ideas, links, info are we going to use?
    I would hope we, as a collective mind, could come to an agreement on this. Perhaps I'm too optimistic, but I'm sure willing to give it a try.
    Regards, Barry

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Evansville, IN, USA
    Posts
    2,837

    Default

    I still have lots of basic question

    Let's "geterdone"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Whitsett, NC
    Posts
    489

    Default

    I can see getting into problems of philosophy of how to use items or setups of boxes or what to put in a smoker.
    I am getting ready to leave town for a while but would be willing to help when I get back.
    I would also expect people to do some reading on their own like Beekeeping for Dummies or Backyard Beekeeper.
    But maybe something like this? Maybe whats covered in a basic beekeeping class?
    Maybe not.
    Maybe break it into sections:

    Types of bees:
    Italians
    Russians

    Types of hives:
    Langstroff
    Top bar


    Woodenware:
    Types of boxes - deep, med, shallow, 8 frame, 10 frame
    Frames - How to assemble
    Types of Bottom boards
    Inner cover
    Screened cover
    Telescoping cover
    Migratory cover

    Tools:
    Hive tools
    smokers
    Bee Vail's
    Suits

    Pests:
    Mites
    Wax Moths
    Nosema

    FAQ
    What holds a hive(woodenware) together

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devils Lake, North Dakota
    Posts
    9,123
    "I would hope we, as a collective mind,.."

    Hey!!! Doesn't a political comment like that belong in Tailgater?

    I am in total agreement on the FAQ and think the tread idea is the
    way to start. It should be encompassing, without being overwhelming.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Autagua Alabama
    Posts
    29

    Default Faq

    April will complete my first year keeping bees. I whole heartly agree with the idea. As a first year keeper most of my questions are what to look for when opening a hive were to get bees and equipment. The person who got me going said I needed to get this this and that from Walter Kelly and bees from Bolling bees. The bees never happened ( A member of this forum King Bee Apiries got me headed in the right direction ) I got equipment I did't need and needed stuff I did't get.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Troupsburg, NY
    Posts
    4,074

    Default

    Ok, instead of just one thread, how about a thread for each aspect of beekeeping, from protective clothing, to woodenware, to types of bees....each thread would cover the single aspect of a very complex hobby.
    "I reject your reality, and substitute my own." Adam Savage

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,327

    Default

    I also want to see us, wherever possible, to remain neutral and generic on issues. Some are into SC, other's TBH's, integrating ferals, by-the-book treatments, etc. I don't think a position should be "endorsed", for instance, in the area of treatments. The spectrum/options can be listed, but I'd hate to see the USDA recommendations as the place to start, or made to appear as the best options.
    Regards, Barry

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Seattle, Washington State
    Posts
    4,398

    Default

    Maybe yoou could shell some topics out to other beekeepers to write about. For example, x topic will go to this person. I do like the idea of being neutral on the subject. That will be hard for people. Even beekeepers who write books tend to lean on one side or another.
    Chef Isaac..Culinary Arts and Honey are a sweet mix! http://www.sweetascanbeehoneyfarm.com & http://www.adoptahive.info

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Seattle, Washington State
    Posts
    4,398

    Default

    Barry:

    Another thing I forgot to add. I often refer people to Beesource. When newbees pop up and I am mentoring them, I will tell them about Beesource and I tell them to read a beginners book first, often refering them to Beekeepers for Dummies. Beesource is a wealth of info and I do remember when I first signed on that it was a lot of info to start.

    You might also consider an opening letter to newbees who sign on.
    Chef Isaac..Culinary Arts and Honey are a sweet mix! http://www.sweetascanbeehoneyfarm.com & http://www.adoptahive.info

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Monroe, PA, USA
    Posts
    30

    Default Topics

    Barry,

    This is a great idea.

    Although I just started beekeeping 2 years ago, my wife asked me to start collecting ideas to pass on to other new beekeepers we meet. I have collected a number of links on different topics of beekeeping.

    Michael Palmer had a great description on BeeSource of how he starts and over-winters nucs each year.

    Grant Gulliard (forgive me if I misspelled the name) had a great approach to getting on swarm lists which he posted to the Feral Bee list.

    Michael Bush's website is his attempt to create a FAQ's sheet on issues he finds important.

    Topics to consider:

    Equipment needed
    Building equipment
    Races of bees and their various pros and cons
    Setting up the first hive
    Queen rearing
    Seasonal management
    Diseases and Pests
    Conventional/chemical beekeeping
    IPM techniques
    "Natural" techniques
    Seasonal management
    Honey processing--extraction or crush and strain
    Wax processing
    Planting for bees

    Just a starter list.

    Mike

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,327

    Default

    To add to Ski's list:

    Brief description of beekeeping in all the different regions of the U.S.
    (west, southwest, mountainous, plains, north central, northeast and southeast) oh yea, there's also that state of perpetual snow and ice!

    Swarming
    Nutrition (pollen & feeding)
    Package bees & nucs
    Hive management
    Honey removal, processing and packing
    Regards, Barry

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Grantsboro, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    78

    Default Faq

    I too am completing my first year of beekeeping. Beesource was one of my valuable information sources. I would have benefited better by having this site more search friendly by subject matter. I am not as tech savy as some, and I had to read a lot of post before I found what I was looking for. Another point would be to list a beginner 123 FAQ by calander of bee activity. Someone wanting to begin beekeeping in December, needs to know information to December activity rather than complicated mite treatment procedures.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devils Lake, North Dakota
    Posts
    9,123

    Default

    Perhaps a FAQ with sections/subjects???

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,027

    Default

    Great idea Barry! I'll second the organized-by-subject thought, I think that would work well though being able to read it subject-by-subject would be helpful for the folks with time and newbie fever. BS members (in general or specifically) could be "invited" to write a section for review/comment so it all doesn't fall on one frozen guy . I'd be glad to be considered for contributing, I really enjoyed working up the meadmaking FAQ/intro.

    I bet lots of folks here would kick in a subject's worth of prose. As long as they made an effort to include, as Barry said, dispassionate consideration of the reasonably-subscribed varying views it should keep most of the people happy most of the time (to paraphrase Abe ).
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Liberty, Maine
    Posts
    197

    Default

    This seems like a wiki waiting to happen.

    I know I've heard s few rumblings about Bee wiki's, but I think if you started out with some good structure it would work pretty well.

    K

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devils Lake, North Dakota
    Posts
    9,123

    Default

    The Wiki is a good idea............ Can someone here develop
    the structure?? Or is that farmed out at some cost?

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Kirkland, WA, USA
    Posts
    1,020

    Default

    Why not just adopt the abandoned wikimedia book on beekeeping? (I haven't seen any work on it in a while). The primary reason to have your own wiki would be to restrict participation to board members (and thus hopefully screen out the "honeybeezzzz suxors" edits that tend to happen with wikipedia.
    http://www.voiceofthehive.com - Tales of Beekeeping and Honeybees

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    GA, USA
    Posts
    183

    Post

    A recent thread makes me think that one of the biggest challenges will be making an introduction that serves the type of person that carefully reads first and the type that jumps in head first (or is thrown in by finding a swarm or inherits hives).

    I think it would be best to create an introductory section that has only a few subtopics that cover the most basic info. and is separated from more detailed/opinionated information.

    The complete beginner and the person who finds bees and wants to keep them need a concise set of information that will let them keep bees and keep them alive until they find the time to commit to a more serious study.

    Searching the forums is a tough way for the beginner to clearly understand the more advanced topics and the commonly debated issues. Detailed explanations of pest treatment, queen rearing, honey processing, etc. could be placed in a more advanced FAQ section to make the most basic info. more easily accessible. I think it's important to summarize the debated issues and provide more advanced info. without requiring the newbee to search through piles of posts that argue or ramble off topic.

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