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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,648

    Default a) Overview, the big picture

    Focus: What needs to be considered before taking the first step.
    Regards, Barry

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, N.C.
    Posts
    5,080

    Default

    Visit a beekeeper.
    Check out the library, google for info, READ,READ,READ.
    Revisit the beek with questions that came up from reading.
    Locate and visit local beek club..
    Go into another's hive with them.

    Now, do you want to continue with bees???

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,648

    Default

    Know what the cost of the initial startup equipment/bees are and what the time commitment will be.
    Last edited by Barry; 09-03-2010 at 01:13 PM.
    Regards, Barry

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Wheatfield, IN
    Posts
    2,068

    Default

    READ!!!

    Find a local beekeeper...

    Get some beekeeping books and READ!.

    Spend some time with a beekeeper. Ask questions like... what percentage of your colonies die every year... Do you have to buy bees every year?

    If they have to buy bees every year or if they lose large percentages of colonies every year... then FIND A DIFFERENT BEEKEEPER TO LEARN FROM!

    READ!

    Did I mention READ?

    Try to get yourself as knowledgeable as possible before aquiring any bees. I see folks asking questions sometimes about topics that are covered in every beekeeping book I've ever read! It is obvious they have done little to educate themselves prior to getting bees. Do your homework.

    READ!

    You won't learn everything from reading... but it will give you a good start!
    Dan Williamson
    B&C Honey Farm http://www.flickr.com/photos/9848229@N05/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Warne, North Carolina
    Posts
    551

    Default

    ....then after you read, read, read.......

    last month I met a beekeeper who had some really good advice. He said that people were always asking him where the best source of beekeeping knowledge was at. His answer: look in the mirror, YOU are the best source.

    I can't tell you how many times that I have known the answer to my own questions, only to doubt myself, then not act on the answer I knew, only to ask someone else's opinion, only to find out later that I should of listened to my internal intellect. Beekeeping is such a Zen thing,

    Best wishes and good luck!
    ~What do you know there's so much to be done
    Count all the bees in the hive, Chase all the clouds from the sky~

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    owensboro,ky
    Posts
    2,240

    Default

    i'm sure there are zillions but i personally have never met a beekeeper that didnt have a pet. something about the desire and ability and intellegence and patience to care for another creature seems to be a requirement, and a decent preparation.
    "Wine is a constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy" Ben Franklin

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    La Crosse, WI
    Posts
    18

    Default

    After I read, what should I do??
    Last edited by Barry; 09-03-2010 at 01:15 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Faulkner Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    1,700

    Default

    I've read all the posts, very good information for learning. One thing is forgotten. Well two maybe.
    1. a business plan.
    a) is your goal to always be a 1-2 or 10 hive farm?
    b) is this your way of starting out getting the feel and then go "whole hog" life style change
    c) figure your costs. Start up, capital cost, day to day expensed like feed and treatments, repair costs on hives, on extraction
    d) cost per hive then the price paid for honey
    e) if your goal is to sell "farm gate" then your cost for packaging and bottling

    Know where your $ go. At the end of the season you might see and increase in the bank, but what did it cost to get that increase?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Pigeon Falls, WI
    Posts
    2,529

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by marty_rk View Post
    After I read, what should I do??
    Acquire equipment, buy bees, install them and be ready to learn what the books can't show you(find a local successful mentor). An unsuccessful mentor can show you what not to do! Good luck. No matter how book smart you get "hands on experience" is the best.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Toledo, Washington, USA
    Posts
    64

    Default

    My suggestion is kind of dumb. Bees need to spend time alone to build their colony. You need to watcha nd learn from them. Get some bees and plan on losing them. Don't open them, just learn about them. You will be suprised at how much you don't really understand about bee cultures, societies and colonies. After you know how basic insect lifestyle works, you will be alot better beekeeper. I watched them for too long(7 years). I think I am part of their world now.... this is my first year of apiary work...

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Milwaukee WI
    Posts
    264

    Default

    This is my 2nd year

    1) screened bottom boards many of the company's sell a starter kit but no screened bottom board just the solid.

    2) Mite counts how many before you treat with something? and pics of what mites look like on a sticky board for us new-bees. there is lots of solids on the board hard to tell what they look like on a sticky board after a sugar treatment.

    3) What is the best treatment for Mites so many all say there are the best.

    4) how to make a sugar fond board for winter.

    5) how to make sugar water and like 1 lb to 1lb of water many told me 2to 1 and that was all maybe it should read 2 lbs of sugar to 1 lb of H2O

    5) a little on organic bee keeping on what they use to get ride of mites they must use more then just small cell frames?

    6) some sites or from here on how to make some of the things people make
    Last edited by paulnewbee1; 08-18-2008 at 11:47 AM. Reason: to add more to the tread
    Wishing you all the best of tomorrows and good honey

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    OKC, OK USA
    Posts
    2,870

    Default

    I just got a copy of "Natural Beekeeping" and must say this is an excellent book. It covers, in detail, pest and disease issues, especially v mites and all current treatments.
    Mike Forbes
    Red Dirt Apiaries

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Limestone Co, Alabama
    Posts
    1,674

    Default

    Water weighs 8 pounds per gallon. The local grocery store sells granulated sugar in 4 pound bags just to help beekeepers. A 1 by 1 mixture is TWO 4 pound (64 ounce) bags of sugar to one gallon water. Don’t use boiling water. If you use hot water let it cool to about your body temp before you give it to your bees not a drawn out process in Milwaukee during the winter if my memory serves me right. A 2 by 1 sugar water mixture is FOUR 4 pound bags of sugar to one gallon of water. A 1 by 2 mixture is ONE 4 pound bag of sugar to one gallon of water. If you will read the paper or go to the grocery with your wife you will often find sugar on sale. Recently I found granulated sugar in four pound bags for $1.29 each this is about .32 cents per pound. The 25 pound bags were $11.55 each or about 46 cents per pound. This was a savings of $32.00 on a 100 pound purchase.

    Also considering the part of the country I live in the Alcohol Beverage Control Board may question you if you buy sugar in bigger sizes. The grocery stores use to have to keep records on who purchased sugar in 100 pound sacks. When people worked for a living or starved this was the moonshiners preferred size. Some times they carried a ton or more of sugar over a half a mile into the woods, one or two one hundred pound sacks at a time.

    If you need powdered sugar for a mite test or to use as a medium to administer medicine or to make cake fond do this. Put regular granulated sugar in a DRY food processor. Pulse it until you have a fine powdered product, about 30 seconds. You will lose some volume when you do this, so if your “recipe” calls for a cup of powered sugar use more than a cup of granulated sugar to get the correct volume. It will still weigh the same however.

    Walter T. Kelley said, “A pint is a pound the world around.” A gallon of water contains eight pints. A four pound bag of granulated sugar contains eight pints also.
    Scrapfe---Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.--Otto von Bismarck.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Limestone Co, Alabama
    Posts
    1,674

    Default

    oops my math was wrong
    Scrapfe---Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.--Otto von Bismarck.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

    Default

    reading material...

    abc-xyz in any of it many additions. my wife especially likes for me to read from my old copy (early '70's edition) with it very dated prose. she has commentedthat this older books really does reflect how much beekeepers love their girls.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Madison County, Alabama
    Posts
    487

    Default To all beginning beeks, just know this...

    There are ABSOLUTELY NO ABSOLUTES when it comes to keeping bees.

    As soon as someone tells you that bees always do this or always do that, or never do this or never do that, then DON'T believe them. There is absolutely NOTHING that bees will ALWAYS do. There are things that bees will MOST LIKELY do, but bees follow NO rules 100% of the time. Anyone who tells you they do, don't know bees very well. Things like beespace--MOST (99.8%) of the time bees regulate bee space, but NOT ALWAYS.

    The other piece of advice is get Iddee's phone number. I don't know how many times I've called Iddee in a pinch. He lives in North Carolina, I live in Virginia, 40 miles west of Washington, DC. His phone # is plugged into my cell phone. He is a modern day G.M. Doolittle and does not mind one bit answering questions!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,726

    Default Re: a) Overview, the big picture

    >Also curious as to how the bees exist in an enclosure like an observation hive and if their life cycle is shortened because of it?

    A typical observation hive is free flying. It is not an enclosure, but a free flying colony with limited space and glass so you can observe them.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesobservationhives.htm
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Old Hickory, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: a) Overview, the big picture

    This is the thread that I keep on visiting because I had used many tips from here. Every time I forgot something or don't know what to do I open this thread and get some answers. Thank you very much every one.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    SNOW SHOE PA USA
    Posts
    1,286

    Default Re: a) Overview, the big picture

    The first book i read before i got bees was KEEPING BEES by JOHN VIVIAN 1986 when i got to the part it talks about swarming i said guess i'm not doing that . Well 15 years later i orded 2 package bees in the mail that was 3 years ago for me and the best book i think to start with i'd go with BEEKEEPING FOR DUMMIES . The first year failed both hives died buy JAN. The nex year i bought 3 nucs and i had read many book buy June and then them hives made it thought winter and now i have 15 hives{ made splits/queens/hived 8 swarms} going in to the winter and there strong saying this i think just jump in and see if ya like it you'll know buy year 2 if it's for you or not . I don't know if a class will realy teach you any thing you can't figur out on your own with books the internet and HANDS ON. I know i'll be a beekeeper the rest of my life after a year or two it clicks .
    I know on the hobby side of it if you don't love you will not do it . And the swarm thing was crazy for me this past year can't wait till this spring to work on my SPM .A mentor i'd just like to know another beekeer to talk to .
    Say hello to the bad guy!
    year five==== 32 hives==== T{OAV}

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Phillips County, Colorado
    Posts
    16

    Default

    Subscribe to the beekeeping magazines: American Bee Journal & Bee Culture

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