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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Shasta County Ca
    Posts
    6

    Default keeping bees for beekeeper!

    Hi,
    I live in northern Califonia on 15 acres. A commercial beekeeper has 120 hives and the thing is asked me to keep 60 of them on my property. He is coming down to talk to me on Friday so I have some questions if y'all don't mind answering.

    1. What would be a fair amount of honey for keeping the bees? Honey is all I want.

    2. I have a pool probably 2 acres away from where they will be... will they want to go to it or can I supply water closer to them and how much for that many?

    3. If my home is 2 acres away, will they likely stay out of the home area for the most part? There are 500 acres behind me with cattle and irrigated fields.

    Thanks very much and pardon the ignorance...

    Ellie

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Salt Lake City Utah
    Posts
    11

    Default

    as for asking for honey i think i would ask to just have honey as i need it. 60 hives puts out more honey than you could use in a lifetime. be more greatfull for helping the envirment. bees like water you will not keep them away from you pool. but remember bees dont want to die. their olny aggresive when their hive is in trouble of danger. the more water you keep close to the hive the better off the pool will be. i sit in a chair between two of my hives within one foot of each of them my bees land on me all the time. rarely does one have an attitude and starts buzzing my face. them i will walk away not run walk. my hives are 50 feet from my house my wife is allergic and does the gardening within feet of the hives. they dont bother her. bees sense fear. just enjoy the benefits. danabee

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Shasta County Ca
    Posts
    6

    Default

    Thanks for the reply. I am definitely one to help the environment, as I contacted the beekeeper, asking to keep the bees. I probably didn't relate that well, sorry.

    I really appreciate the news about the pool. I can provide water closer to them if they need it.

    I did not realize how often the beekeeper will collect honey. He lives two states away! I only need just enough for my family since I don't eat it.

    I am not afraid of bees, but have not been around a LOT of them at once so want to treat them right and teach my grandchildren how to behave around them.

    Ellie

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Whittier, CA
    Posts
    362

    Default

    I would sugest to start learning about beekeeping.
    Buy a suit and when he is working on the bees join in.
    Ask for one hive for you and locate it 20 yards away from the rest and work on the hive yourself.
    Take this as an opportunity to be contaminated with beekeeping love virus.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    North Bend, WA
    Posts
    504

    Default

    w/o trying to come off as picking nits . . .

    An acre is an area, not a distance. So "an acre away" doesn't make a lot of sense. Specifying the distance in yards or feet would get you better answers to your question.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    berkshire county MA
    Posts
    1,472

    Default

    Quote "An acre is an area, not a distance. So "an acre away" doesn't make a lot of sense."

    I chuckled when I read this, only because people not from around here laugh at us when we talk about distances in minutes rather than miles. "my bee yard is about 7 minutes down the road"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Southern Oregon
    Posts
    1,162

    Default Training bees to a water source

    Ellie, I think the trick here is to exploit the fact that bees can be a creature of habit. The trick is to get them conditioned to an appropriate water source before the get a chance imprint on the pool. Could the pool be covered while the bees are initially imprinting on their water source? Also the spot you are training them to must be reliable, do not let it run out or they will go looking. Also I believe sea salt or mineral salts can make the water more appealing and provide some useful micro nutrients. All things being equal (attractive elements like chlorine) they will usually prefer the nearest water source. Floats valves or irrigation timers could help.
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    2,497

    Default

    I usually pay one lb per hive as rent so asking for that would be reasonable. Usually you will get the honey after extraction so you may not get any right up front. Don't worry about them coming by your house or getting in it. They will be too busy to pay you a visit. They may come to your pool if there is no other water source or if they like the water in the pool. I have heard that they sometimes favor pool water because of the chlorine. go figure.

    If there are irrigated fields near the hives they will most likely get their water from that...they like moving water (at least mine do)

    Find out if where you want him to put them and where he wants to put them are the same place. Important because he will need access to the hives to work them. How long will they be there. Will he pull them in the fall. Get contact info in case you notice something bad happened to his hives. Don't be afraid to ask him anything about bees.

    Lastly, thanks for letting him put bees on your property. It is a huge help to us beekeepers and the environment when people allow for bees to be spread out.
    Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid. John Wayne

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Paul, ID
    Posts
    13

    Default

    I give my CA. landlords 1 case of spun 12# and one 24# bucket of my raw honey or I pay them cash if they prefer $300-$400 I put 300 - 400 hives or nucs per location. One location is 50 cents per hive 1200 hives there. Always looking for good locations!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
    Posts
    2,290

    Default

    We keep bees in Shasta County and I have to tell you, I spend a lot of time hauling water to bees when it gets dry in the summer.I get phone calls from people with pools because the bees will fly over a river to get pool water!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Pigeon Falls, WI
    Posts
    2,527

    Default

    [QUOTE=K&L HONEY;403489]I put 300 - 400 hives or nucs per location.QUOTE]

    Is that for summer honey production? If so is it sweet clover in all directions as far as you can see. My per hive production starts to drop with anything over 40 colonies per yard.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Shasta County Ca
    Posts
    6

    Default

    Iwombat, I just don't know the distance, but you are right... I will count the fence posts... they are 10ft. apart. Mike it really does get hot and dry and I don't have any shade trees out there, so he may not want to keep them there anyway. Good point, Alpha. It would be an adventure to learn about the little guys though.

    If this is a go, then I will absolutely read up on this. Say, won't it be hard for him to take care of them from Washington when I am in Ca.?

    Love the comments, and am learning so much already from reading here.

    Ellie

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Bear Creek, Outagamie & Waupaca Counties, Wisconsin 54922-0176
    Posts
    26

    Default

    I agree 40 colonies per acre usually is the maximum unless you want the weakest hives robbed out. The exception is nectar flows. But without strong flows, like in clover or citrus or other orchard in bloom, anything over 40 will tend to promote robbing and weaker colony strength in general. You take a look at California holding yards and it is amazing any of the bees survive that ordeal.

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