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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Bradenton, FL
    Posts
    135

    Default Hello from Florida

    My husband and I just jumped into beekeeping a few weeks ago after several months of planning. We were really excited about getting started once we found it was actually legal for us to have backyard hives in a residential area (in our county anyways).

    We are now the proud owners of two hives of Carniolan cross bees and are slowly learning about the tasks associated with the upkeep.

    Besides our bees we have three kids between us, three dogs (large mix along with a Westie and Cairn Terrier) and are both very busy. We also have a large garden in the back yard-but it is all containerized and on drip irrigation to keep maintenance to a minimum. Both my husband and I are into the no chemical thinking, and will do everything we can to avoid spraying anthing that isn't natural around our home-I think our bees will appreciate that.

    Looking forward to all the benefits of interacting with other beekeepers!

    DebCP

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,985

    Default

    Welcome aboard. You are in an excellent location for the bee and also a great place to learn about all the current problems in beekeeping. The good, the bad and the ugly all go hand in hand... don't ya' know?

    Quite a long time ago (well actually only about 4 decades ago) I did a little bit of beekeeping (well actually quite a bit) just a bit east and slightly north of ya' around what was then a very rural town called Plant City.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Bradenton, FL
    Posts
    135

    Default

    Yes, we certainly have a lot of benefits of beekeeping here in Florida-and a lot of challenges. The whole africanized bee issue really makes things different-no more letting the hive create their own queen since you don't know if it is partly africanized. The small hive beetles have already been arriving so I'm sure the varoa isn't too far behind.

    Looking forward to being able to be in contact with other beekeepers.

    DebCP

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Limestone, Alabama
    Posts
    592

    Default

    Hello and welcome to beekeeping! I have assisted several people in Florida with getting bees and equipment to start out with. All of them are doing OK, but had a few challenges with the SHB. Keep ahead of those beetles.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
    Posts
    576

    Default

    Welcome...I have family in the Tampa area. Nice to have you aboard. If you have any orange trees nearby, then I am jealous. We can't grow oranges here in TN to make orange blossom honey! But we do ok with the clover and wildflowers. Good luck to you!
    "My child, eat honey, for it is good." (Proverbs 24:13)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Clearwater, Florida
    Posts
    11

    Default Bee Keepers in your area

    The Tampa Bay Beeleepers Association will be hosting a introduction to bee keeping seminar on May 16th at the Upper Tampa Bay Park in Oldsmar. They are a great group of people and have a wealth of knowledge and are more than willing to share their expierences. You can get more information on their web site. Good Luck with your new hobby!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Bradenton, FL
    Posts
    135

    Default Thanks for the welcome

    Hi Guys,

    Thanks for the friendly welcome! Our bees are doing great so far and I'll be excited to eventually get some local honey from my own backyard. About the small hive beetles-yes, I all ready have gotten the AJ's Beetle eaters in place, have put my hives in full sun and just got my first shipment of the beneficial nematodes that specifically feed on the small hive beatle larvae when they go to pupate (will be curious to see how this works out).

    I am in touch with the beekeepers association in the Sarasota-Bradenton but might try to get up to the Tampa Bay Associations education day. Some of members of our club are members there as well and have also highly recommended it. So, if time permits I'll be there (working full time and finishing my bachelor's degree part time has me pretty busy).

    DebCP

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Land O Lakes, FL
    Posts
    269

    Default

    Welcome. I live in Land O Lakes and work in Brandon.

    I also encourage you to check out the next Tampa Bay association meeting.

    Don't let the Africanized issue scare you too much. Use caution and common sense but if you go queenless, go ahead and let them raise a queen until you can get one.

    I the two years I have been keeping bees, my 2 primary issues are keeping them from swarming just before the flow and getting queens when I need them. The swarming issue I have yet to conquer. The queen issue I am taking steps to solve. I am going to start making my own queens, Africanized or not. If I start with a good queen mated up north.... then there are many managed hives in withing drone distance of my hives, my odds should be pretty good. If one is agressive, off with her head and try another. The point is that if I have queens, I have options. If I have to purchase and wait on other providers, the options are much less and the cost is prohibitive.

    I also have a garden in my back yard. We have a bunch of earthboxes and hydrostackers.

    Let me know if I can be of any help to you.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Bradenton, FL
    Posts
    135

    Default Thanks

    Thanks for the extra information.

    Matt, we use one earthbox, the rest of our garden is all all earth box substitutes made from three to five gallon buckets (we get for free from publix)...they work great and don't cost us anything. The best thing is they are all on a drip watering system so minimal hassles too.

    DebCP

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Land O Lakes, FL
    Posts
    269

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DebCP View Post
    Thanks for the extra information.

    Matt, we use one earthbox, the rest of our garden is all all earth box substitutes made from three to five gallon buckets (we get for free from publix)...they work great and don't cost us anything. The best thing is they are all on a drip watering system so minimal hassles too.

    DebCP
    I made 3 homemade EBs this year with buckets. 2 buckets stacked inside of each other creates a water resevoir. If you want details on how I built them, let me know. So far so good. The resevoir may not be big enough though for a whole day at peak depending on what is planted in them.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Azle, TX, USA
    Posts
    268

    Default

    What are earthboxes? I've never heard that term. Is it for gardening or bees?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Bradenton, FL
    Posts
    135

    Default Hello

    Hi Terri,

    No earthboxes are for containerized gardening. Very easy and almost no weeding. Although my bees do appear to prefer to drink out of the weep holes from my earthboxes as opposed to the lovely pond we built for them.

    Here's a pic of my hives and the pond:



    Here's my garden which the bees are happy to provide pollination for:



    DebCP

    p.s. If you would like instructions on how to make the homemade (i.e. free) verson private message me and I'll send you the info

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Land O Lakes, FL
    Posts
    269

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by terri lynn View Post
    What are earthboxes? I've never heard that term. Is it for gardening or bees?
    http://www.earthboxes.com

    I have nine of them. They are great for home vegi gardening and there are some that use them commercially as well.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Azle, TX, USA
    Posts
    268

    Default

    Hey Deb,

    Loved the pond! What's wrong with those bees not liking their paradise? I'd seen plenty of raised bed and container options but not one like that. I'll PM you when I can figure out how! Thus far, I've answered when someone sent me one, but thats it! I'm not used to being on this type of forum - obviously!

    Terri

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Azle, TX, USA
    Posts
    268

    Default

    Just figured it out!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    New Port Richey Fl USA
    Posts
    242

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Johnson View Post
    The Tampa Bay Beeleepers Association will be hosting a introduction to bee keeping seminar on May 16th at the Upper Tampa Bay Park in Oldsmar. They are a great group of people and have a wealth of knowledge and are more than willing to share their expierences. You can get more information on their web site. Good Luck with your new hobby!
    Could you post time and exact location?

    I went on their website, but it is not fully functional yet, emailed some people from the webside, all emails bounced.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Bradenton, FL
    Posts
    135

    Default Tampa Bay Beekeeprs info:

    Was able to pull this up for you, hope it helps-sounds great:
    WHEN: Saturday, May 16th Time: 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
    WHERE: Upper Tampa Bay Park
    8001 Double Branch Rd Tampa, FL 33635
    TOPICS: Everything a beginning beekeeper
    needs to know including:
    Hive Construction, Starting a Hive,
    Honey extraction, Bee transport,
    Queen Bee’s, Nectar Sources,
    Wax Rendering, Apitherapy,
    Looking inside the Hive, and more!
    DOOR PRIZES!!!
    REGISTRATION: (Includes seminar and lunch)
    $20.00 -- before May 8, 2009
    $25.00 – day of seminar
    $5.00 each additional person
    FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL: 727-391-5390 or 863-286-2117 or visit www.tampabaybeekeepers.com

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