Well, I am a total newbee to bee keeping. Not too long ago I was terrified of bees. I left them alone and tried my best to allow them to leave me alone. This was mainly due to being stung by a bumble bee about 20 years ago. The odd part in it is that I love honey and I love the smell of beeswax. I do know that honey bees are not the same as a bumble bee. I mainly didn't like the idea of a stinger in my arm again.
Today, I have had a bit of a change. I have gotten it in my head that I would like a hive of bees. What sparked the idea was PBS special on honey bees.
I do have some obstacels to overcome.
1. I live inside city limits with a street on two sides of my property. I have not come across any No Bee Laws.
Link to areal photo of house: http://vintagerifle.net/images/misc/House.jpg
2. I have an almost 4 year old daughter (one that I hope will come to love honey bees).
3. I have a wife that is allergic. She gets a nice sized knot when stung. We do not believe she is allergic to the point of being killed by a couple of bee stings. She has not expressed concern when I talked to her about putting a hive on our property.
Now for what I would like to do:
I would like to put a single bee hive on our property. There is at least one property about 1/4 mile away that I have seen 4 hives at during the springtime so I do not believe we have any laws against having bees in the area. I am also not able to find any doing an online search for local laws and ordinances.
I have read several articles on the net about getting started with beekeeping and have noticed that most suggest starting off with a Langstroth bee hive as they are easier as far as getting help form other bee keepers. However, I am more interested in the Top Bar Bee Hive. My thoughts on a TBH is that they are easier to construct, appear to not easily be tipped over, and produce more wax that honey. I am interested in honey, but I am also interested in wax or making bullet lubricants for my own use. My understanding that a TBH has the ability to produce more wax than honey.
My plan is to construct the hive over the winter, which really will not take very long to do and probably can be done in several hours once materials are obtained. I am currently debating on a source of bees. I may try to catch wild bees, or order Italian bees. Since I have a wife that is somewhat allergic and a young daughter, I have been leaning more to the Italian bees. However, being able to catch some wild bees would be a cost saver. I do have a possible source for some bees in the spring. This will all depend on if the person wants the bees removed from his old barn or if I can catch a swarm at some point.
I must say that seeing and smelling honey dripping from the wall of an old barn is something to behold. These are wild bees and appear to be fairly docile as they do not bother the chickens that are housed only a few feet from the bees and the humans on the property that tend to the chickens.
That is all for now. Looking forward to possibly being able to set up a TBH at my house. I have also ordered a copy of First Lessons in Beekeeping.