May be looking for bee mentor in KY
Hi all, I have just started my research of beekeeping. I am a little intimidated. I plan to attend one or two of the beekeeping "schools" offered here in Kentucky. But I would like to see a beekeeper in action. Do they do that at these classes? There is so much to learn and it's so hard when I don't even know what some of the words mean when I am reading. I have heard this is the time of year to start thinking about bees. So here I am ...thinking about bees.
Re: May be looking for bee mentor in KY
We have been beekeeping for one year in Clark County with Italian bees. We have learned things the hard way e.g. did not put some of hives in enuf shade. This year, we have order Buckfast and Hybrid Buckfast bees as they are more winter hardy, bigger honey producers and more disease resistant. You DO NOT want to be using chemicals as these create more problems. You want to find anyway you can to reduce disease e.g. using screened bottoms as well as ventilating the hive as much as you can. Btw, use insulation on the hives in the winter.
The bee schools in Frankfort are so-so for starting. Last year, the beginner presentations were too basic and disorganized. You really need to have a sense of what to do BEFORE you get to the classes. Ed Weiss has a DVD and book which helps with some things like hiving the bees but does not deal with the many problems which arise during the year e.g. pests, disease and preparing for winter.
Now is the time to order your stuff. There are many packages for beginners and many sites/catalogues to order from. Some are good, some are more commercially oriented. Some of the firms have helpful people, some do not.
I am not sure we're experienced enuf to be considered "mentors" but we've learned many things the hard way. One great benefit has been using our bees for our own apitherapy so, obviously, we don't mind getting stung!