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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Yellville,Arkansas
    Posts
    27

    Default Howdy from No Arkansas ....

    Hello to All, I am still new to Beekeeping after reading for sometime, ordered our first set of packages taken the leap this May. Anyone knows or can chime in on Organic topic threads here would be appreciated . We moved here to Arkansas ,"The Natural State" ,with the Bee as our State insect, about 7yrs ago. Now our Home is on a few acres , we grow many Veggies,Plan to grow many flowers, raise a few Chickens for meat and eggs, and Jersey Milk Cows for all the Benefits from Raw Milk,try it your will not go back to store bought stuff they call milk . Homestead life changes you for the good, we are so happy we moved from the Big City life that was unhealthy, and do not miss , the Gun Fire, Smog, bad water, an noise.
    Now on the topic at hand BEES , I want to learn what the best type of wood to utilize for Hives , so we buy or make the correct ones , we have Cedar in this area plentiful,but many other woods are available like pine,oaks,etc, wonder if Cedar wood is the best for our Bees to thrive in, so some help on that would be appreciated.
    Also i am torn on which type of Hive to use this first couple of packages of Organic Bees,(not so costly, found a special person here in Arkansas that supplies a few packages) we have reserved to pick up in May. We are planning on small cells from the start and are not expecting big results until the second year, so we plan to leave as much Honey in reserve as possible to give our first couple of hives a strong chance to succeed .Any advice on types of Flowering plants would be helpful we are in zone 6. We appreciate this Fine Group and are looking forward in chatting with you.
    Best Wishes, AJ and Denise

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Phoenixville, PA
    Posts
    579

    Big Grin Re: Howdy from No Arkansas ....

    Howdy from SE PA

    You came to the right place. Beekeeping is fun fun fun and has given me as many life lessons as it has honey one of natures greatest ready to eat food.

    I'm small scale for my own use. I have five Langstroth hives and am moving to top bars hopping for success.

    The best description of keeping bees I heard was from a corporate CEO that I fascinated with stories. He summed it up with "Experience the challenge on their terms." Bees don't care about your goals and I doubt your existence means anything more to them than a threat.

    Most of my gear is pine, but I like the few cypress pieces I have from GA. Very pretty wood. Last I looked at cedar boards, the cost was a couple times more than a ready made hive. I had a polystyrene have and was happy to give it away.

    As far as "organic" or "natural", Bees forage for three miles and they don't know the meaning of the words. If you want a definition from here, be ready to watch the Hatfields and McCoys. The most even handed view I found is Mike Bush http://www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm.

    The Langstroth hive is an awesome design that has served to pollinate our food and is the source of most honey for the last century. The biggest variations consist of size (deep, medium, shallow, 10 frame, 8 frame), frame types (wood frame with crimp wire, duragilt, plastic or all plastic), bottom boards (solid, screened, slatted) and most recently cell size. The variations come with as may discussions as "organic" and have much more to do with your desires and limitations. The part that sneaked up on me is that each complete have can easily top $200 and that's a lot of honey from the whole food or farm market.

    Why the farm market? Honey imports from China are wreaking havoc. Even if the jar says Argentina or similar seemingly friendly place, much of that I understand originates in china. Since our industry and the FDA has not created sufficient standards for honey, I doubt that the supermarket honey isn't stretched with who knows what syrup and fear what else is included. About five years ago my wife came home with an ornate glass flip top jar with "made in china" on the bottom. It's still there. I only enjoy and share my own.

    A friend always enjoys my lengthy stories and rants because his allergies respond well to my local honey. I entertain lots of other for a long first time and a swarm capture becomes the neighborhood entertainment.

    The greatest change that I'm aware of in beekeeping over the last 30 years is pathogens, parasites and disease. Foul brood, worst in the past is now way down on the list. The varroa mite is most discouraging and having a hive without them is unlikely. Tracheal mites are another difficulty. Iím becoming more aware of the small hive beetle and see more and more posts on the pests. Canít comment of the viruses because I canít see them. I fear the combination of all more that each. IMHO formic acid is the best combatant.

    If I stop and start again, it will be with a package in a top bar or similar horizontal hive of my own making and use Mike's crush and strain extractor. Since bees will live in any enclosure that suits them, this is a minimal cost path that I feel promotes learning because you need to think about methods rather than following recipes.

    My best suggestion is to find a friend who likes bees. An infrequent helping hand and sounding board makes a big difference. We have helped each other recover from catastrophic difficulty and neither will now give it up.

    However you proceed, I wish you success and enjoyment.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Yellville,Arkansas
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: Howdy from No Arkansas ....

    Wow, Throrope, what is your name anyways? At least first name! hahaha, Thanks so much for your input and enthusiastic response, your answers helped me formulate and verify some of our plans for our beginning Hives. cedar is plentiful here, i just wondered if the Cedar repells the bees, like it does to other insects,compared to other woods. Cypress sounds nice, Maybe when i make a windowed hive for peeking in that would be a good choice. I appreciate your incite on choices, after all life is about choices and Beekeeping is a very good choice and challenge for me. Stay in touch and Take is easy, AJ and Denise

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Hatfield, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Howdy from No Arkansas ....

    I have a couple of cedar hives... the bees seem perfectly happy with them. I have seen for myself that a NEW (one year old) cedar hive did NOT get wax moths while a nearby pine hive did (after the bees had died out). I have read that the cedar effect fades rather quickly for wax moths. I was looking to see any effect on varroa mites.... None seen unfortunately. Small sampling for sure... I was going for yes/no indications. But cedar is certainly beautiful while it's fresh. I have wondered if anyone has used FRESH cedar shavings to keep moths out of stored supers or stored brood combs. I can't yet bring myself to use p-dichlorobenzene... it's gotta leave residue in the wax. Has anyone done this cedar shavings experiment?
    Bill

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    1,245

    Default Re: Howdy from No Arkansas ....

    Farmsteader; If you would like to join a beekeepers association there is one in Mountain Home that meets the 4th Tuesday of each month at 7:00 pm. The meetings are in the meeting room of the Farm Bureau office on highway 62, across from the road that goes to the fair grounds.

    Western Pine or western cedar is usually what is used for supers here. That is what most builder supply houses stock and the wood last OK.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Yellville,Arkansas
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: Howdy from No Arkansas ....

    Thanks AR BeeKeeper, Did those meetings already Start ? Ii know they break in winter.I definetly want to start attending , thanks for the reminder, AJ and Denise

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Yellville,Arkansas
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: Howdy from No Arkansas ....

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill AR View Post
    I have a couple of cedar hives... the bees seem perfectly happy with them. I have seen for myself that a NEW (one year old) cedar hive did NOT get wax moths while a nearby pine hive did (after the bees had died out). I have read that the cedar effect fades rather quickly for wax moths. I was looking to see any effect on varroa mites.... None seen unfortunately. Small sampling for sure... I was going for yes/no indications. But cedar is certainly beautiful while it's fresh. I have wondered if anyone has used FRESH cedar shavings to keep moths out of stored supers or stored brood combs. I can't yet bring myself to use p-dichlorobenzene... it's gotta leave residue in the wax. Has anyone done this cedar shavings experiment?
    Bill
    Bill Thanks for the input, have you seen or read some on the Organic Beekeepers group- site on Yahoo, worth spending some time there, and also one of its members is this site link-
    http://www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm
    I am going to start with Organic Bee Packs from a guy in Salem that uses no Chems but Organic methods successfully . you can search here Amish Myron, someone posted his phone # if you are interested or Pm me back and i will look it up .
    Some one told me about using powdered Sugar against mites so they can't latch on, has any of you heard about this tip?
    Take is easy Bill, AJ and Denise

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,771

    Default Re: Howdy from No Arkansas ....

    Welcome, cedar works fine for hives and cypress too. The bees seal the inside with propolis, especially if there is any texture to the inside of the hive. This will eliminate any advantage to the inside. Cedar and cypress weather nicely if unpainted. Splitting is the biggest disadvantage besides cost. I encourage bee friendly planting and have a web page devoted to that at
    http://www.americasbeekeeper.com/Bee...dly_garden.htm
    Unfortunately, the bees will work about 400 acres. They will not stay in your yard any more than a couple of cats I had or the dogs for that matter.

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