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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    St.Francis County, MO USA
    Posts
    45

    Default New to beekeeping..some suggetions please

    Hello, been lurking here for a bit decided to start beekeeping, seeing its late already will start first hive next season so will read up on it till then.

    I've read lots of sites already about bees..trying to put it altogether in head hurts :P
    Anyways..couple of questions.

    1. I've read about harvesting honey and such..but what do you "do" with the bees while you harvest it? Seems silly i know, just never got that clear to me. Do you just remove a few frames at a time? Or do the bees just "settle" in hive will you take frames?

    2. Is there a calender one can use..for when to get bees (i heard November order them), feed them for winter (if not enough honey surplus), etc?

    3. How do you know how much a hive needs for the winter..overfeed for safety?

    4. Do you recommend some "starter package" i could buy?

    5. What is the main reason people buy Queens vs bees making own? I must of skipped that section on accident, because some say you can let them make own.

    I'm in Missouri. I was going to start a hive on 40 acres of land at relatives house..part field/part woods with a pond on it. But I also have 200 acres about 30min away..it is mostly all farmland..however we lease it out and he grows soybeans..so that might be better long term if i decide to really get into this.

    Sorry if these are basic questions. Just so much info its hard to keep track of what i already know :

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Lake county, Indiana 46408-4109
    Posts
    3,540

    Default Re: New to beekeeping..some suggetions please

    Look around for a "local" bee club and see if they offer classes or mentoring you need a "beebud" we can tell you a lot of things to do but hands on is the best teacher.
    Ed, KA9CTT profanity is IGNORANCE made audible
    you can`t fix stupid not even with duct tape

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    St.Francis County, MO USA
    Posts
    45

    Default Re: New to beekeeping..some suggetions please

    Nothing around me really, besides i work nights so sleep most of the day away. Thats why i been researching and watching videos online.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Lake county, Indiana 46408-4109
    Posts
    3,540

    Default Re: New to beekeeping..some suggetions please

    Ed, KA9CTT profanity is IGNORANCE made audible
    you can`t fix stupid not even with duct tape

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Charles Town, WV
    Posts
    306

    Default Re: New to beekeeping..some suggetions please

    Quote Originally Posted by Heartspark View Post
    1. I've read about harvesting honey and such..but what do you "do" with the bees while you harvest it? Seems silly i know, just never got that clear to me. Do you just remove a few frames at a time? Or do the bees just "settle" in hive will you take frames?
    Brush bees off the comb, stash frame in a tightly closeable container, replace frame with another one (drawn or just foundation - whatever you have). You don't want to leave a frameless void unless you want to see how creative the bees will be filling the gap.
    Quote Originally Posted by Heartspark View Post
    2. Is there a calender one can use..for when to get bees (i heard November order them), feed them for winter (if not enough honey surplus), etc?
    Like politics, all beekeeping is local. Find a club or an experienced beek somewhere near you.
    Quote Originally Posted by Heartspark View Post
    3. How do you know how much a hive needs for the winter..overfeed for safety?
    Depends on bee race, local conditions, personal experience.
    Quote Originally Posted by Heartspark View Post
    4. Do you recommend some "starter package" i could buy?
    Several folks don't like any of the starter packages, and advocate getting the things you need separately so you get just what you need. Read everything here and you'll be well armed.
    Quote Originally Posted by Heartspark View Post
    5. What is the main reason people buy Queens vs bees making own? I must of skipped that section on accident, because some say you can let them make own.
    Make your own queen is cheaper than buying. Buying lets you bring in new genetics, different resistance and other different characteristics than you may currently have. Sometimes when you buy one, the colony will ditch her and make their own anyway.
    Quote Originally Posted by Heartspark View Post
    I'm in Missouri. I was going to start a hive on 40 acres of land at relatives house..part field/part woods with a pond on it. But I also have 200 acres about 30min away..it is mostly all farmland..however we lease it out and he grows soybeans..so that might be better long term if i decide to really get into this.
    Personal opinion... put your first hive(s) where you'll be able to get to them more easily, then spread out as you feel comfortable/capable.
    Quote Originally Posted by Heartspark View Post
    Sorry if these are basic questions. Just so much info its hard to keep track of what i already know :
    Ditto!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Clinton County, Michigan USA
    Posts
    301

    Default Re: New to beekeeping..some suggetions please

    Two hives are better than one, I wish I had taken that advice. Why? You can borrow brood, honey,eggs, if they are needed. In my case I had a package queen that disappeared, the second queen was a drone layer. That ended my first year.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Brown County, IN
    Posts
    2,033

    Default Re: New to beekeeping..some suggetions please

    Quote Originally Posted by Heartspark View Post
    1. I've read about harvesting honey and such..but what do you "do" with the bees while you harvest it?
    For a limited number of frames you can shake/brush off the bees. There are fume boards that can be used to drive the bees out of the box. There are also bee escapes, which you can put on a few days before harvest which allow the bees to leave, but no re-enter.

    2. Is there a calender one can use..for when to get bees. feed them for winter, etc?
    There are general calendars, but as others have said, beekeeping is very "local". It's more about being in tune with your bees and the local weather than it is about dates on a calendar.

    3. How do you know how much a hive needs for the winter..overfeed for safety?
    Local beekeepers can tell you what is recommended for your area.

    4. Do you recommend some "starter package" i could buy?
    Do a lot of reading and make some decisions before spending money on starter packages.
    Start here:
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesnewbees.htm
    (then read everything else on Mr. Bush's site!)

    5. What is the main reason people buy Queens vs bees making own? I must of skipped that section on accident, because some say you can let them make own.
    Lots of reasons. If I had to name a "main" reason, I'd say "time". If you let them make their own, you won't have a laying queen for about 4 weeks.

    I'm in Missouri.
    Let me echo the recommendation to find a club. Here's a longer list of Missouri clubs:
    http://www.mostatebeekeepers.org/local_associations.htm

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    berkley county, WV
    Posts
    429

    Default Re: New to beekeeping..some suggetions please

    definately 2 are better than one. Look around as you are driving somewhere. you never saw as many bee hives as you will see when you are looking for them. stop in and ask about the bees. might find that you do have some people close, and there is an organization around. If you don't have time to meet beekeeping association members, maybe you don't have time to keep bees. they require a lot of time to keep properly.......
    welcome to your new addiction!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Columbia county, New York, USA
    Posts
    1,535

    Default Re: New to beekeeping..some suggetions please

    Quote Originally Posted by Heartspark View Post
    Nothing around me really, besides i work nights so sleep most of the day away. Thats why i been researching and watching videos online.
    Hi, welcome!
    Though it's good to 'research' and watch videos online, when you only do that you get a lot of disconnected information from tremendously varied sources.
    If you can't join a bee club or find a real live mentor, then I suggest you at least read a beginner-based beekeeping book all the way through. Beekeeping for Dummies, Backyard Beekeeping, Beekeeping for the Complete Idiot are 3 books I like, geared towards beginners- there are more out there.
    You need to either read a whole book or attend a class to get a cohesive overview of beekeeping basics. I mean this in a helpful way.
    You have lots of time between now and next Spring- I'm sure there must be a beekeeper somewhere in your area. You could ask to visit them briefly to see their hives perhaps. If you're lucky, they could help give you advise in all kinds of possible ways. Go to a local farmer's market or health food places and ask where the local honey is coming from.
    The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
    To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Clinton County, Michigan USA
    Posts
    301

    Default Re: New to beekeeping..some suggetions please

    Why wait? The anticipation of waiting until next year would drive me nuts. You could probably get a nuc from a local beekeeper around late May. If you do buy a nuc you get to see what brood, pollen, and drone brood looks like and probably also get a lot of good advice.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    St.Francis County, MO USA
    Posts
    45

    Default Re: New to beekeeping..some suggetions please

    Thanks guys for advice.

    I was talking to parents and they mention someone who has 6 hives pretty close to them. Its a older couple with lots of gardens and the like. I will pay him a visit my next weekend.

    When i was younger we had a friend who had a bee hive inside the house they lived it. She could not get around because of health problems but loved bees..so they had a clear hive (sealed inside of course) with a PVC pipe sticking through wall of house so it was inside..i remember watching them on comb for hours on end. good times

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Franklin, NC USA
    Posts
    118

    Default Re: New to beekeeping..some suggetions please

    I'm with Muskrat...don't think it's too late...dive right in...join your local bee club, surely someone will have a local connection for some bees. Enjoy!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    St.Francis County, MO USA
    Posts
    45

    Default Re: New to beekeeping..some suggetions please

    Quote Originally Posted by muskratcreekhoney View Post
    Why wait? The anticipation of waiting until next year would drive me nuts. You could probably get a nuc from a local beekeeper around late May. If you do buy a nuc you get to see what brood, pollen, and drone brood looks like and probably also get a lot of good advice.
    I want to wait simply because i want to learn more, i'm not a fast learner at all so better to be prepared in my mind. That said, i'm considering making own hive..i can make a top bar hive easy enough if i want to save some money at first. I don't want to buy lots of stuff, just to be put off if something goes wrong (hive dying out, etc). I'm sure like lots of things trial and error will teach me over and over.

    I want this to be something to enjoy, not feel pressured into it.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    OKC, OK USA
    Posts
    2,870

    Default Re: New to beekeeping..some suggetions please

    I think it is a good call to wait.
    Mike Forbes
    Red Dirt Apiaries

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Albany, CA, USA
    Posts
    194

    Default Re: New to beekeeping..some suggetions please

    As to question 1, I just shake them off or gently brush them off, and then put the frames I want to harvest in an empty box with a hive lid as a bottom and ocver it with a towel so the bees can't get in. Of course, a bee will always appear in the honey house...

    I know many people have said this before, but I really think the way to go is to get a live beekeeping mentor. Are there any apiaries in your area? Perhaps you could offer to help to get some hands on training. I wish I had done this before we had gotten our bees. The thought of opening up a box of potentially stinging insects and not knowing where to start was particularly daunting.
    Mil Apostol - Chef, Beekeeper, Gardener, Forager, and Geocacher
    http://www.UrbanFarmAndBeehives.com

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    St.Francis County, MO USA
    Posts
    45

    Default Re: New to beekeeping..some suggetions please




    Well those 6 hives was empty, they bought the house from people who had the bees. I don't know anyone near me personally who has bees. A number on that page is disconnected that i tried to call for meetings.

    I'm going to take a learn from mistakes approach i think. Maybe start a blog to document my whole "start from scratch" approach. lol
    Last edited by honeyman46408; 03-21-2011 at 12:15 PM. Reason: UNQ

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Livingston County, NY
    Posts
    542

    Default Re: New to beekeeping..some suggetions please

    I started May 09. lost my first two hive from ignorance. I have two from eight in 2010, 150+ lbs of honey from 4 hives, nothin to write home about but I'm learning.

    I read this forum EVERDAY! Joined an assocation & found some local beeks.

    It will absolutely SUCK if your bees die or swarm, so study hard & GO FOR IT!

    Timing is a big part of the equation. Have enough equipment & know when to use it.

    From the day I wintered them till now I have consumed several books & logged many hours @ this forum, & I still know NOTHING except I LOVE THIS & I AIN'T QUITT'N! I was thrilled to say the least that I found live bees in boxes waitin ta bust out here real soon. GOOD LUCK
    Rmns 1:16/Prv.3:5,6/ Beegan BK May 09/ Zone 5b
    I have NOT failed. I have only found many many ways that do not work!

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    monroe, mi, usa
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: New to beekeeping..some suggetions please

    You talked about collecting honey. There are a couple of good videos on youtube. They have different ways of doing it, but you can watch them and decide which will work with the equipment you have.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,394

    Default Re: New to beekeeping..some suggetions please

    Quote Originally Posted by muskratcreekhoney View Post
    Why wait? The anticipation of waiting until next year would drive me nuts.
    For 5 years I kept waiting going to club meeting with my son off and on and then come March-April I was traveling all the time and did not start becasue I was traveling so much. Now I wish that I had started back then. My middle son would have been involved with me and that would have been really cool. Now he is off in the Army SF and I don't see him much. It would have been so cool to start this with him. So to make a long story shorter DONT WAIT.

    Quote Originally Posted by lakebilly View Post
    From the day I wintered them till now I have consumed several books & logged many hours @ this forum, & I still know NOTHING except I LOVE THIS & I AIN'T QUITT'N!
    Can I get an Amen brother. I am with ya. Love this hobby. Want to make it a job just cant get the math to work out.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Livingston County, NY
    Posts
    542

    Default Re: New to beekeeping..some suggetions please

    This may be helpful; open your word processor & copy & paste answers to Q's from the Jedi's like Michael Palmer, Clements, Velbert, Russell, MBush(best info website I have found), Oldtimer, wc...(Walt Wright)& lots of others. Nice cost effective info.


    I would recommend Keith Delaplane's vids on utube. Lengthy, general, very interesting;

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ujrdw...eature=related


    I too have done the math, & worked w/a commercial beek, keeping my day job! I would still like to do about thirty hives. Best chance for the industry is for Americans to bee informed about imported honey, & buy local, northern beeks to support northern breeders. Just MHO.
    Last edited by lakebilly; 03-22-2011 at 06:13 AM.
    Rmns 1:16/Prv.3:5,6/ Beegan BK May 09/ Zone 5b
    I have NOT failed. I have only found many many ways that do not work!

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