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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Franklin, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    1

    Default Hello from a sheep farmer considering bee keeping

    Thanks to all that make this service available!

    I have virtually no knowledge of bee keeping but I do have a significant wild bee population*, up to 100 acres of clover and over 300 acres of wild trees (acres under my management, not owned) all is basically organic but not certified.

    At this point I am only considering starting bees on an experimental basis as
    I realize from reading that I would have a huge learning curve in front of me.

    I think of myself as a bug freak. This place has an amazing population of insects of all sorts, I have never traveled anywhere that I saw as many bugs as we have! I have learned over the 23 yrs of sheep farming that a healthy ecosystem is the key to profitability as so many of these bugs keep me in the farming business. Many profit killing health issues that livestock can be effected by, can be addressed with beneficial insects. In my case these "beneficials" showed up on their own once I learned what I was doing that kept them from thriving (I stopped using insecticides).

    My wife and I home school 4 kids, one that I think is an entomologist in the making, she would be very interested in bee keeping.

    * Just today I took a walk in the white clover; the pasture was humming with honey bees (a few bumble bees on the red colver). I could easily find at least one honey bee per every 150 sq. feet or so and I think that this is pretty normal over all the farm. Clover dominates the pastures here and the sheep thrive on it. Thanks to all the pollinating, I have a massive seed drop every year. I have on occasion tried to get the clover out of a few acres and it was hard to get rid of.

    I am very curious to know if this farm has a significant resource that could be utilized profitably by adding bee keeping to my farming operation?

    Many thanks to anyone that might have advice.

    Sincerely, Andy McMurry

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Atlanta, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: Hello from a sheep farmer considering bee keeping

    Howdy Andy, This will bee one of the best things you'll ever get involved in, alot of work but its worth it.

    Butch

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    7,108

    Default Re: Hello from a sheep farmer considering bee keeping

    Welcome Andy!
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Wiarton, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: Hello from a sheep farmer considering bee keeping

    Hello from another sheep farmer. we ahve a farm in wiarton, Ontario and our bees so far seem to love the clover that is a part of our rotational grazing system. we just started with 2 hives last year. Even starting with nucs mid summer we had a nice little harvest in the fall. it was the most beautiful, light, almost white honey. I am sure from the clover. I don't have much experience but this spring I ahd a full shallow super super of honey capped and everything while most people were saying their bees were starving. not only was the super full the brood nest also became honey bound and they ended up swarming becasue the brood boxes had so much honey in them. That early flow had to be from our wild fruit tree blossoms, dandelions and horse chesnut as there wasn't any clover yet. So yes I would think what you have for resources is pretty good. My advice is get started before you have too much time to fret. The hands on experience will help put what you read into perspective, have at least 2 hives to start if not 3. This gives you a better idea what is normal, you will have back up if you loose a queen, might be able to share honey frames if a hive is weaker, will give you enough honey for yourself and some to share or sell to help recoup your costs. Of course you can quickly expand from there if you want to make more of a business of it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Littlerock, California, USA
    Posts
    951

    Default Re: Hello from a sheep farmer considering bee keeping

    I hope you do get a couple of hives. It is the most interesting hobby for me.
    “Everything will be all right in the end... if it's not all right then it's not yet the end”

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Porcupine Plain, Saskatchewan, Canada
    Posts
    294

    Default Re: Hello from a sheep farmer considering bee keeping

    Welcome Andy, like ccar2000 I hope you get into beekeeping. Its a wonderful hobby.

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