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