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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Franklin County, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    2

    Default Wannabee in NC seeks mentor

    OK I've lurked long enough - you all seem friendly and helpful, so hi!

    I've been hankering for many years to keep bees, but I am nervous about it and would really feel a lot more confident if I could find a local mentor who wouldn't mind walking me through my first season or so. I've read and read and read a lot, but still, there's nothing like experience. And local experience, too! Are there any local organizations that could provide this for me, or maybe even readers of this board who live nearby and have some time to spare now and then?

    Most of what I read about beekeeping deals with the challenges of keeping bees in cold climates, but as I discovered when I moved here 20+ years ago and started gardening: living in a warm climate provides as many challenges as it does advantages. With gardening, over half of what I planted died the first few years, until I gained new experience (basically re-learned how to garden all over again!) With plants, that's a nuisance and an expense, but with living creatures, I would just feel really, really bad - and the living creatures themselves might not feel so great about it, either

    I live out in the county (Franklin, to be precise) outside city limits, but I do live in a "subdivision" of several-acres-each tracts. There are no rules against beekeeping (either HOA or official) but I do have one neighbor who can be contentious about random things, and who once mentioned in casual conversation that her parents once had neighbors who kept bees and that her parents should have sued them because "you never know, something might happen." (Which I know is not valid grounds for a lawsuit, but still, peace in the valley and all...)

    So, that is my first concern: getting help finding a site for a hive that would be out of the line of sight from the road, but still good for the bees, and me, in that order. I have several spots in mind, but experienced eyes might have a better idea.

    My other thought, that I ought to mention to a potential mentor, is that I am not interested in honey production. The fact is (and I know this is going to mark me out as a freak of nature or possibly an alien from an alternate universe) I do not like the taste of honey. And that is putting it mildly. So, I am not interested in honey production at all. I just want the bees around for my garden, and also because, well, I just like them! The few wild honeybees we have around here (mostly we have bumble and carpenter) seem so personable and magical to me when they work beside me in my garden.

    Naturally most of what I read everywhere focuses on how to maximize honey production, and I suppose at some point I will have honey to deal with, and I guess it would be cool to be able to give some away as Christmas gifts etc. (But not to my buttinsky neighbor! ) But all I really want to do is help them have enough for themselves. Over the years I've built up quite a year-round blossom-fest in my wildflower patch, lots of flowering shrubs and trees and berry bushes and perennial herbs. The wild bees that do come around here always seem very busy and happy!

    What put me over the top was the other day when I walked under one of my young persimmon trees which is blooming for the first time this year. It was so alive with bees, I thought a swarm had settled there! Sadly that was not the case, but that's what pushed me to stop reading and start doing. Do you think there's time enough left in the season to get started this year?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,594

    Default Re: Wannabee in NC seeks mentor

    Hi! And welcome to the forum.

    If you go here: http://www.beesource.com/forums/memb....php?do=search and try a variety of searchs in the location field you may find someone close by. If so, send them a little PM (private message) .

    Otherwise just ask away when you have questions.

    I would also offer the following ...

    "A Keyboard and a Smoker"

    I'm not sure how many years will pass until I consider myself anything more than a student of beekeeping (as in beginner) but I'd like to offer a little advice to new arrivals to Beesource:

    Read carefully and read a lot, and know that the responses to your questions may not be correct. Look at Member Profiles and look through some of the threads that the member has started to get an idea of their background. There are a number of very knowledgeable people here that you could simply follow any advice they may offer. And there are sometimes a few good answers for a question...

    On the other hand, if you see a member's posting "My Bees Arrived" that is six months old, you may not want to follow their queen rearing advice!

    But, before asking a question, do a little research of your own. The search function on the "Beekeeping Home" http://www.beesource.com/ will often return results that you won't get within the forum itself. A big advantage is that three character searches can be performed such as "CCD".

    The number of postings a member has made is not always an indication of their experience, and there are no free gifts awarded to frequent posters. Go to the member list and get a feel for who's who. Knowing a little about the members will help you to get the most out of this forum.

    Keyboards have become beekeeping tools and only experience will teach us to know when they're being used properly...
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Seneca, sc
    Posts
    830

    Default Re: Wannabee in NC seeks mentor

    Look at this

    http://www.ncbeekeepers.org/chapters.htm

    Right across the line in SC is the Oconee County Beekeepers Assoc they meet in Walhalla, SC

    http://www.clemson.edu/extension/cou...ing/index.html

    I know the president he is a friend of mine send him an email he will hook you up.

    David Whitfield

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Franklin County, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Wannabee in NC seeks mentor

    Awesome, thanks! NCBeeKeepers let me search by county and then by town, and it turns out they have a chapter just up the road from me (well, what we consider "just up the road" out here in the middle of nowhere, anyway ) I'll have to crash their next meeting! (
    Quote Originally Posted by scdw43 View Post
    http://www.ncbeekeepers.org/chapters.htm
    http://www.clemson.edu/extension/cou...ing/index.html
    I know the president he is a friend of mine send him an email he will hook you up.
    David Whitfield

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,949

    Default Re: Wannabee in NC seeks mentor

    Welcome SM!
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Lyman, SC
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: Wannabee in NC seeks mentor

    Welcome, Maggie. Mmmm. I like NC mountain honey. Next year I'm going to take a couple of my hives up the road to my cousin's in Flat Rock for the sourwoods.
    Carol

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lincolnton, NC
    Posts
    1,113

    Default Re: Wannabee in NC seeks mentor

    Welcome. Advice from Bee Curious was dead on.

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