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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    hopewell,virginia
    Posts
    4

    Default I wanna keep bees

    I hope someone can help a newbee... no pun intended. brand new to beekeeping don't have a hive,... nothing... but, i'm really sincere about given it a try. how do i even begin to start??? what book do i read? i already plant my backyard mostly in clover and have a ton of honeybee visitors. i've got fish ponds with water courses that the bees use constantly in dry weather... i just don't know how to start. i've read some on the internet about nucleuses and starters colonies but, WOW... where to begin??? we've also got a ton of bee, butterfly and humminbird attracting plants and foods. i even have converted humminbird feeders into bee freindly feeders. need a mentor bad!!!
    Last edited by jdeerguy; 10-10-2012 at 08:05 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Weatherford,Texas,USA
    Posts
    448

    Default Re: I wanna keep bees

    do an online search for a local bee club. thats the best place to start. Get busy as a bee on here and read read read and then read some more
    "It's better to die upon your feet than to live upon your knees!" Zapata

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    hopewell,virginia
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: I wanna keep bees

    i live in the tri-cities of virginia and i can't find a club within 30 miles... maybe not looking in the right place??? i think if i want a hive next year i've got to order soon??? i've got a local "feed and seed" that says they can order me a 'colony' for what that's worth. hopewell is where i live. no local ordinances against beekeeping... i've checked. 1 acre of land planned to put hive against back of my six foot privacy fence where no neighbor is within 100 yards. would be a south and west facing would get a fair amount of morning and late afternoon sun if needed. could change with seasons if necessary.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Weatherford,Texas,USA
    Posts
    448

    Default Re: I wanna keep bees

    http://www.virginiabeekeepers.org/map/node
    maybe this can help?

    If it helps any I live near the Dallas / Fort Worth area and I still have to drive 30+ miles to bee club meetings. It is only once a month so it is worth it for all the knowledge that is available. About getting a package from you feed store. If that is all that you can do then go for it. I would suggest though that you find some one local and get a Nuc ordered, thats the best way to start. I know it will cost a bit more but it is well worth it in the end. If you can not find something close enough to you, its an option to post an add on craigslist and see if there are any local folks who you can shadow and learn from. I am not sure if yall have county extension agents like we do in Texas but if you do give them a call I bet they know of some bee keepers.
    Jason
    "It's better to die upon your feet than to live upon your knees!" Zapata

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,639

    Default Re: I wanna keep bees

    Google Maps says its 20 miles from Hopewell to the East Richmond Beekeepers Assn meeting site at
    2727 Charles City Road Richmond, Va 23231

    Here's their website:
    http://www.eastrichmondbees.org/fort...aptist-church/

    Looks like a fairly active club, at least based on their website. Note that they offer nucs for sale. I'd suggest contacting them.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    hopewell,virginia
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: I wanna keep bees

    Thank you. will contact them not that far away, problem is i'm a shift worker. makes it rough sometimes to get to meetings. my longtime live-in girlfriend has just given me the green light on this hobby. she is allergic to wasps, but appartently not to bee's... she got stung recently by a honeybee and had no ill affects. i have seen the plight of the honeybees of late and, being a nature lover,... don't want to get to Liberal here, But wanna do what i can to help. got some apple trees of my own...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,456

    Default Re: I wanna keep bees

    At a bare minimum you will need a hive, some bees, basic beekeeping tools and equipment, and a couple books.

    Beekeeping for Dummies is a nice start, although like all books of that ilk, it's only a start and you will have questions the book will not answer.

    I started with the basic beehive kit from Kelley's Bees in Kentucky -- you get all the stuff you need to start out, although I'd get the wooden cover rather than the plastic one, and you will need more boxes and frames a month or so after you get the bees in. Bees are separate, and I'd check with your local beekeepers association for them, it's very likely someone will let you help catch a swarm for the bees, or sell you a nice local nucleus hive for what a package with shipping would cost.

    As far as cost goes, bees are gonna set you back about $100 unless you catch a swarm. Hive and basic tools will be about the same, and you will need another deep at least the first year.

    You will need to order bees if you are buying them by mail by January, but there isn't a great rush to do so now, do some reading first. Lots of information on the forum here, and lots of nice people who will help you out, but you need to get a couple good books that describe the yearly cycle of activity in a hive before you get your bees so you know what should happen and what should not. Walter T. Kelley's book, which comes with the hive kit from Kelley's Bees is a nice starter book. It's a bit scattered, you have to read it a couple times to get everything straight, but it's fun and quite informative.

    Peter

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Platteville, WI
    Posts
    127

    Default Re: I wanna keep bees

    "i live in the tri-cities of virginia and i can't find a club within 30 miles... maybe not looking in the right place???"

    Yeah, I have to go about 50 miles to join the nearest active club. Similar to beekeepers (in my area), clubs are few and far between.
    "Life will find a way - it always finds a way." -Jurassic Park (MOVIE/BOOK)
    USDA Zone 5a

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