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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
    449

    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
    449

    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
    5,683

    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.
    -- Victor Hugo -- "Common sense is in spite of, not the result of, education.

  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
    2,473

    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
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,683

    Default Re: I wanna keep bees

    If you want to buy a book, Michael Bush's The Practical Beekeeper is popular. Or or you can just read his website, and get pretty much the same info for free.
    http://www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm

    I'm not being cynical about the book, here is what Michael says:
    This book is mostly a rework of what is on my website for free. I don't want you to buy it and be disappointed that there isn't very much new here. You can get it organized in the form of a book and have something more permanent. If you want to see if you like my writing, read my web site first.
    -- Victor Hugo -- "Common sense is in spite of, not the result of, education.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    hopewell,virginia
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: I wanna keep bees

    thank you to everybody for the responses. i'm going to contact my club and get a couple books... my job allows for a fair amount of reading time if everything is running well. hope to talk again soon..... when "i even know what i'm talking about".

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,589

    Default Re: I wanna keep bees

    I would take advantage of any local libraries befor buying books. I would suggest that you read The Complete Idiots Guide to Beekeeping. The "Dummies " books are fine but promote chemical treatments. The authors of the Idiots Guide are members of the forum. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/161...w_bottom_links

    Having online forums eliminates some of the need for mentors imo...

    Read the beginning beekeeping threads. You have plenty of time to make all of your equipment choices.

    Welcome to the forum, and have fun!
    Last edited by BeeCurious; 10-11-2012 at 05:37 AM. Reason: added link
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,789

    Default Re: I wanna keep bees

    Welcome JDG! The Richmond club also knows where to get bees, since they are beekeepers.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    conneautville, pa
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: I wanna keep bees

    I wanted to keep bees for a couple of years before we moved here where I now have bees. I would encourage you to read all that you can, look at this forum and places like backwardsbeekeeping.com and even if you have to do a drive find a regional beekeepers group. Here in NW PA the beekeeping group encompasses several counties, but it is worth the drive to the meetings. Also I found that a regional nature center offered a beekeeping course each spring which helped too and was worth an hour drive. through this course I found a retiring beekeeper who was selling 150 established hives and bought two hive this past spring. I split one of my origanal hive and now have 3 healthy hives going into winter. I have 2 cut outs and two trap outs that I want to do next spring. I guess my advice is to learn what you can by reading and jump in. good luck! Oh yah, I can relate to going shift work, I do industrial maintanance on a night shift and have a screwy schedule working weekdays and weekends. I have keep looking at my schedule to know if I work each night, argggggggh!
    kent
    kent

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,014

    Thumbs Up Re: I wanna keep bees

    here is a good link.
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  14. #14
    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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