1) best type of bees to start with?
If there was a best bee we would all have it and drive Dodge Cummins trucks.
2) does the type of flowers in your area decide the taste of your honey? I'm in Lexington, Ky
Floral source does affect taste and color of honey.
3) how much in cost am I looking at for a starter kit to get involved?
We sell a hive with two supers, screened bottom and migratory cover for $106 with bees at USFBG Bee workshops.
4) does the type of sugar water you feed bees affect the taste of honey?
It is sugar syrup if you are feeding -- not honey. It tastes like sugar syrup.
5) on an average season, amount of honey, wax to expect from one hive?
5 gallons of honey, wax depends on number of frames and extraction method
6) besides wax, honey and royal jelly, what else can you get from bees?
propolis, pollen, queens, splits, pollination
7) I live in a neighbor hood, my back yard is fenced up all the way around at height of 8 feet. Will this be a problem to neighbors or should I find a farm to put them on??
That should be an adequate flight barrier.
Thanks for your help guys, I found a local club that meets up on the second Monday of every month. Lots of great info in here and love how helpful everyone has been.
Just a couple more ?'s, I read a lot that hives produce, anywhere from 60 to maybe if your lucky 100 pounds, but everyone here says be happy with 5 pounds my first year. How does one hive get to producing 60lbs or are those numbers way over exaggerated?
I looked at a google map of my surroundings, two of the biggest parks are within 3 miles from my house with good size lakes. Lots of golf courses too and a couple horse farms. How would a hive here do vs a hive across town with little greenery located around them? Or does it not make a difference?
Sixty to 100 lbs of honey production claims are from colonies in established hives. Meaning they have all the comb they need built and the colony is robust and thriving. Also, those numbers are what an average of all of the hives in one's apiary produced, but not every year. Thus the wide range. For instance, this year I had some hives which may have produced as much as 60 to 100 lbs, but overall, from my 450 hives, I gleaned an average of 45lbs per colony. So, most of them made considerably less than 60 lbs.
As far as location of an apiary is concerned, whereas a location next to or near a lake my prove to be a good one, the lake provides nothing for the bees. Nothing they can't get just about anywhere else. I don't consider golf courses good apiary sites, due to chemicals used one golf courses and Golfers themselves. Should they encounter your hives, say w/ a misplayed ball.
I think you should keep them home until you are in need of an outyard. Then they will be where you can get to them easily when you have the hankering to take a peek.
You can get honey and splits the first year if you are prepared to spend some money and time on sugar syrup.
From a 1 kg package of bees and no comb, I harvested 50 lbs and grew to three hives. I purchased the two additional queens.
1. Feed them 1:1 sugar syrup to stimulate a nectar flow. They'll draw comb and raise brrod. Stop when you add your honey supers.
2. Apply beewax to foundation and do frame manipulation. Don't be afraid to insert blank foundation between pairs of brood frames. On outer frames, once one side is started to be drawn, reverse the frame so they draw the other side.
3. Once a honey frame is 80% capped, pull and extract.
4. Feed 2:1 syrup in the fall to supplement winter food supplies.
5. Monitor food supply over winter and add dry sugar, fondant, candy blocks.
50lbs of honey at even a Costco pricce of $3 per lb, and 2 additional hives of bees, if bees are worth $100 each is $350. Should deduct two queens cost of $50, but $300 buys a lot of sugar. And the sugar is the cheap part of the hobby!
60 lbs is not a lot of honey. A deep super fully drawn and filled is 50 lbs of honey and two mediums is 60 lbs.
My goals for my first year was to get some honey, learn, get a second hive functional, and get my bees through the first winter.
Zone 3b. If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got!
"I looked at a google map of my surroundings, two of the biggest parks are within 3 miles from my house with good size lakes. Lots of golf courses too and a couple horse farms. How would a hive here do vs a hive across town with little greenery located around them? Or does it not make a difference?"
Golf course won't be much help for honey production unless they have some trees on them like black locust or tulip poplars, otherwise they are too manicured. This can also be a problem in neighborhoods. If the people in your neighborhood don't spray their yards and allow clover to grow it will be great. In some of the higher end subdivisions I hardly see any clover because they spray their yards. The horse farms should be good however.
Dadant has a location in Frankfort that would be a pretty quick drive from Lexington. I went there they day after Christmas and they people were real nice. I'm sure they would be glad to help you with anything you need.
Here is a link to a online course that Penn State offers.
Hope it helps.......... good luck!
If properly done your neighboors may never know you have bees. Well, lets say that when they do find out you may be able to point out that they have been in your backyard for a full year and no one has noticed until now! Check your local codes.
Seems like the biggest problem people around you will have is with the bees wanting to visit their pools. Keep a good water supply near your hives, it may help.
No one has pools in my neighborhood so I'm good to go.
>1) best type of bees to start with?
Local feral mutts would be my preference, but that is an easy thing to change at any time by simply buying and introducing some other queen of a different race.
>2) does the type of flowers in your area decide the taste of your honey? I'm in Lexington, Ky
Different nectar sources taste different, yes. Many sources, however, are the same across the country, such as clover...
>3) how much in cost am I looking at for a starter kit to get involved?
I would not buy a starter kit. There is nothing in the typical starter kit that I have any use for. The boxes, frames and cell size of foundation are not what I want. I have preferences on hive tools that are not the standard. I prefer a larger smoker (easier to keep lit) and I don't like just a veil nor the long gloves, I wear a jacket with a veil and regular leather gloves which are easier to get on and off.
>4) does the type of sugar water you feed bees affect the taste of honey?
If it does, you're feeding when you shouldn't...
>5) on an average season, amount of honey, wax to expect from one hive?
>6) besides wax, honey and royal jelly, what else can you get from bees?
>7) I live in a neighbor hood, my back yard is fenced up all the way around at height of 8 feet. Will this be a problem to neighbors or should I find a farm to put them on??
I had bees in town for 38 years with no issues. It will depend more on your neighbors.
I'm lost, I see that some deep bodies have 5 different sizes to them. What are the different sizes for? There is a 9 5/8" a 7 5/8" and down to a 5 5/8". What does this mean?
9 5/8" Deep 7 5/8" Medium 5 5/8"Shallow Supers. It means you have a choice.
You also have 10 frame and 8 frame in all three depths.
Many people will suggest you go all med boxes since they are easier to lift. Some will say 8 frame for the same reason.
Some also say that bees do better for various reasons in 8 frame equipment. The general thinking is that bees don't want to build out as much as they want to build up.
So an 8 framed med super would be about as light as you can choose for your boxes.
Some people like me have a mix. I use with deep and shallow boxes both 10 frame. I will tell you after lifting a deep of honey I can see why people came up with the Med depth box. I think the Deep 10 frame box got it's size because it is at the very limit of what a person can tolerate to pick up. they are very heavy.
Everything gets darker, as it goes to where there is less light. Darrel Tank (5PM drawing instructor)
Wait, so there are 3 sizes to a deep? Three sizes to a medium and so on?
Having said that, there are a couple of different depth medium. I forget what they are called, maybe Western and Illinois.
Sounds good, I think I'm going to go with all 8 frame equipment. How long does a frame with wax foundation last vs a frame with plastic ?
The lifespan of wax vs plastic foundation can be one of the last things that you worry about!
I do believe that it is less troublesome to get bees to draw comb on wax than plastic.
Last edited by ralittlefield; 01-09-2013 at 07:05 AM.
Anything 9 5/8 deep is concidered a deep. it can then be 10 frame, 8 frame, 5 frame or even 4,3 or 2 frame. Anything smaller than 8 frame is called a nuc.
You can then have the same in med depth boxes.
I have never heard of a 5 frame or smaller shallow but I have heard of 8 frame shallows.
For the most part you have 10 and 8 frame. deep med or shallows. and deep or med nucs. the nucs can be anywhere from 3 frame to 5 frame.
Three depths. two widths for the most part when it comes to actual hives you would keep bees in. Nucs are for getting new colonies started in before they are moved to full size hives.
Queen produces then have a tiny little hive that is a real exception. They are called mating nucs and for the most part every queen producer has something different.
Everything gets darker, as it goes to where there is less light. Darrel Tank (5PM drawing instructor)
Do you plan on getting bees this year? If so, now is the time to get them ordered!
Yes I was wondering when I should order bees. I have walter Kelly co about hour and half from me. Dadant co about 30 min from me. So I'm glad two good companies are with in a drive for me. Now for bees I'm looking to get a nuc as all my research shows the best way to go. Ill order them here in the next week. I'm really hooked on the Russian queen or maybe a hybrid from Walter Kelly.
Ill be purchasing all my equipment in February on the first Saturday as its the only day they are open. I think I'll be going with two hives so things could get expensive as I like the best equipment when ever I decide to dive into something. I have an odd feeling I'm going to be good at this and enjoy it a lot .