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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    S Hadley, Massachusetts USA
    Posts
    686

    Default Re: Ok, what got you into beekeeping?

    I am a farmer first and a beekeeper second......back when I started. Now I am a beekeeper first and a farmer second.

    I get into it for pollination benefits.
    Pearl City Apiary Michael and Loucil Bach

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Palermo, Maine, USA
    Posts
    724

    Default Re: Ok, what got you into beekeeping?

    Many Years ago an uncle gave my brother and I each a hive. I did not have a clue about beekeeping and lost that hive the first winter, but the seed was planted. A few years ago, a nephew mentioned that he was getting some bees. That was the water that the seed needed! I got a couple of nucs and have enjoyed the bees more than I could have imagined!
    Like us on facebook This is the place to bee!
    Ralph

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Indianapolis IN 46227
    Posts
    289

    Default Re: Ok, what got you into beekeeping?

    I was raised on a small farm in a family of 13. Dad loved section comb honey, and would bring one home from the farmer's market occasionally. Passing a 4x4 square of honey around a table of 13 people didn't go very far. I could see the frustration in Dad one day when the section had made one round and was empty. He blurted out " If I had a kid that kept bees, we'd have plenty of honey".
    I was 13 at the time, knew nothing about bees, but did know I loved that comb honey! I spoke up, and Dad agreed that if I learned about bees over the winter he'd help me get a hive in the spring. I started with 2 hives, paid him back first year with honey sold, and we had plenty of honey after that.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    havana fl
    Posts
    1,340

    Default Re: Ok, what got you into beekeeping?

    Add in the news paper free bee equipment grandfather passed away. A friend said ya want to try that?? mmmmmmmm O.K.
    Im really not that serious

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Oshawa, Ontario
    Posts
    199

    Default Re: Ok, what got you into beekeeping?

    I got into bees to relax.
    I had a demanding job, and couldn't get my mind away from work.
    I had always wanted bees, and started with 1 nuc and 2 full hives.
    It's hard to think about anything else when there are thousands of ladies in the air, and the pitch of the hive is telling you that you have overstayed your welcome.
    Anyway, I retired in October, so now I can focus on my bees and world domination!

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    new castle delaware usa
    Posts
    77

    Default Re: Ok, what got you into beekeeping?

    A friend bought a hive I went to his house and saw it, I was amazed. I told him that I always wanted to do this but never did. The old man who lived behind my parents had hives, I would watch from a distance. Come Christmas all these boxes arrived, he bought me a hive,and ordered a package for me for spring, got my boxes all painted up, and installed them when they came, they done real well the first year, next year they swarmed. I caught them put them in a bucket,had no more equipment to put them in. I called on a guy that I saw at a meeting and he was going to all med so he gave me a complete deep hive to house them.6 years now and still haven`t had to buy bees yet,I have 10 hives and 11 nucs. I never thought Bees would take up this much of my time.I wonder what I would be doing if he didn`t buy that hive for me?

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Dell Rapids, SD
    Posts
    107

    Default Re: Ok, what got you into beekeeping?

    I couldn't sleep 1 night, so I started channel surfing, and landed on "Honey Bees and Beekeeping: A Year in the Life of an Apiary" by Dr. Keith Delaplane on RFD-TV.

    I built my own equipment from beesource.com plans found in a google search, and a couple of weeks later drove 200 miles one way to pick up a nuc.

    I've been hooked ever since, and my wife enjoys it as well.

    DJ.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Athens, OH
    Posts
    2,539

    Default Re: Ok, what got you into beekeeping?

    When I was a kid in Central California, my best friend's parents owned a migrant labor camp. Every spring, a bunch of Mexican beekeepers would show up and we'd play with their kids. One day a swarm call came in and we went along. I was mesmerized. That was the seed.
    Then, a couple of years ago, like djastram, in the middle of the night, I caught Dr. Delaplane's show on RFD. Hooked and landed.
    Is it solipsistic in here, or is it just me?

  9. #29
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,705

    Default Re: Ok, what got you into beekeeping?

    I was given 4 hives, used and empty of bees, when I was 16. Along with the hives, I was given a Maxant 1400 20-frame extractor, and all the tools and suits. Everything was free, and I decided that their was no reason why I shouldn't put bees into the hives. I bought four 3# packages of Carniolans, and that how I got started. First mistake was opening the hives twice a week to check on them . Set them back way too much, lost a hive that winter, and they never grew further than 7 frames of bees during that first season. Here I am and doing well! Lots of great beginnings here, good to hear all this.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,705

    Default Re: Ok, what got you into beekeeping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael B View Post
    I am a farmer first and a beekeeper second......back when I started. Now I am a beekeeper first and a farmer second.
    Same here. Kinda odd how it's that way, huh?

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Posts
    1,486

    Default Re: Ok, what got you into beekeeping?

    Even as a kid I was always interested in growing things plants or animals. Then I saw an observation hive at the fair and the fire was lit. Now in my adult life I have the ability to actually do it. Keeping bees is the best of both worlds, you are raising bees, and you are also growing a crop. And its all connected to the seasons, weather, and the local plants. What else could you ask for?

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Marysville, WA
    Posts
    457

    Default Re: Ok, what got you into beekeeping?

    My first real experience with bees was a swarm on some neighboring property. I was amazed to see so many bees in a bowling ball size in a tree about 8 ft up. The next morning they were still there and I was even more interested. I couldn't wait to get home from work to check them out again only to find them gone. I couldn't shake the interest and started reading to figure out what the heck those darn bees were doing. I was hooked. My first year I had 2 hives and found that I pestered those poor bees so much I knew the next year I had better get more hives. Each year I increase because I find myself wanting to play with my bees all the time.
    Now here I am with 30 big hives and 18 nucs going into this winter. With wintering luck, splits and purchased wintered nucs I figure to be around 75 hives this year.

    It takes up alot of my time but it never feels like work.

    Mike
    Beekeeper? Shoot, my bees keep me!
    100 hives in Western Wa State

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Kekaha, Kauai, Hawaii
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Ok, what got you into beekeeping?

    My dad told me my very first paying job was cleaning honey frames at a commercial beekeepers warehouse when I visited my grandpa's farm. I would get a quarter an hour and all the scap honey comb I could eat while scraping frames. Well an 8 year old can only scape for so long and eat so much comb, I would collect my quarter or 50 cents and head off to the store to buy more candy, not realizing I just had natures best candy ever made.

    30 years have passed since scraping frames for Mr. Yak and I find myself helping my inlaws reclaim some abandoned family farmland. Finally get to an old tool shed and behold it is inhabited by a very large feral colony. My wife and all her family are very allergic to beestings so they look at me and I get voluntered to take care of the job. We know how importanat bees are to pollinating our crops & trees so they clear a spot at the end of the gardens and fruit trees at the furthest corner of the property and tell me that is my spot and no one will ever go over there and bother me and "my" bees. A months worth of reading and pouring over this and other natural beek sites and I had as much knowledge as I was going to get to do the job.

    2 years later a couple more feral colonies rescued and rehomed, a split or two and I now have 8 strong and healthy hives doing an amazing job at pollinating our family farm and giving my family and friends all they honey they can dream of. And I am happy to say the original shed hive is still alive and going strong.

    Cory

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Plainfield, NJ
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: Ok, what got you into beekeeping?

    When I was a kid, I saw as episode of Mr Rogers that walked everyone through a medium scale extraction process from the hive throught the filling of the jars. Something there clicked but it has taken 30 years to figure out what.

    After a few years of reading about bees in magazines and the news, I starting wishing but put it out of my mind because I live in suburbia and my 75' x 175' property would never work.

    Then, at te age of 37, I read an article in Mother Earth News about urban beekeeping. That planted the idea of possibility and on vacation that year in the Catskills, the owner of the cabin we rented had 3 books on beekeeping.

    That is all I needed ( and the urging and support of my wife) and at the age of 38 I bought my first 2 hives

    Chris in NJ
    Last edited by chrisd4421; 01-14-2013 at 07:05 PM.

  15. #35
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,056

    Default Re: Ok, what got you into beekeeping?

    Going back around 5 generations my on my Dads side there has been at least one person keeping bees. When I was a kid my Grandfather had them. My Dad moved back to were my family is from and he and my cousin both got into it. My daughter really like them and I figured we could do this as well as something we could do together. It has been a lot of fun and I think that it really makes my daughter feel good that she can stand in the maelstrom of bees flying all over the place and not get stung, or be afraid.

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Amarillo, TX
    Posts
    381

    Default Re: Ok, what got you into beekeeping?

    In 2006, A swarm landed in an apple box, stored on top of a wooden cabinet, on my back porch about a foot away from my back glass door. My wife and I watched and could see the new comb built in a few days. Talked with a friend at work who used to keep bees, he gave me some old boxes, a vail and gloves and I've been going ever since.

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Farmington, NM
    Posts
    755

    Default Re: Ok, what got you into beekeeping?

    My grandfather when I was about 14 yrs. One time when him and I were moving a bees, one had gotten under his veil and I remember it crawling around all over his face and it never stung him. I can still remember that as if it was yesterday...some 33 yrs later.
    Plant Hardiness Zone 6B, 5300 ft., Bee Zone A/B, Proverbs 24:13
    https://www.facebook.com/mobileprotection#!/2RBeeFarm

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Bunker Hill, IL
    Posts
    452

    Default Re: Ok, what got you into beekeeping?

    I run a fairly good size garden and fruit trees and wanted abundant polinators.

    I like honey and figured having a source of mine own would be good.

    it fits well with my goal of self sufficient hobby style farm homestead.

    I just wish i had another beek in my area that i could work with that would push me more to expand from my 2-3 hives as my market for honey is 2x -5x more than i can supply at the moment.

  19. #39
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,345

    Default Re: Ok, what got you into beekeeping?

    Some great stories here!! I like hearing about them all!! Plus it might be one of the first threads in a while that wont start an argument!!
    Coyote Creek Bees

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Brown County, IN
    Posts
    2,034

    Default Re: Ok, what got you into beekeeping?

    Years ago when my girls were very young, we did a homeschool curriculum one year based on Laura Ingalls Wilder's "Little House" books. In "Little House in the Big Woods", there's a chapter "Pa and the Bee Tree", so we did a unit study on beekeeping. As part of that, I took a day off work and we did a family field trip to visit a local beekeeper.

    My girls have grown up, but I seem to be stuck on the beekeeping unit study!

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