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Hobbyists--How long?

  • One year: Spring of 2009 to present?

    Votes: 31 39.2%
  • Two years: Spring of 2008,2009, to present?

    Votes: 16 20.3%
  • Three years: Spring of 2007,2008,2009 to present?

    Votes: 4 5.1%
  • 5 years or more?

    Votes: 28 35.4%
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Discussion Starter #1
How many seasons/years have you considered yourself to be a "hobbyist"? From the spring of 2009 to the present would be one year, for example. From spring, 2008 to 2009 and the present would be 2 years. [I know, a slight discrepancy] I think this [poll] should be restricted to those with 6 colonies or less. I looked at all the other polls and could not find one related. Thanks.
 

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I'll always be a hobbiest. I had 9 hives at one time. I spend much bucks keeping my hives and have never seen a return on investment! I enjoy catching swarms and working bees. My hat is off to those who make money at it!!! I think one could make money a it, but it must be tough!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
"People with 4 years experience are left out"

Aww! Are we being,..'picayune' tonight? :)

Include yourself with number three then. A discrepancy,..:doh:
 

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I voted as a one year, not to count the 1.5 years I read about beekeeping and lurked on this sight without a screen name.

What finally did me in was going to the state fair and seeing the NC Beekeepers Assoc. table. I looked at my wife and said "alright, that's it! We're getting some hives!"
 

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Discussion Starter #11
"5 days is a year or less, right;)"

ZZZZZAPP! There are very strict rules if you want participate in a poll on Beesource. Read the FAQ!! page first!!

OK. ;) I'll count your vote. A 'real beekeeper' needs to get their first hive to successfully overwinter.
 

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If I count my years doing with with my father, then it's 35 years. Years by myself with a year or two off when I moved out west, then it's 10 years.
 

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My first hive survived there first winter....then a bear came :D

I cant wait untill I can say Ive been beekeeping for years!! Id like to get a couple more hives, not to make money but for personal use, I make alot of body products and use honey and wax in them all. Ive always loved bee's even as a kid and honey of course!
 

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Yeah, I mentioned honey as a body product one time to my wife, but she nixed it due to something about laundry and sheets and all....:lpf:
 

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What is interesting is the drop off in the 3-4 year category. It seems to suggest that many of those who start out enthusiastically - don't keep up with beekeeping after a couple of years (for whatever reasons).

The survey is biased though in that
1. BeeSource may simply have a lower number of 3-4 year hobbyists than other classes

2. 3-4 year hobbyists may be less likely to be on the Forum as much (again, for who knows what reasons) and therefore miss the poll

3. Or, interest in beekeeping may just run in cycles in the population at large. 2006/2007 may have been a 'down year' for beekeeping in general (in terms of attracting new beekeepers).

Could also be a combination of these factors (and others). Still, it is an interesting trend - if you don't read TOO much into it.
 

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Since my 12th birthday. I'll be 24 on the 16th. Though for four years I was a haver...I did keep my bees alive but I didn't have time to manage for honey production.

I'm at 5 hives now, getting my 6th as soon as the queen/nuc breeder calls.:)
 

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What is interesting is the drop off in the 3-4 year category. It seems to suggest that many of those who start out enthusiastically - don't keep up with beekeeping after a couple of years (for whatever reasons).
If I have to keep spending money and loosing bees over the winter, I will make this a hobby by keeping only 1 -2 hives. I have 4 years I think, and I've done a lot of "hot, sweaty hard work". I have had a year with no honey. (Last year my Dad was in the hospital with cancer and I did no swarm prevention). Its a lot of work and spending. I can see how after a few years, the passion diminishes on going big. Sure, I love working bees and catching swarms, but sometimes its more give than take with the bees. I tried medications my first year (varroa, etc) and when you combine equipment, medications, hard work, etc, it can become quite expensive and disappointing at times. Throw in the fact that my neighbor complained and I had to get a bee yard 20 miles away, the fact that vandals threw straw piles on the hive entrances and almost closed them off, etc. Now, when I go to the bee yard, I have to load up my equipment, supers, frames, etc. When I get home, I need to unload all of these items. Its a shame. I really do enjoy bees, but if luck doesn't change this year, I've decided to just keep one hobby hive at home... Please understand though, I do love working bees. It's like trying to keep a St Bernard in an efficiency apartment... It just isn't practical.
 

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Define HOBBYIST. I'm always learning new things each year, but I have been making money from the bees since I was 8 years old. 30+ year, and 12200+ tons later I still find myself stopping to watch them work the flowers. Beekeeping has been an out of control hobby for me for years. It's become a life style and sometimes a little bit of a job.
It's something how season go by anymore. Only 14 weeks until new crop.:banana:

Beekeeping is the worst addiction. It's worst then the dog track. Each year I go to the bank and empty the account and put it all down on the bees. All for the hope that they do better then Wallstreet. Luck for me I'm bating 29/31.:applause:
Hoping one day to kick the habbit.:D
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Thank you,.all for taking the time to vote and add comments. There are many that I would like to quote from. I will pick out a few,.not neccessarily those that are relevant to all.

"If I have to keep spending money and loosing bees over the winter, I will make this a hobby by keeping only 1 -2 hives."
I have had a year with no honey. (Last year my Dad was in the hospital with cancer and I did no swarm prevention). Its a lot of work and spending. I can see how after a few years, the passion diminishes on going big. Sure, I love working bees and catching swarms, but sometimes its more give than take with the bees. I tried medications my first year (varroa, etc) and when you combine equipment, medications, hard work, etc, it can become quite expensive and disappointing at times." >budster

"What is interesting is the drop off in the 3-4 year category. It seems to suggest that many of those who start out enthusiastically - don't keep up with beekeeping after a couple of years (for whatever reasons)." >NDnewbeek.

I started this thread/poll in response [to some extent] to the poll that revealed,.. to an overwhelming majority, most hobbyists are chemical [trying to be] free and have been keeping bees for less than 2 years.

In spite of 'glorious' statements by those that are on small cell/chemical free,..the world of hobbyist beekeepers just starting out, needs to be told the truth. >> Varroa Mites and their associated viruses/diseases, as well as Nosema,..are not something that can be dismissed as a problem,.only of big sideline or commercial beekeepers that only want to make a profit from their bees. I think that some 'newbeeks' are assuming that medicating [against mites/nosema] for keeping bees healthy is like factory farming; stuffing dairy cows with chemicals/ 'hormones and such' to make them produce more.

I have kept bees for 5 years as a hobbyist and went through some good times when I treated; some very bad times lately when I didn't..Ob. That was disappointing.

Beekeeping,.. for hobbyists, will see many more years of difficult times ahead,. before our bees are healthy/thriving in the spring. I do believe that not treating is best, it's just that we will have to be painfully patient it seems.

Hobbyist use of "chemicals': http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=239695&highlight=poll
 
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