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Re: a) Overview, the big picture

Having had OBSERVATION HIVES all my life I can’t resist saying: there is a whole new level of understanding and education to be gained when you can watch them any time in any weather, for as long as you like. You can’t think like a bee but you can watch them think.
There is so much you can’t get just popping the top for a short, pressured time in good weather and disrupting the colony of an outdoor hive. With your Observation Hive you get things like; hearing conflicting Queens, sing and battle it out; seeing a new little girl chew her way out of her cell and rub herself off and begin her duties; following a forager bringing in pollen to the colony and find a cell and deposit it and another worker come and pack it in; a respect for their body abilities; legs, wings tongues; this and endless more.
And a respect for the selflessness of the individuals of colony and getting to know each as hard working individuals and (oops) friends.
I highly recommend an Observation hive as a priority in anyone’s Bee Education, weather you’re a commercial beekeeper or just starting out. Build one of your own or buy one.
See ours at: www.bonterrabees.com
Mark
 

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Re: a) Overview, the big picture

I first read about bees because I wanted to find out if I could do it. I regret not having read first about keeping rabbits. I read Beekeeping: the Gentle Craft, but I don't remember the author. Later, I obtained a library of bee books that had been my dad's. Walter T. Kelley's book How to Keep Bees and Sell Honey should be a mainstay. Richard Taylor's The How-to-Do-it Book of Beekeeping is out of print now, but well worth paying the premium to purchase. I read ABC ...XYZ of Beekeeping till it was an old friend. These books were in my "throne room". I'd recommend them to anyone.
 

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Re: a) Overview, the big picture

I agree with the observation hive. I learned more in a year of an observation hive than decades of having bees in hives. You get to see the detail of what they do all the time not just a snapshot of what they do while the lid is open.

The best beginners book I've see is "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Beekeeping". Hate the title. Love the book.
 

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Re: a) Overview, the big picture

I see how an observation hive can be very educational for someone that does not have the knowledge of beekeeping, but are the bees able to get in an out to collect the pollen? Also curious as to how the bees exist in an enclosure like an observation hive and if their life cycle is shortened because of it?
 

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Re: a) Overview, the big picture

"Focus: What needs to be considered before taking the first step."

My suggestion... Find a spot for them,get them home alive.
It's not as hard as you think and rarely as easy as some people would
lead you to belive. So far!!
 

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Re: a) Overview, the big picture

1. Order bees.
2. Tap http://bushfarms.com/bees.htm.
3. Assemble or build hive that suits personality and budget.
4. Buy suit, hive tool and SS smoker.
5. Put bees in hive and feed.
6. Enjoy bees.

In other words, jump in with both feet and learn as you go. Otherwise, paralysis by analysis will set in.
 

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Re: a) Overview, the big picture

>Also curious as to how the bees exist in an enclosure like an observation hive and if their life cycle is shortened because of it?

A typical observation hive is free flying. It is not an enclosure, but a free flying colony with limited space and glass so you can observe them.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesobservationhives.htm
 

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Re: a) Overview, the big picture

This is the thread that I keep on visiting because I had used many tips from here. Every time I forgot something or don't know what to do I open this thread and get some answers. Thank you very much every one.
 

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Re: a) Overview, the big picture

The first book i read before i got bees was KEEPING BEES by JOHN VIVIAN 1986 when i got to the part it talks about swarming i said guess i'm not doing that . Well 15 years later i orded 2 package bees in the mail that was 3 years ago for me and the best book i think to start with i'd go with BEEKEEPING FOR DUMMIES . The first year failed both hives died buy JAN. The nex year i bought 3 nucs and i had read many book buy June and then them hives made it thought winter and now i have 15 hives{ made splits/queens/hived 8 swarms} going in to the winter and there strong saying this i think just jump in and see if ya like it you'll know buy year 2 if it's for you or not . I don't know if a class will realy teach you any thing you can't figur out on your own with books the internet and HANDS ON. I know i'll be a beekeeper the rest of my life after a year or two it clicks .
I know on the hobby side of it if you don't love you will not do it . And the swarm thing was crazy for me this past year can't wait till this spring to work on my SPM .A mentor i'd just like to know another beekeer to talk to .
 

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Re: a) Overview, the big picture

What book(s) would you recommend?
My first book was FIRST LESSONS IN BEEKEEPING and I'd still recommend it.
My first book was Bee Keeping for Dummies, good book I would recommend it. I'm about to read The Backyard Beekeeper.
 

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Re: a) Overview, the big picture

I haven't started beekeeping yet, but I am going to do it. I've signed up for two different classes, one at the local community college in May and another at an agricultural school in July, but I want to do some reading beforehand like everyone is suggesting, but what books??
 

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Re: a) Overview, the big picture

Don't move too quickly. Give it some time. Let it sink in. No matter when you start getting the idea, it's too late for this year. Plan for next year.
 

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Re: a) Overview, the big picture

" it's too late for this year. Plan for next year" S. Parker. So true.
Steve Taber is my favorite author. Well fourth to M. Bush, BeeSource and www wandering. On second thought they are all favorites. Did I mention that guy that writes Scientific Beekeeping?
I restarted last year with three hives. They all three have survived my care and the spring is here! :applause:
 

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Re: a) Overview, the big picture

1. Is there a quality Youtube beekeeping info series that you would recommend?
2. The ABC-XYZs of Bee culture; which version is best?
3. Is Confessions of a Bad Beekeeper more humor....or does it have adequate fact?

Thanks to all who help the newbies.
 

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....then after you read, read, read.......

look in the mirror, YOU are the best source.

I can't tell you how many times that I have known the answer to my own questions, only to doubt myself, then not act on the answer I knew,
Yep! Trust your gut. But it was sure nice to have this forum to bounce ideas off of.

You gotta get around live bees, get stung and figure them out, but even reading about them for 2 years will not prepare you to physically handle 5000 flying stinging insects forced out of their habitat. The experience of actually doing it is the exhilarating part. The knowledge helps you make it an enjoyable experience.

I am doing top bar hives so I started out with these books, Tons of info.

books.jpg
Thanks and a shout out to RuthiesBees for recomending The Thinking BeeKeeper, and a big THANKS to all the folks here that helped me not screw up too bad.
 

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Re: a) Overview, the big picture

@ Crooked River Keeper
Matbe join SOBA and attend our meetings here in Southern Oregon.
shoot, attend the meeting without joing hey are open to the public anyways
come and learn, first business monday of the month, Our Speaker for April we have
Dr. Andony Melathopoulos from OSU Bee Labs: ” Doing the Multiplication: Expanding your Apiary the ‘Old School’ and the ‘Next Generation’ Way.”

We also have Beginners Bee School on April 7th 2018 this is a great time for all involved.

check out our website
me - I'm the Club's Apiary Landscaper and Media guy.

I have several apiaries across the west from AZ CA and here in OR
nuff said
 
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