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Hello everyone. This is my first time here and was looking for some thoughts or advice from experienced beekeepers.

I have been desperately wanting to get into beekeeping for many years now. Unfortunately, because I have been in the military for the last 18 years or so, I have always been unable to actually get started because of either my situation, or my location. I have read a lot on beekeeping and watched a lot of videos on beekeeping, but never been able to actually do any. I have recently landed in a spot in southern Georgia where I actually have the combination of ample time and a location where I could have bees. The only downside is that I will most likely be here for just over 2 years. There's is a chance I could be here much longer, but it is not the likely outcome. So my question is: would it be wise to get a beehive, get it started and get the experience of starting a beehive and maintaining it for a couple years before I leave this area and I can take that experience with me to wherever I wind up going (which will definitely be a place where I can have beehives)? Or would it make me an irresponsible beekeeper to get a beehive that I knew I would just wind up having to get rid of in a couple years? Wherever I wind up going next is likely to be nowhere near where I live now. It's really the ethical side of it that I'm asking about. I have no problem shelling out the money required to buy the equipment, I feel the knowledge and experience will be worth it. And I'm not concerned about being able to harvest honey or wax; again, it's the experience I want. But I wonder if it would be akin to getting a puppy knowing I would be moving in 2 years then having to get rid of it when the time came. I don't really know exactly what I would do with the beehive before I leave. Ideally, find someone to sell/give them to, but I haven't been able to find any apiaries near me, so that's still a mystery as of now and even if I lined up someplace to give them to ahead of time, who knows if it will still be a viable option 2 years from know. I would really love to get into beekeeping, but I really want to be a responsible beekeeper, so any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Vanuke
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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It would not be irresponsible getting bees now and giving them away or selling them when the time comes for you to relocate. There are hobby beekeepers everywhere and finding them a good home will not be a problem. A Craigslist post and the bees will be spoken for in a day. It would be irresponsible for you to abandon them or kill them because you lost interest, but they are insects. It is not quite like getting a puppy. I encourage you to pursue this hobby, even if just for a short while.
 

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Yeah, do it. Know that the buy/sell spread will set you back a few hundred. But someone will take them off your hands for the right price or free.

No ethical issue here.
 

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Undoubtedly bee clubs nearby. Easy enough to join for a year or two then pass the hive to a member. Undoubtedly someone will want it, and probably pay good money for it. I say do it. Bees are fun.
 

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Find some clubs around you and join them. Ask if the club has hives that you can learn on. The club that I belonged to in Virginia kept hives at some schools and the zoo. You can ask members if they will let you work in their hives and learn along side of them. The group I belonged to recommends that for your first year. That way you can see if its for you, the different equipment and tools out there to use.
 

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Vanuke:

Welcome to the forum- it sounds like you have invested a lot of time and thought into this, which is smart in my humble opinion.

It also sounds like you have gotten some good advice on here- I like the idea of seeing if you can get a 'loaner' or two from a beekeeper in your area.

In an ideal scenario, your place could serve as an outyard for them and you could learn through watching and doing when he or she comes over to do hive inspections, etc.

Then, if you find you are going to be planted in Georgia for awhile, you'll be well-prepared to make the transition to full-fledged bee-owner.

Best of luck to you in your efforts- I'll be eager to hear how things develop for you.

Russ
 
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