When i heard that the bee population was decreasing i wanted to do my part by helping the situation. When i bought my first package and drove home with them in the passengers seat of my jeep everyone thought i was nuts! When i installed my bees i felt a strange bond right then and there. If there was any stress in my body it was released right then and there! And for those who havent tried it, they should get themselves a bee package and im sure they would be stress free!...HAHAHAHA I have since built my own equipment, i have built a OTBH, i have built a bee vac, i have captured a feral swarm and now im interested in learning as much as i can and maybe get into queen rearing later on!...
I read two of Susan Hubbell's books--A Country Year and A Book of Bees and How to Keep Them. She got me hooked and her books are filled with great information. I kept reading after that and purchased my first hives over the winter and the bees this past spring.
When my wife and I bought our first home 10 yrs ago their was an abanded apiary with supers and hives stacked up. Everything was void of bees and the next spring a swarm moved into one of the hives. I seen the bees flying in and out so I popped off the top(no smoke, veil, or any protection) and got stung up pretty good. I knew there was an easier way without getting stung up so I did some research and found out a distant relative of mine was a state bee inspector. The story goes from there as I was hooked after working with him a few times. Now honey bees are my livelyhood.
My father has had bees since I was 5 years old. I would go with him sometimes when I was young and eventually would help him in the hives. 12 years ago, I decided I wanted to do it too and have something to do with him. At 43 now, and him at 68, it's a joy to talk to him about our bees, flow, swarms, nucs, etc. I'm already including my 3 year old on trip to the bee yards with hopes he will want to do it too someday.
I did a cutout last year with a snipers veil for a head net and a metal trashcan lid with dried leaves for a smoker. I harvested five gallons of honey, two pounds of wax , via crush & strain and only got stung three times.
It was my first up close and personal with bees of that amount and I was just amazed , enthralled at there industrious organisation . I knew I had to have them if only just to watch them live and prosper. Honey is a great fringe benefit.
Cool stories. For me it was working on my uncle Tex's commercial bee farm in Lubbock back in the late 60's. Back home in Washington my dad got a couple hives from someone he worked with and I tended those up until I went off to college. Been keeping bee's off and on ever since.
My Great Grandfather had bees when I was very young; but I don't think that is why.
I considered keeping bees around 1973 or '74 after reading some in "Foxfire 2".
Finally last year we took the plunge and took a class and ordered bees and started reading. One package (died over winter) and one cutout (survivors). Now three from survivor, two more from nucs, and a new cutout from Sunday.
Why? I don't think I'll ever learn enough about these creatures and they seem to be more manageable than cows .
It was a 1997 article in The Atlantic on honey bees. One day in August that year, I took the magazine with me to a restaurant to read over lunch. By the time I finished reading, I was blown away and knew I'd have to keep bees. Seven years later we moved to a few acres in the country and by spring I had taken a beekeeping class and set up my first hives. (I even remember exactly what I ate for lunch that day.)
I wanted them when I was in my teens (1970's). A good friend had them at his parents farm. I begged. But my mom said no! When I got free I was lucky to meet a great man named Fred Rich. The best beekeeper the world has ever seen, as far as I'm concerned. Read Sue Hubells books and Following The Bloom. Still have them all with the copy of ABC and XYZS of Beekeeping. That Fred gave me 25 years ago. Still got bees too. So that's were I come from.. Everyone should be so lucky. Bruce.............
My aunt's ex-husband is a college professor who has a PhD in entomology specializing in honeybees, and so I was always hearing about bees whenever they visited.
Various relatives had a few hives. My grandmother's brother had up to 70 hives at one point. Grandma had a hive out by her garden. I was around bees, but never really worked with them.
In my teenage years, we took a vacation and visited my Aunt and Uncle who owned a small 400 hive operation in South Dakota at the time. I got to go out to the yards and help around the honey house for a couple days. This was the first time I ever worked with bees and bee equipment.
3 years ago, a coworker was selling a couple of his dad's hives. His elderly father had a stroke and was unable to care for the hives anymore. I bought the hives and some miscellaneous equipment from him and that's how I got my start owning bees. I'm presently up to 30 some hives, not counting nucs.
I've been around farming my whole life, and enjoy agriculture, but it's difficult to make a go of it farming unless you inherit a farm. It's cost prohibitive to begin dirt farming from scratch. Beekeeping is one area of agriculture that has the potential for you to start from scratch, and build an agricultural operation that can provide a decent living. While I don't know that I want to become a commercial beekeeper, beekeeping does allow me the opportunity to build a nice supplementary income.
I have been intrigued about bees and keeping them since I was a teenager. My mom was not keen on the idea so I let it drop. The thoughts lay dormant in my mind until last fall when I was at the Green Festival and I met Christy Hemenway of Gold Star Bees. I liked the simplicity of the hive and her approach to caring for them.
I am so happy I made the choice to have them. They are very fascinating little insects. I enjoy learning about them and could sit and watch them for hours!
I'm a health nut and try to go organic with everything I eat. I also love nature and everything outdoors. I swapped refined sugar for honey in my diet but I wanted good honey. Not pasturized or whatever they do to the store bought crap. So I added some hives to my garden just this year and am as obsessed with them as I am with all my other hobbies,ie, gardening, camping, martial arts, family....just good wholesome fun.
When I was younger my uncle had about 200 hives at any given time.
At the age of 6 my cousin knocked over a hive :no: I was stung more than 30 times.....it took me almost 20 years to let a bee come close to me.
In 2008 my husband found a swarm in our barn, I guess all those years listening to my uncle paid off... I borrowed a vail and decided i was going to face my fears:scratch:
Now I have 11 hives...my stress relief...when I'm with the girls I can't think about anything other than them
My children ages 5 & 7 started a hive each this year and they love it to! :thumbsup:
(only about 10 stings in the past year...they are not as bad as I remember)
My dad. No doubt. Although sometimes it wasn't my favorite thing to do, middle of summer and 10,000 degrees, it was my job to take care of dad's hives when he was in the hay field. He had bees for longer than I can remember, and over the last few years, before he passed away, I found that our family has been keeping bees here in the Ozarks for generations. Now that he has gone on, I am taking care of his few remaining hives, and am beginning to expand my own operation here on my farm. After 15 or so years off for college and travelling around the country, I now have the absolute fascination and love for these creatures that he had, and hope to continue the tradition that has been in our family for so long.
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