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Any beekeepers here? I wish to start.

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posted on Nov, 1 2005 @ 01:57 PM
IN my voyage to become less dependent on the system and more dependent on my self, I am looking into making my own honey as well as helping next years garden do better.

Are there any beekeepers here? I have a few questions;

Are there any 'build your own hive' plans in the web that would really work? $200 for a hive is too much.

What materials would be needed besides wood?

Can you really attract a queen or should I just buy one to be mailed?

Once I get a queen, will she leave?

I have read some of the basics of beekeeping, but any info here would be great.


posted on Nov, 1 2005 @ 04:59 PM
I'm no beekeeper but you might want to ask your immediate neighbours whether they object or not.

Just in case some are allergic and such. I know I'd be pretty angry if my neighbour got one.

posted on Nov, 1 2005 @ 06:03 PM

I forwarded your questions to a friend of mine, who just started beekeeping
this past year..I'll post his response here, when I get it...

One question, do you have bears in your region?
A friend of the family loses his hives all the time to Black Bear activity..
He's about to give up..

posted on Nov, 2 2005 @ 08:30 AM
No bears here. The nieghbors are ok with it, they want some honey.

Starting next March or April, I am going to see how much I can do and how little I can buy. Going to grow veggies and fruits, make honey, sprouts, preservation, make a tree bark shelter, smoke and dry some meat and much more.

Just wondering if making honey will be worth it to add.

posted on Nov, 2 2005 @ 10:38 AM
Godservant, I'm not much of a gardener or anything like that at all, but beekeeping for some reason seems attractive to me too. Honey's not much of a commodity, so I don't know what the deal is. I recall that there is a beekeeper amoung the argonauts, and that beekeeping was seen as a respectable thing back in those days. And also bees are excellent little animals.

From what I understand, there is keeping them for honey, which is a larger scale sort of thing,

and keeping them for pollination, wherein you have these things that almost look like bird feeders attached to trees, and other locations
external image

and this permits them to build a smaller hive. But one that you wouldn't drain or open for honey or do any maintenance on. The idea is that they'll live and pollinate a garden/orchard/etc.

Here's an interesting article or two on it:
Nucleus Colonies and the Swarm

Keep us updated if you go through with it!

posted on Nov, 2 2005 @ 11:10 AM

Originally posted by godservant
Are there any 'build your own hive' plans in the web that would really work? $200 for a hive is too much.

If you are talking about the actual box etc I don't know but could find out for you.. I'm in Australia though so prices may differ.

What materials would be needed besides wood?

Apart from the box itself.. frames, wire to attach 'foundation' sheets to lay over the frames [what the bees build the cells on]. A capping knife [a hot knife that peels the tops off the cells for honey extraction]. An extractor [thing that spins the frames around and the honey runs down the sides to a tap]. A smoker [it makes the bees think there is a fire coming to they become more dosile], if you're chicken: overalls, a veil and gloves to prevent being stung. There are other bits and pieces but I can't remember them atm.

Can you really attract a queen or should I just buy one to be mailed?

I doubt you could 'attract' one.. if you could there'd be a swarm following her. You would probably be better buying a queen but should be make sure any bees you buy in the US are not contaminated with 'american foul brood'.. if they are they'd have to be destroyed. You should also contact your local council and find out restrictions etc.. and if neighbours start winging you just bribe them with a jar of honey now and then.

Once I get a queen, will she leave?

If there are two queens.. I think they usually fight, one is forced out and will probably take half the hive with her.

Hope this helps.

[edit on 2-11-2005 by riley]

posted on Nov, 2 2005 @ 12:08 PM
I'd find another line of business. You could end up like this..........

...........and that would really suck!


posted on Nov, 2 2005 @ 01:53 PM
Hi godservant,

I am not a beekeeper, but I did take it as a supplemental entemology class in college. It was a great class that I enjoyed very much because it was a hands on, and we physically performed every aspect there was associated with beekeeping. We learned everything that a person should know when it comes to the honey bee.

I did a bit of searching for you and I found a few sites that you might find helpful. On this site Bee Source, I found quite a few helpful things for you. They have a section called PLANS that gives you PDF instructional plans on how you can build alot of the things you will need for beekeeping. I noticed in your post that you were concerned about pricing.

They even have a forum here, Bee Source Forum where you may be able to find some more good information from people who keep bees. Here is another site called Beemasters Beekeeping Course that also had so good information.

You should be able to find answers to most of your questions at those two places. It might also help you to find some beekeepers local to you and talk to them also. I hope this helps you out some. I really did enjoy taking care of the bees and extracting honey. I was even lucky enough not to be stung my entire time with the bees.

[edit on 11/2/2005 by sylvrshadow]

posted on Nov, 2 2005 @ 02:03 PM

Originally posted by riley
frames, wire to attach 'foundation' sheets to lay over the frames [what the bees build the cells on].

Thanks Riley, question about the frames - how do you build the center of these? I am talking about the part that the bee's actually build the combs on. Is it just wire mesh?

My 18 year old son is trying to talk out of doing this in the spring. Says I should wait till we move to Ohio where we'll have bigger yards. My nieghbors are ok with it here, as long as they get some honey.

Thanks all for the input - thanks a lot!!

posted on Nov, 2 2005 @ 04:01 PM
ok, my friend replied...Here is what he said about beekeeping:

Your friend should look a this site if he wants to make his own equipment:

He should be aware that he will still need frames and foundation. I have not used the plastic foundation, but will most likely try it this next year.

There are some foundational "truths" to beekeeping, as in any other craft/profession.

To start, I would pruchase a hive in a "beginner's" kit. Your friend will need:
A hive tool
A smoker
A veil ( or an entire beesuit)
A pallet or hive stand to keep the bottom board of the hive off of the ground
At least one brood chamber and frames
An inner cover
An outer cover
A pkg of bees to put in the hive ( I would recommend a 3 pound pkg) - this comes with a queen. Have her marked so that it can be spotted readily.

A queen, once established in a hive, will stay with the hive until it grows to a size that has outgrown it's living quarters. Then, the workers will sense the overcrowded conditions and will "make" from 3 - 5 new queens. A day or two before the new queen emerges, the original queen will take half the colony ( called a "swarm") and leave. They will find a new home and start over.
The first new queen to emerge will kill the other queens in their cells and take over the hive.

Yes, you can attract bees with the use of feromones, but it is best to start with a good quality package of bees with a queen. A queen does not fly out of her hive once she is there. She is far too busy laying eggs.
A new queen will fly out once... for her mating flight. At this time a queen mates with several hundred drones. If she is mated properly, she will produce up to a million eggs in her lifetime.

I would recommend that your friend do some heavy reading on bees and beekeeping. When I get home, I will get some good titles from my personal library and share them with you.

In a beekeeping class I took here, a quote kept coming up from several beekeepers:
" There is a difference between bee -having and beekeeping.
A bee - haver, has bees and robs honey.
A beekeeper "keeps" or "tends" their bees. He takes only surplus and leaves the rest, in exchange for care and nurturing of the bees."

It does take time, planning, money, work, and education.

Hope that helps you out!!!

posted on Nov, 3 2005 @ 07:59 AM
Spacedoubt - THANKS!! Great site. I saw a few other sites with plans, but coming from someone who does it, I know it'll work.

Again thanks!!!

Now to figure out that mesh for the frames.

posted on Nov, 3 2005 @ 08:50 AM
I keep bees...

But not on purpose...

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