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How to Start your own Back Yard Bee Hive

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posted on Apr, 30 2011 @ 03:21 AM
i have been checking a wild hive in a tree between me and my neighbors yard watching for signs of it swarming.

When the swarm queen shows up outside the hive i plan to pick her out and i have a old temporary box to put her in with a queen excluder to keep her from leaving till i can build or get a hive box to transfer the swarm to.

I prefer not buy a bee colony if i don't have to as most that are sold are commercial bees European (or Western) honey bees. A. mellifera

They are harder to work

I prefer the Apis mellifera ligustica the Italian honey bee as they are more docile to work with. plus the wild hive in my neighbors yard happen to be Italian bees.

But if i have to buy a colony i want Italian honey bees because i will have two hives for the price of one.

Once i have a hive i can get a brood comb from it to use for a trap out of wild hives

This will allow my to trap-out the wild hive in the tree next door.

Then i will have two hives.

That fall i will feed my hives real good and watch the next spring for signs of swarming.

If there is i can split the hive two ways i like my way but there is another way
My way
If i find ether hive is preparing to swarm in the spring (queen cup construction, capped or sealed queen cells,)
i will do a hive split by taking the brood comb with the capped or sealed queen cells,and placing it in a new hive box with some combs of honey and bees as a starter close the hive with a wire block to hold the bees in for a few days. They will stay with the new hive till the new queen is hatched and ready to takeover.
There is a trick to doing it my way. After splitting the hive and before opening the new one move it about 30 to 50 feet away and turn the old hive 1/4 turn so that it faces a different direction just after sundown leave the new hive facing the way the old one was.
The bees you put in the new hive then cannot find the old hive it does not look right. No joke they can not find it because its facing the wrong direction but the bees you left in the old hive can remember the way there hive was facing when they leave the next morning and can find there way back,

The other ways

posted on Apr, 30 2011 @ 03:24 AM
I've been wanting to start a hive too. Got kinda lucky this year, cause an old tree fell in the field behind the house and I saw a lot of bees around it the other day. There are blackberries growing there, so hopefully they're moving in. Not sure if there will be honey, but probably.

posted on Apr, 30 2011 @ 06:15 AM
reply to post by Wildmanimal

And also in a totally unrelated topic how to totally piss off your neighbors by having a loud ass dangerous bee hive on your property.

posted on Apr, 30 2011 @ 06:35 AM
reply to post by pcrobotwolf

Honeybees are neither loud nor dangerous.
Educate yourself.

posted on Apr, 30 2011 @ 06:56 AM
reply to post by Spooner69

example number#1 example number#2 while i think what you are doing is great I was making a joke maybe you should do some research

posted on Apr, 30 2011 @ 07:48 AM
reply to post by Wildmanimal

Hey, thanks! Very interesting and different from the usual fare on ATS. Thanks for sharing. 'Never a bee-keeper, but my association with honey bees goes way back.

For someone that cannot possible host a bee hive, there is another possibility to help local critters, whether bees or other helpful insects even birds and small mammals.

I maintain a half-barrel with a small circulating pond pump in my back yard. This year I have a constant supply of honey bees that come for water. Frankly, I had not know they needed a water supply.

Contrary to what many people think, bees' sole concern is to NOT to find some poor soul to sting. I get within mere inches of those gathering water and they make no effort to be aggressive. Harvesting duties is not the same as protecting the hive.

If bees are a bit too wild of an adventure with nature and require too much attention, put up a humming bird feeder. Simple and convenient they can reward you with more benign interactions with nature.

posted on Apr, 30 2011 @ 01:30 PM
Ive kept bees as a hobby for over 20 years...worthwhile and fun...I suggest you try taking a lawn chair and sitting to the side of your hives for 20-30- minutes a day...if you arent in their flyway in and out of the hive they will learn to trust you being there and you will learn a lot about your friends...I lean over and watch from the edge of the lip...the "landing pad" can take some great photos too

posted on Apr, 30 2011 @ 02:56 PM
Well done on setting up your own hive. What a great idea. If I had the room I'd do that too. Good luck with it.

posted on Apr, 30 2011 @ 06:59 PM
if you want to have a hive but scared of stings look into yellow nosed bees. thay can't sting and even let you stroke them if thay land on you. near my mums house theres loads its funny to see people who don't know about them recoil in horror if you show them your mums friendly pet bee as a joke

how good the honey is i don`t know
edit on 30/4/11 by Aceofclubs because: rouge letter

posted on Apr, 30 2011 @ 09:04 PM
One of the biggest mistakes made is not handling the queens separate cage properly.

It is of the utmost importance that you make a small hole in the little solid circular shaped thingy, on the queens cage, with a small nail. (careful not to crush her)

The reason for this is many times the worker bees cannot eat or get through to the queen because of the hardness of this sugar plug, but if you make a small hole all the way through, this will allow the worker bees to make short work, and allow the queen out and do her thing.

If you have any questions, I have an orchard with about 2500 Apple trees and 24 hives.

Good luck to you.

I would forget the sugar water and place 3lbs of sugar at the bottom of the hive, but make sure it is at least 1 week before apple or fruit blooms, so they can start to get used to their surrounding area. Sugar is good to start them, but not after the hive is in full swing.

Bee's are the most fascinating things on this planet and contrary to popular belief very tolerant, well except maybe for the African bees, lol

P.S. I have worked with them for over 30 years and I am certified in the State of Michigan, so I do have a bit of knowledge.

Originally posted by Wildmanimal
Hello ATS ,

I must say I was somewhat intimidated by this. So much so, that by the time I had worked my hand into this
swarming mass and retrieved the Queen cage, attached a new metal strip,used some thumbtacks to secure it to the 3rd top bar, and got my tail out of there, I later realized that I forgot to even check on the status of the Queen. Right There was my FAIL. Because, the first thing you are suppose to do, is check if the Queen is Alive.

Hellhounds. Well anyway, I filled the bowls with sugar water to keep them satisfied until the Spring blooms.
The Apple blossoms should be fully popped over the next week or two. Instructions said to remove the Queen
cage in 2 days and feed again in one week. Well the queen was still in there two days later, as the bees wouldn't
let me get near her. But...the food was empty, so I filled that up. Went back today, and the queen cage was
empty, but halfway incorporated into a wax mass honeycomb. Wish me luck being the handler of that one
this weekend.

Lastly, a wandering tribe of carpenter ants decided to make a home for themselves under the lid .
They want that sugar water too I guess. I always thought they preferred wet rotten wood.
Go Figure.

edit on 30-4-2011 by Realtruth because: (no reason given)

edit on 30-4-2011 by Realtruth because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 30 2011 @ 09:13 PM
reply to post by WildmanimalActually, here in the States bees are on the rebound and increasing in numbers. Bees drink the morning dew on grassy lawns which of course, in the past, were full of pesticides/fertilization chemicals. Slowly humankind is learning that a less-than-perfect yard is better then dead bees. I certainly hope your bees survive the winter.

posted on Apr, 30 2011 @ 09:16 PM

Italian Honey Bees and the way to go, especially if they have swarmed and cost you nothing.

All of my hives are Italian, but I die have had a tough time with them making tomato sauce instead of honey for awhile.

Originally posted by ANNED

I prefer not buy a bee colony if i don't have to as most that are sold are commercial bees European (or Western) honey bees. A. mellifera

They are harder to work

I prefer the Apis mellifera ligustica the Italian honey bee as they are more docile to work with. plus the wild hive in my neighbors yard happen to be Italian bees.

edit on 30-4-2011 by Realtruth because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 30 2011 @ 10:06 PM
Thats a really good story. My family owns a very large bee farm in Canada. I have spent many summer weekends helping out with hive collection and honey extraction. I love working with the bees, I think they are a fascinating creature and we need more of them. I think its great that there are hobbyists out there helping pollinate their local communities. Please if you have any questions concerning the subject do not hesitate to ask.

posted on Apr, 30 2011 @ 10:35 PM
Are there any legal complications with having a bee hive on your property?
I thought about setting up a hive but I live on about 1/2 of an acre in a fairly rural area, and I just wonder if that is generally something your neighbors would just take in stride... for example, in some places, if you planted Kudzu in your yard, your neighbors can actually bring a lawsuit against you. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for the bees but these days it isn't too hard to imagine a kid getting stung and some angry suburban parent pointing a finger at your hive.
Are there any permits required, are they considered livestock? Can you sell the honey without some guy in a suit writing you up?
In a long term survival situation, honey would be a real plus and the pollenation factor is critical for agriculture, it would behoove a man to learn some bee keeping 101.

And while we're on the subject, any tips to keeping your honey from turning to frosted yuck? I have the worst luck keeping honey honey for some reason. Someone told me it was because the store bought honey is blended from various sources and that causes it to congeal when it hits air, but the same guy also says he can outfish me which hurts his credibility of course.

Last question is for all you guys, favorite honey? Mine's probably Sourwood... no, Locust.... um, no it's Tupelow...

posted on Apr, 30 2011 @ 10:59 PM
Speaking of bees, a few days ago I saw the hugest bee I have ever seen in my life. I live in Ontario Canada. The thing was atleast 3 inches. Anyone else noticing huge bees anywhere?

posted on Apr, 30 2011 @ 11:13 PM
Interesting thread. I have been tossing around the idea of raising bees for a while. I live on a 1 acre property in the burbs and worry about the effect this might have on the neighbors though. I'm sure that if one of their kids got stung they would be coming after me with pitchforks and torches like I was was Frankenstein's monster. I do however, have an empty wooded lot behind me that might provide enough cover to hide the hive from prying eyes. I like the idea of harvesting my own honey.

Just curious...where did you order the queen & colony from?
edit on 4/30/2011 by Sparky63 because: spelling

posted on Apr, 30 2011 @ 11:34 PM
Hey OP, I commend you for what you did , and look what you started!. An idea like this can go exponential quickly if enough people have success with it.

I am so busy, my work and all, but you have shown that anyone can take the time to make a difference and that is really important. Thanks ! I will let you know how many times I get stung. (I think I read somewhere that getting stung by a honeybee can be a beneficial thing for many human ailments!)

Good luck, and S&F for you.

posted on Apr, 30 2011 @ 11:43 PM
Thanks for sharing about your hive. More so the fact you choose not to use chemicals, bees will thank you as well as yourself and family.

posted on Apr, 30 2011 @ 11:55 PM
reply to post by Wildmanimal

I love bee's. I'm guessing you have the nice little europeans? Italians? Love those guys. Not terribly aggressive and rather ambivelent to folks. They just wanna do their thing LOL.

My maternal papa and uncles kept bee's when I was little. They had the space on their little bits of acreage they grew crops on.

I hope you enjoy the little guys. Just remember, watch the queen. If she changes, watch out. you could get africanized.

Thats a game changer.

Luckily, my folks never had it happen.

posted on May, 1 2011 @ 12:11 AM
Cool thread thanks for posting. Been thinking of doing the same too but Live on a small lot so not sure. I do have fruit trees and a garden etc that would benefit. But lots of farms around so no shortage of bees here. Still I like the top bar and chemical free method. You can put an ad on craigs list or a local throw away paper that you will remove a swarm, that is one way to get a hive for free. There are several you tube videos on how to remove a swarm. Also you can make your own bee suit for a fraction of the cost.

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