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How to Start your own Back Yard Bee Hive

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posted on Apr, 29 2011 @ 11:35 PM
Hello ATS ,

I started my own Bee hive last weekend. With the current predicament of Honey Bees in the
world today, I have chosen this "Fragile Earth" Forum. Unfortunately we are all being tested by the powers
of nature, and the foolishness of man these days.While we cannot always prevent these events, we can do
our part to at least try to positively influence our immediate community. We as individuals have to set root somewhere. What better place to create a solid foundation than in our own back yard? For those of us who
do not have our own backyard, we can still create a solid foundation in the back of our own minds. For it is
there that we can store knowledge and ideas until we reach the point where we can materialize these concepts,
or at least confidently share them with our friends,neighbors, and ultimately, the world at large.

So, now that you know where I am coming from,philosophy aside, I will share my recent experience with "The Bees".

First off, I did as much research over last winter as I could get my fingers on.
This led me in the direction of a "Top Bar" Bee Hive instead of the traditional "Langstroff" type.
This was personal choice, and due to the recent problems with carry over contamination, I decided
to attempt a fresher approach. Another appealing aspect was that for less than 100 bux I could get a kit
and plans to build my own. I would really recommend this to you crafty ATS folks out there.

Secondly, I ordered a colony of bees which is 15-20,000 worker bees and 1 Queen. In hind site, I think
I may have made a mistake there, as I did not procure Bees from my geographic region. So , genetically,
they may not have the instincts to prepare the colony for the harsh winter conditions here.
We shall see.

Now , I have chosen to Not use any chemical "treatments" to protect the bees.
They are on their own. I chose the hardiest strain that I could find, and that is nature for you.

I ordered a chunk of beeswax, the upper half of a Bee Keepers suit, and an iron tool for working on the
honey combs,brood combs,pollen combs,etc. Bought 10 pounds of pure cane sugar, and that's it.

Initial Roadblocks:

Well I left the "bee suit" in its original plastic package in the garage, but that did not deter some field mice
from making a winter home out of it. They chewed it up pretty bad, in such a way, that when I unfolded it,
there were random holes and detriment every which way. A real jigsaw puzzle with big pieces missing.

Next, the queen cage which is a separate little cage inside the larger cage that the colony was shipped in,
(the same shape, but slightly shorter than a stick of butter) was not where it was supposed to be.
The metal strip that holds it in place was cut. So the Queen was INSIDE the swarm of 20,000 bees.

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.

There you have it: Difficult Beginnings. All part of the process.

Speaking of which, I have some photos that I tried to upload to ATS for this thread, but every time I clicked
"Upload Photo" I got a lag/white screen. I asked the staff about it, but if you folks can offer any advice, I would
be grateful.

So there it is, an ongoing process. I will add updates as the season advances. If I can answer any questions,
or if any of you have some suggestions, by all means speak up.

Happy Spring ATS

posted on Apr, 29 2011 @ 11:46 PM
I commend you for starting a massive beehive in your backyard. I would love to know how you mow your lawn without being slaughtered by bees!

posted on Apr, 29 2011 @ 11:54 PM
reply to post by iamhobo

The bees require a 10 foot fly zone in front of the hive. It is also best to face the opening of the hive between
a due east and due south direction.

Once you realize that these creatures are the backbone of agriculture, the lawnmower follows the new path

By the way, once they smell your armpits, they will remember who you are.

posted on Apr, 29 2011 @ 11:56 PM
reply to post by Wildmanimal

Congratulations on your new endeavour. I hope it proves to be spiritually and financially profitable! I love honey bees I wish I had room for an apiary. I star you for your post and will keep an eye on your updates.

posted on Apr, 29 2011 @ 11:59 PM
I've often thought about doing this...
I make Mead
and I've often dream of having my own bee army,
so that I don't have to pay an arm and a leg for the honey
to make my delicious Mead

Plus I could sell the extra

So in closing...
I hope your bees work out for you!
Good Luck!

-Evol Eric

posted on Apr, 29 2011 @ 11:59 PM
Cool idea. What made you want to do this?

This might sound dumb, but can you eventually receive honey from this - or is it purely hobby?

You might have to upgrade to the newest internet explorer or use Mozilla as far as pix? Not sure, maybe you should try something like photobucket - or some free upload site.

posted on Apr, 29 2011 @ 11:59 PM
reply to post by Wildmanimal

Good for u, OP. I might try beekeeping myself later this year. Just got a PDF of beekeeping for dummies, looks to be pretty interesting. 100 bucks for a kit, eh? That doesn't sound too bad. I had no idea there would be that many bees for 1 queen. Guess I've got a lot of reading up to do.
I will keep an eye on this thread periodically to see how it's going. Hopefully you'll discover some handy tips/tricks that aren't in the book. Good luck to you!

posted on Apr, 30 2011 @ 12:03 AM
reply to post by brice

Thanks! Maybe you have some friends or family who will allow you to "Host a Hive" ?

If push comes to shove, put an add out on Craigslist, or post a 3x5 index card on the board at your nearest
Garden Club. You might be amazed.

Thanks for your reply!

posted on Apr, 30 2011 @ 12:06 AM
reply to post by EvolEric

If you make True must negotiate with the Bees for your own Honey.

That is the "Alchemy" of it. Go for it.

posted on Apr, 30 2011 @ 12:08 AM
WOW star and flag and Thanks OP, I have been thinking about doing this for a while and now you've inspired me to read up on it more and get it done lol. I remember as kid eating honeycomb at my Grandparent's fresh right from the hive, as far as I know I didn't eat any bees lol but OMG it was awesome!

posted on Apr, 30 2011 @ 12:21 AM
reply to post by Wildmanimal

heavy lyrics,i would love to do the same myself, keep up the good work and i hope the best for u,and all of us,we need the bees!!!!!!

posted on Apr, 30 2011 @ 12:24 AM
reply to post by Dance4Life

Hey There, your question isn't stupid at all, in fact , it is right on target. I took interest into this challenge
not so much for the honey, at least for now, but for the alarming plight of the Honey Bee. One Third of
the worlds agricultural food supply depends on Honey bee pollination. Commercial Honey Bees are released
into areas to pollinate massive crops. For instance, Corn, Fruit Trees, Nut Trees, Etc. Due to this fact, they are directly exposed to the chemical, biological,and GM "Treatments" to the food supply. This occurs worldwide.
These treatments are supposed to be designed, applied, and released in such a way as to not be detrimental
to the pollinators. Unfortunately, "Errors" , major errors at that, have occurred.

A Grass roots level of participation into the "Hosting" of Honey Bees in not only rural, but suburban, and
even urban enviroments can not only help diversify the gene pool of The Honey Bee ,but prevent its extinction.
After all, the extinction of the honey bee could result in ....well we'll talk about that another time.

Thanks for the reply.

posted on Apr, 30 2011 @ 12:30 AM
reply to post by FarBeyondDriven69

Go For it,,,,,,,

If your handy with some tools or have a friend who is, you could build your own.

Hell, if you wax it up right and put some sugar water in a bowl, you might even be so lucky as to have
a wild swarm move right in for free.

Those Bees are quite a thing to study.

posted on Apr, 30 2011 @ 12:33 AM
reply to post by CUJOCREEP

Glad you like the Lyrics. I know it is off topic, but I'm playing a gig tomorrow night.

So you are right on target as well.

Thanks for your kind reply.

posted on Apr, 30 2011 @ 12:40 AM
reply to post by Wildmanimal

Good luck with the bee keeping, I'd love to do this, but sadly don't have a plot big enough. I am trying to do my bit for the bees though, and for beneficial insects in general, I have installed an insect house this year
and another tip that I recently heard of, is to leave jar lids with sugary water in them, strategically placed, so that the bees can take refreshments. Evidently, because they have to go such distances between their preferred plants, many die simply from exhaustion. So the idea is to provide a rest stop. Worth a try anyway and costs next to nothing too

posted on Apr, 30 2011 @ 12:40 AM
reply to post by Wildmanimal

Welcome to the wonderful world of 100,000 bugs in your life .

here are a few links that will help a new beekeeper .

There is nothing better than wildflower honey . what type of bees did you get and where are you roughly ?

Some bees are very aggressive when you mess with the hive others dont care till you hurt one. I have 3 hives now there are lots of tricks to learn. Put a bird bath out with rocks in it for the bees to get water it will keep em out of the neighbors yards .

posted on Apr, 30 2011 @ 12:52 AM
reply to post by Lostinthedarkness

Sounds to me like your not lost in the darkness at all, but blinded by the light.

Thanks for all the cool links, I will check them all out.

I am in the Northeast United States of America.

The bees I ordered are from the Midwest, U.S.

I could probably benefit from your advice, so I may be knocking on your message door at some point.

posted on Apr, 30 2011 @ 12:59 AM
reply to post by RainDog

Go for it Rain Dog! If I can do it, you can do it.

Just plan ahead, and take your time. Thanks for your good words,

Actually, you can get the plans for less than 20 bux I think, but that is without any hardware, and no milled
top bars. The milling of the top bars is somewhat tricky, but if you have a good table saw/router, you could
do it. So if you are adept in the craft, and have some cured hardwood 1x8" and 2x2" lumber that will not warp
too bad, its all you. All the better, and more creative for you that way.


edit on 30-4-2011 by Wildmanimal because: Add in content/typo

posted on Apr, 30 2011 @ 01:10 AM
reply to post by BadPenny

Every effort counts there Penny. Yours included. You should get some friends involved. If you live in a city,
research/ask about beekeeping within city limits and the regulations(if any). I have heard about people
petitioning local governments successfully to allow Beekeeping. You know you could have a Bee Hive on the top of a building. In the same way that people had Pidgeon Huts on the tops of buildings in New York City(and elsewhere)
Some still do to this day.

posted on Apr, 30 2011 @ 01:14 AM
reply to post by Wildmanimal

Thanks Everyone for your replies, but its pushing past 2 A.M. here, so I have to hit the hay.

I will check in again soon, and follow up the best I can.

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