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  #1  
Old 02-22-2008, 09:06 PM
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Any bee keepers here?

I've been toying with the idea if keeping a few bees. There seems to be quite a shortage of bees around since I was a kid. How much trouble/work is it? Any recommended information sites?

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Old 02-24-2008, 09:48 PM
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When I was a teenager I had some hives of honeybees and earned the beekeeping merit badge as a Boy Scout. It can be a fun and educational hobby, not to mention a "sweet" business. I only had a couple of hives but they produced a lot of honey. Large scale beekeepers rent out their hives to local farmers and still harvest the honey.
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Old 02-24-2008, 11:10 PM
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Just make certain they arent bumble bee's......

Saw a cowboy on a horse *kick* a nest in an alpha field after he got *his* rope around the head of a mean bull when I was a kid. His *partner* missed the ass end.

He got stung +10 times on top of the head. Was waving his hat at them while trying to drop the rope off the saddle horn before the bull got him AND the horse.

Last I saw of him he was slumped over in the cab of the truck with a bottle of *Jack* while his *partner* put his horse back in the trailer.

They called it a day and the bull lived for another day.
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  #4  
Old 02-25-2008, 10:09 AM
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That's pretty funny! I'm just talking your run-of-the-mill friendly honey bees...
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  #5  
Old 02-25-2008, 10:19 AM
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That's a cool hobby if you have the space for it. Especially if you have flower beds near by to flavor the honey.

When I was a teenager, we built a house for my dad. We didn't seal the ends of the rafters well enough and a honey bee colony set up in one of the spaces between the rafters. I dressed appropriately and removed the hive after we discovered it. It was 5 layers deep of 10" x 16" sheets of honey comb. The amazing part was it only took a few months for it to be that advanced.

There was a lot of honey there. I imagine you could get quite a bit from a fairly small setup.
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Old 02-25-2008, 10:30 AM
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My wife's father (passed away some time ago) was really, really into it.....and my MIL still has a ton of the old bee boxes in her barn. She asked me to throw them on Ebay for her....but if you are interested in getting started, let me know...

I know absolutely zero about the boxes/beekeeping though....but I'm sure the price could be right for a fellow Mshopper
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Old 02-25-2008, 12:53 PM
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I would be VERY careful given the presence of the (I think they're called) Africanized Honey Bees in some parts of the US. They're unpredictable and many people have lost their lives to attacks from these flying stingers.

Check with your local county agriculture extension office. I'm sure they've got info on both bee-keeping and the "killer bee" risks.
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Old 02-25-2008, 12:56 PM
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My dad did it when I was very young even though he was allergic. He said that he never used a suite or smoked them. I don't remember but we used to play in the backyard around them.
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Old 02-25-2008, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarTek View Post
I've been toying with the idea if keeping a few bees. There seems to be quite a shortage of bees around since I was a kid. How much trouble/work is it? Any recommended information sites?
I kept 2 hives for a couple of years. I had no problems. The local beekeeping community where I lived was very helpful in getting me started and one of the keepers let me use his extractors if I'd clean his shop. Worked for me. I never go so accustomed to my bees that I felt comfortable without gloves and hat, but some people have no problem. It's a psychological thing, IMO.

Also, some people don't get bother by the sting. I always get a welt that hurts, but nothing like a wasp or bumblebee sting, which both hurt like hell.

I didn't live in a dense ag area so my honey was always kind of dark -- not the best seller, but I liked it and never sold any.

Don't use pesticides around your home & garden if you want healthy bees.
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Old 02-25-2008, 01:04 PM
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I had the beekeeping bug in the mid 90's just before the dreaded Varroa mite started really infecting the hives. Locally, the bee business crashed as did our two hives- there was a guy up the street that had 500 hives and lost half of them in one year. He moved out of the area.

Now there's another syndrome that is causing hives to crash, and the beekeepers are just beginning to get an idea what the causes might be. So there will be pressures on your colonies that will require frequent inspection and care. It's not like it was 20-30 years ago when you could let them alone and still get honey. I have a plum tree that used to be almost roaring with bees in the spring, now you hardly see any- that's the result of the abovementioned enviromental pressure that is on colonies here, and you may be experiencing that in your area as well.

Though we had them a short time, it was a great learning experience seeing how clean these insects are, and how much cooperation goes on inside the hives.

Dittos to wbrian. The African bee populations are creeping northward, check with your local ag extension to see if they are in your area yet. But if you decide to go for it, you will gain a greater appreciation for the creatures around us that make our lives enjoyable.
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  #11  
Old 02-25-2008, 01:12 PM
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Thank you all very much for the insight! I feel that bees are very important to the health of the environment and I want to try to help return the local population to higher numbers. As long as I've lived here, I've never seen them in numbers that I did as a kid in Ohio during the '70's.
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Old 02-25-2008, 01:24 PM
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I have bees in my bonnet.
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Old 02-25-2008, 01:27 PM
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Are they Africanized Honey Bees?
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  #14  
Old 02-25-2008, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mistress View Post
I have bees in my bonnet.
How 'bout a burr in yer saddle?

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