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Who keeps bees?

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default Who keeps bees?

Post by GB on 17th January 2011, 7:05 pm

Hubby is looking into getting me (wooohoooooo) some bees. Have found a supplier selling a hive, queen and three pounds of bees for a reasonable price. What else does one need when keeping bees other than the bees themselves?

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default Re: Who keeps bees?

Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 17th January 2011, 7:20 pm

A beesuit. A hive tool to open the hive when it is sticky. A smoker. A brood comb. A bee friendly marker pen to mark your queen for easier identification.

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Post by GB on 17th January 2011, 7:36 pm

Thanks Billy Very Happy

Do you enjoy your bees? Are they worthwhile having? I know the honey is a big plus but are there any minuses?

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Post by Guest on 17th January 2011, 7:38 pm

GB wrote: Have found a supplier selling a hive, queen and three pounds of bees for a reasonable price.

What is a reasonable price?...as usually standard hives are too expensive (to start with and to expand), hence the interest in Top Bar Hives

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Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 17th January 2011, 8:08 pm

Zoe wrote:
GB wrote: Have found a supplier selling a hive, queen and three pounds of bees for a reasonable price.

What is a reasonable price?...as usually standard hives are too expensive (to start with and to expand), hence the interest in Top Bar Hives

What is 'too expensive'? Is that not entirely subjective?

We have 5 hives now and have not paid more than £50 for any of them. Top Bar hives seem to start at around £170 so not really any cheaper unless you make your own, and you can make a National hive just as cheaply if you are so inclined. You can get flat pack national hives on Ebay for £60 or so.

GB, most of the time the bees just do their thing and you leave them to it. The maintenance takes no more than half an hour every couple of weeks during high season. The only minuses are: getting stung and the risk that they may suddenly abscond for no apparent reason whatsoever - this happens to even the most experienced beekeepers sometimes and there is no rhyme or reason to it. But it is rare. Other than that they are very satisfying to keep.

Also there is the wax, the propolis and mead from the cappings in addition to the honey.

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Post by AngelinaJellyBeana on 17th January 2011, 8:12 pm

GB wrote:

Do you enjoy your bees? Are they worthwhile having? I know the honey is a big plus but are there any minuses?

I've not had any honey yet as I only got my bees at the end of July. I do enjoy having them and watching them but still a bit nervous after getting stung, but that was partly my own fault.... so minuses.....
Stings!!!!! Get some anti-histamine cream & tablets and hydrocortisone cream

You need gloves, long rubber ones will do that come over the sleeves of your bee suit

I'd also recommend getting yourself on a course and reading lots of books
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Post by Guest on 17th January 2011, 9:11 pm

GB I think it is up to you which method of bee keeping you decide to take up. Bee keepers seem to be a conservative bunch and get quickly wedded to their way of doing things.

Personaly I have gone down the route of nutural bee keeping in a Top Bar hive for a number of reasons. However one of the chief aims I have is to provide an living space for a colony of bees at this time of pressure on them (whether it is human or natural).

If you are willing to build a top bar hive yourself, I can assure you it does not take a lot of skill, you could have a hive for the cost of a few bolts, nails, netting and wood (you can even use untreated recycled wood if you can find some ...the bees do not mind!). Take a look at Biobees' website (http://www.biobees.com/index.php) where you can down load for free a full guide on how to build a TB Hive. Biobee has also got a bee forum to give expert advice to novice bee keepers (http://www.biobees.com/forum/)

A carpenter friend of mine recently made some standard hives and he said that it was not easy to make due to the precision involved in the capentry! One of the biggest drawbacks I see in using a standard hive is the need to buy into an expensive precision product for a system you can not easily manufacture yourself. I use the word 'standard' but there are also many different 'standard' hives and I would suggest before you buy the one you have been offered chech to see if you can buy new parts and how much they will cost you.

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Post by AngelinaJellyBeana on 18th January 2011, 7:52 am

Is there any reason you can't practice "natural" beekeeping in a standard hive??
I am in no way conventional and am more than willing to learn different methods and surely that's what I'm trying to do, interfere as little as possible but at the same time making it as easy as possible for me?
Not everyone can build things, neither do I know anyone local who could. Nno matter how "simple" a plan for building something is it's only "simple" if you know what you are doing.

It's like the age old expensive Eglu vs home made wooden chicken house argument rearing it's ugly head again. Do what suits you and provides the best environment you can for your animals be it bees, chickens or whatever
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default Re: Who keeps bees?

Post by Compostwoman on 18th January 2011, 9:47 am

AJB,

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default Re: Who keeps bees?

Post by GB on 18th January 2011, 2:04 pm

I love you guys! Soooo much help and advice biglove

The three pound + queen + hive is on offer at $135 so would still need bee suit, smoker, hive tool and the like so am still not sure if its the way to go but as we buy many MANY pounds of honey a year, even a halfway successful summer season would pay for itself in not too much time.

But having always been interested in Top Bar Hives am rather torn between the two but think we will go with their package set and see how we get on. If the bees do well will get hubby to make us a TBH and put it to use as well. That way we can try both. Our neighborhood is a nice mix of trees and planted gardens so the honey should be good. We had a huge oak limb come down when I was in my late teens that had many combs of honey in it so I got in amongst the ants and bees to grab as much as I could carry, used my mums centrifugal juicer to spin the honey out of them and wound up with about a cup of jet black nectar of the gods Shocked they had been loving the live oak blossoms so it was strong and rich but not bitter. I would take a half spoonful about once a day so it would last as long as pos. so imagine my horror about 3 days later when I saw my middle brother with a sliver of toast glistening with black honey! My anguished yell must have been heard for MILES Mad And when I calmed down enough not to kill him on the spot, I asked him if he liked it and where the REST of it was because my little cup was empty!?! He said, "Yeh, its the best honey I have ever had! Shame there was only just enough for my toast!"

headbang Laughing Laughing Laughing

Hopefully our own bees will come up with something as good because the oaks come into flower in two months time Very Happy

Shall be ringing to reserve my bees this morning and have my finger crossed that they arnt sold out already.

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Laugh and the world laughs with you, laugh hysterically, for no apparent reason, and they'll leave you alone!

The Gods answer all our prayers. Unfortunately, sometimes, the answer is no!

"When in doubt, choose to live!"
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default Re: Who keeps bees?

Post by GB on 18th January 2011, 2:07 pm

Oh, this is the add for the bees.

3 Pound Package installed in a 10 frame complete hive-$135
Includes 3 pounds of bees and mated queen and we install it into a standard 10 frame hive.

I dont know if thats a good price everywhere but it seems rather good to me, esp as all we would have to do is bring it home and open their door Very Happy

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Laugh and the world laughs with you, laugh hysterically, for no apparent reason, and they'll leave you alone!

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default Re: Who keeps bees?

Post by GB on 18th January 2011, 2:22 pm

I'm doin the happy dance!

Have reserved my bees and done it just in the nick of time. She has a bee keeper meeting this afternoon where she expects to sell out of bees Shocked

WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE am getting BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEES loveshower

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Laugh and the world laughs with you, laugh hysterically, for no apparent reason, and they'll leave you alone!

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default Re: Who keeps bees?

Post by Compostwoman on 18th January 2011, 3:06 pm

That sounds a really good deal GB

Mmm Honey

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default Re: Who keeps bees?

Post by Chilli-head on 20th May 2011, 4:16 pm

Just been out for a run; on my way back I passed a swarm of bees hanging from the clock tower, with a man in a bee suit armed with a ladder, smoker and what looked like a snake charmer's basket peering up at them. At times like this I really regret not having anywhere to keep bees - As a some-time mead maker, with a FIL and BIL who are both bee keepers, it seems a shame I can't Crying or Very sad .
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default Re: Who keeps bees?

Post by GB on 20th May 2011, 8:49 pm

Chilli-head wrote:Just been out for a run; on my way back I passed a swarm of bees hanging from the clock tower, with a man in a bee suit armed with a ladder, smoker and what looked like a snake charmer's basket peering up at them. At times like this I really regret not having anywhere to keep bees - As a some-time mead maker, with a FIL and BIL who are both bee keepers, it seems a shame I can't Crying or Very sad .

We have ours in our back yard. It does has a privacy fence but thats all for keeping them hidden. Could you keep them in a shed or under or behind some trellis?

And yes, our proper hive arrived, allong with a second hive as a mothers day prezzie Shocked Very Happy

ITS SOOOOOO COOOOOOOOL TO HAVE BEES IN THE YARD!!!!!!

Sorry, just had to shout Embarassed Laughing

We opened up the hives yesterday and its full of honey and pollen and many many little maggoty baby bees. Awwww bless.

Its looking like we can put the supers on in a couple of weeks and then, perhaps a few weeks after that, honey for us

And now, for my next trick, I am going to try to put a pickie of one of our bees on a small sunflower.

Or not Sad OK, without photobucket, how do I put one of my pickies on the forum?

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Laugh and the world laughs with you, laugh hysterically, for no apparent reason, and they'll leave you alone!

The Gods answer all our prayers. Unfortunately, sometimes, the answer is no!

"When in doubt, choose to live!"
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Post by GB on 20th May 2011, 9:10 pm

[img]http://forum.homemadelife.com/[/img]

Right! With help from hubby and some forum searching, he has taught me how. So here she is, one of our lovely ladies!

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Laugh and the world laughs with you, laugh hysterically, for no apparent reason, and they'll leave you alone!

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"When in doubt, choose to live!"
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default Re: Who keeps bees?

Post by GB on 13th June 2011, 4:25 pm

The bees are almost ready for the super to go on

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Laugh and the world laughs with you, laugh hysterically, for no apparent reason, and they'll leave you alone!

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"When in doubt, choose to live!"
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default Re: Who keeps bees?

Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 13th June 2011, 4:42 pm

One of our colonies has absconded. Mad

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default Re: Who keeps bees?

Post by GB on 14th June 2011, 1:45 am

Wilhelm Von Rhomboid wrote:One of our colonies has absconded. Mad

Oh NOOOOOOOOOOOOO Billy!!! Ouch! It was bad enough when my swarm buggered off but to loose a hive............

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Laugh and the world laughs with you, laugh hysterically, for no apparent reason, and they'll leave you alone!

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