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OT: Anyone Keep Bees

Looking for some information on beekeeping. I have been buying honey from a local guy to help with allergies, but have been wanting to get into it myself. Plus I figured with the decline in the honeybee population, everything helps. 

Thanks
MMBGE / Large BGE / XL BGE (Craigslist Find) / SF30x80 cabinet trailer - "Ol' Mortimer" / Outdoor kitchen in progress.  

Southeastern CT. 
«13

Comments

  • J-dubyaJ-dubya Posts: 173
    I have 2 hives.  I went to “Bee school” at a nearby bee keeper’s club. 
  • Sea2SkiSea2Ski Posts: 3,478
    Apiculture was my favorite class in college.  Thought people doing that stuff without gloves and a full suit were nuts.  Then after you do it a few times, you can go down to pants and a snug t-shirt. NEVER WEAR SHORTS when going in the hive!!! I did not even wear gloves. You just have to move slow. I did have bees at home for about 4 years - 20 years ago. Startup is not cheap, but once you get them going, it is. The mites are a bear though. It sucks when your strong hives get wiped out. One year, all 5 hives I had got wiped out so I got out of it as well.

    With that being said, a local guy near me is doing really well and have been thinking of getting into it again.  If you have access to his honey extractor/spinner/collector and hotknife etc.... that would be a great way to go.  "Rent" his stuff and see if you really like it. If you get into it, please keep us (me) updated. I would love to see how things go for you!
    --------------------------------------------------
    Burning lump in Downingtown, PA or diesel in Cape May, NJ.
    ....just look for the smoke!
    Large and MiniMax
    --------------------------------------------------
  • Sea2SkiSea2Ski Posts: 3,478
    Oh - If you order bees, I will guarantee as soon as they get to the post office you will get a call. As in immediately when they get there. One time the guy calling said he had a pickup truck and offered to leave right that moment and deliver them to my house.
    --------------------------------------------------
    Burning lump in Downingtown, PA or diesel in Cape May, NJ.
    ....just look for the smoke!
    Large and MiniMax
    --------------------------------------------------
  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 14,051
    @Little Chef (south Florida) from the old forum had gotten into bees a few years ago. Haven't heard from or about her in a couple of years though so I doubt she'll see or respond to this. Worth a shot maybe.

    I hate it when I go to the kitchen for food and all I find are ingredients!

                                                                …Unknown

    Michael 
    Central Connecticut 

  • CTMikeCTMike Posts: 2,127
    edited January 2018
    I did find a local association that has a class starting in 2 weeks. $100 for 8 hours of class over 4 nights seems reasonable to me.
    MMBGE / Large BGE / XL BGE (Craigslist Find) / SF30x80 cabinet trailer - "Ol' Mortimer" / Outdoor kitchen in progress.  

    Southeastern CT. 
  • My dad kept them for quite a few years. @J-dubya gave some sound advice. Go to a bee school if you can find one. If not study with someone who has them for a while. 

    He went the the first year just assuming he could figure it out. They kept dying. Went to school after, could have saved himself a small fortune. Also make sure you buy from a reputable vendor. 

    And dont beekeep naked. 

    "Brought to you by bourbon, bacon, and a series of questionable life decisions."

    South of Nashville, TN

  • It’s funny you say that today, my wife and I were talking on the way home about why we kept seeing bees dying out here in TN. I’m convinced it was the water or a chemical around us. But it is very strange how they are decreasing in population at the rate they are

    "Brought to you by bourbon, bacon, and a series of questionable life decisions."

    South of Nashville, TN

  • kl8tonkl8ton Posts: 2,539
    I want bees.  It is on the hobby farm list.  I almost got them one father's day.   A local place sells a starter package and a day of training.  Other places around here offer to put the bees on your property, you get the honey as well as the pollination benefits for anything you are growing, and you pay a monthly service and they take care of everything.  

    I have been discouraged from getting them because guys I know that have been into it for years have been losing colonies left and right.  

    My dad knows a guy at his church that has a semi trailer load of bees delivered to him every few months.  This guy distributes to his customers.

    Keep us updated. I am curious as well.


    LBGE - 36Blackstone
    Grand Rapids MI
  • GregWGregW Posts: 1,933
    Many years ago as a child, going bare foot in the yard around clover was a guaranteed honey bee sting, the clover was just teaming with bees.
    Sadly, bees are rarely seen in clover around my area anymore. The sharp decline started 10-15 years ago.
    I believe the decline has been linked to a class of pesticides containing neonicotinoid's.
    I think a number of European countries have banned, or are in the process of banning this class of insecticides.
    https://www.beyondpesticides.org/programs/bee-protective-pollinators-and-pesticides/chemicals-implicated

     

    Birmingham, AL
  • MaskedMarvelMaskedMarvel Posts: 2,654
    A kitchen guy at the restaurant was a BIG TIME beekeeper in california. I’m talking 18 wheelers and hundreds of hives. He contracted with orange groves and pistachio farms. You name it. I have a little of his last barrel of orange blossom honey here now and it’s indescribable. 

    I think he relocated to NC for family. But Brandi and I are putting at least one hive in back, and this guy is totally hooking us up. 

    Since the week to start this up happens after freezing temps are Over, we’re in a holding pattern until then. We’re in it for the honey and to help the bee population. There have been lots of weird sick zombie bees here recently. 
    Large BGE and Medium BGE
    36" Blackstone - Greensboro!


  • EoinEoin Posts: 2,573
    Anne did a course and really enjoyed it, but she decided it was too much of a commitment to buy all of the kit. We are just clearing an area of the garden and are going to plant some fruit trees, this would be an ideal area for some hives, so it might happen now.

    We do have a lot of bees anyway, our garden is well stocked with flowers and blossom through the year.

    I also got one of these to put somewhere up the garden for solitary bees. https://greenandblue.co.uk/product/large-bee-block/
  • NPHuskerFLNPHuskerFL Posts: 17,487
    We/I always look forward to the honeybees but not so much the wasps.  They love our citrus trees and many other flowers come early springtime. But, would agree that their sheer numbers have declined. The yellow jacket and other wasp population doesn't seem to have been affected as sharply though. My favorite honey has always been localized citrus or wildflower. Lots of good homeopathic stuff for us not to mention the bees are excellent honey chefs. :smiley:
    LBGE 2013 & MM 2014
    Die Hard HUSKER & BRONCO FAN
    Flying Low & Slow in "Da Burg" FL
  • Varroa mites are the nemesis of the honey bee. You must find a way to control them. I thought I had that down last year and still lost at least one hive to them. Believe I drove two to abscond with the oxalic acid vapor treatment and then killed the last when the hive top feeder had a crack in it and let 2.5 gallons of sugar syrup drain down on top of them. 

    It’s between the cost of a large and a XL to startup. That should get you a suit, smoker, gloves, hive tool and a hive with bees plus a couple of boxes for expansion. 
    Take a CLASS! Find a beekeeper near you and ask if you can help them, you maybe a grunt the first few times, but you’ll still be learning and hopefully that will save your bees. 
    Start with a nucleus (nuc) hive, not a package. The nuc hives are about $50 more than a package, but the build up faster with less of a chance of absconding. 

    Research! Beesource.com, Youtube and anywhere else. Michael Palmer has a few great speech’s or UofG beekeeping on Youtube. 

    Remember, you’re only helping the population, if you take care of them and keep them alive. So far, I suck at that, five years in. 

    Beekeeping is a local thing, if you live in Florida, what I do in Michigan won’t necessarily work for you. 

    Good luck!!
  • MaskedMarvelMaskedMarvel Posts: 2,654
    My mistake — my beekeeper friend has corrected me. Pistachios don’t need pollinating. 

    He did oranges (for the honey), broccoli, tomatoes, almonds, raspberries...
    Large BGE and Medium BGE
    36" Blackstone - Greensboro!


  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 31,148
    BIL has had bees for the past 12 years.  Don't get him started talking about them unless you're prepared to bleed from both ears.  Actually, he's one of the smartest guys I know.  Retired cardiologist, now teaching at medical school.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • SammiSammi Posts: 593
    As was mentioned earlier, take a class. It will save you a lot of Fools Tax. I've been keeping 4 hives going for several years. Been as high as 10 hives but that's too much work for me prior to retirement. Hives are easily scaled up when the time is right. If you have the time it's a great hobby.

    Sudbury, Ontario
  • northGAcocknorthGAcock Posts: 13,243
    Not a bee guy myself, very interesting thread. Enjoying the reading.
    Columbia, South Carolina with a Medium, MiniMax & a 17" Blackstone

    “May the four winds blow you safely home.”
  • Dave in FloridaDave in Florida Posts: 1,157
    edited January 2018
    4 hives currently and growing.  Two biggest issues are varroa mites and small hive beetles.  You have to stay on top of that so the hives survive and produce.  We seem to produce good wildflower honey.  At least everything we harvest is sold rather quickly. Just wish I lived in the area to produce Tupelo honey.  That stuff is incredible. 
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Welcome to the Swamp.....GO GATORS!!!!
  • SamIAm2SamIAm2 Posts: 1,101
    @Dave in Florida - Place on SR520 on way to Orlando sells "Local Honey". Stopped in and bought a jar of Tupelo honey. Small jar and pricey but you are right about that honey. Just curious, do Tupelo trees grow this far south in FL?  
    Ubi panis, ibi patria.
    Large - Roswell rig, MiniMax-PS Woo; Cocoa, Fl.
  • billt01billt01 Posts: 965
    with all of these people keeping bees, anyone want to sell any honey.

    I'm down for a Fat Willies Sauce trade or cash if any bee keepers are interested. After all, a main component of the Fat Willies Signature BBQ sauce is honey... 
     "Don't listen to her, Bob.Remember: those who can, do; those who can't, teach."
                                                                                                     -Jane
                                                                                                     "Man and Superman"
    Have:
     XLBGE / LBGE / Stumps Baby XL / Couple of Stokers (Gen 1 and Gen 3), Blackstone 36

    Had:
    Lang 60D, Cookshack SM150, Stumps Stretch, Stumps Baby

    Fat Willies BBQ
    Ola, Ga

  • kl8tonkl8ton Posts: 2,539
    @TN2TX

    disagree with what?

    @billt01
    If you have any type of allergies, it is recommended to buy honey from hives as close to where you live as possible. I can't remember if it was a local story or not, but there was a news report where "local" honey was tested (sold in big stores) and it was found that many of the flowers that the bees pollinated were only found in Asia somewhere. 
    LBGE - 36Blackstone
    Grand Rapids MI
  • SouthGaSmokerSouthGaSmoker Posts: 98
    edited January 2018
    I've been keeping bees the last 3 years and it can be a struggle at time.  Had up to (4) hives but lost one to mites, one to Irma (absconded) and (2) during the last hard cold snap (absconded too).  Plan to start fresh in the spring again.

    It's very interesting when you get into it.  Most folks are scared to death of bees, but my standard attire is shorts, tshirt and sandals.  I'll put on a hood if they are cranky in the summer, but that's rarely.  If you know what to look for you can avoid getting stung.
    St. Mary's, GA
  • billt01billt01 Posts: 965
    edited January 2018
    kl8ton said:
    @TN2TX

    disagree with what?

    @billt01
    If you have any type of allergies, it is recommended to buy honey from hives as close to where you live as possible. I can't remember if it was a local story or not, but there was a news report where "local" honey was tested (sold in big stores) and it was found that many of the flowers that the bees pollinated were only found in Asia somewhere. 
    @kl8ton

    No allergies, just looking for good quality honey.

    Would love to purchase a couple of quarts from someone on here.



     "Don't listen to her, Bob.Remember: those who can, do; those who can't, teach."
                                                                                                     -Jane
                                                                                                     "Man and Superman"
    Have:
     XLBGE / LBGE / Stumps Baby XL / Couple of Stokers (Gen 1 and Gen 3), Blackstone 36

    Had:
    Lang 60D, Cookshack SM150, Stumps Stretch, Stumps Baby

    Fat Willies BBQ
    Ola, Ga

  • kl8tonkl8ton Posts: 2,539
    billt01 said:
    kl8ton said:
    @TN2TX

    disagree with what?

    @billt01
    If you have any type of allergies, it is recommended to buy honey from hives as close to where you live as possible. I can't remember if it was a local story or not, but there was a news report where "local" honey was tested (sold in big stores) and it was found that many of the flowers that the bees pollinated were only found in Asia somewhere. 
    @kl8ton

    No allergies, just looking for good quality honey.

    Would love to purchase a couple of quarts from someone on here.



    We buy it by the gallon from a local gal.  If nobody here has it for sale,  I will gladly get you a gallon and ship. @billt01
    LBGE - 36Blackstone
    Grand Rapids MI
  • billt01billt01 Posts: 965
    @kl8ton

    Not really looking for that much, just wanted to try something other than a Wal-Mart or Sam's Club offering.
     "Don't listen to her, Bob.Remember: those who can, do; those who can't, teach."
                                                                                                     -Jane
                                                                                                     "Man and Superman"
    Have:
     XLBGE / LBGE / Stumps Baby XL / Couple of Stokers (Gen 1 and Gen 3), Blackstone 36

    Had:
    Lang 60D, Cookshack SM150, Stumps Stretch, Stumps Baby

    Fat Willies BBQ
    Ola, Ga

  • TeefusTeefus Posts: 852
    Dad kept them for a few years when I was a kid. The fresh honey was nice.
    Michiana, South of the border.
  • kl8tonkl8ton Posts: 2,539
    billt01 said:
    @kl8ton

    Not really looking for that much, just wanted to try something other than a Wal-Mart or Sam's Club offering.
    you want a quart?

    @billt01
    LBGE - 36Blackstone
    Grand Rapids MI
  • billt01billt01 Posts: 965
    edited January 2018
    kl8ton said:
    billt01 said:
    @kl8ton

    Not really looking for that much, just wanted to try something other than a Wal-Mart or Sam's Club offering.
    you want a quart?

    @billt01
    I would...how much    

    Bill
     "Don't listen to her, Bob.Remember: those who can, do; those who can't, teach."
                                                                                                     -Jane
                                                                                                     "Man and Superman"
    Have:
     XLBGE / LBGE / Stumps Baby XL / Couple of Stokers (Gen 1 and Gen 3), Blackstone 36

    Had:
    Lang 60D, Cookshack SM150, Stumps Stretch, Stumps Baby

    Fat Willies BBQ
    Ola, Ga

  • kl8tonkl8ton Posts: 2,539
    edited January 2018
    billt01 said:
    kl8ton said:
    billt01 said:
    @kl8ton

    Not really looking for that much, just wanted to try something other than a Wal-Mart or Sam's Club offering.
    you want a quart?

    @billt01
    I would...how much    

    Bill
    13 bucks @billt01

    PM me your address and I will ship
    LBGE - 36Blackstone
    Grand Rapids MI
  • billt01billt01 Posts: 965
    @kl8ton


    do you do paypal , Venmo, or Zelle?

    Deal!
     "Don't listen to her, Bob.Remember: those who can, do; those who can't, teach."
                                                                                                     -Jane
                                                                                                     "Man and Superman"
    Have:
     XLBGE / LBGE / Stumps Baby XL / Couple of Stokers (Gen 1 and Gen 3), Blackstone 36

    Had:
    Lang 60D, Cookshack SM150, Stumps Stretch, Stumps Baby

    Fat Willies BBQ
    Ola, Ga

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