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Old 01-12-2017, 04:17 AM
SmallFlocksMom Female SmallFlocksMom is offline
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Default Any beekeepers out there?

Hi there! We're currently looking into beekeeping and I've been wondering if there are any experienced beekeepers out here willing to share their tips and tricks (of course we're also reading all we can online).
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Old 01-12-2017, 10:36 AM
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Ciderman Male Ciderman is offline
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Not experienced as having my own bees but helped my brother for 1 year in 1984? I think. Things have changed but here's what I know.

Where light color long sleeves and pants under the bee suites until you feel comfortable enough to wear a veil only.

Don't buy the premade kits buy what you need and build them yourself from the bee supply places.

Never act scared or make quick moves.

Read up on the diseases and look for meds that are approved but may be found cheaper at farm stores.

Never have the bee hive openings to the normal prevailing winds here that is west and north.

Best keep hives above ground several inches to avoid rodents and grass clippings from the mower or weed eater.

Look for deals on Craigslist, and Ebay. One of my favorite places was Walter T Kelly in Kentucky not sure they are still around and the other was Mann Lake LTD.

Hope this helps.
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Old 01-12-2017, 06:22 PM
Doninalaska Doninalaska is offline
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I have kept bees off and on for 20 years, but my environment is very different from yours, so I won't be much help. We have a very hard time overwintering bees--I have only managed to overwinter 2 or 3 times in all the times I have had bees, not because of the temps, but because our winters are so long. Flowers are gone mid-August and the trees don't bloom (willows) until late April. Even if you don't take any honey, the bees often can't survive that long. Most beekeepers here buy new bees every spring and rob the hives at the beginning to mid August, then allow the hive to die or deliberately kill the hive. We also don't really have diseases or parasites unless they are brought up with the imported bees. We work to heat up the hives, but you will work to cool the hives and avoid overheating.
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Old 01-13-2017, 01:50 AM
bentonbee bentonbee is offline
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Default Beekeeper since 1980

Find out if there's a local bee group in your area. Learning from a beekeeper in your area will be most helpful if you can find one who is willing to mentor you. And most beekeepers are very willing to help out. Local community colleges sometimes offer beginning beekeeping courses. There's a beekeeping forum called: beesource.com/forums that is helpful (and free)
There are videos on You-tube about various components of bee keeping.

Be careful about using used equipment such as the beehive boxes (supers) and/or the frames/combs. If they've been infected by American foul-brood or mites, then you'll end up infecting any bees that you install in the hive.

American Bee Journal and Gleanings in Bee Culture are two good magazines to subscribe to.

Walter T Kelly's book: "How to Keep Bees and Sell Honey" is a good beginning reference.
"50 Years Among the Bees" by Dr. Miller is another classic.

Last edited by bentonbee; 01-13-2017 at 02:02 AM.
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Old 01-14-2017, 09:19 PM
SmallFlocksMom Female SmallFlocksMom is offline
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Thanks so much for the replies, everyone! This is definitely something we'll look more into, depending on how much land we have at our disposal once we move. We don't know where yet, or when, and everything is very uncertain...
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Old 01-15-2017, 06:48 AM
Doninalaska Doninalaska is offline
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I don't think you need much land to keep a couple hives if local regs allow it. I know of a number of small time beekeepers that live in cities, but some local codes govern how many hives you can have and where they have to be placed.
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