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anyone keep bees?


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#1 dr.beck

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Posted 31 August 2014 - 01:20 PM

I've been reading this book "keeping bees with a smile" by a Russian bee keeper fedor lazutin. He uses horizontal extra deep hives, basically two langstroth frames put together, and the hive is wider then a dadant or langstroth as well. I not tried this method but a friend and I are going to build a few and a few swarm traps and see if we can get something going.
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#2 kcmoxtractor

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Posted 31 August 2014 - 02:12 PM

here are a few threads i dug up for ya buddy, enjoy!

 

https://mycotopia.ne...e-a-bee-keeper/

 

https://mycotopia.ne...rs-come-fourth/

 

https://mycotopia.ne...one-tried-mead/

 

https://mycotopia.ne...-honey-warning/

 

https://mycotopia.ne...nd-enthusiasts/


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#3 Stig7580

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Posted 31 August 2014 - 02:18 PM

Thanks kcmo the threads will be helpful. Im looking into getting a beehive next year so any info and help is welcome :)



#4 dr.beck

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Posted 31 August 2014 - 02:23 PM

Hey stig if you are even a little handy see if you can find some diagrams and build your own, one sheet of plywood goes a long way and will save you a lot of money. Im on my phone vending at a fair but ill see if I can find the horizontal hive plans and ill look for the traditional or dadant hives.

http://www.horizonta...warm-trap.shtml
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#5 niemandgeist

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Posted 31 August 2014 - 02:40 PM

The only advice that I can give to you that I am actually qualified to give you about this is:

Please, pretty please, for your own sake, for your own future, and for the sake of your bees: Find out how much acreage/property you need such that you are legally allowed to keep bees, and keep digging. You may discover that your city/township/etc. may be very, very picky about raising bees in hives in your area. The fines are NOT WORTH IT. Find out everything you can about legally keeping bees in your area and do your best to adhere to those codes. If you don't, you could end up in a nasty legal situation paying fines out the buttocks.

Do you have a major well-respected state university in your neck of the woods? Contact the entomology/apiary sciences (sciences of bees) department and make some phone calls AND send some e-mails asking for help and guidance!

We would love to raise our own hive here, but because we do not have vast amounts of spacious farmland all-around we cannot legally do so.

We would LOVE to raise our own egg-laying hens as well, but around here you need a HUGE amount of property and the enclosure laid out to precise specifications, plus permits, or we would be breaking the law!

What a shame. :(
I hope that you meet the local legal requirements so you can do some good for yourself and for everyone else when you raise up your bees!


Edited by niemandgeist, 31 August 2014 - 02:43 PM.


#6 dr.beck

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Posted 31 August 2014 - 02:51 PM

That's a bummer nieman, I live in an unincorporated part of ohio and we are going to keep bees on my neighbors property who has 100+ acres with his brother and their land butts up next to thousands of acres of state farm land. Plus we have a state university extension agency near by as well

Edited by dr.beck, 31 August 2014 - 02:52 PM.


#7 Stig7580

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Posted 31 August 2014 - 03:38 PM

Thanks Dr :) it all helps. Im planning on putting the hive on an allotment niemandgeist ive checked and they all ready have in place insurance etc for a hive but no-one has ever gotten around to getting it sorted. Im from the uk to :)

Edited by Stig7580, 31 August 2014 - 03:39 PM.

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#8 niemandgeist

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Posted 31 August 2014 - 03:49 PM

Thanks Dr :) it all helps. Im planning on putting the hive on an allotment niemandgeist ive checked and they all ready have in place insurance etc for a hive but no-one has ever gotten around to getting it sorted. Im from the uk to :)

 

Stig: Because laws here are very finicky, I do hope that you will go full steam ahead, have much success, and provide us all with a detailed log including everything you've learned such that newbies can also take part!

One would think that they would want EVERYONE getting on board rearing their own hives, but local laws unfortunately do take preference! Hopefully those reading this have more freedom than we do here. :)


Edited by niemandgeist, 31 August 2014 - 03:49 PM.

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#9 TurkeyRanch

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Posted 31 August 2014 - 03:52 PM

Screw the rules, I say, and the people that make em.
image.jpg

But good point, they can and will fine you, if they find out.

Bees are on my list for spring.
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#10 Stig7580

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Posted 31 August 2014 - 03:57 PM

Im gonna give it my best shot ive just been reading and reading but im still nervous about it. I will gladly put a log out there for anyone who is interested. Gotta put back in what you take out imo. I LOVE this site and the people on here its an amazing place to learn :)


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#11 Spooner

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Posted 31 August 2014 - 04:58 PM

I keep two hives right by my front door.

IMG 0940

The bees travel several miles in every direction so anything short of more than 10,000 acres will have your bees traveling off your property.  I have seen city hives on rooftops that gather good honey.  Hard to understand codes to limit hive placement.  As a good neighbour you should keep an approach flyway of about 10-15 feet in front of hives clear, after that they are usually above human height and sufficiently spread out to cause no trouble.  I strongly recomend standard langstroth frames even if you make a longer hive body with more than 8-10 frames.  It allows you inspect hives completely with only minimal disturbance to the bees.  With CCD and all the current bee diseases it is important to be able to inspect your bees to keep them healthy, and help them handle the modern stressors.  40 years ago it was lots easier than it is now.

 

I am currently exclusively using all medium frames in a 10 frame box.  A full medium super weighs less than 40 pounds as opposed to 70+ pounds for a large super.  Much easier to handle gently than the larger boxes, and being gentile around bees is always a good idea.  They do not respond well to aggression.

 

If you have any specific questions, I can answer most of them, I've had bees for more than 40 years, but just as a hobby, never more than a dozen hives at one time.

 

 

P.S. Observation hives are lots of fun, with small hive body with just a couple frames inside your house with glass sides,  and a tube running out through the window. 

 

I buy my frames and boxes because setting up to make just a couple hives is not worth the time. Commercial grade is fine, no need to get select #1.  but plenty plans on  the net.

 

https://docs.google....es_20110323.pdf


Edited by Spooner, 31 August 2014 - 05:47 PM.

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#12 dr.beck

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Posted 31 August 2014 - 05:35 PM

Right on spooner! I'm sure come spring ill have plenty of questions. I'm pretty dead set on a hive that can fit 18 frames and has 18 in frames (basically two dadants put together) there would be no supers added. First tem frames are for the bees and wintering reserves and the rest can be pulled. The apiarist in russia I want to duplicate doesn't use medicines and only inspects them a handful of times a year and claims he gets 50-100lbs of honey per hive. Since bees like to winter in a big ball the extra deep frames provide ample room for them to do that without having to micromanage their hive. Never done this but I hope it works and ill definitely update as I go.

Edited by dr.beck, 31 August 2014 - 05:36 PM.

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#13 Spooner

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Posted 31 August 2014 - 06:35 PM

I see your point about the long hive same idea as the Kenyan hives.  The trouble is, that when they are in a cluster in winter it is easier for them to keep the cluster and move up and down rather than having to go sideways around the frames to get to additional honey supplies.

 

40 years ago I would have agreed with minimal management but now with pesticides, GMO crops with nicotine genes for bug resistance spliced in, cell phone pollution and diseases from other countries bees have a harder time.  Both my hives made it through the winter ok then died on me in late April with CCD.  In 3 weeks they were all dead and gone, with no sign of swarm cells or anything they just did not make it back to the hive.  If I had not replaced immediately I would have lost the whole season.

 

It takes 4 pounds of honey to make a pound of wax so it helps to feed them sugar water until they have drawn out comb in spring and built up brood to max population, but be careful to use pure cane sugar, beet sugar is not so good for them.  Read labels carefully, it is important. Once honey flow starts they will prefer nectar to sugar water so stop feeding them.  Don't work them on rainy days they will be ill tempered, but during a good nectar flow they will be busy working and pretty much ignore your inspections.

 

If money is a problem you can get mosquito net for your head at wally world cheaper than from bee supply store.  Recommend good bee gloves but generally I do not use mine unless I am going through every frame in both hives and they get riled up.  You will hear them change their buzzing song when they are annoyed.  Be gentle, they will teach you, have fun.

 

P.S. I also do not medicate mine, but I do add teaspoon of Honey-B-Healthy to sugar water to stimulate them in spring.  It is just mint oils and they seem to like it.  It is not really a medicine, but is supposed to be good for their immune systems.  It just stimulates them naturally to build up the brood to be ready for the early dandelion and sourwood flow, after that they are on their own.  I also plant mints, thymes, bee balm and other presents for them around their hives. and I have started using screened bottom boards so any mites that do fall off can not climb right back into the hives to get on the bees.  So far have not had bad mite infestations, and no trouble with the foulbroods.  A strong hive is really your best protection to diseases, so whatever you can do to keep your hives strong is good.  It is a good idea to keep a minimum of 2 hives so you can compare and so you have extra brood frames to swap if one hive seems to be having trouble, before it becomes a problem.


Edited by Spooner, 31 August 2014 - 07:15 PM.

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#14 shiitakegrower

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Posted 01 September 2014 - 04:23 PM

Pulling up a chair.....

I have been wanting to start keeping bees, have most of the basic equipment just missing the bees so far. :)


Edited by shiitakegrower, 01 September 2014 - 04:23 PM.


#15 Spooner

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 03:18 AM

Pulling up a chair.....

I have been wanting to start keeping bees, have most of the basic equipment just missing the bees so far. :)

 

When I first started keeping bees a 3 pound package cost $10, but now it costs  $100+.

That is mostly inflation, gasoline was just $0.25 a gallon, and now it is more than ten times that price.

You can get 3 pound packages of bees by mail.  It is a good idea to go to your post office and give them a note with your phone number on it saying you will come pick them up and that they can leave them in the shade outside on the loading dock.

The alternative is to pick up a nuc (nuclear colony) from a local beekeeper for about 10% more, but it is still a good deal.  A nuc has 5 frames with at least 2 or 3 frames with sealed brood ready to hatch  out meaning that you will get new bees hatching a couple weeks earlier.  It takes 21 days after a queen starts laying eggs for bees to hatch out.  The other advantage is that a local beekeeper may be a helpful source of hints and help if you are friendly.

 

I consider my job as a beekeeper to be that of a good landlord.  I give them a safe, dry home to live in, and they in return, can concentrate on collecting nectar giving me some of their excess honey.  Personally, I don't much care for sweet things but it is a daily joy for me to have bees working industriously free from predators and protected from weather, free to do what they are most happy doing, collecting nectar from flowers.

 

If you can keep bees please do so.  You may find as I have, that the cost is greatly outweighed by the by the benefits.  I am in a wheelchair and have my bees where I can get to them on the front porch.  I have also seen bees kept successfully on city rooftops.  It is hard for me to imagine a situation where bees are not an asset to a persons life.  Bee stings do hurt, but unless you have a sever allergy and risk anaphylactic shock, the stings are actually beneficial to your body and reduce the effects of arthritis in joints.  After awhile, bee stings become not much more annoying than a mosquito bite.  When stung, just dislodge the stinger from your skin to keep additional poison from entering your body.

 

As a beekeeper winter is the time to make the best hives you can, assembling, painting, or varnishing boxes, installing wax starter sheets and getting ready for spring.  Order your bees for spring delivery as soon as you can, Bees may be in  short supply in the spring.

 

I have never met a person who regretted trying beekeeping.


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#16 Pilzkopf

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 12:53 PM

I must say that beekeeping is one of the most thrilling, meditative, scary and rewarding hobbies there are.

The idea that you can be a landlord, as Spooner stated, is the same idea I have. That being said, they can be little b**ches at times, and usually aren't too happy when it's time to pay rent. The rest of the time, though, it's nice to get about four feet away from a hive, on its side, without any bee-safe garments, and just socialize. 

If I had to give one piece of advice, it would be to feed them through the spring/summer until they have twenty deep-frames full of sugar-honey and brood per hive. Then let them go the rest of the summer building up pollen-only honey.

If you're new to the adventure, you may not know the do's and don'ts of building up and taking honey from bees -

Always leave them with at least 20 deep-frames for winter; I leave mine with 30.
Always leave them *some* natural honey.
NEVER take honey that was made when you were feeding them sugar water. No pollen means not honey. This can be controlled by not placing any honey supers (or the deep box you'll be taking from) on the hive until after feeding them in the spring/early summer. You don't want to have them colonize unevenly, anyway. If they don't fill out all the frames in one box before you place another on top, they may never fill out all the frames.


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#17 Stig7580

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 02:50 PM

Thanks for the advice it all helps seriously and im really looking forward to keeping bees. Cant wait for spring next year now :)



#18 Skywatcher

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Posted 06 September 2014 - 02:24 PM

I don't so much keep bee's, as I protect them. They have had a colony in my block wall for years. The entry is in the corner of my property, and I plant things they like and make sure no one bothers them. I would love a hive, as I will never be able to get at any honey in a concrete block wall, but that brings me to a question......

 

When there is a limited amount of space, do the bees eventually abandon the hive? Would they remain happy in the space that exists inside the wall?



#19 Spooner

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Posted 06 September 2014 - 06:19 PM

I don't so much keep bee's, as I protect them. They have had a colony in my block wall for years. The entry is in the corner of my property, and I plant things they like and make sure no one bothers them. I would love a hive, as I will never be able to get at any honey in a concrete block wall, but that brings me to a question......

 

When there is a limited amount of space, do the bees eventually abandon the hive? Would they remain happy in the space that exists inside the wall?

 

When the colony gets to big for their home, they make swarm cells to raise new queens and the old queen takes off with about 2/3 of the workers.  The swarm will cluster somewhere, usually a branch and scouts will hunt a new home.  If you are lucky enough to find the swarm you can knock it into a box and start a new colony.  They are very nonaggresive when swarming.  Occasionaly you can attract a swarm by smearing insides of a hive body with mints honeys, and other attractants.


Edited by Spooner, 06 September 2014 - 06:20 PM.

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#20 Stig7580

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Posted 13 September 2014 - 02:52 PM

Ive been looking at how people keep the bees calm and happy when opening the hive. How are the best ways in your opinions?






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