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Old 06-27-2009, 10:17 AM   #1
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Beekeeping

Does anyone here keep bees? I'm thinking of starting but am having difficulty finding anyone local to let me watch what they do. It's not the ideal thing to learn about through books, but it looks like that's the way I'll have to go. Most of the hives near me are inhabited by bees but abandoned by their owners (too old to manage them). The only working beekeeper I've met is a big commercial operator and he was only interested in selling me bees and hives.

I've looked around Amazon at beekeeping for beginner type books, but it's difficult to sort out from the publishers' blurb and the reviews which one(s) to go for. And seeing as I have a lot of respect for everyone in this community, I thought I'd ask for recommendations for books or perhaps even websites on beekeeping. I'd welcome any advice on personal experiences as well.

I'll be using Warrés hives, should that be of any interest or relevant. They are supposedly 'bee-friendly' and apparently very easy to manage, though not enormously productive for the beekeeper. I won't be doing it commercially, so I don't need a vast amount of honey - enough for us and some for the occasional gift.

I've read previous threads on bees and see that a number of DC members have had problems with them. So, just to let you know I live in the middle of nowhere, in case people are worried about risks to neighbours. And I can keep the hives a fair distance from the house. Plus I recently had a beesting and had no serious allergic response. Far less than to a mosquito bite! And I don't need a permit from my local council. Seeing as I'm a totall newbee, however, I'd be pleased to hear any other caveats regarding beekeeping.

Thanks for any help and advice.

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Old 06-27-2009, 10:38 AM   #2
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Welcome, Snoop Puss!!

Call your local Extension office (google "your county, your state, Extension).

There is probably local beekeeper's association, and those folks are more than happy to help new beekeepers.
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Old 06-27-2009, 12:40 PM   #3
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I have one hive for pollination. I live in a densely-populated subdivision and have had no problems from the neighbors in the 4 years or so I've had the hive. I doubt that they even realize I have it. Here in SoCal, the bees stay active all year, so the only management I do is to keep ants from invading the hive and to eliminate new colonies after a swarm. I've opened the hive only one time in 4 years to check for blight once when there were very few bees evident. Personally, I don't bother with the honey, as I don't want to deal with the mess of home extraction for just a couple of pints of honey.

Let us know how it goes. Also, I worked for a commercial apiary in Washington state for a couple of summers when I was a teenager, so I might be able to answer some questions. Give a yell if you have any questions.

Best of luck!
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Old 06-27-2009, 06:07 PM   #4
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Thanks Sparrowgrass and SRL. Unfortunately, Sparrowgrass, you solution won't work for me here in Spain, not unless the States offers a 'foreign office'.
I've seen pictures of a solar extractor using a recycled double-glazed window unit, SRL, and am hoping I might get away with that. I certainly can't see the point of spending loads of money on a centrifuge when honey for the next X years would cost me a lot less.
I take it you didn't get that much honey out of your hive. What did you do about the ants? I've read that a solution is to stick cups or something similar under hive legs and fill them with liquid. Does this seem reasonable to you?
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Old 08-12-2009, 12:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snoop Puss View Post
Thanks Sparrowgrass and SRL. Unfortunately, Sparrowgrass, you solution won't work for me here in Spain, not unless the States offers a 'foreign office'.
I've seen pictures of a solar extractor using a recycled double-glazed window unit, SRL, and am hoping I might get away with that. I certainly can't see the point of spending loads of money on a centrifuge when honey for the next X years would cost me a lot less.
I take it you didn't get that much honey out of your hive. What did you do about the ants? I've read that a solution is to stick cups or something similar under hive legs and fill them with liquid. Does this seem reasonable to you?
Oh my, I've been away from here for over a month and a half! Well, for controlling ants I use a product we have here called Tanglefoot. It's an adhesive gel containing no pesticides that you use as a barrier.
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Old 08-12-2009, 05:10 PM   #6
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went to my car this morning, ready to drive to work, only to discover that a family of bees has decided to try and make a new home out of my side view mirror....if i allow any survivors, ill mail them to you to help get you started
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