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Author Topic: I don't know anything  (Read 2219 times)
NorthShore
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« on: July 18, 2007, 06:10:36 PM »

Starting to take a bit of an interest in taking care of bees.I don't know anything about it.How much time/money is involved in it?
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Mici
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« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2007, 06:18:30 PM »

i think that our respected member (former?!?!) once wrote: "if you like having money on your account, beekeeping isn't for you"
yes, that ammount of money.
it all starts gently, you try to stick your head throu the wall and buy whatever they offer to novice beeks, small investment. the next year you realise you're totally hooked and wanna expand, you at leat double the investment, a year later, you realise the novice beek system really is for novice beeks and doesn't suit you so further investments are needed. it really is a bottomles barrel.

after having the bees, you won't regret one minute you'll spend taking care for them so...that's not the biggest problem with time, problem is when it comes to bees and time, they can't wait, if something needs to be done today it HAS TO BE done today. there's little room for slacking ( if you wish to have highly productive colonies).


i hope i didn't scare you too much, coz i just wanted to say, don't count on earning grin
plus, with the help of this forum, you'll be able to buy/decide what to buy in the best possible way, so to minimize the unneeded expenses.
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kathyp
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« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2007, 06:20:08 PM »

depends on how many hives you want to start with and how good you are at finding deals  smiley.

you can find used beekeeping equipment if you shop around....craigslist, your local ag paper, etc.  you can online or catalog order stuff and save money if you know what you need.  you can look for people selling hives or nucs and sometimes get a start that way.  you can get some equipment and learn how to catch swarms.

you are smart to start the learning process before you spend money.  there are many things to buy, but only a few things that you really need.  asking questions first can save much time and money.

i would say that you can get started for less than 400 dollars.  probably much less if you are a good deal hunter.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

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annette
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« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2007, 06:45:30 PM »

I hate to say this also, but I bought everything assembled and ready to go from the Sacramento Bee Store, and I spent a fortune on my equipment this past 2 years, including classes, used extractor, used hot knife, 2 complete bee outfits and on and on......

I am sure it can be done more cheaply if you are handy and innovative. I consider this a hobby for me, so it gives me pleasure to do this and I do not worry about the money. I used to spend more when I did nothing but go shopping at the malls for pleasure. This is way more satisfying and I feel that I am contributing in some small way to helping the environment.

It is a challenge and, yes, the bees come first. I can hardly plan anything without considering what I need to do first for the bees.

Good luck
Annette

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DrKurtG
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« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2007, 06:56:05 PM »

I was lucky enough to have a person living within an hours drive who has around 40 hives and who has been raising bees for 50 years. If you can't find a mentor, find a Bee Associations in your area.
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topbarslo
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« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2007, 07:03:52 PM »

I spent only around $80 for all expenses I had making my beehive, buying equipment and bees with queen!


I built my own hive from cheap wood and from equipment I bought only veil for me and my lady Wink
I don't use smoke since for now bees are very calm. Not one sting or following yet and I made some 10 inspections. This will change over time for sure...

What I will probably also need is sharp knife for cutting comb and storage units for storing honey etc etc ..

I guess top bar hive is perfect way for low cost hobby beekeeping ....

Oh I forgot about love ... you need love for bees, and that cannot be bought Cheesy
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eddiedlzn
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« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2007, 07:46:29 PM »

Northshore This is my first year keeping bees. I bought all used equipment. My first purchase I bought 6 deeps, hive tool, two veils, Frame grips, leather gloves, three bottom boards. inner covers and top covers for 60 bucks, The bodies needed cleaning, painting and new fondation. I think that 60 was a good deal. I think that the foundation was another 60

The second purchase was six mediums with drawn comb. 8 deep frames drawn out and 2 packages of bees for I think it was 200 oh he also gave me dome pollen patties and medications.

Only one of the two hives survived the cold snap in spring. So I have extra equipment for next year. I plan on setting up 5 more next year. I still need an uncapping knife and extractor hopeing to find someone that will let me use theres.

good luck
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NorthShore
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« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2007, 07:51:27 PM »

I am really busy with work and other stuff wonder if I would have enough time for them.How much time a week do you spend taking care of them?
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Moonshae
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« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2007, 07:59:21 PM »

I don't think the time is generally spent per week, so much, although a newbee can do a 10-20-min inspection each week. The work tends to clump heavier in the spring and fall, with less in the summer and winter. First year generally has less work, since you're not likely to have to deal with the whole harvest bit.

I spend more time standing outside my hives just watching the bees going in and out than I do actually working on them. Reading this forum, Bee Culture, and the American Bee Journal consume more time than actual maintenance.
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kathyp
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« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2007, 08:02:44 PM »

one of the things i like about bees is that they are not to time consuming.  of course, this depends on how many hives you have.  when it is time to take the honey, that is pretty labor intensive.  most of the time, your work consists of checking them from time to time, mixing some syrup, or maybe swapping some frames around.  if you have to ignore them for a bit, they do just fine without your help...as long as you have kept them healthy.  for someone like me who travels and often without much notice, it's the perfect hobby.  

except for honey time, three or four hives would not take you more than an hour a week, i wouldn't think.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
randydrivesabus
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« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2007, 08:40:15 PM »

i think beekeeping is fairly expensive to get into money wise but time wise its not too bad if you have 2 hives or so. you need to look into any local rules/laws about keeping bees. you should plan on at least 2 hives to start. if you have some basic woodworking skills and tools it can save you some $$$. i started last year with 2 hives and with some basic equipment and a couple of packages of bees it was about $500. i now have 4 hives. its addicting and sometimes painful. good luck.
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scott
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« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2007, 09:13:17 PM »

           I wish I had asked the question as you have before I got into it.  I bought everything new and spent a fortune.  Through this forum and other sources I have found that you can pick up used equipment for pennies on the dollar.  What I haven't read from the people responding to you is according to every thing I have hear is that you have to be careful not to purchase used hives that are diseased.  If you do, all the time in the world will not help you.

Good Luck, you are going to love it

Scott
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JP
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« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2007, 09:45:40 PM »

Northshore, I share DrkurtG's opinion that you join your nearest beekeeping club, they can be quite helpful. You may find a mentor that will show you his/her hives and share some of their beekeeping methods. You can find some good deals on used equipment and if you're handy you can save some $ by building your own equipment. Something within you sparked an interest to enter this world of bee-keeping, it is a truly wonderful world. My hope for you is that you enter, and the sooner the better. Seems you're on the right path already, Go for it, you won't regret it! Wink
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Fannbee
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« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2007, 10:20:30 PM »

Observation and its sort of funny.

Me and some of the new beekeepers have all of this goodlooking bee stuff. 

Go to a long time beekeeper place and his stuff looks rundown, old and sometimes downright cheap.  Stuff I would not touch.

However, those old beekeepers produce a ton honey.     


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mgmoore7
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« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2007, 10:29:39 PM »

"if you like having money on your account, beekeeping isn't for you"

I got a laugh out of this.  The reality is that almost every hobby is expensive....  It is relative to how much $ you have though and what your goals are.  

Compared to golf, woodworking, RC airplanes, etc.... Beekeeping is cheap.

I just got into it about 4 weeks ago so the costs are still fresh in my mind from a starting point.

$220 - 2 used hives with bees, 1 deep, 1 super, screened bottom board
$110 - gloves, hive tool, smoker, brush, hat, veil
$22 - long sleve white fishing shirt (I will use this for fishing too (I have been wanting one) found at Sam's.  They are normally $40.  
$160 - 50 med frames, 10 deep frames, 50 med wax foundation, 10 deep wax foundation, bee quick, frame grip, wire
YYY - wood to build medium supers ( have not purchased yet but expect this to be about $20)

That is a total of $512 so far.  I don't expect much more expense until the spring.  

By the way, everything I have been told and now know from research is that I got a very good deal on my hives and bees.  Buying used helped alot and I think the timing just worked out and the beekeeper was just looking to get rid of them at a very fair price.

Woodworking is my other hobby that is far more expensive than beekeeping.  Anyway, I can use my tools to build the woodenware and save a few bucks on that and besides I like doing it.

Now, maybe I am nieve, but the main reason I got into this was to get honey.  Not many hobbies actually can pay for themselves or maybe make money.  For us, we use over a gallon of honey a month and that equals at least $360 a year but is more likely closer to 1.5 gallons a month.  

In FL, 100-120lbs is average output of a hive.  I have two.  That means 200 lbs or 16 gallons of honey (or more).  That will definatley supply our honey needs for the year.  So for us, a 1 to 1.5 year return on the investment does not sound bad and I think if I add one or two more hives then I will be able to sell enough and recover from issues that it will sustain itself money wise.  I am fortunate to know a number of people that use alot of honey as well and selling to them a gallon at a time will not be difficult.  

As I said, maybe I am crazy and of couse all of the above assumes that everything goes as planned and I know that is probably not reality.  Even so, I can provide pollination for my garden (higher yield), local honey (some say helps with allergies and my family has them), a fun hobby, get to be looked at like I am crazy for playing with bees, get the satisfaction of eating our own honey, get to use it more as the cost will not be as big of an issue as it is now at about $30 a gallon, etc.

That is my take on it at the moment.  I reserve the right to change my mind. Smiley

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eddiedlzn
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« Reply #15 on: July 19, 2007, 01:09:08 AM »

Northshore in the Ed Weiss video that I got from my local liabrary, Ed says you only really need to do eight visits a year. The video is from 1985 and i am sure beekeeping has changed a bit since then pests and all. I try not to bother with mine to much. As much as I like to open up the hive and see what is going on. i sit and watch them fly in and out everday. They are a real treat to have, and everyone in my area is interested in them. I have only been stung one time this year and it was from walking barefoot in my yard. My bees are carniolans and they are really docile and hardworking they are truely amazing. I read that they are a good starter bee. you should try a hive or two. I am hooked and can not wait to get more bees. I was kind of put off by the prices of the equipment. Could have got another guitar. I wish I had an experienced beekeeper or a club nearby for advice. There are monks nearby that keep bees that never return my phone calls. I have met a few old timers that kept bees back in there day and are happy to see a young guy keeping bees. They tell me to leave them alone and let them do there business.Good luck hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #16 on: July 21, 2007, 09:05:17 AM »

>How much time/money is involved in it?

All of it. Wink
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Cindi
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« Reply #17 on: July 21, 2007, 11:32:05 AM »

Northshore.  YOu should put your location in your profile so we know where you are.  I have been keeping bees for over 2 years now.  The first and second year I spent quite a lot of money on everything.  BUT....now I have pretty much everything that I need.  I don't see any major purchases coming on.  The only thing I possibly could think of would be more supers and foundation/frames.  But in the same light, I don't want any more colonies.  I have 9 and that is really a good amount for me to handle.  I know that next spring I will have to do splits.  That would mean more bees.  But what I want to do is to sell any nucs that I make, only because I don't want more hives to look after.  I don't know if there is a market for them in my area, but time will be the teller of that tale.  If I could sell some, then I could recoupe some of the money that I initially spent, a long time after the investment, but then I could buy more honey trees  rolleyes  Have a wonderful day, you will love to keep the bees.  One of the most rewarding and peace within the soul.  Cindi
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« Reply #18 on: July 22, 2007, 07:29:14 AM »

Northshore,
Honeybees are women! It doesnt matter how much you spend on them, there is always something else on the shopping list. Some people claim to make money at beekeeping. If you are frugal and keep it simple then expences should drop after the first couple of years. The reward I get from my investment of time and money is enjoyment and satisfaction.
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annette
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« Reply #19 on: July 22, 2007, 09:05:41 PM »

Hey gottabee, Love your red stapler. Saw the movie and loved it.

Annette
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