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Author Topic: Ohhhhh...I need heeeellllpppp. :)  (Read 3831 times)
xeresana
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« on: December 12, 2007, 11:03:11 PM »

Hi all.  I'm brand new to the forum so, please direct me to previous posts if my questions have been answered time and time again. 

My husband has had a dream of beekeeping.  I've checked our ordinances and we are OK to have a hive (actually two - but, let's not get crazy here).  So, for Christmas, I bought him a beginning beekeeping kit from Brushy Mtn.  I bought the English Garden Hive kit - uh...mostly because it was the prettiest hive I saw.  rolleyes 

Anyway, it's on it's way here.  It comes with a First Lessons in Beekeeping book.  But, I just don't know a thing about bees or keeping them. 

Will that book tell us what we need to know?  Is there another resource you recommend?  Do we want packages or something called "nucs"?  Will "nucs" work with that pretty little English hive?  Is there a source for bees in Central Texas?  How would I find out?  Googling has not been successful. Sad 

Help. 

Thanks. Smiley
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« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2007, 11:14:00 PM »

Hello and Welcome to the forums. I have never read that book so I can't comment on what It teaches. I do however use and recomend the ABC/XYZ of beeculture and Beekeeping for dummies. Both have lots of Info and Ideas. I think you should do two hives so you can observe the differences of the two.  If you can do nucs, I would do them you can put them into your equipment and be a lot further ahead toward producing honey then you would with just packages.  Bweaver and Rweaver are in texas as well as others that I can't think of. 
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« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2007, 11:32:20 PM »

The weavers are all I know, but then I haven't bought any bees. I know there are a few beekeepers down that way (around Austin) some this forum I believe. Perhaps they will chime in.
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« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2007, 11:33:44 PM »

Is the hive 8 or 10 frame?  I believe Bushy Mtn offers a choice.  I assume you purchased the 9 7/8 deep hive.

A Nuc is your best option for a beginners--locate a local bee equipment supplier or association.  It can be difficult to find a bee supplier that ships individual nucs (the cost can also be prohibative) so try to "piggy-back" your order with someone near you who is also ordering bees.  Then, again, you might be able to take your garden hive out to a local beekeeper and purchase several frames of bees and the queen and have them installed in your hive, on the spot.  You may have to resort to purchasing a package but the same options should be explored.
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« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2007, 11:51:56 PM »

Welcome to the forums.  Smiley

I would ask that you update your profile to include you location so we can answer your questions better.

Happy Beekeeping.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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indypartridge
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« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2007, 06:56:54 AM »

I suggest contacting a local beekeeping group:
http://www.texasbeekeepers.org/indexDynFrames.htm?http://www.texasbeekeepers.org/Directories/TBA%20Chapters.htm&1

If your husband is going to take up beekeeping, getting involved with a local group and finding some mentors will be of great value. And, don't be surprised when you find yourself getting sucked into this fascinating hobby...
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« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2007, 07:33:44 AM »

Welcome,
I have Beekeeping for Dummies and it is very easy to read. There are many on this forum to help you with any questions you may have.We have a lot of newbees here along with very experienced keepers here to walk the road of beekeeping with you.
Check with local bee supply places and local bee clubs. they should be able to help with getting bees locally.
Bees are able to be shipped via usps also.

Here is a link for weavers if you want to check them out,there are probably others,I'll try to find others later!!
http://www.rweaver.com/order.html
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« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2007, 07:49:03 AM »

Hi and Welcome.


I would strongly recommend starting with at least 2 hives.  That way you have something to compare to a resource to move around as needed.  If you loose a queen in your only hive,  your in trouble.  If you have a second hive, you can move eggs from it so that the queenless hive can raise a new queen.   I would also suggest buying marked queens, not only so you can find them easier,  but you can tell for sure if they have been superceded or swarmed.

There is a lot of info on the forums and I would suggest taking advantage of the search function provided
http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php?action=search;advanced
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CBEE
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« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2007, 08:04:51 AM »

The little book you get from brushy mountain gives some good info but not near enough. It is good starter reading but you will want something like beekeeping for dummies. There is a massive amount of info on this site if you use the search function .. Find you a local beekeeping club to help. There is probably someone closer than you think.
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« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2007, 08:31:49 AM »

Mua-ha-ha ha!!!!  You don't plan on seeing much of him any more, do you?  grin  Keep to one hive, that's funny!! (you will understand within a year or so)

I haven't read that book, but it will be a good place to start.  And here of course, there are so many of us beginners who have made almost every mistake imaginable  rolleyes.  Don't be afraid to ask questions, although generally a quick search will expose a lot of answers.

One hive is a good place to start, but as previously mentioned, two will save you if you make the same mistakes I've made.

There are a lot of sources for bees.  I don't know of your local sources, but there are lots of mail-order places that can send package bees.  Package bees is just a screen box full of bees that will establish a hive.  But you mention a "nuc".  Nuc stands for "nucleus" (I think) and basically it is a little established hive with a queen and babies .  If you can find a supplier of nucs, you will probably be better off using those, but ultimately it doesn't matter all that much.

I told my wife when I started that I only wanted one or two hives.  I have no idea how the other 6 got back there.  I guess it is like collecting anything else...if you just sneak one in there at a time it won't be noticed as much.

I don't know how up to date this is, but its a place to start... http://www.beesource.com/suppliers/usbees.htm

There are a couple of monthly magazines "American Bee Journal" and "Bee Culture" that have not only nice articles but lots of ads for queen/package suppliers.

And have fun!  There is not much that compares to a sneaked taste from a broken dripping comb during a nice summer day!!!

Rick
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« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2007, 09:06:21 AM »

xeresana.  Welcome to our forum.  You have found a place that can baby you through the beginnings of beekeeping, along with the work that it looks like you are willing to do to help your Husband with his new hobby, yea!!!!  The Beekeeping for Dummies book, as others have told you, is an excellent book.  Get it.

You will be finding that you spend lots of time here, you can ask any question, asks to your heart's content.  YOu will always get answers, and always too remember, that no question is a dumb question, we were all beginners once in apiculture, as you and your Husband are.  We are patient, and love to help others to get great answers, and to one day become a great beekeeper, keeping healthy and great colonies of bees.  Have a wonderful and great day.  Cindi
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xeresana
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« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2007, 07:19:21 PM »

Thank you guys so much for the help!  I have updated my profile to reflect my Austin lccation. Smiley

Two hives?  I hadn't thought of two hives.  I'll have to read our city's ordinances again.  I think I can have up to two hives on our property.  Someone asked if the hive I bought was 9 7/8" deep?  Huh?  I don't even know what that means.  

Hmm...I tried to post a link to the hive, but the site won't let me.  It thinks I'm spamming or something.  Soooo...it is spamming to say that I bought item #252 - listed as a "beeginner kit".  Ha.  I love bee humor. 


Again, it was the prettiest one.  I hope bees like pretty things.  rolleyes  Brushy Mtn is closed for the evening so, I guess I'll have to wait until tomorrow to call and ask about depth.

So, nucs might be easier for us?   Do you buy new bees every year or does a hive keep going?  Do the weavers sell nucs?  

I'm afraid I don't know enough to know what I should really be asking.  Uh...does anyone out there know what I should be asking?   rolleyes

How do you we get started? What should we expect?  I called our local beekeeping club thingie and no one has called me back.  I called last week. Sad  Maybe they are seasonal?  Will they really help our garden?  Will we really get honey one day?  Will I get stung a lot?  
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xeresana
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« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2007, 07:29:48 PM »

And will I drive myself crazy if I try to keep this organic?  We keep our garden organic so, it seems like it would be kind of appropriate. Smiley
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« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2007, 07:29:48 PM »


Quote
This Kit includes: An Assembled English Garden Hive (8-Frame) which includes copper top, 2 medium supers with frames, IPM(screened) bottom board, and 16 sheets of crimp wire foundation for you to install in frames. Also included: Hatless Veil w/Elastic, Lg. Plastic Gloves, Hobbyist Bee Smoker, Smoker Fuel 1 Lb., Bee Brush, 10" Hive Tool, Plastic Entrance Feeder, First Lessons Book and a Garden Hive Video.

Looks like it is 8 frame medium supers (6 5/8").
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xeresana
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« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2007, 07:36:57 PM »

Ummmm...so is this one OK or next time should I use a criteria other than pretty?
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pdmattox
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« Reply #15 on: December 13, 2007, 07:41:00 PM »


 Someone asked if the hive I bought was 9 7/8" deep?  
> there are three sizes in boxes. deeps(9 7/8), mediums(6 5/8), and shallows.

So, nucs might be easier for us?
> They will build up faster and make a honey crop sooner.

   Do you buy new bees every year or does a hive keep going?
> Most of your hives should make it through winter. there will be some losses from time to time.

 Do the weavers sell nucs?  
> not sure on this.

I'm afraid I don't know enough to know what I should really be asking.  Uh...does anyone out there know what I should be asking?   rolleyes
> we all have been there and done that. If i had a choice I would buy established hives or nucs.

How do you we get started?
> I would try to get a local person to mentor you and just purchase the supplies and bees.

 What should we expect?  
> alot of learning and fun.

 Will they really help our garden?
>I think so

 Will we really get honey one day?
> I sure hope so. Probaly before the end of the season.

 Will I get stung alot?
>I would say you will get stung. now on how much depends on how well protected you are.
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xeresana
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« Reply #16 on: December 13, 2007, 09:33:29 PM »

OK....so there are several standard hive sizes, is that correct? 

So...what does a nuc look like?  Are they like frames already with bees on them that you put into the hive?  In that case, do nucs come in different sizes?

And on to bees...is there one type better than another? 
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« Reply #17 on: December 13, 2007, 10:08:03 PM »

Standard nucs are usually 4 or 5  9 7/8" frames of bees and brood.   Since you have 6 5/8" you may have some difficulty finding nucs.
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« Reply #18 on: December 14, 2007, 12:47:35 AM »

Welcome to the forum and the exciting world of beekeeping. I started this year with one hive, but placed mine next to my brother-in-law's hive, so we had 2 next to each other. I would agree that it's important to have two, so that you can compare them. It's really no extra work.

I can also suggest that Beekeeping for Dummies has taught me a lot of what I needed to get off the ground. This forum was also another major source of encouragement, advice, and information. I would suggest that you read and read a lot (both of the book and these forums).

I was lucky in that I also had a mentor (my bro-in-law). I would suggest that you also find a friend in the same city that keeps bees and that you can call on at least once a month, have lunch with, or attend the local beekeepers association with. That will help in your quest.

Your hive is beautiful. Very nice choice. You might buy another like it, or boxes/frames of the same size. If you buy one set, I'd stick with the set's size for all of your equipment. That way you can use it interchangably. My bro-in-law has deep frames (deeper than mine), and we can't use each others stuff. In come cases that's good, but in your case, since they'll be next to each other, they should be the same specifications.

I bought a 'package' of bees and installed them in April. That means I bought a box of bees and placed the queen and workers and all into the hive, following the Beekeeping for Dummies instructions. It works, the girls (bees) loved their hive, and this year I got quite a lot of honey for being in my 1st year. You can have the same positive, enriching experience too.

Glad to meet you and hope to hear from you, your husband, and see what questions you have soon.

Regards,

UtahBees (Scott)
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« Reply #19 on: December 14, 2007, 08:11:13 AM »

Ummmm...so is this one OK or next time should I use a criteria other than pretty?

It all depends on what you want...if you want pretty, then go for pretty, that hive looks nice.  Sometimes it has to do with $$$, I have budget restraints so I want cheap so I made my own, and they aren't pretty.  But the bees have very little fashion sense, thankfully, despite being females grin

You can go primarily organic, but then especially you will want to have 2 hives.  And it depends how risk-averse you are...I hate losing a hive so I tend to treat the bees.  But there are some treatments that while not certified "organic" are definately more natural than they used to be.

You might want to check the library for some bee books.  My local library had quite a few...they were all 20 years old and didn't include anything about varroa mites, but were still useful.

Rick
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« Reply #20 on: December 14, 2007, 08:21:05 AM »

There is a lot of info on M Bush's site ( bushfarms.com ) for the beginner and beyond.
That will keep you busy for awhile.  grin
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« Reply #21 on: December 14, 2007, 07:52:12 PM »

Standard nucs are usually 4 or 5  9 7/8" frames of bees and brood.   Since you have 6 5/8" you may have some difficulty finding nucs.

Bushy Mountain also has medium (6 7/8) nucs so that's not a problem.  They also offer a 2 story (boxes) medium nuc plus top & bottom--It used to list for $39.95 and that's what I'd order.
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« Reply #22 on: December 14, 2007, 08:04:31 PM »

The English Garden hive with two mediums is a nice start, but you'll need a lot more equipment before you're done.

My advice for newbees:
http://www.bushfarms.com/beesnewbees.htm

More beekeeping info here:
http://www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm

It's 9 5/8" not 9 7/8" for the box and 9 1/4" for the frames.  Nucs usually come in four or five frames and deep or medium.  The most common seems to be five frame deeps.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesnucs.htm

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« Reply #23 on: December 14, 2007, 10:03:55 PM »

I started two packages last spring. One from R. Weaver & one from B. Weaver.  I ordered them a week apart so I wouldn't have to do two installations in one day until I got more experience.  The advice of having two has been very educational since they have been quite different in their development & temperment.  Navasota is close enough to Austin that you can pick them up (1 1/2 hours maybe).  It's a pretty drive & you don't get any dead bees.  The two Weavers are right next door to each other (like 200 ft) & there are no signs, so get good directions if you decide to go this route. Several people I know in my area have already placed their order for scheduled pick-up first week in April.  Enjoy the ride.
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« Reply #24 on: December 16, 2007, 05:43:45 PM »

  Hi Xeresana!
You're in the right place for bee info, thats for sure!
This is what I know.....I really like the kind of hive you got and I would like to get a couple like it but they cost more than the regular square hives.I think the only differences are the tops. I like the pointed copper tops better than flat but the bees dont care.
  Beekeeping for Dummies is a GREAT book!  The reason I believe this is that sometimes, like I did, reading some bee books leave you with questions like "whats that mean?" or "How do I do that?", or "Whats that?"...With the "Dummie" book, once you've gone thru it the other books start to make much more sense!

 I started bees last spring and had a bunch of the same questions as you do now. I rememberd fishing with a guy named Luke so I called him and he helped alot and explained alot of bee terminology(Not enough to O.D. on tho.).

 You probably should get another hive before spring. Like people here said, It helps with 2 hives so you can tell if somethings not quite right. If I hadnt had 2 hives I may have lost all my bees pretty quick.(of course, again, Luke told me about doing some tricks with the 2 hives and my bees were saved)

 I got my bees(2  3 lb. packages with queens, costing about 200$) from R Weaver and they were a very informative Co. (Risa was the womans name who helped me when I called(several times) about what to do....But, remember this if you can.You should order bees now as R Weaver is supplying people with THOUSANDS upon THOUSANDS of bees and queens and they WILL run out. I ordered mine in November and got them in April. Im going to order more this year but I havent placed the order yet. I hope I dont have to wait too long for them to arrive.
  Oh boy!!...And talk about exciting!!!..I was THRILLED driving down the road from the post office with 2 packages of bees in the front seat with me!!It made me feel like I felt when, in the movie" A Walk In The Clouds" when they all were fanning the air airound the grapes to keep the frost away!!...ok, enough of that... I, after all the reading and looking at pictures about installing package bees , just went kind of stupid...wasnt sure of what to do but did it anyway!
 If you have a cell phone maybe you can find someone to kind of help you along while you're installing bees...Hmmmm....This is your husbands project right??LOL!!..I'm lucky enough that my buddy Paul helped me...My wife filmed it!!

 If you come to this forum regularly you'll get tons of good advice! And I think you did real good getting a bee hive for your husband for Christmas, Especially if he's been showing an interest in beekeeping! I would like to get lots of people bee hives for Christmas but that would get pretty expensive. My wife thinks I want to do this just to get all the hives back!

Well. Thats all, and hope to see you here again!
your friend,
John
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« Reply #25 on: December 16, 2007, 08:05:34 PM »

Look here for a bee install video. John filmed these himself. Check it out!!
http://www.youtube.com/njbeemaster
Some other good reading:
www.Beemaster.com
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« Reply #26 on: December 17, 2007, 11:47:18 AM »

Hey,

Also handy to remember

BEES WILL ACTUALLY LIVE W/O HUMAN INTERVENTION    lol

What you do can have an effect no doubt, but they are hardy little creatures and you don't manipulate them so they will survive, as much as manipulate them so they won't swarm.

Even if they do swarm you still have a hive of girls, just 1/2 as big.

Relax, have a homebrew, enjoy the experience. It is a lot easier and a lot more fun than you could imagine, and also ala Abbe´ Warre´ you can do your bees in such a way that you only open your hives once a year to harvest.

But where's the fun in that?   lol

You'll ask one question here and get 10 different answers. So do your own research and keep in mind to check where exactly geographically the advice comes from and try to pick the ones from similar climates.

After awhile re-occuring themes will become apparent.

Mentors are mentioned a lot, and I don't know you, but more than a few of us just bought the darn things and went from there w/great success.

Welcome ....... and prepare yourself to be amazed at what the ladies can accomplish. Fear not as bees are vegetarian.    lol

cheers

peter
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« Reply #27 on: December 17, 2007, 05:53:29 PM »

Is there some good reason why bees from the Weavers are nearly twice the cost of other bee suppliers? I mean really, $97 for three pound package? I also understand that there are higher risks of africanization from Texas bees.
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« Reply #28 on: December 17, 2007, 10:33:59 PM »

Awww, gee hopeful!
Now you know what a fortune you're sitting on!
 I dont know why Weavers are higher than other places but I picked them for my bees because they were closer to me than any other supplier and i didnt like the idea of the bees having to get tossed around in a UPS truck for any length of time. When my bees showed up I dont think they had even got much of a chance to drink any of their syrup out of the can as it was practically still full!..So, maybe I paid more for the bees from R Weaver because of their speedy delivery. You've probably been hearing right about the Africans being more prevalent here in Tx but Probably no more prevalent than where you're at in Ok. You're really not that far from me. I've only caught about 5 swarms and havent seen any bees with little Afro hairdos' and sunglasses yet. Theres a few beekeepers here who will kill all wild swarms because they're afraid of them being africanized.Also. theres a law here that says you cant kill honeybees unless they are aggressive. Sooo, the catcher states that the bees seem aggressive and that allows them to kill the bees.They do this especially if the bees are in the walls of the house, The poisoning keeps the catcher from having to tear walls out. The catcher then collects easier money too.
 Are you going to buy some package bees this spring? Tell me if theres someplace closer than Navasota. I think Dadants in Paris Tx may be getting package bees in the spring but I'm pretty sure that these packages come from a place in Georgia and still cost about what Weavers do..But you have to pick them up,.Then again, if you have to pick them up you dont have to pay for shipping...but you still have to pay for gas...Just cant win...
ok,..thats all..
your friend,
john
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« Reply #29 on: December 18, 2007, 09:30:48 AM »

>>>>You've probably been hearing right about the Africans being more prevalent here in Tx but Probably no more prevalent than where you're at in Ok. You're really not that far from me. I've only caught about 5 swarms and havent seen any bees with little Afro hairdos' and sunglasses yet.<<<<

That's only the inner city bees.  afro I checked my bees and they all spoke with accents, saying "You too skinny. Eata you pasta or I breaka you face".  The drones had little moustaches and called each other Mario and Luigi. It was a real relief. (Sorry to those who may be sensitive, no offense meant, just a little fun. Please insert German jokes as needed to get even). Actually, there are no AHBs in this part of OK yet. They are limited to the southwestern corner of the state (Altus area), and very few there.

Your other points are well-taken, and I have no clue where I am going to get my bees this year, but I'll be getting at least 15 hives worth, depending on finances. My "mentor" says he can get a good deal on bees, but has not talked with his supplier yet. I hope to get nucs for my new hives. 
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Cindi
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« Reply #30 on: December 18, 2007, 09:44:04 AM »

Ha, Hopeful.  That was kind of cute.

I am sure that some people think that my bees live in igloos, just like I have heard that many people that don't know much about Canada think that we all live in igloos.  Just thinking out loud, am compelled sometimes to say really weird stuff, hee, hee rolleyes Smiley Smiley.  Have a beautiful and wonderful day, Cindi
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« Reply #31 on: December 18, 2007, 09:54:53 AM »

>>>>>many people that don't know much about Canada think that we all live in igloos.<<<<<

You mean you don't? shocked

Actually, I used to play hockey back in the day and knew many Canadians (all Canucks play hockey, eh?). Spent my first honeymoon in Victoria and Vancouver.
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« Reply #32 on: December 18, 2007, 10:02:34 AM »

Hopeful, oooohh, Victoria, beautiful, most beautiful, Vancouver too is beautiful, especially in the summertime, being on the water, there is the lovely breezes that blow across the city.  I live about 45 km northeast of Vancouver, on a good day it is about a 45 minute drive right to the heart of Vancouver.  I love that beautiful city.  Have a beautiful and wonderful day.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #33 on: December 18, 2007, 10:30:34 PM »

Thank you guys so much for your help.  I did find a local beekeeping association that meets monthly.  I've heard great things about them and I've included a membership as part of my husband's gift.  I've been in contact with them and they swear that they have been great.  I'm really excited about beekeeping now. Smiley
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Mistura Fina
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« Reply #34 on: December 20, 2007, 03:10:28 AM »

I don't think the bees care what home looks like. Beekeeping for Dummies will answer all your start-up questions and give you a few answers to questions that haven't popped up yet. It doesn't really matter where you get the bees, although you have some pretty good places to get bees there in Texas. I live in California and got my girls in Tex. You will be surprised at how many bee keepers you will find in your area once you get started. And they're always happy to help out.
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