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Author Topic: Promoting Beekeeping  (Read 5322 times)
Brian D. Bray
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« on: March 12, 2008, 12:19:03 AM »

Over the last few weeks I've had several people tell me that they have always been interested in bees and thought about becoming a beekeeper.  I quickly offer to give them free lessons using my bees.  I have yet to get a taker.

One was a school teacher, she has an after school program that 2 of my granddaughters attend. 
The one today was the service manager at the Ford Dealership when I took my truck in to have the fix for the recall that was supposed to have fixed the 1st recall. 

I supposedly have a neice who wants to learn beekeeping (according to my brother) but have yet to hear from her, she also doesn't need bees as we can use mine. 

So far the only one to take up my offer is my oldest daughter (she's getting her first package next month) and she, too, is learning on my bees. 

What am I doing wrong?  I'm offering to be their mentor, offering to teach them at my place with my bees, and they don't have to spend a dime until they decide if beekeeping is really their thing or not.

Am I making it too easy?

What have you guys (and gals) done to promote beekeeping?
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« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2008, 12:49:18 AM »

maybe there is some lag time between the idea and the action.  i wanted to keep bees for years, but things kept getting in the way.  some people need  to chew on an idea and figure out how to work it into their lives.
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« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2008, 01:22:02 AM »

Brian,

Even though I dont have my bees until the end of April I try to let everyone know what I am going to do. I have been trying to get other people interested so maybe we could start a clud in SE Colorado. SO far I think I have two people interested. I told them if they wanted to just buy a suit and they can help me out, of cource Ill let them have some honey. The one guy was more interested in the wax to make candles.
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« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2008, 03:55:26 AM »

I am having the opposite problem.  I want to learn, but don't have anyone close enough to teach me.  I thank God for all of you who take time out to answer questions.  I feel that this forum allows me to have many mentors from all over the world.  It is kinda cool that the ancient craft of beekeeping meets the 21st century internet.  I would like to thank all those that make this possible.

I think it is a special thing that beekeepers do.  I believe, as someone else posted on here, that beekeepers are chosen.  Unfortunately, it seems to be a chose few.
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« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2008, 06:49:19 AM »

I am having the opposite problem.  I want to learn, but don't have anyone close enough to teach me. 

Dave!
Have you tried to connect with other local beeks? You're in Brookville, right? According to MapQuest, that puts you very close to the Trumbull County Beekeepers:
http://www.trumbullcountybeekeepers.org/Home.html

We also just had a new member, darcher, from Warren, Ohio introduce himself in the "Greetings" forum (March 3). Maybe you two newbees could link up.
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« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2008, 07:05:21 AM »

"What am I doing wrong?  I'm offering to be their mentor, offering to teach them at my place with my bees, and they don't have to spend a dime until they decide if beekeeping is really their thing or not."

Believe me Brian you aren't doing anything wrong.  Most people are basically lazy and would rather you do the work and let them benefit from it.  I'm a General Contractor - people I know ask me all the time about how to build this and that.  I tell them I'd be happy to help them do whatever they need - they don't want that. After a while they get around to what they really want. They want me to do it and do it free or for nearly nothing. That's the way people are now a days...I don't get it either.

No, you aren't doing a thing wrong.  Maybe if you gave them all the supplies - setup a couple hives on their property and went over to work them they'd appreciate more or be willing to listen\learn....?  I doubt it.   Most people are just too busy trying to do other things and if we're already keeping the bees that's just fine with them......fine with me also. They're just curious I guess.

Sorry about the soapbox but people just like you described are one of my pet peeves...   
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« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2008, 07:20:51 AM »

I see fifty people or so show up to the beginner beekeeping class field day in April.  I see maybe one or two of them show up to any beekeeping meetings after that.  I wish I knew what we could do better for follow through to keep them interested.
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« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2008, 07:52:32 AM »

I don't think it's you Brian. I find most people are just want to bees at anything and really never follow through with anything. One week they want to keep bees the next week it's something else.  Also, as said a lot of people are lazy and find out there is more to it than just throwing them in a box and watching them make honey and then dont want anything to do with it. Some people find out the cost of bees and equipment and run the other way. You ever get that odd look and then the question " you mean you gotta buy bees ? ". Look at what MB says about how many show up and how many follow through. There are more than one factor but one of them is not you.
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bassman1977
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« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2008, 08:50:31 AM »

Quote
What have you guys (and gals) done to promote beekeeping?

Typically people think I'm nuts messing with bees but also become very interested when we start talking about it.  I have one friend who is going to be learning on my bees this year.  I told him I would give him a split to work and even though the hive will be mine, anything he gets from it will be his.  I am going to give him the hive at the end of the season, but he doesn't know that.  Anyway, he has become very interested in this and would like to work with me down the road when I have a lot more hives (800+).

I am not sure what got him interested.  He doesn't seem to be the bee person.  Maybe it is because he sees me having success with it and other than buying a beesuit and a veil, there's really no risk on his part.

I like to think that promoting beekeeping is not just taking someone down to the hives to work them, but also talking about things like getting people to understand the importance of bees in our lives, perhaps how they live, etc.  Even if you talk to a person only one time, that can leave an impression.  One question that is asked to me the most is "What do the bees do during the winter?".  I can easily have an hour long conversation with someone who asks that because they just ask more and more questions.  It's fun.

I don't know if that is much of an answer...
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« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2008, 08:54:45 AM »

We are an urban county here in Hamilton and thus 4-H has been dismal over the past decade.  Someone took over the program about 13 months ago and has been selling it big time.  I was at the last open house to see if I can offer my farm and its gardens to the Junior Master Gardener program of theirs and Bees came up.  They had four parents asking about it for their kids.

My wife and I are adopting this year (fingers crossed) and I think it would be appropriate to start get involved in some children activities with our farm.  I am not getting any younger and she thinks its a good idea even if our child isn't going to be able to participate for several years...so...

Depending on how this year goes I think I am going to mentor a 4-H Bee Keeping Club in 2009.
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« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2008, 09:08:41 AM »

I think for a person to become a Beekeeper and to keep bees you have to out of agreement with most of the people in the enviroment.There are so many other things to do.I think the world is become a bunch of Spectators they just want to watch.
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« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2008, 09:46:12 AM »

I think that NOW our big issue is the negative publicity we here in the press over CCD - to the uninformed, bees are likely carriers of unknow disease and parasites. It isn't bad enough that we suffer normal losses, but any loss to the uniformed is a CCD issue today.

This same thing has happened to HAM RADIO over the decades it has become a nearly dying art. The numbers of hams have dropped so dramatically that reducing minimal entry requirements have changed over many years and still it doesn't help.

I often wonder who is the dying breed (if indeed their is one) the honeybees or the beekeepers. I hope there is a turn around, recruiting newcomers isn't easy as you all point out, the only hope may be to keep it a generational family hobby/business until somehow our beloved beekeeping again gets the positive press it needs - fingers crossed on that one.

A final note: a local radio station is offering $300 to anyone willing to take up beekeeping to help get bees back here in the Garden State (a highly over rated name for this state - it has been 100 years since NJ had anything to do about gardening/food production) we are now a bedroom society trafficing between NY and PA. But this $300 is a nice effort, and although I cannot find any info on their website, here it is - it might be worth a call to some of you.

www.k985radio.com - they have a "Kontact" page (sic) that at least gives phone numbers and addresses. I just heard about this last night, so I don't know about any rules that they specify, but it may well worth be checking into.
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« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2008, 10:03:58 AM »


What have you guys (and gals) done to promote beekeeping?

The end of April I am offering a group of homeschoolers a 4 hour class on honeybees in general.  This doesn't include how to be a beekeeper, but rather the basic lifecycle of honeybees and what they need to live.  I will also include a light area of disease and honeybee pests.
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« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2008, 10:38:48 AM »

CHF, you'll love doing 4H.  seeing the kids get interested in something and learn is very rewarding.  you'll hate the parents, but you just have to remember that you are doing it for the kids.  smiley
getting kids interested in beekeeping is probably key to the future.  adults get so bogged down in daily life, or are such slaves to their fears, that they don't do it. 
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« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2008, 11:46:35 AM »

Brian I feel your pain. I am heavily involved in recruiting people to join our club(just ask anyone on this forum from NJ!). I was also interviewed by the press last week b/c NJ is giving 50 people an education, bees and equipment too. Response has been amazing. The class filled up in two days. I have also filled my calander w/ numerous speaking engagments for kids to get the word out. A local Friends school is considering having an apiary. I offered to donate ny own hives to get it started as well. I have contacted five seperate municipalities inviting myself to offer a free lecture about bees. My suggestion is do what you have always done in life, just keep doing. It will spark an interest in someone and you will contribute more to beekeeping. I have seven appointments w/ people who have equipment, but no bees. I am making arrangements through club to get them bees. Thats seven new people this month. If you think your niece is serious, just bring a nuc over one day. If she is meant to be a beek, she see the bees doing bee stuff and she'll bee hooked(pun intended). Contact a local
girl or boy scouts an offer a visit to your apiary. Thats how I got my first group over to the house.

I have a motto I end every "bee speach" with...Save the honeybee-save the world
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« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2008, 12:24:01 PM »

Brian I wish you lived closer to me!  I would love to absorb even a smidge of your knowledge!  It did take years to actually "get" bees.  I've loved em as long as I can remember but life got in the way. A couple of months ago I met a couple at my referral group that had bees & it lit a fire under my butt, the time was right I guess.  My daughter (20) is sooo excited.  She has been exposed to everything I know about animals, bugs, nature in general, since birth. She knows that every blink, twitch & movement means something, is very good at "reading" animals (including the human variety).  I can't count the times I've come running in the house saying "Lets go now" & taken her to see somehting I saw walking, riding or driving.  So many people are not aware of  whats going on around them which can be dangerous in this day & age..but thats another topic!!  So it's not you Brian, soon someone will come into your life that is willing to work & learn & may teach you something as well! Smiley Have a wonderful day.

Jody
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« Reply #16 on: March 12, 2008, 01:40:10 PM »

I would have accepted your offer in a heartbeat Brian!!  My son just missed out on an opportunity for teenagers because we found out too late about it.  He can take the course next year if we haven't already gotten on hives started.  I haven't found a class for old people like myself and my husband yet. Keep it up and you never know who might accept in the future.
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« Reply #17 on: March 12, 2008, 01:46:49 PM »

I'm just starting with bees and I have to admit I fall into that category of "showing up to a few meetings then falling off the face of the planet". I've been to two beekeeping association meetings and one picnic. Its still very interesting to me and on a daily basis I look at these forums and try to find interesting videos. The person who helped me get started, I call my mentor, altough I've only been to his beeyard ONCE. Basically he showed me his hives and talked about general beekeeping stuff...it was fun to get in a beejacket/viel and really get a look at what it was like working the bees. We went inside and looked at some catalogs and I asked some basic questions and that was pretty much it. Over a year ago easily since I did that.

I've been waiting for him to call me back saying that he needed help harvesting the honey and working the hives again; but maybe I need to take that initive myself.

The biggest problem with me is I don't have any friends or family members that share my interest..and I'm easily the youngest adult at the gatherings I goto, makes me a little uncomfortable. I'm still interested and I still can't wait to get my first bees (over a year of anticipation makes me alittle crazy!).

.so in a sense I think my mentor and the beekeepers I met succeeded with their influence on me, even tho I don't participate much in the community. Get the newbies in the yard one way or another..thats what did it for me.
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« Reply #18 on: March 12, 2008, 02:01:09 PM »

Off topic...

I see you are from Western PA, SystemShark.  What part?  I grew up in Johnstown but live in the central part of PA now (Danville).

And now back to our normally scheduled programming...
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« Reply #19 on: March 12, 2008, 02:17:39 PM »

Off topic...

I see you are from Western PA, SystemShark.  What part?  I grew up in Johnstown but live in the central part of PA now (Danville).

And now back to our normally scheduled programming...

Close to Pittsburgh. I joined with the Beaver Valley Beekeep Association. When I do get my bees I'll probobly end up eastward; twords Greensburgh or north twords Butler tho.
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« Reply #20 on: March 12, 2008, 04:51:46 PM »



A final note: a local radio station is offering $300 to anyone willing to take up beekeeping to help get bees back here in the Garden State (a highly over rated name for this state - it has been 100 years since NJ had anything to do about gardening/food production) we are now a bedroom society trafficing between NY and PA. But this $300 is a nice effort, and although I cannot find any info on their website, here it is - it might be worth a call to some of you.

www.k985radio.com - they have a "Kontact" page (sic) that at least gives phone numbers and addresses. I just heard about this last night, so I don't know about any rules that they specify, but it may well worth be checking into.

I have posted this info twice before and listed the links. It is sponsored by the Ag dept and is already filled. NJ still produces huge quantities of some food products. We also produce some of the most desirable food for human consumption as well. We arguably have some of the best corn, blueberries, cranberries and peaches you can find anywhere. In fact, a peach from Gloucester county won the Best Peach contest at the Atlanta Olympics . Just come down south you will still see farms notw/standing its bedroom community lifestyle throughout the state. As gas prices continmue to climb, local food sources will become more valuable and bees needed more.
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« Reply #21 on: March 12, 2008, 06:42:16 PM »

Personally I feel there has to be a pull from within to keep bees...Funny, it had never occurred to me until one year ago April.  AS a child I had watched my father's friend work with bees, and extract honey in the kitchen through a big sack with a cincher-upper that he twisted, we watched the honey ooze out into a big metal drum.

Then maybe 15+ years ago a swarm came to my land, I called the local beek and he came and got them.  He brought me a veil and I stood and watched as he clipped the branch and off went the bees.  He was happy, I was elated.

Then last April, the day before Easter, I was telling my family how I might like to keep bees.  The very next say, Easter Sunday, I was all alone, and thought I would give the local apiary a call..sure enough they were open.  From that day on it was as though someone opened a door and the possibilities re: bees came flooding though. 

Maybee the people like the idea of beekeeping, but just don't quite have the heart or determination to do it ?yet???

Forgive my bantering...LOL
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« Reply #22 on: March 12, 2008, 07:38:24 PM »

Hi Brian,
I think your problem can be summed up nicely by a quote from "The Queen Must Die" by William Longgood:
"Several were discouraged by the initial cost or were victims of what I have come to think of as the 'fantasy curve'.  Fantasy draws many people to attend classes and attempt new ventures, but when they realize the work and commitment required, the majority tend to fall by the wayside, a kind of social Darwinism that separates the committed from the uncommitted, the interested from the uninterested, the doers from the dreamers.  The fantasy curve invariably swoops downward.  I conceived it when I taught writing courses in New York, but it applies to most human endeavors."
Of course, not everyone is meant to be a beekeeper.  I guess it's better if they find that out on the front end before they waste their time and YOURS.  You have made a very generous offer.  I'm sure that there is someone in your area just wishing for such an opportunity.  Don't give up yet!
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« Reply #23 on: March 12, 2008, 09:17:00 PM »

some people need  to chew on an idea and figure out how to work it into their lives.

"beekeeping: the gristle of ideas"  Wink  I likes to chews on teh wax. cheesy
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« Reply #24 on: March 12, 2008, 09:30:19 PM »

In efforts with my association. I have been doing school dates. Just held our introduction to beekeeping course. Getting people interested in beekeeping is kinda of like firing a shotgun. You try to cover as broad an area as possible. While actually only hitting a few targets. Out of the 100 people I talk to about beekeeping maybe 1 will really get into it.
But I will take that one.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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« Reply #25 on: March 12, 2008, 09:33:11 PM »

Its really a big decision to embrace a hobby. And with so many interesting ones available its hard to choose which one. They all require some investment of money and a lot of investment of time.
Like a while back Brian posted something about pigeons. Well darn if that didn't catch my interest. but i can barely keep up with what i have going already. I think there are a lot of people in the same boat.
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« Reply #26 on: March 12, 2008, 11:01:12 PM »

I have had so many peaple Iterested in the bees since ccd got so public. When I was  selling honey at the local farmers market , with my ob hive it got hard to keep up with the questions. Peaple are concerned about what is going on. I wish I had better knowledge to pass on. Just keep on trying before long you will find peaple willing to learn and work to keep bees alive and healthy, at least that is my goal. I do love talking to the kids, they do have some great questions. let the spring bloom be great everywhere.
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« Reply #27 on: March 13, 2008, 12:46:51 PM »

i would love to have a mentor like you Brian - keep offering, someone will bite.  it has taken me 2 years to get it together enough to start a hive - the bees will arrive in a few weeks (very exciting time for me).  i am guilty of wanting to do a great many things, but that stems from being interested in so many different things.  i find i get burned out on a single hobby and then jump to another and then back to the first to a third to a fourth and fifth, back to the third... it's just how some people are i guess.

right now my model railroad is collecting dust as is my backpacking gear, but i'll blame the later on our 5 month old Wink

-Steve
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« Reply #28 on: March 14, 2008, 12:05:17 AM »

Its really a big decision to embrace a hobby. And with so many interesting ones available its hard to choose which one. They all require some investment of money and a lot of investment of time.
Like a while back Brian posted something about pigeons. Well darn if that didn't catch my interest. but i can barely keep up with what i have going already. I think there are a lot of people in the same boat.

You have a good point, if you think beekeeping is expensive try racing pigeons.  I'm getting old, I'm disabled, and live on a fixed income but I do it.  Mainly, I guess, because the other option is to give up and die.  I wanted to do that too but was told it wasn't my time yet, still had somethings I'm suppose to do on this side the curtian.

I've offered to do demo's for the school district, maybe I need to approach the superintendent instead of the teachers.  I used to be a BSA counciller for the beekeeping merit badge but they've discontinued that program.  I hadn't thought of the 4H. 
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« Reply #29 on: March 14, 2008, 11:49:59 AM »

Steve Both hobbies are on hold...can you imagine what a drooling little mouth & exploring hands would do to your trains??? shocked  NOT a pretty picture.  Get one of those kid backpacks & take your little one on short hikes, they love the outdoors....just make sure you have a head covering for yourself, specially if you have an "urper" like mine was..ewww!  tongue
Brian, I have pigeons too but not the fancy racing ones!
Jody
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« Reply #30 on: March 14, 2008, 02:25:15 PM »

Brian -

our oldest is nearly 7 and he has a backpack and has overnighted with dad.  he is excited about getting a hive - we are going to check out  hive supplies tomorrow and he probably annoyed his school teacher about it all day Smiley  the 5 month old has yet to ride in the backpack carrier, but once we get a 60+ degree day i'll be lugging him up a ridgeline.

i think the key to successful promotion is to downplay honey and wax and get people excited to be adding to the health of their community.  that's my many motivation for keeping bees - that and they are fascinating to watch.  i'll want an observation hive at some point - just not sure how much drooled on glass the girls can handle - from my 5 month old of course  evil
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« Reply #31 on: March 15, 2008, 10:51:12 PM »

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Brian, I have pigeons too but not the fancy racing ones!

Racing pigeons aren't fancy, from even a short distance it is hard for a novice to tell them from feral birds.

Fancy pigeons are Jocabins (long swirling neck feathers), Fantails (extra tail feathers), Owls (Short beaked), Hooded pigeons like Nuns and some rollers and tumblers, and those with feathered feet like Swallows, and Pouters (stand upright with large crops).

Other types of birds are Tumblers, Rollers, High Fliers, and Squab types.  Of the Squab type White Kings are probably the best known but Giant Runts are not only the largest domestic pigeon but an oxymoron.
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« Reply #32 on: March 16, 2008, 12:09:55 AM »

as a kid i used to sneak into a neighbors pigeon coupes, he also had a hawk in the shed.  one day he invited a few of the neighborhood kids along with him to release the pigeons.  we drive about 10 miles away with several cages in the back of his station wagon. he would call out a tag number and i would write it down as he released it. 

when we got back to his house and checked the coupe, there the pigeons were.  i was very impressed with that, they were able to get home from that seemingly far away place.  i can appreciate what went into training them, but my friends thought the guy was nuts, they just went along because he had a very cute daughter.  that's reason i went too, yeah, that's it.

-Steve
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« Reply #33 on: March 16, 2008, 10:45:23 AM »

Earl is a feral I found in a parking lot with a broken wing.  He was hunkered there even with cars moving about.  I can't believe no one else noticed something was off.  Anyways after chasing him for 15 min thru bushes, under cars,,around things in my suit & now shredded hose I finally got him & wandered into my meeting asking for a box. Took him home, set the wing but all I had was vetwrap & he kept tearing it off so his wing didn't heal right, he can't really fly. Sooooo I couldn't let him go as planned.  He hates everyone, wing slaps, bites & shakes your skin like a pit bull, been 2 years now.  Hence his name Angry Earl.  Put him out in the old cockatiel avairy & he looked so lonely I had to get him a girl.  I don't know what she is, has the curly neck feathers, is smaller & rose brown color & white. She was going to be sold for bird dog training, the guy just let me have her for the tax amount, about $2.  I'm thinking the dogs have more fun than the birds on that one!  Anyways, they make beautifull babies, always sort of pied, but always white wings, the dark grey but more of the roseish hilights. They don't fly in a straight line, they sort of dip & change direction, its fun to watch em as they fly in formation like the blue angels, beautiful when the sun is shining on the white wings!  We have one of the babies, Perve who is in love with his mom..took him to where the other ones live now & he was home before we were..took him to my daughters 6 miles away & he was home the next morning.  I can't put him in with Earl cause they fight & Earl is a gimp so he hangs around on the top of the cage dancing & singing & fighting with his Dad thru the wire.  Have a great day!

Jody
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« Reply #34 on: March 16, 2008, 12:31:52 PM »

I like they way my birds look when they fly against a background of a distant storm. If the clouds are to the east and the sun shines on them from the west it makes the best background for white racers to be seen or photographed! Even if the birds are blue bars(gray with dark bars on the wings) or dark checks( bluish charcoal color with a sort of checkeboard pattern to the wings) or even any other color but white, the gray background still makes the pigeons look beautiful!( the underside of wings are usually very lite colored anyways, except for black pigeons).
your friend,
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« Reply #35 on: March 16, 2008, 03:12:58 PM »

John, yes that is beautiful, they are shining like lights!  I have 2 new babies today. They were acting like something was up the last couple of days & the shells are on the ground today.  It's kinda cool the way they take em away from the nest.  Don't have time to look at em now, going to BUNKO with the gals but will examine them later today & take pics..they are uuggllyy, almost as ugly as cockatiels when hatched!!  Jody
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« Reply #36 on: March 16, 2008, 07:40:26 PM »

Ok here is my two pennies worth

8 months ago i never even considered keeping bee's, i knew there was a problem with them but the idea and thought never really entered my head until me and a friend chopped a tree down that had a feral hive in it. The initial thought then was lets rob the hive of the honey. We got a bit out but  the bees got upset so we left it for the day. During the night the more i thought about it the more i wanted to do something.  I tried to get some help from local bee keepers who all basically said . we are not interested, they must be AHB , its October we could never do anything with them there too late let them die.

I did get help form one guy in McAllister's who sold me a Deep and a supper with bottom board and telescopic top for $50 the supper was full of honey so i gave it ago. Unfortunately it didn't work out, i think the bee's got wet one night and died of cold. But i was glad i gave it ago it gave me determination to have a go. but here comes the frustrating bit !

Since then i have found it difficult to find a club or a bee keeper who was willing to teach me. our ag office doesn't appear to be very proactive on beekeeping and the nearest club is 2-3hrs away. I don't particularly want to travel that far. I do now have some one that is interesting in helping me but its taken along time to find that area. I think if other protential bee keepers are having simular problems then i can see why they walk away.

I think allot of it is also down to education of the public. its how we go about doing this that is very important !
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« Reply #37 on: March 17, 2008, 08:00:10 PM »

There are 3 groups I've been involved with that have tendency to be a bit over secretive:  Coon Hound runners, Pigeon Flyers, and OLD Beekeepers.  The people in the 1st group each like to think they have a special secret that makes their pack of dogs better than everybody else's.  The same for the 2nd group only more so.  In the 3rd group each beekeeper thinks he has a special secret but doesn't want to be confronted with ideas that might be even better--the I've always done it this way and I'm always gonna club. 

poka-bee--I think your lady might be a roller or Jacobin, depending on the amount of swirl on the neck feathers.  A Jacobin has feathers so long on it's neck that it can literally hide its head in them, a roller as more of flip of feathers on the back of the head.
Rollers do a roll or stagger while in flight and good ones will tumble 50 feet straight down head over heals all the way.  Very Beautiful to watch.  Fancy pigeons like the Jacobins, Swallows, and Fantails fly awkwardly due to the extra feathers on the various parts of their body.  It sounds to me like you lady is at least part roller and Mad Earl is what is commonally referred to as a Track Pigeon aka feral.  Ferals are what all other breeds of pigeons were bred from and to which they revert when allowed to go wild for several generations.
BTW, there has been cases where tamed "feral" pigeons have out flown pedigree Racing Homers over a given distance.

Steveouk--I've seen the same reaction, but I think it is the duty of any curator of a craft, be it beekeeping, candlemaking, cabinet making, etc., to pass the craft on to future generations.  Every bit of knowledge lost by keeping to ourselves has to be re-invented by someone further down the road. 
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« Reply #38 on: March 17, 2008, 10:55:04 PM »

We had 70 people signed up for the beginning beekeeping course in Atlanta and then some of them join the organization, but I think we would have more interest continuing if two things happened:

1.  The course ends with talk about poison in the hives and then Africanized honeybees.  Personally I think that scares beekeepers away.  I suggested that they end with the honey harvest,  but they haven't taken my suggestion for two years running.

2.  The meeting immediately after the short course should be appealing to new beekeepers.  Last year in the meeting immediately after the short course, I did a funny slide show/PowerPoint on Bee-ing a Beekeeper.  This year they incorporated my program into the short course and had Keith Fielder talk about requeening in the meeting immediately after the short course - that's too sophisticated for the beginner who needs a meeting on how to build hive boxes and frames, etc.

I think beekeeping organizations have a responsibility to keep the topics in the meetings interesting to beginners - not altogether of course, but at least in the immediate meeting following the short course, the meeting should be focused on the beginner.

On a personal note, I have been trying since November to get my blog approved by the powers that bee in the Master Beekeeping Program in Georgia as a "public service credit"  I got a letter on Friday from Dr. Keith Delaplane (author of the current edition of Dadant's First Lessons in Beekeeping) saying that after looking at the blog they decided that it did indeed meet the requirements for a public service credit (it is now visited by over 175 visitors a day).  Woooo Hoooo  grin grin grin grin grin

Linda T in Atlanta, smiling
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« Reply #39 on: March 17, 2008, 11:01:25 PM »

Hooray!!!!  I love your blog and check it every day.  Your videos are great and I have tried a lot of things you have shown.  I really loved the one about the solar wax melter.  I made one myself, worked like a charm.

Seriously, Congratulations!  It's good to see hard work rewarded.
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« Reply #40 on: March 18, 2008, 01:32:21 AM »

We had 70 people signed up for the beginning beekeeping course in Atlanta and then some of them join the organization, but I think we would have more interest continuing if two things happened:

1.  The course ends with talk about poison in the hives and then Africanized honeybees.  Personally I think that scares beekeepers away.  I suggested that they end with the honey harvest,  but they haven't taken my suggestion for two years running.

2.  The meeting immediately after the short course should be appealing to new beekeepers.  Last year in the meeting immediately after the short course, I did a funny slide show/PowerPoint on Bee-ing a Beekeeper.  This year they incorporated my program into the short course and had Keith Fielder talk about requeening in the meeting immediately after the short course - that's too sophisticated for the beginner who needs a meeting on how to build hive boxes and frames, etc.

I think beekeeping organizations have a responsibility to keep the topics in the meetings interesting to beginners - not altogether of course, but at least in the immediate meeting following the short course, the meeting should be focused on the beginner.

On a personal note, I have been trying since November to get my blog approved by the powers that bee in the Master Beekeeping Program in Georgia as a "public service credit"  I got a letter on Friday from Dr. Keith Delaplane (author of the current edition of Dadant's First Lessons in Beekeeping) saying that after looking at the blog they decided that it did indeed meet the requirements for a public service credit (it is now visited by over 175 visitors a day).  Woooo Hoooo  grin grin grin grin grin

Linda T in Atlanta, smiling

An awesome job.

I liked the idea you told me about having first year beekeepers talk about their experiences.

AHB is good for the evening news. Georgia isn't even AHB positive.

Maybe you should run for office with your association?

Sincerely,
Brendhan

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« Reply #41 on: March 18, 2008, 08:01:51 AM »

We had 70 people signed up for the beginning beekeeping course in Atlanta and then some of them join the organization, but I think we would have more interest continuing if two things happened:

1.  The course ends with talk about poison in the hives and then Africanized honeybees.  Personally I think that scares beekeepers away.  I suggested that they end with the honey harvest,  but they haven't taken my suggestion for two years running.
That is an interesting suggestion, but for us it's the wrong time of year to harvest.

This year we're going to end the course with an actual install, something I think is necessary instead of sending virgin beeks out into the world installing packages all by themselves without a mentor there to guide them.  At least they'll have seen it done once!  I'll never forget our first install, and I can't say it's a totally nice memory, although the outcome was great.

Quote
2.  The meeting immediately after the short course should be appealing to new beekeepers.  Last year in the meeting immediately after the short course, I did a funny slide show/PowerPoint on Bee-ing a Beekeeper.  This year they incorporated my program into the short course and had Keith Fielder talk about requeening in the meeting immediately after the short course - that's too sophisticated for the beginner who needs a meeting on how to build hive boxes and frames, etc.

We encourage the new, first year beeks to speak at the school and relate how things went for them, that's always interesting - and we have our treasurer who gives her firsthand account of bee sting allergic reactions (she can no longer keep bees, her children do it for her).  Not to scare them, but to help make them aware.  We lost a long time member this past year to anaphylactic shock due to bee stings  Cry

We have a room in the building we meet in where we're going to set up a honey room to both demonstrate extractions and to give people with small harvests a place to do their extracting with the group's two extractors.  I'm sure the newbees will be there for the demonstration harvests this fall!

Quote
I think beekeeping organizations have a responsibility to keep the topics in the meetings interesting to beginners - not altogether of course, but at least in the immediate meeting following the short course, the meeting should be focused on the beginner.

This year our club is going to start having programs at each meeting, I'm actually giving a little talk on Wednesday about gardening for bees.  I don't know if you have to specifically cater to beginners, just cater to beeks in general and everyone will get something out of it! 

Quote
On a personal note, I have been trying since November to get my blog approved by the powers that bee in the Master Beekeeping Program in Georgia as a "public service credit"  I got a letter on Friday from Dr. Keith Delaplane (author of the current edition of Dadant's First Lessons in Beekeeping) saying that after looking at the blog they decided that it did indeed meet the requirements for a public service credit (it is now visited by over 175 visitors a day).  Woooo Hoooo  grin grin grin grin grin

Good for you, Linda!  I listed your blog on the Using Internet Resources page I made up to hand out to the bee school students, along with Michael Bush's and a few others.  If anyone is interested in it send me a PM and I'll forward it to you.  It's nothing we all don't know, but for newbees it's a good start in finding quality info on the internet.

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« Reply #42 on: March 18, 2008, 09:20:36 AM »

Boy, Reinbeau,

It sounds like your bee club focuses in a way that I wish ours did.  I'm on the Board of Directors for our club but it is run by a very strong woman and her husband.  They brought the club back from the dead and she is Ga Beekeeper of the Year as a result - well-deserved for what she did in resurrecting the club, but that level of strong hand also means there isn't much room for suggestions.  She has, however, taken several of mine - did give out a list of bee-friendly plants - not at the short course but at the February meeting right afterwards - for example and did let me do my PowerPoint and panel of first year beekeepers for the club and short course.  And she let me put a list of Internet resources in the goody bag that we gave to the participants at the short course.  So I can't complain much in that we have a vibrant and very active club.

We talk about the honey harvest at the short course with a video - (so it doesn't matter that it also isn't the time of year for us to harvest in Georgia, either!)  I've offered but it hasn't been accepted to do a program on harvesting without an extractor (since many beginners don't have one and the idea is intimidating) - in which I'd address crush and strain, cut comb honey, and chunk honey as well as jar-to-jar harvest which is great for kids/scouts/individuals etc., but they filled in the open slot with someone else, oh, well!

We do have, at the end of each meeting about 15 minutes devoted to "What's going on in the hive" in which experienced beeks answer questions for us much less experienced ones and that is very beginner-helpful. 

We have too large a short course (70 some odd people) to do much actual bee work at the course.  The beekeeper for the Atlanta Botanical Garden (where the short course and our meetings are held) offered to have people in the short course come for an inspection of the hives there during the course, but it was decided that the numbers were too large and the participants in the inspection would miss some of the talk portion of the course.

Promoting beekeeping is an ongoing process - which makes it a growing experience for us all along the way.

Linda T in Atlanta
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« Reply #43 on: March 18, 2008, 09:49:50 AM »

Our beginners course is doing exactly what you suggest LindaT. They are ending the beginners course w/ extraction(saved frames from last year as its too early here) and some experiences from newer beekeepers(me and others) AND providing phone numbers of each branch presidents at home for questions in emergencies. They do this whether they join NJBA or not. And of course NJBA and Ag Dept are sponsoring 50 new beeks w/ the course and $300 worth of equipment and a nuc included. Sharing these ideas is very needed for our club health collectively. Please keep sharing.


I have also communicated w/ Understudy and borrowed his powerpoint, added some stuff and personalized it for my area of country. Now Robo has a copy and I expect some good changes to be made by him. These are the types of items club members need to share on this forum. The energy, insight, knowledge and ingenuity of many members nevers ceases to amaze me on this forum. You deserve all the credit for your wonderful sight as well. Kudos.
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« Reply #44 on: March 18, 2008, 08:18:03 PM »

I used to be a BSA counciller for the beekeeping merit badge but they've discontinued that program. 

Brian, I thought they brought the Beekeeping Merit Badge back. You should check with your council office, because I think it is available for kids to earn even if it not regularly listed as an available badge. They may have to ask the National office. I'm sure it's one that's very rarely done because it's hard. I'm thinking about offering it locally myself.

Another point to think of though: maybe the folks you talk to are being polite. Lots of folks "think" about taking up a hobby as a way to keep a conversation going. They probably are interested, in the same way that I'm interested in antique tractors. I love to talk about them, but I don't think I'm going to go out an buy a 1949 Farmall and start restoring it.

I don't think you're doing anything wrong. Keep talking and try talking with kids. The scouts and 4H is a great idea, but be prepared. Kids today are much more restless than they were even a few years ago. As a scoutmaster I found out that it could get tough to hold their attention beyond 10 minutes. The more you can give them to do, the better time you will have.

Kev
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« Reply #45 on: March 19, 2008, 09:23:25 AM »

Linda, oooh, you must be a proud woman, you have great accomplishments with your blog, yeah!!! go, girl, go, have a beautiful and wonderfully awesome day, Cindi
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« Reply #46 on: March 19, 2008, 01:54:11 PM »

I have been interested for two years and just now starting. I needed time to learn as much as I could before I got them. I'm in the same boat as Dave with not having anyone to show me the art. I'm learning practically everything on my own and by using the internet. I've asked beekeepers around here a few questions but they don't seem too enthusiastic with helping me. They are probably just busy with their  businesses. I'm going to join some bee clubs around my area! However, in the future I'll do my part and try spreading the joy and art of apiculture.
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« Reply #47 on: March 19, 2008, 04:32:02 PM »

Ashlee, welcome!  Yes, this is a great place to learn, we hung around here for awhile before we got our bees!  When you get a chance, go into your profile and fill in your location so people near you can offer more localized advice.  Enjoy your bees!
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« Reply #48 on: March 19, 2008, 06:36:42 PM »

Ashley, thats how I got started, right here w/ Beemaster's dowloadable how-to. I  thought I was going to have to wait until the foloowing spring to get bees, but through some advice on here I contacted NJBA and than I found bees too. So go out and get your bees
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