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Author Topic: Just hello  (Read 1918 times)
SgtMaj
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« on: June 11, 2008, 09:15:18 AM »

Hello, new here, NOT a beekeeper... yet.  But I am concerned.  I've let my grass grow up a bit longer than usual because of a lack of rain, and the clover went to bloom.  Normally when that happens the ground is virtually crawling with bees... but there's not a single bee out there... not a honey bee, not a bumble bee... nothing.  If it was just the clover I wouldn't care, but I have a grand total of 2 tomato's growing on 5 plants, and much fewer peas and beans than normal... well you get the idea... there's virtually nothing in the garden.  This, despite my having added bee balm to the garden to try to attract more of 'em.  I know there used to be a guy who had a couple of honey bee hives not too far from me... I used to buy honey from him, but I don't know if he still has them, depending upon how far bees fly, they might have been the ones that used to be around here.  So what's going on with the bees?  Where have they gone and how do I get them back?

PS - I live in Corryton, TN, USA if that makes any difference.
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indypartridge
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« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2008, 09:25:20 AM »

Hi SgtMaj!

Thanks for your interest in beekeeping. This is a good forum to learn about bees. The tutorials ("Backyard Beekeeping Course") on the main beemaster page are very well done. That's where I started several years ago.

I also suggest getting in touch with a local beekeeping club. Many clubs offer beginning beekeeping classes, and they are great places to find mentors and get connected with nearby beekeepers.
http://www.tnbeekeepers.org/locals.htm

Bee warned: before you know it you'll be hooked!
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suprstakr
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Location: Pineville Mo


« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2008, 09:29:02 AM »

HI just jump in !!! I did for the same reason (no bees ) 3 yrs ago . Now with 10 langs and 1 top bar , I'm having a blast and my garden is polinated . WELLCOME !!
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SgtMaj
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« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2008, 11:40:43 AM »

Well I'm not even sure I want to keep bees yet... I don't have much land... just a 100 x 100 lot so wherever they are, they would be in fairly close proximity to humans... unless I could suspend a hive from one of the eves... one end of the house is as high as if it were a 2 story house due to the slope of the land... if I could put a hive up under the eve of the house, that might work... otherwise I'm just interrested in re-attracting the natural wild (or other ppl's tame) bees.
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qa33010
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« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2008, 12:22:53 PM »

Well attraction of other local bees is cool.  My lot is quite small also.  One neighbor built a seven foot privacy fence, a couple years before I decided to have bees, and the bees are right there.  They are also about six feet from my back door.
    It all depends on zoning and what kind of neighbors you have and open lines of communication.  I let all neighbors know I was getting them by starting with; "If I gave you free honey from the hive would that be alright?"  All answered positively and we have kept those lines open.  I also educated the neighborhood kids about bees and gave them a heads up of what to expect.  Also offerred to suit them up and let them get in the hives with me, no takers, they decided they would pass after they saw me all sweaty and nasty when I finished inspections.  I have good neighbors and they do love free honey.
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Everyone said it couldn't be done. But he with a chuckle replied, "I won't be one to say it is so, until I give it a try."  So he buckled right in with a trace of a grin.  If he had a worry he hid it and he started to sing as he tackled that thing that couldn't be done, and he did it.  (unknown)
derrick1p1
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« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2008, 04:40:12 PM »

I'm in Atlanta on a 50x100 ft. lot.  Neighbors are less than 20ft away on both sides.  I put my hives next to my shed near the back property line (no fence).  I let everyone know what I was doing when asked.  Now everyone knows about it. 

Some either are very interested or could care less.  Either way it has worked out very well so far.  I was also on good terms with all of my neighbors before I started, so that helped too.

Hope you'll join us.  You won't regret it and you'll get hooked.


Best of luck,
Derrick
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I won't let grass grow under my feet, there will be plenty of time to push up daisies.
SgtMaj
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« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2008, 01:03:17 AM »

How do you mow the lawn near the hives... or do you?  That could be another problem for me...

I like the hanging hive idea... that seems to me to be the best of both worlds... does anyone know if that's even possible?  Or will honey bees insist on a ground-based hive?
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indypartridge
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« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2008, 06:24:55 AM »

How do you mow the lawn near the hives... or do you?  That could be another problem for me...

I zoom past on my mower, making sure the 'throw' is  away from the hives. Many beeks mow around their hives right at sunset, when the bees are mostly tucked in for the night. Some put mulch around their hives, old carpet scraps, feed bags, whatever, to keep the grass down. Lots of options.

Quote
I like the hanging hive idea... that seems to me to be the best of both worlds... does anyone know if that's even possible?  Or will honey bees insist on a ground-based hive?

Actually, it's unnatural for honey bees to be ground-based. We put the hives on the ground for OUR convenience.  As for a suspended hive - I won't say 'impossible - but it certainly would present several challenges: 1) In a good year - lots of honey - total weight will be a couple hundred pounds. 2) Size of hive will vary as you add honey supers, top feeders, etc. 3) How to manipulate the hive, ie. unstacking the boxes to check the bees, when it's suspended? (Remember the boxes can be quite HEAVY.)

Lastly, note that "the Beemaster" began beekeeping on a 110' x 60' residential lot:
http://www.beemaster.com/site/honeybee/bee4you.html

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marliah
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« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2008, 06:28:03 AM »

I live on a 60' x 100' lot and my bees seem to be happy enough Wink so don't let lot size scare ya. Smiley
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Tara
beekeeper in central Maine
Finally getting bees again! 6/12/13
SgtMaj
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« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2008, 06:50:00 AM »

Actually, it's unnatural for honey bees to be ground-based. We put the hives on the ground for OUR convenience.  As for a suspended hive - I won't say 'impossible - but it certainly would present several challenges: 1) In a good year - lots of honey - total weight will be a couple hundred pounds. 2) Size of hive will vary as you add honey supers, top feeders, etc. 3) How to manipulate the hive, ie. unstacking the boxes to check the bees, when it's suspended? (Remember the boxes can be quite HEAVY.)

I was kinda hoping to NOT check or manipulate the hive... you know, just let them be.  I'm much more interrested in the veggies from the garden than I am in the honey... though, don't get me wrong, I do like honey... it's just that when it comes down to it, I'd rather have the conveinience of not checking in on them.  I was also thinking it might be possible to control the size of the hive by controlling the size of the box... small box = less weight, right?  I don't need a giant hive... even a small hive would be enough to pollinate my fruit trees and veggies.
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Cindi
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« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2008, 10:02:41 AM »

SgtMaj.  Welcome to our forum, you are already asking questions and getting answers.  Ask more questions, you will get more answers.  This is a place where you will learn how to keep some bees, you need some, only a few tomatoes on a few bushes, if there were bees, they may be better fruit set on those tomatoes that you do have.  The bees must be declining in the area, I would suspect that the beekeeper no longer keeps bees and there are not many feral in your area, you will hear more comments.

You should seriously think about becoming a beekeeper, others in your area, as well as yourself, would benefit from your bees, that would be a great contribution to an area that is lacking bee-power, hee, hee.

Stick around, enjoy your stay with us, and one day, you may become an aspiring beekeeper, that would be a good thing.  Have a most wonderful day, dream about your future beekeeping.......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
derrick1p1
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« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2008, 10:45:52 AM »

Unfortunately, keeping a beehive without scheduled inspections or management will not be possible.  At not at least on a long term basis.  There are many outside factors that can affect the health of a hive.  And even healthy hives must be managed to prevent swarming, robbing and natural pests.

With that said, depending on your goals, hive management can be a very rewarding hobby and won't take a great deal of your time if you intend to keep just 1-2 hives. 

I liken it (beekeeping) to other interests... like gardening.  You can't plant seeds and just let them be, you must nurture the garden to an extent depending on the crop and size. 

As for suspending the hive, I can't see much benefit to this unless you have bears in your immediate area.  Otherwise, it will mean more work for you in the end.  Are you worried about having them at ground level because of possible complaints from neighbors, mowing, flight path etc?  If so, having it suspended won't address these issues really. (most likely, these issues wouldn't really come to light in most cases).

As for mowing around the hive, I don't have a problem.  The 3-4 feet in front of my hives is pine straw.  I mow, water and weed eat just a few feet from the hives and don't have a problem unless I linger for along time.  Otherwise, they are more concerned with foraging for nectar/pollen than with my lawn care.

I hope this helps....and that you decide to join us in this wonderful experience.

Derrick
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I won't let grass grow under my feet, there will be plenty of time to push up daisies.
SgtMaj
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« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2008, 11:01:52 PM »

Lots of good information here, and from reading these replies and other posts... I am warming up to the idea of keeping a hive, and will definately put up a mason bee nest box (or 2) as well.

One good bit of news is that today there was a honey bee in my clover patch... or at least I think it was a honey bee.  didn't have the orange and black striped abdomen, it looked all black, but otherwise looked like a normal honey bee.  It was the only one though.  But still that is encouraging that they haven't all disappeared from the area.

PS - I do have black bears here.  Last year a neighbor had one at his back door.  But so far they haven't bothered my chickens, so I don't expect they would bother the bees either. 
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Brian D. Bray
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I really look like this, just ask Cindi.


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« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2008, 08:33:32 PM »

You realize of course that the fish in your avatar doesn't have enough stripes to be a SgtMjr.
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Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
SgtMaj
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« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2008, 09:26:45 PM »

You realize of course that the fish in your avatar doesn't have enough stripes to be a SgtMjr.

The shot was taken at a funny angle... but I assure you that's what they are. 
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