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Author Topic: Where to start?  (Read 2625 times)

Offline silverjump

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Where to start?
« on: January 02, 2005, 11:48:15 PM »
Hello, I have been interested in beekeeping for a while now and I have contacted a local club, but I'm kind of frozen in right now because I don'te know wherer to go from here. I am trying to get a mentor but after that it's foggy.  Since I live in a town where I'm sure it's illegal to raise bees in town how should I go about keeping bees?  Would you recomend that I just help a local beekeeper or should I ask a famer about keeping a hive or two on their land?  Any other ideas?  Thanks for the input.

Offline Horns Pure Honey

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Where to start?
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2005, 12:00:47 AM »
I would say all the moderators are great people to ask and there are others that are not moderators that are great too. I would say off the top of my head that Finman and Beemaster have helped me the most, but alot of others are great help to. I would read through alot of the old post and get bee keeping for dumies, That is what I did and now I am starting a bee business with my dad next spring. I would also check into the farmer thing to, that is a good idea, you can charge farmers for that service but since you cant keep bees on your land I would say it is a good trade, bees to polinate for free as long as you can keep the hives on there land. bye
Ryan Horn

Offline Beth Kirkley

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Where to start?
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2005, 01:17:58 AM »
(sigh) hmmm .... where to start

I'd say check into your local ordinances. You might get lucky and find you can keep bees - with maybe a few rules or something. There may not be ANY ordinances on bees, and it might just be a matter of warming up some neighbors to the idea. Neighbors are usually a bigger problem than the city rules.

Get more info on bees. The more you know, the more you'll get hooked. The more hooked you are, the more you're willing to "fight" to have bees. Beekeeping for Dummies is a great book - and if you didn't know already, I'd like to brag a little about our "Beemaster" John - he took many of the fantastic photos in that book - probably ALL the best ones. :)

And yes, finding other beekeepers in your area is a great idea. In whatever way you have bees, when you're learning, there's nothing better than having someone at hand to actually LOOK in your hive to see what's going on. This forum is always here to help - with a fair to good description, and pictures really help. If you don't already have a digital camera, get one. You will fall deeply in love with your bees, and will soon be showing your friends photo albums of the bees instead of the kids or last vacation. Actually, even your vacations will change - you'll be searching out bees, and come home with pictures mostly of bees and/or flowers.

Having a hive on a farm is a pretty easy arrangement, and benefits you, the bees, and the farmer. You'd probably get a larger honey harvest having the bees on the right farm compared to city life. Bees know where to find honey where ever they are though - traveling 3 miles (sometimes more) to harvest what they need.

Once the plan is set, and you know for sure you're getting bees, then start saving the pennies (and dollars). Beekeeping is not really a cheap hobby. I know I spent over $300 in the first 6 months or so to get started. I'm pretty well set, for now. But if I do split my hive next year like I have plans to, I'll have to spend $150-$300 to buy the frames for the expanding hives. And I'm only in my second year. LOL :) Oh, but you can make money off your bees - I've made $20 or so selling some honey. (I give most of it away, and then silly me, I have to buy store honey the rest of the year.)

Over all - I am not a rich person, fairly poor moneywise - but I love doing bees, so I find ways to pull the money together. I wish I had been doing bees all my life - it's the most enjoyable hobby I've ever started.

So go for it - find what way works for you, and just do it. :)

Offline Lesli

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Where to start?
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2005, 08:56:15 AM »
I joined a club first, too. I'd say you have a choice: if your club has hives, you can spend the coming season learning from their hives. Or you can order a package of bees and some equipment, and get set for summer!

The advice of others is good. Get books. Besides Beekeeping for Dummies, I like John Vivian's Keeping Bees, and the ABC and XYZ of Beekeeping. Check your local library--they may have any or all of these.

Check for a Cooperative Extension center in your area. They will have info on regulations, and help. Or ask your Bee Club.

If you want to start in the spring, you should order your packages of bees soon--there's a shortage expected. My advice is to start with two hives. That way, if something goes wrong with one, you're still a beekeeper. :)

People in my club are really helpful with the local info--I'm sure yours are, too.

Offline TwT

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Where to start?
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2005, 09:08:01 AM »
you should also call your county extension office and they will send you what ever information you will need to keep bee's in your area. this is what i was told when i was getting started by some beekeeper's. they sent me state laws on beekeeping, what to plant for my area, pest in my area, all kinds of good stuff from the UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA.

Never be afraid to try something new.
Amateurs built the ark,
Professionals built the Titanic

Offline Lesli

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Where to start?
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2005, 09:14:25 AM »
Yes--around here, it's the Cornell Cooperative Extension. Try a Google search for your county name, plus "cooperative extension."


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Where to start?
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2005, 10:06:25 AM »
I second most of the advice you have been given here.
(1. having hives of your own as you learn is is some thing you will have to decide. If you can keep them near your home I vote for the have now as you can go sit by the hives and watch what they are doing with out bothering A club member.
(2. Yes, two hive are better than one because you can also compair how they are doing. Like one appears to be getting weak but you wouldn't know if you didn't have the second hive near by to compair to.
(3 by all means do make that call, assuming the local laws do not allow bee keeping with in the city limits can take a lot of pleasure from you.
(4. I really do recommend a club, You will have more knowlege to draw from when you think there is a problem. also you may be able to get a couple of nucs of bees from club members,  rather than buying packages. Also with being a club member you might be able to work out a share croppers deal on getting you honey extracted for a persentage. I have worked out such a deal with one of our club member not only do I get my honey extracted for a persentage but It also gets sold for a percentage.
(5. You might be able to save a little money on wooden ware if you like wood working and have some bacic tools. There are links to plans here.
Before buying feeders check out the pizza joints for glass gallon jars for free. Look in the construction forum here to see how they are used.
 :D Al