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Author Topic: Hello from a NEWbie  (Read 2202 times)
bqueenMT
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Location: Missoula, Montana


« on: April 10, 2005, 12:18:27 PM »

Am I glad I found this place! Hello to everyone! I will be keeping my first colony of bees this summer and look forward to participating in a forum like this.

I live in the harsh, dry climate of Western Montana (Missoula), and will be keeping bees as close to my home as possible. I would prefer keeping them in my own yard, but I don't have a suitable place for them. The entire yard is full southern exposure (we have no backyard), and it is full of vegetable garden. The bees come on May 10th to the local supply store - I CAN'T WAIT!  Cheesy

I have been courting several friends and others to find a good site that is close to home - at least for this first year so I can keep close tabs on things while I am still learning. A woman who grows lavendar offered be a place up on her new property when she cultivates her new crops starting this summer. Anyone know what lavendar honey tastes like?

Well, four weeks and counting until the little buggers come! It is like waiting for the birth of a baby. My father has been a hobby beekeeper in Minnesota for about 7 years now, so he is always a phone call away for advice. I have a great book : The New Complete Guide to Beekeeping by Roger Morse, a hand-me-down hive from dad, and my basic tools as well. I am on my way!

I can't wait to share information - I hope I can offer some from time to time. I may do much lurking and reading at first. Hasta luego, amigos nuevos!
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2005, 01:30:42 PM »

What is wrong with full southern exposure? Are you worried about the direct sun light? I hear it's good for bees. And the bees sure would help your garden.
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Lesli
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« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2005, 04:33:13 PM »

I agree. Your own backyard would be fine. If it gets very hot, paint a light color, and make sure they have water.

I've heard lavender honey is good--but remember that bees need more than one crop. Lavender doesn't bloom forever. Are there wild flowers, weeds, fruit trees, berries, etc. in the area?
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« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2005, 04:57:47 PM »

WELCOME Smiley

Sounds like everything is working GREAT in the bee yard and in life - I am thinking I'd love to place a hive in the middle of that garden if it were possible? Facing South isn't at all a bad thing, East is idea to get the up early, but it sure beats being in the North side of the house in total shade all the time.

I hope you find a great place to place them. I don't know about the lavander honey, sounds like (and I'm just guessing) it is a pollen thing, more than nectar.

Although, I can't imagine a prettier thing than a field of lavander with bee hives in it Smiley

Glad you found our forums, I know sharing your tales as the season developes will be INTEREST to all of us and THERAPY for you - it's handy having people will ALL LEVELS of beekeeping experience in one place, we can all tap on each other.

I work for the Federal Government, and the policy was ALWAYS to let NEW WORKER be taught by the PREVIOUS hired new worker - the concept is that, a seasoned employee doesn't recognise the uniqueness of their own enviroment. Where the last person hired has a list 3 feet long to share with the new employee.

Beekeeping is a good place for that concept too! Having someone who JUST received and installed their bees can be a valuable aid when setting up for your own hives - especially if they are your first.

I wonder how much help you gave your father with the bees? I believe that assisting is a great way to enter a hobby. I learned as a teen from a friend and he learned from his father.

Anyways Smiley Welcome aboard, I hope the next four weeks go by quickly and your delivery is timely. I've been reading posts where SURPRIZE early deliveries have caught a few people off guard some - so be prepared just in case.

Talk again soon Smiley
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bqueenMT
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« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2005, 05:52:44 PM »

I guess I was worried about putting them in my front yard with full southern exposure for a couple of reasons - some my father pointed out to me. He says the bees like some afternoon shade (as does my handy book) - can they do okay without it? It can be 100-105 degrees in July and August here, and MAN is it hot in the yard!! I know the little critters can spend much time and energy trying to cool the hive by fanning it with their wings when they could be out foraging.

Also, I hesitate to put them out where the world can see since I know there are some people who still harbor fears of bees. I think it would be a much easier decision if we had a backyard - the house is butt-up against the alley with all the yard in the front. There is one place in the fruit garden that may be a possibility... If I could just attract less attention from passerbys. People stop all the time anyway to talk gardening.

I am still excited about the lavendar prospect, though. I could get a couple/few going up there - as long as there is a water source.

Thanks for the input so far, I'm sure I will be the gracious recipient of more.
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2005, 10:26:40 PM »

From things I have read, if you use a screened or open bottom and some ventilation out the top, the bees will be fine. Keep water around for them as they can make their own evaporative cooler that way.

Mine are in the wide open. Not even any wind breaks around here (yet) so I'm going with an open bottom, quarter inch wire screen to keep out the mice, about a foot off the ground. Later when temps get really hot I will open up the top a little.
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Beth Kirkley
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« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2005, 11:44:10 PM »

Ventilation from the bottom works well. You'd be surprized. The tough part (in my opinion) with having a hive in full sun is the fact that YOU have to be in full sun too when working the hive. My hives get a little late afternoon shade, so that's when I usually work the hive during the summer so I can get some shade too.

Sounds like you're on you way. Smiley And like John said - get fully prepared. Those weeks will go by quickly, and if you have any last minute things to do, then by all means get them done.

Beth
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firetool
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« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2005, 09:03:49 AM »

You could always change things. Like hang a shade cloth, like they use on green house and gardens. I am thinking of putting one up at the house to screen the hives and garden. They are big to I am just guessing but I would say at least 30 ft square I would have to mesure it. If this sounds like some thing you would like to try. Just let me know I can get them for you at a good price.

Brian

P.S.- please pm my to make sure I get it.
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Horns Pure Honey
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« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2005, 11:12:10 AM »

I like the idea about the shade cloth, I think it would work very well. Cheesy
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Ryan Horn
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