Need Bees Removed?
International
Beekeeping Forums
December 21, 2014, 09:36:10 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News: Beemaster's official FACEBOOK page
 
   Home   Help Search Calendar bee removal Login Register Chat  

Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Starting up in the mountains of Wine Country....  (Read 1638 times)
jenjoyce
New Bee
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 4

Location: Napa Valley, California


« on: December 22, 2005, 05:26:14 PM »

Greetings Bee People!   I am going to just take the plunge... this year.  Not sure about exact timing yet,  as I must research a ton first, but I've been thinking about doing this for a couple years now.  My boyfriend and I just moved into a cabin, in the forested mountains, with vineyards neighboring on practically all sides within a 1/4 to 1/2 mile, in addition to dense vegetation of native madrones, manzanita, firs.

I am about to plant the big garden I have waited for, this spring, and would love to try beekeeping along with it !  Of course,  now I am wondering what I should plant to make their honey taste extra wonderful.   The best honey I've yet tasted was Blackberry Blossom from Oregon, and there are some wild blackberries in the area. I wonder if I should plant more, or if a few established wild patches about a 1/2 mile away would work.

 want to plant the whole garden fence in fragrant shrub roses (inside, so deer don't devour too badly)... along with a few fruit trees and citrus.  I'm guessing that a bee keeper must greatly influence the taste of the honey by what is planted...

Heres' a few questions, to start,  but I will browse around the Learning Center in the mean time, and maybe find out for myself --

 Is it just fine to let them gather haphazardly, from the varied sources in my garden, and still get an exceptional flavor?

How far do the bees prefer (as in , what they consider optimal) to fly for their food?

How much can I really expect to control their diet?

And lastly, how far from the garden should I plan to put the hive?

I can't wait to find out what shape all of your combined experience is going to take.  Thank you so much already!  ~Jen
Logged

I hope... um, rather...  I *think* I am ready for this...
Michael Bush
Universal Bee
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 13967


Location: Nehawka, NE


WWW
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2005, 10:57:44 PM »

As far as controling their diet.  You can't.  As far as having what you plant make any difference, it probably won't.  But I'd plant for the hard times. Early and late and during drought are when they need all the help they can get.  Otherwise they are foraging the 8000 acres around you quite thouroughly.  They will know the 2 miles around you like their back yard and will occasionally fly further.

Early:  Dandelions, crocuses, pussywillows, elms, mapels, wild plums, chokecherries.

Late: Goldenrod, Aster, Smartweed, Buckwheat, Chickory.

Drought: Chickory, Buckwheat.

Middle:  Huban clover, white sweet clover, yellow sweet clover, dutch clover (NOT RED CLOVER).
Logged

Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
jenjoyce
New Bee
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 4

Location: Napa Valley, California


« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2005, 03:49:31 PM »

Michael, thank you! Really... two miles?Huh  Since this is mountain wooded country,  I doubt I'll be able to plant a whole lot of sun loving ground stuff... but if I could probably manage to plant some of the things that you mentioned, thanks!

I hear what you're saying about not getting hung up on what they forage,  but to offer something in the colder season if possible.  Okay,  I surrender control ; the honey will 'be what it wants to be' .  I am not going to be able to have Oregon Blackberry blossom honey if I tried... heh, heh.  I get it.

In the west mountains of Napa Valley California, we are in a zone 14/15 , a long growing season area,  so I think there really is a very short time that there's no food --one month probably, maybe two.  I noticed , in fact,  that the manzanitas (dense hardwood shrubs all over the place) are ALREADY blooming their fragrant little bell shaped flowers!  In early February, the wild plums will explode in bloom (use to be prune orchard in this area,  so there are thousands of volunteer plums around).  Then, there are several hundreds of acres of vineyard within 3 miles, for sure.  The thousands of madrone trees blossom in about April I think.  I mean,  with the natives alone, plus all the wild mustard which comes in Feb in the vineyards,  I didn't really think this winter/early spring will starve the bees,  but I will look into planting some for the earliest possible months.

One question still left hanging.  I am trying to 'design' my fenced in garden area, and am not sure how close I should put the bees to the house/garden.  What is usually done?  We have 10 acres,  mostly dense woods, but there are some cleared areas which have more openess ; around the house,  and on a steep slope about 500 yards away.  I have read that they might like to have their hives in the cover of the trees,  but that can create problems too?

 I have so much to learn,  and I don't mean to exploit the forum in leu of research,  but it sure helps to have some cameraderie right off the bat.  I so much appreciate it.

~jen
Logged

I hope... um, rather...  I *think* I am ready for this...
Michael Bush
Universal Bee
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 13967


Location: Nehawka, NE


WWW
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2005, 08:07:29 PM »

>One question still left hanging. I am trying to 'design' my fenced in garden area, and am not sure how close I should put the bees to the house/garden. What is usually done?

Put the bees where it is convenient for you.  You should be able to drive right up to the hives so you aren't lugging 60 pounds medium supers full of honey across the yard.

All other things being equal, I like them in full sun.  If you can't get that morning sun is nice.
Logged

Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
jenjoyce
New Bee
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 4

Location: Napa Valley, California


« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2005, 10:12:50 PM »

Okay,  that is just the advice I need.  I think I'll look into putting the hive about 500 feet from the house/garden,  on side of the dirt road up to it.  The hive should get at least morning sun then,  and protection from north wind as well.  

One more question on this topic then ;  how close to the dirt road, where walkers often hike by,  is considerate to both bees and hikers, do you think?
Logged

I hope... um, rather...  I *think* I am ready for this...
Michael Bush
Universal Bee
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 13967


Location: Nehawka, NE


WWW
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2005, 09:04:48 AM »

There are hikers and walkers in front of my hives and they face the road and they are about 25 feet from the road.  If they faced the opposite way, they could probably be closer.  I've had then ten feet from my door before.  As long as you keep an eye on them and be prepared to requeen if they get grouchy, you can get by with being pretty close.  If they get mean, you should requeen.  They will get mean with you, opening the hive, probably, before they get rowdy with someone 25 feet away.

The most difficult decisions to change, after you've invested time and money in them are equipment.  The "typical" hive is two deeps for brood and shallows or mediums for honey and all ten frames wide.  A ten frame deep full of honey weighs 90 pounds.  A ten frame medium full of honey weighs 60 pounds.  I've changed over to all mediums and all eight frames.  An eight frame medium full of honey weighs 48 pounds.  You need to decide how much you want to lift.
Logged

Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
jenjoyce
New Bee
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 4

Location: Napa Valley, California


« Reply #6 on: December 25, 2005, 08:10:21 PM »

Michael,  thank you once more.  I quickly browsed your website.  I'll go back and read in depth.  It seems to me I can learn a lot from your generous documenting.  Bees are fascinating for sure.

Merry Christmas....

~Jen
Logged

I hope... um, rather...  I *think* I am ready for this...
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Beemaster's Beekeeping Ring
Previous | Home | Join | Random | Next
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.20 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines | Sitemap Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.266 seconds with 22 queries.

Google visited last this page November 16, 2014, 11:45:49 AM