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Author Topic: Learning to keep hives  (Read 582 times)
Terry N
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Location: Cresson, Penna.


« on: June 11, 2013, 01:55:00 PM »

Has anybody paid to go to a school to learn to keep healthy hives,recognize problems Penn State has 1 some bee clubs may do for free......i need to know a-z and recognize problems.
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Moots
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Location: Gonzales LA (Southeastern Louisiana)


« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2013, 06:22:15 PM »

Terry,
I'm a new Beek myself, caught the fever around late October and had two Nucs by mid January.  Since then I've caught a number of swarms, including some of my own and currently have 8 hives and a couple of trapouts in progress.

I've never done a structured class, so really can't offer an option one way on the other.  I will say this, there is a plethora of information available on the internet, tons of knowledgeable folks that spend time and effort making youtube videos to share everything from tips on making wooden ware to spotting problems and caring for your bees.

This forum along is invaluable as a resource for a new Beek, plenty of folks on here with lots of experience willing to help out in any way they can.  Sure you'll get some conflicting opinions, a good first lesson to learn is that concerning bees, there is seldom one right way of doing anything, you have to find and be comfortable with what works for you.

I would also suggest a local bee club and trying to find a local mentor if at all possible.  There will be times you feel totally lost, having someone willing to ride out and put not only a fresh set of eyes on it, but an experienced set goes a long way.

Good luck and welcome to the forum!  
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Terry N
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« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2013, 08:16:26 PM »

Thank you for those words, that was a nice way to say it. Nice to be on this forum, I know a guy that wants to teach, so I guess I will go his way..May God bless you and thanks...lets keep our bees moving.
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10framer
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« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2013, 03:05:24 PM »

up until the mid to late 80's auburn university had an apiaries studies department.  i worked at the bee lab my first year in college.  i never took the class but i assisted in several when i was in high school.  it was a pretty good program.  there was a bee yard at the lab and there were field trips to some of the commercial yards in the area.  if the program in pa is similar it would be good experience but in the end you'd do just as well finding an experienced beekeeper that's willing to work with you and doing some reading.   good luck!
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edward
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« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2013, 11:14:18 PM »

I've been paid to take a Three day course  grin

But it was so I could beecome the local  police inspector  police


But normally we pay for food and rental of the building we have for guest speakers to inform and raise the knowledge of the local beekeepers.

mvh Edward  tongue
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Nature Coast Beek
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Suck it up, buttercup!


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« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2013, 07:09:33 AM »

Last night I saw a bee class listed on eBay for $250. Some "commercial" beekeeping outfit in Georgia... Right now bees are as hot as Hold-'Em poker was in about 2005. Everyone THINKS they want to keep bees and just as many seem to WANT to "save the bees" or "make their living" doing bees. Problem is that all these classes have VERY FEW credible and credentialed teachers heading them. When learning ANYTHING you must first know what the ACCEPTED MAINSTREAM is. The Internet is good, but waaaaay to much fringe coupled with information overload. I feel sorry for those that rely solely on forums for source information and success with bees. I suppose the same can be said of bee clubs (never attended one personally, not much of a "club" person)

If you want a structured way to learn bees going a more "independent study" route--look into a sanctioned Master Beekeeper Program. Sometimes it's hard to pin down these programs, but the effort is usually worth it. The Florida program is pretty specific and intensive. All the recommended reading lists are there for anyone interested to find. Even if you don't actually take the course, you can still research the posted curriculum. Use that as a guide coupled with the suggest reading list. I have also found that getting a subscription to one of the beekeeping journals helpful. Granted these journals can almost bee as comical as forums, but they do contain lots of good information from industry voices. Lastly, any keeper really serious about the "inside baseball" of beekeeping needs to be frequenting university bee websites. The USDA and extension.org bee website are also good jumping-off points for fact-based bee information.

Again, right now beekeeping is a hot trend (maybe even in a bubble) and with that comes all the "gurus" and "experts". If it's on the Internet it must be true....right??? For me, in the end, it's all about becoming a student of the bees.


Good luck and enjoy yer B's.

 
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timdalyiii
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« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2013, 08:10:31 PM »

I took a three day Beekeeping class at Rutgers University in NJ before I had bees.  I thought it was great. Even the two instructors (the two state bee inspectors) often  disagreed.
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JPinMO
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« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2013, 12:44:38 AM »

Terry, I could give my right arm to be back home in Centre County and be able to get to Dear Old State for Beek education!

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BAH
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« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2013, 07:26:46 AM »

I must say it is always great to further your education in any field. I for one am a student at UT and now am getting into keeping bees. We have a great Ag dept. and will say I have learned a lot from others who keep and research bees (http://bees.tennessee.edu/). But... know I have yet to be in a room where all beek's agree on one method. There will be some older beek's who say "they know all there is to know!". Then you have the nerds <--- me)  cheesy That thinks there is more than one way to skin a cat! I say this because as much as we know about the bees, the more we don't know and the best way I have learned is question everything, no matter how mad others get, and get involved with anything black and yellow! Hoping you know what I mean  tongue. So I have joined many clubs and keep reading, even old outdated material, so you can see what works for others. All bees are different and many factors should be taken into account. Temp, climate, nectar, amount of bees, age of queen and etc.. Just with that statement we will have those that say "bees are bees". Well if you stress a colony of bees there is more than one way they can handle it! Just saying... don't rely on just what you read or hear. My Professor always tells me to "chew the meat and spit out the bones", only you can decide what is the bones. Your bees your rules! Jerry Test the waters and have no fear they can smell it  grin. No need for paying big bucks in my opinion, 15,000 years ago they were keeping bees without schools and treating it as a trade... an art! Good luck to you and your bees you will be fine, my tip is try and stay natural! 
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