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Author Topic: New Member in Central Alabama  (Read 1305 times)

Offline Shutrbug

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New Member in Central Alabama
« on: September 23, 2013, 01:35:00 PM »
Greetings, everyone!  My wife asked me if we could keep bees, so I enthusiastically agreed.  We've been to a couple of the Jefferson County Beekeepers Association meetings, and I've just learned at last week's meeting that the state convention is THIS WEEKEND.  Trying to cram on the site here to see if I need to go or not.  I don't even own a hive or any supplies yet.  At this point we've only bought books and a DVD to study.

We have a large backyard with a nice concrete slab in it that used to be a greenhouse, we think.  It's away from the house and it gets morning sun, so we seem to be in a good position to get started.

The biggest unanswered questions seem to be around how we will treat the bees.  Do we medicate them?  Do we stay green and hope they don't get sick?  Do we try to use a bar top hive so the bees feel more natural than a Langstroth hive?  Oh, my.  We were expecting to read through the summer and buy a hive box before Spring so we'd be ready to start next year.  But we already have decisions to make!  It's going to be a fun journey, and we're looking forward to it.  We have a 2-year-old who will hopefully grow up learning a great skill to pass on.


Offline Joe D

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Re: New Member in Central Alabama
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2013, 09:38:57 PM »
Welcome to the forum, Kyle.  You said that you have been to your local bee club a couple of times, that may be where you want to start looking for your bees.  You may want to try making some of your equipment also.  As far as the treating, some do some don't.  So far I have treated for SHB but not for mites.  Read Micheals comments on treating.  Whether you do or not you will probably lose a few for whatever reason occasionally.  Beek is very addictive.  Good luck to you in your new quest.


Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: New Member in Central Alabama
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2013, 10:36:54 PM »
Welcome to the forum Kyle.
I am not treating my hives. I do use screen top and bottom boards to control small hive beetles, SHB.
Good luck.
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain
"The majority of problems are imaginary and the majority of solutions are illusions."--Michael Bush

Offline tefer2

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Re: New Member in Central Alabama
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2013, 08:56:05 AM »
Welcome to the forum Kyle.

Offline buzzbee

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Re: New Member in Central Alabama
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2013, 08:00:42 AM »
Welcome to the forum. :)
Do not treat if they are not sick.
It is a matter of debate whether top bars are more natural than langstroth. Do what you are more at ease with.
What is the agenda of the State convention? Is it just a poltical type business meeting for the big guys, or does it have seminars for the enthusiasts. If it is the former, I would guess you will get much more from your local bee meetings. Ask at your meeting about mentoring. There may be some  volunteers available to guide you in your decisions. Small scale  beekeepers are usually more than happy to share their opinions on how to do things.
And to say the least,we have 6500 members here on the forum. Many are very active and will be more than glad to answer any questions you may have. You most likely will find some of the members are from your neck of the woods sharing the same type of problems you may encounter.
Do not be afraid to ask questions here, we keep it family friendly , and most of us here remember that we were first timers with a lot of the same questions.

Offline rwlaw

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Re: New Member in Central Alabama
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2013, 08:55:27 PM »
Greetings kyle, sounds like you got a good spot for your hive. My only bit of advice is don't panic if something doesn't look right, the bees'll be around till you get some answers [I speak from experience  :-D)
Can't ever say that bk'n ain't a learning experience!

Offline Foxhound

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« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2013, 11:57:18 PM »
Hey Kyle, I'm in Birmingham as well and go to the jeffco meetings. The most vocal members of the group are very pro-treatments, but there are lots of people in the Birmingham area that don't use any of the hard treatments. I would be happy to help you guys get started next year. I've  only been keeping bees for only a couple years, but hopefully I could still help. I've built a top bar hive, but haven't used it. I have a couple of langstroths that I use successfully without foundation. If you want to get in touch, feel free to email. Adamrhickman@gmail.com

Offline JPinMO

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Re: New Member in Central Alabama
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2013, 03:05:10 AM »
Welcome, Kyle! Our 3-year-old grandson loves to watch our bees! As a matter of fact, we have to keep an eye on him outside, he'll jump off his bike and run over to the hives...!  :shock:
"Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters
cannot be trusted in large ones either."  Albert Einstein

Offline GSF

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Re: New Member in Central Alabama
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2013, 06:56:00 AM »
Welcome Kyle,

I'm south of you in nw Elmore county. I'm about 14.5 miles south of exit 205 (peach park in Clanton).

Hollar if I can help, just started beekeeping this June. Done a ton of reading but lacking the hands on experience. I've built 8 swarm traps and I'm working on building supers.
Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.