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Author Topic: What prompted you to start keeping bees?  (Read 1360 times)

Offline edward

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What prompted you to start keeping bees?
« on: December 08, 2013, 07:09:39 PM »
A good question

Why did you decide to bee a beekeeper?


mvh Edward  :-P

Offline iddee

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Re: What prompted you to start keeping bees?
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2013, 07:13:28 PM »
Started when I was hired to drive 500 hives 1350 miles south for the winter, times 5 trips. By the end, I was hooked.
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Offline Variable

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Re: What prompted you to start keeping bees?
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2013, 07:26:23 PM »
For me it is a few reasons I guess. I think the combination of my father having bees when I was young (5-10 or so. I should ask my dad when he did it...) as well as all the loss of bees I keep hearing about on the news and a swarm I witnessed earlier this year just did it. My family (wife and two daughters) keep a few hundred square feet of vegetables and berries in our garden and thought adding bees would be a benefit to us all. My 4 year old seems very interested and has been drawing lots of pictures of bees and hives. I guess that is what you get when you expose them to hundreds of hours of bees on youtube..... It should be a fun spring next year. My kids and I (wife not interested..... yet) geared up full suit with long gloves and boots  :) opening the hive with wonder.... should bee good. Look forward to posting pics and videos for all to see and hopefully get some constructive criticism. Always wanting to learn....

On a tangent... I was diagnosed about 20 years ago as needing an EpiPen for bee stings. This scares me a little and I DO plan on getting tested again but do NOT plan on changing my mind about keeping bees. Keeping from being stung (armored up) will just have to be the way it is then if I am still highly allergic to stings.
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Offline edward

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Re: What prompted you to start keeping bees?
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2013, 07:28:57 PM »
The main reason I beecame a beekeeper starts with the first sentence in A.A. Milne's book Winne The Pooh  :-D

The second thing I share with Pooh is the love of honey  ;)

Many years past and my mother gave me two tomato plants that had on my patio, they grew and gave a great harvest, the next year I bought seeds and grew many different kinds of tomatoes and an intrest for gardening was born  :cindi:

I visited a gardening show in the spring and there were two Cool astronauts Walking around and I started to talk to them, I've Always love honey, maybee I should get some bees!

Enrolled in a local beekeeping class 7 years later I have 50-60 hives , teach beekeeping to new beekeepers, chairman in the local beekeeping club


How about you ?


mvh Edward  :-P

PS I been more successful harvesting honey than Pooh with his balloon  :-D
« Last Edit: December 08, 2013, 07:50:03 PM by edward »

Offline 10framer

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Re: What prompted you to start keeping bees?
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2013, 12:40:40 AM »
as a little kid i had seen an observation hive at the county fair and  then when i was 11 years old my uncle owned a house on an island and one sunday morning i was fishing and a swarm flew in around me.  i had read the foxfire book series or at least some of it by then and had already been fascinated by the idea of keeping bees.  my parents asked around and it turned out that the state apiarist who was also a commercial beekeeper lived a few miles from me.  i was working for him and with dr. george blake at the auburn university apiary studies lab by the time i was 13.
i was fortunate to have parents that were willing to indulge me and to have so many experienced people so close by.

Offline Sour Kraut

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Re: What prompted you to start keeping bees?
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2013, 10:27:28 AM »
1961, I think I was 10 or 11, we were tearing down an old barn on the farm and came across these wooden boxes and Dad said 'those were bee hives, but they all died out'.

Curiosity and the Public Library did the rest, at 12 I obtained a hive for a 4-H project, then another and another.

Gave them away when I graduated High School, then got one back a few years later, and gave it away again when I moved to MN from IL

Summer of 86 I started assisting an older bee keeper who was down with arthritis, he had tons of unused equipment and said 'help yourself', it was a banner year for swarms (black locust bloomed FOREVER that spring !! ) by the next summer the sons and I had over 40, rented them out for pollination.

Had to sell them all off when I moved, but got back into it last year, as have # 2 and # 3 sons.

Now at 4 that I think will make it thru the winter, have geared-up for cut-outs and trap-outs next year and will spread the word after Jan 1.

Plus I'm having the grand-kids (all 7) assist me when they can, have to get young blood into the business.

Sure has changed over the years, tho.

Offline JanO

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Re: What prompted you to start keeping bees?
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2013, 12:29:21 PM »
What a great thread!  I never really thought about beekeeping until this last spring/summer.  Every year we have at least 2 swarms come through and land in a maple tree that stands between our driveway and the neighbors drive.  Usually we'd leave them alone and they'd fly off in a few hours.  This year they landed very low, about 3 ft. off the ground, and my toddler granddaughter was with us so we decided to have someone come out to collect them rather than run the risk of her finding them.  I found the process of collecting that swarm very interesting and was just amazed at how gentle the bees were.  I admit I've always had a little fear of all bees, having been stung by a hornet when I was a kid, but watching that swarm be removed prompted me to learn more about honey bees.  The more I learned the more intrigued I was.  Then a few months later my husband and I were at a local festival and we came across a fellow who was selling raw honey.  I only buy honey from local sources and was in need of some so we decided to purchase a jar. We got into a pretty detailed conversation with this fellow and by the time we left the decision was made.  We were going to get bees! 

Currently I'm reading everything I can, I'm ordering my hive bodies and accessories, been in touch with the local beekeepers association, located a class, and my husband is building a couple of swarm traps. I can't wait for Spring to get here.  :-D

Offline splitrock

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Re: What prompted you to start keeping bees?
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2013, 11:11:15 PM »
Was looking for a way to make some extra money off the 10 acres I live on in big ag country when I retire. It's one of the few business's I could operate from a small rural property with ag zoning and residential use. Only ag related business is permitted in my situation, and trying to make a living off 10 acres of dirt would mean vegetable garden and lots of hard work. And I'm tired of working in the dirt.

I am a concrete contractor, and after battling the human employees all day, it is really a joy to come home and see that incredible sky full of those that have been really working for you all day. I started with 4 hives 5 years ago, and I am now up to about 100.  I sure wish I would have found them several decades sooner.

Offline D Coates

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Re: What prompted you to start keeping bees?
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2013, 04:26:56 PM »
When I was a boy we lived on a lake in central TX where the nearest neighbor was 2.5 miles away.  I loved to fish but in the dead of summer there were no worms or grasshoppers to catch for bait.  Long story short I figured out a way to steal the hornet nests under the cliffs around my home without getting stung.  It's all on how their eyes work and moving very slowly and knowing when to close your eyes, hold your breath, and freeze.  I used the grubs as bait to catch perch that I'd then put on trotlines to catch catfish.  My now wife wanted to go fishing one time when she visited me over the summer while we were dating in college.  She thought I was nuts the first time she saw me steal a live hornets nest.  It didn't spook her off so I knew I'd found a good one.

I love honey, insects, critters, spending time in the woods and I'm very comfortable messing with things that can and will sting me.  I told my wife after 15 years of marriage while buying honey from a beekeeper at a farmers market that I've always wanted to keep bees (I have).  She turned to me and said "I didn't know that.  But it does fit you." That was 7 years ago.  Still with the same lovely wife and kids but now with 20 hives and growing.
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Offline Brother Dave

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Re: What prompted you to start keeping bees?
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2013, 09:19:42 PM »
I remember being impressed by a local beekeeper when I was in my early teens. I hope to pass the interest on to the young people in my area.


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Offline JackM

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Re: What prompted you to start keeping bees?
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2013, 08:29:36 AM »
Mine is pretty mundane, I just wanted to help the population of bees.  Honey and pollination are the side dishes.
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Offline o.molchanov

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Re: What prompted you to start keeping bees?
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2013, 10:26:58 AM »
Hmmm, good question. I decided to start beekeeping and to found the research group because I am hereditary beek and all our village are beeks too. Thus, I had no choice, but I do not regret about that decision. :)

Offline BeeDog

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Re: What prompted you to start keeping bees?
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2013, 12:39:47 PM »
Our main town's industry is beekeeping and I just really like bees... and yeah their sting is so sensational...  :-P :mrgreen: :angel:
It is highly recommend that split be done with only strong healthy hives that have at least two Brood Chambers with Brood in all stages of development. Frames with capped Brood should be split evenly between the two hives.

Offline JPinMO

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Re: What prompted you to start keeping bees?
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2013, 04:33:24 PM »
Our friend told us he sold $8,000 worth of honey the year before. That'll make your ears perk up.
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cannot be trusted in large ones either. – Albert Einstein

Offline Moots

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Re: What prompted you to start keeping bees?
« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2013, 04:41:26 PM »
Our friend told us he sold $8,000 worth of honey the year before. That'll make your ears perk up.

Yeah, too bad he forgot to mention that he had to spend $10,000 to do it.... :lau: :lau: :lau:
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Offline Jim 134

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Re: What prompted you to start keeping bees?
« Reply #15 on: December 11, 2013, 05:07:56 PM »
   When I was much younger a beekeeper lived a about 1/4 mile away and I asked him all kinds of questions and help him with his hives in all kinds always that was in 1957 and yes I'm still keeping bees now.  I must be getting old that was 56 years ago WOW.  I have kept bees as a hobby a sideline and worked for one of the largest pollinator in the USA and even in another country (Tunisia) in the Peace Corps.



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Offline capt44

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Re: What prompted you to start keeping bees?
« Reply #16 on: December 11, 2013, 08:36:50 PM »
I started with 2 hives to pollinate a garden and nursery.
That was around 10 years back, so with catching swarms and splitting hives I've grown.
I sold all but 8 hives last spring and summer and am gearing up to rebuild.
I setting up to raise queens again this next season.
I am now Vice President of our Bee Association and give instruction to many new beekeepers.
I too will be spreading the word again to catch swarms and do trap-outs come spring.
Richard Vardaman (capt44)

Offline GSF

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Re: What prompted you to start keeping bees?
« Reply #17 on: December 11, 2013, 08:52:08 PM »
Maybe nostalgia. When I was young our Daddy used to show us stuff in the woods. He showed us a "bee tree". We used to sit there for a spell and watch them go in and out. That was over forty something years ago. Honey bees are also one of the most helpful insects I know of, their flight and demeanor seems to be peaceful.  I've always sorta wanted to keep bees. So we've got to the stage in this life where things like this brings us great pleasure. Chickens (chick tv), Goats (goat tv), Bees (bee tv), wild birds, squirrels, ground hogs, deer, turkey, and so on.

I knew from my experience of raising goats I'd need a lot of education before I took the plunge. That's also where I saw the many plus's of bee keeping. And now after 6 months I can say I enjoy it.
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Offline Carol

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Re: What prompted you to start keeping bees?
« Reply #18 on: December 11, 2013, 09:30:38 PM »
My sister, Joanne and her husband Jim had a small observation hive on their screen porch. Then they had me help them get a bee tree...literally....there was a tree near a Church that had a hive in it..so they cut it down and loaded it on a small flatbed and took it home....

Then my neighbor, George, let me watch him do a hive ck and pull honey...decided I'd like a hive of my own....but I really got hooked on the TBH so my husband built me one...so far I've not had any luck with it but will keep trying. I now have 2 Lang's hives they seem to be doing OK...so maybe a split to the TBH in spring.