I am new to the forum and even newer to beekeeping as I don't have any bees yet. I posted a question about hive types in the equipment section and received some excellent advice, but wanted to say hello to everybody here.
Even though I have no bees, nor have I ever been to a class/meeting or what have you, I find I have become consumed by the subject. Because of my work schedule, I've never been able to get to any meetings or classes and such. Perhaps it's foolish, but I am likely going to order a couple 3lb packages of bees and get started next spring. I don't want to wait a whole "nother" (-: year!
I'm 47, and would like for this to eventually be an avenue for some supplemental income if that is a possibility. I'm a professional woodwind doubler, and play in the pit for the national Broadway show tours that come through Pittsburgh and Cleveland (in fact, I'm in the pit right now playing Motown the Musical in Cleveland). But I'm having a hernia type issue in my throat from the back pressure of blowing the horns, and my playing career might not last as long as I was counting on. Perhaps it's also foolish to think I can eventually make much money from beekeeping, but it seems to be loudly beckoning me. I am devouring all the books, magazines, websites, and videos.
Maybe I'll end up being amongst those that quit after trying for a year, maybe not. But I plan on giving it a go. Per the advice I received here and from the Practical Beekeeping website (BushFarm?), I'm going to go with all 8 frame mediums for ease of lifting and interchangeability of frames and such. I don't have the Rose Hive Method book, but this seems to fit into that style of management.
A couple questions:
1. We are planning on downsizing and moving to a smaller abode. If I have my two hives on our current property and we move, how far must the hives be moved to prevent the bees from returning to the old location?
2. I've never seen any black bears on my property, but I'm looking at the possibility of eventually starting an apiary on a friend's farm nearby. Any (Western) PA beeks ever have trouble with bears or see it as a necessity to have an electric fence?
Thanks everybody, sorry for being so long winded!