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Author Topic: What Got You Interested In Beekeeping?  (Read 2450 times)
Hi-Tech
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« on: May 20, 2006, 12:47:26 AM »

I would love to hear stories of how each of you first got interested in Beekeeping and what influenced you to do it.
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BeeHopper
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« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2006, 09:42:48 AM »

Quote from: Hi-Tech
I would love to hear stories of how each of you first got interested in Beekeeping and what influenced you to do it.


Nice Little Farm you have there, Hi-Tech. I like the part about the donkey with no B...., nevermind. (Very funny). Anyways, I have been consuming honey for centuries it seems with no thought of where it came from, until a friend showed me a vintage smoker and other beekeeper tools from an antique collection he recently purchased. We got to talking about beekeeping and the very next day I went online and googled Beekeeping. I was facinated by the wealth of info on the honeybee and came across this wonderful site .( Thanks, Beemaster, job well done ) I purchased a book titled " The beekeeper's handbook " 3rd edition by Diana Sammataro and Alphonso Avitabile with a foreword by Roger A. Morse. Read the book cover to cover a thousand times and took a 3 day short course at Cook College in NJ in 2005. This is my 1st year with real honeybees and 3 hives ( 2 with Buckfast packages and 1 feral colony taken from a building). Why I have never thought of doing this before, but so far, so good.  Cheesy
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2006, 12:12:33 AM »

I started back in 1959 when I found a swarm on a mountain ash tree while delivery papers on my paer route.  My brother had an old beekeeper on his paper route so went an got him.  The old Barber (who was still activelly cutting hair at 86) showed up and had me do the honors of hiving the swarm.  He talked me through it.  He gave me the Hive and for the next 6 years was my mentor, we did all our beekeeping together.  When he died I felt lost and have kept to beekeeping to myself for years.  Now, I've rethunk and am advocating teaching anyone who is willing to learn, friends, neighbors, family members.
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vabeeguy
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« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2006, 08:01:35 AM »

Growing up in Virginia, my parents would ship me off every summer (by my own choice...at least that is what I used to believe) to my grandparents home in the mountains of western North Carolina. There they owned a little grocery store in a little hideaway community called Buffalo Cove. The best days of my life were exploring the mountains and meeting what I considered the finest people on the face of the earth. My grandefather had about 20 hives up the "holler" from the house and store.
I spent many a time helping him pull off the sourwood honey, strain and bottle it in mason jars to sell in his store. My grandfather passed away several years ago and as I get older I find myself missing him and those days past more and more. Finally, I have a placed big enough to have hives in a rural type setting. Though at the present I have only 5 hives, I see my grandefather everytime I work them and look forward to teaching my own granddaughter all about bees when she gets a little older.
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Hi-Tech
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« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2006, 11:06:50 AM »

My father-in-law is retired and is always looking for ways to make some money. He told me that he had learned from a friend that there was good money in beekeeping. He wanted me to look into it, research it and then since I have a small farm, we would partner up and do it on my place.

Well, after a lot of books and websites, I told him that it did not look like quite the "Good Money" job we had thought it would be. But... I had learned enough to get me very interested in doing it for fun.... After finding this forum and seeing how other beeks would help me once I got started, I ordered and installed my first hive this April. I have since put in 2 more and will be installing my 4th next week (Caucasians I hope!).

Anyway, I got hooked very quickly and now try to spend as much time with my "Ladies" as possible...

I definately took the "Red" pill.....
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Summerbee
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« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2006, 12:37:26 PM »

I have beekeeping in my blood, even though I didn't know it 'till after I started.  Found a book on keeping bees in the library, checked out another one, and another one, and another...  Found a hive for sale in the Florida Market Bulletin, and the rest's history.  Then my folks found out and said 'hey! you want our old bee stuff? We kept bees for years, didn't we tell ya?"  rolleyes
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Kirk-o
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« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2006, 02:50:18 PM »

It was 1972 I was trying to be a hippie.My friend was complaining about the cost of honey it was 12.00 for a 60pound can then Outrageous.I ordered my package from Montgomery ward catalog Midnights they were called.Then got devorced and started again in Los Angeles in 2000 I'm a Urban Beekeeper now.
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« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2006, 08:47:12 PM »

You can literally read where I got started here:
http://beemaster.com/beebbs/viewtopic.php?t=4136
then the follow up:
http://beemaster.com/beebbs/viewtopic.php?t=4172

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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tillie
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« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2006, 09:44:32 AM »

I wanted to have bees years ago in Nashville in the 70's (my hippie days) when we lived on country acres just outside of town, but I was in grad school with three little children and just couldn't find the time or energy.

When I moved to Atlanta, I pretty much gave up the idea of bees and settled down to working and raising my children.  The kids said that every time one of them left home I got another dog - pretty much true.  For a while my household consisted of me and three dogs!

I started looking into having chickens here in my urban environment, but gave the idea up when I bought some mountain property and am not in Atlanta that often on the weekends.....didn't want to pay for a chicken sitter!

One weekend as I was driving to the mountains, I was listening to Walter Reeves' garden talk show.  He had a member of Metro Atlanta Beekeepers as his guest.  The guest described the "short course" on beekeeping that would be happening in Georgia in February.  I called from the car and signed up!

I went, got hooked, came home and ordered two nucs and began ordering equipment, building it and painting it - and now I have two hives, two dogs (the third died right before I took the beekeeping course), and no children living at home any more!

I'm about to be a grandmother for the first time and I think having bees will be more fun to share with my soon-to-arrive grandson as he gets older than my other interests of quilting, knitting, and baking bread.

Linda T busily keeping bees in Atlanta  wink
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Denise
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« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2006, 12:33:43 PM »

We live on 5 acres with lots of fruit trees and have noticed the lack of honey bees in the area. We are at the mercy of the few around to get the fruit trees pollinated. Last year we had NO fruit at all. We had been kicking around the idea of having our own bees for a few years before making the decision last year. It was too late to get a package so we just made do reading up on it and ordering everything we needed. It was a long year to wait! The more I read, the more I couldn't wait to get started. Then about a month before the package was due to arrive, a guy my hubby works with offered us a hive with a swarm that had taken up residence. He brought it to us a few days before the package was in. So now we have 2 hives instead of just the one. It's good to have the both of them to compare. One that has been taking care of themselves and the brand new one. We can see the differences in how they are coming along.
The next adventure is going to be how to extract all this honey!
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latebee
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« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2006, 03:51:25 PM »

I did not get interested in bees until I was 49 yrs. old. The journey started in Februrary 2002. I was working in my maple grove clearing deadfall trees to open a road. Imagine my surprize when my chainsaw started emitting bees instead of sawdust!!!!!!! I had previously thought bees slept all winter. Well it was mighty cold so I quickly reasembled the log I had cut back to its former position and taped together the sections. After giving it some thought- memory told me that there were hardly any bees flying here locally,as compared to the days of my youth. Emotion took over and a love affair with the bees ensued. My wife never even complained! Much later that spring(with the help of an area beekeeper)we transferred the bees to a hive body and the rest just happened.This forum and its members have been my largest asset in gaining knowledge and opinion regarding the bee and its management. Guess I am hooked for life. With beekeping the longer you are involved the more questions you will have and come to realize that there is always more than one answer. In fact this is one of the sweetest hobbies a person can have!
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Doorman
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« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2006, 05:57:58 PM »

In 1975 I was 12 years old, and was up for anything. we had 600 acres of backwoods property and I spent my time exploring caves, hunting, fishing, playing dead in a field trying to catch buzzards (it works,but VERY stupid, and painful.) Trying to catch bats on a fly rod. ( I didn't use hooks) raising chickens in my closet. (my folks must have been nuts) About anything you can imagine I tried. Anyway one day I was out squirrel hunting and found a huge hornets nest up in a tree (of course). I ran home to tell dad and see if he would help me cut it down to put in my room. He said he would come watch and take me to the hospital if the need arose (gotta love im) I got it down and put it out behind the house for the winter in an old barrel until the hornets died out over the winter. That whole episode got me thinking about bees and beehives. dad said we could get one in the spring, but life interfered and it never happened. Fast forward to 1999. I was putting some doors in a friends ranch house and needed some shims. He said he had some in the loft so I went out to the barn and looked in the loft and they were sitting on two old beehives. Later out of curiosity I asked about the hives and he gave them to me The rest is history.

P.S. I still have the hornets nest up in my office.
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Apis629
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« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2006, 07:35:38 PM »

I became interested in February 2004 when, bored with nothing else to do, I was watching bumble bees on Azalia blossoms.  I thought they were honeybees and started reading.  After finishing all the books in the local Library district(3 months and 27 titles later) I was hooked and got my first hive.  It didn't last very long.  cry   June 2005 I decided to start again and that has gone great.  All in all, it was a random action, a random interest and, well, completely unforseeable.  I had no relatives or aquantences who kept bees or knew anything more than the fact that they sting.  I can be a random person.
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BeeHopper
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« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2006, 07:52:15 PM »

playing dead in a field trying to catch buzzards (it works,but VERY stupid, and painful.)


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« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2006, 07:53:50 PM »

I looked closely to find my lengthy post on HOW I got started, a good time for cut and paste because I worded it well. But it is pretty simple.

A friend and mentor of mine Mike T. (the son of a retired state game warden) was a classmate of mine throughout most of grade and high-school. Mike asked to help him one day inspecting and harvesting honey - I agreed not really knowing what was involved. I was 14 or so at the time and he suited me up while he stood there in regular clothes, no gloves and just a hood/veil to keep his eyes from getting slapped by air-born bees.

I went to his home and throughout the wildflowers in his backyard were 11 hives, all of which we pulled the honey boxes from and a few we inspected, that day I saw my first queen and brood and got the nickel tour of the bee yard.

It was fascinating to me and two years later I got my first hive set up, and for many years into my 20s I had bees on a regular basis - I had some sporadic years from then on but always came back to the hobby.

In my twenties I started lecturing to schools and local library groups on the pluses and minuses of the hobby and continue to do so even no 34 years since my first bee hive exposure.

Today  rolleyes  I'm happy to have one or two hives, offer my website on basic beekeeping and most importantly interact and admin this wonderful forum which I feel very blessed to be a part of.

There is the quickie version, but that's how it all started, with a simple invite to give my good friend a hand with his colonies.
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thegolfpsycho
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« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2006, 09:47:21 PM »

I did the buzzard thing when I was a kid too.  Dang things not only have razor sharp beaks, they will regurgitate some of the nastiest junk you can imagine, all over ya!
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Doorman
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« Reply #16 on: May 22, 2006, 10:11:21 PM »

dont forget the talons and a nasty little infection. I only did it once how bout you

sorry back on topic.
 how bout them bees
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kace069
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« Reply #17 on: May 23, 2006, 03:00:52 AM »

Well, I had always been rather intrested in bees. I am a vault of useless information, of course through the years I had learned a few interesting facts about bees, which of course got me thinking more.
In 2001 I took up mead making and after paying to much for honey I started to consider beekeeping. I went to the local library and there was a beekeeping video, about 35 minutes long. I watched that and said darn I can do that! But, had  no place to put bees, I was still a renter. Well time went by and I became a more serious mead maker and then a brewer. Bought my house in Sept '03 by febuary of '04 I had my new hive sitting there waiting to be put together.
Now, I don't know which hobby I love more mead making, beer making, or beekeeping!
Not to mention more hobby ideas then money or time that I have.lol
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