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Author Topic: Starting out  (Read 3002 times)
Liz
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« on: June 03, 2004, 10:16:37 AM »

Hi. This website has been very helpful and informative about beekeeping and whether or not it is suitable for us. I am very interested in keeping bees in our orchard, as I think they're pretty chuffin cool. I'm fifteen and live with my mum and a few brothers and they all agree that beekeeping would be a good hobby. I've read over the information to see if this would be suitable for us, and I think I can safely say that beekeeping is right up my street. The only problem is that we have three large dogs who live outside in a kennel. I was wondering if keeping a beehive in our garden might be a bit unwise incase the dogs try to eat whatever smells so good and get very badly stung. The beehive would be at the opposite end of our verly large country garden from the kennel, and i would like to know if any beekepers know anything about both dogs and bees.
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Anonymous
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« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2004, 11:24:41 AM »

First of all, glad to have you aboard, Liz!

I have a cat who is into everything.  He gets in my garden, into the cupboards... He seems to leave the bees alone.  I haven't noticed him getting stung, but it's possible that he did, and has learned his lesson quickly!  He still hangs around the hive when I'm inspecting, and even when the bees are pretty excited, he just stands around, not getting stung.  Possibly his fur helps there.  I have heard lots of positive stories of people who have dogs and bees, and haven't heard any horror stories, for what it's worth.

Keep in mind, that bees almost NEVER sting when they are away from the hive foraging.  For the most part, they seem to only want to sting to protect, not out of anger.  You have to SERIOUSLY (IE step on, or swat) a honeybee in order to get it to sting away from the hive.
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Anonymous
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« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2004, 11:41:50 AM »

I don't think your dogs won't bother the bees or the bees them. I have 2 bird dogs that will come over to the hives when I work them. They will sniff at the hives a bit but seem uninterested in the honey. If you spray you orchard for insects be careful where you site your hives. I set my hives near my orchard and found it was difficult to spray the trees without overspray on the bees. I've sinced moved them away from the trees and have no problem. They'll go to the blossoms when in bloom anyway and I don't have to worry when I spray the trees after the blossoms are gone.
Good luck
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Anonymous
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« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2004, 11:43:09 AM »

I don't think your dogs won't bother the bees or the bees them. I have 2 bird dogs that will come over to the hives when I work them. They will sniff at the hives a bit but seem uninterested in the honey. If you spray you orchard for insects be careful where you site your hives. I set my hives near my orchard and found it was difficult to spray the trees without overspray on the bees. I've sinced moved them away from the trees and have no problem. They'll go to the blossoms when in bloom anyway and I don't have to worry when I spray the trees after the blossoms are gone.
Good luck
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beemaster
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« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2004, 11:43:54 AM »

Hi Liz:

Welcome aas a guest to the forum. A few things I might point out, we have a teen forum here which just started and whether Beekeeping is your object or not the Teen Forum is for ANY TOPIC that interests teens.

About your dogs, all animals (domesticated at least) learn quickly to shy away from the hives, a single sting on the nose is usually MORE than enough for any dog to get the hint - but as Jas said, stinging is rarely an issue as they forage around.

I hope you visit and follow alone, asking uestings as you think about beekeeping - it is a great family activity for parents and kids alike, educational and interesting - not to leave out relaxing. I'm sure everyone here will tell you the time you spend around your colonies is very peaceful and meditative, interacting with the bees is a always fun and eye-opening.

So stick around the forum, let us know where you are from if you would, I'm guessing maybe the UK but we never know - there are members and guests from around the world and the information and friendly nature of the forum makes it a fun place to visit often.

Lastly, we have a humor section with some great links to fun sites, mind puzzles, games online, animations, jokes and other fun stuff too So you shouldn't get bored too easily if you lose your interest in the beekeeping part.

If you or anyone in your family join up, you won't be alone as a member without honeybees - many members are in the LEARNING STAGES of the hobby, picking up ideas to make NEXT YEAR come off smoother than it otherwise would!

Thanks for stopping by here and I hope the forum and my other beekeeping links (especially my pretty massive beekeeping course for Novices) listed in my SIGNATURE below this post help you in your decision process.
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Kris^
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« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2004, 12:09:19 PM »

About spraying orchards:  I have fruit trees located about 50 feet from my hive.  When I spray them, I do it at night after the bees have returned to the hive.  I close up the entrance and cover the whole hive with a sheet of plastic.  I choose a still night with no wind to avoid drifting, and just target my spraying to avoid overspray as much as I can.  I give it about 10 hours to dry and remove the plastic and blockage from the hive the next morning.  When I spray my cabbage and other non-flowering crops set farther away from the hive, I don't bother blocking the entrance or anything, because the bees rarely go over there, but I still avoid drift and do it at night.

My spray schedule doesn't include spraying blossoms, so the bees won't seek out the trees.  I spray when leaves first bud in spring, right after blossoms drop and fruit sets, and then again a few weeks before harvest.  Sometimes I spray in between.  I was a little late with my second spraying this year -- out of initial fear of harming the bees -- and got some wormies in the apples, so they'll have spots this year.  

This summer we'll also be doing two or three sprayings in our acre of potted mums we plant each year.  We have commercial equipment to spray that with, and can usually do it in one evening.  The mum field is located over 100 yards from the hive, and I'll follow the same night-time blocking and covering procedure when we spray there.  As a rule, the mums are out of the field and to market by the time they start blooming, so I don't see them as an attractive site for the bees, either.

The bees don't seem any the worse off for the spraying so far.
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Beth Kirkley
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« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2004, 03:52:49 PM »

Like was mentioned, the dogs should be fine. If they do go sniffing too much at the hive, the bees will give them a good sting and the dogs won't go back. I have two outdoor cats, and they like to follow me everywhere. Last summer was the begining of my beekeeping, and one of the cats learned a good lesson - the bees are not fun little bugs. She was walking around the hive, and all was fine. But then she decided to stick a paw inside to play with the bees. Several came out and went after her. Only one stung her, but she ran off like a bucking bronco with a little bee rider on her back. She was hissing and throwing a fit the whole time while running off. I'm sure it hurt. But she was fine afterwards, and remains a safe distance from the hive while I get in it now. She just comes and watches me from about 20 feet off.

Beth
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Liz
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« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2004, 09:55:32 AM »

Thanks for the help guys! It has really put my mind at ease.

  In response to the beemaster- Yes I am from the UK, Scotland to be precise, and i'm not planning on getting any bees until next spring.

Luckily we don't spray our fruit at all, so the bees wont be in much danger. We already have a couple of wild hives in our garden as well, so we know it's pretty suitable. So I'm planning on informing myself about bees as much as possible for next year.
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beemaster
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« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2004, 12:02:27 PM »

Liz

Even when dealing with Treed honeybees (assuming the are honeybees) it is always nice to have a better understanding of their nature and foraging patterns - it will give you much insight to them as their colonies grow and expand.
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