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Author Topic: Hello from Winsted, CT  (Read 4938 times)
shakerbeeman
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« on: April 15, 2007, 08:30:05 PM »

This wonderful forum offers a wealth of information. So happy to have found it.

Several years ago I had a burning desire to learn how to keep bees. At the time I realized I was too busy but I never gave up the desire. This year I have resolved to give it a try. My goal will be to expand as I go and use my woodworking abilities combined with the 1000 bd ft of pine I have that needs purpose. As it is late spring and I want to get going I believe I will buy a beginners setup I have found on a live link here. This kit includes one hive and the various necessary accessories. With the available pattern information here and the hive in hand I should be able to build up my stock.

Am I being too impulsive in thinking I can salvage anything out of this season?

Should someone live close to me I would love to hear from you. Any advice would be humbly appreciated.

CP
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dlmarti
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« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2007, 08:42:04 PM »

Welcome, I'm pretty much in the same boat as you.
I didn't make the final decision to enter into the hobby until a few days ago, but I have always wanted a hive.

I always thought that my plot of land was too small (100x90), but then two things happened.  One I stumbled upon this site, and saw that others were making do with small plots of land.  Two a good friend just purchased 10 acres of land about 30 minutes from me.

I've pretty much resigned my self to not buying bees this year, but don't let that influence your decision.
As it stands my plan is to:
1. Gather all the information I can.
2. Gather all of the equipment needed, for several hives, with associated support equipment and nucs.
3. Make contacts in the local bee community, and try to get some hands on.
4. Join a local club, and offer up some volunteer man power.
5. Keep an eye on the local feral hive, for swarming.  If they swarm I'm going to try and capture it.

So thats my plan.

Welcome to the forum.
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« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2007, 09:10:22 PM »

Both of you go out and buy swarm traps and lemongrass oil.

Think of it as bees on the cheap.

It is kinda like fishing, you have to be paitent and you may not get lucky, but you never know.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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dlmarti
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« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2007, 09:13:02 PM »

Both of you go out and buy swarm traps and lemongrass oil.

Think of it as bees on the cheap.

It is kinda like fishing, you have to be paitent and you may not get lucky, but you never know.

Already planning on it.
If I know of a feral hive that hasn't swarmed yet, can I feed them tons of syrup, to help force them into swarming?  Basically so they will use up the space in the hive.
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shakerbeeman
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« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2007, 09:14:00 PM »

Well I guess my impulsive nature is showing through dmarti. Your approach is more sensible and I may yet find I can't get where I want. As I learn more I may find myself doing just as you.

I have a relative that lives near many apple orchards. This is where I hope to set one hive.
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« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2007, 09:15:03 PM »

Both of you go out and buy swarm traps and lemongrass oil.

Think of it as bees on the cheap.

It is kinda like fishing, you have to be paitent and you may not get lucky, but you never know.

Already planning on it.
If I know of a feral hive that hasn't swarmed yet, can I feed them tons of syrup, to help force them into swarming?  Basically so they will use up the space in the hive.

If you know where a feral hive is then do a cut out.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2007, 09:18:59 PM »

Quote
Am I being too impulsive in thinking I can salvage anything out of this season?

I would say you are not too impulsive. I made the decision at the end of the summer and there were no bees available..clearly because it was too late. I spent the LONG months between summer and April reading everything I could and buying equipment. It was a very long wait.

I guess I am impulsive but I would say get the hive and get some bees! There are still packages out there and nucs through June in many places. From my experience of waiting, I would say jump in and enjoy it this year.
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dlmarti
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« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2007, 10:07:13 PM »

Both of you go out and buy swarm traps and lemongrass oil.

Think of it as bees on the cheap.

It is kinda like fishing, you have to be paitent and you may not get lucky, but you never know.

Already planning on it.
If I know of a feral hive that hasn't swarmed yet, can I feed them tons of syrup, to help force them into swarming?  Basically so they will use up the space in the hive.

If you know where a feral hive is then do a cut out.

Sincerely,
Brendhan

Can't its lodged between two concrete walls, of an old NAVY listening post, with a steel grate over the entrance.
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« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2007, 10:28:59 PM »

Both of you go out and buy swarm traps and lemongrass oil.

Think of it as bees on the cheap.

It is kinda like fishing, you have to be paitent and you may not get lucky, but you never know.

Already planning on it.
If I know of a feral hive that hasn't swarmed yet, can I feed them tons of syrup, to help force them into swarming?  Basically so they will use up the space in the hive.

If you know where a feral hive is then do a cut out.

Sincerely,
Brendhan

Can't its lodged between two concrete walls, of an old NAVY listening post, with a steel grate over the entrance.

And you think this would be difficult?
Come on toughen up and go get a gas powered concrete saw and get to work. These bees need a good home.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2007, 12:20:21 AM »

i have realized as well, this year, I still don't have the time I need to devote to my first hive. I am doing the same thing. Purchasing everything I need. I joined this forum last night, got a subscription to "the Beekeeper's Journal", and called a local beekeeper today. Hope I get a reply, just left a message! Nothing better than free labor in trade. How can he pass that up. Gathering swarms!!! Wow! you are jumping right in.....my hero! My husband was talking about watching his grandfather do just that! Carl was the god of bees in this area. Our friends in town have a swarm in a tree. .....not up to wearing the super hero cape yet. I am building a large chicken coop, and my children are challenging my sanity....marshmallow mosh in the living room whole bags of flour (Christmas in spring!!!) and sword fighting with my steak knives. Would like to hear how YOUR year of planning goes. Building your own hives.........very cool.
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shakerbeeman
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« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2007, 01:30:39 PM »

Hi all and thanks for the various replies.

I am a bit confused between the need for a hive versus a nuc. That would indicate I better get that Beekeeping For Dummies book read.

Advice on where to get the start up needs including nuc or hive appreciated. I have seen some in the live links on this forum. So much information is a bit of an overload.

As I continue on and start making the hives I wonder the best use of my materials. I had my pine milled to 1 1/2 in. thickness and could therefore build my supers, etc. out of a bit thicker stock perhaps 1-1 1/8 in. if this would be advantageous. My feeling is they may be a bit more rugged and last longer. Any thoughts?
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dlmarti
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« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2007, 01:53:29 PM »

Go to your local library, they have the books you need to get started.
Some of them are a little old, but that will get you started.

A nuc is just a small hive.  A full size hive is used for production (honey, bees, pollen, comb, etc), a nuc is used for either queen production or holding a queen in reserve, or for simple temporary hive storage.
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shakerbeeman
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« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2007, 02:04:55 PM »

This afternoon I will be going to the library. So many questions to ask and so little time. Thanks for your quick reply dlmarti. It seems as if I might might need a hive in order to produce honey. That would be my objective but if I become good at this it seems to me as if I would want to make my own queens also.
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dlmarti
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« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2007, 02:18:20 PM »

When you start reading the books, you'll realize you might want a nuc also.

There is a mechanism in bee nature called swarming (its the method that nature uses to create new colonies), if your first hive swarms (half the bee leave) a nuc will allow you to recapture them.  While not required to own bees, the nuc will help you preserve your investment in the hobby.

Here are two books I've liked, so far.  Good for beginners:
    
Hive Management: A Seasonal Guide for Beekeepers
by Richard E. Bonney (Author)
   
Keeping bees / by John Vivian ; illustrated by Liz Buel.
by Vivian, John.
Charlotte, Vt. : Williamson Pub. Co., c1986.


The John Vivian book was the first one I read, and still my fovorite.
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shakerbeeman
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« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2007, 02:24:03 PM »

I will look for those books today. Thanks so much.

I do begin to see the need for both the hive and the nuc. I have many years of woodworking and have my own cabinet shop. Whils I intend to buy one of each of the necessary items to start up, needless to say I take great pride in being able to make what I need in wood products. Specially given I have the large stack of pine waiting for a destination.

This is a great forum!!
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dlmarti
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« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2007, 02:39:55 PM »

If you have a wood working shop you don't need to buy anything, although I would suggest buying the frames.

Here are plans:
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shakerbeeman
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« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2007, 02:52:33 PM »

Great selection of plans there. Now with a little reading and some decision making I should be able to determine which parts are the essentials to make for start. Some postings I have read seem to stick to the medium size supers only because of the weight. I need a bit of studying tonight.

Tip o the hat
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dlmarti
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« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2007, 04:11:46 PM »

Great selection of plans there. Now with a little reading and some decision making I should be able to determine which parts are the essentials to make for start. Some postings I have read seem to stick to the medium size supers only because of the weight. I need a bit of studying tonight.

Tip o the hat

Yeah, thats a question I haven't answered either,  do I go with the medium or deep boxes, do I go with the 8 frame or the 10 frame boxes.

It seams like all of the books default to two deep 10 frames, for the bottom of the hive, and then medium supers above that.

The people that are enjoying the hobby, and not trying to make a living at it, seem to suggest the lighter weight solutions.

Still, I haven't decided yet.  There is alot to be said by having all of your equipment being the same.  Maybe I'll go with the 10 frame mediums.  Its a standard size, and if I wanted to go to the larger ones I could easily.  Also companies stock the 10 frame boxes, than the 8 frame.

The nuc I just ordered has the deep frames, not many sources for the medium frames.
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shakerbeeman
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« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2007, 05:11:09 PM »

Back from the library with books. Couldn't get the suggested ones but I will. Instead I got these;

Beekeeping, the gentle craft/ John F Adams

Beekeeping, a practical guide/ Ridhard E. Bonney

How to keep bees and sell honey/ Walter T. Kelley

This should take me a while.
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dlmarti
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« Reply #19 on: April 17, 2007, 05:29:37 PM »

When your done those, take my list to the reference librarian (in the local library), and ask them to get them for you using an inter-library loan.  Its free to you, and a greet way to get a specific book.
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shakerbeeman
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« Reply #20 on: April 17, 2007, 05:39:53 PM »

Thanks dlmarti I wish I had thought of that when I was there. Guess I didn't realize the service was available. So a good plan is to call the library tomorrow and perhaps they will get them ready for my return, we'll see.

I have been reading and find the rigid masks seem to be preferable. Also if I understand there is a hood that zips on to the rest of the suit. This seems the way to go. I must soon order a suit, gloves and smoker just for starters. I think some of the beginner packs may not include the more desireable suit or smoker. Any suggestions? Perhaps I should order at least a nuc and some bees to get something in the works while I make some hive parts.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #21 on: April 17, 2007, 10:22:36 PM »

>Yeah, thats a question I haven't answered either,  do I go with the medium or deep boxes, do I go with the 8 frame or the 10 frame boxes.

The real question is: "how much do you want to lift?"

Standard 10 Frame boxes
Name(s) Depth Weight full of honey Uses
Jumbo, Dadant Deep 11 5/8" 100 - 110 pounds Brood
Deep, Langstroth Deep 9 5/8" 80 - 90 pounds Brood & Ext
Western Bee Supply 7 5/8" 70 - 80 pounds Brood & Ext
Medium, Illinois, 3/4 6 5/8" 60 - 70 pounds Brood & Ext & Cmb
Shallow 5 ¾" or 5 11/16" 50 - 60 pounds Cmb
Extra Shallow, ½ 4 ¾" or 4 11/16" 40 - 50 pounds Cmb

8 frame boxes:
Jumbo, Dadant Deep 11 5/8" 80-88 lbs
Deep 9 5/8" 64-72 lbs
Western Bee Supply 7 5/8" 56-64 lbs
Medium, Illinois 6 5/8" 48-56 lbs
Shallow 5 3/4" or 5 11/16" 40-48 lbs
Extra Shallow 4 ¾" or 4 11/16" 32-40 lbs

>It seams like all of the books default to two deep 10 frames, for the bottom of the hive, and then medium supers above that.

Not all of them.  "The Backyard Beekeeper" doesn't.

>The people that are enjoying the hobby, and not trying to make a living at it, seem to suggest the lighter weight solutions.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslazy.htm#lighterboxes

>Still, I haven't decided yet.  There is alot to be said by having all of your equipment being the same.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslazy.htm#uniformframesize

> Maybe I'll go with the 10 frame mediums.  Its a standard size, and if I wanted to go to the larger ones I could easily.

Absolutely.

>  Also companies stock the 10 frame boxes, than the 8 frame.

Actually almost all of them have eight frame boxes they just don't tell you they do.  Recently more of them have been telling you.  Currently, Miller Bee Supply, Brushy Mt, Betterbee, Mann Lake and Western Bee Supply TELL you they have them and list them in their catalogs.

>The nuc I just ordered has the deep frames, not many sources for the medium frames.

There are more every year.  I know Bjorn in Pennsylvania has mediums and Don (Fatbeeman) in Georgia has mediums, and usually I have mediums.  I'm sure there are others, but the norm still seems to be deeps.  The nice thing is you can buy an eight frame deep box and leave it on the bottom and use all the rest as mediums and then eventually cut down the deep.

Another option is build a 3" tall five frame wide shim, just like the top three inches off of a five frame nuc (or buy a medium five frame nuc an cut the top 3" off) and put the five deeps on one side in that and finish out the frames with mediums.  As that fills you can move the shim and the deeps up to the next box and fill out the bottom one with mediums and work your way up like that.  Smiley

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesnewbees.htm
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Michael Bush
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tillie
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« Reply #22 on: April 17, 2007, 10:27:25 PM »

Welcome, I hope you'll find this forum as helpful as I do - loads of smart beekeepers with lots of willingness to share!  My favorite beginner book is Backyard Beekeeper by Kim Flottum editor of Bee Culture.  It's easy to read and recommends taking care of the beekeeper (medium boxes, etc) as well as taking care of the bees.

Linda T in Atlanta
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shakerbeeman
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« Reply #23 on: April 18, 2007, 09:29:54 AM »

Everyone has been so helpfull. I am leaning toward setting up to make mediums and stack three to take the place of two supers on the bottom. Seems to be about the same size as the two large. I like having a uniformity in parts. These will be ten frame boxes.

What I need to determine now is when I can have stuff ready so I can coordinate shipping of the bees with completion of the hive. I suspect I can have the parts made in less than two weeks. How long does it take to get the bees? In order to speed up the process I probably should order my frames complete to save time. I will make the others as I need them.

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dlmarti
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« Reply #24 on: April 18, 2007, 10:23:04 AM »

Agreed, after reading Michael's post, I think I'm going with 10 frame mediums also.

As to bee availability, its getting hard to find packages around (its getting late).
I did see that Draperbee has another shipment coming in at the end of the month.
They aren't that far from you and me.

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« Reply #25 on: April 18, 2007, 02:21:56 PM »

Everyone has been so helpfull. I am leaning toward setting up to make mediums and stack three to take the place of two supers on the bottom. Seems to be about the same size as the two large. I like having a uniformity in parts. These will be ten frame boxes.
To Charlie and dlmarti, just go with mediums, you won't be sorry.  I can deal with the weight of the mediums, I know I'd have trouble with the deeps and it just isn't true that you don't lift all of the hive bodies at some point!  We've even bought medium nucs from Brushy Mountain, they're two high instead of one high to make up for the difference, and have screened bottom boards and telescoping covers.  Hubby (woodchopper) is in there painting them up right now, they're so neat looking, I'll have to post a picture when he's done.
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dlmarti
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« Reply #26 on: April 18, 2007, 02:30:37 PM »

Everyone has been so helpfull. I am leaning toward setting up to make mediums and stack three to take the place of two supers on the bottom. Seems to be about the same size as the two large. I like having a uniformity in parts. These will be ten frame boxes.
To Charlie and dlmarti, just go with mediums, you won't be sorry.  I can deal with the weight of the mediums, I know I'd have trouble with the deeps and it just isn't true that you don't lift all of the hive bodies at some point!  We've even bought medium nucs from Brushy Mountain, they're two high instead of one high to make up for the difference, and have screened bottom boards and telescoping covers.  Hubby (woodchopper) is in there painting them up right now, they're so neat looking, I'll have to post a picture when he's done.


So that means you purchased a nuc, and then a nuc body right?
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« Reply #27 on: April 18, 2007, 04:10:04 PM »

Nope, just the nuc.  Look again at the picture, you'll see there are two boxes there for the nuc.  If we were planning on overwintering in nucs then we'd buy the body, too, one for each nuc.
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dlmarti
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« Reply #28 on: April 18, 2007, 04:36:53 PM »

I'm sold, I called my supplier and had them switch my order over to medium depth.
The order was already being packed, they weren't overjoyed, but luckly they were nice enough to change everything over.
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shakerbeeman
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« Reply #29 on: April 18, 2007, 04:45:12 PM »

I just may buy two of those nucs myself. It would save a lot of worry as to having my hives ready and allow me to get a brood going and have it build up this season while I do some studying. It seems Brushy Mountain is as good as any to get the gear also.
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shakerbeeman
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« Reply #30 on: April 19, 2007, 03:41:18 PM »

Wooo Hooo. The commitment is made. Just ordered two nucs, a smoker and two bags of bees. Frugal purshasing of the protective garments will be important as the costs do add up. Guess I just may give up one deep sea fishing trip this year. Fair trade to be sure.
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« Reply #31 on: April 19, 2007, 08:27:22 PM »

That's great! You are going to love it!
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shakerbeeman
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« Reply #32 on: April 22, 2007, 10:08:09 AM »

Sorry to confuse but I realized I would not be happy with the name I picked. I woodwork for a living and have made many of the shaker furniture pieces that are available for reproduction. Sometimes I repair authentic stuff as well. A friend once told me I would have been better suited to the way of life 100 years ago. I think in some ways that is true. In deferance to my shaker interests and the shaker committment to beekeeping I have chosen this new name. Hope you like it.
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« Reply #33 on: April 22, 2007, 05:38:31 PM »

I think it is great when you can be so handy. I know many women are also handy with carpentry, but I am not one of them. I have never built anything in my life, so this makes the hobby more expensive for me. Maybe down the line I will have the confidence to try to build some of the equipment. For now, I purchase everything assembled.

good luck to you. this is a great hobby. Let us know how you are doing every step of the way. And by the way, my bible was "beekeeping for dummies". Just the nice way it was written, so simple and upbeat. Good book to begin with.

Annette
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shakerbeeman
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« Reply #34 on: April 23, 2007, 08:11:22 AM »

Thanks Annette. There are sacrifices to be made in my trade but the end products make it worthwhile. I may have done better as a IT guy but the satisfaction of working for myself and the independence it allows are somethings you can't put a value on. I have noticed that some hives are not made with real exacting standards which makes me think most could build one with a little patience. The bees won't know if it's prefect. We build homes in Mexico sometimes as a charity. They are not perfect either but the people love them.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2007, 05:53:25 PM by shakerbeeman » Logged
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« Reply #35 on: April 27, 2007, 07:52:47 AM »

Hi Shakerbeeman,
I just wanted to say Hello.   Smiley  I'm in New Preston, CT so we're pretty close.  I don't have bees yet although I'm very interested and need to get a good book.  MY husband has a friend with bees so I'm hoping he'll help me a little aslo. Have a great weekend!   
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« Reply #36 on: April 28, 2007, 09:17:59 AM »

Hi Primrose.  Glad to have others close that have similar interests. My bees are coming next week and am excited. Just a few things left to do to bear proof my hives.

New Preston is such a nice area. I made a kitchen for a beautiful stone home out past Lake Waramog a couple years ago.

I think I know a fellow in Bantam that did beekeeping. Am trying to get to see him and wonder if he still does it. As for now I am learning on my own and from reading. The information gleaned from this forum is indespensible.

Keep in touch.
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