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Author Topic: Newbie planning on Colorado  (Read 1029 times)
lemur
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« on: May 14, 2007, 03:54:37 PM »

Hi All,

We're planning on moving from central FL to CO in a year or so and starting a small organic family farm.  Just enough to feed ourselves, with no plans of more than that.  We're thinking on 2 yaks and a few goats for milk/cheese, a handful of chickens, horses when we can afford and a bunch of rescue dogs.  And of course a good size garden.

And now, bees!

I have always loved bees.  And of course honey!  About a dozen years ago, I had a wacky wonderful metaphysical experience with bees (maybe I'll tell it once I get to know folks) and since then I've wanted hives of my own.  I'm also a beer and mead maker, so what could be better than having my own bees to provide the honey?

Well up till this weekend my hubby didn't agree.  He didn't like the idea of getting stung.  I've been stung before, but I'm pretty much fearless (given proper precautions) with bees.  (I've told him for ages that I wouldn't make him work the hives with me, but he didn't listen.)  Grew up sitting in apple trees with them flying around me.  Lately we've been reading in the news about beekeepers having some major mite and other disease problems.  This started boding ill for our future garden.  No pollination?  Eeek!  Then two days ago, my hubby and I read an article saying that despite the fact that commercial and chemical using beekeepers have been having challenges, organic beekeepers aren't having a problem.

Well, that was enough for my hubby to make a turnaround.  For him it's the idea of our plants getting pollinated.  For me its that and just the sheer joy of bees. 

My sister already keeps bees in upstate NY where we grew up - and I've been Soooo jealous.  I've spent the last 48 hours reading everything possible.  I'll admit to being an absolute rank newbie.  Gardening and farming I know lots about.  Bees, diddly, but I'm excited to learn.

Looking forward to meeting you all.
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buzzbee
Ken
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« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2007, 05:56:23 PM »

Welcome to Beemaster Forum.It is great to hear you are very interested in pursuing this hobby.
You will meet a lot of great people in this forum who are more than willing to offer advice and help in any way they can!
You will meet people from all over the US and the world for that matter.
If you want to enter into live voice chat,look into the voice chat forum on the main beemaster forum page
for setting up Ventrilo.A  lot of us get together and chat at different times with a mic and headphones but text chat is also available through the Ventrilo program.
We caht about bees,current events,tv shows and anything else that may come to mind.Check it out cheesy
http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php?board=60.0
Once again,Welcome
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DayValleyDahlias
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« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2007, 06:53:27 PM »

Boy Lemur are you in for some fascinating times here inthis forumand in the bee world...I am just beginning and have nerv encountered such a vast "hobby"...if one can call it that...Organic...thank you!
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"Become vegetarian/vegan, and no one gets hurt"
kathyp
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« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2007, 07:03:14 PM »

welcome.  you will enjoy beekeeping.  the article may have been incorrect, but if it motivated you to beekeeping, that's a good thing.  smiley

do you plan on having a totally self sustaining farm?
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
lemur
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« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2007, 09:42:10 PM »

welcome.  you will enjoy beekeeping.  the article may have been incorrect, but if it motivated you to beekeeping, that's a good thing.  smiley

do you plan on having a totally self sustaining farm?

As self sustaining as we can.  We're planning on wind/solar running the electric, evaporators (run by that sustainable electric) creating water, compost from the yaks, goats and chickens going to feed the garden, recycled greywater so we don't abuse the water, sod/underground home to take advantage of the natural heating/cooling of the earth. 

I see the bees as a wonderful asset to this, pollinating the plants, strengthening the planet, and again, MEAD!

Okay the story, and I tell it because I think this is a forum that might enjoy.  About a dozen years ago, I was invited to a Children's Adventure Games at a local metaphysical school/hangout.  (The owner is the biographer for Joseph Campbell).  It was a game based on Dungeons & Dragons type stuff and the kids were doing live role-playing and battling the "enemy" with styrofoam swords and such.  The adults were the non-player characters, charged with giving the kids clues to their next objective.  I was tagged to be the Lady of the Meadow and was given some lines to tell the kids when they came along.  So here I am swathed in a white gown and veils, standing in this meadow just before sunset.  Purple loosestrife and black-eyed Susans swathe the landscape around me, and from afar I hear the sounds of "battle" as if from some ancient land.  And then I notice that the honey bees are getting caught in my veil.  For a moment I'm afraid - what if I get stung?  But then I realize that they mean me no harm.  They just hang with me, buzz around me, dance amongst my clothes.  It somehow became a magical moment, that almost felt . . . seperated from time.  That's the best I can explain it.  That was the day I decided I wanted bees. 
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reinbeau
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« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2007, 09:50:37 PM »

That, lemur, is what I refer to as a Cathedral Moment.  Thank you for sharing it!
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- Ann, A Gardening Beek -  ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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lemur
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« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2007, 03:21:00 PM »

That, lemur, is what I refer to as a Cathedral Moment.  Thank you for sharing it!

Thank you!  Yes, it's very much like being in church.  So powerful that more than a dozen years later I can still remember every intricate detail.  I very much feel I was "led" there.  I could have been asked to play many parts, none other of which would have afforded me this magical experience.  Standing there with the bees buzzing around gently in my veils, it felt as if they were welcoming me to some home almost-but-not-quite-forgotten. 

And the odd knowing that they would not sting me.  Oh I'm not saying I won't be stung in the future.  In fact I can pretty much count on it.  I've been stung before, and yeah it hurts, and you get over it.  Hey, I've been stung by worse - white faced hornets are REALLY nasty, and I happen to be mildly allergic to fire ants, which live down here in hordes.  But this time I knew they weren't here for that, and wouldn't.  Instead they were calmly claiming me as one of their own.  Calling me to wake up and remember.

I would love to hear the "Cathedral Moments" of other beekeepers if anyone has some to share.
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