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Old 01-20-2013, 01:43 PM   #1
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Default The Bee Thread with Videos

We've always wanted to keep bees and Max has a couple of supers so if things work out we may try our hand at it. Hopefully, experienced beekeepers or at the very least beekeepers farther along the learning curve than we are will chime in here to give us some tips and pointers

There is a good thread at Homesteading Today worth reading:

http://www.homesteadingtoday.com/liv...ee-keeper.html
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Old 01-20-2013, 02:12 PM   #2
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I seem to remember Booger having bees.
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Old 01-20-2013, 03:48 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mousehound View Post
I seem to remember Booger having bees.
Me too!

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Old 01-20-2013, 11:27 PM   #4
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Bzzz, bzzz...
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Old 01-21-2013, 06:53 AM   #5
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I do recall from long ago a honey buyer saying that in his experience
there is no more unregimented , individualistic , idiosyncratic sub-group
in the world than beekeepers . It was in his opinion like herding cats.
( Or words to that effect ) .

( Not that I am meaning to imply anything negative about you cats )

.
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:13 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ross View Post
I do recall from long ago a honey buyer saying that in his experience
there is no more unregimented , individualistic , idiosyncratic sub-group
in the world than beekeepers . It was in his opinion like herding cats.
( Or words to that effect ) .

( Not that I am meaning to imply anything negative about you cats )

.
I can confirm that. I think there's a huge cultural fear over bees and it takes a... different sort of person to go, "Eh, so what?" and get some bees anyway. Of course, that can also be said about many other hobbies/lifestyles.

We're back down to only two hives to overwinter after this bastard of a beekeeping year. There's a honey shortage, at least locally. Around these parts and 100 miles both north and south, there's nothing. A little swath of the heartland without local honey. Next year has to be better, right? <--- oft-heard greeting among both beekeepers and gardeners.

My particular style of beekeeping is of the dirty hippie sort. It's a very complex subject, this beekeeping in general, so you can't just buy one book and think you have it covered. But, if you were to buy just one book, I'd push you to Michael Bush's The Practical Beekeeper. It's pricey but very worth it if you're serious about truly natural beekeeping -- even if you're not, this book will teach you things about bee behavior you'll not find elsewhere. He also has all of the same info for free on his website but I found it to be very difficult to navigate. That and I would rather hold a book in my hands for this sort of thing anyway and it's always handy for reference.
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:52 PM   #7
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Thanks Boog!

So much to learn. This vid seems to be a good overview:

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Old 01-22-2013, 09:45 PM   #8
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I can't watch any of the vids you post, BG, cuz we have severe bandwidth limitations out here in the boonies. It's even more restricted since we recently switched providers.

But anyhoos, here's a nice link for ya: Basic Beekeeping. They have over 100 free lessons covering most every aspect of (mostly conventional) beekeeping. Good stuff to read if you're considering bees.
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:53 PM   #9
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I'll do that. Thanks Boog.

I hate it that you are bandwidth deprived. That really stinks.
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:23 PM   #10
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bg, you should check in your area for a beekeeper's group. Most counties have some kind of group, often associated with the university extension system.

Here in TN, all the county groups have a short intro course scheduled for the February meeting. It's a good way to get hands-on instruction. The TN Beekeepers Assoc. also has a grant program that new beekeepers can apply for that provides most of the set-ups and equipment needed to get started. You might want to check for something like that in your state and area.

Beekeeping does take some effort, especially the extraction process, but the honey you'll get is well worth it!
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:54 PM   #11
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I've talked to a few beekeepers in the area. They are definitely going to be a major source of information! Thanks for the suggestion!

http://www.beekeepingforums.com/content/
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:34 PM   #12
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I saw a picture of a glass jar beehive...the bees made their honeycombs in upturned glass jars, so you could simply turn the jar upside down and get the bees out, cap it, and have honeycomb honey.

Not being a beekeeper, I THINK that's what it was all about. I did wonder, however, how you could keep the bees from overheating on hot days, stuck in a glasshouse, and all....
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:03 PM   #13
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http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...jar-comb-honey

AHA!! I knew I'd eventually find it! Just take a look, it's really interesting.
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:08 PM   #14
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Very cool! Thanks!
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:22 PM   #15
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DH suggested that I pass these links on as well. They're from Brushy Mountain, which is a reputable supplier for beekeeping stuff. He says that their "webinar" videos are very informative.


http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com...ces/Videos.asp

http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com.../Resources.asp
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:39 PM   #16
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Thank you, Catbird!!
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:06 PM   #17
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I love Brushy Mountain!

We live just over an hour from Dadant (another beekeeping supply company). They're having their ginormous 150th anniversary conference/celebration weekend in... Looks like the weekend of March 16th. Kid #3 and I have reservations and are looking forward to attending. Anyone else going?

(I'm not fond of Dadant's Monsanto ties but the folks at the local (Hamilton, IL) Dadant office are really top notch, helpful & friendly.)
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:23 PM   #18
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Susie, that's just wacky! I can't figure out if that's the coolest thing I've ever seen or the goofiest. You'd definitely have to keep that sucker in the shade, though. I'd really like to know how they attached the comb guide in there and, then, how they removed it at the end. Of course, once the bees were done with the honeycomb, you'd have to fill the jars the rest of the way with liquid honey. Once you worked out all of the kinks for your own particular set up, it could certainly be a fun experiment.

As far as looking up local beekeepers, most definitely!! Our local club puts on a beginner class (or two) each year plus does demonstrations at schools, club, fairs, etc. I learn an immense amount at each and every one of our monthly meetings and recommend you track down your local club for that very purpose. You'll learn all sorts of things you wouldn't otherwise think to ask.

FYI: There's a lot of bee porn on my blog. Here's the post from installing our bee packages in 2011. That was our first hands-on bee experience!
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:25 PM   #19
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Brushy Mountain has great customer service. Another place we get supplies from is Pigeon Mountain Trading Co. in Lafayette, GA. We took a little trip down there and it's a fun place - an old-fashioned hardware and feed/seed store with a huge apiary section. They also have a good selection online.

It was very helpful to just wander through the store and actually see all the various equipment and components instead of just looking at pics.

bg, I think you'll also be surprised at much more productive your garden will be once you start keeping bees. Those little guys just love to pollinate and having a hive near the garden is much, much better than relying on just random wild bees.
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:19 PM   #20
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Someone near us must have bees. We have honey bees that visit us!
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Old 02-04-2013, 06:38 PM   #21
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Michael Bush to speak in St. Louis.

Oh, how I want to go!!
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:29 PM   #22
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We're jealous Boog and we want to hear all about it. We ordered his book(s) and understand why you like him so much. Thanks for the recommendation!
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Old 02-19-2013, 02:10 AM   #23
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I'm going! I sweet talked hubby into taking that Saturday off of work so he can watch the remaining kids while I and kid #3 attend the lecture. I'm so friggin' excited, I could pee my pants!

I'm gonna go all rock star groupie on him and hold up a burning lighter, swaying above the crowd, while he talks.
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:23 PM   #24
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:fascinating: (My way of saying we need a Spock smilie thingie )

Study Shows That Bees and Flowers Communicate Using Electrical Fields

"Scientists from the University of Bristol have discovered that flowers use patterns of electrical signals in concert with the flower’s other attractive signals to enhance floral attraction to insect pollinators such as bumblebees.

Flowers’ methods of communicating are at least as sophisticated as any devised by an advertising agency, according to a new study, published today in Science Express by researchers from the University of Bristol. However, for any advert to be successful, it has to reach, and be perceived by, its target audience. The research shows for the first time that pollinators such as bumblebees are able to find and distinguish electric signals given out by flowers...".
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Old 02-23-2013, 11:51 PM   #25
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Did that Michael Bush thing today in STL. Very interesting and I loved every second of it! I took copious notes and will do a rundown of it in a blog post -- will post a link here when it's up.

The cool thing is, they're going to make this a regular thing. Not Michael Bush specifically but bringing in different speakers three or four times each year -- and not just your average, conventional speakers but those on the fringe, those pushing the edges, those that make the conventional squirm in their seats just a bit. Right up my alley!

Anyway, MB confirmed a LOT of ideas I had in my head -- and in my hives. Cool stuff.
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