Beekeeping forum: I may have just been pushed off the fence to get a bee hive for my house

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crittergarden
Sep 17, 2014 8:59 AM CST
I need serious guidance!

I have been on the fence because I am afraid I will have a "bad spell" at the wrong time for the bees.
I have a problem with anxiety & depression. I haven't had a very long "bad spell" in quite awhile, but when I get them I just don't step out the door unless I need food or something.

Yesterday at the farmers' market I met a veggie vendor who is also a beekeeper. Our conversation convinced me that my entire neighborhood NEEDS me to get a beehive. There aren't any here AT ALL. I saw NOT ONE this season. And there are noticeably few other pollinators, which I can plant for. I will have to import some bees.

What I need to know is the MINIMAL work that needs to be done, and what time of year. If I think I can handle that, I will do it. If not, I won't. I'd hate to let them die!!! Crying I HOPE to be able to be really involved, but I need to know if I just shouldn't risk it.

It would also be nice to know who the members are who are actually beekeepers and like to mentor......

(edited for typos)
SHOW ME YOUR CRITTERS! I have a critter page over at Cubits. http://cubits.org/crittergarden/thread/view/73275/
[Last edited by crittergarden - Sep 17, 2014 8:59 AM (+)]
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Name: Margaret
Delta KY
I'm A Charley's Girl For Sure
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Beekeeper
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Mindy03
Sep 18, 2014 1:34 PM CST

Moderator

Honey bees can pretty much survive without us humans. Mainly what they need a beekeeper to do is keep an eye out for problems. Generally about 40 hours per SEASON is enough time a beekeeper needs to invest.

I'm no beekeeper Smiling I'm just the wife of one so any beekeeping questions I can't answer I just ask my husband. I do garden for them though and there's plenty of articles in the Ideas section about the forage they like.

There are other members who keep bees or have kept them so I'm sure any questions you have will get answered.

I hope that pushes you off that fence on the side of getting the bees.

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crittergarden
Sep 18, 2014 4:15 PM CST
Thank you Mindy.
You seem to be the most vocal bee person here.
I wondered if there were any others at all until I saw there was a forum.....

I figured the bees could make it on their own unless we HUMANS had made them less able to.
Farmers' market guy said something about medications and preparing for winter, and I got nervous.
Mind you, I CAN do most things most times, I just have little control about when I may "shut down" for a bit.

I'm trying to get in touch about the mentoring thing with BurghBees - the link seems to be broken on their site and I've reported it.
And I'll ask the farmers' market guy some more coherent questions this coming Tuesday.

Thanks for speaking up - the rest of you come out of hiding, eh? Blinking

SHOW ME YOUR CRITTERS! I have a critter page over at Cubits. http://cubits.org/crittergarden/thread/view/73275/
Name: Margaret
Delta KY
I'm A Charley's Girl For Sure
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Beekeeper
Seed Starter Permaculture Region: Kentucky Garden Ideas: Master Level
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Mindy03
Sep 18, 2014 4:51 PM CST

Moderator

The guy at the Farmers Market is actally your best source of information because he lives in the area. That means he knows what you will have to deal with.

Getting them ready for winter is no big deal. Mainly means making sure they have enough food stores to get them through.
The medications are no big deal either they come with instructions for use.

Dave is one of our beekeepers on here and if you check the other threads in this forum you'll discover others.
Surprisingly GREEN Pittsburgh (Zone 6a)
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crittergarden
Sep 18, 2014 5:30 PM CST
Cool.

Yeah, I knew farmers' market guy can tell me about the seasonal timing and stuff.
And he certainly knows his stuff. He seems to be an active member of Burgh Bees and possibly an outreach person.

After I asked a very general "how much work..." and he answered with some facts, I mentioned I was afraid I'd not be there for them when they needed me and he said something about "if you're not dedicated enough..." And I corrected him - "It's more of a health problem than a dedication one....." But it was funny. Y'know what he sounded like? He sounded like a volunteer at an animal shelter who wasn't quite sure the person he was talking to was "good enough" to take home a poor defenseless puppy. Hilarious!
SHOW ME YOUR CRITTERS! I have a critter page over at Cubits. http://cubits.org/crittergarden/thread/view/73275/
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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dave
Sep 18, 2014 5:51 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

I don't monitor my hives, although I know I should, and eventually I'll run into a problem that I could have caught early but didn't. Generally I only open my hives a few times a year. I check them every 6 weeks or so during the growing season. It's not ideal but it has worked for a long time for us. I feel like in your case if you went a very long time (several months) without checking the hives they'd probably be okay.
Name: Toni Melvin
Sherwood Oregon (Zone 8a)
Region: Oregon Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Herbs Beekeeper
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Toni
Sep 18, 2014 10:26 PM CST
@crittergarden

I just now saw this thread ~ not that I can give you any guidance, but I sure think I can give you encouragement. I absolutely LOVE having my honeybees. I don’t interfere much at all with my honeybees. They are almost completely left to live their life on their own. I do go out my back door almost everyday and watch them for a few minutes, just because I love it. My goal here is to do things naturally, no chemicals, and only slight intervention. I remind myself that bees have survived for thousands of years all on their own. So, if I provide them with a safe house, water and food sources they will take care of the rest. So far it has worked for me.

They are truly amazing creatures.
Toni
I aspire to be the person my dog thinks I am
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crittergarden
Sep 19, 2014 5:46 AM CST
dave said:I don't monitor my hives, although I know I should, and eventually I'll run into a problem that I could have caught early but didn't. Generally I only open my hives a few times a year. I check them every 6 weeks or so during the growing season. It's not ideal but it has worked for a long time for us. I feel like in your case if you went a very long time (several months) without checking the hives they'd probably be okay.


Dave, that it wonderful to hear!
@gleni - did you hear that?
SHOW ME YOUR CRITTERS! I have a critter page over at Cubits. http://cubits.org/crittergarden/thread/view/73275/
Surprisingly GREEN Pittsburgh (Zone 6a)
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crittergarden
Sep 19, 2014 5:53 AM CST
Toni said: @crittergarden

I just now saw this thread ~ not that I can give you any guidance, but I sure think I can give you encouragement. I absolutely LOVE having my honeybees. I don’t interfere much at all with my honeybees. They are almost completely left to live their life on their own. I do go out my back door almost everyday and watch them for a few minutes, just because I love it. My goal here is to do things naturally, no chemicals, and only slight intervention. I remind myself that bees have survived for thousands of years all on their own. So, if I provide them with a safe house, water and food sources they will take care of the rest. So far it has worked for me.

They are truly amazing creatures.


And thank YOU too, Toni.

Gosh I was all worried. When I searched up the "how to" it seemed so complicated!!!
And Farmers' Market guy worried me even more!
Now it's off the the "can I afford it" part of the quest.

Anybody got a minimal equipment list?
I know where to get a hive full of bees, so I won't be building my own or anything.
(I think Mindy sent me one a couple of years ago - I'll have to look for that. BUT I'd like opinions from several people....)
SHOW ME YOUR CRITTERS! I have a critter page over at Cubits. http://cubits.org/crittergarden/thread/view/73275/
Name: Glen Ingram
Macleay Is, Qld, Australia (Zone 12a)
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Gleni
Sep 19, 2014 7:09 AM CST
Yes, Critter, I am following. This is good info and reassuring! Okay, I will give it ago next month. I will see if I can get a hive on the island. I know where I can get one on the mainland but I would have to bring it back in the car ferry. They might freak on the passenger ferry. Smiling
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crittergarden
Sep 19, 2014 7:11 AM CST
Hilarious!
SHOW ME YOUR CRITTERS! I have a critter page over at Cubits. http://cubits.org/crittergarden/thread/view/73275/
Name: Toni Melvin
Sherwood Oregon (Zone 8a)
Region: Oregon Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Herbs Beekeeper
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Toni
Sep 21, 2014 2:52 PM CST
Someone here on ATP posted a link to directions on how to keep bees dry overwinter. Here in Oregon that is a must nodding so I popped one out in just a few minutes.
Thumb of 2014-09-21/Toni/1e6b7a

And here it is filled with wood chips that will collect the condensation that collects on the inside ceiling of the hive Hurray!
I will keep an eye on the girls this winter and see if it works like I think it will.

Thumb of 2014-09-21/Toni/533cb6

Toni
I aspire to be the person my dog thinks I am
Name: Toni Melvin
Sherwood Oregon (Zone 8a)
Region: Oregon Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Herbs Beekeeper
Permaculture Composter Canning and food preservation Bee Lover Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Toni
Sep 21, 2014 3:10 PM CST
Oh my gosh! So sorry for the garden shoe in the above photo *Blush*
Toni
I aspire to be the person my dog thinks I am
Surprisingly GREEN Pittsburgh (Zone 6a)
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crittergarden
Sep 21, 2014 4:13 PM CST
Nothing at all wrong with a good garden shoe!!!
Hilarious!
SHOW ME YOUR CRITTERS! I have a critter page over at Cubits. http://cubits.org/crittergarden/thread/view/73275/
Name: Glen Ingram
Macleay Is, Qld, Australia (Zone 12a)
Bearded Dragon young male
Region: Australia Annuals Canning and food preservation Herbs Tropicals Foliage Fan
Plays in the sandbox Cactus and Succulents Garden Photography Hybridizer Composter Sedums
Image
Gleni
Sep 21, 2014 5:59 PM CST
I posted one with flip flops visible recently. *Blush*
Surprisingly GREEN Pittsburgh (Zone 6a)
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crittergarden
Sep 21, 2014 6:03 PM CST
Adds pizzaz.
SHOW ME YOUR CRITTERS! I have a critter page over at Cubits. http://cubits.org/crittergarden/thread/view/73275/
Surprisingly GREEN Pittsburgh (Zone 6a)
Rabbit Keeper Bee Lover Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Butterflies Hummingbirder
Dog Lover Birds Plant and/or Seed Trader Bulbs Echinacea Irises
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crittergarden
Sep 21, 2014 6:06 PM CST
Good morning, Gleni.
SHOW ME YOUR CRITTERS! I have a critter page over at Cubits. http://cubits.org/crittergarden/thread/view/73275/
Name: Glen Ingram
Macleay Is, Qld, Australia (Zone 12a)
Bearded Dragon young male
Region: Australia Annuals Canning and food preservation Herbs Tropicals Foliage Fan
Plays in the sandbox Cactus and Succulents Garden Photography Hybridizer Composter Sedums
Image
Gleni
Sep 21, 2014 10:06 PM CST
Good afternoon Critter. I had a quick nap.
Surprisingly GREEN Pittsburgh (Zone 6a)
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crittergarden
Sep 22, 2014 8:39 AM CST
Smiling
SHOW ME YOUR CRITTERS! I have a critter page over at Cubits. http://cubits.org/crittergarden/thread/view/73275/
Surprisingly GREEN Pittsburgh (Zone 6a)
Rabbit Keeper Bee Lover Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Butterflies Hummingbirder
Dog Lover Birds Plant and/or Seed Trader Bulbs Echinacea Irises
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crittergarden
Sep 23, 2014 6:06 PM CST
Saw farmers' market guy again today.
He's offered to look up some prices for me to get me a ballpark figure.
He makes it sound SO EXPENSIVE though!
But he's rattling off equipment names I don't know and talking pretty fast.
The email will help.

His off the cuff estimate was $700 - and I just don''t reside in that economic class!!!!

But we shall see.

I assured him I have no desire to sell honey and only need a minimal hive for my own garden, hoping he'll take some stuff OFF the list!!!
SHOW ME YOUR CRITTERS! I have a critter page over at Cubits. http://cubits.org/crittergarden/thread/view/73275/

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