Startup Costs of Becoming a Beekeeper: Thanks for the article!

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Startup Costs of Becoming a Beekeeper

By Mindy03
October 3, 2011

Becoming a beekeeper doesn't require a great outlay of cash or time. After that initial investment in the hive and equipment, it's a pretty cheap hobby. Let's take a look at the basic equipment you need to get started.

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Name: June or Nancy-June o
Dover AFB, Delaware (Zone 7a)
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JuneBug
Oct 2, 2011 6:29 PM CST
I have been meaning to study up a bit on this as all of the bee keepers in the family have passed on years ago and I thought that I would love to take their place Sticking tongue out The last time I even helped a little with the hives was back in the mid '70s and I have forgotten most of what I learned. You make it sound a lot easier than they did, but there are groups to be a member of now and that would make the big difference: being able to tap into that knowledge-base.
I love the idea of doing it like my Grandmother did: right out in the front of the side yard in the center of a shrub and perennial bed. The 3 hives couldn't be seen until you were within a few feet of them, yet they were well protected by a good, fenced yard and Grandmom could keep her eye on them. The cousins that had hives had all manner of animals attacking their hives as they all kept them in their fields and gardens.
Name: Margaret
Delta KY
I'm A Charley's Girl For Sure
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Mindy03
Oct 2, 2011 7:20 PM CST
Thank you June. You will be happy to hear that there will be more articles on setting up a bee yard coming this month. Look for the next one next week.
Name: June or Nancy-June o
Dover AFB, Delaware (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member I sent a postcard to Randy! Garden Art Roses Region: United States of America Container Gardener
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JuneBug
Oct 2, 2011 7:21 PM CST
GOODY! I'll be looking forward to it. Thumbs up
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
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SongofJoy
Oct 3, 2011 2:21 AM CST
I always enjoy your bee articles, Mindy. I hope next year will be my year to set up some hives. I'd love to! Smiling
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
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valleylynn
Oct 3, 2011 4:31 AM CST
I sometimes miss out bees, it has been quite a long time since we had them. We never had anything bother our hives, even though there were plenty of skunks, bears and such.
I love following your articals, it brings back great memories.
Baltimore County, MD (Zone 7a)
A bit of this and a bit of that
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bitbit
Oct 3, 2011 6:43 AM CST
Thanks for the article. You're right, it is very intimidating looking at the lists of everything required to start a hive, but it doesn't sound so bad the way you put it.

Do you know anything about top bar hives? They seem like a cool idea, and might cost less than a traditional hive, but it seems that very few people use them.

I'm still waiting for beekeeping to be legalized in my city. The council members all say they support it, but they keep pushing back the vote - it's been on the table for almost a year now.
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
Oct 3, 2011 8:22 AM CST
Thank you all for the encouraging words on my articles.

Bit all of our hives are Langstroth hives so I don't know much about them. I did a search on Wikipedia and found this information that might help you decide.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Top-bar_hive

It does sound like the top bar hive would be much easier for a beginner and is perfect for cut comb honey.

You might also want to check out this link. It has good information for urban beekeepers and a link to guidelines for helping the city draft a bill to allow beekeeping.

http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/blogs/bees/i...
Baltimore County, MD (Zone 7a)
A bit of this and a bit of that
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Herbs
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bitbit
Oct 3, 2011 9:58 AM CST
Thanks, Mindy!

I've read up a fair bit, but never actually talked to someone who uses a top-bar hive. I know about the pros and cons on paper, just not the first-hand view.

My city council has a bill drafted and sitting on their desk, so to speak. Every single member has come out in support of it when asked. They just haven't gotten around to voting on the darn thing, which is frustrating. I think they see it as a very low priority.
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
Oct 3, 2011 11:23 AM CST
I don't know anyone who has a top bar hive here to ask questions of. Is there a beekeeping association near you? If so you can call them and ask if any members have that type of hive.

Perhaps the city council hasn't heard from enough wanna be beekeepers to move that bill up higher on their list. If you know more people wanting that passed go to a meeting as a group to request they take action on it. Bribe with offers of honey if you have to. My method for getting things done with anyone from the Post Office to our magistrate is to bug the heck out of them until they do what I want just to get rid of me. And I enlist others to help me bug them if necessary.

I'll ask my husband if he would consider doing a top bar hive next year to see how one works.
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
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flaflwrgrl
Oct 3, 2011 12:05 PM CST
Thank you for the great article Mindy. Perfect!
RE: The top bar hive or for that matter any other LOCAL info. on bees & beekeeping in your area you can call your county Ag. Ext. Agent. they will either know or be able to put you in contact with someone from the county or state who does. In Fl. we have State Bee Inspectors who inspect commercial hive operations for diseases etc... They are quite knowlegeable & I have found them to be more than willing to talk to & help any budding backyard beekeepers. I might add that you can also buy hives which are already operational. Local commercial to semi commercial beekeepers will generally sell a hive or two or 3 if you ask them. Bee people are usually a friendly lot. The state bee inspector will also go & inspect the hive(s) you are planning on buying to make sure there is no disease present in them at the time of your purchase.
I would urge all those who are intimidated by the prospect of having a hive or two to NOT to be intimidated! Keeping bees is far easier than keeping pets!
Mindy, I look forward to your next article this month!
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



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
Oct 3, 2011 12:11 PM CST
Thank you Ann for reminding me about the County AG Extension Agents. They not only know where most beekeepers are in their area and what type of hives they have, they also know who may be selling their hives or equipment.

And as a reminder to those considering beekeeping for next year, now is the time to order your bees or locate a local beekeeper who plans to sell bees during swarming season. Package bees sell out fast.
Baltimore County, MD (Zone 7a)
A bit of this and a bit of that
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Herbs
Composter Container Gardener Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Dog Lover Plant and/or Seed Trader
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bitbit
Oct 3, 2011 3:29 PM CST
Thanks for that reminder. My city doesn't have anything like an Ag Extension, but there's one a couple cities over (in Chesapeake, which is mostly rural despite being legally a city). I should drop them a line sometime. I knew a great beekeeper back when I worked on a farm, but I've since moved and am several hours away from him now. The downside of living in an area where beekeeping is illegal (aside from not being able to keep bees myself) is that that the few people who do keep them are very quiet about it, so it's hard to get local info.

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