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Bee Keepers

This topic contains 21 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Steven W. fabio 1 year, 6 months ago.

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  • #37830
    Profile photo of First Sergeant
    First Sergeant
    Moderator

    As the title says, any beekeepers here?

    I am looking into getting a hive and trying to gather all the info I can.

    FILO
    Signal out, can you identify.
    Je ne regrette rien...
    Klagt Nicht, Kämpft

    #37834
    Profile photo of Keeper aka "Sun Shine"
    Keeper
    Participant

    I got a few hives in the back yard. Been keeping Bees for the past three years here in N.E fl. The best time to start is in the spring around April up your way. I would find a local club in your area and go to some of the meeting and start to find out who has some in your area. In the spring is the time when we do splits on the hives which is when the hive is getting too crowd and the bees are looking for a new place to set up shop so to speak. This is when a bee keeper take about three frame of brood out and puts in a nook and starts to grow it. in about three weeks you increase the size from 5 frames to 10 frame then transfer them to a main box and then in a little while you place a honey super on top and the bees will start to built it out for honey. If you grow a strong hive you should get three or more gallon per ten frame super twice a year.
    these are a some good bee keeper supplies http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/
    we use them for a supplies check out youtube a of pretty good info there. again try and find a local bee club.
    anything else please ask more then happy to share.

    Alumni living in N.E Fla. for now. Going to retire in Iowa on the farm some day soon.

    #37839
    Profile photo of Roger Hilfer
    RotorHead
    Participant

    I second the recommendation of a local bee club. I know there are a number in Virginia. “Our” club offers a beginning bee keepers class in the winter and at graduation it is time for that spring hive. You can’t really start a hive until spring, so now is the time to learn the knowledge. You will find you “manage” bee’s rather than “keep” them.

    One caution, they are addictive and will take a much larger portion of time than you can imagine, but I have no regrets and enjoy the journey. The pollinate our small orchard and provide two honey harvests per year.

    #37842
    Profile photo of Robert
    Robert
    Participant

    Down to just one hive currently but have had as many as 15. Life’s been crazy the last couple years :wacko:

    It’s worth doing just for the increased pollination on your fruit trees and in your garden IMO. That being said their is a host of problems that can and do come up.

    Wax moths are straight from the pits of hell IMO.

    www.jrhenterprises.com
    RMP, TC3, NODF, CRCD 6/14, CP 9/14. NODF, Land Nav, 6/15. Rifleman Challenge 9/15- Vanguard. FOFtactics 3/16, 10/16, 11/16, 6/17,11/17 CTT, 6/15, 11/16, , LRMC-1 9/17 GA Mobile CTT and DA 10/16, GA mobile DCH 3/18, HEAT1 3/18 Alum weekend 8/18, Opfor CLC 10/18, DA 11/18 CQBC 12/18

    #37852
    Profile photo of Ralph Kramden
    HiDesertRat
    Participant

    Would second what Keeper sez, find a local club and get to know the folks. They will know what works in your local area and can provide resources as well. Also, very important, order your bees in January or February for pickup, usually April, depends on where you live. If you wait too long, they will not be available til the following year. Equipment you can get easily either local or online, but you need to know what to get. Join local club. Been doing it now for 5 years. Rewarding endeavor and if shtf, you have a good source for yourself and exchange for other goods. And you help the environment also in your own, unique way.

    #37863
    Profile photo of Trailman
    trailman
    Participant

    Ditto again, our local club has a January class that ends up with you,a hive and a mentor. Remember it’s not about stuff but knowledge and training. Where have I heard that.?

    Is this you?
    https://nrvba.org/tag/roanoke/

    Call for this years

    http://www.cpe.vt.edu/beekeep/

    CRM, CTT 1501, CP11/15, CTT5/16, FoF, DCH, CLC Opfor, Team Minion

    Just remember, Anne Frank was a criminal because the government made her one and she died because she broke the law.

    #37876
    Profile photo of First Sergeant
    First Sergeant
    Moderator

    Thanks for all the information.

    I will look for a local club. There are a couple of people that I know locally that have hives and I will be talking to them in the next week or so.

    I picked up a couple of books a couple of months back and have read those.

    We have a herb garden and apple trees so I know bees will be a plus.

    Our local Tractor Supply sells a lot of bee keeping equipment. Anything I should look out for? Companies to stay away from or companies that are good? That line sounds familiar.

    Trailman, that club is a couple hours from me.

    FILO
    Signal out, can you identify.
    Je ne regrette rien...
    Klagt Nicht, Kämpft

    #37878
    Profile photo of RampantRaptor
    rampantraptor
    Participant

    I got totally interested in beekeeping a few years back. (I love honey and am a total honey snob, I put that shit on everything.) I can’t really say I know where my life is headed over the next few years, though, and beekeeping is a multi-year commitment so I’ve hesitated. When I figure out where my station is in life and feel settled down then I’ll probably start my own hive.

    I know here in Maryland you have to take classes and get a license, not sure about other states, though.

    Would be really interesting to see how honey in my area would taste considering I live in the city with all the extra sources of pollen and nectar. There’s already one public garden in my neighborhood where the hippies keep a couple hives.

    #RaqqaSummer2017
    - - -
    Jîn, Jiyan, Azadî

    #37915
    Profile photo of Trailman
    trailman
    Participant

    I know here in Maryland you have to take classes and get a license, not sure about other states, though.

    Would be really interesting to see how honey in my area would taste considering I live in the city with all the extra sources of pollen and nectar. There’s already one public garden in my neighborhood where the hippies keep a couple hives.

    Never heard of a required class? OR license. You do have to register your colony which is a good thing.

    CRM, CTT 1501, CP11/15, CTT5/16, FoF, DCH, CLC Opfor, Team Minion

    Just remember, Anne Frank was a criminal because the government made her one and she died because she broke the law.

    #37920
    Profile photo of Ralph Kramden
    HiDesertRat
    Participant

    Here in Idaho you have to register every fucking bee, micro stamped with ID, with the FAA and they have to pass the aeronautics exam by themselves, no cheating. Oh, and get this, you have to equip every one of those f..ing pollinators with a black box in case they go down.

    Can you believe that shit? And I have heard talk that the bees are gonna have to provide a drink service while in flight. WTF is happening to our beloved country? It used to be in the old days bees had the unwritten law of open bottle carry. It’s a sad day in ‘merica.

    Beekeeping ain’t what it used to be. :cry:

    #37923
    Profile photo of First Sergeant
    First Sergeant
    Moderator

    Here in Idaho you have to register every fucking bee, micro stamped with ID, with the FAA and they have to pass the aeronautics exam by themselves, no cheating. Oh, and get this, you have to equip every one of those f..ing pollinators with a black box in case they go down.

    Can you believe that shit? And I have heard talk that the bees are gonna have to provide a drink service while in flight. WTF is happening to our beloved country? It used to be in the old days bees had the unwritten law of open bottle carry. It’s a sad day in ‘merica.

    Beekeeping ain’t what it used to be. :cry:

    LOL. I would not put anything past the government.

    FILO
    Signal out, can you identify.
    Je ne regrette rien...
    Klagt Nicht, Kämpft

    #37928
    Profile photo of Roger Hilfer
    RotorHead
    Participant

    I’ve never used Tractor Supply, but I’m not a big fan of them anyway. We have a Dadant warehouse about an hour away from me, several for you, but they do online. I’ve also had excellent service from Brushy Mountain. Neat store on top of the mountain, but they also have fast online service.

    Stick with “medium supers”, either 8 or 10 frame. If you plan on harvesting honey you will appreciate the reduced weight as opposed to the “deep supers”. A lot of bee keepers like to use the waxed frames, but I’ve had great luck with the plasticil frames and they make it easier to extract honey. I’ve had more than a few wax frames “blow out” during extraction. Get a quality smoker and hive tool. Some old hands only use the head veil, but I prefer the “inspectors jacket” and light gloves. You will not need to invest in honey harvesting until after the first year. You want to make sure you have a strong hive and good queen before you start taking their food. Don’t bother with the “broadman feeders” (upside down glass jars). If you can find the “Canadian feeders” they are super and really help in the winter, but the US made 1 gallon feeders are a good second choice. You will want to start with 2 or 3 supers and frames, with an empty (no frames) super for the feeder. Remember a good queen can lay 2000 eggs (little bees) a day, so she will fill up those supers fairly rapidly.

    You will need to learn how to do a hive inspection, so have a “mentor” show you the process, but be careful with the queen. And good luck!

    #37934
    Profile photo of RampantRaptor
    rampantraptor
    Participant

    I know here in Maryland you have to take classes and get a license, not sure about other states, though.

    Would be really interesting to see how honey in my area would taste considering I live in the city with all the extra sources of pollen and nectar. There’s already one public garden in my neighborhood where the hippies keep a couple hives.

    Never heard of a required class? OR license. You do have to register your colony which is a good thing.

    Double-checked, you’re right, my memory was off. It’s registration, not licensing. I guess I’m so damn used to everything being regulated here in Maryland :wacko: .

    First they register our hives, then they’ll begin to confiscate any hives that can accept high-capacity frames because nobody needs that many bees. ;-)

    #RaqqaSummer2017
    - - -
    Jîn, Jiyan, Azadî

    #37939
    Profile photo of Trailman
    trailman
    Participant

    Scott,
    I just googled for your area to see what was out there. We have a very good club in our County and I have a beekeeper up the street that I met when we were doing markets. I wanted to do bees but the OPU nixed it until I got rid of something else :-( . Too many homestead related endeavors.

    @rampantraptor MD and many other states require premise registrations for many types of “livestock” Most times a little guys can fly under the radar but it depends. And while I’m sure there is many Trotskyites buried in the bureaucracy somewhere tallying my assets for confiscation the primary purpose is Ag biosecurity. Bee’s have become a big thing with the colony collapse thing.

    For MD we have a poultry registration, one for swine and and egg packing permit, all at no cost but it allows the Dept of Ag to track and contact if there are issues.

    Rotorhead, that’s good info.

    CRM, CTT 1501, CP11/15, CTT5/16, FoF, DCH, CLC Opfor, Team Minion

    Just remember, Anne Frank was a criminal because the government made her one and she died because she broke the law.

    #37956
    Profile photo of Ralph Kramden
    HiDesertRat
    Participant

    Had to ‘winterize’ my bees the other week. Gets cold up here, recently down to 12 F. Built them an insulated house of sorts with clear bubble wrap front, southern exposure to tide them over til spring. Plus chose Carniolian bees a few years back, genetically connected to bees from mountainous regions of eastern Europe, better suited to colder climes. You folks in the South will do just fine with the Italian variety. Always something to learn.

    #37970
    Profile photo of First Sergeant
    First Sergeant
    Moderator

    We also have a Dadant warehouse less than an hour away. I am heading over there next week. One of my family members is also looking to get started also.

    FILO
    Signal out, can you identify.
    Je ne regrette rien...
    Klagt Nicht, Kämpft

    #40840
    Profile photo of Mountain Mom
    gramma
    Participant

    I thought Bawlmor was rather accepting of a lot more urban farming than other places. I know people who keep chickens in the city.

    #41937
    Profile photo of swmcphrsn
    swmcphrsn
    Participant

    One more source for equipment – http://www.kelleybees.com

    #45723
    Profile photo of swmcphrsn
    swmcphrsn
    Participant

    How’s everyone done this year? My packages were installed first week of March and I pulled honey May 30th. It’s been a very good year!

    #45726
    Profile photo of Keeper aka "Sun Shine"
    Keeper
    Participant

    We pulled 10 gals from 5 super

    Alumni living in N.E Fla. for now. Going to retire in Iowa on the farm some day soon.

    #45757
    Profile photo of norinco
    norinco
    Participant

    I did beekeeping for a few years and loved the hobby. I got out of it after I got stung in the ear (a bee got in my veil) and I had a terrible allergic reaction to it. The hospital visit for that was fun. “Sir, are you having any trouble breathing?” “Well, there’s a frog in my throat that isn’t usually there.”

    I got my wife to continue to manage the hives for another season or two. She’s a trooper. I would help her get the smoker started and then pull up in the car with the windows rolled up next to the hive and yell out my instructions. “Now take that frame covered in bees and knock it on the side of the hive so we can harvest the honey.”

    We’ve got all the frames and equipment still in storage. I still have a dream that I’ll find a full body bee suit that I can trust and get back into the hobby.

    Central Florida
    Alumni - Georgia CTT 2017

    #45886
    Profile photo of Steven W.
    fabio
    Participant

    Agree with all that has been said, especially comments by Keeper and Rotor.

    The books are a good start. YouTube is useful. These will help with the basics (nomenclature, identification, etc.) But tutelage with a local keeper will be the greatest benefit. Donate your time assisting him and you will learn the most.

    You will be spending money. But skip the cheap, $30, jacket. Use a white long sleeve shirt and a mosquito netted hat/helmet cover instead. You might already have both. The keeper you assist will have everything else needed.

    Start working bees now so you are ready to purchase your own in spring 2018.

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