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The Lounge>The bee keeper diaries
Iowanian 06:59 PM 02-02-2017
It's a great time to buy stock in eppy pens.

This thread is a repository for bee keepers or those interested.

A couple of years ago, a couple of friends an my brother started puttering with honey bees. I didn't buy off because, well, I've never been a big fan of bees or getting stung by them. Last summer I tagged along a couple of times to check their hives and to remove honey bees from a house, public building and an old garage.

I realized at the end of the summer when I was helping them process some, that it's actually pretty interesting, and fits into my expanding "grow my own" logic. I'm not full blown hippy but I see a lot of logic in the self sustaining food thing and I'm doing some of that too.

That said, this thread is about bees, honey bees, bee keeping and bee fighting war stories.

I'm taking the leap and plan to get 2-3 hives this spring and maybe build some bee swarm traps to make it cheaper or to make a few bucks.

Join me and I'll share the real life lessons of an ameture bee keeper. I'm sure I'm going to learn some things the hard way.
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dmahurin 10:31 PM 02-02-2017
Ive bought a top bar hive and plan on buying bees this spring to try it out. Ive got a pretty good size garden, Ive built a large chicken coop and have chickens going on 3 years now and I figure it's time to start a new self sustaining project.
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Frazod 10:33 PM 02-02-2017
I certainly wish everybody who does this the best of luck. I keep hearing stories about how bees are dying off everywhere, and that's bad news for everything else.
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Iowanian 10:51 PM 02-02-2017
The guys I'm learning from have had mixed results. One of them lost 4-5 hives at his house this winter but the rest are good in other locations. I think he is blaming the adjacent farm spraying insecticide late in the season.


I'm not a notable hippy but I do believe the bee death is a real thing. Pollinators are vital and if more guys like me try to raise a few hives it will help.

It surely won't hurt my orchard either.
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HonestChieffan 10:52 PM 02-02-2017
I thought if you feed them sugar water the honey will get all crystalized and nasty. Fact or fiction?
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stumppy 10:55 PM 02-02-2017
Originally Posted by Iowanian:
The guys I'm learning from have had mixed results. One of them lost 4-5 hives at his house this winter but the rest are good in other locations. I think he is blaming the adjacent farm spraying insecticide late in the season.


I'm not a notable hippy but I do believe the bee death is a real thing. Pollinators are vital and if more guys like me try to raise a few hives it will help.

It surely won't hurt my orchard either.
Didn't they figure out the colony collapse problem was mostly related to some kind of mites ?
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Fat Elvis 10:59 PM 02-02-2017
I'd be real interested in learning more about beekeeping. We have some pasture land; I've thought about putting some hives out there. I know we'd have to fence them off real good to keep the cattle out. Just curious if there is any money in it to make it worthwhile.
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Buehler445 11:14 PM 02-02-2017
Originally Posted by Iowanian:
The guys I'm learning from have had mixed results. One of them lost 4-5 hives at his house this winter but the rest are good in other locations. I think he is blaming the adjacent farm spraying insecticide late in the season.


I'm not a notable hippy but I do believe the bee death is a real thing. Pollinators are vital and if more guys like me try to raise a few hives it will help.

It surely won't hurt my orchard either.
Bee numbers are definitely down. But there is a lot of factors. At gets blamed for a shitton of it but objectively nothing has changed in at to promote large scale bee death. But a neighbor spraying definitely could have nuked your local colony.

But the whole talc/seed treatment thing is a joke. Vacuum planters have been on the market forever as has seed treatment. In terms of applied insecticides, the total volume of insecticides applied is minuscule since BT corn was commercially available.

But I'd talk to your neighbors. See if you can get a courtesy call when he is flying insecticide on.
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redhed 08:51 AM 02-03-2017
Originally Posted by HonestChieffan:
I thought if you feed them sugar water the honey will get all crystalized and nasty. Fact or fiction?
Fiction
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KS Smitty 09:45 AM 02-03-2017
Originally Posted by HonestChieffan:
I thought if you feed them sugar water the honey will get all crystalized and nasty. Fact or fiction?
Honey gets crystallized due to temperature change for the most part. Setting the honey jar in a pan of very hot water will bring it back to a liquid, you don't want to overheat the honey as that kills a lot of the good properties that folks buy local honey for. A drawback, IMO, in using sugar water is you lose the allergy-releiving properties of local honey if they aren't pollinating the flowers/weeds that are causing the allergies.
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Iowanian 08:25 PM 03-02-2017
No turning back now.

Last night I bought 3 hives and a few extra boxes from someone who didn't want to do this anymore, along with a bonafide bee hat, gloves, smoker and tools for less than half of retail...got a good deal.

For year one I play to buy 2 nucs and keep the 3rd and try to catch a swarm.


Probably a good time to invest in epi-pen stocks.
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Squalor2 09:50 PM 03-02-2017
Originally Posted by Iowanian:
No turning back now.

Last night I bought 3 hives and a few extra boxes from someone who didn't want to do this anymore, along with a bonafide bee hat, gloves, smoker and tools for less than half of retail...got a good deal.

For year one I play to buy 2 nukes and keep the 3rd and try to catch a swarm.


Probably a good time to invest in epic pen stocks.

good luck. my hive died when i bought one without a queen.
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HonestChieffan 10:02 PM 03-02-2017
I just finished planting a 2 acre pollinator planting on the farm. I figure I have the space and the bees and butterflies can benefit. We are converting another 11 acres from fescue to Native Warm Season Grasses for the wildlife benefits.

Guess deep down all of we farm types are pretty green...
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Squalor2 10:23 PM 03-02-2017
[QUOTE=HonestChieffan;12766022]I just finished planting a 2 acre pollinator planting on the farm. I figure I have the space and the bees and butterflies can benefit. We are converting another 11 acres from fescue to Native Warm Season Grasses for the wildlife benefits.

Guess deep down all of we farm types are pretty green...[/QUOTE

looks good on paper. get paid and never make anything. that is your pretty green.
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ptlyon 11:02 PM 03-02-2017
Looks good Iowa - love what you're doing up there
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Buehler445 12:27 AM 03-03-2017
Originally Posted by HonestChieffan:
I just finished planting a 2 acre pollinator planting on the farm. I figure I have the space and the bees and butterflies can benefit. We are converting another 11 acres from fescue to Native Warm Season Grasses for the wildlife benefits.

Guess deep down all of we farm types are pretty green...
Just keep the pig weeds out. I hate pigweeds.
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