Advice for a new beekeeper

Discussion in 'Beekeeping' started by Beeman, Jul 30, 2004.

  1. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    I'll start this and matbe others can add to it.

    The first thing a new bee keeper will need is equipment and the first equipment is a hive. Do yourself a favor and do some research before buying a hive. If you are buying your woodware find a supplier you are comfortable with that makes their woodware. Then stick to that supplier so all of your equipment is interchangeable. Believe it or not different suppliers use different internal dimensions on some of their equipment. When you start mixing it's not the end of the world but it sure can be annoying at times.
     
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  2. sheeplady

    sheeplady Well-Known Member

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    Don't be tempted to buy used equipment unless you know the source. Good way to pick up diseases.
    Find a beekeeping club in your area and join. Best way to learn, hang out with other beekeepers.Maybe one will take you on as a beginner and let you do some hands on when they work with their hives. Invest in a good beesuit, veil and gloves. And a smoker.
    Subscribe to beekeeping magazines. Go to library and get books out on beekeeping.
    I had as my mentors , several older gentleman, all in their 80's who over the years taught me a lot. Sadly, they have all passed on. Its sad that more young people are not getting into beekeeping. Its fun, addictive, rewarding and a great sideline business. And keeping bees on your property will greatly increase the pollination of your own gardens and orchards. Kate in New York
     
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  3. King Bee

    King Bee New Member

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    Don't forget the hivetool. Beesuit, Smoker, and Hivetool are all that are required.

    Other good stuff:

    Frame lifter, frame rest, bee brush, queen catcher.
     
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  4. J McCarpenter

    J McCarpenter New Member

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    The good supply manufaturer, like Mann Lake in minnesota and Dadants in Illinios are two of the largest and best manufaturers of bee equipment. Their parts are readily interchangable, for which I have done for years with out problems. Dadants prices can at times be scary while Mann Lakes are quite reasonable but if you are going to start off right don't second guess yourself and buy low cheap quality. Go with good priced products from leader in the industry.
     
  5. Cara

    Cara Well-Known Member

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    What magazine would be best for a yongster jsut starting? He's only 10, but an excellent reader.
     
  6. justgojumpit

    justgojumpit Well-Known Member

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    I haven't bought into the magazines, but let him read everything in beemaster.com's backyard beekeeping course: http://www.beemaster.com/honeybee/beehome.htm this site has tons of useful information, and should keep your son reading for quite a while!

    justogjumpit
     
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  7. Cara

    Cara Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! I just printed the first "lesson" for him to read at bedtime.
     
  8. justgojumpit

    justgojumpit Well-Known Member

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    good. let me know how he likes it!

    justgojumpit
     
  9. The Quiet Man

    The Quiet Man Member

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    Just curious. I have some acreage inside a national forest in northern Idaho three miles from Canada. Would this area be too cold to raise bees?
     
  10. MullersLaneFarm

    MullersLaneFarm Well-Known Member

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    There are Canadian beekeepers, so you should be okay. Keep your hives protected from the wind and in an area that receives plenty of south and east sun.
     
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  11. Bouncenhumble

    Bouncenhumble Active Member

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    OH., but I have been EVERYWHERE
    As a kid I lived in Utah. Dan (my boss, father figuer, and best friend) and I ran 500 hives. I actually started out mowing lawns for him when I was about 7. Ever since then I have been inthralled with them. Now all I have is 10 hives, HUGE change for me. One of the cooliest things for me is when I made a small 2 frame observation hive (super cool teaching tool, and you will learn a TON also). If you can't get a lot of equipment. That would be a good place to start. You won't get any real amount of honey, so any extracting eq you won't need. Hive tool and smoker are probbly the only things you HAVE to have. (depending on how brave you are) Vail, gloves, coveralls, if you like.

    A lot of the bees in Canada are moved down some where in the States durring the hard winter months. The ones that are left are taken care of in a few differant ways. Some put insolation around the hives, and put in very protected areas. My best advice would probbly be to ask the extention office in your area tho.
     
  12. mulliganbush

    mulliganbush Well-Known Member

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    My friend was commenting that he made it a point to never wear strong cologne or aftershave when working his bees. I don't know if that's been mentioned.

    Ray
     
  13. AppleAment

    AppleAment New Member

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    I'm still a Comp-Desk Homesteader (we're still saving), but my Grandmother (Maria Ament) was an acomplished Bee-Keeper (as well as Horse Trainer, and still is an Awsome Grandma), and she highly recommended that anyone who wants to keep bees do the following:

    Get Stung. On Purpose.
    Start with one Bee, and allow yourself a week to heal-up.
    Next 2-3 Stings, but still just a week for healing-up.
    Move on to 3-4 Stings - give yourself a month.
    Double your stings - give yourself a month.
    Move up the ladder adding 4-12 stings per time, every month - or two.
    When you can get stung by around 150 bees and still function the next day - you're ready to keep bees on a good sized scale (about 10-20 hives).

    (Total time to be prepared 1-2 years).

    Also, she mentioned, try to make the stings below the head - above the head and you could pretty seriously hurt yourself.

    I don't know if I want to follow Grandma's Advice, when I start. :(

    She said after toughening yourself that you should re-toughen with one good round of stings every year or two, but otherwise be sane and try to avoid bee-stings like a normal individual. She also recommended pulling out stingers pretty well right away and then cleaning yourself up with Apple-Cider Vinegar (which stings like the nines...I know 'cause that's how my stings were cleaned as a wee one).

    I'm not ACTUALLY advising this - just telling you about my Grandma's interesting method.

    - Apple Ament
    Obviously, if you do want to try Grandma's Method ~ make darned sure you aren't allergic to bees first!
     
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  14. Philbee

    Philbee Well-Known Member

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    One thing a person may want to do before getting involved with having bees is to find out first if they are alergic to bee stings. We had a young lady in our bee club a couple of years ago that went to the trouble and expense of attending a beekeeping class and purchasing a few hives to later find out that she was allergic to bee stings. What a dissapointment!
     
  15. Jack Parr

    Jack Parr Well-Known Member

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    I would recommend using medium sized boxes if one is concerned with lifting heavy weights. I now wish I had not started with deeps as brood boxes. They can become very heavy if the bees store lotsa honey and pollen in them. Plus the medium frames are easier to pull versus the deep frames if the bees tend to build uneven comb, which they probably will do.

    The boxes are simple to build if one is inclined to do so. I bought new cypress wood boxes from Rossman Apiaries for starting but since then I build/make everything, top to bottom including some frames. I use salvage wood found around my town placed on the street for trash pick-up. Sometimes one can find good cypress, pine, redwood, fir, cedar, good exterior plywood discarded from home remodling jobs that people seems to be always doing around here where I live. Most any lumber will do if it is kept painted and it will last for a long time if the boxes are placed on a stand and in the sun for most of the day. However the wood for boxes should be 3/4 inches thick, for simplicity, because the equiptment sizes are generally based on that thickness. However one can do anything in anyway with beekeeping equiptment that suits; The bees don't care.

    The wooden frames are fairly inexpensive and really a toss-up between buying and making. Well the frames are inexpensive but the shipping is now costing around $ 1.00 per pound according to my last order so...

    I started with one piece all plastic but from purchasing nucs equipped with wooden frames, and using wooden frame, some bought, some home made for holding comb taken from colony removals I now have a mixture of both. I recently bought some medium one piece all plastic black Pierco which has a lavish application of wax that seems to make the bees draw out faster ? ? ?

    One thing I would strongly recommend is, at first, go into the hives frequently, weather and temperature permitting, and remove any and all comb that is not where it's suppose to be. The bees have their own ideas where they want to place comb and they will make a mess of things, not for them, for the beekeeper.

    I would use 10 frames in the brood boxes and 9 frames in the honey supers. I found that 9 frames in the brood boxes tended to make the bees draw too much unwanted comb. I have had excellent results with 9 frames in the honey supers.

    Hope this helps.
     
  16. ReddRubyyDoo

    ReddRubyyDoo Member

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    I live in South East Oklahoma City....It is country area.

    I have always heard to buy fresh honey within a modest 20 mile radius. If you have real bad allergies and stuff.

    Problem is, I cant afford to raise bees, though I would love to.
    Do you all know of anyone in that area that sells it?

    If not, How much does a spinner (?), and stuff start to run?
     
  17. Philbee

    Philbee Well-Known Member

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    I would like to suggest a book. "Beekeeping for Dummies" by Howland Blackston who is a beekeeper and co-owner of bee-commerce.com

    The book has lots of photos and is easy to read and understand. The book is excellent for beninners and excellent as a reference for more advanced beekeepers as well.

    Philbee
     
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  18. Philbee

    Philbee Well-Known Member

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    For RedRubyyDoo,

    If you go to www.beeculture.com and then click on to "Who's Who in North American Beekeeping" and then go to your state, you will find names, telephone numbers and e-mail addresses of people who are in Beekeeping clubs. I looked at the list in Oklahoma and there are quite a few people. I'll bet that you will find someone there who will help you out.

    Best wishes, -------- Philbee
     
  19. Gideon

    Gideon Well-Known Member

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    One does not need a great deal of gear to begin. Dad never slung his but used a simple warmed butcher knife to cut the cone. A soft wide brush is needed to simplify "pushing" the bees off the racks. I have robbed many hives without a veil but use one now. Do not be afraid of getting stung but if they get "riled" just walk away till they settle down a bit. Walking around the hives every day or two gets them "tamed" to you. Be careful not to mash one because they give off an odor alarm and you will be swarmed with angry bees(reason for the brush). Having a screened in room is great but if not just use your kitchen. Make sure the bees are all brushed gently off before bringing in your treasure. Best to you.
     
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  20. LindaVistaFarm

    LindaVistaFarm Well-Known Member

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    My gramps used to keep bees. He had ,I think, 12 hives. I used to work with him. He never used anything buy a smoker. No suit, veil ect. He used to make a beard out of bees. He tried to teach me about bee keeping but I was young and not interested. I am now in my senior years and regret that I never did pay much attention to him. So many things I wish I had payed more attention to from him.

    Johnny
     
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