I want to start beekeeping...

Discussion in 'Beekeeping' started by happy@home, Oct 3, 2005.

  1. happy@home

    happy@home Well-Known Member

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    How do I find a beekeepers club in my area so that I can make some connections with people and learn more?

    We are planning to put in between 1/4-1/2 acre of fruit trees next year, should I get them established first before getting bees? Can the bee hive or hives go in the middle of the orchard area or should it be somewhere else?

    What can I do with beeswax? Any good books on the subject? Or ideas other than candles and lip balm which I'm sure we will try?

    I'm waiting for my first library book to come in but do you know of any titles on beekeeping that are worth requesting?

    Thanks for any and all help.
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee Well-Known Member

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    Give us your location and maybe we can help.
     

  3. happy@home

    happy@home Well-Known Member

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    I'm in NE Wisconsin.
     
  4. lewbest

    lewbest Well-Known Member

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    Hi Happy

    Welcome to the fascinating world of beekeeping! I'd plan to get the bees asap (as in spring; need to order in january or so though as the suppliers sell out early); first year or 2 you'll learn a lot. Hopefully you have a nearby bee club; excellent resource! If not, call your local extension service, police/sheriff office, even exterminators. They should have a list of beekeepers they call to remove swarms. Hopefully you can find a mentor.

    I'd shoot for 2 hives at least; put them in a convenient place as they will forage up to 2 miles away.

    A great beginner's book is "how to keep bees & sell honey" by the late Walter T. Kelley; available on ebay or direct from Walter T. Kelley Company in Kentucky; also an excellent equipment supplier. Another good forum is beesource.com; click on the exchange link. this website also has a list of supplier links (i think Kelley's is there). Need to be careful of prices as particularly on woodenware what looks to bee a bargain can "eat your lunch" on freight!

    Any other help you need just jump in & ask!

    Lew in Texas
     
  5. Iddee

    Iddee Well-Known Member

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    Lew said it quite well. There are a number of books on ebay, but if you can find a local beek who will spend some time with you, you will get more from it than any book. I will also stress beesource.com. There you will find every thing from people like yourself who have not yet started, to commercial beeks with thousands of hives. All are just waiting for the chance to help the next beek generation.

    Welcome, and enjoy.
     
  6. happy@home

    happy@home Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all the advice.
    I just remembered seeing some hives while we were out driving earlier this summer if I can find them again maybe I'll see if they sell honey and chat with the owner and see if they can give me some local pointers.
     
  7. dcross

    dcross Well-Known Member Supporter

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  8. happy@home

    happy@home Well-Known Member

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    Thanks so much for the information on the Brown County Group. I just emailed them.
     
  9. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper keeper of the bees Staff Member Supporter

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    Brown county web site.
    http://hometown.aol.com/tcash99930/myhomepage/club.html

    Wisconsin Honey Producers Assoc. web site and text
    http://www.wihoney.com/

    Welcome to the Wisconsin Honey Producers Association. The WHPA was organized in 1864 by the beekeepers in the State of Wisconsin. The purpose of the WHPA is to form a strong bond and fellowship among commercial and hobby honey producers to effectively:



    Protect the honey producing industry of Wisconsin from policies and environmental changes that will negatively affect honey production.



    Improve the marketing of honey and bee products by supporting and promoting the Honey Queen Program, advertising, and scientific developments beneficial to honey producers and the industry.



    Support and promote educational programs by disseminating scientific developments and by sharing knowledge among members.



    Support and promote educational programs aimed at public acceptance of the honeybee in our environment.



    The WHPA promotes the use of honey and hive products, as well as research into beekeeping problems and issues. The association also supports the honey queen program, which works to promote honey use across the state of Wisconsin.



    The WHPA provides a good connection to other regional, state and national beekeeping organizations. The spring and summer meetings, and the fall convention are good places to pick up information, learn up-to-date techniques for beekeeping, and to network with other beekeepers, large and small. The Badger Bee provides communication from the world of beekeeping, information on current events and connections with suppliers of beekeeping related supplies and services.



    Please contact any of the officers or district chairs to find out more about the WHPA, to start your own beekeeping effort or for general honeybee questions. We hope that you will find our website entertaining and informational.



    From the honey house,

    Andy Hemken, President

    Wisconsin Honey Producers Association

    Chose the one that best fits your needs.
    Personally I belong to 3 local clubs and one state club.

    Local Bee Clubs

    Brown County Beekeepers Association: A Northeastern Wisconsin club holds their meetings on the third Wednesday of the month at The Rathskeller, 116 S Broadway in De Pere. Click here for more information

    Chippewa-Eau Claire Beekeepers Association: Contact John Spate at 715-834-3435.

    Dodge/Jefferson Beekeepers Association: Meets second Sunday of the month in Jan/Feb/Apr/May/July/Sept/Oct at the Watertown American Legion, on Second St in Watertown, WI. The meeting starts at 1:00 pm with a potluck dinner (bring a dish to pass), followed by a business meeting and programs. In March we attend the spring district meeting; in June we have our annual picnic with the location to be announced at the May meeting; in August we staff the club booth at the Dodge County Fairgrounds; in November we attend the WHPA Convention; and in December we have a Holiday dinner with the location announced at the October meeting. President is Wally Nass, N9596 Hustisford Rd, Watertown, WI 53094 920-261-4534. Secretary/Treasurer is Clifford Sweet, N3854 Savage Rd, Brandon, WI 53919 920-324-8838.

    Dunn County Beekeepers: Meets the second Monday of each month except January and December. The meetings are held in the conference room of the Ag Source Building at 403 Cedar Ave South, Menomonie, WI. Contact James Christisen, Box 5, Sand Creek, WI 715-658-1561, or Virginia Wolske, N3098 Cty Rd D, Menomonie, WI, 715-664-8993.

    La Crosse Beekeepers Association: Meets the 3rd Tuesday of the month at the La Crosse County Courthouse. Contact Wayne Lemar, 608-781-9512 or Oscar Carlson, 608-783-5115.



    Marathon Beekeepers Association: Contact Maynard Mogenson, 715-842-4003

    Milwaukee Waukesha Beekeepers Association: Meets the first Monday of each month at the Brookfield Library on North Calhoun Road. Click here for more information

    Oneida County Beekeepers Association: This is a newly formed group with their next meeting on May 19, 2005 at 7pm. They are planning to hold meetings every two months. Contact any of the following people for information: Paul Goossen, Chairman, 6434 Pine Drive, Rhinelander, WI 54501 715-277-3131; Bill Julian, Vice-Chair, 6340 Spider Lake Rd, Rhinelander, WI 54501 715-277-2692; Connie Antonuk, Sec/Trea, 6405 Spider Lake Rd, Rhinelander, WI 54501 715-277-2713

    Pierce County Beekeepers Association: Contact Doug Sjostrum, 715-448-2517.



    Polk-Burnett Beekeepers Association: Meets the 3rd Thursday of the month (except December, January and February) at the Balsam Lake Courthouse. Contact Ron Wilson, 715-268-9416.



    Racine-Kenosha Beekeepers Association: Contact Tim Fulton, 262-553-5510.



    Taylor-Clark Beekeepers Association: Contact Mark Kohn, 715-748-3412



    Waupaca Beekeepers Association: Contact Stanley Jakubek, 715-824-2440



    Washington-Ozaukee Beekeepers Association: Meets 2nd Monday of the month. Contact Don Thill, 262-334-5674







    :D Al
     
  10. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper keeper of the bees Staff Member Supporter

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    My book of choice for bee keeping is.
    ABC and XYZ of bee keeping by A I Root, although it has been updated by I believe Rodger Morse.
    bookfinder.com has many used ones listed from as far back as 1909. I would look for a more resent edition.
    For the non beekeeping book I would not trade my copy of the Honey Bee by David and Carol Gould for any thing. The latter is out of print and you have to by them used.
    :D Al
     
  11. happy@home

    happy@home Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the book suggestions. Hopefully I can make it to Novembers bee keepers meeting, I can't get to this month's due to prior commitments unfortunatly. My son just picked up the only book on beekeeping that our library has so I'll start looking for others online. My son is 15, will be 16 this winter and is hoping to help with this project so hopefully it will be fun for the two of us. I've been looking up the costs of beginners kits at some of the sites so I can budget for it but how much should I expect to pay for 3 pounds of bees? Just a rough estimate is good enough.
     
  12. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper keeper of the bees Staff Member Supporter

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    I'll probably get flamed for the following statement but never the less it is how I feel about beginners kits. Don't spend the money for one. You will need 2 deep or 3 medium brood boxes for one complete year of bee keeping, along with at least two honey supers for each colony. You will also need at least 9 frames and foundation for each box. I like 10 for the brood boxes. For a beginner I suggest you stay away from plastiac foundation. As for the honey supers don't count on being able to use them your first year from package bees. A bottom board (I use screened ones) intercovers and top covers for each colony.
    You do not need a bee suit. A long sleeved cotton shirt of medium weight for spring and fall and a light weight one for summer work along with blue jeans. If you insist on a suit get a white trivek painters suit from a paint supplyer for about $5.00.
    [​IMG]

    Start your christmas list now.
    helmet/hat:::
    veil :::for the above
    gloves::: with the long arm guards (2 pair are nice.)
    smoker:::: (fuel for it is all around you every day.)
    hive too:::l (I like having a couple painted a bright orange. I also like having a 5 in 1 tool found at the local hardware store.)

    a bee brush::: (is nice to have also but not required)
    a frame grip::: (also not required but nice to have.)
    Go to your local pizza shop and ask for glass pickle jars or two gallon pails for feeders.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Get some OOP's Paint or stain from a pain supplyer for your hive bodies. Home depot here has a new policy of not taking returned paint and stains so stock pile it.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    you may want to contact Lapps bee supply for a catalog,
    500 south main street
    po box 278
    Reeseville, Wi.


    There are other suppliers listed in another post above.

    Any more questions you can e mail me at gvapiaries@yahoo.com
    :D Al
     
  13. happy@home

    happy@home Well-Known Member

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    Wow, thanks so much for the pointers. It's nice to know that a beginner kit isn't necessary. I'll keep my eye out for the painters suit the next time I go shopping. I'm sure as I will have more questions as time goes on. Thanks so much.
     
  14. dcross

    dcross Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Ditto on avoiding beginners kits.

    Also, consider avoiding deeps, they are seriously heavy when full of honey. They're not bad when full of brood. The only real drawback to going with all mediums or shallows is that you can't buy a nuc(nucleus hive).

    There are also 8-frame mediums available, which are very light.

    Consider stopping by beesource, 2000+ people full of opinions on bees:)

    http://www.beesource.com/cgi-bin/ubbcgi/ultimatebb.cgi

    I've been getting my packages from Lapp's in Reeseville. This year 2# were $44, 3# $53.

    That was a big increase from 2004, but I'm not holding my breath for prices to go down.:)
     
  15. happy@home

    happy@home Well-Known Member

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    I hadn't even thought about the weight of different size frames when full of honey. Thanks for pointing that out. Your price for bees helps with the budgeting process, thanks for letting me know.
    I'll probably sign into beesource soon for the message boards, I just hope they will be patient with all my questions.
     
  16. lewbest

    lewbest Well-Known Member

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    Great bunch at beesource; some names on this forum i've seen there too :) I just re-started this spring (had a couple of hives 25 or so years ago) & have learned a lot there. I have all mediums now; thinking seriously about cutting the unassembled ones down & going 8 frame in the spring. I'm 62 & have a hard time lifting deeps like i used to lift that kind of weight. If you use the same size for everything (deeps or mediums) the interchandeability can bee real handy. I haven't heard of anyone using just shallows though.

    As to equipment I'd suggest a frame grip for sure (keeps your fingers away from the bees) & IMHO prevents the need for gloves. I do use gloves when I remove bees from inside the walls of buildings to keep my fingers from getting so sticky with honey but find them very awkward when working hives. I like the cast aluminum grips Kelley sells better than the ones others sell.

    I also like the bee jacket with the zip on veil that doesn't require a helmet from dadant; others sell them I'm sure but got mine when I went to the nearest Dadant branch so I could try it on & not get the wrong size. About 40 bux (not bad since you don't have to buy a veil & helmet also). Check their website (dadant.com) as they have a number of branches in different parts of the country; all branches have toll free numbers so you can call & see if they have what you want. Main office is in Illinois; might be closest for you.

    Lew in TX
     
  17. happy@home

    happy@home Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the advice Lew.
    I'm just kicking myself now for not learning more from my great Uncle when I was a kid and he had bees. But we weren't allowed near the hives anyway so maybe he wouldn't have been the best teacher.
     
  18. dcross

    dcross Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The hardest thing about keeping bees is not spending ALL your money on them.:)
     
  19. lewbest

    lewbest Well-Known Member

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    dcross definitely true; lotsa "neat stuff" out there plus "just a few more hives" would bee nice!

    Lew (5 hives; wishing for 25)