My first year.....

Discussion in 'Beekeeping' started by HilltopDaisy, Oct 21, 2005.

  1. HilltopDaisy

    HilltopDaisy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    This was my first year with bees. I thought I might tell you how it went, in case there are folks contemplating getting into bees next year.

    I have two hives. I bought all my stuff, including two packages of bees, from Dadant. I started with the woodenware about 18 months ahead of time, just because I wanted to take my time reading about beekeeping, and assembling the supers, painting them, etc. Also, beekeeping is not an inexpensive hobby to get into. So I took it slow..... Dadant has a storefront about 90 minutes from here, so I had some stuff shipped and I made a couple trips out there when it seemed it would save me money on shipping heavy stuff.

    I learned almost everything I know about beekeeping from books and the internet. I do have a coworker who has bees, and he offered some suggestions, but I went into this with absolutely no hands-on experience at all.

    I highly recommend the book "Beekeeping For Dummies".

    I took a shallow super and nailed a board to the bottom as a "carrier", and today I pulled the capped frames that I will spin out when I have time. It was cold this morning, but we still have some goldenrod in bloom, although not much. We had a very hot, dry year. I ended up with 2 shallow supers full of capped honey altogether. I have no idea if that's good or bad. Doesn't seem like a lot, but I'm hoping you all will tell me how much you get this year, per hive. One of my hives was weak compared to the other, and that one only contributed about 5 full frames. Don't know how much honey I'll get out of two shallow supers.

    I left each hive a full deep super for winter. I'm in New York, with low temps at -30 degrees. I also bought top feeders for sugar syrup. I plan on winterizing this weekend if it doesn't rain. I will wrap with roofing paper and stack bales of hay as a windbreak.

    I am single, live alone, work fulltime plus mandatory OT, and grow a market garden. I'm a middle-aged woman. This part of my homesteading venture was by far the easiest, requiring very little time once the woodenware was put together and painted. I would say I have somewhere around $1200 in this, including a new 4 frame hand crank extractor. Like many other things, most of the expenses are a one time cost. I wear white clothes, nothing special other than a veil and gloves. I only got stung once this year, and it only hurt for about 5 minutes.

    I have many friends and coworkers who are waiting to buy honey. They think this is a very cool hobby. I doubt that I will ever have too much honey. I can't wait to extract!
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the wonderful world of bees. It sounds like you did a very good job for your first year and the hives' first year. You will most likely get more honey the second year. Many hives don't make any excess honey the first year.
    You should get approx. 10 quarts per super when you extract.

    >>>I am single, live alone, work fulltime plus mandatory OT, and grow a market garden. I'm a middle-aged woman.<<<

    I would not advertise this on the internet. There are too many crazies out here today.
     

  3. woodspirit

    woodspirit Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the thread. It sounds like something that i'd like to try too. I've been considereing it for awhile. I'm pretty handy with woodworking, and I'm comfortable around honey bees but the initial opening up of the packaged bees and putting them in the hive. How did you do that? Also was wondering how you deal with black bears? We have them here and we are also in New York Finger lakes region.
     
  4. no1cowboy

    no1cowboy Single male homesteader

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    This is also my first year to try bees :shrug:
    I have been reading the books for some years now And finnaly decided to give it a try. although i did nt find it to expensive, I have made all the supers and frams, feeders ext. myself. I bought most of the other equipment second hand. And caught a swarm insted of buying a package. It was to late in the year to get any honey from them but they are doing well. I have made a winter box which is 2 boxes one inside the other with 2" of insulation inbetween i think the will winter well. I am in northern Alberta and the temp can go down to -40 and stay there a while.

    I also am single, live alone, and grow a garden. I'm a 44 man. and live off grid
    (And Im not one of the crazy ones) :nana: :sing:
     
  5. HilltopDaisy

    HilltopDaisy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I hived the new packages of bees with book in hand!! Seriously, get the Beekeeping For Dummies book, even if you borrow it from the library. It's got clear pictures of how to hive the bees. The queen will be in a small box, with a few attendants. There was a "plug" on both ends of the box. Make sure you remove the correct plug! One end allows her out, which you don't want to do. Open the end that keeps her inside, and then the bees eat through the candy that will set her free. I know I didn't explain it very well, but you'll see.

    Cowboy, did you have experience with bees before you went and caught a swarm?

    I have no problem with bear so far. I've never seen one around here.
     
  6. no1cowboy

    no1cowboy Single male homesteader

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    No I haven't had any practical experiance other then just nosing around a few bee yards in the area. doing this I knew I was comfortable being around them. and also noticed the swarming activity. so I got my self ready as described the books and set out to catch one. also let me tell you I had vary little equipment at this point and did this with out a bee suit or vale. I now have a vale but almost never use it most of the time i go to my bee hive dressed just like i would be walking down the street.

    Im not sure yet how to put pictures on here but you can see a few of the hive at this site http://lifeoffgrid.blogspot.com/