I have a question. If you want bees to use as Pollinators, do you have to collect the honey? If so how often?
Thank you I might eventually start collecting the honey but right now I just want a little extra help to make sure everything else gets done with my gardenNo you do not have to collect the honey if you only want pollinators. Unless you had a good stack of deeps they would probably swarm a lot as the queen needs room to lay. That is there natural way to increase populations.
If you want the honey we collect twice a year. First time late June early July second time just before Labor day week end.
Biggest question you need to ask your self is are you allergic to bee stings. I don't mean do you swell up and itch like crazy the day after. That is a normal reaction to many people. I'm talking about your tongue swelling up, getting cold sweats, and passing out. If the answer is yes to the last statement then you do not want to keep honey bees. No matter how careful you are you will get stung.
Not going to even mention top bar hives here.
Next question is do you have the money for the first start up cost. First start up cost is going to be between $500.00 and $800.00 which depends on if you buy all your hive equipment from a supplier or build your own. For example one boughten hive body is $18.25 plus shipping and I recommend you have 4. I buy 1x12x8 boards at Lowes for $8.25 one board will make one hive body and the frame for a top cover and a nice bit left over for an inter cover too.
I recommend you start with two colonies so you can compare them and even pull brood from one strong one to perk up a weak one. I recommend you do not by a starter kit from the suppliers as it only has half of what you need for one year of keeping one colony and some stuff you just don't need.
Buy a book, I recommend Bee Keeping for Dummies, you can find it or order it at most book stores.
After you get some bees I recommend ABC XYZ of beekeeping. A new edition is now out and selling for $40.00. I recommend you look on www.bookfinder.com for a used copy for many dollars less. One from the 80's will have things about the Vorra mites.
And yes it is we, Kare is not just a wife who goes to bee meetings with me.
Kare with a package of bees.
Kare pointing out the queen.
She is even the sole owner of her very own colony she won with raffle tickets she bought at the 2005 bee conference.
Now time for you to digest the above.