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Thread: Beekeeping

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    what Dad calls me nun2sharp's Avatar
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    I have been keeping bees off and on for almost 20yrs. Just got back into it last year. We have had an early flow of nectar and the bees are going nuts for the early spring weather. I just cut out 2 frames of excess comb from the hive just the other day. This year should be a good productive one now that the hive is established.
    It is easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled. Twain

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    what Dad calls me nun2sharp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benz View Post
    Since there is such an interest in bees I would like to ask you guys for any input about the bee die off. Reason I ask is that I own and live on my Grandfather's farm. I lease the entire place to a honey man and for the last three years he hasn't had bees here because he lost 40% of his hives to die off. He told me last fall that if things improve he will FINALLY put them here this year again. I really miss his bees, without them my garden is crap.
    There are two reasons for the die off, the first is the varroa mite, it is like a tick for bees. The second reason and more serious threat are neonicotinoids, an ingredient of Monsantos Roundup and several other pesticides.
    It is easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled. Twain

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    Senior Member Willisf's Avatar
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    Love those herbicides......

    What would be the initial cost of getting into bee keeping? I just want to learn about it and be able to produce honey for my family and friends. Doubt I would make into a business..... But the market is huge for local raw honey here.
    Is it over there or over yonder?

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    32t
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    Quote Originally Posted by Willisf View Post
    Love those herbicides......

    What would be the initial cost of getting into bee keeping? I just want to learn about it and be able to produce honey for my family and friends. Doubt I would make into a business..... But the market is huge for local raw honey here.
    I am budgeting $500 USD per hive this year to start my hives including bees. That might be a little on the high side.

    For your previous question the closer the flowers are to the bees is better but I have read that they will forage up to 5 miles.

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    Senior Member Willisf's Avatar
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    Living here in the prairies...... 5 miles is a lot of farmland!
    I think the neighbor's land is mainly used for cattle......
    Is it over there or over yonder?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tcrideshd View Post
    I,m waiting till the honey gets going, but I've bought my supplies for mead, if you got any good recipes pm me. Thanks. Tc
    If you have a good recipe share it here! LOL
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    Senior Member Paulbuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Willisf View Post
    Love those herbicides......

    What would be the initial cost of getting into bee keeping? I just want to learn about it and be able to produce honey for my family and friends. Doubt I would make into a business..... But the market is huge for local raw honey here.
    First thing; your going to want to start with two hives. You can go with one but you'll want another because it is so fun. Also, when one hive struggles (they will) your have a reference and can even use one hive to bolster another. Start with a package of bees; this is usually about 3 pounds of unrelated bees (the apiary just goes around shaking bees into a box and then they add a newly mated queen that is prime). Packages can run anywhere from 80 to 120 bucks. I've never done a package but I got my brother into it last year and its the route he went. You can also collect a swarm (fun, but you need to know what your doing). The last option is to buy a nucleus hive (basically 3-5 frames of bees with a queen). If you are handy, you can by your supers (boxes) and frames and slap them to together (again, its fun). Each hive should have the options of adding more boxes. Go with medium boxes for everything. Trust me on this one. Medium boxes. Do not go with deeps.
    Check out Mann Lake for their starter packages.
    I think you'll spend 2 to 3 hundred dollars to get started. Then when the honey starts to flow it will get more expensive. Do not get an extractor initially. Just cut out the comb and crush. I do all natural comb. Most start with foundation.
    You have to address the Varroa mite. This is not an option. Figure out the best way for you to go about it. I use formic acid in the spring and fall.
    You are going to lose some of your hives. No getting around that. But persevere and you'll love your new hobby.
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    And there is no better honey than that that comes from your own bees!

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    At this point in time... gssixgun's Avatar
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    Awesome info guys, I am just smiling from ear to ear right now
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    Quote Originally Posted by 32t View Post
    If you have a good recipe share it here! LOL
    I shared this with Tom and thought I post it for the forum here:
    I have a tale to two meads:
    The first batch I used a Cote D' Rhone yeast and I was shooting for a semi-dry mead (dry, semi-dry and wet, wet is cloying to me. Semi-dry is like a nice white wine). It had a peppermint after taste that was a bit medicinal for me but it was a beautiful, clear mead that was around 12 % alc. I was really happy with how it came out despite the slight medicinal taste.
    The second batch I used an early spring harvest honey and a generic mead yeast. We got a little lit during the brewing and messed up the ratio a bit. The mead taste amazing but the alc. was only about 7 %. It never cleared up like the first one so a bit cloudy looking.
    I do a 5 gallon batch and use about 12 pounds of honey. Water, yeast, honey. After it ferments see if you can crash the temperature to help with the clarity.
    Are you sourcing your honey from elsewhere? Make sure it is not star thistle honey; great tasting honey but supposedly makes the mead taste like wet socks. See if you can get a nice light honey from a spring harvest.
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    I am not a numbers person and I tend to round up to be on the safe side. I said $138 for bees in an earlier post and iit really was $133.9075 each after tax.

    Here are my receipts so far.

    #1 Bees. 2- 3lb Carniolian w/queen and 2- 3lb Italian w/queen. $125 each $535.63 after tax

    #2 Basically 4 unassembled hives. Long list but 2 large supers 9 5/8" and 2 small 6 5/8" per hive. I am going to need some more but need to start some where. Only 3 tops and bottoms because my friend gave me 1 set.

    11% off Sale from Mann Lake. Free shipping.643.94 after tax

    535.63 + 643.94 = 1179.57 USD

    Don't tell my wife!!!!

    Tim
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