Bees too?!?!

Rescuechick76

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Omg! I just realized this page has bee info!! Thought about bees this past spring but wasn't prepared enough to get started. Now I can learn on here and be prepared for next year!!
I love this page!!!!
 

babsbag

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I raise goats, chickens, and bees. Bees are the hardest and the most amazing. The more you learn about bees the more in awe you will be of those little hard working winged creatures. I can talk to people about bees more than I do goats, and I talk about goats a lot.
 

Rescuechick76

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I raise goats, chickens, and bees. Bees are the hardest and the most amazing. The more you learn about bees the more in awe you will be of those little hard working winged creatures. I can talk to people about bees more than I do goats, and I talk about goats a lot.
I started researching them and I was pretty surprised by the cost. I guess it makes sense since they are hard work, but if it don't work out, big loss :/
I'm excited to learn stuff on here from people doing it instead of just off the internet.
 

babsbag

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I have spent more on my bees than on my goats...not really, but it sure seems that way. I spent 250.00 on two nucs this year and then one swarmed three times so now I have 5 hives. While it didn't cost me for the bees in the 3 swarms it sure did cost me quite a bit to buy additional frames and boxes to house them all. I also bought a queen for one of the new swarms and for one of the nucs. It can be a very expensive hobby. But I have about 30 fruit trees and a vegetable garden so I really need the bees.
 

soarwitheagles

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I have spent more on my bees than on my goats...not really, but it sure seems that way. I spent 250.00 on two nucs this year and then one swarmed three times so now I have 5 hives. While it didn't cost me for the bees in the 3 swarms it sure did cost me quite a bit to buy additional frames and boxes to house them all. I also bought a queen for one of the new swarms and for one of the nucs. It can be a very expensive hobby. But I have about 30 fruit trees and a vegetable garden so I really need the bees.
Bees are fascinating little insects.

Ditto on the price of woodenware. Even when you get free bees from a swarm, you have to buy the hive equipment.
I hear you on the hive box costs...it can be very expensive!

Up near Redding, you have an incredible young man that sells beehive box wood pre-cut for excellent prices. We drove all the way up there and purchased a lot of em'. You can find him on Craigslist.

Presently, we are into our "little" bee project over $2000.

I did find a way to drastically cut our costs...

I found many scrape pinewood planks for free. Enough to build another 40 complete and full systems. Also, I found a lady that owns a shipping company and she constantly sells all different sizes of plywood for about 1/100th of the normal Home Depo costs. We picked up entire truckloads of wood for under $100. Finally, there are some wood shops that will allow you to take all their scraps for free.

So between the three, I am able to build entire systems [2 boxes, sticky bottom board floor, top, etc.] for under $7 and that includes the paint. BUT, and this is a big BUT, the time requirement to assemble all these hive systems was considerable. I realize now, not a good idea for us because both the wife and I are work full time jobs too.

We hope to split all our hives in the spring, then downsize big time as in go from 25+ hives back down to 5. So we will more than double our money, but the time factor equals about $1 per hour...

It is much harder work to raise bees than it is raising sheep....

Hope this helps!
 

babsbag

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I have thought of building bee hives, but I am building a dairy and time is precious. Even assembling the kits takes more time than I have so I applaud your efforts and if your hives look anything like your stand they are probably amazing. Good score on the lumber.

I will have to look for the ad for wooden wear on CL.

How many swarms did you catch this year?
 

soarwitheagles

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I have thought of building bee hives, but I am building a dairy and time is precious. Even assembling the kits takes more time than I have so I applaud your efforts and if your hives look anything like your stand they are probably amazing. Good score on the lumber.

I will have to look for the ad for wooden wear on CL.

How many swarms did you catch this year?
Hi babs!

Good luck on your dairy! Hope it all works out well for you. Yes, we were very fortunate on the lumber.

We only caught 3 swarms. I didn't place the traps until nearly June. Next year, I hope to place the swarm traps in Feb.

Here's some pics of our hives this year....

Pic one is of the new nucs we made at $7 per system. They are double nucs, so technically, you can have two four frame nucs in each box.

Enjoy!

Colorful paper to help queens.JPG

8.2.16.JPG
 

babsbag

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You do really nice work. Do you like the top jar feeders? Easy to change? I have tried different feeders but haven't found one I really like. I have a least one hive, maybe two that I need to feed this winter. I am worried that the jar feeders might freeze in the winter. I have tried patties but not really sure they eat much of it. Someone suggested just sugar sprinkled in hives.
 
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