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Bees

Discussion in 'Everything Else Bees' started by WannaBeFarmR, Jun 6, 2013.

  1. Jun 6, 2013
    WannaBeFarmR

    WannaBeFarmR Chillin' with the herd

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    I know its late to be looking into this, but there is a massive decline in the amount of honey bees around this year. I'd like to start a few hives for the pollination aspect alone. I'm pretty concerned about the bee population. There is no lack of all season bee food sources around here, I've planted things with the wild bees in mind in the past and never use pesticides or herbicides here. Anyone know of any companies not sold out and still shipping package bees for the 2013 season. I'll keep looking but if anyone knows of one let me know please. Thanks!
     
  2. Jun 6, 2013
    babsbag

    babsbag Herd Master

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    I don't know of any off hand, but you might check Craigslist too. I see them for sale on there at times in my area.

    Also, if you post where you live that might help people find you a hive. Do you have all the equipment to be able to work them? At a minimum you need a hat with a veil, gloves, and a smoker. If you are going to just buy a pkg of bees you will need the hive boxes as well.

    I have 3 hives right now, and while it is not my favorite hobby I keep them to provide pollination and just to give them a safe place to live. I do not use antibiotics in the hives and sometimes the hives don't make it through the winter and then I feel like a bad beekeeper. Last year I didn't even take honey from them, I decided they needed it more than I did.

    Good luck in your quest. Owning bees IMO is important, but harder than owning goats, if that is even possible. :)
     
  3. Jun 14, 2013
    Beachbunny

    Beachbunny Exploring the pasture

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    Sylverfly...what area of the country are you in? Here in the Savannah Ga area on Craig's list there a few people the advertise queens and 5 frame nuc boxes still available. Most companies that ship bees are going to be sold out at this point. You could always put an add in your local paper that your looking for bees, we gotten about 4 hives from an add stating we would remove any unwanted bees on your property. Hope you find some.
     
  4. Jun 14, 2013
    ragdollcatlady

    ragdollcatlady True BYH Addict

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    I would love to get into bees too. I have 2 jujube trees that I can't stand...I find the fruit texture mealy and disgusting, but those are the trees that bees show up at first in the season to use the flowers, so they have a spot as long as they need. I plan on eventually fencing off that area and putting in a few hives, but for now I want to just get a few waterers in that general area to give to the bees . I found bees every day for a while, stuck in the goats water bucket, stopped in for a drink and couldn't get out, so I plan on adding humming bird feeders but with plain water for my "wild" bees. They are most likely from hives set out in nearby orchards to assist in pollinating, but I don't care. They provide me a free service and deserve just a little pesticide free area to work in. I can't stop the overhead sprays, but I try to keep my own little patch of weeds free and organic, for me and the wildlife.

    Good luck with your search. If you don't find honey bees look into orchard mason bees. They are good for pollinating (sorry no honey) and are solitary so the sting risk is almost nonexistent. We had some for our yard in town when the kids were small and so was our yard. They look like little yellow stripped flys. They were a great family gardening project that came back for several years as a few hibernated in the straws we had for them. We had a house sparrow build a nest on top of the bee canister and for a few years were able to observe new generations of baby birds too.
     
  5. Jun 14, 2013
    bubba1358

    bubba1358 Ridin' The Range

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    Two buddies of mine keep bees here in TN. I am starting next year.

    They told me that if you live within a mile of any row crops or commercial agriculture, the bees take in the pesticides used and slowly, over 2 to 3 years, the queen gets poisoned. The population dies off, in a way where they just don't come back the next spring. Fortunately, I live 1.5 miles from anything. The closet field is alfalfa hay. I'm surrounded by woods, and I do everything organic.

    Again - this is hearsay from bee owners, but they've been doing it for years and are good family friends, so I trust their judgement.
     
  6. Jun 26, 2013
    AshleyFishy

    AshleyFishy Loving the herd life

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    Top bar hives are fantastic! Highly recommend them. As for apiaries check your local bee keeper association, most breeders will have survivor stock that will handle your area easier.
     
  7. Jun 27, 2013
    babsbag

    babsbag Herd Master

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    A good way to "water" the bees is to hang a towel over the side of a bucket with one end in the water. That way the bees can crawl out if they end up in the water. They will also be able to get water from the towel without ever going in the water itself.

    Another way is to have a bee pond that has water lilies or other plants that float so the bees can sit on the leaves without drowning, and also having shallows in the pond is a good idea, the bees will simply stay in the shallow areas.
     
  8. Jun 27, 2013
    babsbag

    babsbag Herd Master

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    I am sure they are probably right, but if you re-queen every year or at the most every other year then that problem might be solved. Also, bees will travel up to three miles to find a source of pollen and nectar.

    I have been raising bees for 5 years and there is no agriculture within miles of my house but I still have a hard time getting a hive to make it over the winter. Last year I lost 2 of my 3 hives and 2 of my friends lost 3 hives each. It is not an easy busy to be sure.
     
  9. Jul 2, 2013
    treeclimber233

    treeclimber233 Loving the herd life

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    There is a hive I know of that has been doing fine with no help at all from anyone. It is located in the end of a building on my mothers property. It has been there forever. I want to get some bees from that hive and start keeping bees but no one will help me. I just want to get some bees and eggs so they will start their own queen and establish a new hive. Any suggestions on how a new beekeeper could go about achieving this.