I like to start keeping bees in spring 2022…

Field Bee

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That is a good thought. There is always about a half day warning as we begin to see the winds build. I have a 30’x40’ (as yet) unused barn that would be the perfect place, just up the side of the gully, to move the hives into. The winds are almost always Spring and Fall and I only will use that barn for Wintering animals so it sits most of the year empty. I will build up a couple pallet platforms to put them on and have ready just for that occasion.
thank for the idea.
Moving bees short distances is tricky business. Make sure you screen them in and move after dark if you're moving them in flying temperatures. If you dont move them properly you'll lose a lot of foragers returning to the original location. You might want to look for a different spot that gets less direct wind.
 

Legamin

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This is the reason that I selected this gully. It has access to fresh clean water year round. It is set about 40 feet down in a gully with 40 degree slopes on each side..the slopes are well planted with an abundance of flowering plants, wildflowers and three different sweet flowering clovers that bloom for three seasons and the whole gully is well treed with aspens. There is a shallow well within 30 feet of all planned hive locations so that even in a drought year there is open clean water supply above ground. in all the wind storms that we have had over the last many years not one single tree has suffered damage…which leads me to believe that this little protected area is probably survivable in the most violent of storms. I have started building wind break fencing along the ridge of the gully on both sides to keep snow drifting to a minimum (though that has never been a problem) and to break any possible winds at a height above the rigid part of the tallest trees. This same fence will keep the sheep from wandering into the hive area and poking their noses in something they might regret. With this preparation I had hoped that moving them would be an absolute last resort. I had thought the suggestion of moving them might be an easy alternative but if it is difficult and dangerous for them the location itself appears to be protected from any really high direct winds. The ridge behind my property (which is the direction most common for the wind to come out of) has been left heavily treed so that this little gully (330’ Long x 240’ Wide x 40’-60‘ Deep) appears to have never actually suffered any wind damage. There is one tree knocked over and it broke near the top at about 70 feet high. It is completely natural and has never been cultivated but horses that graze part of the year have kept it open and park like with walking paths throughout. It’s very idyllic. I am no bee expert but going back to my original thought, I think if I put in concrete anchors, use straps for any gusts that come through and finish the wind/snow fence line across both ridges I’m truly hoping that they will be hearty enough to tough out a couple very gusty days. I can’t possibly know how high the winds are down in there but as I noted there is almost no wind damage to the aspen trees. Up in the main land area where we do experience high winds it is common to see trees uprooted and snapped off near the ground with some frequency. There is no shortage of firewood in the area. This is the farthest part of my land and I would only be down twice per day to check on things but this is where I think I will make my stand as far as the best possible protected area on my land. And as usual I will start small so that if things go sideways, as things sometimes do, I will not be broke or put into hardship. I’m really just looking for a honey supply for my family members in the area (about 5 families). I will divide it up evenly and we all get what we get. If this is not a good plan I will respect your advice and back off and focus another plan for self-sufficiency more likely to succeed.
 

Field Bee

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If this is not a good plan I will respect your advice and back off and focus another plan for self-sufficiency more likely to succeed.
You'll be fine with your location. The most important thing to focus on now is learning how you are going to count and control varroa mites, the rest of the stuff is a lot easier. Look into getting a Veto Pharma Varroa EasyCheck.
 

Legamin

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You'll be fine with your location. The most important thing to focus on now is learning how you are going to count and control varroa mites, the rest of the stuff is a lot easier. Look into getting a Veto Pharma Varroa EasyCheck.
Thanks for the resource. I have read so much and watched many videos regarding this problem and am hoping to link up with a local beekeeper in a local club who can guide me through the process. I trust first hand experience over ‘just anyone with a video camera and an urge to share’. thanks
 

Legamin

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… and i am a bit confused about the things that i really need and where to obtain those. Read a lot of books about how to keep bees and compiled a list of the must-have things (alphabetical order):

Bee Brush - There are cheap brushes available with plastic bristles and expensive ones with horsetail-hair bristles; What does a beginner really need?
Bee Hives - i have decided to go with the Langstroth hives as they are most common, hence there are also a lot of different sub-types available here, full height, ½ height, … I assume that you cannot fit different heights into the same centrifuge for honey extraction? Are the supers from different manufacturers interchangeable?
Bee suit, jacket and/or veil - There are so many different types of protective "armor" out there, what does somebody really need? Would wearing rubber-boots, a thick jeans (work-trousers), bee jacket , veil and gloves be sufficient? Or is a »bunny-suit« sufficient.
Gloves - What type material works best as gloves? Leather or synthetics? - For sure my leather work-gloves won't work as they don't fully cover my wrists.
Hive Tool(s) - i guess the more different you have the better?
Smoker - I assume stainless steel works best? and again the price range is from cheap to gold-plated… What are those smoker-pellets made of? Are those good or is it better to use something else? - I remember my uncle (who hat several dozen hives) was using cotton, flax and sawdust from his own wood-working shop in his smoker.

Where do you buy your bee-stuff?
Is buying a »starter-set« online a recommended option?

I thought about starting with 2-3 hives next spring, is that a good number for a beginner? - I have 40 acres of land, most of it covered in shrubs and forest, so space and bee food isn't a problem here and no neighbors that may be bothered. - Well except for the ducks…😉

Any thought appreciated! Thank you very much in advance for your help!
We have a local NORTH40 shop that carries a fairly complete and seemingly good quality line of hives, beekeeping suits, smokers etc. etc. some of the tools I’ve seen I can probably reproduce in my furniture restoration shop or machine shop. They also have a spinner for recovering honey. Looks like about a easy $1200 to get two hives set up and the equipment to tend to the bees. Then I’m seeing that I can buy local hive with bees for about $350. This seems reasonable and I’d like to have hives ready for expansion just in case I do everything right and have enough bees in the Spring 2023 to move into the new waiting hive.
Do you recommend smearing the new hives with a bit of raw beeswax and honey from the old hive before moving them in?
Also (but I’m sure I will have many more questions) does anyone have experience with the permanent split comb plastic hives that “drain the honey with the flick of a lever”….for a guy who has always done things the traditional way it just sounds a bit too good to be true….anyone have experience with them?
 

Field Bee

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Do you recommend smearing the new hives with a bit of raw beeswax and honey from the old hive before moving them in?
Ive never done that and I dont think there is any advantage to it. Bees dont care when you transfer them to another box. Some beekeepers will melt wax and propolis as a lure for swarm traps. Smearing honey around is a good way to incite robbing. Something you definitely want to avoid.
Also (but I’m sure I will have many more questions) does anyone have experience with the permanent split comb plastic hives that “drain the honey with the flick of a lever”….for a guy who has always done things the traditional way it just sounds a bit too good to be true….anyone have experience with them?
Flow Hive. Very controversial among beekeepers. I only knew 2 people who really got into them and got out of keeping bees soon after so I dont know a whole lot about them. Initially I think the impression for new beekeepers was to purchase a Flow Hive put bees in it and get a jar of honey whenever you want, no going into the hive disturbing the bees and managing them. Buying a Flow Hive and bees will cost $1000.00 or more a piece. They only come with one hive body and one Flow Hive super. The cost of two will get you a real nice extractor. It's not something I would bother trying unless I lived in a much warmer climate and even then, it would just be for the novelty of it. I love harvesting and rendering beeswax something you won't get with a Flow Hive. If you do ask some local beekeepers about them, be prepared for some serious eye rolling. 🙄
 

Legamin

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As it happens I’m not a fan of spending more than I need to so the ’split hive’ is probably out. For 5 month here it is cold to very cold and then chilly so if that were to interfere with the works it would just be a hinderance. Plus I do have need of a steady supply of beeswax as one of the main ingredients in a proprietary 17th C furniture Polish/preserver product that my antique furniturerestoration/ repair shop sells. It is getting very hard to find affordable and in our neck of the woods you lose customers if you raise prices much. Usually ‘inflation’ is met with a deep breath, a grimace and defiant look as they walk away realizing they can do without your product. We are pretty conservative folk. I think the work of the traditional hive will be pleasant and measured and something I will enjoy. Thanks for getting me up to speed I will start by getting connected with a local beekeeping group…there is a medium sized city within an hour of me and a lot of farms so I’m sure I can find a good one.
 

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Thanks for the resource. I have read so much and watched many videos regarding this problem and am hoping to link up with a local beekeeper in a local club who can guide me through the process. I trust first hand experience over ‘just anyone with a video camera and an urge to share’. thanks
My local bee-breeder was emphasizing the importance of Varroa control multiple times! He recommends oxalic-acid vapor. - which is kind of hazardous for us humans…
 

WannaBeHillBilly

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Ive never done that and I dont think there is any advantage to it. Bees dont care when you transfer them to another box. Some beekeepers will melt wax and propolis as a lure for swarm traps. Smearing honey around is a good way to incite robbing. Something you definitely want to avoid.

Flow Hive. Very controversial among beekeepers. I only knew 2 people who really got into them and got out of keeping bees soon after so I dont know a whole lot about them. Initially I think the impression for new beekeepers was to purchase a Flow Hive put bees in it and get a jar of honey whenever you want, no going into the hive disturbing the bees and managing them. Buying a Flow Hive and bees will cost $1000.00 or more a piece. They only come with one hive body and one Flow Hive super. The cost of two will get you a real nice extractor. It's not something I would bother trying unless I lived in a much warmer climate and even then, it would just be for the novelty of it. I love harvesting and rendering beeswax something you won't get with a Flow Hive. If you do ask some local beekeepers about them, be prepared for some serious eye rolling. 🙄
Definitely eye-rolling here!
 
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