Should i get bees?

Overthinking

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Just got chickens and not sure what we'll do next, should we get bees?

I don't need a tetanus shot everytime I'm stung right? My kid wants bees but i dont want her getting stung all the time. She did get stung by a wasp and was a real trooper

Wanna farm something but might not have enough room or money for cattle and goats are so dang cute i might not be able to harvest them. Wanting something thats not 100% pet and at least we get eggs from chickens
 

Alaskan

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Just got chickens and not sure what we'll do next, should we get bees?

I don't need a tetanus shot everytime I'm stung right? My kid wants bees but i dont want her getting stung all the time. She did get stung by a wasp and was a real trooper

Wanna farm something but might not have enough room or money for cattle and goats are so dang cute i might not be able to harvest them. Wanting something thats not 100% pet and at least we get eggs from chickens
No idea why you would need a tetanus shot for a bee sting???

If you are in tetanus country you should be up to date on the shot. You only need it once every 10 years. Tetanus isn't a specific "bee sting" thing. It is a bacteria that is all over the place and enters your system through a wound.

So....Bees are a great idea. I would suggest starting up on research and figuring out if you have enough flowers and such in your area/garden.

Maybe while doing your bee research you can start working on your property to see how/where you could plant fruit trees,berry bushes, perennial and annual veggies, all of that good stuff.
 

Field Bee

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I dont know what state your in but most states have a beekeepers association you can join and contact about a club nearest you. If you can get a mentor, do it. It will save you a lot of dead bees and money. Now is the time when new beekeepers buy equipment paint it and learn about setting it up. January/February is when you want to order bees, some years they sell out fast. Do as much research as you can and take a beginners beekeeping course.
 

R2elk

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Just got chickens and not sure what we'll do next, should we get bees?

I don't need a tetanus shot everytime I'm stung right? My kid wants bees but i dont want her getting stung all the time. She did get stung by a wasp and was a real trooper

Wanna farm something but might not have enough room or money for cattle and goats are so dang cute i might not be able to harvest them. Wanting something thats not 100% pet and at least we get eggs from chickens
Knowing your general location would allow for better advice. If you are far enough north, keeping bees over winter can be very challenging.

As for getting stung, in most cases it does not need to happen. There are very friendly bees available. Wearing the proper protective clothing when working the bees will prevent stings.
 

Overthinking

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How far away from where we sit and play should the hive be?
 

Overthinking

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If i weedwack or drive my mower past are they going to attack me?
 

Field Bee

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If i weedwack or drive my mower past are they going to attack me?

How far away from where we sit and play should the hive be?
Bee behavior is cyclical. Honey bees can become more defensive for a variety of reasons. Some examples are queenless hives, nectar dearths, robbing, nightly visits by skunks, rainy weather, or overcast. When new beekeepers mow or weed whack near hives and get stung they blame the bees when in reality it was the beekeeper who stepped on or chopped up crawling or low flying bees near the hive. The wounded bees release an alarm pheromone alarming guard bees to defend. Its what they do, they need to protect their hive. Just be careful and wear protective clothing if its a problem. Some bees/hives can be more defensive than others. Again, I dont know what state you live in and if its a southern state with potential for Africanized honey bees thats a whole different issue I dont have to deal with. AHBs are dangerous and need to be taken seriously.

As far as placement of hives go its up to you. Dont put them in a high activity areas were kids, pets, or visitors can get stung. Mine are about 100 feet from my house faced SE in a quiet area with morning sun and evening shade. More sun is better than less. Facing the entrance away from activity helps. I have met beekeepers in NYC that keep them on their balcony with no issues. On sunny warm days with pollen and nectar coming in you can pull up a chair and watch them hard at work.
 

Ridgetop

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Check with beekeeper assns first. Sometimes you can also get used equipment from people going out of the hobby. If there is a newsletter members advertise in it. Be sure to disinfect any used bee boxes to avoid infecting your new bees. We kept bees for a couple years. My oldest son wanted to try it and luckily our friend's dad offered to be the leader for the project. He had kept bees for years so was very knowledgeable. It was a lot of fun.
 

Overthinking

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Thanks, maybe i can mow when they aren't active?

We are kinda active all over this place except out in the field or the little field. Maybe I'll have to put them there but not sure cause maybe we'll have animals in there some day.

Decisions decisions

I mostly just want good farm type experience for my daughter

Guess everyone wants to be a cowboy until they have cowboy work to do
 

Ridgetop

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How old is your daughter? Have your daughter join 4-H. She can do rabbits and poultry before age 9, including auctioning those meat pens at the local Fair. Once she is 9 she can do larger livestock for sale at the Fair Youth auction. Great experience for kids and you will learn from their leaders too. There are lots of other things children can learn too. Mine did public speaking, presentations, sewing, leadership, riflery, and many other projects in addition to all their livestock projects. They even made a movie in a filmmaking project led by a film production expert. They learned record keeping and basic accounting principles for their record books. Recording their 4-H and project stories for their record books helped with their writing skills.

The benefit of raising animals to sell at the Fair is the time span. Most State and County Fair Rules only require the child to own market lambs, goats, and hogs for a minimum of 60 days, beef for a minimum of 180 days. Rabbit and poultry pens are 30 days. Rabbits will probably be a breeding project to produce meat pens. The Project Leaders often will help you locate the project animals and can help you figure out how much feed you will need. The Leader will also teach your daughter how to properly prepare and show the animal. These are short term livestock projects and will allow her the greatest opportunity of trying all the species. The experience of showing at the Fair is wonderful for children.

My 2 older children started in 4-H with a couple of purebred Nubian dairy goats that we used for house milk. (Star milkers but their udders needed improvement). DS1 split off into sheep breeding since he didn't want to milk. Over the years all 4 children raised, showed and auctioned everything except beef steers. They did veal calves with all the goat milk. DS2 and DS3 (the youngest 2) sold out of sheep and went back into dairy goats and ended up exhibiting all over southern California before selling out when they graduated from high school. My children participated in judging days, field days, and master showmanship, reaching the state level. All 4 became County All Stars, and were 4-H Camp counselors, 2 became Head Camp Counselor, DS2 became a State Diamond Star. In High School DD1 taught her friends how to fill out job applications and do resumes based on what she learned in 4-H. One of my project girls had a lot of trouble in math. I worked with her on accounting for her dairy goat record book. At a presentation in front of the Farm Bureau she said that learning to do a record book for 4-H helped her get through a college accounting class.

So many life skills that my kids learned without knowing that is what they were actually learning. The greatest benefit from my point of view is that I could put both my daughter and sons in ONE club. SO much easier on my busy schedule when it came to fitting 4-H meetings around sports and school activities. :) Oh yeah, and they learned to swing a mean manure fork! :gig

4-H is a great youth program and since you have smaller acreage like we did, the shorter length of time you keep large market animals would cut down on cost. We also bought all our meat at the Fair. The amount you pay over the base commercial price per lb. is a deduction if your Youth Auction has a 501C3 status.
 

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