Thinking about doing bees. Is it really worth it?

DaisythePig

Chillin' with the herd
Joined
Aug 15, 2016
Messages
26
Reaction score
18
Points
36
Y'all who do bees,
How much work is involved? Is it worth it? Also, does anyone know of any good bee keeping starter kits that includes everything you need to do bees?
 

NH homesteader

Herd Master
Joined
Jul 9, 2016
Messages
3,815
Reaction score
3,842
Points
353
Location
New Hampshire
My husband is the expert, not me. But it's worth it if you enjoy it! His were easy, unfortunately he lost his hives and we haven't gotten back in to it (hopefully in the spring). He had Italian bees and they were easy and friendly as far as bees go. However I have heard of people who have had issues with swarms and that is the not fun part of bee keeping. Correct me if I am wrong bee people but that seems to be more of an issue with the Russian bees. I believe Russians produce more honey but are more aggressive.

There are tons of starter kits online.

I think it is worth it 100%, they pollinate for you and you get delicious honey. And with how many bees the world has lost I think more people should be doing it!
 

Maggiesdad

Loving the herd life
Joined
Dec 21, 2014
Messages
322
Reaction score
153
Points
163
Location
Central Virginia
It can be a VERY expensive hobby. It can be immensely satisfying. It can be terribly frustrating.

There is a moderate amount of work involved with just a few hives, but it must be done in a timely manner (on their schedule, not yours) or you will be geting into the frustrating part.

I started two March s back, I've probably spent over $3K... with no return other tha a pile of bees and 60lb honey.

Currently have 5 langstroths and 16 Topbars.
 

NH homesteader

Herd Master
Joined
Jul 9, 2016
Messages
3,815
Reaction score
3,842
Points
353
Location
New Hampshire
@Maggiesdad I will have to look over at the beekeeping stuff on here to see if you've posted more... My husband wants top bars this year but no one around here uses them. Otherwise I might have to pick your brain :)
 

DaisythePig

Chillin' with the herd
Joined
Aug 15, 2016
Messages
26
Reaction score
18
Points
36
My husband is the expert, not me. But it's worth it if you enjoy it! His were easy, unfortunately he lost his hives and we haven't gotten back in to it (hopefully in the spring). He had Italian bees and they were easy and friendly as far as bees go. However I have heard of people who have had issues with swarms and that is the not fun part of bee keeping. Correct me if I am wrong bee people but that seems to be more of an issue with the Russian bees. I believe Russians produce more honey but are more aggressive.

There are tons of starter kits online.

I think it is worth it 100%, they pollinate for you and you get delicious honey. And with how many bees the world has lost I think more people should be doing it!


Thank you. So if i do decide to do bees you would recommend the italian bees.
 

Maggiesdad

Loving the herd life
Joined
Dec 21, 2014
Messages
322
Reaction score
153
Points
163
Location
Central Virginia
@Maggiesdad I will have to look over at the beekeeping stuff on here to see if you've posted more... My husband wants top bars this year but no one around here uses them. Otherwise I might have to pick your brain :)
I did post up a lot last year, but with the crazy spring we had here z my 8 overwintered hives just exploded with bees. Hence the 21 colonies now. I had read a lot about it, but there's nothing like seeing it in person. Oh well this year bees... maybe next year honey.
 

babsbag

Herd Master
Joined
May 10, 2010
Messages
7,884
Reaction score
9,290
Points
583
Location
Anderson, CA
Everything that @Maggiesdad said. They are expensive, frustrating, fun, and more work than my goats. I have 5 hives right now, I started with two nucs this spring and one swarmed 3 times so now I have five. I need to check on them, but it has been toooooo hot to even think bees. I rarely get honey the first year and lately I haven't had a hive make it through winter. Hope this year is better. You absolutely have to treat for mites...no choice anymore if you want your bees to survive.
 

Latestarter

Novice; "Practicing" Animal Husbandry
Golden Herd Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
11,386
Reaction score
17,406
Points
623
Location
NE Texas
What Maggiesdad and Babsbag said. If you have doubts, re-read it. It's a rather expensive hobby to start, but after established, not quite so costly... but it IS work, and as was stated, NOT on your schedule. I had 2 hives and lost both to colony collapse. Buying 2 new packages will cost a couple hundred dollars as I still have the woodware (hives). Or I could set boxes up and try to capture swarms, which would be free. There's a good bit of info in the posts on here and even more on the internet in general. Don't believe everything you read, and get multiple opinions before you draw firm conclusions. Much depends on where you live and your specific area climate and vegetation (pollen and nectar sources).

Now, they ARE a blast and I enjoy working the hives, and the honey is just incomparable! You won't find anything in the store to compare with your own.

Glad you joined us! Make yourself at home!
 

Happy Chooks

Loving the herd life
Joined
Sep 30, 2014
Messages
548
Reaction score
328
Points
153
Location
Northern CA
All of the above. They are fun, frustrating, time consuming, money consuming and a lot of work. But........then you taste that honey, and it's all worth it. (and I didn't even get bees for the honey)

They can be a lot of work, especially the first year because you are learning so much. Every time I open my hives, I learn something.

You have to stay on top of them in the peak nectar times, they can run out of room FAST! And then they will swarm on you. One of my hives swarmed this summer, and I was able to catch it, so now I have 3 hives. I really don't want any more than that right now.

Definitely treat for mites. I didn't my first year, and I lost them over the winter.
 
Top