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Beekeeping

Posted by on Apr. 10, 2017 at 6:33 PM
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Does anyone here keep bees?  DH and I just ordered our first bees!

The short story is that we've talked about getting bees for several years, For the past couple of years, DH and I have contimplated getting a hive or two of bees.  We thought we could keep one at our house and one at the farm (my IL's property).  We've always put it off for one reason or another.

This year, our oldest daughter (who is an 8th grader) had the opportunity to work with her science teacher after hours on a hive of bees.  Her teacher took a class last summer, wrote a grant and put together two hives for the school garden.  She asked Katie and another girl to help out.  So all year, they've been learning about beekeeping.  They harvested honey in the fall and set up the hives for winter (unfortunatly, they harvested too much and the hives died - another lesson!).  They bottled the honey, they made candles and soap from the beeswax.  And they had an expert from the local gardens come in and do some classes - they actually are doing an 8 week class starting this week with beekeeping basics.

Because of this the shop teacher at school offered the girls a chance to set up their own hives.  The shop classes will do the work for a really low price.  They make a bases hive and four supers (the boxes that stack) for $51!

So we jumped the gun and ordered bees!  3 pounds of bees will be arriving at our house on May 20th!  The shop class is making our hive, Katie is taking the classes and teaching us and we're off and running!  And my FIL (who seriously used to try everything - kind of like us!) has a bunch of stuff he bought a long time ago when he thought about doing bees. We still need to order the queen extruder and frames, but then we should be basically all set.

I'm super excited!

Momma to ~ Katie ~ Christopher ~ Nicholas ~ Josie
by on Apr. 10, 2017 at 6:33 PM
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Replies (1-5):
Roisin07
by Cynthia on Apr. 10, 2017 at 6:44 PM

We too have discussed it over the years. Hope it happens in the next year. I found a program grant that hopefully we could get a hive through and use it for our schooling as well. 

Let us know how it goes once they arrive. How exciting!

baconbits has beekeeping experience here.

oldfashionSAHM
by Bronze Member on Apr. 11, 2017 at 9:11 AM

hubs has talked about getting bees but we don't have the means to actually do it right now. We hope to be able to get some when we get our own place.

baconbits
by Bronze Member on Apr. 11, 2017 at 2:02 PM

We raised bees for awhile and we never had any problems until we started having bee inspectors come in. THEN things went downhill. I can't say it was their fault but twice we lost hives and upon inspection of the hive we found our queen squashed where they pulled frames out to inspect them. Another year we lost a hive due to disease which we never had before. At this time we're taking this year off so we can clean/sanitize everything in the hives and next year we'll give it another go. We just don't have the funds this year to buy the bees. They're really not hard to raise. If you need anything I suggest buying off of ebay. It's a lot cheaper then the stores around our house or the magazines.

baconbits
by Bronze Member on May. 25, 2017 at 8:36 AM

So how are you liking your bees so far? Were you a little shocked when they were delivered? Such a tiny little cage with tons of bees all of which sound very angry after being bumped around so much getting to you.

We actually got lucky this year and got a swarm for free so we're back in the business of bees. We won't touch the hive this year other then to make sure they have enough feed for the winter if August turns dry on us. We tend to let the bees keep everything the first year so they have plenty to eat and the second year we'll take only off the top box.

Jenn_T
by Member on May. 27, 2017 at 1:49 PM

So far, so good.  We installed the bees a week ago.  DH had to release the queen after 48 hours - she was almost out, but not quite.  The bees are building up comb.  We haven't looked to see if there is brood yet, but they are certainly busy.

We plan to leave our hive alone this year as well to make sure they have enough honey for the winter.  Were pretty nervous about keeping them alive past the winter and are going to do everything we can to help with that.

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