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Country Discussion Topics
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Honey and honeybees
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Tom A    Posted 03-06-2003 at 02:33:45       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Just read additions to yesterday's posts and wanted to add a little but they're too far down the page.

Rhudson: thanks for the plug for local honey! Most folks don't realize that a lot of the honey sold in grocery stores is imported, and you're right the quality just ain't there even if it is cheap.

Donna in WV: It is not hard at all to get started. There's a bunch of ways to do it. Easiest and best is to find a local beekeeper and tag along with him for a little while. He/she can help you get equipment and bees and teach you what you need to know. If you're like us, though, you may have to go the read a book and order by mail route. That's fine, just takes a little longer.

If you are interested, shoot me an email and I'll send you some more info: there are a few decent web sites that can give good beginner info, and some books and magazines and sources of bees and equipment if you really want to dive in. Don't know where in WV you are, but parts are just a few miles from me so if you're near you can come look-see at my hives come spring.

Tom A


Larry    Posted 03-06-2003 at 09:51:04       [Reply]  [Send Email]

I was wondering if there was a way to keep a small back yard hive for the sole purpose of pollinating gardens,and fruit trees? I think I might of seen something like this once in a magazine.


Tom A    Posted 03-06-2003 at 11:20:43       [Reply]  [No Email]
I kept a hive in our backyard for a couple of years. We had about a third acre in a development. I didn't advertise, just kept my mouth shut and did it. Don't think any neighbors even noticed for a year or two...they really aren't all that noticable, and if you do it right they don't bother folks.

Tom A


Les...fortunate    Posted 03-06-2003 at 03:59:00       [Reply]  [No Email]
Tom, I wish there was a way to have better luck with bees around here outside of making it a full time job. In years past, I have had a brother and a neighbor who had them. Both of them have given it up as a lost cause. Too many things against us.
Winters are too long and hard, disease wipes them out and the worst thing: stinkin bears. My neighbor hired a guy to bring up a hive from Concord a few years ago when the apples were blossoming. A bear came the very first night and wrecked everything. Very discouraging.


sorry to hear that, Les    Posted 03-06-2003 at 04:09:03       [Reply]  [No Email]
It *can* be frustrating at times. Our local mites have developed immunity to all the approved miticides. I went for years and years without losing a single hive, but the last 3 years have been tough and I've "done everything right." I now rotate miticides every treatment just like you do for animal wormers, and it seems to help some...the hives are not as strong as 10 years ago, but they're ok.

Still, I can't see giving up (yet). I've read some articles about using electric fence to protect hives against bears, but maybe that is too much cost and trouble for just a hive or two.

Don't know. I'm gonna keep plugging at it, as it is still fun, we make a (very) few bucks at it, and the garden does lots better with a couple of hives around.

Tom


Good Lord    Posted 03-06-2003 at 08:32:58       [Reply]  [No Email]
Note on the bears: They walk right through the electric fence to get to our garbage, probably would do the same to get to a hive.


Salmoneye    Posted 03-06-2003 at 10:22:57       [Reply]  [Send Email]
.45-70 with 350 grain roundnose Hornadys works great on them trash eating, honey stealers...

And the honey fed ones taste darn good...


Renee    Posted 03-06-2003 at 03:09:45       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I agree with you guys about honey being healthier.
If I remember, it's because it is complex carbohyrates in it. Whereas sugar is a simple carb, a chemical.
In other words honey is how God made it and sugar is man's tampering.
It's kinda expensive to get started, but I may, and then take the chance on putting an add in the paper to see if some bee keeper will rob them for me, for part of the honey.
Renee


might not be as costly as you think    Posted 03-06-2003 at 04:38:19       [Reply]  [No Email]
Renee:

there's lots of ways to get started. If you can find somebody who is quitting for one reason or another, you can get a "used" hive and sometimes they aren't all that expensive. Spring is best time to do that from a bee survival point of view; fall is best for cheapness.

Folks quit all the time; some are newbies who just started and got bored quick, others get too infirm to do the heavy work, others get tired of losing money.

Another option is to find a small-time beekeeper who wants to keep his/her hive on sombody else's land. Before we got our farm, we had a single hive in the backyard and wanted more. Took awhile to find a guy in the country who, just like you, wanted a hive to watch. We plopped a hive on his land, paid him a couple of pounds of honey a year "rent" and we were all happy...he used to put a lawn chair near the hive and watch them come and go!

good luck,
Tom


Renee    Posted 03-06-2003 at 10:59:57       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Good ideas Tom.
Tom how old are you, you said 105, which is probably a joke.
Renee


I don't usually do this    Posted 03-06-2003 at 11:18:33       [Reply]  [No Email]
...but I'll tell the truth this time: 45.

I didn't say I *was* 105, I said I "looked good" for 105! ;-)


Renee    Posted 03-06-2003 at 11:30:27       [Reply]  [No Email]
Yep, you would look good for 105 if yu was only 45. I thought you was pulling our legs. Or that honey was sure doing miracles.
Renee


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