Is harvesting honey neccesary

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by frecklebee, May 27, 2012.

  1. frecklebee

    frecklebee New Member

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    I've wanted bees for a long time just to help build up the population.We mow at the highest deck level to keep from mowing the clover and other blooming ground covers plus we're slowly replacing lawn with stuff that's more bee,bird,toad(i'm weird,I think the warty little buggers are cute),anyway you get the picture.So with that in mind do I need to harvest honey and what will happen if I dont?

    Red
     
  2. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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    Hello Frecklebee,

    The bees will build up enough stores and brood, 1/2 of them will leave and start a new hive somewhere (swarm), your hive will build up to capacity again, and the cycle will continue.....just like in a tree hive.

    No harm done, and no honey harvested :)
     

  3. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    I agree with Eddy, however you will still need to manage this hive for potential problems. I have met one or two folks who have got into bees to "provide them a home", with no intent to harvest honey. Invariably they have problems, throwing swarms in urban areas, hives picking up disease, mites, etc. and unless dealt with these problems could be passed on to an unsuspecting beeks hives nearby.
     
  4. heinleinfan

    heinleinfan New Member

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    Nope, not necessary at all. Nothing will happen if you don't. A lot of the futzing keepers do with hives is to encourage the bees to produce a lot of extra honey, more than they'll need for winter stores, and that can then be harvested.

    I wish more people would be willing to just have a hive to home a colony of bees, even if they weren't going to honey harvest or particularly want to be beekeepers. Every colony out there in the world is a good thing.

    I disagree with Perry a bit on this. I don't see why a feral colony in a hive box would have any more risk of disease than one in a tree, provided the box was in a good location. I don't see why throwing a swarm would be bad, feral hives throw swarms all the time. I might be having a different experience with my urban keeping, but I've had nothing but people being interested and supportive, except for one very scaredy-cat mailman.

    Some management might help a colony like that survive longer, but just a couple weeks ago I opened a 2-deep lang hive that had been feral for 4 years. It was strong and healthy, and no SHB or mites at all. They'd just been bopping along doing their thing for all those years. I almost felt bad about getting them back into "keeper" shape and moving them to a beeyard!

    I bet you could find a local beekeeper, though, who'd be willing to help you set it up and to come by a couple times a year and check on the hive and advise you of the condition of the hive, maybe in exchange for gas money or if you grow veggies or chickens or anything like that.

    Alternatively, you may find a local keeper who could use some space to put their hives and you wouldn't necessarily be introducing a new colony to a home, but you could be helping out the bees still. It can be hard to find people who are willing to have hives on their property who aren't farmers, especially if you are in a more urban setting.
     
  5. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    ""I disagree with Perry a bit on this. I don't see why a feral colony in a hive box would have any more risk of disease than one in a tree, provided the box was in a good location.""

    Probably because 90% of feral hives die within 5 years. Most within 3.
     
  6. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Well, I never! Someone disagrees with me? :shock: :lol: That's what makes this place what it is, healthy! :thumbsup:

    My experience in Lunenburg was with a couple of folks that got into it and both had swarm issues, enough so that a few neighbours actually went to town council and tried to push a no beekeeping within town limits proposal. Last I heard was council said they would look into it and have done nothing since but if the problem should continue..........?
    Also, a beek that was new (2 years) that was within 2 k of one of my yards asked me to come over and look at one or their 2 hives that was lagging. First and only time I have seen AFB (confirmed by our Provincial Bee Health Advisor). IMHO, simply housing bees is only part of the responsibility of keeping them. I appreciate the feral bee thing and understand that part of your point. :wink:
     
  7. frecklebee

    frecklebee New Member

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    Thanks for the quick answers,it eases my mind. I don't plan on being a hands off mom with my bees in fact next weekend will be my next 2 week inspection,in fact I have 3 people coming to watch and 1 is starting to build his own hives. Yea!! more bees!
     
  8. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Actually, after rereading my posts I realized that they may have been interpreted as if I was dumping on new keeps and I want to apologize if that is how it came out. It sounds arrogant!
    In fact,nothing could be farther from the truth. There are plenty of "experienced" keeps that have contributed to our problems, new beeks have certainly not cornered that market.
    Actually, I am of the opinion that it will be todays new beekeepers that will find many of the solutions we seek to a myriad of problems, by being the ones that think outside the box, that are willing to experiment and try different things.
     
  9. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Of course, here's another way to look at it. A super yields approx. 30 lb. of honey. That's 30 1 lb. jars with cute ribbons and labels replacing 10 to 20 dollar gifts. Saving 300 to 600 dollars annually.

    And who knows, you may just decide to eat one of those jars.
     
  10. heinleinfan

    heinleinfan New Member

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    Oh Noes! Disagreement between beekeepers, on how to do something with bees...well I just never...:grin:

    Well, I am biased towards things natural, and I like the thought of more feral colonies around.

    Seems if they do survive even a few years, every generation is getting better genetics, what with survival of the fittest and all. There are studies being done all over to see how feral colonies are surviving when commercial keepers are losing 40% of their hives a year and it seems like they're just tougher bees, all that natural selection helping them out.
    And if a feral colony does live only 3 years, well, hopefully they've also sent out 3 swarms, and each of those swarms will hopefully keep on getting mite and disease resistances going on in their genetics, then they'll each send out 3 swarms. Let's spread that gene pool good and wide, I say!
     
  11. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    You can't separate the ferals from the managed bees quite that simply. Remember, all ferals are just managed bee swarms that weren't caught and their descendants. The feral hive you find may have been managed 2 months ago. It may also be producing SHB, mites, and AFB that will be attacking the surviving ferals in the neighborhood.