My reason's for taking up beekeeping

Discussion in 'General Gardening' started by crackerbee, Apr 24, 2011.

  1. crackerbee

    crackerbee New Member

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    My main reason for becoming a beek is simple.Last year(Spring 2010)my wife and I decided to plant a vegetable garden,because we hadn't had one in probably 8 years.The gardens we had years before were very somewhat large,mainly because my wife is very proficient at canning,and would can just about anything we grew in the garden.She used to enter her canned goodies in the Fl. State Fair in Tampa every year,and has dozens of ribbons mostly first place and grand champions.Well that all changed about the time I bought her wine making equipment for a Mother's day gift(tell me I don't think ahead huh),and the canning and the gardens faded away.What used to be the canned veggie pantry(extra pantry I added when I built the house) turned into the micro-winery(the winery http://i494.photobucket.com/albums/rr30 ... 0_0628.jpg),talk about getting sand in you shoes.She still enters in the fair(also in national wine contests) these days,but it's not canned goods it's wine,and still brings home the gold and silvers :Dancing: :yahoo: (gotta lub her :drinks: ).We can't wait to try a batch of mead,now that we will able get the main ingredient a lot cheaper(ok so it hasn't been very cheap getting into beekeeping,but the other benefits outweigh the cost ).
    Anyway it was a long time since we had a garden,so we planted and had probably the best garden ever,I'm talking victory garden.No growing problems,or bugs(we try to stay organic and use organic methods for pest control),even made through the season with no blight on the tomatoes.No problems except no bees to pollinate the cukes,melons and squash and others.We live in a farming area near Plant City Fl. and before years ago we used to have so many bees in the garden you could hear all the buzzing while picking veggies,and never had a problem with pollination until then.We literally had to hand pollinate(cucumbers really sucked) the best we could,armed with Q-tips we were out there playing bee because there were literally none.The best I can tell back years before with the other gardens,there was a beek that lived a half mile from me had at least 30 or forty hives,but has since moved or maybe moved his operation elsewhere,along with all the bees the used to frequent my garden.
    So last June after having a great looking garden with a terrible harvest(with all the veggies that "have"to be pollinated),I looked into keeping some bees to help solve my problem,and that's got me kick started with bees. :thumbsup:
    BTW the red you see on the tomato plants aren't tomatoes,it's the red trail marking ribbon I use for hunting,and it works great for tying up tomato plants,cheap too.
    http://i494.photobucket.com/albums/rr30 ... 0_0619.jpg
     
  2. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Nice garden! I've had gardens before but they never looked quite as good as that!
     

  3. crackerbee

    crackerbee New Member

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    Thanks Perrybee,and the garden looks even better now,that pic is a week or so old,the younger corn on the right needed some nitrogen and has grown almost a foot and the yellowing of the bottom leaves(sure sign of nitrogen deficiency)and upper one's have greened up since.I'd almost given up on this garden a month ago when we got over 11" of rain in less than a week and everything(tomatoes are still struggling a bit)has made a miraculous come back.
     
  4. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    That is a good looking garden :thumbsup: , could you send your wife up this way about twice a month to show me how to make a garden look that good, I have a hoe so will not need to bring hers :lol: :lol:
     
  5. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Careful G3. Crackerbee may not be telling the whole story. She may just bring her whip and teach you to use that hoe. :eek: :lol:
     
  6. crackerbee

    crackerbee New Member

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    G3 I'd take Iddee's advice cuz he nailed that one heehee.

    I'm the garden Egyptian :bow: with the whip welts,and she's the queen bee canner and winemaker(with the whip :club: ).
     
  7. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    weeeellll on second thought a few weed ain't gonna hurt nuthin!!
     
  8. crackerbee

    crackerbee New Member

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    I have to say "mission accomplished",the little ladies are very busy pollinating my veggies and it seems I'll reap a very bountiful harvest this compared to last year(next to nothing),because this year there's fruit set on all the veggies that "have" to be pollinated by bees.Here's a few more pics showing how much it's grown since I started this thread just 10 days ago.
    Sorry you have to click on the Photobucket,I've been lazy and haven't loaded the photo sizing software on the new puter yet.

    http://i494.photobucket.com/albums/rr30 ... 3-Copy.jpg
    http://i494.photobucket.com/albums/rr30 ... 0_0654.jpg
    http://i494.photobucket.com/albums/rr30 ... 0_0656.jpg
    http://i494.photobucket.com/albums/rr30 ... 5-Copy.jpg
     
  9. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    You make me ashamed of my trashy little garden. Yours is beautiful.
     
  10. crackerbee

    crackerbee New Member

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    First batch of bread and butter pickles from the garden,they just came out of the water bath is why they're floating.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Geez, now I'm hungry! Wonder what's in the fridge?

    Nice looking jars Crackerbee :thumbsup:
     
  12. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    And I haven't even got cucumbers in the ground yet.

    Looks good
     
  13. srvfantexasflood

    srvfantexasflood New Member

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    He's canning pickles and we had a frost last night!
    Thanks for sharing.
     
  14. Ladyleo191

    Ladyleo191 New Member

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    Wow! My cucumbers are barely poking their first little leaves out of the ground. My tomatoes are blooming, though, so I can't complain too much.
     
  15. crackerbee

    crackerbee New Member

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    BTW this will probably be my last post until around midnight after all this is canned and put up.

    The garden was picked clean a week ago before we left for Knoxville Tenn.

    It's amazing the difference when you have bees at hand to pollinate.

    OK LADIES YOU CAN TAKE A BREAK NOW!!!!

    [​IMG]

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    This is Florida Stay Sweet corn it's the sweetest corn you'll ever taste,it's a SH2 hybrid.

    [​IMG]

    At least we have extra help to eat it,Nemo loves green beans

    [​IMG]
     
  16. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    Great looking produce Crackerbee, the weather here has not stabilized yet :roll: going to be 38F tonight and i have 500 tomatoe plants out. I'm in a valley and many times 34F is a killing frost, so i have my fingers crossed. The truck patch is just one reason i keep bees, they pollinate many types of fruit and vegtables but my main crops are sweetcorn and tomatoes and the girls have very little to do with pollination on them. I'm at peace with the world when working in the beeyard or garden, my wife worries about me working in the hot sun, but i told her when the man calls me home i hope i have a hive tool or hoe in my hand when i stand before him. Maybe he will give me a break. :mrgreen: Jack
     
  17. crackerbee

    crackerbee New Member

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    Thanks Jack,and from what I've read and gone by says that tomatoes are good to 40* and down to 38* before they freak out.
    If you can water them with more than 40* water overnight to get by the cold snap you may be ok.
     
  18. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Hey Crackerbee:
    The dog looks happy but the cat in the first picture doesn't look overly impressed! :lol:
    Very nice harvest, something I cannot let my wife see or I'll never get to check my bees this summer.
    I bought an old as the hills Troybuilt tiller last year and only got to use it once. We did not plant a large garden as we had listed our house for sale in April and did not want to potentially walk away from a large garden. Looks like I won't get to use it this year either as we will probably be moving this summer if we ever find the right place to buy.
    Sigh!
     
  19. dontstingme

    dontstingme New Member

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    nice bunch of produce crackerbee.sent me up a few of those nice cobs of corn.lol :beg:
     
  20. crackerbee

    crackerbee New Member

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    Here's all the veggies from yesterdays harvest ready for the pantry:

    [​IMG]

    The hardworking canning crew(the short one is mine)

    [​IMG]