New to Beekeeping!

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Bheckel169, Oct 31, 2010.

  1. Bheckel169

    Bheckel169 New Member

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    Just saying hi. Like many, I was introduced to "real" honey rather than commercial when I
    moved here to western North carolina. I couldn't believe the difference. Sourwood is my favorite but I'm looking forward to discovering what else the honey bees in this neck of the woods will produce for me. So, it's late October and I've purchased a beginning beekeeping dvd and several E-books on the subject. I'm also signing up for a winter class offered by the agriculture extension here. Like many noobs I'm sure, I thought it was a whole lot simpler then it really is but the more I learn the more I'm fascinated with honey bees. With the recent difficulties with bees and the huge benefits they provide to our area, I felt I should contribute. I'm looking forward to learning on this site and welcome any recommendations for getting started. For the experienced of you, please be patient. I'm sure I'm going to ask some dumb questions and probably 1 or 2 that you've heard for the gazillionth time. Looking forward to my
    new experiences.
    Bruce
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    """I'm sure I'm going to ask some dumb questions and probably 1 or 2 that you've heard for the gazillionth time."""

    The first, no. The dumb question is the one not asked.

    The second, probably. So what? It's been asked before, and will be again, so jump right in.

    Welcome to the forum.
     

  3. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Welcome to the forum and wish you luck in the spring with your new bees.

    Ask all you want or need, no dumb questions here.
     
  4. Walt B

    Walt B New Member

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    Bruce, Welcome to the forum. :wave:

    Looks like you're making all the right moves with DVD, books and a class. You're going to be all set come spring. Feel free to post all the questions you want. There's a whole range of experience levels here, and we'll be happy to try to "fill in the gaps".
    Walt
     
  5. Bheckel169

    Bheckel169 New Member

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    I think the most obvious first question is what's really required in a starter hive kit. Aside from the obvious tools and clothing, I've gotten mixed messages about what a hive should look like. One deep and how many frames? What about the supers? A couple to expand for the bees and for me to collect my honey? Often the starter kits advertised don't even discuss supers. If someone could draw up the perfect hive kit or (boxes I need) to start, this would go a long way to avoid making mistakes on the different kinds of starter kits that are being offered.
    I don't want to be out there scrambling for equipment at the last minute because the starter kit I bought was inadequate.
    Bruce
     
  6. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    #1... Forget the starter kits. Buy individual pieces.

    #2... Protective gear. Can be veil only, up to full suit and gloves. You have to decide what level will make you comfortable.

    #3...Hive tool and smoker.

    From that point on, it depends on where you get your first bees, how they come, and how far away your woodenware supplier is.
     
  7. Bheckel169

    Bheckel169 New Member

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    Good, so back to my original question, what should be the individual pieces I should buy to start?
    Bruce
     
  8. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    There are many different ways to keep bees in boxes and it is a personal preference. As iddee mentioned ssome of it depends on how you get your first bees. Catching swarms and buying packages will leave things wide open for you. If you buy a nuc or an established hive then things are a little more set.
    You can use Lang type hives in 10, 8 or even 5 frame set ups, deeps, mediums shallows or any combinations there of. solid bottom board, screened bottom boards, top entrances, inner cover, telescopic coverer, migratory cover, etc, etc.
    wood frames, plastic frames, wax foundation, plastic foundation, no foundation, super cell, etc.
    warre type hives, and of course the popular top bar hive.

    I myself am kind of old school myself, I like a ten frame Lang set up with solid or screen bottom board, deep brood chamber, shallows for honey with an inner cover and telescopic cover.

    So you see it is not just so cut and dried and every body does things a little different, not trying to avoid the question at all.

    get a couple of catalogs and thumb through them to see all of the different set ups that are available.

    Walter Kelley
    http://www.kelleybees.com/CMS/CMSPage.a ... 241d57f78d

    Brushy Mountain
    http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/

    Here is a couple of suppliers to get you started, there are several more.
     
  9. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    I for got to mention also the different breeds of bees.............Italians, Carnolians, Russians, Caucasians, cordovan, mutts, and then the crosses of all of them.
     
  10. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    Welcome Bruce,There are different setups for hives like two deeps or one deep and one med. or three med. boxes for the brood chamber ect. The bees don't care, but a beekeepers health and back might.I would talk to some local beekeepers in your area to see what works best for them in your weather climate and look for a bee club to join. If you have wood working skills you can keep the cost down. Warning, beekeeping is a disease, i caught the bug in 1965 and i'm still suffering with it, i have good years and bad years and haven't found a cure for it. :mrgreen: Jack
     
  11. Bheckel169

    Bheckel169 New Member

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    Thanks to all so far. Good information and I realize talking with local beekepeers is going to be an essential part of my learning process. In the works. Jack, I know about deseases. I saw you're from Missouri. I started riding your state horse, the Missouri Fox Trotter in 1989 and still have them and ride them. Greatest gaited horse of them all!
    Bruce
     
  12. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    Bruce, i know what you mean, i like to watch their ears in a fast trott. :lol: Jack
     
  13. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    Hello, and welcome! Do not worry about asking questions... I've had bees for about 5 years now, and still ask "dumb" questions! Just try to ask the question BEFORE you take action. I can't tell you how many times I've had to "un-do" my clever ideas.

    Do consider various options.
    10-frame vs 8-frame: The 8 frame is lighter, but if you are likely to acquire boxes of bees from other beekeepers, they will probably be using 10-frame, so you may want to be compatible.

    Deeps, shallows, and mediums: I like the idea of all mediums, personally. (Michael Bush has good info on this on his web site http://www.bushfarms.com/beeseightframemedium.htm . There is a wealth of info on his site, and it is worth taking the time to peruse. I might add that I have NO mediums, because I learned all this AFTER buying standard deeps and shallows.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that, in the past, Brushy Mountain has offered free shipping east of the Mississippi sometime around December. If they do this again, it can save a fortune if buying heavy woodenware.

    You may also want to consider buying or making a 5- or 6-frame nuc. Very light and handy for tossing in the car to gather a swarm, or leaving at the old site when moving a hive.

    Just my $.02.
     
  14. Mama Beek

    Mama Beek New Member

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    Hi Bruce, welcome to the forum. You have already gotten lots of great advice I see. One of the first things I would recommend is to find yourself a mentor or a beekeeping club and join. There is so much to learn about and the meetings are usually quite fun.
     
  15. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    first off read what MamaBeek said. everyone should place special attention to what their mama says... right?

    there is another thead 'X things you need to know to be a bee keeper' (or something like that) that covers several angles on the equipment question. one or two of the answers there (+mamabeek's comments above) will save you enough money that it becomes much easier to indulge yourself with a good bee suit, gloves and smoker. in my mind this is just not the appropriate place for a beginner to shave things too short.
     
  16. Murrell

    Murrell New Member

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    One more thing, in addition too; finding a mentor or Bee Club, visit your Public Library, they have or can probably get thru inter-library loan a number of Bee books.
    If they don't have many/any, You have to ask them to use the inter-library system.

    Murrell
     
  17. indypartridge

    indypartridge New Member

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