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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been quietly obsessed with the idea of beekeeping for many years and have decided to investigate proper ways to support bees in the sierra mountains of northern california. Do I dare? Am I being ridiculous?

Im a total a greenhorn an seeking enlightment.
 

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Hello LH, and welcome :hi: to the friendliest beek forum around!

Do you dare? Of course! :thumbsup:
Are you being ridiculous? If you are, there are a lot of us that are as well. :wink:
Obsessed is a curious (but very astute) word to use when it comes to beekeepers! :lol:
Have fun here, ask questions, enjoy!
 

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LH,
When i was contemplating keeping bees, I thought it was a wild and crazy idea- something that only experienced, knowledgeable, brave, and confident people might do. I was amazed that my husband didn't seem to think I was crazy for considering it.

So I dared to do it.
The first few times I worked with my bees I was a little nervous. That was three years ago. Now I think of them as just a normal and fun part of my lifestyle and my gardening. :)

Life is short. Go for it!
 

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Yeah, do it. I decided last year after several years thinking about it to take the plunge. Otherwise I'd be too old to start :)
 

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LH, Welcome to the nut house. Every one of us crazy,insane and obsessed keepers here had the same questions and concerns as you at one (many) time or another and still have questions and doubts at times. But we can come here and vent our concerns, questions or anger and get answers or guidance from one or more of the gurus that call this forum home. So welcome to this forum and the OBSESSION that we all share. Jim
 

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I think every beekeeper is just a little off-kilter, I think you have to be to handle 10's of thousands of stinging insects.

Like you, I contemplated it for a few years then started reading more about it. At that point the decision was made and woodware and bees were purchased. I'll be starting my first 2 hives in a few weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you folks for the welcome.

I hear bear are a big issue for hives in my surrounding are. Truckee and reno are the two closest cities that seem to have a niche. As far as I know nobody keeps bees in my neck of the woods; and those who have, failed without continuing further with the process.

Out of curiousity. What is the average start up cost for...lets say two hives and the nesessary bees/equipment that will sustain the hives?
 

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If you make your own topbar hives and catch swarms, the cost is very small- mostly the cost of the wood you use. But most folks buy traditional pre-cut Lang hives and buy their bees, so for two hives of bees I'd say it could cost anywhere from three hundred to several more hundred dollars, depending on various cost factors and your decisions. As for non-hive equipment needs, all you really need is a good smoker, a good veil, maybe some gloves, and a hive tool to get started.
 

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Welcome Lavender!

I'm past obsession. I started last year with 2 nucs. Now, not even a full year later I have 3 full hives, 2 small hives, and a nucleus hive with no end in sight.

It's contagious too! Today my wife's best friend ask to take her out to lunch to which she replied, "I can't, Ed is checking the bees for queen cells today and I want to be here to help him."

Enjoy the endeavor!!
 

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California is a big beekeeping state. Get in touch with the state agriculturral extension service about the conditions in your neighborhood and whether they are conducive to bees. It would probably have a lot to do with the length of the summer season and the flowers naturally growing there in the Sierra Mountains. My guess is that there's room in them thar mountains for more than one obsessed beekeeper.
Greetings and welcome to the forum. :hi:
 

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I didn't want to keep bees; I didn't mean to keep bees. But my vegetable garden just wasn't up to par. Got a box of bees thinking a couple of trips to the hive every now and then and that would be it. One look inside the hive and I was hooked. Ten years later, here I am, an NC State Certified Master Beekeeper known in these parts as "The Down East Bee Lady." Go for it; you'll fall in love!!!!
 

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If you make your own topbar hives and catch swarms, the cost is very small- mostly the cost of the wood you use. But most folks buy traditional pre-cut Lang hives and buy their bees, so for two hives of bees I'd say it could cost anywhere from three hundred to several more hundred dollars, depending on various cost factors and your decisions. As for non-hive equipment needs, all you really need is a good smoker, a good veil, maybe some gloves, and a hive tool to get started.
Omie is right on target with the upstart $$. It is very fresh in my mind as a I have just completed my two hives. The bee equipment (clothing, smoker, tool, etc.) and frames/foundations for six medium supers and four deep brood exceeded $400 alone. I was surprised how fast frames/foundations added up. I built my own hives from ground up. However, I figured out making the supers and broods were the only money saver (and it's a big one too, not only material cost but shipping cost). I will be ordering telescoping lids, inner covers and bottom screen boards from here on out. All told, it will be several hundred but short of 1k. But, look at the fun you will have!
 

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Thank you folks for the welcome.

I hear bear are a big issue for hives in my surrounding are....
Out of curiousity. What is the average start up cost for...lets say two hives and the nesessary bees/equipment that will sustain the hives?
welcome!
don't ignore the bears.....if you decide to keep hives where there are bears, figure in the cost for an electric fence, and it should be in place before the hives are set up. i use a solar unit that costs about $150, and comes with the battery's. they last along time if you take care of them.
 
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