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Hi there,

So, I have an interesting situation that I am hoping the community can help me with. I have been wanting to raise bees for years now and was looking forward to starting that in 2023. I will be taking my beekeeping classes early next year and initially hoped to have my first hive started; however, things are not as easy as all that. I am pregnant/to give birth in the early Spring (when the bees would arrive from my regional office should I order) and we are building a house--we have land, but have not started building yet. We live with family about 3 miles down the road.
Initially I thought to have the hive set on our land, but then wondered would the building project disturb them? I also considered starting the hive on my family's property and move them after the building has started. But then there is the factor of the new baby. My main drive is that this has been a desire of mine for eons, but I would like to approach this logically for the sake of the bees.

Is it a bad idea to start a hive with so many things up in the air? Should I delay it another year? If I did start a hive, would it be better to have them established in a quiet spot then move them once the main destruction of house site prep is done? Or is it better to have them located on the property where we are going to settle? Any advice would be helpful. Thank you!
 

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Welcome LadyM,
Just a few thoughts of my own but this is only my second year at beekeeping of which I grew from one hive to 7 hives real quick.
1. Heavy lifting is often involved with the hive boxes during hive inspections and managing the bees. ( Will your husband be able to help you?)
2. Yes, and if you keep the bees at the family's location , you will have to move them. This will take some planning.
3. If you keep the bees at your building location, are any of the building contractors allergic to bee stings ?
4. Eventually, we as beekeepers sometimes get stung. Could this be a serious problem for your new baby while you are carrying?
Just on these few thoughts alone, my gut feeling tells me to hold off until all the planets line up properly.
However, there is quite a lot to learn about bees and keeping bees so yes, go to your classes, read books, correspond with all these good people on Beekeeping and all other beekeepers as well. I might even mention another forum such as Beesource.com, another beekeeping forum with lots of knowledge. We are all in this together and every little bit of knowledge goes to keeping bees healthy during their stay with us.
You can use this valuable time during your new baby and house building to start preparing for your hobby. There is beekeeping equipment to purchase, build and paint to which you can add your own personal touches to.
I am 75 years old. I should have started this hobby years ago. I am finding out that 10 frame boxes full of bees and honey are much to heavy for me, especially since I have had back surgery, so I am gradually changing over to 8 frame configurations.
Read the book " Beekeeping for Dummies". I think we all start with that one. It will definitely tell you what you will be getting into and how to go about it.
 

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personally, I would wait..you have too much on your plate to keep bees, especially as a new bee keeper....start in 2024 when you are more settled in and can give proper time to the bees...but in the meantime, gather equipment and supplies and figure out a good spot on your property where to put them...
at this point you are starting out behind the 8ball and are setting yourself up for failure on the bees and disappointment when it should be something fun todo...and you will get discouraged about bee keeping..what you can do this year is put some swarm traps out and see if some free bees will come your way...or if you can get someone reliable to help you, then you can give it a try...
trust me that after you give birth..you wont have much spare time for awhile....
 

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I agree with waiting, 100%. I've had workers stung on my property, bees get a little nervous with loud noises and people around. The lifting is heavy. I have 10 frame mediums full of honey and I can lift one but I can't carry it far. Usually I take a couple of nuc boxes sitting on lids to the apiary and move the honey frames into the nucs and carry them in for extracting. In an emergency I can lift a 10 frame deep and set it aside on the little table I use for inspections, but only one box and only if not full of honey. And I'm in pretty good shape for 63. Enjoy the new baby, do your reading and maybe spring of 2024 would be a good time to start
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Welcome LadyM,
Just a few thoughts of my own but this is only my second year at beekeeping of which I grew from one hive to 7 hives real quick.
1. Heavy lifting is often involved with the hive boxes during hive inspections and managing the bees. ( Will your husband be able to help you?)
2. Yes, and if you keep the bees at the family's location , you will have to move them. This will take some planning.
3. If you keep the bees at your building location, are any of the building contractors allergic to bee stings ?
4. Eventually, we as beekeepers sometimes get stung. Could this be a serious problem for your new baby while you are carrying?
Just on these few thoughts alone, my gut feeling tells me to hold off until all the planets line up properly.
However, there is quite a lot to learn about bees and keeping bees so yes, go to your classes, read books, correspond with all these good people on Beekeeping and all other beekeepers as well. I might even mention another forum such as Beesource.com, another beekeeping forum with lots of knowledge. We are all in this together and every little bit of knowledge goes to keeping bees healthy during their stay with us.
You can use this valuable time during your new baby and house building to start preparing for your hobby. There is beekeeping equipment to purchase, build and paint to which you can add your own personal touches to.
I am 75 years old. I should have started this hobby years ago. I am finding out that 10 frame boxes full of bees and honey are much to heavy for me, especially since I have had back surgery, so I am gradually changing over to 8 frame configurations.
Read the book " Beekeeping for Dummies". I think we all start with that one. It will definitely tell you what you will be getting into and how to go about it.
Hi Wil,

Thank you so much for the response. My husband would definitely help with the heavy lifting, but still your perspective was very helpful. I've been so anxious to begin that I forgot to look at matters practically. There is a lot of prep to do. It does seem best to hold off. Thank you!
 

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Don't buy bees, as they would be at risk due to the multiple distractions.
If you can get free bees then go for it.
You can also start accumulating your gear and put out swarm traps.
Have them out for early swarms, they love old gear (smells like home)
Winter is the time to pick up used gear cheap.
There is a steep learning curve, that causes quite a few early retirements.
Nothing wrong with used gear.

Pick a spot that gets the most sunshine and faces southeastish and has a clear flight path.
Morning sun in the front door gets them flying early.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Don't buy bees, as they would be at risk due to the multiple distractions.
If you can get free bees then go for it.
You can also start accumulating your gear and put out swarm traps.
Have them out for early swarms, they love old gear (smells like home)
Winter is the time to pick up used gear cheap.
There is a steep learning curve, that causes quite a few early retirements.
Nothing wrong with used gear.

Pick a spot that gets the most sunshine and faces southeastish and has a clear flight path.
Morning sun in the front door gets them flying early.
Question: where is a good place to get gear?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I agree with waiting, 100%. I've had workers stung on my property, bees get a little nervous with loud noises and people around. The lifting is heavy. I have 10 frame mediums full of honey and I can lift one but I can't carry it far. Usually I take a couple of nuc boxes sitting on lids to the apiary and move the honey frames into the nucs and carry them in for extracting. In an emergency I can lift a 10 frame deep and set it aside on the little table I use for inspections, but only one box and only if not full of honey. And I'm in pretty good shape for 63. Enjoy the new baby, do your reading and maybe spring of 2024 would be a good time to start
Thank you so much! I will wait and prepare.
 

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Thank you so much! I will wait and prepare.
Hello LadyM; personally, I would not buy used equipment. Start with new boxes and if buying bees get yourself a package, not a nuc. There are many places to buy equipment, try and find a place you can drive to, shipping can get very expensive. Blue Sky is located in Ohio (I think 🙂) and their equipment is very good, or if you know someone who can make equipment. Find a local bee club and join, you will learn much to prepare for next year, and find out any bee laws you might have to follow. And you could find a mentor there also, or even help someone out with their bees so you will know if beekeeping is for you. I had one girl come in to show her, she was nervous seeing all those bees in the box we were in till I dropped a frame of bees (🫤) and she took off like a rocket! No beekeeping for her!
I wouldn’t keep the bees near any current big construction going on, you could keep them elsewhere and move them when the time comes around. I am excited for you, baby and bee’s. Deb
 
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Hi there,

So, I have an interesting situation that I am hoping the community can help me with. I have been wanting to raise bees for years now and was looking forward to starting that in 2023. I will be taking my beekeeping classes early next year and initially hoped to have my first hive started; however, things are not as easy as all that. I am pregnant/to give birth in the early Spring (when the bees would arrive from my regional office should I order) and we are building a house--we have land, but have not started building yet. We live with family about 3 miles down the road.
Initially I thought to have the hive set on our land, but then wondered would the building project disturb them? I also considered starting the hive on my family's property and move them after the building has started. But then there is the factor of the new baby. My main drive is that this has been a desire of mine for eons, but I would like to approach this logically for the sake of the bees.

Is it a bad idea to start a hive with so many things up in the air? Should I delay it another year? If I did start a hive, would it be better to have them established in a quiet spot then move them once the main destruction of house site prep is done? Or is it better to have them located on the property where we are going to settle? Any advice would be helpful. Thank you!
==================================
SO, for anyone who has a problem lifting 60 to 80 pounds with their arms at 90 degrees from the body (men, women, children) there are solutions to the problem AND you can use some existing Langstroth equipment - if you already own it!

With Langstroth (vertical) Hives many people have the same problem - too much weight to lift - PLUS your beehive is wide open for bees to fly out. You should weight a cardboard box with books to at least 60 lbs. and have to lift if from your table height, carry it 12 ft and set it down, and then repeat to set it back up at least to the table height again - and repeat this process at least 3 to 4 times one right after the other to simulate the removal of full supers. GET A FEEL FOR IT BEFORE YOU START WITH VERTICAL HIVES.

Horizontal Hives ( horizontalhive.com ) frames top bars slide together keeping the bees in the Hive! These hives have a 1/2" inside wall, a 1/2" outside wall with a 2" structural frame between those - filled with sheep's wool for insulation which does a splendid job year round for equalizing the environment. ALL FRAMES IN THESE HIVES ARE THE SAME SIZE - BUT LARGER THAN THE LARGE LANGSTROTH FRAMES!!! You can buy these at the link above OR you can access the FREE plans and build your own hives. You also have to think about larger extraction equipment too!

I have also seen Langstroth Frames used in a horizontal box - not insulated - so your weight lifting isn't going to strain your body lifting the frames. You would need to dimension your Bee Hive Construction for their large frames (recommended by me) - but you could also use the medium frames, which would limit the brood area and may affect the egg laying of a queen. The brood areas are usually approximately round on the frames so the larger the frame, the larger the brood area. The extraction equipment for these frames are the standard equipment used for Langstroth Frames Extraction!

A really good book to be used for/with the "horizontalhive.com" methods, but also usable on the horizontal Langstroth hives is, "Keeping Bees With A Smile: Principles and Practices of Natural BeeKeeping" by Fedor Lazutin with Leo Sharashkin. Just linked to Amz and it is just over $20. Great read, lots of hints, tips for year round beekeeping!

I probably just gave you a ton of questions!!
 

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==================================
SO, for anyone who has a problem lifting 60 to 80 pounds with their arms at 90 degrees from the body (men, women, children) there are solutions to the problem AND you can use some existing Langstroth equipment - if you already own it!

With Langstroth (vertical) Hives many people have the same problem - too much weight to lift - PLUS your beehive is wide open for bees to fly out. You should weight a cardboard box with books to at least 60 lbs. and have to lift if from your table height, carry it 12 ft and set it down, and then repeat to set it back up at least to the table height again - and repeat this process at least 3 to 4 times one right after the other to simulate the removal of full supers. GET A FEEL FOR IT BEFORE YOU START WITH VERTICAL HIVES.

Horizontal Hives ( horizontalhive.com ) frames top bars slide together keeping the bees in the Hive! These hives have a 1/2" inside wall, a 1/2" outside wall with a 2" structural frame between those - filled with sheep's wool for insulation which does a splendid job year round for equalizing the environment. ALL FRAMES IN THESE HIVES ARE THE SAME SIZE - BUT LARGER THAN THE LARGE LANGSTROTH FRAMES!!! You can buy these at the link above OR you can access the FREE plans and build your own hives. You also have to think about larger extraction equipment too!

I have also seen Langstroth Frames used in a horizontal box - not insulated - so your weight lifting isn't going to strain your body lifting the frames. You would need to dimension your Bee Hive Construction for their large frames (recommended by me) - but you could also use the medium frames, which would limit the brood area and may affect the egg laying of a queen. The brood areas are usually approximately round on the frames so the larger the frame, the larger the brood area. The extraction equipment for these frames are the standard equipment used for Langstroth Frames Extraction!

A really good book to be used for/with the "horizontalhive.com" methods, but also usable on the horizontal Langstroth hives is, "Keeping Bees With A Smile: Principles and Practices of Natural BeeKeeping" by Fedor Lazutin with Leo Sharashkin. Just linked to Amz and it is just over $20. Great read, lots of hints, tips for year round beekeeping!

I probably just gave you a ton of questions!!
I'm staying vertical for now. I own way too much equipment, including nucs to pull heavy honey 5 frames at a time. . But this is a great post
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hello LadyM; personally, I would not buy used equipment. Start with new boxes and if buying bees get yourself a package, not a nuc. There are many places to buy equipment, try and find a place you can drive to, shipping can get very expensive. Blue Sky is located in Ohio (I think 🙂) and their equipment is very good, or if you know someone who can make equipment. Find a local bee club and join, you will learn much to prepare for next year, and find out any bee laws you might have to follow. And you could find a mentor there also, or even help someone out with their bees so you will know if beekeeping is for you. I had one girl come in to show her, she was nervous seeing all those bees in the box we were in till I dropped a frame of bees (🫤) and she took off like a rocket! No beekeeping for her!
I wouldn’t keep the bees near any current big construction going on, you could keep them elsewhere and move them when the time comes around. I am excited for you, baby and bee’s. Deb
Thank you @CatskillHoneyBee ! I appreciate the recommendations. I have joined a bee club and helped a friend with her hives--no fear here! And thank you for the well-wishes. 2 months to go for baby!
 
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