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Old 02-02-2017, 06:59 PM  
Iowanian Iowanian is online now
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The bee keeper diaries

It's a great time to buy stock in eppy pens.

This thread is a repository for bee keepers or those interested.

A couple of years ago, a couple of friends an my brother started puttering with honey bees. I didn't buy off because, well, I've never been a big fan of bees or getting stung by them. Last summer I tagged along a couple of times to check their hives and to remove honey bees from a house, public building and an old garage.

I realized at the end of the summer when I was helping them process some, that it's actually pretty interesting, and fits into my expanding "grow my own" logic. I'm not full blown hippy but I see a lot of logic in the self sustaining food thing and I'm doing some of that too.

That said, this thread is about bees, honey bees, bee keeping and bee fighting war stories.

I'm taking the leap and plan to get 2-3 hives this spring and maybe build some bee swarm traps to make it cheaper or to make a few bucks.

Join me and I'll share the real life lessons of an ameture bee keeper. I'm sure I'm going to learn some things the hard way.
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Old 09-05-2017, 10:42 AM   #136
allen_kcCard allen_kcCard is offline
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What kind of land do you have that you set it up on? A pasture away from any sort of potential human visitors?
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Old 09-05-2017, 11:16 AM   #137
Iowanian Iowanian is online now
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The top feeders must be new. Course I was doing this 40 years ago so I'd expect some changes. Should set the hives on a concrete slab or?
There are quite a few variants and I'm told they are improving, but this image basically tells the story. You can put up to a gallon in some of them, bees access from the inside. The screens allow them to come up and down into the pool and use the screen to access it without drowning.

Some people also feed pollen patties but I'm told to be cautious with that on the time of year because increased pollen can stimulate the queen to ramp up the egg laying before it's really appropriate timing.

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Old 09-05-2017, 11:20 AM   #138
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What kind of land do you have that you set it up on? A pasture away from any sort of potential human visitors?
I have a small farm, a bout half hay ground and half timber. I keep the bees in an area at the bottom of a hill a hundred yards or so from my house. They are protected on the west, south and north from wind by trees, have early morning sun through afternoon and a pond and creek nearby. They're sitting on the edge of rolling alfalfa fields with several on adjacent farms as well. Myself and a few neighbors also have fruit trees within bee range as well.


Just got my first message and I'll make my first honey sale at 5pm. That's almost as exciting as filling that first bottle, but not quite.


Need to get done with this honey thing and get ready to press apple cider.
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Old 09-05-2017, 01:24 PM   #139
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I have area that would be similar. Mostly corn, wheat and soybeans nearby, well and cows. What do you set the hives on and how do keep grass clear if it's just setting on the ground?

I'm thinking some big pavers with lots of plastic under them then set the hive on 5/4 treated base.
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Old 09-05-2017, 02:27 PM   #140
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Just wanted to chime in to say thanks for the cool stories!
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Old 09-05-2017, 02:42 PM   #141
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Lane View Post
I have area that would be similar. Mostly corn, wheat and soybeans nearby, well and cows. What do you set the hives on and how do keep grass clear if it's just setting on the ground?

I'm thinking some big pavers with lots of plastic under them then set the hive on 5/4 treated base.
I think that would work. If possible I think I'd try to stay at least a little ways from the ag crop fields to avoid pesticide spray.

Everyone does them a little different.

My bases currently are a tarp with mulch on top of them and I have pallets leveled(a little high on the back side to keep water from running into hive entrance). One of the other guys has gravel leveled and then has built bases of 2x6 on top of 4x4 posts.

I've seen other people set posts and build a platform a little higher than knee high to make it a little easier to work on them.

My thought is if you mulch around them so the entrance doesn't get blocked and you have room to work them, tarps and mulch has worked fine. My hayfield is mowed 3-4 times per year within 20' of the hives and I've whacked weeds down once or twice. That's mostly so I can peek out the bedroom window and see them with bincocs.

I'm not sure there is a right answer as long as the location, light and wind protection is good. But....I haven't kept bees through a winter yet, so don't listen to the new guy as gospel.

I bought the book "bee keeping for dummies" and it's got a lot of great information.
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Old 09-11-2017, 10:12 AM   #142
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I think this is how I will go if I pull the trigger. No opening hive for honey and way less disturbance and hive weakening.

https://www.honeyflow.com/shop/flow-...y-bundle/p/282
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Old 09-13-2017, 01:45 PM   #143
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If you choose to go the way of the flow hive, I'll be curious to hear your thoughts once you're using it. I've heard arguments for and against them but have no experience at all.

If they work well and make collection that much easier it would be a no brainer.
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