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Starting Hive

Posted by insteng 8 (My Page) on
Thu, Feb 21, 13 at 13:32

I bought a place out in the country and have been planting several fruit trees as well as getting a big garden started. Right now my neighbor has bees that come down and pollinate my trees. I would like to get a couple hives started myself. How expensive is it to get started keeping bees? I could probably get my neighbor to bring a couple hives over and just let him keep them on my property if I wanted to. I was wondering if it would be worth the effort to try to keep some myself. I am only out there on the weekends if that makes any difference so there would not be someone there all the time.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Starting Hive

I'm hoping to start a hive this year, too. So much to learn!

RE: Starting Hive

I'm just getting started this year as well and, you're right, there is a ton to learn and as many opinions on how to raise them. Here is a great forum web site which may answer many of your beginning questions. Check out the Beekeeping 101 forum.

Here is a link that might be useful: Beesource Forum

RE: Starting Hive

Yes,..I'm signed up there, you get lots of help.

I'm a member of our local bee club,..get's you up to date what's going on in your area.

It might not be worth the effort,....especially when spare time is hard to get and you're not there during the week. I like to do my rounds at swarm season, about a month or so checking for swarms every evening, these will be my new colonies for winter security. It takes allot of time and commitment looking after them, otherwise they dwindle down to nothing. I only have 5 hives,...winter kill sometimes can be severe, a new package in spring can be around $140.00
If your'e planing to go ahead, getting brand new wooden equipment is the way to go, this way, you know that nothing is infected with American foul brood.

Getting two packages is a good start for a newbie, you can compare one against the other when something is weird.

Extracting is another issue, a extractor in needed if you're in for the long run. I build a little honey house with everything set up when the time comes, usually 2 or more extractions per season is needed, otherwise the honey get's too old and crystallizes, extraction can't be done anymore.

If your neighbors bees are already in your yard, there is no need or incentive for him heaving hives there,..unless he's running out of room, honey bees love to travel a far distance,.. they're like us, thinking the grass in greener over there. LOL

Here is a link that might be useful: Show & Tell your Hive

RE: Starting Hive

From a polination point of view, your neighbors honey bees will support your fruit trees and garden as well as any you put on your own place. If you want the honey, you should consider a few hives. They are expensive; in VA I pay about $250 for an existing hive. May I suggest building some mason bee boxes to attract native mason bees. They are better polinators and less work/worry. See my post titled, "The Case for Mason Bees."

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